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Crying it out – could you?

Well we have hit that point in every babies life (I think!) where sleeps deteriorates rapidly…  From my repeated googling the consensus is that it s a combination of a 4 month growth spurt (there’s also some lovely tips to get through it on this page), sleep regression (this is a great article) 19 week wonder week and of course the dreaded solids debate

It’s tough.  BabBee has gone from 1 wake up a night to sometimes 5 – which is bad enough – but made worse that he no longer falls asleep again immediately after feeding.  I am tired.  I haven’t written anything for a week as I’m so tired (and also a little overwhelmed, how do people keep up with reading other blogs!?!).  But as much as I don’t want to create a monster, if he cries I go to him and do whatever is necessary to make it stop.  Fortunately DaBee is totally on board and (with a sharp kick in the leg to wake him up if needed) will also comfort his every whim.  I can’t help but wonder if we are “making a rod for our own back” (etc etc!)

To be clear BabBee is generally a good sleeper.  He settles himself at night and has regular naps in his cot when home.  If he is whinging but I can tell he will sleep I will leave him – but these new night awakenings are much more dramatic than that and need intervention.  We have tried patting and comforting, gentle rocking, sticking the thumb back in and they will work temporarily but he will generally wake again pretty quickly and need feeding, and then feed a lot!  So I am resigned to it, he clearly needs the food – and the quicker I feed the quicker he will go back down – I’ll worry about that rod later!

But to get to the point, another (not friend) mummy (lets call her Cowbag) told me how she left her baby to cry for 15 minutes and she’s much better now.  15 minutes! She obviously justified it by saying how dreadful she felt but if you can not go in for 15 minutes you can’t feel that dreadful.  It is of course the controversial crying it out, or more accurately The Ferber Method (some interesting science here)

I can’t ever imagine doing this… I’m far too “attached” but at 4 months???? Really????  Could you????

 

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The changing face of Motherhood

I have always been quite a straightforward person, some might say harsh.  People say things like “at least when I ask you I get an honest answer”… which I know is a back handed statement about my inability to put up with idiots.  But since having BabBee opinions appear to have changed and I was recently described as an Earth Mother.  DaBee laughed his head off at that (and said I was as much of an Earth Mother as Hitler!) but it got me thinking about how having children changes you…. hmm…

I knew that after having BabBee I “would change” as 46,000 people had told me this, but how far does it go?  Now I am very pro breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby calm and use cloth nappies – that’s all pretty Earth Mother.  I walk most places – I was definitely too busy (and too lazy!) before.  But most of this is down to the gift of time on maternity leave, not the new “spiritual” connection I have made with the world.  I still get annoyed with people but knowing how small the mummy circuit is I think it is wise not to piss people off, and therefore try harder to be diplomatic.  What I would really like is for my non-baby and my baby friends to fill out a questionnaire but lets be honest this is all getting a little self obsessed…  I think I am supposed to be obsessed with my baby – mot the inner workings of my own mind!!

I guess the ultimate change is all that love you have for the new little person in your life and no one can doubt or deny that.  I guess the impact of the Bigger Change will emerge later – does anyone feel they have been intrinsically changed by the occasion of birth… I am interested?!

Magic Moment #1

Well I came across this while blog hopping and love the idea.  It also fits in beautifully with my focus for  week… naps…

Yesterday DaBee put BabBee down for his after lunch nap.  Predictably after 40 minutes BabBee woke up with one sharp squeal of pain and then some moaning.  DaBee rushed up to him (after checking with me first!) and shushed and patted him a little… then came back down and said “Lets give it five minutes” as BabBee gave another little wail.  After a couple of minutes I crept back upstairs to find…

BabBee Asleep.  In his standard starfish position.

That’s the first time he has gone back to sleep on his own after a nap.

It was definitely a Magic Moment 🙂

magic moments 150x150

Sleepytime? Babies NEED naps!

Well I have been pretty MIA – and I apologise.  The combination of a fairly severe bout of mastitis plus getting obsessed with the clothopoly anagram has meant that this blog is dying out before it has even begun… I hereby publicly declare I will write a new post every day this week (you can call me on that!)

And I will start the week with something that has been bothering me a long time – Sleep and specifically naps.  I will put a tiny tiny little side step in, there may be a miniscule percentage of babies who can get by on little or no naps and remain chirpy and cheerful but basically Babies Need Naps.  FactFact.  Fact.

So why do lots of parents not get this?  Why do I hear “only she only sleeps 20 minutes in the morning and that’s it all day” yet observe an obviously grouchy baby.  Or see a baby crying and squirming in his mothers arms while she dangles a toy in front of him.  Or watch babies being forced to participate in (useless*) baby classes whilst upset and hitting their face.  Or notice a baby being passed around a group of people and as the baby looks away the holder tries to get their attention with smiles and coos. And on and on… and on…  As ever, none of these mothers are intentionally being unloving they just don’t seem to get it… Babies Need Naps.

I don’t know who I blame but not really mothers (although some could do with educating themselves a little more).   It just seems to be an unintentional conspiracy of mothers assuring each other it’s ok when actually, it’s not.  Babies need sleep to grow and develop, the more they nap in the day the better they sleep at night, and actually babies that sleep are happier.  Better naps would mean less overstimulated babies and therefore less colic.  Babies need naps.

I guess the next conundrum is how to facilitate this blessed sleep, but at least if mothers were trying that would be a massive step forward.  Babies need our help and there are many experts offering their opinions although I am definitely on the gentle side of the equation (more another day).  And i like the first half of this article about over tiredness, they should give it out at the hospital! Please please help your babies nap and we would all be happier parents.

 

(*Incidentally I love baby classes.  I go everyday. I just accept that under 6 months they are really for the mother and let the poor baby sleep if they need to x)

Which parenting expert is right?

There’s a lot of parenting ideas out there… a lot.  It’s all a little over whelming and when you want to help/ improve/ change something it can be both useful and confusing…

There’s Gina with her strict routines – I can’t bear the idea of CIO (more another day) but actually the idea of keeping naps dark and at a similar sort of time seems to help.  The babywhisperer Tracy apparently makes it EASY but the 2 days I spent trying to follow her structure was possibly the most stressful so far!  However I generally don’t feed to sleep now and I learnt that from Tracy.  Attachment parenting gave me some lovely positive thoughts, promoting breastfeeding and togetherness.  But we don’t co-sleep and it isn’t something that would suit our family.

And these are just the most well known – there’s many many more. Some mummies just follow their instincts but I would suggest they are the minority, most are either led by books or family – and therefore often outdated advice.

Does it matter?  Does any parenting philosophy actually affect how our babies grow up?  Can anyone prove this?  I have read numerous books and I;m not sure.  I am convinced of the benefits of breastfeeding and will not be deterred from that.  I love carrying BabBee in the sling and keeping him close – although secretly I want him to nap in his cot more.  Cloth nappies are firmly ingrained into our lives and I am eagerly awaiting Real Nappy Week from 15th -21st April.  I feel a bit guilty about the lack of co-sleeping (except for the first couple of weeks) as if I am letting BabBee down.

The bit that gets me is how often mothers do things as it’s “best for their baby” when really it is best for them. Perhaps if we were all a little more honest with ourselves the path would become clearer?

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