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Jacqui Flint

Jacqui Flint

Johannesburg: North, South, East Rand and Pretoria

Jacqui, Miles, Marc and Cameron (7 months)

Jacqui, Miles, Marc and Cameron (7 months)

Hello moms and dads and moms and dads to be

I am Jacqui, step mom to Marc (12), mom to Cameron (4) and Erin (2), and wife to Miles.

When I fell pregnant with Cameron the only thing I could focus on was how this baby was going to be born. I was terrified of both natural and Caesar and just couldn't get past this step. In actual fact I asked my paed if the stork couldn't deliver Cameron.

We attended ante natal classes which informed me of the changes to my body, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, what a natural birth entails, what a Caesar entails, how to bath the baby etc, and we believed that we were now equipped to deal with our baby - little did we know!

I was in hospital for 4 days having had an emergency Caesar, and in hospital I was surrounded by nurses who knew what they were doing and when to do it, so there was no shortage of support. However, when Cameron and I finally came home, and the front door closed behind us, I'll never forget thinking 'well this is it, it's just us and the world'.

This 4 day old little human being terrified me, and I didn't have a clue as to when he should feed, sleep or how long he should be awake for. And as for when he cried - why was he crying? What did it mean? Why didn't he stop crying? I felt completely alone and overwhelmed by it all.

Having said this, we were blessed with a baby who was healthy, ate well, slept well and slept right through the night (7pm - 6am) from 4 months. Cameron got 2 teeth at 4 months and by the time he was 7 months he had 6 teeth. It was at 7 months that the teething upset his routine, and all of a sudden we had a baby who was waking through out the night. We didn't understand why he was waking, and the only way we could get him back to sleep was by patting him on the back. This did work, however we didn't realise that we were teaching him to be dependant on someone to pat him to sleep! So, once the teething was over, we sat with a 7 month old who would wake up between 5 and 7 times a night, and each time one of us had to get up and pat him on the back. Initially the patting only lasted a few seconds and Cameron would be asleep, but the few seconds grew longer and longer until it sometimes took up to 15 minutes of patting before he fell asleep.

This lasted for 10 weeks, and for those 10 weeks our days and nights just blurred into one long nightmare. We were completely sleep deprived and neither of us could function at work. We started fighting over nothing because we were so tired, and I was so emotional I cried at the drop of a hat.

I dreaded spending time with Cameron because when he was awake he was miserable because he was tried. I resented him because it was because of him that I wasn't sleeping. I told Miles that I loved Cameron but didn't like him. I honestly felt that my life had ended, and there were times when I could actually see myself physically harming Cameron and not feeling guilty about it. I remember one weekend Cameron was crying in his cot and Miles asked me if I had gone in to see if he was okay, and I replied that it was safer for Cameron if I didn't go in.

Believe me when I say that sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and if your baby isn't sleeping then you aren't either and you don't have a happy home.

Believe me when I also say that it isn't a phase that your baby is going through, he won't all of a sudden decide to fall asleep and stay asleep by himself, he needs you to guide him.

After 10 weeks of living in a daze, we attended a Baby Love workshop and implemented the program that afternoon. This was on 1 May 2004. We also sat down with Irene, Cameron's nanny who looked after him in the mornings when I was at work, and we explained to her how the sleep training had to be implemented and the importance of all of us working as a team. I don't think Irene felt it was right to leave him to cry, however she agreed to adhere to the sleep training.

Was it easy? No. Did I cry? Yes. Did Cameron cry? Yes. How long did it take? 6 nights and 7 days. Was it worth the tears and heartache? Without a doubt. Would I do it again? I did, with Erin when she was 4 months old, because I know it works and the benefits of well rested days and nights far outweigh the crying which I know will not last for ever.

The magic was that we persevered, we were consistent, we were confident and we worked as a team.

Miles and I can confidently leave our children with family or friends and collect them the following morning knowing they have slept well. We can go out with our children and know that once we've put them down to sleep, we won't hear from them until we pick them up to take them home.

I feel I'm in control and we have our life back. No more doom or gloom and it's been 3 years and 5 months since we implemented the program with Cameron and 1 year 8 months since we implemented the program with Erin, and we've not looked back!

So take back the control, like we did, contact a Baby Love Consultant in your Area, and start the journey of well rested nights.

Baby Love is definitely designed for happy families, and we are proudly one of them.