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I shared my white-noise experiment (hair dryer as sleeping aid) with other mothers in the mums group and raised some eyebrows. A couple of mums agreed that we should use “whatever works” and one other mum said that she found salvation in sleep training.

I associated sleep training with letting the baby cry himself to sleep, but she explained to me how it’s really done. The trick is to put the baby in the cot while he’s awake – well, not fully asleep is more like it. Putting a sleeping baby to the cot won’t help them get used to it – instead they will wake up in this strange place, get scared and cry. So I tried to rock Eric until his eyes were starting to close, then put him in the cot and pat on the back, keeping on shushing. Often I had to pick him back up because he was waking up and rock him some more.

Another thing, when he was already in the cot, the minute I lifted my hand off him – he would sense it and wake up. Then I developed “finger-by-finger” technique – I detached my fingers from him one by one and the palm of my hand was the last to go, that worked.

Not every time he could sleep in the cot, very often I could only get him to sleep in the sling but we were getting there. I also noticed that the more I carried Eric in the sling during the day, the calmer he was during the night and it was easier to settle him in the cot.

Finally, I won and he started to sleep in the cot all the time – and it “only” took us a month! My life was getting back to normal – Rob was back and sleeping in our bed and Eric – in the cot.