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"Guesswork! That's what we based our baby son's life on - especially his sleep. Did he need a routine? The word sounded too inflexible!
Guesswork worked sometimes for our son. Most of the time we were wrong. So he would always be one step ahead of us, and we would just meet his demand, when he wanted and what he wanted (with a lot of heartache in between). This was usually the case at 7:30 p.m. pm, 10:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m. and 5:30am - everyday.
Our son was addicted to us patting or rocking him to sleep - for about thirty minutes each time until he fell into deep sleep. Then, just as we thought he was asleep, we would tiptoe out of his bedroom (making sure none of our body joints creaked, and in my case I would stop breathing thinking that even that would wake him up), and just as we would reach for the door handle to escape from the nursery (which seemed to be a totally different time and place), to escape to sanctuary - washing the dishes or having a shower… Waaaaaaa. Stop! Should I turn back? No! But he needs me... No, I read somewhere (which book was it?) to leave him crying to sleep! How could I? What, listen to twenty minutes of screaming? It felt like I was the one screaming and being heard through his lungs and tears... back inside I went... Start all over again… Was this the best way to do it?
Well, the double-mindedness (not to mention the sore eyes and throbbing head) continued through to ten months. During this time we had taken Joseph to Tresillian 3 times. Yes he slept on his own for a couple of weeks each time (after crying and crying and crying…) but then he grew out of it each time as he hit "the next developmental stage" I slowly realised that everything in Joseph's day was linked to one another. The constant question to Tresillian and I was "Isn't there more to Joseph's life than sleep? - what about the rest of the day, what about a pattern?" No-one there could answer me properly. I was not going to put him through that again and most of all I didn't feel confident with a method that didn't incorporate a routine!
All we knew is that he had to sleep longer and sleep on his own and especially stop waking so frequently during the night. We started praying to the Lord to help us.
My friend from mother's group said she was going to get some help from Sheyne Rowley. My husband and I thought, "If this worked for her baby (who only slept for forty-five minutes a couple of times a day with very frequent night wakings) then we would definitely try it." Well, it worked.
Sheyne's stay with us was everything we expected. It didn't take Joseph long to become buddies with Sheyne, and before we knew it, they were talking the same language. Sheyne's confidence and enthusiasm in what she did won Joseph and us over. The results showed by the second night, and by the third night he was sleeping on his own, through the night. Joseph was only left to cry for a maximum of five minutes each time, which followed with quick reassuring words to him to let him know he wasn't alone and that we expected him to sleep. He caught on pretty quickly. Even after Sheyne had completed her weekly consultation, she encouraged us to persevere with his daily routine in the first few critical weeks to lock it in. Though at times this was challenging, our efforts are paying off now.
Sheyne wrote up Joseph's "Day" up for us and it made so much sense. It was tailor made for Joseph's and our needs. Play/feeding/rest/sleep/active time at all the right times which gave us confidence.
Being confident in what we were doing helped us do it right. This confidence came from Sheyne explaining to us about sleep cycles and the natural body rhythm. Joseph started taking his required sleep (and guess what, nearly one year on, he still is). This has made him more alert and eliminated his constant whininess. He started feeding better and really started to enjoy his up time. Joseph thanks us by smiling to us when we put him in bed now. Sometimes we go to friends places at night, and he will sleep there in his travel cot in a separate room.
Sheyne has told us what sleep patterns will change for Joseph in the coming months and years - so again, we are one step ahead of him. Sheyne has told us heaps about behaviour problems and how to avoid them before he's two.
The wealth of knowledge which has been passed on by Sheyne has not only helped our son, but has empowered us to give some handy hints to other parents who constantly ask us how Joseph sleeps at 7:00 p.m. and wakes twelve hours later without a peep.
Well, it's not guesswork after all."
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