Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Babies + rain = sleep!

Two nights ago, I sat in the nursery with my screaming babies and I cried. From just two weeks old, Will has always settled himself well (you can give him his pacifier and lay him down, and he'll contentedly put himself to sleep), but that night he was on a roll, determined to scream the house down. And Dashiell was never happy at bedtime, fighting sleep and crying hysterically while I rocked him for up to 45 minutes to try to get him to settle - we would always swaddle both of them at bedtime to help soothe them, but to Dash this seemed to be a signal that it was time to start howling at the top of his lungs. You wouldn't dare to put him down in his crib before he was sound asleep or he'd start the whole episode over again.

I was at the end of my rope, beyond exhausted - I've never been so stressed and sleep deprived in my life. I couldn't move, couldn't react; all I could do was start sobbing. Finally, at 11.45pm, the boys were both asleep, and I crawled into my own bed and cried myself to sleep, knowing that in less than an hour they'd wake up again...and knowing this pattern would be repeated throughout the night, and the next night, and the one after. I laid there, listening to the rain on the roof, and eventually fell asleep.

A while later, I blearily woke up to the sound of Dash's cry coming through the baby monitor. There was a hazy gray light in the room, and I looked at the clock. It was 5.45am. At first I was confused - was my clock broken? Then I realized that my clock was fine - at just under 5 weeks old, the boys had slept for 6 solid hours! I woke Mr Bibliosaur to help me feed them, and we confusedly discussed what had made them sleep for so long. What was different about that night to all the other nights in their life? Finally I remembered: it had rained.

It's pretty well known that babies love white noise. In fact, I'd tried it on Will and Dash in the past, but they'd shown no interest in static or ocean waves. But for some reason, rain was different - rain put them to sleep! Mr Bibliosaur and I excitedly plotted to try this theory out last night, so we downloaded some free mp3s of rain (from here and here) and set them to play on a continuous loop all night long.

After their late night feeding, at about 11.30pm, we put the boys (including Dash) down in their cribs while they were drowsy but still awake, turned on the rain sounds, and went to bed. We laid there a bit nervously, waiting for the howling to come through the baby monitor...but it never did. And at 5.45am this morning, they woke up - another 6 hours of sleep!

I can't begin to describe how amazing I feel after two good nights of sleep - it's no wonder that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture! I feel alive again, ready to take on the world, and about a thousand times better able to handle the boys when they fuss during the day. Tonight is the second night we'll try the mp3s, and if it works again then I'm officially declaring this method a success!

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh congratulations!! I'm so happy for you that you've found a trick that works! We've used white noise (just a basic static sound) from the beginning and I love it.

    I'm SO happy for you and your six hour nights of sleep! Amazing :-)