When will my baby sleep through the night?

Sleep

Sleeping through the night – This must be one of the most googled questions by new mums. From the day you pop your sprog out, I can assure you your sleep will never be the same again. I underestimated the beauty of sleep. I now also understand why sleep deprivation is used as a torture method. In the early days of having Layla I thought it was tough that she was awake for an hour, wanted a feed and then slept. Little did I know that as they get older this becomes more difficult.

“Sleep when she sleeps” they said. Sounds perfect but once you have visitors, need a poo, a shower or to get dressed this goes out the window. Plus sod’s law that as soon as you do close your eyes, the door goes, your phone rings or you’re so wired it just doesn’t happen. Plus when are you supposed to upload all those ca-yuuuute photos from that day?

For those that know me well, I LOVE my sleep. I once slept for 48 hours (following a house party where we made a space cake in the microwave, got so stoned that I wet myself from all the laughing and then lost the next 2 days to sleep… but that’s another story. I would also like to point out this was during my pre-children days before you all start looking up the number for Social Services). I loved university for the flexibility of power naps – go to a lecture, have a nap, do some coursework, have a nap, go out get wasted, have a nap…

I recently met with my NCT mum friends and we kicked off with our favourite topic “so what’s your baby’s routine like now?”. I hate the word routine mainly because I haven’t cracked one. I’m not ashamed to admit it but I do think if I had my time again I would have done things differently – I know I also need to get harder and show the baby who’s boss, right now she definitely is the boss of me. Breastfeeding for 6 months made it difficult as i’ve talked about before as this then led to co-sleeping, it was just so much easier to put her in the bed next to me and feed whilst I was half asleep.

9 months on and although the breastfeeding has stopped, the baby is still in our bed. I say “our” as in mine and Zak’s even though he has now relocated from the couch in our one-bed flat to the guest bedroom in our new house. He basically has his own quarters whilst me and the babe chill in the master bedroom. The one thing I am thankful for is that Layla now sleeps through the night – praise the fucking lord… HOWEVER this comes at the cost of me being next to her, meaning I’m usually in bed by 9.30pm.

I touched upon routine and this is generally how ours goes…

  • 8.30 – 9.00am Baby wakes, pokes me in the eye/pinches my arm/ sucks on my nose. Nappy change, bottle, breakfast an hour later
  • 10.30 / 11.00am Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
  • 12.30pm Baby wakes for lunch, nappy change and play time
  • 3.00pm Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
  • 5.30pm Baby has her dinner, spits out what she doesn’t want/like the taste of. Playtime whilst I pick up all the discarded food.
  • 7.30/8.00pm Husband gets in from work, we have dinner, baby watches us and we then give her bath & bottle.
  • 9.00-9.30pm Baby turns into a crank, I shuffle her off to the bedroom, she passes out in the bed. I wonder what shit t.v. i’m missing, catch up on social media and eventually pass out.

I’m sure some of you might be shocked at this and might be asking the following:

  1. Why doesn’t she sleep in the cot?
  2. Why don’t you shift her routine earlier and then she will sleep earlier?
  3. She sleeps in until 9.00am?

My answer, we’ve tried both and she just doesn’t and wont. We’ve tried her in the cot, leaving her to play there in the day, and then putting her down when she’s “drowsy” of a night. This resulted in screaming like she was being tortured, turning purple before projectile vomiting all over the cot, carpet and me. So much for the Ferber method.            As for the third… like mother like daughter.

I know i’ve got to break this and I will,  however the nicest words of support I’ve received were “this age is the only time she depends on you so much, this decreases as they get older, the fact that you get a “lie-in” – enjoy it while you can”.

For you Mums out there, I am open to trying anything to get her in cot – have recently even looked into the Montessori bedroom idea where you place the mattress on the floor and bypass the cot completely. Has anyone tried this?

Any tips/ sharing your experience would be welcomed!

On that note, i’ve got about 10 minutes before she wakes and i’m still not dressed… laters x

New Year, New me, New boobs…

hny

First of all a belated Happy New Year 2017! this post has been a long time coming following a lovely Christmas back at home in Liverpool. Unfortunately we’re now back in London, bracing ourselves for the “Thundersnow” (wtf – those 10 flakes that I saw this morn?!)

