I know that on one of the Facebook Mothers’ groups that I frequent, there are always a lot of posts about sleep and some about sleep school. So I thought that I’d write about my time at Masada, and the things I am learning, in the hope that it helps some other sleep deprived mums out there…
A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to make the call to Masada Sleep School (aka The Mother Baby Unit). Except for Frankie’s first 24 hours in this world where she slept like an angel and we felt all smug – like we had a GREAT sleeper – she has been an average sleeper at best. Up until a couple of weeks ago, she only managed chunks of around three hours at night, and would have a LOT of trouble self settling during the day – to the point where taking her on a walk in the pram or putting her in our amazing electric swing were the only ways to get her to sleep. Obviously, since enrolling Frankie in sleep school, she has improved quite a bit – we even had one night where we put her down to bed at 7pm, gave her a dream feed at 11pm, and she slept until 7am – OMG! We thought someone had swapped out Frankie for another baby.
So Frankie turns 3 months this Wednesday, and we checked into Sleep School this morning. I gave Frankie a feed, and then she went down to sleep. As I type, I can her her grizzling / crying, and one of the wonderful nurses is settling her. And I am trying to block out Frankie’s cries from my mind 😦
The set up at Masada is this – the ward is in a square shape, with rooms for the mums around the outside, and small rooms with a cot in them around the inside. So Frankie is across the corridor from me – which in itself is a strange thing to get used to as Frankie’s bassinet at home is about 1.5 metres from my side of the bed.
Even thought not much has happened yet today (it’s only lunchtime), I have already learnt a few things:
1. The room Frankie is in is pitch black – when the door is closed, she literally can’t see a thing. One of the nurses said this gives Frankie two choices – she can either stare into darkness or sleep. We hope that Frankie will chose sleep. At home, the room Frankie sleeps in is very dark at night, but quite light during the day (even with the blinds shut). I already suspected this before checking in, but when we get home, I think it’s going to be time to move Frankie into her own room and cover the windows in foil to keep all the light out. Also time to move her into a cot too. Even though Frankie is a noisy sleeper (it’s like sharing the room with a 90 year old man), it’s going to be really strange and sad moving her into her own room. God knows how I’ll cope when she wants to move out of home in a couple of decades…
2. Frankie needs to spend more time awake. At three months, Frankie should be awake for between 1 hour 15 minutes to 1.5 hours at a time (including feeding time). I know that this is probably not “new news” to a lot of mums, but we would always put her straight to sleep when she showed tired signs – such as yawning – which meant sometimes she would wake, I would feed her, she would yawn, and I would put her straight back down to bed (not that she would actually go back to sleep or anything…). So when Frankie wakes up next, I’ll feed her and we will play, play, play until the clock hits 1 hour and 15 mins. The nurses said that by the end of the week, Frankie will definitely be awake enough not to start showing tired signs almost as soon as she wakes.
3. I had heard Masada used controlled crying and that this had put some mums off. So I thought I’d report on what they have used with Frankie (which seems to be much nicer than letting the bub cry out). In a nutshell, Frankie is allowed to grizzle for 10 minutes and then a nurse goes into settle her if she hasn’t calmed down. If this escalates to a cry, then they go in after two minutes. Sometimes I have trouble working out what is a cry and what is a grizzle – am hoping to know the difference well and truly by the week’s end. So far I have learnt that a grizzle sounds like a grumpy cat, whereas a cry is louder and more constant (and heartbreaking to listen to!).
If you happen to be reading this blog, I’d love to hear any comments or questions that you have! I’ll try to post once a day and share as much as I can 🙂