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Monthly Update: Month 24

Oh my God! Elvis is two!

Favourite toy/objects: Mummy the little person in the lounge. Daddy the little person (a farmer actually) in the garden.

Our swimming ability: He finally jumped into the pool!

Words: Sunglasses. Found mummy – when he found the mummy in his toy box. Mickey out – when he wanted to take his bedtime Mickey out of the cot.

Signs: Even though he can say stop perfectly well, he also signs it. Possibly because I sign and say it. I wonder if the more I sign to Robin, the more Elvis will sign back. The cutest thing was him saying “Baby stop (with the sign) crying” – adorable.

Number of Teeth: We got an 11th!

Fears: Apparently Elvis still hates hand driers in public bathrooms and he isn’t too keen on public toilets or public changing rooms.

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Monthly Update: Month 4

Weight, Length, Height:

Routine: We have one! It is not super firm and consistent but it’s there! Wake up between 0730-0800, feed, play, nap between 0900-0930 for maybe 25-45 minutes. Then feeds every 3hours, naps of 45 minutes max after being awake about an hour. On an afternoon she might sleep through a feed.

Bedtime: The bedtime routine is firming up – nap until about 6, get ready for bed, cluster feed until half 7 or 8.

Naps/Length: At week 14 the only pattern is that after an hour-ish of being awake, Robin needs a nap. It was also at the beginning of this month that she started doing independent naps in the pram.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: Sometimes 6 but sometimes 8. It plays havoc with my boobs!

Favourite toy/objects: probably her sit up ring although she can sit for a few seconds (at 14 weeks). She also really likes fabric books as she can eat them to her hearts content!

Clothing age: By 15 weeks I decided the sleeves on 0-3 were too short so Robin moved into 3-6 exclusively.

Foot length/Shoe Size:

Milestones: Rolled front to back multiple times, grinning each time (Elvis cried when he first did it!). She’s started to put toys to her mouth and reaching and grabbing for toys on her gym and pram.

Signs: I’m only signing milk to her and she does react to it/the word. Once when she was ratty I saw her hand possibly signing but it might have just been her hand moving.

Fears: nappy change rooms. Elvis still isn’t too keen!

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Monthly Update: Month 3

Weight, Length, Height: 14lb 14oz.

Routine: NONE! At 9 weeks anyway. Well, except bedtime. I think I need to be stricter, I need perserverance, but I keep getting lazy. Somewhere around 10 weeks, bedtime started to alter but the morning firmed up. She wakes between half 7 or 8. I won’t get her until as near to 8 unless she’s upset or still asleep. I love that hour! She feeds by 9 and then by half 12. There’s another afternoon feed between 2 and 4. The bedtime cluster feed starts as early as half 6 and lasts over an hour.

Bedtime: At 9 weeks old, Robin goes to bed at 9pm with me and, aside from 1-2 night feeds, sleeps until half 7 or 8. Sometimes she can sleep on me for most of 7-9pm. I wish she had an earlier bedtime.

Naps/Length: Nothing definable at 9 weeks. I know it’s still early, but I’d like there to be. She doesn’t sleep alone during the day. She doesn’t stay asleep if I put her down. She doesn’t stay asleep in the pushchair once we’re in the house. She refuses a dummy, needs rocking in the nursing chair. I’d like this to change. Partly so I can play with Elvis on an evening.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: At 9 weeks, 7-8 feeds. If she went to bed at 7pm it might change.

Favourite toy/objects: She quite likes her Fisher Price Gym and doesn’t like the Tiny Love one as much.

Clothing age: Into 3-6 in basic clothing by 11 weeks, clothes are far roomier and she’s in 0-3. Now in size 3 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 9cm

Milestones: Definitely reaching for objects. In her pram she was trying to get the hanging toy. On tummy time she can hold her head up at 45 degrees maybe getting close to 90 and she has amazing neck strength.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books:

Signs: I randomly have signed milk and mummy to her.

