Mother finds those late nights pay off

thisisoxfordshire: Blogger Caroline Mentzer with her daughter, Melissa. Picture: OX67037 Jon Lewis Buy this photo Blogger Caroline Mentzer with her daughter, Melissa. Picture: OX67037 Jon Lewis

AWFUL sleep patterns and late-night feedings don’t normally help mums and dads with their work.

New parents Caroline and Alex Mentzer from Headington, Oxford, were at their wits’ end trying to get their baby daughter Melissa to sleep.

But the enterprising 36-year-old mother, nutritional therapist and herbalist wrote about her methods on her blog mydaughterwontsleep.com.

Now the sleepless nights have paid off and she has been nominated alongside 15 other health bloggers in the BritMums blogging awards.

Mrs Mentzer said: “I started my blog up three years after having my daughter. Her sleeping was terribly bad. I tried lots of different parenting books and nothing worked. In the end, I had to find my own path to help her sleep.

“My daughter was an awful, awful sleeper. I was trying to find a way to help her to sleep. We tried it all. But she was still waking up six to eight times per night. She loved breastfeeding more than anything. She had food allergies and all these things were preventing her from sleep.”

Baby Melissa, now three-and-a-half years old, did not sleep through the night until she was 16 months old.

The active toddler had difficulties with teething – and parenting methods such as self-soothing, where the parent leaves the child to soothe and cry themselves to sleep, did not work.

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Mrs Mentzer used her work as a therapist to help calm her child and after a month of acupressure, a therapy where the mum uses a sleep-inducing point on the child’s forehead, Melissa could sleep on her own.

Mrs Mentzer said: “It took about a month. After about five nights, she was sleeping 12 hours straight.

“By 16 months old, she was sleeping through the night. It was a miracle. My husband was working as a junior doctor at the time. I was completely on my own and didn’t get support. I don’t think we ever imagined how sleep deprivation can take its toll. My health improved dramatically.”

The active tot could stand by six months and was walking between nine and 12 months old.

Mrs Mentzer tries to blog two times each week alongside dropping Melissa off at nursery and her work as a therapist.

She has been shortlisted in the annual BritMums awards this month.

She will find out on May 23 if she is one of the six finalists from the health category who will be going to the awards ceremony in June.

Readers have until Friday, May 16, to vote for her blog.

BritMums is a social network of UK parenting bloggers, with a reported readership of 10 million people.

TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S REST

  • MRS Mentzer said: “I find the easiest way to get a baby to sleep is to use ‘the sleep inducing point’, an acupressure point that helps babies and children fall asleep in less than two minutes.
  • “There is no right or wrong way to get your baby to sleep well because every child is different. Only a parent knows instinctively what will and won’t work for their baby.”
  • READ her blog at: mydaughterwontsleep.com/
  • To vote for Mrs Mentzer, go to: www.britmums.com/awards/

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