Sleep School – Day 4

Before I get started, you can now “follow” this blog and get alerted when new posts are uploaded – just go to the right-hand sidebar and click on the “Follow” button. Simple.

I spoke to my parents at about lunchtime yesterday and was telling them (well, boasting) about how Frankie was going. If you read yesterday’s post, you might remember that Day 3 is the day where the mums start to do the settling themselves. We watch a nurse do it a couple of times first, then a nurse observes us do it a couple of times, and then we are on our own. So I said to my parents, “Frankie hasn’t grizzled at all today! I might not get any practice resettling her!” And of course, upon getting back to the hospital room, Frankie starts grizzling like a grumpy old cat. So after watching the nurse settle Frankie a couple of times (successfully), Frankie again turned grizzly towards the end of her afternoon nap. I had my first shot at settling Frankie with the Pat Pat technique and it worked a dream! She grizzled a bit on my exit, but then calmed right down and did another sleep cycle. Amazing. Pre-Masada, I would have (guiltily) put her straight into the electric swing.

The door to Frankie's room. Someone drew a star on it (probably because of Frankie's awesomeness)

The door to Frankie’s room. Someone drew a star on it (probably because of Frankie’s awesomeness)

Last night, all of the fathers came in for a session on settling as it is super important that the baby have consistency with settling techniques. My husband was telling me they were all taught the Pat Pat, and then practised on each other. I guess that fully grown men are similar to babies? The fathers are then allowed to stay overnight, which was nice for my husband to get some time with Frankie before bed and in the morning. It’s awesome that Masada incorporates the world outside of mother-baby to help enforce the techniques we learn here.

Frankie having fun with her dad

Frankie having fun with her dad

This afternoon we have our final group session about life post-Masada. We have also been told that it is Q&A time for us too. So I figure that session will go for about 36 hours.

I continue to bombard all the nurses with questions, so here are a few more things I am learning. And no doubt, tomorrow’s post will be a big one with everything that comes out of this afternoon’s session!

In no particular order…

– A few people have asked on the blog about what to do if the Pat Pat doesnt work. If you find yourself in this situation, and if you have done the Pat Pat three times, then give them a “cot cuddle” (sit them up in the cot and cuddle them until they calm down), and if that doesn’t work take them out of the cot and give them a cuddle until they calm down – then do the Pat Pat routine.

– Someone asked about whether you make any noise when Pat Patting. The rule is – if the baby makes noise, you Shhhh, and if the baby is quiet, you are quiet. Easy. Although not easy to count to 100 when you are also trying to Shhhhh.

– One of the nurses gave us a great piece of advice yesterday. She said “Focus on the (Pat Pat) process, not on the sleep”. If you are in with the baby and all you are thinking is “please get back to sleep”, it is only going to stir you up more – and if you are stirred up, the baby can sense this and it rubs off on them.

– When it comes time to drop the red eye feed (as I call it – that is, the one between 3-5am), the trick is to just resettle them at this time, rather than feed them. It might (apparently) take a few resettles at first, but I have been told to persevere for a few nights and she should start sleeping through. We get to drop the red eye feed when the baby has doubled its birth weight. I think I might feed Frankie some sneaky doughnuts to help speed up this process.

– I always wondered how much time needs to pass when you are timing the grizzle/cry before you reset the clock. The answer is five minutes. For example, if you haven’t heard a grizzle for five minutes, then you re-start the timer for another 10 minutes before going in to resettle (if you need to).

– If your bub wakes at 6am, but you are working on the Masada wake time of between 7-8am, I was told to resettle, and if the baby hasn’t resettled by 6.30am, get them up and start the day.

– Here is a funny one: Frankie always yawns for the first 5-10 minutes of the first feed of the day, without fail. I think to myself, “Frankie you have been in bed for 12 hours – how can you be tired already?!” But apparently, tired signs in the first 5-10 mins of awake time actually means they have had a great sleep! Good to know.

