Three months on from sleep school…

Frankie - harness free!

Frankie – harness free!

Why hello there! I can’t believe it’s been two months since I last posted here. Well, I can believe it, because I have been back in the land of work and things have been pretty hectic. But it’s definitely time for another update. Things are going really well on the Frankie-front (and the boob front – for those who read about my bad left boob). It’s now been a bit over three months since we “graduated” from Masada and Frankie is a completely different baby. Here are the highlights:

1. Frankie loves sleeping. I would even go so far to say that her cot is quite possibly her favourite place in the house. I can’t remember the last time she cried or even grizzled when I put her down to sleep and she will happily mutter away to herself (about god knows what) until she drifts off to sleep. And the same thing happens when she wakes up. If we weren’t paranoid parents who have a video monitor set up in Frankie’s room, we would actually have no idea when she wakes up because she LOVES BEING IN BED. She will easily spend half an hour just playing with her hands and having a little one-way chat to herself before we realise she is awake and it’s time to get her up. How crazy is that?

2. Frankie’s hips are almost normal. As you might remember, a week after coming home from Masada, Frankie was diagnosed with hip dysplasia so she was immediately put into a Pavlik harness. Not much fun, and definitely no Pat Pat for us. Well, I should say not much fun for me and Shannon, as Frankie didn’t seem to mind at all. But as of about three weeks ago, Frankie is out of the harness! This means we are free to use the Pat Pat technique again, although we ironically now have no use for it (see Point 1).

3. I haven’t had mastitis or blocked ducts in over three weeks. This is an all time new record for me. This is mentally exciting news (for me, anyway).

Highlights aside, I thought I’d also share Frankie’s current routine (as she is now 6.5 months old). I will preface this by saying that Frankie’s awake time is a bit shorter than what Masada recommend, but to be honest, we now take the Masada “rules” with a grain of salt and go with what seems to work best for Frankie.

7am – We wake up Frankie. Although by this time, Frankie is often awake and having little morning chats with herself. Breast feed, a bit of play, breakfast, a bit more play, then back to bed when she shows tired signs which inevitably happens around the 1.5 hour mark.

8.30am – Nap 1.

10.30am/11am – Frankie wakes from nap 1. Yes, it is quite the mega nap. Like I said, this girl loves her sleep. I started to wean about two weeks ago, so this feed is now a formula feed, followed by lunch. Incidentally, it took a week of frustration, tears (from both me and Frankie), and several different formulas before we could even get Frankie to have a drop of the stuff (she such a boob snob). How we got there in the end was dipping the tip of the bottle into some Rafferty’s fruit puree and “tricking” Frankie into sucking on the bottle. And after a couple of days of this, Frankie now loves formula almost as much as she loves sleep. After lunch, we have more play time and then it’s back to bed when the tired signs creep in – normally after 2 hours or a bit less.

12.30pm (ish) – Nap 2.

2.30pm (ish) – Nap 2 is normally another mega nap for Frankie – often lasting two hours. We do another breast feed at this time although I am now trying to drop this feed too, because I truly hate expressing milk at work. This week, some moron walked in on me expressing. Probably more awkward for him rather than me, but not great for me either. Apparently my putting a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign on the meeting room door didn’t compute in his head as meaning “Don’t enter this room you stupid idiot”.

4/4.30pm – Nap 3. This is usually just a cat nap, so we always end up waking Frankie after 1-1.5 hours.

5/5.30pm – Dinner, then a bit of play, then bath time. Then a final breast feed and off to bed. Frankie often gets grumpy after about an hour at this point in the day, although we do try to stretch her for 90 minutes.

6.30/7pm – Bedtime. 10pm – I am still doing a dream feed, although Frankie is drinking less and less from it, and Masada recommend dropping it at the seven month mark. Personally, I’d love to crawl into bed at 9pm so staying up until 10pm can be exhausting, which I realise makes me sound like an 80 year old woman.

So that’s it for now. I’ll try to post a bit more regularly – and keep your comments and questions coming as I love hearing what you are all up to!

32 thoughts on “Three months on from sleep school…

    • Nope – Frankie is still at home. We have the most amazing nanny look after Frankie one day a week, and my husband stays home with her one day a week. And the rest of the time, I just work from home when she naps.

  1. Hi Amantha! I am so happy for you and Frankie! Such a wonderful success story 🙂 Just a quick question – is Frankie still sleeping in total darkness?

      • Hello I realise this is quite an old post but not sure how to reply to you my daughter is in the pavlik lharness and I’m on the waiting list for the sleep school just wondering how you put your daughter in the cot with the pavlik harness

      • Hi there – we went to sleep school just before Frankie was in the harness – basically, when she went in the harness, it was difficult to continue the patting as we couldn’t put her on her side. Luckily, Masada had worked it’s magic by then so she settled pretty well for most naps post Masada.

