We’ve come on in leaps and bounds over the last couple of weeks, but where to start?
Today’s happy “we’re getting somewhere” post concerns the big S: ‘sleep’.
A couple of weeks ago, Carl found a way to give Sam a bottle he would drink. After all these months, what did magical trick did he do?
He gave it to Sam while the water was still warm.
Of all the things we didn’t try in our bottle quest, who would have thought that a baby would prefer a nice warm bottle of milk!? D’oh.
Sunday before last, we decided to see whether Sam would accept a warm bottle before bed and then be able to go to sleep. At this point he was still having a breastfeed and usually falling asleep while feeding. Since I was due out on the Thursday, it was important that we find a way to help him get to sleep without me there. While Sam had his bath, I prepared the bottle and had it warmed ready. As I handed him to Carl, Sam started crying; immediately sensing something was afoot. I backed out of the room and retreated downstairs to wait it out.
Carl was downstairs 10 minutes later and greeted me with a cheeky “I don’t understand what all the fuss is about!” as he showed me the monitor so I could see a peaceful, drifting off Sam.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! He’d taken the bottle, pushed it away when he was done, Carl stood up with him so he could burp if need be and the moment Sam leaned his head in to rest on Carl’s shoulder, he put him down in the cot bed. And Sam went to sleep on his own.
Two things I never thought were possible happened at the same time! We’ve done that every night since and both of us have been able to put him to bed after a bottle, with him going down awake and falling asleep by himself.
Sam is 9.5 months old now and some might say it’s late for this step, but we have never tried to teach him to fall asleep.
I was once told that a baby will learn to sleep via one of two methods: time or tears. One will teach the baby quickly but can be stressful for all involved, the other is more peaceful but can take – as in our case – months. I was also told that babies have to be taught to fall asleep, they can’t learn on their own…which is clearly rubbish. I’m not starting any sleep training debates here, I know many people who have happily used various training techniques and they and babies are all very happy. We simply knew it wasn’t right for us.
So here we are nearly two weeks on and Sam takes a bottle before bed and falls asleep on his own!! He can lie there awake for up to 15 minutes, but he just looks around and rolls from side to side before drifting off.
Who knew we would ever get here!