Persephone: Parent

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Nap Training

Baby Girl Robin is just over 6 weeks old, okay almost 7 weeks old, and so far she’s pretty damn perfect at nights. I feed her to sleep somewhere between 8 and 10pm and put her in her co-sleeping cot. At whatever time she stirs (could be 3 could be 5 hours), I pick her up, feed her and put her back in her cot. We’re having 2 night time feeds at the moment on average and she’s awake for the day by half 7 maybe 8.

So the nights are brilliant.

The days… not so much.

I mean there’s nothing wrong with our days. I’m not at my wit’s end, drowning in depression. Her feeds are still between 2.5 and 3 hours apart and I do try and plan them to fit with Elvis and his routine. She can’t feed at 0930 to want another at 1230 as I leave then to pick up Elvis. So there’s a 2 hour window for the nursery run. Ideally there’s a 3 hour window in the evening where I don’t want to feed her due to Elvis’ nap ending, cooking, eating, bath and bedtime. But that’s unrealistic at the moment.

The problem isn’t her feeding; it’s her napping.

She can fall asleep from a feed but she doesn’t always during the day. I can rock her to sleep either standing up or sitting in the nursing chair. Daddy and Nanny have got her to sleep too during the day. In the evening she prefers me and boobies, but is that an element of her cluster feeding?

She’s also happier awake and “playing” so I can get on and do bits as she lies on my bed taking in her surroundings but it doesn’t last long. Then again sometimes her naps don’t last long.

I guess the real problem is that during an afternoon, as she sleeps on me, I get tired. But Elvis is napping in his cot all afternoon so how do I stay awake? It’s getting to the point when she has to start napping on her own.

With Elvis, we basically co-slept 24/7 and somewhere between 8 and 10 weeks old I just couldn’t hack it anymore and made a stand: I was determined to get him into his Moses basket day and night. And it worked. With Robin we already have the night cracked. That should make naps easier, right?

Or could it screw up the nights?

She’s not in any proper routine yet but I maybe do see a few patterns. Can I recognise when she’s tired? If she wakes straight up is it because she’s had long enough or because I put her down?

Do I know her well enough to force this stress on us both?

Can I keep my brain active on warm afternoons as she sleeps in my arms?

Does she only do a 1.5-2 hour nap on an afternoon as that’s our uninterrupted time?

Is it simple perseverance?

Anyone have any tips?

Or I could sling her, but how practical is that for cleaning the bath or washing up?

I might give her a few more weeks, if I can stay awake!

Help!

~ P

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Number Two/How?????

I read a blog by Mum of Boys, and, well, oops, I didn’t plan a second,┬ábut, here are my thoughts (my initial thoughts are – What? I won’t be welcome at under-1 groups? At all? Or at my mummy friends houses? How will playdates go for Elvis? How will they go for Robin? Holy, crap.)

  1. Apparently the second pregnancy will be harder, there’ll be no lazy cuppas with other pregnant mums-to-be and you’ll be covered in food, dressing more practically
  2. Being unwelcome at Mummy groups – or your toddler and “been there done that attitude” won’t be welcome
  3. More sleep in the hospital than in the few years leading up to then
  4. You will welcome visitors, simply to entertain the toddler
  5. You will be up and on your feet much quicker, if only to get the toddler out of the house!
  6. You will not sleep when the baby sleeps, you’ll be watching toddler TV
  7. No morning lie-ins after a night of feeding
  8. There will be no time for friends and a social life, even online
  9. You’ll “miss” the developments of the second as they appear from out of nowhere whilst your attention is on the older child
  10. You will not, even for one second, regret the decision to have number 2.

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End of the Year

Sometimes I dread the thought of going back to work.  Other times, after a day where I had insomnia and Elvis has a very rare day of refusing to nap, I can’t rush the remaining few weeks.

