Baby/Toddler stuff

Sleep Training a Toddler

So we got ourself into a bit of a predicament! May 2019 we went on holiday, the single bed wasn’t in a safe room for Dot- so she slept with us. On our return home we stayed with co-sleeping for ease, but now we really need to regain our bed and bedtime sanity.

Fortunately I met Rebecca from Sleepytime Sleep recently- and she agreed to work with us to get Dorothea to sleep in the own room. (Rebecca kindly gifted this programme to us- so posts related to this on social media will be marked as an AD)

We were totally ‘stuck in a rut’ and didn’t know how to start the process of moving Dot back to her own room, we’re totally used to the routine (of almost nothing routine) of all going to bed together, and part of both of us loved the evening tickles and cuddles. BUT Dorothea is not a delicate 3 year old- she’s a chunky tall girl, and likes to sleep limbs akimbo!

Meaning mine and Daddy’s sleep has suffered massive negative effects; waking up with bad necks/backs from contorting ourselves around her, getting woken up by kicks, face strokes and often a finger up the nostril!

Rebecca’s process begins with a quick 15 minute call – to discuss current issues and end goals, she briefly spoke me though how her process works and gave lots of reassurance that our issue is resolvable with a little work. She then emailed me a comprehensive questionnaire to complete: this covered everything from Dots daytime routine, bedtime and naptimes, her personality and what sleep supports she has.

A few days after I’d completed the questionnaire Rebecca sent the sleep plan, and arranged a zoom call to talk through it. Although the personalised plan looked like a whopper of a document: it was easy to understand and follow. The plan talks you through what to do day by day, with a proposed bedtime and attached routine; the plan changes every three days, to eventually mean you can put your child to bed awake and they’ll settle to sleep independently (sounded like the dream)

Rebecca gave me loads of tips to help get Dorothea, and her room ready for a new way of bedtime. I gave her room a big clean and tidy, decluttering also, to make the room relaxing and less distracting. We bought Dot a ‘gro clock’ which is blue for bedtime, and turns yellow when its time to get up, a set up some dimmable lights and also made up a ‘sleepy spray’ with essential oils.

Night 1

I explained to Dot throughout the day that she’d be sleeping in her own room tonight. We had a busy day, to ensure she was tired and avoided the dreaded nap. Dinner at 5.30, bath at 6.30, jigsaw with Nanna post bath and then up-to bed.

Surprisingly no crying at all- I followed Rebeccas advice to a tee, and Dot was asleep by 8.04.

The next day Rebecca checked in with us to see how we got on; like myself she was pleasantly surprised with how well it went.

Night 2

Dot now knew the process, was happy to jump in bed and have her stories- she was asleep by 7.40pm! so different to her bouncing on our bed til 9pm. That night we did have 2 wake ups, but she quickly settled. And she woke up at 7.45- her clock goes yellow at 7.15.

Looking back at our sleep diary; it seems that Dot is now always asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed. Having a night of no wake ups is now common place: and if she does wake up and call out to us, she usually settles herself, or we can settle her within a couple of minute’s.

Part way into the plan we made a last minute decision to take a trip away to the coast, because I was nervous about how this would affect Dots sleeping I asked Rebecca if we could have a chat. She advised me to stick to the plan as closely as possible, mimicking bedtime and routines such as stories and sleep spray. Our trip away landed on nights 13, 14 and 15 of the plan- I was worried as she had such busy days she ended up having short naps in the car (unusual for her), but I was pleasantly surprised when Dot reacted well to the same routine, only playing us up a little bit, and we managed to have full nights sleep with no early wake ups!

The week after our trip away I returned to work for the first time in 4 months (due to shielding from COVID). This meant leaving Dot with grandparents, when she had been used to having me at home so much; I was therefore again wary that this may affect her sleep routine as she had become a little clingy. That week she went to bed pretty well, but we noticed a little increase in nighttime wake ups.

We have now completed a full 3 weeks of using the Sleepytime sleep plan. Dot now loves her room and bed, and never complains at bedtime. She is pretty much always fast asleep by 8pm, meaning that me and Daddy can watch a movie or share a bottle of wine. We rarely have nighttime wake ups, but if we do they are quickly resolved. So in turn me and Daddy are also sleeping much better.

