Oh hannahbanana....I could have almost written your most myself. My heart goes out to you.
Honestly, I can't yet say this motherhood thing is a good idea. If anyone had really warned me how it was going to be I would have never fallen pregnant. Sometimes I feel so bitter and sad it consumes me...but it is not the time or place to go into the impact the last 4 months have had on my mental health.
I hope you ladies with more experience and who have lived to tell the tale can help us out.
Thank you for the motivation Kimberly!
When I am honest.....things have progressed but NOT gotten easier. Everyday is still a fight and I don't know when or if it will EVER be easier....different yes, but easier.....I am not holding out much hope.
I think BW is a fantastic philosophy and has some great points. I have seen it work with 3 of my friends babies and they are now 1 and a half and 2 years old, BUT.........they are angel babies. That is a lot of the problem. I feel the spirited baby and the experiences of the parents of spirited babies are something the other types of personalities can not understand. Don't get me wrong....I am not saying it is not a challenge and very difficult for ALL mothers with new babies but there is only limited gain in me talking to my friends with Angel babies or posting on the naps board when 5 people with textbook babies offer advice. Spirited babies just don't do 'what the book says' so easily and we mothers are ESPECIALLY challenged. There should be a book just for us! Please correct me if you think I am out of line!
Anyway, pretty much EVERYTHING is an issue with us. I do manage to stick to a EASAE or EASAS plan but I can't give timings because everyday is different.
The best thing I thinkl is if I just talk through what a 'typical' day sort of looks like in BLOG form. I hope no one minds reading it like this. I would REALLY APPRECIATE any advice on what I could do differently or where to go from here. I am just hoping and praying that things imrove from now till 6 months.
Ben (my LO) wakes at between 6 or 7am( or at least whenever I am aware he is awake) . When he starts whining for me after a few minutes I go in pull up the blinds say good morning smile and he coos at me then I go out have a drink of water, go to the lo etc...and go and get him after 5 minutes.
Then we either feed straight away or change him out of his PJ's depending on wether he needs changing straight away and how long it has been since he has been fed in the night.
Eating is a huge issue. I have a fast letdown and he is an efficient drinker. It is usually over in 5 minutes but sometimes can take 15 and sometimes will hardly drink at all from being so tired or distracted. (yes I have tried covering with blanket to reproduce night conditions, feeding lying etc.. to no avail) When this happens I need to find a moment to pump out the feed otherwise my supply comes into problems later in the day or the next day. If I feel he has not had a good feed for some hours I give the ebm in a bottle which he takes easier than the breast as it requires less concentration and work.
After 'breakfast' I put him in his chair with a hanging toy and if he has had a good sleep he is fine alone for about 20 minutes. Then when he gets fussy I bring him into another room with me to change the scene. (normally a different activity chair...he has 2) That's fine for a while. Then I hold him a bit. Finally at around the 1.15 mark (or later when he has had a good nights sleep) I take him into his room, sometimes diaper change, pull down the blind, read a book for 2 or 3 minutes and then swaddle him on the changing table. At this point he cries (if not before). When he was younger I thought it was because he didn't want to sleep. Now I know 99 per cent of the time he is just fighting it or is just frustrated knowing he has to sleep. After this I hold him swaddled for a few seconds then put him down and sh/pat. This NORMALLY always works now so I guess I should acknowledge progress there. Befoer it was always a question as to wether he would fall asleep at all.
I am aiming for a 2 hour nap in the morning (around 9am) and one in the afternoon. It has happened about 2 times till now but if he sleeps for 2 hours...great but normally it is 45 mins and on a really bad day....20 mins
I know he is probably still a little to young for a 2 hour awake time in the morning, midday, and late afternoon before bed but I just feel we have missed the boat on the whole shorter awake time and many 1 1/2 hour sleeps a day. It never worked for us so I may as well be aiming for the next step (4-6 months) and we have had more sucess with it anyway. Like you said Lorna...you just have to at some stage decide what it is going to be and try to 'train' them to stick to it.
But anyway, the reality is normall a short nap, up an hour to an hour and a half before the next feed is due (3.5 EASY...he really will niot drink before then....soemtimes even longer) so he has more activity time and then I usually end up feeding him early ( no longer than an hour earlier but still
Then the cycle starts again. As soon as he starts getting fussy, I try to put him to bed.
