Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Share in my cautious joy!

on February 13, 2012

Well, our little Monkey has had a rather interesting day and I just wanted to share with you that I’m feeling ever so slightly happy. Now, of course, that I’m daring to type all this – he’ll probably kill my cautiously joyous feeling by waking up howling, dreadfully, but…

Ok, basically, Monkey is a gorgeous, very happy little lad who just doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t really even nap unless he’s in the car. I’d like to say that he naps in the pram, but that’s usually once he’s been taken out of the car. If he’s just in the pram then, no. The world is obviously far, far too fascinating and he’s not going to miss a single, little teeny, tiny bit of it!

When he was very tiny, he had dreadful colic. The sort where they cry pitifully for hours on end, pulling their tiny little legs up to their chests and it’s just heartbreaking to hear. We did all that we could. Bought all the special bottles (which helped a bit), tried various remedies and medicines, but nothing really worked. It did go after the magic three months, but the poor little thing couldn’t sleep as he was in so much pain and, therefore, neither could we. Add to that the fact that he really suffers with reflux and, well, it was one hell of a crash course in parenting for the two of us!!!

The only way that Monkey could get any sleep, comfortably, was by being on his front in an elevated position and the best way to achieve this was if he slept on me. Now, I know that co-sleeping is a hotly debated subject. There are some people that avidly support it and others that are very much against it. If it’s something that you choose to do, there are very clear and sensible guidelines out there for you to ensure the safety of your baby and I’d strongly advise that you do your research. We found that it gave him a better quality of sleep, as well as us, but I did generally stay awake watching and listening to him quite closely – like any paranoid first-time mummy!!! We didn’t have to do it every night and it wasn’t for the whole night. He often went down in his basket/crib first, but then his colic used to hit at about midnight.

Monkey is also a 90% breastfed baby (he has a little bit of prescription formula when needed due to my weak milk supply). This means that he gets an awful lot of comfort from being with Mummy. The upshot of all of this is that he now thinks that the ONLY place that he can nap/fall asleep is on me. We’ve gradually been starting to get him to realise that there are other places that are ok too. He’s happy to fall asleep on his Daddy every now and then, but I’m preferable for obvious reasons! Some people would argue that we should have been stricter with him from a younger age, but we’re very baby-led in this household and he’s still not even six months old. I have purposefully not followed any specific book or plan as I knew that they would drive me nuts and grate on me. I would probably have berated myself horribly if Monkey hadn’t quite fitted into a certain routine or style and I’ve found parenting in a more natural, relaxed way has really suited all of us.

So, today was the start of a new phase for Monkey. He’s off to nursery for a couple of days a week soon and needs to learn to nap without me, so when it was nap time, he went down into his cot. Oooh, he wasn’t very impressed at all. He got cuddles, a feed, and then back in his cot again and this continued for a while. I never let him cry it out (something I strongly disagree with) but if he was just having a bit of a whinge he wasn’t picked up. He actually got the message without it turning into a full on battle of wills and we got about half an hour’s nap. That’s amazing! I was very impressed with him. Needless to say when he woke up, he was very VERY annoyed, but soon calmed down after a nice game of raspberries on tummies!

This afternoon he started to get all dopey at around five. So we played! And we played and played, and PLAYED! We read books, we sang songs, we bounced around, we did everything I could possibly think of to keep him awake!!! Then we had tea, had a bath where we played some more. He got incredibly excited and doubts started to creep in that maybe, just maybe, I’d made him overtired. That wouldn’t be good…

After that, I dimmed all the lights (as usual) and he got an extra long massage. For the first time ever he actually started yawning during it and properly unwound. I could feel him melting under my fingertips, which was really nice. I just use organic sunflower oil when I’m massaging him but added just the tiniest amount of lavender to it, which smelt gorgeous.

He got his usual feed, but as he went dopey I popped in a dummy. Now, this is where I know lots of people would disagree with me. I don’t like dummies at all, I really don’t, but I’ve wanted Monkey to take one for a while for various reasons. He’s a thumb sucker and I would prefer him to suck on an orthodontic dummy that I can eventually take away. He’s also a comfort sucker and he needs to learn to settle without needing a breast. So, I popped one in and that’s where, usually, he spits it out and gets very annoyed.

But not tonight. Tonight he took it. And fell deeply asleep.

And he’s still asleep…

Hopefully this is the start of something good…wish us luck!

(and hopefully I’ve not jinxed it by putting up this post!)

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2 responses to “Share in my cautious joy!

  1. Your post made me smile ! I wrote a post about my baby’s sleeping habits as well and I thought the same thing: I hope I am not going to ruin it ! She has been good so far…;)

  2. Sarah says:

    excellent – I remember that battle to teach dd2 to sleep on her own, took a while but it worked, she’s a great sleeper now age 3 and half and has been for a couple of years. well done.

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