Adam’s sleep routine at 13 months…

So after listening to Adam scream himself to sleep because I’d stupidly decided to get in the bath once he’d gone down for his nap I decided why not write about his current sleep routine!  Now I’m sat here, hair still dripping wet and dressed in my pyjamas because I don’t want to now go in the room and risk disturbing him, feeling like the world’s shittest human being I’m thinking about his current sleep routine and how well it works for us.

It’s in no way, shape or form the best sleep routine and I’m not going to sit here and gloat about how amazing every night is because he sleeps through until morning as this isn’t always the case but I’ve read a lot of sleep related posts recently and figured why not write my own.

Adam turned one in January and so he’s coming up to 14 months in a week or two but we’ve been very consistent with his sleep routine from way back when he was about 4-5 months.  I do believe that’s helped us immensely when it’s come to how well he sleeps however every night is different and if you throw in a bit of teething or this nasty cold we’ve all been lovingly passing around to each other for about 8 weeks now, we have had a fair few sleepless nights of screams and tantrums.

What has taken me too long to understand is that no matter how wonderful your routine is and how amazing you think your parenting choices are, no one day will ever be the same as the next.  Something will always change and throw a huge spanner in your works and you have to learn to roll with that.  Now for somebody like me who likes her routine and freaks out at any deviation from that, this is a hard concept to comprehend sometimes when it’s the middle of the night and you’re screaming to yourself ‘But you slept all night last night?!’ ‘Why are you up at 3am?!’ But i’m slowly adapting to the fact that babies don’t come with instruction manuals and rule books, they just come with in built human instinct to rely solely on you for their physical and emotional nourishment and that should make you feel superhuman!

That’s not to say routines don’t work, I absolutely believe they do because with routine comes stability and the norm.  My baby knows that no matter how hectic our day has been once he goes up at 6.30pm for his bath he will be in bed soon after and I know he enjoys living in the knowledge that certain  events will eventually lead to sweet slumber in his own cot where GENERALLY he will sleep peacefully until the morning.  I know that he loves his routine as much as we do because whenever we do decide to cut out his bath in order to spend a bit more time in the evening or when daddy comes home late from work and wants to see him before he goes to bed, he never settles as well and I think the bath in the evening helps him unwind.

So just recently he’s cut out one of his day naps and only has the one nap during the mornings unless he’s in the car or out in his pushchair.  It’s hard to gauge whether he still needs that second nap because when he did he became a nightmare to wind down in the evenings and would basically chew my nipples off through share boredom because he wasn’t tired enough to fall asleep.  I still breastfeed him to sleep which isn’t ideal but he can be rocked to sleep or given a bottle if needs be.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to feed him to sleep but it works for us and he only has the one feed in the evening to send him off for the night.  Most nights I’ll feed him and have him in bed by 8pm and we won’t hear from him again until about 7.30-8am.

For now this is the routine that’s working for us and because I feel he still needs a milk feed before bed I guess this will continue for a little while yet, I mean if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?! I think if he was still waking in the night for feeds I’d definitely be looking for other ways to put him to sleep but as he doesn’t I’m enjoying the evening feed and cuddle time.  Any advice for when we do decide to wean him from the breast? I’d love to hear your thoughts and sleep routine tips.

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Almost a year…

It still blows my mind that I’ve had my little baby in my arms for almost a year and now he’s not so little anymore.  This time last year I was heavily pregnant, spending most of my days either in the hospital having scans to check his growth or in town aimlessly wandering from shop to shop making sure I had everything I needed before my baby boy arrived.

So much has happened in the past year and everyday has been a whirlwind of highs and lows but I finally feel like things have started slotting into place and my life is complete.

Dont get me wrong my life was complete the moment I found out I was pregnant but when he came into our lives we had to very quickly adapt from being two very independent, carefree individuals to two very grown up, responsible adults with another life to sustain.  I’ve very briefly touched on my anxiety throughout pregnancy and motherhood but nobody really knows the extent of it but my husband.

For me motherhood not only came with lots of happy, fun filled moments but lots and lots of anxiety and it still does.  There may be some of you reading this that will think this is all just normal and how mothers worry about their children but to me it has felt like I’m trapped in my own mind at times.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt down or depressed post having Adam but my anxiety has definitely gone through the roof.  In the beginning it was all about feeding.  When he kept losing weight, I became obsessively anxious about how much he was feeding and literally exhausted myself with breastfeeding and expressing all through the days and nights to ensure that there was enough milk for Adam.  Looking back now if I’d expressed a little less and slept a little more I think we would have managed just fine seeing as I still have breast milk in the freezer from April!

As the days, weeks and months have gone on his feeding has just gotten better and better, he’s now eating like an absolute pro too and has such a varied diet.  He’s even turning into a little chunky monkey and I have definitely eased myself back on the feeding worries but there are still many many thing I obsess over on a daily basis.

