Our first day at home

Frankie and I arrived home from Masada Sleep School this morning. After an early morning check out at 8am, we said good bye to all the other mums. No one had chained themselves to their rooms (a good sign) and most mums were excited, although a tad nervous, about going home and implementing the tools.

For me, it’s been really lovely being home. The last five days have really felt like living in a safe bubble full of amazing mums and super helpful nurses, but despite this, I didn’t actually feel too nervous about breaking out of the bubble. I ended up getting a bit of practice doing the Pat Pat on Frankie around the 5pm witching hour (as did my husband who came to visit us last night).

For me, one of the biggest changes that has come from Masada is around my mindset when I hear Frankie grizzle or cry. Prior to Masada, anxiety would set in and I would oscillate between thinking “don’t go in to the room – she needs to learn to resettle”, to “pick her up and cuddle her” to “put her in the magical electric swing that makes everything better”. This may sound kind of weird, but now, when Frankie grizzles when I put her down, I feel a bit less emotional and just think “I’ll start the timer for ten minutes and see how we go…”. I feel like I am much more in control (which appeals strongly to my control freak nature).

So today’s report card (in case you are interested!): we have put Frankie down for her three daytime naps. Upon putting her into her Love to Dream swaddle, she grizzled every single time. Just like she did in sleep school. We then started the timer after leaving the room and for all three naps, she self-settled within 5-7 minutes. How cool is that? Very, very cool. In the past, my husband and I would have exchanged looks, and by the second or third minute of her grizzling, one of us would be saying “Should we just put her in the electric swing?” And the other would say “no, let’s wait.” And then a minute later, we would look at each other again and say “Should we just put her in the electric swing?” and then one of us would put her in the electric swing. And then we would feel like naughty parents who were creating bad sleep habits.

We did have a little “nap in the pram” incident today, where during Frankie’s wake time, my husband and I took her for a walk in the pram to get some takeaway coffees from one of our local cafes, and on the way home Frankie started to fall asleep (well wouldn’t you, if you had learnt to associate the pram with sleep? Another bad sleep association…). So the walk home was spent cruelly poking Frankie to try to get her to wake back up (unsuccessfully). Nonetheless, she still was able to nap for a good two hours after her cheeky little pram sleep.

Frankie taking a cheeky pram nap.

Frankie taking a cheeky pram nap.

Over the next three weeks, our aim is to be home a lot to give Frankie as many naps in the cot as possible. Yes, this means we will not be lunching in local cafes or going out on exciting excursions in the real world, but this seems like a small price to pay to well and truly build great sleep habits for our little girl.

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12 thoughts on “Our first day at home

  1. Hi Amantha,

    Thanks for all the info! I have a question, if bub is not settled after the first pat pat do you start the pat pat regime again straight away or do you wait a period of time before going back into it?

  2. Hi Amantha

    Hope all if going well at home.

    I’m just wondering what was said about the cause of catnapping – my girl has been catnapping (45mins) for every day sleep for 2 weeks. I’ve tried more awake time, less awake time. Nothig works. She’s not hungry. She just can’t resettle. She does try – does a small grizzle, closes her eyes, tries to fall asleep, gets frustrated and then grizzles, over and over again. So she’s trying to resettle, she just can’t get into the next sleep cycle. I try to leave her to it, for the most part is not a continuous grizzle or cry. I can just see on the video monitor that she is trying but struggling. Eventually she gets bored or annoyed and then starts crying – and that’s when I have to go in and do the pat (which mind you doesn’t actually put her to sleep, it just calms her down -if I’m lucky- buying time until her next feed when I can take her out of the cot.

    I’m pulling my hair out – she’s just over 7 weeks. People keep telling me she’ll grow out of it but if you google catnapping there are parents out there complaining about just this thing with toddlers as old as 1 year old!

  3. Hi Amantha

    Hope everything is going well at home.

    I’m just wondering what was said about catnapping? My daughter has catnapped (45 mins) every day sleep for weeks now. She tries to resettle – will grizzle, move her head, closer her eyes – but struggles. I can see her on her on the monitor and she is making a genuine effort to get back to sleep and her eyes close briefly for a minute but then she griZles again. Eventually she gets frustrated and gives up and starts continuous grizzle/cry in which case I start timing for the pat.

    I have tried everything to stop the catnapping but I have no idea what is causing it. And we’re still having witching at 7pm – which is likely because by then she is very overtired.

    I keep being told she’ll grow out of it but if you google catnapping there’s toddlers as old at 1 still doing it.

    I’ve read so many resources and have tried everything – more awake time, less awake time, adjusting feeds etc. Nothing works and I have no idea why it’s happening.

    • Poor little bub 😦 Masada would recommend two things: make sure her awake time is between 1-1.5 hours (including feeding time), and then when she wakes from one sleep cycle, keep resettling (going in after 10 minutes of grizzles or 2 mins of crying) using the Pat Pat technique to try to get her to link sleep cycles. It will take persistance (you might be in there every 10 minutes resettling) but it will work if you are consistent and stick with it.

      • I’ve definately been doing the awake time.

        Once she wakes up after the 45 minute cycle her grizzle is very short, more like a whinge than a grizzle (it goes for 10-15 seconds) then she rolls over, closes her eyes, 2-3 minutes silence then again grizzle (this goes on and on and on until she eventually cracks it and gives up). I don’t normally go in until she gives up and her grizzle becomes continuous and she looks like she’s given up trying to settle herself.

        Are you actually suggesting I start the pat 10 minutes from the first grizzle/whinge when she’s still trying to do it herself? So pretty much 55 minutes after she goes down.

      • Sorry Amantha, can I just clarify. Let’s say I go in and do the pat pat and she settles, I walk out and there’s no grizzling. But I can see on the monitor that she is not asleep. Presumably I wait until she starts crying/grizzling before I start the timer again? Or is the fact that she’s still awake once I walk out the room enough to start the timer?

  4. Hi amantha, thank you so much for your informative blog and generously imparting all your wisdom/Masada info.
    What I’d like to know is how you are finding juggling having a life, doing errands, socialising; with maintaining baby’s sleep routine?

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