May 17, 2013
Have been using my magic swaddling blankets with eleven week old Baby. I found them invaluable with his older brother Bub who had a very strong Moro reflex and slept poorly from birth. Baby didn’t have this problem and was a great little sleeper at first. Now he’s older his naps aren’t great. He wants to suck his fingers but can’t do it for more than a second. So he just hits himself in the face and wakes himself up!
The main aim is to try to extend his naps but we’re also using them for night sleep. I can’t yet really comment on whether it is working on the naps. We have had a few longer naps with it. He can’t yet fall asleep independently and this is probably a bigger factor. But it’s definitely extended his night sleep. He was a good night sleeper anyway but he is now doing a stretch 2-4 hours longer
This isn’t a long term thing as I guess quite quickly he’ll be too big for swaddling. But hopefully by then he’ll have mastered the finger sucking and will stop whacking himself mid sleep!
May 15, 2013
Lovely long weekend away. Our first for about a year. Shamefully this is because Bub’s sleep is often really disrupted and this tends to dampen my enthusiasm to do it again. But you know what? His sleep was appalling, again, but it was still worth it. We had lots of fun.
Bub’s massive and complete excitement about going on holiday, our ‘holiday house’ and everything to do with the holiday.
Bub playing for HOURS with the wooden marble maze provided in our
Having a cup of tea and reading the paper in our hot tub (for about five minutes) before being joined by an excited three year old who was delighted to have his own personal swimming pool.
Visiting a beautiful waterfall (England’s highest) and trekking all the way up to the top. Bub walked pretty much the whole way, he did so well and had boundless energy. And Baby did well in the sling too.
Bub and his daddy being Adventurers, including finding a stream with stepping stones.
Visiting the great British seaside on a wet and blustery afternoon, including a walk along the beach and doughnuts.
Bub having fun on the two penny slots on the pier and going on a 20p kids motorbike ride.
May 7, 2013
Aww. Baby has almost got there with laughing. His Daddy was right in front of him doing silly faces and laughing. And every time he laughed Baby tried to laugh too. He hasn’t quite got it yet. It was a rather deep hiccoughy sound. But lovely all the same.
May 5, 2013
Have decided to bite the bullet and start to encourage our almost ten week old Baby into more of a day time routine. I’ve loved the flexibility of not having one. But he’s definitely now got a really strong feed to sleep association and I don’t really want it to continue. So in order to help me distinguish between hunger and tiredness cues I think we need a bit more structure to our day.
Baby feeds often at the moment, both when hungry or tired. Sometimes when he is tired and wants to suck but not feed he gets really cross when the milk comes down. I also can’t leave him for more than a few minutes and am the only one who can get him to sleep. He will sleep in the sling and (sometimes) in the car. But it’s almost always feeding that gets him to sleep at the moment. He’ll even doze off feeding straight after having had a long nap.
His older brother Bub was never one to feed to sleep as a newborn. He was much more influenced by movement and rocking was his sleep ‘prop’ for several months. Until my back could take no more, anyway!! He had very defined feeds – he’d feed happily for a time and then stop when he was full. He also had very definite growth spurts when he’d feed seemingly non-stop. Once my milk came in I’ve had no recognisable growth spurts with Baby at all. Perhaps he feeds more frequently but I don’t notice? Baby also dozes off during pretty much every feed so I never know if they have properly finished. If I wake him he then happily relatches and immediately starts to doze again. It’s easy to see why his feed to sleep association has developed!
I have had a fair bit of experience with entrenched sleep associations with Bub. We started with rocking. And when my back gave out at about five months we moved to feeding to sleep. Which was beautiful and snuggly. Until he started to wake hourly (yes, hourly!) all night in search of the breast. At about seven months I was a sleep deprived wreck and we had to undertake drastic measures. Fortunately we finally found a no-tears solution which eventually resolved these issues. But this time around I also have a toddler to contend with. Spending an hour getting Baby to sleep is a luxury I can’t really afford. So I’m keen to help him find another way sooner rather than later. And hopefully do it in a gentle way too.
Today was day one and it went rather well. Will update on what we did and our progress soon. In the meantime here’s a link to an old post giving five things I wish I’d known first time about baby sleep.
May 4, 2013
Have been chatting with friends about sleeping in bed with your baby and thought I might write about our experiences here.
First things first, safety. There is a good article here so I won’t repeat it. But suffice to say I think sleeping with your baby is safe so long as you take care.
With my first child Bub I hadn’t intended to co-sleep. We had a Moses basket and thought that he would sleep next to our bed. And most of the time he did. But Bub had a really strong Moro reflex and in the early days he’d wake himself frequently if not held. Swaddling was ultimately what resolved this but for a few weeks I found lying next to him and holding him when he stirred helped him stay asleep. So in the early weeks when I was desperately exhausted he came in bed with us. And then during growth spurts or any time he was waking a lot to feed I brought him into bed too. But actually most nights he slept entirely in his own bed. And I think he slept better like this too – after the first few weeks my presence seemed quite distracting for him and made it harder for him to fall and stay asleep.
I’m very strict now though and never have Bub sleep in our bed. His sleep is generally good but only because of a predictable routine and clear boundaries. I don’t want to open up the option of coming into our bed as I fear he’d want to do it a lot. That’s not to say we don’t occasionally sleep in with him though. If he’s ill or in need of companionship then we put a mattress on the floor of his bedroom and sleep next to him. And sometimes he’ll come down and sleep on it too. And then I get NO sleep! He’s just as distracted and distractable a co-sleeper as when he was a baby so it’s not a very restful experience. Hence my reluctance to have him come into our bed on a regular basis.
