We have decided to give sleep training a try. As daunting as it may seem, we would like to try as there are so many successful stories about sleep training.
I started with snuggle bunny. Ummm, to be honest, I cannot really say whether it is working or not. I think that is due to the fact that I haven’t given Ammaarah a chance to fall asleep on her own yet. Perhaps when (or if) that happens, we will know whether it is a comfort item for her or not.
I then started the second part of sleep training, and that is the tummy sshh pat method. And my gosh, SUCCESS is its true name! As you know, I was never able to put Ammaarah down after she falls asleep on my arm. She would always, without fail, wake up and I desperately needed to do something. Everyone advised of sleeping on the tummy, but I could never get her on her tummy without her waking up. So I tried the sshh pat method and this is what I done.
All morning yesterday, I took Ammaarah to her cot and showed her that that is where she would nap during the day. I explained to her that Mama needed to get things done around the house and that both herself and Mama needed to ensure that a nasty habit of sleeping on the arm does not form. I repeated this several times before her first nap of the day. I then watched her, and I watched her intently. When she showed signs of feeling sleepy (which is when she yawns, becomes niggly and easily takes to the dummy), I brought her to her cot and explained to her again what was going to happen. I asked her if she was ready to dudu, she looked around and moaned, and I deciphered that as a ‘yes mama, I am ready’.
I placed her on her tummy. She resisted and cried for about a minute or two. Once I eventually got her to latch onto her dummy, she laid her head down and continued to cry. I placed snuggle bunny under her arm, covered her with a blanket and started to sshh pat on the bum. Within a few minutes the crying stopped, the vigorous sucking on the dummy began and Princess Porschie slowly started to drift off to sleep. I sat next to her cot for twenty minutes and sshh patted whenever she wiggled. The wiggling became less and less and my baby girl drifted into a deep sleep, off the arm and with the comfort of snuggle bunny. I was in total shock!
I tried sshh pat again for the next nap, and voila, she slept. I then tried it again for the following nap, and VOILA, she slept!! We were completely speechless. I updated Zieyaad during her earlier naps, explaining what I did and how easy it was, and for sure he did not believe me. But when he saw it for himself during her third nap of the day, he was in complete awe.
What was even more shocking is that each nap was over an hour long. I had no idea what to do with my free hands! I mean, yes, there were plenty that needed to be done around the house, but who wants to do chores when for the first time in what seems like forever, you had some time for yourself?
During her first nap today, I was able to write this piece without any interruptions. Ammaarah fell asleep within a minute of tummy sshh pat, needed no sshh patting when she wiggled and has been sleeping for almost 2 hours.
I now wonder if this is what she wanted all along. Perhaps she wanted to nap off the arm for some time now but I never allowed her to. Or perhaps I was just not ready. I suppose this is all part of my motherhood – new phases, new learnings and lots of unanswered questions.