I will not leave the house unless it is at a time that perfectly fits around Adam’s current routine.  For example if it is lunch time I will either not go out or ensure that I am only going somewhere with feeding and changing facilities.  I don’t think I’ve been out past 6pm in the past year knowing that Adam will need his bath and bed around that time and as much as it may seem this is a little bit obsessive, it’s what works for us and anxious people thrive on routines so it does help me feel much better when his routine isn’t disrupted.

I will probably touch on my anxiety a little deeper in another post but what I really wanted to say is that no matter how many sleepless nights I’ve had or how much hair I’ve lost from all the worrying, nothing would ever make me change my life. I will continue to battle my demons but since my baby has come into my life, I have a purpose, my life is complete and I can’t wait for what the future brings.

Here’s to you my beautiful baby boy, you’ve saved me from myself and everyday you amaze me with your funny little faces and the funny little things you do. When you say ‘Mama’ I feel like I finally have an identity.  I can’t wait to see what the years bring us but I know that with you by my side, we can rule the world! Mama loves you so much.

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Coping with motherhood..

It seems a bit strange writing a post advising others on how to cope with motherhood when some days I feel like I’m drowning under all the pressures to be the best mum I can without losing myself along the way but I’ve definitely come a long way in the last 10 months.

In the beginning the biggest thing that shocked me about being a mother, apart from the lack of sleep and the human leech attached to my chest, was the fact that I went from being totally independent and being able to do whatever I wanted to, to having to schedule bathroom breaks and mentally prepare for moving myself and baby downstairs for the day.

Gradually things do get easier and you adapt to a new way of doing things.  I went from having to pack an entire baby bag with everything I could possibly think of to take with us if we ever went out to now just having a little pram organiser with both mine and Adam’s things in it.  I can even manage a cheeky shower or bath while Adam sleeps and I’m finally back to cooking us hot meals much to my husband’s delight!

The first thing I would say is ACCEPT THE HELP!! Naively I flounced around in pregnancy thinking I was going to be super-bloody-mum and that I’d be able to do everything all by myself whilst keeping a tiny human alive.  Oh how wrong I was!  When you’re aching from the physical trauma of child birth and all you want to do is lay your head down and let your body recover, the sound of a screeching newborn wanting to constantly feed is not what you want to hear.  I started off telling my mum that I’d be absolutely fine to begging her to come and stay so I could have a hot bath and home cooked meal, so if somebody offers to cook you a meal or enjoy some newborn cuddles while you take a nap just let them!

This sort of extends to my next point which is to make time for you.  My husband has offered on numerous occasions to watch our little boy while I just pop out for a walk or to grab a cup of coffee but I always make excuses for not going.  Do as I say and not as I do and take the time to be you, not the mummy you but just you because if you’re like me there will be the odd occasions when you really long for those carefree baby free moments.

Make sure that for at least 10 minutes a day you are doing something that you would normally have done which doesn’t include doing the laundry or washing the dishes.  I used to love reading but when I had Adam I’d be lucky if I had 2 minutes to go to the bathroom without a screaming baby let alone the time to get lost in a good book but I’ve found some ways to fit in a bit of reading time around all the joys of motherhood.  Sometimes I will read a book on my phone while nursing Adam to sleep or while he naps.  Or I will pop my headphones in and listen to an audio book while doing some writing.  Try and find that one thing you enjoyed before becoming a mother and indulge in it every now and then without feeling guilty about it.

Try and remember that once you have a baby this doesn’t totally mark the end of your life as you knew it before.  Before becoming a mummy I would enjoy taking my book and finding a cosy corner in a cafe to read whilst nursing a steaming hot mug of coffee or taking my laptop with me and doing some writing while having lunch.  I can still do that now that Adam is a bit older however there is no book in my hand or laptop and instead of a hot steaming mug I have a half drunk mug of a cold decaf but none of that matters because I now have my little best friend with me who grapples with me for my tuna panini and literally go everywhere with me.  If like me you’re blessed with a child who will instantly nod off in the car then wrap your little one up and strap them into the car, take a little drive and once they’ve nodded off you can stop by a cafe and grab a quick coffee to go.  I’ve had a few days of resorting to this method when I just needed a minute to myself and lets just say Mcdonalds drive through Toffee Nut lattes are my new favourite guilty pleasure.  Top it with a good book or podcast on my phone and I can very quickly recharge, leaving me ready to tackle the rest of the day.

I hope some of these tips have helped some of you new mummies out there and if anybody has any more tips for keeping sane with a baby please do let me know in the comments below!

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Adam’s 9 month update


On this very day, and this very date, exactly 9 months ago you were born…

You certainly didn’t want to wait around and we almost had you in the car ( your daddy would have HATED that!!) but luckily your daddy got your mummy to the labour ward with ten minutes to spare.

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