Sleep school day 3

hi everyone

Just a recap on day 3 of sleep school at Mitcham Private.

On day 3 of sleep school the nurses start to ask you more questions about what you would do and leave more of the settling to you- so little wonder that husband and I found day 3 challenging.

We managed 2 day sleeps for A – however they were not a straight placed in cot, settle a number of times and A falls asleep.

We had to take A out of his cot after about 40 minutes of trying to settle him in his room- which is to give him a bit of a break and some cuddles with mum and dad. 

You always place the baby in the cot awake for sleeps- this way they are able to learn to calm down their bodies and wind them down as best as they can with some assistance from you as required. 

We only managed to get A to sleep for about 50 minutes on his 2nd sleep and 1 hour and 30 minutes on his third one.

Our night routine was a bit more difficult, again we had to take him out and re-try again. It took about 1 hour 45 minutes to settle him down for the night. However he didn’t stir until 235am for a feed and then not again til 630am! 

Upon reflection during the day, I realised that I may have jumped the gun in getting him up from his afternoon sleep instead of trying to resettle him for another sleep cycle. 

The nurses supporting you during resettling tell you to leave the room once it becomes clear that you are in battle with your precious one- which really means when he doesn’t appear to be responding to your helping to self-settle. This is really difficult to do in the moment and I think it will take practise at home for a while for me to be able to discern this much quicker. 

Some examples of your baby ‘battling you’ is perhaps him escalating more as you help, wriggling more in his body. Sometimes the crying can also fool you- as a really vocal baby can cry for ages and call out but this doesn’t actually mean that they are not responding and or in distress and need your help. 

Day 3 was hard and so I gave myself a nice glass of wine to end the night which helped me sleep better! It was harder because as its day 3 the nurses tend to ask you to think a bit more about how you would respond and ‘what do you think’ or ‘what would you do at home’. This in itself is a challenge because you’re not really used to doing anything apart from what brought you there in the first place and even though it’s the 3rd day, the techniques still seem unclear and it’s always a process of trial and error which has its pros and cons. 

Some of the things that made me question the technique was the fact that A’s voice became a bit raspy which to me indicated that he has been crying.. A lot. That made me a bit sad. Some nurses also have different advise to give to you and so sometimes that could be confusing but as all babies are different then you kind of just have try and apply all the different advise and see which one works for you best. 

The nurses however do really love babies and seem to sincerely want you and your baby to have a better experience of sleep than when you first got there. Also when you see your baby self-settling, you kind of think ‘oh wow- he can actually do it’ and you become hopeful of what may be.

I’ve really forgotten to take photos of the food but on the whole it’s alright taste wise but the fact that you are served 3 main meals and 2 snacks that you didn’t have to prepare for yourself is amazing! I actually found myself eating a lot more during my stay and to be honest my pants felt a little snug on my last day. 😳😛☺️

Anyways- I’ll update on day 4! 

Sleepily yours 

Gabrielle 

Sleep school day 2

Hi everyone 

So although it’s actually day 4 for us here, I’ll just recap on what day 2 was. 

The first night A actually slept relatively well- they settle them here for you on the first night and just wake you for breastfeeds if that’s how you’re feeding otherwise they can also give formula. I woke up twice to BF A during the first night which is a far cry from his usual hourly ‘feeds’ from 2am onwards to get to sleep. I BF at 940pm and he went down just a bit over 2 hours. He then needed to be resettled a number of times until his next feed. Amazingly after breastfeeding at 420am he slept through til 820am without a peep! 

  
That’s the sheet that you and the nurses fill out throughout the duration of your stay to inform you on how they go at sleeping and what techniques worked for resettling and how many times they had to be resettled. 

As it was the second day- I got to try my hand at resettling him on my own with nurses observing me and giving advise as to what I should try or when I should go in if he’s crying or when when I should leave the room after a settling attempt. 

The babies are allowed ‘to cry’ and most of the time you ignore what they refer to here as low level grizzling which sound like moans and groans. 

Here they settle them with techniques such as patting, head strokes, torso wrap, side tuck, hands on baby, mattress pat, bottom pat. They also encourage the use of a comfort toy which we slept with in the week leading up to sleep school so it smelt like me (I also squirted some BF milk in there). It’s amazing how quickly the bubs take to their comfort toy by smelling it, rubbing their face in it and just fiddling with it in their hands while they try to sleep. 

