Friday, October 26, 2012

The 5 minute method


 
 
The first two months of Hayley´s life was absolutely wonderful in many ways BUT there weren´t much sleep for me.

When my son was seven months old I tried “the five minute method” which a little bit simplified goes like this;

You decide upon a suitable bedtime (have to be the same every night). Make sure your kid isn´t hungry. Put your kid in the crib, say good night and leave for five minutes. After that you´re not allowed to talk to him or be in his room for five minutes, even if he screams his lungs out.

After five minutes you enter the room without turning the light on, check diaper, place a calming hand on his chest and say good night again and leave without further interaction for another five minutes.

If he still cries repeat until the child falls asleep. If he wakes up during night make sure he´s not hungry and repeat until he falls back asleep.

This can be hard because you really have to be consequent all the time (not going back or talking to your child until after five minutes) for this method to work out well. You have to stay very calm yourself no matter how hysterical things are. It can take a couple of nights but it´s definitely worth it.

With my son it took about two hours, two nights in a row to make him sleep through the night. If I´m not counting times when he´s been sick the method worked without any setbacks.

 

I have been hesitant to be “firm” with Hayley´s sleeping routines in the evening since she is still so little. Now when she´s three months old I´m trying to make some routines to make her sleep longer stretches. I modified “The five minute method” a little bit because she´s younger. My goal is that she´s going to bed at 8pm. However if she doesn´t look tired I wait until she´s a bit drowsy before even trying to put her to bed. Maybe I give her a bath, read a book or just cuddle with her to settle her down. Anytime after 8pm when I know she´s stuffed with milk, have a dry diaper and are tired I do the five minute method. With the exception that I don´t let her cry hysterically, like I would with an older child. Because if she does she probably needs either a new diaper or eat more. She doesn´t cry a lot if those needs are taken care of. I let her be a little agitated and soothe herself. She likes sucking on her hand. It worked better than I could have imagined only after a few days. Since I started she´s been sleeping 6-8 hours every night. I know there will be setbacks sometimes but it sure feels wonderful right now!

For me, and I believe for many parents luck of sleep is your worst enemy. I´m not myself when I don´t sleep. Frankly I can be a little bit of a bitch to be around when I haven´t slept for weeks. Small disturbances like phone calls in the middle of the night etc.. can make me really mad. Better watch out! Just kidding.. However, I hope that this can help you if you find yourself longing for some more zzzz.

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