I’m so pleased we decided to bite the bullet and speak to sleepytime sleep, its honestly changed our life loads. Although for the first week its quite challenging to adjust to the changes, you quickly find your way and start to appreciate the extra hours in the day.

Dorothea has also shown great changes; with her improved sleep she wakes a much happier girl, less moody tantrums and actually says when she tired and wants to go to bed.

 

Rebecca at Sleepytime sleep offers free 15min calls: so if you are stuck in a rut too, then drop her a message.

Sleepy time web

Sleepytime insta

Hand me the Gin

Farm Grown Gin

We were kindly invited by Warner’s Gin to spend the day on their farm celebrating inspirational women. Warner’s is based in Harrington in Northants; so a quick county hop for me and my wonderful plus one Raj. AD/gifted experience day from Warner’s Distillery

The day started sedately with a drive through the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire countryside and we were welcomed to the farm with coffee and breakfast pastries. We joined a wonderful bunch of inspirational ladies (it was blogger galore) and the wonderful Warner’s team.

We had a lush box of goodies; including joules scarves and hats and funky rainbow wellies from ever creatures. So we all donned our new gifts and we’re ready for the farm….

The Warner’s team are AMAZING; so knowledgable and full of passion for producing an epic product in epic surrounding. I love the fact that Tom says ‘fuck’ a lot, and this only strengthened his passion when talking about producing an epic gin- with no unnecessary (and nasty) colourings or flavourings. Warner’s were the first to create a rhubarb gin, and its colour and flavour come from beautiful, natural, British grown royal rhubarb!

Warner’s are truly on an Eco journey of trying to reduce their carbon footprint. Growing as much of their needed botanicals on the farm as they can, and importing as little as possible. They showed us their three stunning botanical gardens (they took part in Chelsea flower show) one down the Harrington valley giving us a chance for a brisk blowy walk!

We saw Angelica, juniper, lemon thyme, heathers, lavender, elderflower and more. A queen bee even landed for a surprise feature in our day; and Johnny (Warner’s botanical and bee keeper smarty pants) told us all about the importance of these creatures; and their shocking facts about bee copulation!!!

After that bracing walk we needed Gin- hoorah; so tasted some lemon balm gin in the glorious March sunshine. We then headed off to get our green fingered nails grubby; by ‘pricking out’ some Angelica seedlings, and potting some borage seeds to take home to grow. And then it was time for lunch!

And what a lunch it was; three courses of ‘Warner’s gin themed’ awesomeness in the epic local Gastronpub the Tollemarche arms. Tollemache Arms

Lemon balm infused salmon, a potato, Brie and mushroom Pithivier and yummy slow gin gravy; and the most awesome thing ever; rhubarb gin and Harrington honey trifle. I never knew a trifle could be so epic; and although we all had filling tummies we seemed to polish it off.

Obviously this was accompanied by some of Warner’s tasty gins; for me a rhubarb fizz to start and then a raspberry and soda. During the lengthy delicious lunch we were lead by the lovely Tina; to discuss our inspirational women.

The afternoon the full array of Warner’s gins; from the classic ‘Harrington dry Gin’ (yup sod off London, Harrington does it better), to the Joules collab Apple and Pear and the strawberry and rose (which I’d never heard of).

We then wax dipped and labelled our very own bottle; this day was truly epic, with so much attention to detail- making it such a special day for a wonderful group of ladies.

The day ended with imaginative Warner’s gin cocktails at their bar; my idea of heaven, and an epically stocked fridge. And then off we went into the Northamptonshire sunset.

I thought I’d finish with a few of my favourite Warner’s facts

  • There are 300 elderflower in each bottle of elderflower Gin
  • The distillers name is on each bottle
  • Toms mum Adele creates the idea of their Elderflower gin after picking some on the garden and adding to Gordon’s!
  • Warner’s does 350 distillations a year
  • 91% gin can actually taste amazing
  • Warner’s will be bringing out a spiced rum- using British grown botanicals!
  • Warner’s ask locals to pick Sloes to make their gin, and return the favour by giving gin.
  • Tom says ‘fuck’ A Lot

Obviously the idea of this day was to celebrate inspirational women; and March holds both inspirational women’s day and Mother’s Day- so this month I’m going to be posting about inspirational ladies, and hosting guest blogs from some wonderful ladies too.

Share your stories of the #inspowomen in your life on insta using this tag and @warnersgin too