At around the 4-5 month mark, Fiamma started going backwards with regards to sleeping. She has always been relatively good at night and by about 2-3months was sleeping in 4-5 hour blocks. However by month 4, this was progressively going downhill and by 5 months she was waking for a feed every 2 hours!!! Again EVERYONE around me was telling me it was because she was hungry (food is the Italian solution to resolving most problems!!!) but having chatted to lots of doctors and reading various books, most seem to say NOT to use weaning as an excuse for sleep and not to use weaning to try and get the baby sleeping through the night. My doctor suggested that disrupted sleeping is often due to other factors such as a developmental stage, teething or a growth spurt and weaning won’t really make a difference.
So what to do!?!? Do I listen to my Italian “mamme” or the medical advice/research?
I first tried to see if it was teething (Fiamma also had a cold which could have caused her to keep waking due to a blocked nose). So for 2 weeks I tried to push through the wake up calls and see if it was just a phase/teething/growth spurt. After two weeks nothing had changed so I tried giving weaning a go….(she is now 5.5mmonths). Well I have to say neither worked! She started taking to solids brilliantly but the regular wakeup calls at night didn’t change!
One night, after 3 weeks on solids, Fiamma woke every 45mins!!! This is where my sister stepped in and told me to listen! Emi, is a full time nanny and surprisingly she got most her advice from mum. She came to stay for a couple of weeks around Fiamma’s 6 month birthday and when she heard Fiamma was waking every 45mins she put her foot down.
She told me to stop making excuses – it’s not teething, weaning or a growth spurt. It’s simply little miss clever clogs learning that if she cries, mummy will come over to soothe or put a dummy in! Emi put us on “sleep training” and by day 3 Fiamma slept through the night!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! For any of you interested in what Emi suggested, I’ve written a little entry about Fiamma’s “sleep training” here.
So simple answer – weaning didn’t make a difference to Fiamma’s sleeping. I just needed to realise that my daughter had become a lot cleverer than I gave her credit for and I needed to stop pandering to her. I always thought I’d be good at instilling discipline but I didn’t realise how early it would start…