I am still trying to ge tthe hang of this overtired/overstimualtion thing. I tried to go by the baby whisper awake times but just found not every awake time was the same. I would spend up to an hour and a half trying to get him to sleep and we get the a quicker result now if I wait a bit longer. He still cries and won't go down without a fight but if he is really ready for sleep he will go to sleep quicker. Sometimes I do get it wrong though and he is very overtired but generally now I think I am better at knowing considering he has very few tired signs.
So the day goes on like that. If it all goes pear shaped, there are 2 things I always try to make sure: He has another feed before bathtime routine (despite when the las feed was) and that he doesn't have more than a 2 hour awake time before bed. If I can't get him to nap in the mid to late afternoon, he is really overtired and we put him down earlier than usual.
Normally though, we feed him about 6pm, bath him, do bedtime routine (same as day pretty much but a bit longer) and he is off by between 6.40 and 7pm.
Then we have the night problems now. I should say that he has always known night from day thank god. So even in the early days when it was pure hell and he NEVER slept in the day, he would sleep for blocks of a few hours at night up to 6 hours which has been a godsend. But now night wakings are making it really awful. We stay up till 10pm and I dream feed (ebm in bottle) then we go to bed. He sometimes wakes before the df anytime from 9.30 but not often enough to term it a habitual waking. When we first started the df he would then sleep to 4.30 or so, feed, then wake for the day at 6ish. After 2 weeks of doing the df sucessfully, he started waking again several times throughout the night so I stopped it as I needed to get more sleep and it didn't appear to be helping at all. Now I think it had nothing to do with the df actually. I started it again and the same thing now (2 weeks later) is happening. He wakes around 2 amd (this has gotten earlier and earlier) . He has come out of the swaddle. He never needs feeding at this time and I can usually resettle although it takes a while. Often he is still unsettled till he becomes really restless for another feed anytime between 3am and 5am! If we are lucky he sleeps properly until he wants his feed. I know he is probably too young to be sleeping through the night but all the wakings are definatly not hunger and I have tried feeding him often. They also can't be habitual wakings as they are everywhere or there are so many of them (often up to 3 a night) it is hard to tell. The last 2 nights he has woken up at 5am and have fed him (drankl for 20 mins solidly) and then have managed to get him back to sleep till 7am.
I would not go as far as to say I don't mind getting up at 5am (because that is a lie) but if it would make the day easier for him and that is his natural rhythm I would gladly do it but I have tried this and it has made the day worse.
Phew.....it has made me tried reading trhough this. Well there it is....a mess really.
The other problem we have is swaddling. To be honest I don't know how we ever would have had a MINUTE of sleep without it but now he just wiggles right out of it. Everytime he is awake and I go in, everytime he is out. I want to get rid of it as sometimes reswaddleing is such a task it disturbs him more and he fights so much I can hardly get a good swaddle anymore. The arms are usually half way up by the time I finish. One arm out and gradually is not the way to go I don't think. I want to go cold turkey but am really scared of what will (or won't
happen. He also uses a dummy to sleep but never any other time. That too is a prop which could be bothering his sleep but am not sure if it is a help or hinderance yet.
Can anyone tell me why tracy says it doesn't work to swaddle spirited LO's? Also, what is your experience with swaddling and dummys to sleep.
One last quick thing about activity times. As you can see theere arwe a lot of them and quite long. Various thing are: sitting in his chairs with a rattle or ONE stuffed toy, listening to a song and me singing to him, feeeling different textures and household items together, bouncing and 'walking' on my lap., 'talking' to each other, looking at photos, lying on mummies legs, and 2 minutes a day or so tummy time and a walk in the pram. Not that we do ALL this EVERDAY but they are the things we have going generally. Does it sound like too much? Sometimes I feel he is bored but it could be the opposite too. My partner tends to play with him a hell of a lot, lifting him and singing in his face etc...I try not to critizise because he works all week but I do know it overstimulates him terribly as he is a high energy person. So am I but have really learned to curb it and be soft and low key for my LO. My LO is 3.5 months old.
By the way, yes I do think spiritedness is inherited as we are BOTH quite highly strung, high energy people.
Congrastulations if you have come to the end of this....it is ridiculously long and a bit confusing..sorry. I hope it gives you an idea of what I am doing right and wrong and I would LOVE any help you can offer.