Number of Teeth:

Fears:

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Coming Clean – Mummy Struggles

This blog is not what it was. When Elvis was newborn, when I was struggling so hard in the early months, I blogged and tweeted all of the time to try and cope with it. I don’t know what this blog is anymore, but it isn’t that.

I’m struggling.

The past 4 nights, Baby Robin has cried, screamed from 7-9. She cried everytime she’s tired and needs to go to sleep. She won’t take a dummy. She won’t nurse to sleep. She screams when I rock her. She screams when I put her in the pushchair for sleep. This screaming for sleep is all the time. All. The. Time. But after 7pm it’s Hell.

The past 4 nights, from 7-9 I’ve pretty much cried constantly.

I can’t handle it anymore.

She only sleeps on me during the day. She wakes as soon as she’s put down. She has no routine. She needs to nap at tea time when I’m trying to feed Elvis and SHE ONLY NAPS ON A PARENT!

I spend my day trying to get her to sleep and SHE SCREAMS.

It’s too draining now.

It all feels so hard when I know things are better, easier than they were. It feels so hard to me.

How do I get her to sleep that final nap when I have Elvis?

How do I get her to sleep for long enough independently?

How do I get her into a routine when Elvis already has one and she wants something different?

How can I do what she needs when it contradicts what Elvis needs?

Every time she’s screaming I feel like everyone nearby is wondering what I’m doing wrong. If I’m home alone, I think my neighbours are thinking I’m rubbish. That I’m a bad mother.

Why can’t I stop her screaming? I’m her mother and I should be able to.

How the fuck do I stop crying?

~ P

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Routine: 3 Months

Okay 3 months in and we’re definitely getting there. Nights are kind of all over the place. Some nights there’s one feed, other’s there are 2. Sometimes she can only go 4 hours overnight, others between 5 and 8. Evenings are picky, too. 7pm is apparently naptime for 20-40 minutes and by half 8 she wants to feed and goes to sleep for the night.

Daytimes, well mornings, are my favourite time of day. I go out by half 9, by ten she’s asleep. I often have to wake her at 12. At 1 she falls asleep on the nursery run. Sometimes she wakes as soon as we’re in, other times she can take an hour or two.

Afternoons are the worst time for keeping her asleep. Both because I have Elvis to deal with and she just can’t keep herself asleep. Even on me. That makes her overtired by 4. So all she does is scream. Daddy comes home to a Toddler zombified by the TV, a Baby who is too tired to sleep and a Mummy who really can’t cope anymore.

So I think I need to structure her. If she’s asleep at 10 and then 1, that’s 3 hours apart. So I have to get her to sleep at 4 then 7. Not just after. When she wakes at half 1 after the nursery run, after only 30 minutes, I have to get her to sleep more, not play.

At least it’s worth a try. Isn’t it?

Maybe with more structure, with more guarenteed sleep, she’ll be calmer on an evening and perhaps we’ll get closer to a bedtime. Maybe. I hope.

Wish me luck.

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6 Months of Sleeping With Your Baby?

I had trouble sleeping last night after reading an article that popped up on my news feed. In fact when I got up this morning, leaving my 13 week old baby alone in our bedroom, I got really panicky. It isn’t the article itself (which tells the sad story of a 7 week old who died in their co-sleeping crib when left alone) it was more a comment someone put on facebook when the article was shared.

Why was  a 7 week old left alone to nap? When guidance is all naps and sleeping to be in the same room as a parent?

The comment was probably same room as mum because I feel there’s a huge bias on the parenting pages that it’s all about the mum. Anyway, is it really practical and possible to always have your sleeping baby with you for 6 months?

With Elvis, he was younger than six months when he moved into his own room, younger than 6 months when we started to emphasise that the cot was for sleeping and not playing. But we lived in a small house. Could it have been possible? 6 months of all sleeping in the same room?

