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. 

Roadtripping with a Baby

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Last Thursday we headed off for our annual trip to Apollo Bay. We had decided to drive, mainly because Apollo Bay is a 2.5hr trip from Melbourne & if we flew we'd have to hire a car to get here from the airport anyway. However, Apollo Bay happens to be a 3 day car trip from Alice Springs and I think Lulu must have sensed that she'd be trapped in a car for 3 days, so she threw up before we even left the house and then 3 more times before we reached the Finke Start/Finish line, which is about 15km from Alice Springs. 

Since we were still in mobile phone range I looked at the cost of a flight to Adelaide for Lulu & I. Fights were less than $250 and with the possibility that Lulu would continue to be sick during the day when we're 300km from no where (not an exaggeration), we turned back and took the flight. Nick, the hero, met us in Adelaide the next day with the car. We spent two nights with my parents before continuing the journey to Apollo Bay. Lulu wasn't sick over the weekend & only threw up twice during what became an over 10hr car trip. 

It's normally about a 7hr trip to the Bay, but when you're travelling with a baby you need to make a lot of stops and the stops aren't just running to use the loo or buy a drink. You've got the nappy change, a feed (and yes, she'll suck that bottle down as slowly as possible), stretching her little legs, playing on the swings. The old 'she'll just fall asleep because it's so boring' did not apply. She slept for maybe three hours in total! My tips for roadtripping with an 11 month old? 

  • ensure you can reach from the front to give the baby a bottle in the back - my arms are way too short for this to be comfortable
  • Interactive book/s - Lulu loves books where she can feel different elements ie sandpaper, fluffy, bumpy. One of these books can keep her entertained for ages.
  • Hanging toys - hang different toys from the handle above the door.
  • Snacks - I lost count of how many rice crackers Lulu ate. Many ended up on the floor but they all kept her occupied for a while
  • Sesame Street - At some point it's all just going to get to be too much. This is when you crack out the sesame street on the ipad. Yes, I was someone who said my kid wouldn't watch tv in the car but when confronted with a crying 11 month old who just wants out though we stopped 10 mins ago? TV wins. 

Have you done a big road trip with your baby?

Any tips for our trip back? We are contemplating another flight!