– Masada use Ergo sleeping bags. In case you are interested.

– The maximum nap time Masada recommend is three hours. Any longer than this can throw the day out of whack.

As I finish this post, I am excited to say that I put Frankie down 20 minutes ago for her second nap of the day and although she grizzled for a couple of minutes when I left the room, she has been quiet ever since. Go Frankie!

Our final group session with Q&A time starts in 90 minutes. Keep the comments and questions coming and I’ll try to answer them all (or seek out answers for you)!

A gratuitous bum shot. Just because it is so cute.

A gratuitous bum shot. Just because it is so cute.

25 thoughts on “Sleep School – Day 4

  1. Hi Amantha, I am finding your blog very informative and helpful (I have to admit that I have never followed a blog before!). A couple of questions.. Firstly if baby is having a sleep in, do Masada recommend that you wake bugs, and if so when? Also with the pat pat, are you actually patting the bum and the shoulder or just the bum? It is just a bit mind boggling to picture, as Im not sure how hub will stay on her side? Thanks and I hope it keeps going well for you. Alysia

      • Hi, thanks! Your blog is great. I am sharing it with all my mummy friends. A couple of questions for you. What time to they recommend putting baby to bed at night? And what time do they say they should sleep to in the arvo? Lots of things I read say wake baby at 5:15 in the afternoon?

      • Hi Georgie – thanks for sharing the blog around 🙂 In answer to your questions – they recommend putting the baby to sleep anytime between 7-8pm. And in terms of what time to get them up at the end of the day, it depends on how much awake time your bub is meant to have (which depends on age), and work backwards from there. For example, Frankie is 3 months and needs 1.25-1.5 hours awake time, so I generally get her up at 5.45pm, and start the bedtime routine then.

      • Great thanks my bub is 3 months as well! So it’s 1 1/2 hours awake time is that right? And just always put them to bed after 1 1/2 hours? How much down time should they be having for each sleep? Did they give you a rough routine to follow for sleeps/feeds? I used the pat pat at 5:30 am and it worked a treat! Just put her down so going to use it in 45 mins when she wakes up! Really want to combat this cat napping!! Thanks again 🙂

      • Great to hear it’s working! RE wake time, it’s between 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins. If you get tired signs earlier, then go for 1 hour 15 mins, but it not, then go for the full 1.5 hours. A rough routine is feeding at 7am, 11am, 3pm, 6.30pm, DF at 10.30/11pm and overnight feed bw 3-5am. And within those times (except for night time), feed, play sleep 🙂

  2. Loving all the tips! Masada sounds amazing – thinking I should go! I have a few questions….

    Wandering how do you incorporate the settling techniques for a tummy sleeper?

    How long should awake time be for a 5 month old?

    When taking bubs out and sleep time is in the pram. Should you cover the pram up so its dark & boring?

    Also when you know bubs has heaps of wind….should you get them up as soon as they cry to help get the burp up or should you try the settling technique first. If settling via patting/shh first how long do you give them before getting them up?

    Lastly if bubs spews in bed & you need to change the sheets – whats the best method to overcome this?

    Thx so much for sharing – its great! 🙂

    • Lots of questions! You should definitely enrol at Masada 🙂
      – Settling techniques work the same for tummy sleepers – except you could leave them on their side rather than put them back on their back I guess??
      – Wake time for 5 month old is bw 1-2 hours I think…
      – RE sleeping in pram, at Masada they tell us to do as many cot sleeps in a totally dark room as possible for the next 3 weeks so the baby can develop great habits. Then, they should be able to sleep OK in pram, but it can be a good idea to cover it up to make it dark and boring.
      – not sure about wind, but they do say that if you have tried resettling three times (or more) to give them a cot cuddle and you can give them a pat on the back to wind them too.
      – not sure about the spews…I guess change the sheets? but not sure…

  3. Hi, thanks so much for posting all this information! My baby is 3.5 months old & pretty much won’t sleep during the day unless held (our fault!). I tried to put him in his cot this morning after his feed & play, & after crying for 2 minutes I went in to try the pat pat method. I put him on his side but he just kept wriggling & rolling because he was so upset. What’s the best way to do this method if they are not calm?