How about when it’s your second child?

Every morning I leave Robin alone in her Moses basket as I get up and see to Elvis. If she cries, someone goes to check on her except on a Friday when I’m alone with him and he’s having breakfast.

Please do not get me wrong here, I completely understand why babies should sleep near their parents for as long as possible, but can it be done? 100% of the time?

Robin sleeps in her Moses in her cot right next to me overnight. On nights where I can’t sleep, I go in another room but Daddy stays near her – I could not leave her alone at night. Not yet. Her naps are in the pushchair or, if rocked, put down in the Moses in the lounge. Her pushchair is kept in the hall or kitchen, all doors open if she’s asleep. Am I going to wheel the pushchair into the lounge making the carpet dirty? Should I sit on the stairs next to her pram? Should I keep her near Elvis who’ll wake her? Take her out to the garden in the heat whilst I play with Elvis?

Do parents for at least 6 months keep their sleeping babies nearby in the same room?

Naps and night times?

Have you?

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 23

I cannot believe it’s only a month until he’s two! Two!!!

Weight, Length, Height: 2 stone, 86cm tall.

Routine: No change.

Bedtime: No change.

Naps/Length: No change.

Favourite toy/objects: Over a year after we first bought Sophie The Giraffe, Elvis has finally started chewing her!

Clothing age: In 2-3 tops but they’re big and baggy. Trousers are a mix of 12-18 and 18-24 – his legs are too long for 12-18, his waist too small for some 18-24. He’s in size 5 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 12.7cm long. In size 6.

Milestones: his vocab has come on leaps and bounds and his colour recognition is much better.

Our swimming ability: he now tiptoes over half way into the baby pool, is trying to blow bubbles and hot potatoes each week. He also collected each correctly coloured rubber duck but hates dunking.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: I haven’t read anything in the past month at all. His favourite book at bedtime is a Winnie the Pooh collection we have and a book about diggers, tractors, bulldozers and the like.

New Foods: Pie! Sausage meat in Toad in the hole.

Words: The sentences: “Daddy gone work” again and whilst watching Sofia The First and the Curse of Princess Ivy “‘Fia fall down”. He can also say dinosaur. Baby doesn’t just “cry” anymore “Baby sleep” “Baby wake” “Baby cough”. Oh, and Baby has a name “Bonalle”.

Signs: he signed and said stop when I was pushing him on his bike in the garden.

Number of Teeth: Still ten but he is definitely teething. This tooth/teeth are taking forever!

Fears: Nanny’s carving knife set him right off and I think the TV version of Gruffalo’s Child scared him.

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Sleeping Like A Baby

My baby is the noisiest sleeper ever. And I thought Elvis was a noisy sleepy baby. Right now Robin is lying on me as we rock in the nursing chair making her tired noise. She’s bloody loud. She’s also sucking or chewing her finger. The moment it comes out more noise!

The past two nights have featured a lot of snuffling, grunting, noise in general. The past two days have featured a problem with deep sleep napping on me or daddy. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m only awake today as she slept on my arm for 4 hours last night. Due to cosleeping she went 7 hours between feeds and only woke for a feed at 4am because I shifted her into her cot.

I think she has a cold. I hope she doesn’t want to cosleep all the time, it causes all manner of aches and pains in me.

So I can either get no sleep as she grunts away, sleep in the spare bed or cosleep.

Meanwhile, my new decision to get off the sofa and go walking on a morning means she sleeps a lot better in her pushchair but I rarely put her down for other naps at home. I guess I’m worried that she’s losing her ability to sleep alone – she’s not getting into a deep enough sleep unless on me or in a pushchair.

And she still won’t take a dummy.

But, hey, we’re 11 weeks in. Is this a sleep regression?

~ P

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Routine Envy

I frequently suffer from envy and jealousy. Maybe it started during my infertile, TTC, days, watching enviously of all the women that could get pregnant. Or maybe I’ve always been like it. Maybe I’ve always compared myself to everyone else I know. It’s not pretty and I am certainly not proud of it, but it’s me.