He had a very bad day the other day where he barely napped, I took him to a group at his usual nap time ao it was entirely my fault! But it got me worried. Elvis will be at nursery all morning 4 mornings a week and he usually naps in the morning for at least an hour and a half. What if he doesn’t at nursery and then refuses at home? What if he does spend half of his nursery time asleep, isn’t that equally as annoying?

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Mummy Meltdown and Bawling Babies

Okay it was a bawling Mummy, too!

Elvis has recently kept up his 12 hours of sleep at night, self settling 99% of the time and he’s started having 3 naps of well over an hour. We’re talking maybe 5 hours a day. And he absolutely loves his cot. He can be screaming, whiny, tired boy until he’s left alone in his cot. Then you can get up to 30minutes of happy babble until he falls asleep.

Except he has now decided he won’t sleep anywhere else. His pushchair. Nanny’s. Nowhere. And as he stands in his cot at Nanny’s screaming, I feel like crap.

So I’ve decided, I’m going to take him to Nanny’s and go back 4 hours later. If he gets tired and won’t nap, I won’t be crying, too. I just need to decide on the rules for her. No co-sleeping on the sofa. When E lets us co-sleep (he refused last week because he really loves his cot) I do it safely, I’ve done the research. I’m not sure if I should tell her to not bring lunch forward; I never have.

He needs to be able to sleep elsewhere, right? He used to be able to. Or could this just be a phase?

~ P

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

Less than three weeks ago, I can clearly remember the beginnings of my fear, or apprehension that Elvis was never going to learn to roll over. It just never seemed on his mind. After learning to sit unaided at 4 months, lying down was a position that he just never really wanted to be in. It was also just after he turned 4 months and learnt to sit that we moved him into his cot, giving him far more freedom to move.

And of course, he would be put down on his back on his playmat for short periods, he still showed no signs of rolling!

I was starting to worry (only because everything tells you when each baby should learn to do everything).

Then he suddenly did it! I was so immensely excited.

Now, I hate that he can roll!

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Routine, Is That You?

Okay, I know it’s early days. In fact it’s only the second day of this… pattern, perhaps that’s a better word. And I am no way taking it as the new regime, the future forever. In fact with daddy due to be at home for the weekend it’ll probably be over tomorrow!

But

This is the second day of feed, play, nap!

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Changing Into the Same

It’s days like today that I realise how different things are from just 4 weeks ago.

And how they’re still the same.

Some of these things, the things that have changed, give me hope. Hope that if the past month is different enough to the first, if things have got better in just four tiny weeks then the next four will be different again, better than the first eight.

Some of the things, those that are the same as four weeks ago is very slightly depressing. I’m not stupid; I understand that parenthood comes with irreversible changes, but there are some things that haven’t changed and I worry they never will or it will take many more months.
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Mummy Moment: Nanny to the Rescue!

This is Wednesday’s mummy moment because I was so far out of it yesterday! Honestly though, what a difference a day makes!

So Wednesday was just awful. Husband woke up, I was crying. Husband went to work, I burst into tears. Health visitor came around, I didn’t cry and Elvis fell asleep on me. HV left and I tried to go for a nap, Elvis woke up and I cried.

So I ran away to Nanny’s.

With Elvis.

Whereby I fed him and handed him over before going to sleep in the spare bedroom – the new carpet has cars all over it so it’s clearly for him. Well I maybe dozed for 20 minutes and got up after an hour. I miss my mum’s house (we lived there until we got pregnant). I miss having a spare bed. I miss good, solid thick walls and ceilings so I really couldn’t hear Elvis cry.

But we need our own family space.

After getting up, I realised that there’s no food for me there! So Nanny kept her grandson whilst I popped to the shop. It’s the first time I’ve been out without him. He’s been out without me plenty of times.

Perhaps its the exhaustion or always knowing that it isn’t for long, that Elvis is always with someone I trust, but even at 5 weeks old, I don’t miss him or worry about him. Is that so wrong?

