The real parenting begins…

27 Mar

Bedtime routines

So up until now Malaika has been sleeping in bed with me, its been 6 1/2 months. It’s mostly been working well until now. More often than not in the last two-week she is feeding every two hours, she does it in her sleep with minimal disruption to her highness, she goes right back to sleep. Not so much for me, I am beginning to seriously feel like a zombie. She has had a pretty well established going to bed and waking up timeline, between 7 and 8:30 am and pm. Since she’s been going to bed early I have been trying to do more adult things in this time: watch TV, slowly eat dinner, have  a glass of wine, talk to my husband… I then try to be in bed before the next two-hour waking ( I know its my fault, I am totally enabling her).  The boss is well in control but its time for me to take back the reigns, take charge, be the parent (Am I trying to convince me or her? One has to wonder..) The ‘sleep when she sleeps’  during the day mantra doesn’t work for me, there is always something else to do: laundry, dishes, dinner, bills to pay, tidy up, attend to my fro, reply e-mails, return texts, blog,  or I am simply not ready to nap. Occasionally I can do it when Karl is home during the day, then I get a good two-hour nap but again I am not always ready to have one when he’s around. I also never really know whether she’s going to sleep for 30 minutes, 2 hours or 10 minutes! I started to write this blog thinking she’ll be asleep for 1/2 hour, its been an hour.

She surely can’t be hungry every two hours, it’s become a habit and I have let it well and truly establish itself and its now as home, in my bed, taunting me….She’s having solids twice a day now, this hasn’t made a difference to her sleeping (medical professionals say it’s an old wives tale, a full stomach doesn’t mean she’ll sleep longer, it makes sense but apparently it doesn’t translate so easily in reality). As the saying goes, there is a danger in loving someone too much, I have to exercise tough love, to be honest it’ll be harder for me than for her.

Last night was going to be the first night I was going to put her in her crib overnight. She sleeps there during the day. I was all set. She had her bunny and one of my t-shirts in her crib for comfort. I had a stool in the room to feed her when the time came, I moved the monitor, mentally I was prepared. She had dinner, a bath, she in her sleep sack and it was time… I was about to put her in there then I realised the room has zero insulation! I know it sounds like another excuse but he room is in between the kitchen and the bathroom. I could hear Karl making dinner in the kitchen, literally. I heard the fridge door opening, the tap running,  chopping of the veggies on the board. I can only imagine you’d hear the toilet flushing too. Granted it’s possible she’d sleep through it but in my bedroom we sleep with the fan on to drown out the traffic and train noise (we live downtown literally, city noises and drunken revelers are part of our noise pollution). So I abandoned that plan and put her back in my bed. Today’s mission it to find a fan. I haven’t given up, if anything the nights events furthered my resolve. She got up every two hours again. At one point I made sure I wasn’t close enough for her to reach out and tap me, she took a good 15 minutes to keep rolling and move around until she found me then she settled in quite nicely cradled and snug next to me, perfectly content, as beautiful and endearing as this was, I still need to sleep.

This will be a real challenge. Do I let her cry it out? Do I basically camp in her room defeating the whole purpose? Do I let only her father go to her the first couple of nights?

I guess this will be my first real parenting act…..where’s that manual again?!?!?


5 Responses to “The real parenting begins…”

  1. bundy28 March 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Now I’m getting nervous!!! due very soon, I had the whole sleep routine discussion with my mother via Skype last night.

    With father Luke working nights 4pm to 4am and needing his bed during the day , I am hoping bub will adapt to his or hers own room for nap time, but Mum then says to me “you will need to nap too, maybe the lounge and another bassinet downstairs will help” we live in a small Perth unit with only 8 small steps to climb from lounge to bedrooms. My first thought is “more expense, no” I can do this” run up stairs and downstairs every time baby needs a feed, cries etc I need my exercise too and need to just get used to it” but now im thinking “but can I? I love my sleep too, my nana naps hahaha.

    Should we buy another bassinet for the lounge for day shift so baby is close to me for feeding downstairs and to preserve some sort or energy I have left Or should we buy a nice sofa bed so we can utilise Bubs room and get them used to their own room with me in it?

    Once hubby goes to work it will be different again. Move from room to room. Maybe I will find myself camping in baby’s room haha sprawled out in the floor.

    Your Advice please Ms Natasha.


    • tashata March 28, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      Well Ms Lucy, its hard to say, you won’t know what will happen until it happens. I would say for sure don’t buy another bassinet now, the shops will always be open, Luke can go grab one if you need it and you won’t know if you do until bub comes.
      Karl does shift work so the daytime sleeping is tricky especially at the beginning when they sleep all the time! Karl just slept either in the spare room or the couch when we had visitors, gave us the room because you might not want to move bub too much, you might to establish some routine/familiarity.
      Also I found you really create a ‘station’ at nap/bedtimes. You have the pillows in a certain way, the diaper stuff, nipple cream, water bottle, d-drops or whatever you need is within reach, the nursing pillow if you use one etc and little things that you need but won’t be able to get up to fetch and if Luke’s sleeping you can’t ask him to get and if bub if fussy you don’t wanna make noise by talking so having one place to settle down is easier…
      The best thing I think I did was read this book, I read it twice before she came, I didn’t follow it from day one but I kept it all in mind and I did certain things that in the end helped me last night when I finally moved her to the crib:


  2. vmudzamba March 28, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    6 and a half months in the same bed? OMG! Let go. You can do it. Just let go.


    • tashata March 28, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      I actually did it last night, we point of correction, we did it. But lets have this conversation in a few years time when you have your first….. I think I cut her off pretty quickly at 6 1/2 months!


      • vmudzamba April 2, 2014 at 6:46 am #

        I am laughing out loud right now. Congrats on letting go!


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