Mainly I end up trying to avoid people/places where I can get this envy. This includes me removing or blocking people on facebook – I’d rather remain friends with people than see things that could make me envious/jealous of them.

The biggest envy I have of other friends at the moment is having a bedtime and having sleep. Whilst Robin feeds every 3-4 hours during the day and I try to stick to 8, 11, 2, 5 if she doesn’t want to or sleeps through one, I can’t help it. So she can’t have a bed time. She also tends to do a long nursing session for bedtime. So she can’t have a bedtime.

I could maybe force one. If she has her feed before 6, I could still try and get her to nurse to sleep at 7. But if she wants to nurse for an hour, do I really want to sit in a dark room alone with her for that long? I must have done it with Elvis. Except he rarely nursed to sleep and when he did, he did it at 6:40 and it took 20 minutes. He was in a firm routine.

But which came first? Firm routine or bedtime?

And should I really be jealous of mums with their bedtimes and an evening to themself? What would I do in those 2 hours? Watch TV, talk to hubby? Maybe I should say what would I do in those 2 hours that I can’t have a baby sleeping on me? Chores, eat, go out, go for a run? Okay I would like to go running or swimming but not the other things.

And we have a fantastic morning routine. She feeds about 4 or 5, maybe 6 and goes back to sleep. I get up by 7, Elvis leaves for nursery at half 7 and Robin wakes by about 8, giving me half an hour to do chores. Or to nap if it’s been an awful night. So why should I be jealous?

And those mums who have the audacity to complain that they only got 7 hours of sleep the whole night as a 6 hour block and then 1.5 chunk when I can barely get 3 hours in a row to make maybe 7 in total a night, well, maybe I am envious that the dads can do that for the mum as they’re bottle feeding, but we could do it if I could be bothered to express, if Robin would take a bottle and only if hubby would be willing.

Or the mums who’ve already left their bubbas overnight, I guess I’m envious that they can even though I wouldn’t want to leave Robin yet. I blame a lot of my jealousies on that I’m breastfeeding. I could express. I could try Robin with a bottle. I could do formula as I’m not anti-formula. If I did any of these things then perhaps we could have a bedtime routine, perhaps I could go out. But I don’t want to. She’ll get there.

Elvis did and Robin already has herself a morning routine. It’ll happen.

Now if we could get past the 4am gruntathon!

~ P

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Mum of Two, Surviving Tonsillitis

At least I’m assuming I have tonsillitis. It started on a Saturday night, the night of the clocks change, when I started to just feel really hot. I guess I’d had a bit of a headache all day, but didn’t know what to put it down to. Saturday night the fever started, the all over head pain and sore neck. Sunday I tried to rest.

I still had a fever.

And how easy is it to rest with two children?

Luckily it was the weekend. Hubby let me sleep in a separate bedroom and woke me for the one and only feed Robin needed. He took over Elvis during the day as much as he could given the toddler’s current clinginess to me. And Robin let me have some decent naps (she still only sleeps on me during the day). I was still feverish Sunday night and Robin was a bit more of a pickle with needing longer feeds overnight which I really, really could have done without.

Luckily, I awoke Monday in less pain and not quite so feverish but my throat was swollen as were my glands but my neck hurt less so I assumed I was fighting it.

The problems were:

* I just wanted to be alone. You can’t with two especially not one so young.

* I desperately considered doing formula for the nights so I could sleep but who knows if she’d take a bottle and I don’t want to compromise her immune system now. But I want stronger drugs!

* She’s too little for set naps and sleeping alone so I could barely get any respite from parenting from wake up until bed.

I am so thankful for my husband helping so much and that I had the worst of it (hopefully) on a weekend.

Now, I’d just like to eat food without it tasting absolutely foul!

~ P

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