  4. Hi Amanda, thanks for the update!! So happy to hear Frankie is a star xx
    I have a question for you. Jacks sleep has improved out of sight at night but for some reason during the day he only lasts 40 mins on each sleep cycle. He currently sleeps 3 times a day, morning, lunch and late afternoon. Do you know why or can you suss out why is he still waking up? I tap him back to sleep but 80% of the time it takes me another hour of settling. Is it just persistence?

    • Hi Alex! I think that Masada would say it is just persistence. Jack needs to learn how to link sleep cycles (which I imagine he is doing well at night?). Is his room completely pitch black? I think that was one of our problems with Frankie as she was OK at linking sleep cycles at night when it was dark, but pretty bad during the day. cheers, Amantha

  5. Hi,
    Your post are wonderful.. I am due to go to Masada with my little boy at the end of June, so I have loved the descriptions and visual updates of Masada layout, parents bedroom & where the little one sleeps.
    I have a question…my little guy rolls, so I invested a few months back in a ‘safe t sleep wrap,’ and it wraps around the cot mattress on top of the sheet & prevents him rolling & getting stuck on his belly, but still allows him to move etc. I’m wondering if Masada would allow this? If you can…could you please ask staff if they know of the product & if it can be used during the stay?
    Thanks again for your insightful updates & sharing your experience!

    • I asked about this as I was curious myself, and the answer is “no” – they don’t recommend strapping a baby down. Feels awful for them, and once they can move, let them move. Having said this, if it helps you have peace of mind, then maybe its a great thing for you until you have confidence they can turn themselves around.

    • Hi Kelly – In a nutshell, Feed, Play, Sleep for cycles of 3-5 hours. I’ll write more on routines in a separate post though to give some more details. FYI – this is for a 3-5 month old.

  6. Hi Amantha.

    Great to read about your experience. I took my son at 4 months to Masada last year, and he’s now still a brilliant sleeper at 20 months. It truly was the best decision I have ever made, taking him there!!!

    I just sent my registration form off for my 8 week old daughter this week.
    Can you tell me how long your were on the wait list before getting in?

    Thanks! And keep up the great work. It’s truly worth it!

    Ps- I hope you had a massage!

    • I’ve been told the wait list is currently 8 weeks, but in critical cases, they will get you in earlier. Good luck! And the massage was awesome 🙂

  7. Hello! Thanks for your blog-it’s really informative and takes the secrecy out of the process which is wonderful for first timers like me! can I ask your (and Masada’s) thoughts re dummies and comforters?

    • Masada are not too keen on dummies – but mainly when they are used as sleep aid. Frankie never liked dummies but those that did were weaned off them within their first two days at Masada. Comforters are seen as a good thing – Masada ask you to bring along a t-shirt you have worn and they tie it up and turn it into a comforter – something that the bubs are taught to associate with sleep, as they are given it whenever they are put down to nap/sleep.

  8. Oh my gosh,
    Thank you thank you thank you!!
    This blog has saved our lives.
    We were going crazy with sleep deprivation couldn’t get our little man to sleep during the day unless in his pram or cuddled. He was constantly grizzly and crying.
    I feel like I can enjoy being a mum again. Can’t thank you enough. Feel like I don’t need to go to sleep school because this is so informative.
    Joelle xxx

  9. I am so glad I’ve found your blog, took a lot to get here! Just curious, in regards to the example routine with wake at 7 and then it says feed at 11… if baby only sleeps 2 hours, so putting you at 1015 – 1030, does your day just get moved forward(feed within 15 mins)? Would the end of the day nap try be longer to get closer to bed time so not making overtired?

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