There were also occasions today where I had to get A out of the cot to give him a break from trying to sleep- this usually occurre after about 40 minutes of him trying to sleep and us trying to help him by going into the rooms. This usually meant that we could get him out, have a cuddle and a bit of quiet play and then try again in about 30-40 minutes. This worked for us twice with A on our second day! 

The nurses here are a wealth of knowledge and while some do vary in their approach and advise- it’s helpful because there isn’t a one size fits all formula to baby sleeping or resettling and what might have worked for the earlier sleep may not necesarily work for the next sleep. But you do get an idea from the form what your baby responds to.

Resettling here as advise starts slowly and you build up to using the techniques. For example you could go in, give him his slee cue which for us was the line ‘it’s time for bed A’ and then re tuck your baby into his sheet. The next settle could be patting him for a couple of minutes. There’s also music and then there’s wrapping them. Wrapping them seems to be helpful and is considered the big guns coz the babies seem to feel like it’s similar to being held! So this worked for us with A coz he’s such a squirmy little thing. 

A had a BF at 655pm and slept at 730pm on day 2 night. His next feed was then at 1040 and the next one not til 5am (which was actually 4 am due to daylight saving). From 5am he then slept again til 9am which brings us to day 3.

He had a number of resettles from the night nurse on night 2 but a lot less than his first night and that 4 hour stretch of sleep during the morning sleep was something he hadn’t done since he was pretty much born! 

So all in all that’s already been a Big improvement for us. 

Sleepily yours 

Gabrielle 

Sleep school day 1

hi everyone

So A and I have been in sleep school for nearly 24 hours.

This is how it’s gone so far.

They have pretty much settled and resettled him to sleep for me since we arrived. It’s been a bit strange not having to settle and resettle him which has made me realise how much of my day I spend settling and resettling him. 

When the nurses are not settling your baby and they are awake- the babies stay with you 🙂 the nurses come to speak to you about looking out for tired signs such as baby rubbing eyes, being clingy, whingey or maybe staring into space. They do this so you can get your baby to rest before they get to that overtired space where they are harder to settle.   

Here they follow a feed, play, sleep routine. I will post a photo of the handout they give me. Depending on babies age they also have recommended wake time for the Bub. For A-man it is between 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

Below is a copy of the resetting technique that we will be following on day 2

  
Now they do let the babies cry but they have pretty much responded to him or any of the other babies within 2-5 minutes. I shall try to remember to take a photo of the babies room (dark, small room with a cot and CD player). They also watch them on their monitors in their office. They have a folder in which they write down everything they’ve done with your baby and for how long and how he responded. It shall be interesting to read that on day 4! 

Last night they woke me up twice at 930 pm and 4am to feed him. If I’m brutally honest I don’t think I really slept deeply- I kept waking up (not because of the other babies crying, as there were some of that) but mostly because it’s a new environment and it was strange not being next to my baby who I’ve been co-sleeping with for the past 2 months. I think tonight I might take the sleeping pill offered. 
One of the nicest things so far has been the chats with other moms and also the nurses. Validation from the nurses that they get why you have done what you have done for the last couple of months in search of sleep and understanding from the other mums who are here with you learning and experiencing the same thing. Although one tells themselves that surely they must not be the only one to be struggling with something, it’s easier to believe when you actually meet those same others who are struggling with the same thing. 

Dinner last night was this 

 
I got the default dinner menu because I wasn’t early enough to pick my meals. The meal was fine. I’ll post ohoto of my day 2 meals as I picked those!

I also forgot to take a photo of A’s puréed meal which they provided. He tried chicken for the first time last night, it went down fine, he made a little ‘what’s this taste’ face but the piglet that he is, he ate it anyway. We also had success with re-introducing carrots as A hated carrots first time I fed it to him but last night he ate that the most.  
I think for now I shall just write things as they’ve happened and later I will reflect on the experience once I’ve had some time to step away from it and am not as immersed in it as I currently am. 

Still sleepily yours 

Gabrielle 

Sleep school 

hi everyone 

We are off to sleep school today! I’ll try my best to post as the days go by. 

We’ve elected to go to Mitcham Private Sleep school in their mum and Bub unit as they had a place for us earlier than Masada. 

I am currently camping out as the nurses try to settle him for the first 24 hours. So far so good. They have been super supportive.

The facilities are great and as I’m yet to try the food – I’ll update later on that. 

But here is a photo of my shared room 

 

 I think it’s also a good idea to bring magazines, books and chocolates 🙂 

  
I’m feeling pretty comfortable right now in letting them take charge. Now hopefully I’ll be able to also take advantage of the incidental respite it offers! 

Update more later

Sleepily yours

Gabrielle