Welcome to Nyla's
Call 1 - 24 April 2021
Here is your first task. You can print it by clicking on each picture.
Our next call will be on Wednesday, 28th at 10:30am
Call 2 - 28 April 2021
This week we will work on adjusting Naps
Nap 1: Between 9 and 9:30am --- try and extend this awake window so sleep starts closer to 9:30am
Nap 2: Between 1:30 and 2pm --- try and coax her to stich the sleep cycles by patting mattress and shushing before she wakes
Bedtime: Between 7:30 8pm
The main focus this week is on exploring what works best for Nyla in terms of day time sleep and helping her learn to extend that lunch time sleep.
This week let’s explore what will work for you and Nyla at the end of the bedtime routine and naps routine.
You are doing this for the long run, so let’s first take some time to explore what works for you and Nyla. Then we will move towards less input with perhaps you sitting down next to the cot, and later just saying a good night phrase before leaving the bedroom.
** This stage we are working on is likely to be the most challenging, so let’s not rush through it. **
Key elements of a great bedtime routine:
At the moment these are: Liam takes Nyla up stairs, sleeping bag and reads her some stories in a dark room with door open. Rosie then goes upstairs to feed her in the rocking chair with door closed and room dark. Nyla may be rocked or walked, then perhaps fed again.
There are 2 things we need to adjust here:
At first, number 2 will take longer, but with time we will adjust and shorten to around 15 - 20 min
It is important to be consistent: do the same things in the same order, every night! And remember that at day 3 or 4 it is normal for everything to go a bit wrong. Persist through it!
I suggest you explore what elements will work for you at the end of the bedtime routine before we move on to making it short and smooth.
We will aim for the routine to last around 30 minutes, once we have found what works for you.
YOU need to be calm and in a good place of mind.
Bedtime can be very stressful: we are all tired (us and our little ones), there seems to be a ton of things to do at that time of the day around the house and sometimes we just want to rush and put our children to bed quickly so we can get on with doing everything and still have a little time to rest. But it is when we rush, that our children take even longer to go to sleep. They pick up on our anxieties and stress and become dysregulated. They then need more help to become regulated again before being able to focus on the bedtime. So it ends up taking longer.
Get prepared! In a practical and in a mental way.
Have everything you need handy. Perhaps even pyjamas, nappies and sleeping bag easy to find. Make sure you are not hungry. Perhaps have a list of what happens in the bedtime routine, so you can relax and not need to remember. Perhaps have some calming music YOU like or some talking relaxation (if this is your type of thing) playing in the background. So You also take the time to slow down. It will make the bedtime routine nicer for you as well as your child and it will help your little one go down easier.
You evening will look something like this:
Once we find something that is working a little better, we can move it along so she is falling asleep in the cot easily.
Later, we will aim for numbers 5 and 6 will last around 30 minutes in total
The other element to work on this week is to do a short version of the bedtime routine before naps. So it could be 1 book, say goodnight to owlly, sing a song stroking hand.
This will help make naps easier and reinforcing the new elements of the bedtime routine. Make sure this does not extend too long so you can have some time for yourself.
I will check up with you on Friday, but do get in touch if you need before that.
Moving on from walking to sleep
We are going to start with what is working now - the base technique. Your goal is to move from this base technique to your goal.
Your base technique now is: walking / feeding to sleep
Your goal is: sleep in the cot
The first step is to go from your base technique to a different soothing technique that moves you a little closer to your goal. You will take a few small steps towards your goal.
So you will move from walking to sleep to rocking to sleep, to cuddling to sleep, to sleeping in the cot.
I will give you some suggestions to help guide you onto the next steps, but it is completely fine to go with your instincts when planning which steps to take. Feel free to adapt this plan by adding or skipping steps as you go along.
The steps you take can be very small or not, depending on your child accepting the new soothing technique and on what makes sense for your family.
There is likely going to be some back and forth between the last step and the new step. So if your child fusses in the new step, you can move back to the last soothing technique (the last step) for support and then go back to the new step. But try and make sure your child falls asleep with the new step to get them into the habit of drifting off to sleep in the new way.
For example: if your baby will only falls asleep while rocking and your new step is to sway to sleep, you can first attempt to only sway. If your baby fusses, you can rock until they are calm. Once they are calm, start swaying again. You may need to go back and forth a few times but try to have your baby fall asleep while swaying.
Eventually this new step (swaying to sleep) will become your new starting point, the new base technique, and you can encourage your child onto the next step.
>> I suggest that you stay on each new base technique for 2 - 5 nights before moving on to the next step. <<
The challenge may be that Nyla is shifting from feeding to walking to feeding…. We may need to tackle feeding first if the above is not bringing you results or if it is too confusing to feed on and off. We’ll keep an eye!
The suggestions above were not working, so we have decided to change tactics.
We will use 'bedtime fading' to bypass the bedtime crying and help Nyla find a new, positive way to fall asleep.
The idea is that we will first push bedtime to a later time, when Nyla is already falling asleep (8pm) and at the same time we will introduce a new, simple and short bedtime routine. Once she is sleeping more easily, we will gradually bring the bed time forward.
The objective is to break the negative associations with the bedtime and introduce a new way of falling asleep.
Let's keep in touch in the next few days and adjust the timing and sequence of events, but I would suggest you persist with this for a few days.
Here is a suggestion for the routine:
At 7:50 - 8pm go upstairs,
Nappy change (this could happen down stairs)
Read 1 or 2 books
Owlly, cuddle and sing briefly
Down in the cot
Sit next to her, pat and shush
If she falls asleep feeding, hold her with Owlly and sing briefly
Down in the cot, pat and shush (or just shush)