So I bought and ate lunch, stayed at Nanny’s all afternoon and went food shopping on my way home at 5pm. There was only an hour to wait for husband but as soon as we got in Elvis started crying.

And so did I.

Hubby got home, I was still crying, took Elvis and I went for a bath – more mummy moments.

Thursday and I’ve had sleep, no mummy moments and tears? None in over 12 hours. I would like Elvis to stop feeding sleep soon though – there’s a sure start session I’d really like to go to in less than 12 hours!

~ Persephone M

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Don’t Force It

So the other night I wrote about how I double-boobed Elvis after his 4hr stint in bed in the hope of him lasting a 2nd 4hrs during the night.

I also wrote about how it didn’t work!

Well, yesterday I suffered with a son who chose to wake up at 0630 and then refused to nap until 11am. And I was exhausted. He, in fact only had 3hrs between 0630 and 2030. So I, too, only had 3hrs.

I ended up in floods of tears on the phonevto the bank because they set up Elvis’ account wrong, can’t fix it over the phone and then transferred me to the wrong bloody branch. Well Elvis was screaming, I couldn’t hear the woman on the phone and I wanted a nap. So I burst into tears.

And it sent Elvis to sleep. Nice.

Anyway after a 14 hour day, 3 of which napping, we went to bed at 2030 and he started being a bit noisy after an hour in his moses which I was not in the right state to deal with so I kicked hubby out and kept Elvis on my tummy despite the heat.

The next thing I know is it’s been 5hrs since his last feed as he starts to root and I wake up. I’m not sure if it’s the heat, the co-sleeping ot just his tummy but 5 hours baby!

~ Persephone M

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Three Weeks Later

Okay as it’s Monday it isn’t fully three weeks later, more 20 days, but today is when I need to get Elvis weighed.

Born weighing 8lb 9oz and dropping down to 7lb something I think, when he was last weighed Elvis was 8lb 6oz. That was a few days before hitting the 2 week mark so, fingers crossed he had made it back to his birthweight.

Being such a doubtful worrier, however, I am really worried that he won’t have gained enough weight, that he isn’t thriving. This is despite him having the correct number of wet and dirty nappies. He feeds often enough, fills his nappies, but he does also leak every now and then and this weekend he’s randomly started spitting up.

I guess with bottle fed babies, you know exactly how much they’re eating and that each bottle has the correct amount of all nutrients that baby needs. With breastfeeding, is baby feeding efficiently enough, are they getting the fatty hindmilk, is mum’s diet good enough to give baby all they need?

Meanwhile, as with so many newborn based topics, it’s all on the mum. Is my diet good enough for him? Am I noticing if he’s not feeding properly? No one else can comment on latching on, not daddy and not Elvis. It’s all on me! Yes, I’m working on getting rid of all the pain I currently associate with breastfeeding – my back hurts a lot less and my nipple is healing (I haven’t even used the nipple shields I sterilised yesterday to limit my pain). We haven’t used formula since week 1 and I managed to feed in public and in bed last night.

My wrists hurt if I feed for too long and there is a general chest soreness most of the time (my new bras from Mothercare are helping that) and, having got out of bed 3 hours ago, I’ve also managed to put some washing on, do some washing up and got a 45 minute nap. I don’t look forward to waiting around at an open clinic to get Elvis weighed, but with hubby at work full time, there should be time for a nap after the clinic!

I’ve managed a 40 minute nap since the clinic and an extra snack for myself, too!

And at the clinic Elvis weighed in at 9lb 5! There I was worrying he hadn’t put on any and he put on nearly a whole pound. How come I can’t see/feel the difference?

I also weighed myself around at Nanny’s and I’m still at 72kg.

I’ve actually had a good day followed by a good night; my fingers are crossed for it to continue. Oh, and aside from lunch at Nanny’s today has been the longest time I’ve been alone with Elvis!

~ Persephone M

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