This weekend things reached breaking point in our house.
Esther has been struggling on and off with her tummy for a few weeks and on Sunday she finally succumbed to a bug that she then kindly shared with me.
From about lunch time on I felt progressively worse and ended up with a delirious fever followed by horrible stomach cramps and a whole night on the loo.
I started Monday almost half a stone lighter (no exaggeration) and feeling a little weak and crampy but on the whole much more human.
What both David and I both were though was sleep deprived.
My husband too had been up all night helping with Matilda as she could not settle to sleep without using me as a prop.
No one had much sleep.
Matilda had not really slept much all of Sunday daytime and as a consequence of her over tiredness she barely slept Monday either.
Reluctantly I agreed with David that for the good of all our family, and for Matilda Mae in the long run, we needed to start teaching her to soothe herself to sleep.
At The Baby Show I bought Jo Tantum’s Sleepy Time products and decided to use those to create a calm and peaceful bath and bed time for our lovely but incredibly stubborn Matilda Mae.
At 5.15pm Esther and William were already in bed and asleep as we took Baby Tilda up for her bath. While Daddy had Baby in the bath I made the preparations using Jo’s 10 step plan as my guide.
Go into the baby’s room and pop a few drops of Sleepytime Room Aroma into a bowl of warm water. It will fill the nursery with the smell of lavender and other calming essential oils.
Get the bath ready with tepid water and either add Sleepytime Hair and Body Wash to the bathwater or use a tiny amount in your hands, then wash your baby from top to bottom.
Carry your baby into a darkened nursery and lie him on a dry towel or changing mat (remember some changing mats can be really cold on baby’s bare skin) before massaging him with Sleepytime Organic Massage Oil.
Dress your baby in PJ’s and a sleeping bag depending on the temperature.
Pick your baby up and give him a kiss and a cuddle.
Talk softly, older babies will enjoy a story time and this will remain part of his bedtime routine for many years.
Even young babies enjoy the rhythm of words.
Give your baby his last feed of the day in the nursery.
Wind, talking quietly and reassuringly.
Lay him down, in his cot or Moses basket. Pat him gently.
Say goodnight and come out of the room.
And then she screamed. I tried to soothe her and ssshh her. I lasted 9 minutes before I fled the room in tears and Daddy took over.
It took 25 minutes (that felt like 25 years!) in total before she was asleep. She cried, a lot, but David stayed with her and she did fall asleep.
For the first time in a long time we are having a quiet evening and one of us is not balancing a baby whilst trying to eat or work or enjoy a hot cup of tea.
I am certain that there are going to be tough times ahead but we have made a start with sleep training our six month old daughter and I am proud of that.
I find it so so hard to let a baby cry. Any baby, but particularly my own, but I know that in the long term it is better for her to be able to fall asleep on her own and to have the space to get the decent deep sleep that she needs.
There is still a part of me though that is going to be very sad going to bed on my own tonight without my warm little bundle to snuggle up to, with her chubby little fingers reaching out for me and her lips searching me out when she needs a feed.
Our ways of bonding will become different now I guess, starting perhaps with sharing a bath filled with Jo Tantum’s glorious Sleepy Time Hair and Body Wash.
I am looking forward to Matilda having longer naps during the day though so that I can reconnect with Esther and William. I feel like I have become less and less a part of their day and I miss them so much.
Jo’s Sleepy Time Set can be bought online for £22.97. I bought mine at The Baby Show for a bargain £15. Could be the best £15 I have spent in a long long time if this peaceful evening continues and is repeated again tomorrow.
Thank you Jo x