About a month ago, I wrote about how I was on a mission to get more sleep. I gave myself a deadline of Sienna turning one, which happens in a mere two weeks time (wahhhh!!!).
So, I thought I’d do a little update on where we’re at.
Well, I’m super pleased to say that things have VASTLY improved on the sleep front. Sienna has slept through a good number of times now. Sometimes, she has woken at around 10pm. But she has also managed full sleep throughs, from going to bed to getting up (or at the very least waking up and not needing us to go in to her).
A couple of months ago, I never thought this would be the case. I had Sienna down as a non-sleeper. I thought she’d be well in to her first year, and maybe even older, before we got that magic sleep through.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s still no knowing what will happen when she goes to bed. Just this week, she was awake from 4am – 6am one morning, and 4.45am until 7.30am another morning! And she had a cold last week, which saw her wake around every hour in the night. Each time, I worry that the spell has been broken and she’ll never sleep through again. But she does! In fact, last night she slept from 7pm until 5.45am, when I went and put her dummy in and she went straight back to sleep until 6.40am! In the past month, she’s woken in the night far more times than she has slept through. But things are definitely much better.
So, what do I think has lead to this new ability to sleep?
I definitely think stopping giving her night feeds has made the difference. In the previous post, I talked about how I was not going to give her anything but water to drink after midnight. I actually only needed to do that for a few days before she stopped wanting it at all, and either slept through or was happy with just the dummy. I think waking for a drink of milk had become a habit for Sienna, which is my fault more than anything. Exhaustion meant I went for the quickest settling option, which was probably more sleep damaging in the long run. I do wish I’d changed to water sooner, though it may not have worked any sooner. She could have just been ready to give up the night feeding and the association of milk with sleep.
She was still having milk at around 10pm. But that has now stopped too. She has a bottle before bed, and that’s it. Done until the morning! It’s so nice to not mess about with flasks and tubs of milk ready for night feeding.
The fact Sienna has a dummy has probably helped a lot with this too, as she does sometimes wake for the dummy to be put back in. She can do it herself, but I’m not sure she is fully awake enough to find it. I know this is going to lead to the issue of removing the dummy down the line (particularly as we are about to go through just that with our two year old!). But I also know of many families who have had little issue with their toddler releasing their dummies to the dummy fairy.
I also think that properly crawling has had an impact on her sleep. In the last update, Sienna had only really just started crawling. Now she’s zipping round and using lots more energy up! Though sometimes not enough obviously, if she occasionally thinks 4am is a reasonable time to get up!
And, I’ve been working on a sleep/lullaby association for a while now. She has a sheep music machine at the end of her cot (this one!). I was putting it on each time she went to bed at night and during the day. So, she started to associate the lullaby music with going to sleep. She can press it to come on herself, and sometimes in the night I can hear the soft sound of the lullaby as she wakes and presses it on. And not a peep from her! It seems to send her back to sleep straight away if she’s sleepy enough (though sometimes she seems to be far too awake for it to do anything other than entertain her for a bit!).
I’d like to say I feel so much more energised for the extra sleep. In lots of ways, I do. But we are still having rough nights thrown in, and never really know what to expect. Plus, Ella’s sleep seems to have gone backwards lately (so typical!). So, we’re not quite fully caught up yet! But I am noticing some changes in how I feel. I now set an alarm for 5.45am every day and go for a run! And I feel loads better for it. Last week, when Sienna was sleeping badly again due to her cold, I didn’t get up and go running and missed my bootcamp sessions too. By Friday, my anxiety levels were high, I was feeling low, and I was very weepy. I think the lack of sleep and lack of exercise combo is a bad one for me, so I’m trying to get up at 5.45 no matter how the night has been, as after that time I don’t really get much sleep anyway, with Sean getting up and ready for work.
I’ve recorded a bit of a video update on how we’re getting on with mission sleep, which essentially is this blog post in rambling form!