The kid is just one big ball of snot following a day out at a children’s cafe where she ate every toy in sight – can’t wrap them up in cotton wool all their lives can you? Build that immune system child… She’s become that kid that I used to roll my eyes at, wondering why their mother’s “wouldn’t just wipe their nose?” – i’ve now learned that it’s basically like a tap that if you try and switch off – your child has a shit fit. Yesterday when it was pissing down with rain and we were confined to our living room, I was tempted to take a boomerang video of the biggest snot bubble that was building in one nostril – much better than the old “let’s raise a glass and pretend we’re having the best night out ever” ones that are floating round.

I had set myself four missions whilst I was at home:

  1. Get her over the cold that she went up with
  2. Stop Breastfeeding
  3. Get her into a proper feeding routine on solids
  4. Stop co-sleeping and get her in the cot

Tick, tick, tick… no

So my biggest achievement was stopping breastfeeding and we went the cold turkey route – the first day was great, Layla was loving the solids and despite still batting a bottle away (accepting water but refusing milk) we managed to get her off to sleep for the night around 10.00pm… wishful thinking of course, at 4.00am she woke up and started mooching for me. To be fair I wasn’t hard to find, as after a day of not breastfeeding I looked like I was trying to smuggle the Himalayas under the quilt. My boobs were rock hard and I can only describe the pain as what I think it feels like when boys get kicked in the balls. She did the old Puss In Boots eyes and I gave in and fed her, seemed to do the trick as she slept until 10.00am, lazy moo!

The second day was pretty much the same and I gave in for a night time feed around 7.00pm , more for my relief than anything. By the third day it was like she knew I wasn’t giving up and reached out for a bottle like it was her new best friend… she’d been teasing me all along.

The above of course is a summary of how it went, the in between bits involved me expressing, lots of leakage (especially in the shower) and a few tears (her and me) in between. The hardest part was when she cried and resisting calming her by offering the boob, be strong!

MY TOP TIPS FOR STOPPING BREASTFEEDING:

  1. It’s only YOU who should decide when to stop, don’t feel pressured to carry on. If it’s hurting you, the baby’s latch isn’t right so hit up your midwives and ask for help. Apparently babies start to recognise the difference between a boob and a bottle around 3-4 months, i’ve said this before but if I had my time again I would have introduced a daily bottle from day 1.
  2. Prepare yourself for a week of hibernation (if that’s how long it takes) I didn’t see anyone for the first week I was home because it was all about me and the baby.
  3. Get yourself some support, this came in the form of my mum as quite frankly the husband is the biggest soft touch when it comes to our baby crying. Women just get it, babies cry as they can’t communicate. You know the difference between your baby’s cries (i.e. the FAKE ones – “where’s your tears child?!”). My mum stepped in with morning bottle feeds and allowed me to get some sleep, it seemed like the baby knew she had no option but to accept the bottle as I wasn’t there parading my milk-producing melons in her face.
  4. There may be some pain – express if you need to. I was lucky as the milk supply seemed to dry up pretty quickly however advice from my mum was cold cabbage leaves in your bra, warm showers – knead those boobs and really old school but Epsom Salts (be warned you may need to stay near a toilet)
  5. Change the teat on your bottle (see my last post) 0-1 size make the baby suck harder like they would when they first learn to feed, size 3 pours into their mouth without much effort, so we settled on a size 2. Now she’s used to the bottle, she will take any brand (time to bin some of the 15+ bottles that we bought)
  6. Offer a bottle at every feed, I realise this is easier as I was introducing solids at the same time but it’s good to get them used to it.
  7. PERSERVERANCE – you’ve learned by now that this child you produced isn’t as easy as you thought, they will test your patience in every way… also remember you’re the adult and it’s about teaching them the right habits. It’s ok to shout “You’re not the boss of me” if you need to. Just because you’re not breastfeeding doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby as much, she still thinks i’m the funniest person in the world when I shout “peekaboo” at her even if she sometimes scowls me knowing she can’t get drunk off my titties – deal with it kid, we all miss those days.

Good luck ladies!

I mentioned the fact that we’re still co-sleeping above (poor Zak has been on the couch for about 2 months now due to our baby starfish commanding his side) and once we’ve cracked that i’ll give you as many tips as I can there!

Over and out from me and the snot monster xx