Over the years I have become a Mum of three gorgeous children. But my mind takes me back to a time when I was an excited, yet nervous, brand new Mum.
Photo: Myself (Trish) wearing my third child on a walk at the beach
Baby to be
Our first baby arrived fashionably past his due date. My husband and I had been impatiently waiting to meet this little person who had been wriggling and kicking around in my tummy for many months. He was absolutely perfect in every way – he looked just like his Daddy and everyone commented on how beautiful he was.
While we were still in hospital our newborn son seemed quite unsettled at times. He was very alert for a newborn and didn’t sleep as much as everyone else’s babies seemed to! I admit to feeling ripped off – aren’t newborns meant to be sleepy?! We brought him home one memorable day. My husband and I were excited, but also secretly terrified that we were now on our own and were fully responsible for this tiny human being!
Why is the baby crying?
Our boy continued to be quite unsettled over the coming weeks and barely left my arms during the day. Strangely (and thankfully!) he slept well in his own bed at night, but the exhaustion of having a baby who would only sleep in my arms during the day was taking its toll. I would have given just about anything to be able to put him down for a nap so I could shower for 5 minutes in peace or eat a meal with both hands!
Some people told me I should just put him in his bed and leave him to cry, but my Mother’s instinct told me that there was a reason he wasn’t happy. I could not leave him lying there distressed to cry it out while he was possibly in pain.
Each day I became more exhausted and emotional dealing with our clingy, unhappy baby. My husband would call from work to check up on us and I would dissolve into tears on the phone. I had no idea about babies and how to get our baby to sleep until one day a friend recommended we take our son to a paediatric chiropractor. We were told that chiropractors who specialise in babies can have great success with treating unsettled babies and babies with colic and reflux. I was so desperate at that stage that I nervously booked my son in.
The paediatric chiropractor was a wealth of knowledge about babies and I soon felt at ease. After an examination, the chiro discovered that our poor little man had a dislocated shoulder that occurred during birth. No wonder he was so unhappy and wasn’t comfortable lying in his cot during the day! The reason he slept so well at night was due to pure exhaustion from not sleeping well during the day.
His shoulder was gently worked worked on over the coming weeks until it was in it’s correct position. Our son was much happier during his awake time and we were so relieved! But by now he was 10 weeks old and was so accustomed to needing to sleep in the warmth and comfort of his Mummy’s arms that he would still not sleep in his cot during the day.
How do I get a baby to sleep?
It was at this time that we started to recall hearing about the Amby baby hammock. Our ears pricked up with interest! Could an Amby baby hammock be what our son needs? What we knew was that our infant son wanted to be cradled in our arms and bounced and rocked off to sleep. This was very tiring after 10 weeks! We were told that the Amby baby hammock mimics the womb – that it moves and jiggles when baby stirs, soothing them back into deep sleep, just like inside the womb when Mum is moving around. We decided we had nothing to lose, let’s find out if he likes it!
We ordered our Amby baby hammock
and couldn’t wait to assemble it for a test-drive! Once we had it assembled in our son’s room, we shut his curtains, wrapped him tight in his swaddle wrap and placed him in the hammock. He didn’t complain at all which was a major miracle because normally he’d start crying each time we placed him in his cot. I bounced the hammock up and down for a few minutes and watched his little eyes get heavier and heavier until the ultimate miracle occurred – he fell asleep somewhere other than my arms!! I left the room with my heart racing, was this too good to be true? My husband and I smiled nervously at each other while we held our breath and waited for him to start crying. We waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing! Ummm, OK, now what do we do? Still in disbelief we thought he would surely wake at the 20 minute mark? Incredibly he silently passed this new milestone. This was the first time we’d had our arms free since we’d become parents and we had no idea what to do with ourselves! We’d forgotten what time to ourselves meant!
Our son sleeping in his Amby Baby Hammock at 14 months of age