I just did something I don’t normally do
I did something last week I never do. I gave a baby back his dummy. Usually when we take a dummy away from a baby, it is because they are waking numerous times overnight looking for the dummy. And these babies are generally just too young to be able to find it themselves and pop it back, so consequently they wake right up and cry and then someone has to go to them and pop the dummy back in their mouth. This can happen hourly overnight! Stressful!
So when a parent asks us to come and help their baby sleep better, one of the things we do is to remove the dummy. In my experience, babies can have one really hard night and then it just progressively gets better and better each night till they are sleeping really well.
I really like to assess each baby individually because, as we know, all babies are not the same. But in the years I have been watching and caring for babies, I have noticed that they do often behave in the same kinds of ways. They wake generally for the same reasons and need the same kinds of things. There are however, some babies who lie outside these norms. Dealing with this particular baby last week really made me see that again. It drove home how important it is, for me, and for parents to not just have a cookie cutter approach and even though you/we may want that baby to give up X/Y/Z at that time, so they sleep better and ultimately we sleep better, sometimes they are just not ready when we are.
Babies all develop at slightly different rates and so for this baby, he really needed to suck on his dummy. He had reflux and clearly the dummy was a huge comfort to him. He needed it and I saw that and his mum saw that and so we gave it back to him. And to be honest I am not a hater of the dummy, in fact, in some cases, the dummy can be a huge help. And I am sure it was for this baby.
And although this wasn’t the outcome his mum wanted, or me for that matter, we saw what he needed and responded to that. His sleep still isn’t great and we are continuing to work on that but I am sure, when he is able, he will get it.
I guess what I am trying to say is to remember that your baby is a person, who has their own little idiosyncrasies and needs going on. And, as hard as it is, we need to watch and notice how our babies respond to what we are doing to them. If it isn’t working, then it isn’t working and maybe you need to step back and take a break and take the pressure off. You can always try again in a few weeks or months when your baby has developed a bit more and is more ready and able to make those changes.
Remember, you know your baby better than anyone. Trust your instinct because you are okay and your baby is okay.
I was, and still am stunned at how easy and quick Jo’s method was for getting my daughter to sleep through the night. – BabyBliss parent
With 20 years’ experience and more than 8,500 books sold, BabyBliss provides baby sleep consultants and a range of gentle, effective products you can use right now to help you with your baby. Put your details below for options on how we can help.