The fuzzy line between comforting and sleep training.

I should have known something was not 100% with my little Noa last week when she started to cry when I turned the lights off at bed time, she use to  love going to bed and would bring me her woolbabe as a sign of “take me to bed now”.

She woke at night with a fever which hung around for 2 days, then the teething started. Her first 3 molars came up relatively quickly but the 4th molar…. it came through as if it was a wisdom tooth.

Our son can sleep through anything, me and my husband on the other hand, we were kept awake for 3 nights. 3 nights of crying, fussing, fevers and me nursing and rocking her back to sleep.
Finally her molar cut through her gum and she started to brighten up a bit but her sleep at night was all out of sorts and she was still waking several times a night crying.

I felt so confused, was this still an effect from her sickness? did she need me to comfort her as I did when she was sick? or was this a bad habit that needed to be addressed with sleep training?
As a sleep coach I thought I should know the answer, I answer sleep questions all the time but when it came to my own child I felt l had no clue.

We finally decided that her waking was due to habit, and we needed to do some sleep training to get her back into loving her bed again.
We decided we were going to use verbal reassurance to help her self settle, and sure enough at 2am she woke up, sat up, and cried… and cried…. and cried. After 15 minutes of her crying I went into her room and firmly said “shhhh Noa its bed time” and laid her back down, then left the room. 10 minutes later she started up again… I waited 5 minutes then went back in and repeated the process several times. 2 hours later…. she’s still crying on and off and I said to my husband, “if she starts up again I’m just going to give up and feed her”, she slept till 7am.

Second night of VR and she woke at 3am, cried for 10 minutes until I went in and laid her back down again and said my line “shhhh Noa its bed time” and returned to my bed… she fell back to sleep and slept till 6:30.
Third night of VR, Noa went to bed at 7pm, and slept through without a peep till 6:30!

I was so uncertain at the start, I couldn’t figure out where the line was between her being sick and needing comfort and her thinking “this is great! all I have to do is cry and I get fed and cuddled back to sleep again!”

It did take 2 nights of VR but on the third night it paid off and she slept right through again.

Long may it continue…. (until the next time she is sick I guess 😉 )

Tracey x

Noa has a lot of sleep to catch up on
Noa has a lot of sleep to catch up on

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