Baby Sleep Problems

Zelda hasn't slept through the nights since being sick. It has been a long few weeks. She's up on average 3 times a night sometimes more. She'd go to sleep straight away at bedtime, but then wake again a hour or two later. We'd go in, give her a bottle and a lengthy cuddle until she was asleep again. But she'd be crying again an hour or two later, not just small cries that might resettle but red faced sobbing cries. Once again, we'd go in, give a bottle & cuddle and wait till she fell asleep deep enough not to wake when put back in the cot. Only for her to wake in another hour or two and so on until morning. AGH!! We  wrongly assumed it would just get better. But it hasn't.

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I popped into Afghan Traders the Friday before Christmas to pick up some Za'atar and got talking to the Naturopath that works there. You can have short (15min- fairly generous really) conversations with the Naturopath FOR FREE, where they will dispense advice and vitamins. When Zelda was sick she had Giardia and she was still getting a high number of poos per day along with a sore bum. The Naturopath suggested she take a probiotic, echinacea and an omega 3, 6 & 9 oil. Lulu suggested Zelda take Rescue Remedy Sleeptime. The Naturopath said it was worth a try. 

So we tried. Zelda hated the echinacea but takes the probiotic and the omega oils in her bottle each night. I also added a vapouriser/diffuser to her room with a low nightlight. And she got down to three wake ups a night. But with a flexible bedtime between Christmas and new year she began to be hard to get to sleep at the beginning of the night - something that had never happened before - AND the wake ups were increasing. 

This time I Googled 'baby sleep problems' and read all about the helpful night nannies that will come to your house and sort out the problem for you if you live on the coast. Dreamed of a sleep school holiday. Then just found some simple advice that we've all heard before, like sticking to a bedtime routine. Stories, then bottle then in bed awake by 7. Also a colleague suggested that maybe Zelda didn't need a day nap anymore (AGH!). 

That night I tried the new  routine and after an hour and a half of back pats (she tries to go off to sleep on her tummy but if you leave the room she screams as if someone is trying to kill her so back pats help calm) then sitting by the door but not leaving, I gave up. Nick then gave it a go for another half hour. Then she was asleep. Two wake ups in the night. 

No nap the next day and the next night she went to sleep while drinking her bottle. We heard from her once at 11pm, then nothing until morning. Success. 

No nap again the next day, asleep on the bottle but three wake ups in the night. 

Over the last week we have slowly been able to get her to go to sleep in the cot, but need to do a few back pats and stay in the room until she is asleep. But it's progress. We're not holding her until she falls asleep any more. She's on her way to becoming a big girl. 

The wake ups continue, some nights just one, others three, but at least the beginning of the night is getting better. She snores a little and we have a follow up with the ENT Specialist soon. Hopefully he might be able to pin point some reason why she wakes. 

Road Trip through Coober Pedy

The stretch of road between Port Augusta and Coober Pedy tends to be thought of as a big stretch of nothingness but on our recent road trip I realised that it has a little more to offer than nothing. There are a number of gorgeous pink lakes, seen below in the photos I took quickly through the moving car window. 

To break up the drive, we spent the night at Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy lies along the Stuart Highway, about 800kms north of Adelaide and about 800km south of Alice Springs. The town's claim to fame is that it is the largest opal mining area in the world. Opal mines surround the town. Some are working mines and other's are abandoned - so be careful where you step! Coober Pedy's other claim to fame is it's underground houses. The underground houses maintain a consistent temperature all year round, not needing air conditioning despite plus 40 Celsius temperatures in summer.  

When in Coober Pedy we stay at the always lovely, permanently stuck in the 1980s hotel/motel, the Desert Cave. The decor might be a thing of the past, but it's clean and it has an old glamour edge to it. You can just imagine what it was like when it first opened. So fancy! An oasis in the desert. 

Last time we were there (back in 2013!) forked out the big bucks for an underground room (you have to stay in one at least once) but this time we cheapened out and went for an above ground room. For dinner we went to the hotel restaurant and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meal. Yes, it's expensive but you are in the middle of nowhere, of course it will cost you more than an equivalent meal in a city. Expect to pay more. The town itself, quite desolate does have a pretty element to it at the golden hour.

More pictures of Coober Pedy here.