Karen & Nurture ParentingI first met Karen at Archie’s 6 week check up and immunisations at my GP’s in Alexandria. She very helpfully asked how everything was going and mentioned she wrote a parenting blog and gave assistance with settling and also taught baby massage in the area. As Archie was my second child, I quickly dismissed the idea of needing help settling, as I’d done it all before and was determined not to set up any bad sleep associations or bad habits like I did with my eldest, and I was going to have the perfect sleeper right from the start. I was however interested in the baby massage class, as I’d always wanted to learn how to massage properly, but never got around to it with my first, and also the blog sounded interesting as I was always looking for baby related things to read during the many, many hours I spent breastfeeding.
A few weeks later Archie and I participated in Karen’s baby massage class which was really enjoyable. I was also reading Karen’s blog and finding it an interesting resource as a parent, not just for newborns, but also toddlers like my 3-year-old. Archie was starting to get a bit fussy with sleep, and old bad habits I’d done with my eldest were starting to rear their ugly head. By 12 weeks, I was rocking to sleep during the day, and feeding to sleep at night. I knew it was wrong, but it worked so I kept going thinking anything goes until 6 months. When we reached 6 months, the rocking to sleep was taking up to 40 min, only to have Archie sleep for 20 min then wake up, and the breastfeeding to sleep in the evening was taking up to 2 hours. I was exhausted, my eldest was frustrated to lose me for so long during the day while I was settling Archie, and my evenings/nights were dominated by breastfeeding.
7-month markAt the 7-month mark, nothing seemed to be working and I finally came to my senses and phoned Karen for help. She came over the following evening for about 2 1/2 hours. We talked about everything that was going wrong and what my hopes and expectations were while I fed the kids dinner, and did bath time. When it came to the final breastfeed of the day which usually ended in Archie asleep on the breast, and me transferring him into his cot, Karen encouraged me to breastfed Archie, then put him down in his cot awake. I understood there would be a bit of crying, and as a mum, this is never easy to go through, but I knew for my sanity and the sake of the whole families, Archie needed to learn the skills of self settling, before we all went insane.
Increase solids intakeKaren was fantastic and very supportive. Not only did she help with settling, she encouraged me to increase Archie’s solids intake, and reduce breastfeeds to both being 3 times a day. I also really enjoy her daily routine which has given us structure during the day and we all seem much happier. My husband has commented that he now knows whats happening and feels more involved looking after Archie as he doesn’t have to guess what might be wrong. Now Archie has set times for sleep and meals, as opposed to my 4 hourly routine where I was the only one who knew where Archie was at.
I highly recommend Karen as a Baby Whisperer, Baby Massage Instructor, Nurse and font of knowledge for all things baby and toddler related. Since she came around to help us with Archie’s sleep and routine she has been only a phone call away if I needed help, and I really appreciated her regular check-ups to see how we’re getting on. This was particularly useful during the first few weeks when we needed some tweaking to his day sleeps.