PictureWhere did these days go?
Recently our little darling has decided that we don't really need to sleep during the night.  
For us, this has opened up a whole can of worms, as we decided to seek advice on how to approach the task of getting Ava to sleep normally.  There are the books, the blogs, the advice columns, the friends; all have relevant advice, but all are conflicting at the same time.  There are books preaching this way, and demonising those who follow that way.  They all seem to have a couple of things in common, though, and that is they all demand an incredibly strict adherence to their method, and if you follow their method, and their method only, you will get results...  

Obviously, at the moment, I am in a position of bias - being the one that these punishing routines are extracting their pound of flesh from, and having very little reference points to work with.  It seems to me, however, that a lot of these doctrines seem to conflict, and the rest all say something like "other books say something like my method anyway".  So on the whole it all sounds a bit catty and childish, and while trying to read it all with a screaming infant, it's not much fun.  

One point that the books all share is that the parents must establish a dominance over the baby's sleeping habits early (3-6 months is ideal), which I'm ashamed to admit, we are guilty of neglecting.  We've missed the jump at the start and are now playing catch-up.  We've been able to get her into a bit of a routine throughout the day, where she sleeps, eats & plays in two-hour blocks, which seems to be working way better than I'd expected, allowing for me to actually do things during the day now.  At night, though, she's turned into a demon, waking up more sporadically than ever before and becoming unimaginably impatient...  

Another solid tenet of putting children to sleep is this, and it features in every book, blog, leaflet & other bit of advice:  be consistent.  Form a plan, and stick to it.  Eventually the baby will get used to the format you've chosen and deal with it.  Now as easy as following a step-by-step process might seem, it's in equal parts difficult at the same time.  Our night-time rituals are almost worked out now, but it means that we can't go out for dinner yet, Megan can't be late home, and I have to have everyone's dinners prepared by 6pm.   Even as we continue to cater to her growing sense of object permanence, she still continues to struggle falling asleep and staying there. 

So the battle continues, and we do our best to conquer this little phase before the next one hits...  Either that, or we'll have to move back to Canberra so that we can bore her to sleep....  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

P.S.  We have managed to find a constructive page that was very reassuring - Alexis seems to know her stuff and isn't all cocky and I-told-you-so about it.  


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