Sleeping with your baby

July 31, 2007

“One of the biggest crises of confidence that new mothers face has to do with sleep. Mothers feel responsible for their babies’ sleep. Others ask mothers if their babies are sleeping through the night, as if this is something the mothers can control. Mothers lie to one another about whether or not their infants sleep through the night. And everyone lies about not bringing their babies into bed with them.

We lie because our society has unrealistic expectations of babies, and therefore we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves as mothers. Our expectations for babies’ sleep simply do not coincide with babies’ actual capabilities, or with the normal behavior of our species.”

Read the whole article here: Sleeping with your baby by Peggy O’Mara


How not to deal with night wakings

July 30, 2007

I thought we were in for a bad night when Loudboy refused to take a nap in the afternoon and went into meltdown after his tea.  I was right.  Awake every hour or two, just wanting to feed and screaming when I tried to put him down.  Of course I forgot all my good Zen intentions and resorting to hissing at him at 1am: ‘Why don’t you just go to f****ing sleep!’  Not a good mummy moment.  He got his revenge this morning (we gave up and brought him into bed with us after the swearing incident) by pinching my spectacles and beating me over the head with them.

Note to self: remember to put everything out of reach now that he can climb.

When things get all psychotic

July 30, 2007

There are those days when you think you can hardly make it through the day. You feel you’ve done a full days work by 7am. I think the only way to get through these kinds of days is not to do it alone. Call anyone who is not at work. Descend upon them. Go to their house, meet them in a park, have coffee and cake with them, or lunch. Go to a mum’s group. Baby yoga. Make friends with a random person on the street (well, depends on where you live I guess). Whatever it takes. Just get yourself as far away from your bed as possible. That bed is like a tease when you can’t get into it. And even if you do finally get your little person to sleep for a nap and you finally descend into your bed for some well earned blissful slumber, inevitably they will finish their nap just as you start to drift into that sweet sweet place …

Naps (again!)

July 29, 2007

I thought we had sorted Loudboy’s naps. He was going for two nice hour-long sleeps a day, usually in his cot, sometimes in his pushchair. No longer! He’s started to drop his afternoon nap if there’s something especially interesting going on. Checking my baby books, he really shouldn’t be doing this for a while yet. Loudboy hasn’t read these books himself, but I can tell by his expressions exactly what he thinks of these books and it isn’t much…

Boy cannot live by milk alone!

July 29, 2007

After a particularly ‘bad’ night, when my darling son drank 21oz milk btween 7pm and 7am, I decided it was about time we try to wean him off his bottles at night.

He had gotten himself into a habit of waking every 4 hours for milk . The pattern was bed at 7pm with bottle, awake at 11am and 3am for milk then up for the day at 7am. We have gone with the flow with this until now for 2 reasons.  

Firstly, he doesn’t eat large quantities of food during the day and so I felt he must be truly hungry and secondly, he would go straight back to sleep within a matter of minutes if he was given his bottle.

This week however, I have been trying to reduce the volume/quantity of his night feeds in an attempt to cut the night waking altogether.

We are having some success. He has dropped one of the feeds without too much hassle. A few grumblings and a bit of huffing but nothing compared to what I had anticipated. The challenge now is how do I get him to drop the 2nd one and get through the night without any milk whatsoever?

Some sleep for mum

July 29, 2007

Some say having some sleep is priceless, we say sleep is for the weak!

Baby in motion

July 26, 2007

The Imp and I have been through many variations of what is needed to get to sleep and/or stay asleep. A lot of these variations have involved motion. In the early days, it was the sling in motion. Then the pram in motion. The bouncing up and down on the birthing ball motion. The dancing around to Krishna Das motion (unlikely choice of music but there you go!) So, if this is you, pounding the pavement, not daring to stop in your favourite shop which is 50% off because your bubba wakes up the moment you stop, you are not alone.

In fact, so common is this phenomenon of sleep in motion in babies, Dr Sears has coined the term Motorway Fathering. He says:

“If your baby is so wound-up that he won’t wind down with any of your usual techniques, secure him safely in the car seat and take a ride, preferably on a long, monotonous road that has no stop signs or curves.”

From Baby Sleep Book

I am sure we would have engaged in some of this if only we had a car! Dr Sears recognises the importance of continued motion. There must not be stopping and starting. There must not be too many curves. The motion must be consistent, monotonous.

I used to think that mums with prams were forceful and pushed their way through crowds, never giving way to other pedestrians. But suddenly, after the Imp was born, I understood. If you have a sleeping baby in that pram, you must do everything within your power to keep moving. Do not stop for anyone or anything. You must keep that baby in motion. Now whenever I’m out walking and I see other mothers with that determined pram pushing look on their face, I salute them. And hastily step out of their way.