  2. Hi Amantha, your blog has been so useful. Thanks for that. Just a few questions. When you said max 45 feed, are you counting the burp time too? Do you burp your baby in the middle of the night after a feed? Until when should the baby sleeps in total darkness? Thanks so much for sharing your great experience with us. Cheers, Christielli

    • Glad you are finding the blog useful! Yes, 45 mins includes burp time. Yes, I definitely burp in the middle of the night, although only for a minute or two as often there is not much burping action at night (especially for dream feed). Frankie still sleeps in total darkness (three months on). From memory, Masada said to do this for around 6 months until they are well and truly into good sleep habits, and then slowly start letting in a bit of light into the room.

  3. Hi Amantha, thank you so much for answering all the questions. I have recommended your blog to other moms, and everybody finds it really informative with a great sense of humour. In regards to the feeds, I also have a 6 months old and since introducing solids, he has been drinking a lot less milk. Does Frankie drink less milk too? And do you feed her milk within the 45 min then solids 30 min after that? Not sure how to fit milk, burp and solids in 45 min. Funny thing is, my little one is also grumpy at the end of the day, and the longest can keep him up before bedtime is 1.5 hour. I think the bath makes him particularly tired.

    • Hi Anna – thanks for spreading the word about the blog 🙂 In answer to your questions – I think Frankie drinks less milk, but it’s hard to tell as she was breast fed up til 6 months (so hard to do a before and after comparison). I give Frankie milk within about 10 mins of waking, and then wait about 20-30 mins after she has finished her milk feed before starting her solids feed. So for example, Frankie might have milk at 11am, which tends to take about 20 mins, so we would finish that feed at 11.20am, and then I would start solids (lunch) at around 11.40am.

  4. Hi Amantha, just a quick question, we are 8 weeks post Masada, with a nearly 5month old. He seemed to get the idea of the 2x 2hr naps and 1x 45min nap during the day and was doing this with little to no resettles, however these past few days has been waking after one cycle and grizzling on and off till 2hr mark. Did you find the Frankie had a relapse at some point? Feels like we aren’t progressing 😔

    • Hi Tara, we have been really lucky and haven’t had any relapses (yet), but I know that quite a few mums from my cohort at Masada have definitely had relapses – so I think it’s really normal and I am sure things will be back to normal soon 🙂

  5. Hi Amantha,

    Quick question with your sleep routine/pat technique.

    I have been using the Masada technique at home by following your blog, with great success, except I have one question, did your daughter ever fall asleep due to the pat pat technique? I feel like a few times my son has fallen asleep in the middle of the pat pat session, and I fear that he will lose the ability to self sooth and instead rely upon me patting him to sleep, did you ever come across this or have any words of wisdom regarding this?

    Thanks so much for your blog!

    • Hi Angie, Frankie never fell asleep while being patted. I think that the aim is to just get them to a relaxed state, rather than asleep (but that’s fine is they fall asleep every now and then). You only need to pat for a few minutes – if your daughter is falling asleep all the time, perhaps try doing shorter patting sessions.

  6. Hi Amantha! I was just told about your blog today – thank you so much – it’s a godsend! I have taken loads of tips! I have a couple of questions that I was hoping you could help with:

    1. My almost 4 month old baby generally has a feed on demand between 11-1am and then another feed on demand around 3-5am. She generally wakes up around 6am or 7am but she has never had much at this feed. Sometimes she will only have a couple of sucks. I generally have to give her a top up before bed which goes against feed, play, sleep – and even then she doesn’t have much. But it impacts her morning sleep. Did Masada give any info on this?
    2. My baby has really discovered her voice in the past couple of weeks. Sometimes she talks to herself when self settling – do we still time the talking as grizzling or leave them to talk? How long for? Also during the night when she wakes up, she’s talking / cooing / calling out but not grizzling. It can go on for 20 mins or more. I respond by feeding – is this ok?

    Thanks so much for your advice and info. I did the pat pat for the first time just then and it worked!!

    • Hi Fleur – glad you like the blog!. In answer to your q’s…1. A top up before bed is actually in line with what Masada recommend…for the last wake period, the routine gets reversed so it is play, eat, then sleep. 2. Talking/cooing doesn’t count as grizzling – so no need to time it or go in to the room.

  7. Hi Amantha – me again! After reading your blog yesterday I did the dream feed last night and demand feed at 3am and my little one woke at 6.45am!!! Thanks so much for sharing this info – she’s generally been good but needed some fine tuning with her routine, naps and early rising so what you have shared has really helped. I have another question: you mentioned that when Frankie has a sleep in the pram you usually get one sleep cycle from her. Do you then keep her up until when the next sleep would’ve been scheduled and what do you do with the feed? Do you wait longer than the 15 mins after wake time as recommended? Thanks a lot!

