Have you ever had a moment where you feel proud of something you’ve achieved? But not something where you have helped yourself, or something where one of your babies have done something. Last night I helped a mummy who was really struggling with her baby.
What did I do?
To protect the mummy and help her anonymity I will in this instance call her Jemima and I will call her baby Cheeto ( this name is nothing to do with the fact that I love crisps and am currently dieting so suffering from crisp withdrawals at all!)
Anyway, she had spoken to me about how she couldn’t seem to get her baby to sleep in her own bed no matter what she tried. Even something as simple as going to the toilet for a number 2 involved a massive meltdown from her tiny human causing both distress for her and her little Cheeto.
After spending sometime listening to Jemima and how her evenings went , how Cheeto was reacting and how it made her feel I soon realised that actually it was coming from both her and her Cheeto rather than just Cheeto. I am by no means an expert but after 5 children I’d like to think that I managed to learn a thing or two along the way. I’m not one to mince my words so I told Jemima that I thought actually I didn’t think the separation anxiety was entirely from Cheeto and that some of the problem was in fact herself.
So how exactly did I help?
The following day Jemima sent me a message saying that she had set Cheeto up a little cot and that she was going to try to put her to sleep in her own bed for the first time that night. I promised that I would be right on the end of the message to support her and to trust herself and the fact that she could do this.
She changed Cheeto, make sure that Cheeto was clean, fed, comfortable and warm and then left the room as I advised. She was clearly very upset that Cheeto was crying. However I explained to her that it was going to be hard but she really had to walk down stairs , make herself a cuppa and just try to ignore it. Now as any parent knows this is really difficult for any parent. Particularly a parent that cannot bare to see their child in any kind of distress and usually will pick them up at the slightest sniffle.
I wanted to reassure her so told her if she felt she had to go back up the stairs, pick Cheeto up give them a little cuddle, lay them back downstairs and repeat where necessary. This was really hard for Jemima but I was right there on the end of the messages offering support and words of encouragement.
Before I knew it she was sending me a message saying that little Cheeto was asleep! Result! I then explained to her that when Cheeto woke in the night she should give Cheeto a drink without any form of interaction and then leave again. She listened and was very happy that for the first time ever Cheeto was asleep in their own room.
How did the night go?
This morning Jemima sent me a message saying she couldn’t believe it. Cheeto has slept until 1:30 am had woken up had a drink and gone back to sleep before waking again at 4am, again Jemima gave Cheeto a drink and settled Cheeto back to sleep where Cheeto stayed until 7:30!
Jemima couldn’t believe that for the first time she was able to sleep diagonally across the bed, go to the toilet and just relax on an evening. She was able to spend time as an adult and actually relax for herself. It gave her the confidence to do it again this evening.
I was so proud of her. I can’t imagine how scary it was for her after so long being permanently attached to her baby to have to take that step to let go and let Cheeto sleep alone. But I really couldn’t have been happier for her.
As for me? Secretly I felt really proud that I was able to help a mummy in need. It made me think that maybe there were other mothers out there that I could help, I just wouldn’t know where I would begin …..