My mum’s words were very simple- “you are the mother”
My motherly instant was telling me that Sadie wanted to feel secure, whether it be that she was held close, half swaddled, white noise, communication, eye contact, touch, taste, smell or sound. In Sadie’s pram or day bed as I liked to call it, she loved being wrapped in with soft muslins or cellular blankets in the colder weather.
At five months Sadie started waking frequently at 9pm for no reason. My 9pm relaxation time in the bath become a more frequent time for Adam to come upstairs with the monitor, and out I came, as didn’t want her to cry! When it happened for the first time, I instinctively picked her up, and put her to my breast for a soothe. Within five minutes she was back to sleep and I couldn’t really complain, as she either slept all night after that or with one wake. When it started to become maybe three to four nights in the week when it happened, it felt like 9pm roulette, will she or wont she! For my sanity, I decided to change my bath time until later! Clearly this would not solve the issue in the long term.
On a couple of occasions I felt brave and tried to do something else aside from feeding, but when I was up for an hour and a half and lost out on my evening, it just didn’t seem worth it. When my mum came over to babysit, Adam and I went out for a late date after I had soothed her at 9pm! I knew this was a phase that would come and go, but at the time it is very difficult to see past this. I googled and researched, and tried something farfetched called “Wake to sleep”. This is where I would twitch her 15 minutes before the wake-up time to try to move her into the next sleep cycle. As crazy as it sounds after a few days this seemed to work. Whether it was down to the twitching or not, I habitually continued doing this at 8.45pm each night. To be honest if I had read somewhere that skipping round the room 10 times would stop the wake up, I probably would have done that too! Grandparents were under strict instructions to do the twitching if babysitting!
One night after we thought we had escaped the 9pm wakeup- Sadie woke again. I decided I needed to break the habit, and I wasn’t going to feed her. I wanted Adam to settle her if she woke up before midnight, as couldn’t keep feeding her two hours after she went to sleep, even if this was only for 5 minutes. It was a habit I needed to break. In life It is as easy to break a habit then to make a habit, but obviously daunting putting into practise.
Putting this into practise Sadie was inconsolable for ten minutes. I had never ever seen here react like this. If I am being honest at the time it felt like an hour. I was sobbing on the phone to my mum downstairs, but Adam was right with her to reassure her. Adam created his own method that Sadie began to recognise. Daddy’s little girl was soothed by the hum of his voice from outside her door if she woke. That night daddy had two babies to look after. The good news was thankfully I was able to resume my bath time to 9pm!