Although designing, assembling and selling super cute toys is a lot of fun our No 1. goal is to provide families with a toy that helps get more sleep for the bubbas, mummas and dads out there using them. There are lots of different ways people have been getting amazing results with these lil cuties but I would like to share with you our tips and tricks for a smooth introduction.
1. Slowly, slowly....
Anyone who actually knows me knows that I am not anti a little bit of 'self soothing' when it comes to bubbas. Each to their own right? But that is not what these toys are designed for. The idea behind these toys is that the feel, smell and sound of the toy will act as a positive sleep association to then enable you to withdraw supports that you no longer want to continue. That takes time.
2. No big changes
We recommend to not change any of your current bedtime routine for at least a few days after receiving your toy. Simply combine their new bedtime buddy into your process - making sure they are having as pleasant experience as possible. So if you are feeding or rocking to sleep just continue to let them fall asleep for a few nights in your arms as normal but hold your new toy there with you and let your Little One's hand touch the fabric and have the tune playing from the start of the process.
Every single nap and sleep. As they finally go off to dream land they need to be hearing Riff, Raff or Bandit's magical sleepy tune and, if they are bigger bubbas, able to feel the fabric. The process of a consistent bedtime routine is extremely important for good sleep (for adults too!).
4. Back away.... Again slowly
After a few days you hope that some of Riff, Raff or Bandit's magical powers are rubbing off on your Little One so it is time to start the extraction plan.
Slowly start removing the undesired support just seconds before sleep. Eyes rolling back but not asleep. Each night just remove a little more - bit by bit. So if we are talking about rocking - stop rocking just seconds before he actually goes to sleep and have them fall asleep in still arms. Then once mastered once start reducing the motion a little each night until it involves not much more than a nice cuddle. Feeding to sleep - take them off the bottle / boob a little earlier or if they are not finished keep them awake to complete the feed properly. So close to being asleep but not - even it is only 5 seconds before she is actually asleep and let her finish the falling asleep process with nothing in her mouth. Once mastered and you have a calm baby, awake but so almost asleep, you can move onto....
The dreaded transfer - we are aiming for eyes open in cot followed by sleep. This can be a well supported transition - perhaps one hand on them or sitting in the same room so they know you are nearby is a good way to start. As tempting as it will be to dash for the door you don't want to come this far and have them freak out.
It is really important that the plan is slow - you don't want them to panic and feel unsupported. I like to think that about 5-7 days is a good timeframe to aim for to achieve full high-fiving, wine drinking celebration type extraction.
Of course it doesn't always go to plan and sometimes you have to do what you need to do to get sleep and try again when you are feeling stronger. But that's okay - you are trying to give your baby the skill of sleep without your help and it can take time. Just keep trying when you can. The night you see your Little One reach for their sleep toy and their little eyes just cannot stay open when they hear that tune... it will be all worthwhile.
While this is the standard guide we would recommend to most bubs still in a cot there are some great other techniques that mummas out there have discovered. If you have had success and want to share with other mums please post a comment here or on our Facebook page for others to read!
(and as always THANK YOU for your wonderful support)