    • If I only get one sleep cycle from Frankie in the pram and we get home, I would put her back in the cot and hope for the best – and resettle if needed for one more sleep cycle.

  8. Hi Amantha,

    Thanks for your tips, I am not sure if you have touched upon it but were there any tips provided re:traveling with your bub?

    Also I have my in laws coming into town forcing my husband and I to share a room with my bub, were there any tips you remember about room sharing?

    Thanks a million!

    • Hi Angie – I can’t actually remember any trips about traveling – but I guess trying to get them back on routine when you reach your destination. Also checking that the baby’s room can be blacked out would be a handy thing! I personally would travel with black garbage bags and tape to try to black out the room completely. And re room sharing – I don’t think Masada shared any tips on this when I was there.

  9. Hi Amantha,

    My son and i just graduated from Masada end of Oct, my son Otis just turned 6 months old.

    The Masada routine works quite well. Although sometimes there is some sleep regression with Otis and he still can’t sleep through the night.

    I just wonder how long did that take for Fankie to sleep through the night and all able to sleep for 2×2 hours nap? It’s been nearly 2 months and Otis still not 100% to do this.

    Also I found it hard to go out following the routine, how did you train Frankie to sleep in the pram for 2 hours? Any tips?



  10. Hi Angie, what a great blog and movie! I’m a Dutch mum with a 12 week old baby girl and truely inspired by your story as my girl only does cat naps during the day which drives me crazy! Nights are luckily ok.

    I’ve started the method today but I’m quite insecure about whether I’m doing it right. Therefore I’m wondering if you or anyone has heard about a similar institute as Masada in Europe? Traveling from the Netherlands to Australia is not an option for me 😦

    Also one question about the method: my girl also sometimes wakes due to gas which I didn’t manage to let her burb out. Therefore I do have to pick her up the first time I go to her after she wakes from a cat nap. Would that be ok? Any advice on that?

    Thanks so much, hope you’re still following the comments here.

    Kind regards and greetings from Holland,

      • Hi Amantha,
        First of all very sorry for calling you Angie.. may I blame my sleepy brain? 🙂

        Secondly, thanks for your reply, I can imagine you don’t remember after so long haha. How is Frankie now? Big girl :)))

        Thirdly, after starting the Masada technique as you described it in your blog, I think we’re seeing first results now already after 2 days! 🙂 I hope I’m not cheering too soon, but it went from screaming when I did the patting instead of taking her with me downstairs to sleep on me, to quietly going to sleep herself, doing a few 10 minute cat naps after resettling herself to longer catnaps after the initial one. Right now she is already over 35 minutes sleeping after resettling herself after her initial 30 minute sleep!!! I’m amazed, so thanks so much for sharing!!!!
        Kind regards from Holland!

      • That’s so awesome to hear! I recall it took about 3-4 weeks before Frankie’s sleep behaviours had truly changed – but great that you are seeing results so quickly!!

  11. Hi Charlotte. If you don’t find a sleep school in Holland you could also buy the Safe Sleep Space RockaBub app which provide age appropriate step by step instructions to settling your baby. You can find it in the App Store. The techniques are similar to Masada but you pat the mattress instead of the baby’s back. I began to use these techniques on my baby when she was 4 months and still occasionally use them at age 2.5 years! You just need to make sure you’re also following the feed, play, sleep pattern. I am an Australian living in Düsseldorf but my Australian friend runs a sleep school business and takes international clients (via Skype). She’s very familiar with Masada techniques and others and would probably be able to help with gas question. You could contact her by:
    Instagram: @sleep_school

    All the best.

  12. Good to know it took you 3-4 weeks, because then I know I can expect a bumpy road for some time. And we are indeed definitely not there yet; she’s crying right now so I’m getting ready to pat 🙂

    Of course I don’t have the baby music you mention you played after 3 times, was that crucial to the method? What kind of music was it? Then I can try to find something similar on iTunes.

  13. Hi Amantha,

    Not sure if you still see the comments on your blog almost 3 years later! I have just stumbled across it when toggling mother baby unit reviews. Anyhoo, so far we’re trying the Masada routine and pat pat if needed but I was curious as to how you negotiated outings that are unavoidable and during those precious nap times, particularly early on. Our son is 4 months old and wehave only really started the strict routine this week ( I had previously been trying fps but less strict) we and have a couple of birthdays that will be right in the middle of his nap time. I’d like to be able to be flexible with his routine but also don’t want to confuse him! Thanks ( if you happen to see this).

    • Good question – we basically went into lock down for three weeks post-Masada to stick to the routine and try to get Frankie used to it. Having said that, if you have unavoidable situations, I’d bring something that your son can sleep in during this allocated nap time (even if it’s not his cot at home).

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