With Baby things are a little different. He’s a MUCH better sleeper than his brother (so far anyway.) Once asleep he tends to sleep well and not wake himself up. At nights he usually does 6 to 8 hours at a stretch. And then after a feed he’ll go down for another three hours. All highly satisfactory! But I’m more relaxed about co-sleeping this time around and have embraced it a little more. So Baby does his ‘big sleep’ in his own bed which is in our bedroom. Then at 6am (or whenever he wakes for his feed) I bring him into my bed. After feeding I’ll lay him next to me to sleep until he wakes properly. This is mainly to help him sleep as easily and as long as possible. It’s usually light by then and I want to move/disrupt him as little as possible. Also I can hold and respond to him quickly if necessary and avoid him waking fully should he stir prematurely. And it also reduces the chance he’ll make a noise that might wake up Bub.
I sleep much more easily with Baby in my bed than with Bub. I’ve temporarily turfed his daddy into the spare room so we have the whole kingsize to ourselves. And I’ve put a toddler bed guard on the edge of the bed. So I can rest easy knowing he’s safe. And he’s nearby without being squeezed in right next to me.
So that’s our co-sleeping experience so far. Not sure how it’ll continue with Baby but for now this arrangement seems to suit us both fine.
May 1, 2013
A lovely moment between Bub and his baby brother. Baby was being a bit grumpy in his chair in the kitchen. My partner was trying to amuse him and so Bub joined in. He deliberately dropped his shoe from a height onto the floor. Luckily not too near Baby. Anyway at this exact point Baby did a great big smile. Probably nothing to do with the flying shoe but Bub didn’t know that. He was so proud that he had cheered up his brother it was quite touching.
What a serious looking boy he is. Baby is definitely not as smiley as his big brother at this age. I remember Bub smiling at anything and anyone. Whereas Baby takes much more persuasion and a smile has to be coaxed out. His daddy is much better than me at getting a smile. And it looks like his brother is too.
May 1, 2013
I’ve written before about Bub’s apparent obsession with guns. Despite my best intentions to never buy him one.
Almost every time I collect him from nursery he will proudly show me the latest ‘shooting monster’ or ‘shooting gun’ he has made.
And now he has made some for home. Yesterday he made fourteen ‘shooting guns’ from Lego. A whole suite of them, including one gun made from the Lego windows once he ran out of normal bricks. They all follow a similar basic pattern and he’s very clear which bit is the handle, the shooting bit and the light. Yes our guns even come with lights. Scary stuff!
April 29, 2013
Feeling so proud of my little boy today. For the first time he’s drawn something recognisable. It took a bit of encouragement from his dad but here are his first two ‘real’ drawings.
This first picture was one he took ages over and kept adding in extra detail. I’ve had to crop out the handbag but you can see the hair, knobbly knees, ‘sticky up things’ and willy! (My partner did the hands and feet as Bub wasn’t confident enough to do them himself.) The second picture is much more minimalist. I believe that the character on the right is me.
April 27, 2013
A very refreshing article in today’s Guardian about children and technology. Or the iNanny as some might call iPhones, iPads etc.
One reason I started blogging was to be honest about struggling with my baby’s sleep. So many mums talked/bragged/lied about their perfect sleepers I wanted to share my opposing experience. And I think use of technology with our kids is another issue people rose tint a fair amount. After all no-one wants to admit they plonk the kids in front of the tv all day! I get the impression Apps etc are also used far more than parents admit, even to themselves.
Having said that I imagine we are probably at the ‘high end’ of iPad/iPhone usage by our toddler. Certainly at the moment with us still adjusting to a new baby in the house his screen time is sky high. And it’s not even the children’s Apps he uses either. Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, that Simpsons game… He also watches stuff, mainly computer game run throughs, on YouTube. The article refers to a four year old receiving therapy for iPad addiction. Now I don’t think Bub is addicted but I’ll be honest and say that, like the girl in the story, Bub has sometimes been on the iPhone for four hours a day. I’m not particularly proud of that and I do think this kind of usage is excessive. But I’m probably not alone in using the old iNanny a bit more than ideal.
We have started to limit Bub’s use of the iPhone/iPad. He still has access first thing, when I’m usually busy with Baby. And just before bed (mainly so we can promise it ‘later…’) And depending how things go there may be a few more short sessions. Not exactly in line with the pious ‘only half an hour at most twice a week’ brigade yet! But less than he has had it before. And to be honest he seems to be getting along fine finding other distractions for himself.
I’m also trying to ensure we play on it more together. Feeding the baby is a great time for me to also watch what he’s doing and chat about it. Or be dragooned into helping with an Angry Birds level he is stuck on.
And finally I’m trying to be a better example myself. I love my iPhone and would laze about all day reading articles and eating chocolate if I could. But that’s probably not a brilliant parenting strategy so I try to keep that to when he’s in bed! When we’re together I try to keep it out of both our reach most of the time.
So what is your approach to your child’s use of the iPad/iPhone?
April 26, 2013
Baby got his first outing in the Bumbo today. He’s not quite got the head control for it so he came out not long afterwards. But he enjoyed his few minutes of sitting nonetheless.
His big brother decides he liked it too and spent much more time happily sitting in it and climbing all over it. I’m not sure it’ll survive much more of that to still be intact in a few weeks when Baby starts to use it properly.