Remember when you were pregnant with your first little bundle of joy and other people kept telling you, "Get your sleep now because you won't be getting any when the baby comes!" Remember how you didn't really know what they were talking about? Now you know exactly what they are talking about--sleepless nights, unpredictable days, never knowing when your baby will sleep, or for how long. Tizzie Hall's Save Our Sleep can help unsettled, catnapping babies sleep better and make your life more predictable.
Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall: The New Parent's Bible
Exhausted? Sleep deprived? Confused? Tizzie Hall's book, "Save Our Sleep" can transform the lives of new parents.
Who Is Tizzie Hall?
Tizzie Hall is not a medical expert--she's is the first to tell you that. She is a "been there, done that" kind of a gal. Her experience with babies and teaching them to sleep stems from a love of infants since childhood. Citing the tragic SIDS death of her own brother when he was just nine weeks of age, Tizzie found the local mothers letting her play with and cuddle their babies. She was innately attuned to the different cries and behaviour patterns of the babies and quickly gained a reputation as the "baby coach" or "miracle worker" for her ability to get children to settle into a restful sleep on their own.
As an adult, Tizzie took her understanding of babies and sleep and began helping parents teach their infants to sleep better and longer, giving hope to desperately sleep deprived new parents. Her technique is based on experience and the book Save Our Sleep details several true life scenarios from families with whom she has worked.
Self-Settling--Is This Control Crying?
Hall's technique for self-settling is the greatest gift you can give your baby and yourself.
In short, Hall's techniques for self-settling is not control crying. As she points out in her book, control crying generally involves entering the baby's room at regular intervals in an attempt to re-settle your baby. She feels this is "teasing" the infant and instead she adopts a different approach.
Using a "comforter"--a small square of muslin with Mommy's scent on it for baby to snuggle with--a parent swaddles and sets baby to bed in a dark, quiet room, then leaves and allows the baby to fall asleep on their own. Sound impossible? It isn't. It works wonders. There is nothing more satisfying than listening to your baby coo, snuffle and squawk before drifting off to sleep. The book gives a detailed description of how to achieve this and has several responses to many "what if" scenarios.
Things such as pacifiers, music or rocking to sleep can create sleep associations--where baby believes sleep cannot occur without the action. Of course, it's pretty hard to rock a three year old to sleep, and it's unlikely you can carry the CD player with you around the shops. Your baby will learn how to drift off to sleep without any aids and therefore sleep longer. How? You have to read the book!
Know when your baby should sleep, wake and eat.
The mainstay of Hall's approach to self-settling is the daily routine. Her book gives detailed feeding and sleeping routines for babies at different stages of development, ranging from newborn until your child no longer naps. She has even included a special routine for twins.
The great thing about the routines is they make life more predictable. Have to make a doctor's appointment? Check the routine to see when your baby is likely to be asleep or awake. Having friends over for a dinner party? Invite them for after 7pm when baby is asleep for the night.
Another advantage to the daily routine is reducing the likelihood of having an overtired baby. Overtired babies are upset, uncomfortable and screaming, causing stress and frustration for parents. Hall's routines predict when baby will be tired and get them into bed to sleep straight away.
Other Segments in the Book
Save Our Sleep also offers new parents advice on starting solids, things that can affect productive sleep, breaks in the routines and solving specific sleep problems. Included in the book is a food list explaining what foods to introduce and when they can be introduced. Hall also has examples of how to implement a daily routine with an infant when there are older children as well.
The book itself is well-written and easy to follow. It will be a "go to" book to refer to throughout babyhood and well into the toddler years. The routines are written clearly and variations are shown depending on your baby's age.
Does It Work?
From personal experience, it works. It can be hard to understand how to fit a baby's routine into an adult's life, but this book helps you and your baby work around each other. The best part is the predictability--being able to know in advance when baby would probably be asleep instead of going through each day and night never knowing what might happen. The routines help baby learn to sleep better at night and settle more quickly after night feeds. Of course, most babies won't adhere to the exact minute as outlined the routines, but it will soon become easy to identify when your baby needs to sleep. Hall also teaches you how to adjust the routines to suit specific family needs.
If you are struggling with a sleepless baby and can't take the exhaustion much longer, get this book and read it, cover to cover. Try the routines and stick to them. Read the troubleshooting guides if problems occur. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain--especially a few more hours sleep.