Saturday, March 5, 2011

February Book Club

This month I have only read one book. I know, not a great start to the year but what can I say, time has just eluded me. Besides the below book that I did finish, I also started Charlie Brooker's 'Dawn of the Dumb.' Hopefully I will finish that by the end of March.

So, this month was all about finding ways to get a little more sleep than satisfying my need for entertainment.

"At long last, I've found a book that I can hand to weary parents with the confidence that they can learn to help their baby sleep through the night--without the baby crying it out."
--William Sears, M.D., Author of The Baby Book

"Are you suffering through sleepless nights and having to fend off a barrage of heartless advice about letting your baby "cry it out"? The No-Cry Sleep Solution will show you how it is entirely possible and within your grasp to help your baby fall asleep peacefully--and stay asleep all night long.
Until now the only two ways to deal with sleepless nights were to let your baby cry herself to sleep or to become a sleep-deprived martyr and tough it out from dusk until dawn. At last, there is a practical and effective third way, thanks to Elizabeth Pantley, a parent educator and mother of four. Pantley is like a best friend who's been there and is full of caring advice to help you and your baby get a good night's sleep. Her ten-step will lead you through the process one day at a time by:
  • Shedding new light on your baby's sleep patterns and helping you set realistic goals
  • Showing you how to analyze, assess, and improve your baby's sleep patterns using sleep logs
  • Offering a variety of sleep solutions that fit every parenting style, whether you cosleep with your baby or she sleeps in a crib or whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed
  • Creating a tear-free customized sleep plan that works for both you and your baby
Don't let sleep deprivation keep you from enjoying your baby. The No-Cry Sleep Solution is full of reassuring advice and words of wisdom from other parents who have had success with the program. It will give you the tools you need to effectively and gently reach your goal--a good night's sleep for everyone."
So I have been very open in sharing our sleep difficulties and struggles with Avalon. 

I have had a lot of advice from friends along the lines of letting my baby cry herself to sleep.
I personally cannot see how this will enable us or Avalon to have more sleep and I can assure you would mean more stress for all three of us. I understand that my 'Mummy' friends are only trying to help but I can state up and down that I will never use the crying it out (CIO) method in getting Avalon to sleep (the method favoured by Ferber, Gina Ford and Tizzy Hall.) I could write on and on about how I feel negatively about this method and how unhealthy it is for a baby but feel that I will only alienate many around me so I will quite simply say; I can't and won't do it. It goes against my instincts.

So where was that leaving me?

Friends who align themselves with an 'attached', instintual approach to parenting (reflected in the philosophies of Dr. Sears and Jean Liedloff) kept suggesting (besides co-sleeping) to read Elizabeth Pantley's 'No Cry Sleep Solution.'

So, that I did.

Kindly lent to me by my friend, Janet. I found the gentle approaches of this book interesting a helpful. 

We have incorporated a number of Pantley's methods in trying to have a better nights sleep (bedtime routine, understanding feeding and suckling and keeping a sleep log.)

Are we getting any more sleep now than before I read the book? Yes and no... we have had some good and not so great nights; during the last month though we have seen Avalon cut another tooth, be under the weather with temperature and a cough and also Grant was away for 2 weeks for work.

We will keep implementing Pantley's suggestions and I would absolutely recommend her book to anyone that is look for a gentle way to get a little more sleep in their lives.

On this day...

Here is the De Souza family, on this day, the 5th March 2011 in Guildford.

We took a wander around Guildford Castle's grounds including Alice's Garden, named after one time Guildford resident, Lewis Carroll.
It has been a rather chilly day but was refreshing to be out and about enjoying the weather.

We also had lunch at The Garden Room which I recommend... lovely coffee and fresh savoury and sweet pancakes. I love our little lunch dates and treasure our weekend time together.

New things for Avalon this week? We have seen 'oinking' at her toy stuffed pig- although it sounds closer to a snort... after pulling herself to a standing position on an object like the toy box, she will then let good and has been standing unaided for a good 5 minutes... continuations on the mum, mum, dada, kitty, hello... hmmm... I think that is it? Oh and today she drank half of Grant's smoothie at lunch through the straw- her eyelids a flutter and she sipped away. She is also very aware of sharing her food... with Me, Grant and the cat... 

I will add to that she has taken to napping on the couch during the day (as she is now.) She will not do it with me but she frequently falls asleep sitting on the couch next to Grant, cradling under his arm... It is very sweet.