Don’t breathe too loudly you’ll wake the baby

Well, today has been mostly lovely. We went to visit an old friend (oldest, longest friend actually) who’s just had her first baby. Baby Oscar. He’s beautiful. And so so small. Makes me realise what a chunk Annie was when she was born (9lb. 2oz).

Her and her husband have just moved back up north after living in London for over a decade. It will be, for sure, a culture shock for them. They’re back with her parents whilst their new house is renovated and she has lots of people helping her with the baby. Husband, mum, dad, sisters, nephew. So many family members. I went around and they’re all sat in the living room together, doting on the new arrival. My friend looked amazing to say she gave birth a week ago. Well rested, fresh, together. The whole time I was there her husband took care of the baby’s dirty nappies, made us cups of tea and made sure mummy had everything she needed. It was heartwarming to see. I never had that, but I don’t resent other people experiencing it in that way. It’s how it’s supposed to be.

For me I don’t think I drank a hot cup of tea for a month after Annie was born, and I had to schedule showers for when my friends were available to come around and hold the baby for 10 minutes (Annie screamed everytime I put her down). I didn’t eat a meal unless someone was kind enough to come around with takeaways or ready meals and pretty much force feed me. My reality was a little different. But I wouldn’t change it. I chose that reality. But it doesnt mean I can’t envy a little bit. A lot really.

I digress. The point of this post was to talk a little about my experiences of putting Annie down at night and how I STILL HAVEN’T CRACKED IT. We have a brilliant bed time routine and Annie loves it. Dinner – 5pm. Bath- 6pm. Baby massage- 6.10pm. In the night garden – 6.20pm. Bottle and bed- 7pm. It’s been the same since she was a newborn, although the dinner is a relatively new activity. However, I’m struggling to crack the whole “putting her down” for the night. She’s such a light sleeper and it’s infuriating. She always falls asleep on her bottle and I sit there cuddling her until I think she’s in a deep sleep and is able to be put down. BUT the slightest noise or movement and she’s awake again. She wakes as a gradually, slowly lower her into the cot. She wakes sometimes if the bed squeaks. She wakes if I stand on a creaky floorboard as I leave the bedroom. Yet day time napping? She’d sleep through a tsunami!! What’s that all about?

The aim is to be able to put her down sleepy and to leave her to self soothe. We’re not there yet. But I’ve been reflecting on how far we’ve come in such a small space of time in terms of her sleep behaviour. Not so long ago she wouldn’t even sleep in a cot and now she probably spends 60% of the night in it (the remaining 40% co-sleeping with me). And do you know what? I’m reluctant to give the co-sleeping up too soon. After all she’s only going to be this little for a short period of time.

We’ll get there eventually. Until then I’ll reluctantly endure the time and commitment of putting her down and thoroughly enjoy the co-sleeping cuddles with my baby.

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