We don’t have a strict routine. Or at least I didn’t think we did until Christmas sneaked up on us and ruined everything. We do have a routine… of sorts but much to my surprise I have gone with the Baby led style of parenting. When the midwife first mentioned this to me I thought she was some do-gooding hippy… I wasn’t going to let my baby decide our routine. The midwife warned me that professionals especially teachers can find it hard to adapt to the flexibility needed in motherhood as babies do not stick to a timetable. I thought she was patronising and unsupportive. She claimed the Gina Ford plan was barbaric and advised that I just let the baby lead the way. I thought she was mad… turns out she was right, (who’d have thought it?)
We tried to instill the Gina Ford routine… it has worked for some of my friends but this backfired for us on the first 9.45pm wake up – Turn on the lights, unwrap the blanket and allow the baby to wake… ERM more like Disturb the lovely quiet baby and reap the consequences with hours of crying and disturbed sleep for the rest of the night! Perhaps she sensed the negative vibes as we had a silent argument in the Nursery…
Mummy checks book… Don’t make eye contact… no talking…
Mummy and Daddy creep into room clutching the Gina Ford Bible (Mummy also has a screen shot on her phone for easy updates.)
Mummy, “What are we supposed to be doing now,” Re-checks book for minute by minute instructions.
Daddy whispers aggressively under breath, “What part of no talking don’t you understand?”
Hormonal mother nearly cries for thirteenth time that day!
We also had fun trying to keep a two week old awake for an hour after the morning bottle… anyone that can do this deserves an award… we had no chance, there was no way that baby was staying awake no matter how many toys we waved at her, rattles we rattled or songs we sung.
As I say, I didn’t really think I had a strict routine… that is until Christmas came along and totally destroyed it sending us into disarray. That coupled with the uninvited guest that came to stay for Christmas…. Teething and needless to say it has been an exhausting week.
I had enjoyed a WHOLE week of the baby sleeping through. Yes, every single night she went down at 8-9pm ish and slept ALL the way through until 7am. I was like a new woman. Practically springing out of bed singing ‘Oh what a beautiful Morning.’ I no longer fantasised about naps, I didn’t cry and crumble into an emotional wreck over the slightest thing. It was like living in a musical where everything sparkled (except my teeth aren’t nearly white enough to be in a musical)
And then it arrived.
Teething. 22nd December and suddenly we were back to week 1. All you smug people out there who are reading this and thinking, See I told you so… I’ve heard all the cliched advice… If you think New born is hard wait til she’s moving… She’ll never sleep through, teething will see to that… Sleep when the baby sleeps… I know they mean well, but really I don’t want to hear that the life that I currently think is the shittest it could be is likely to get shitter by the day… Say goodbye to sleep (with a chuckle) is another… yes I know… I never envisioned how bad the sleep deprivation would be, but come on… give me a break. A white lie never hurt anyone.
Of course her teeth will just slide into place whilst you are all sleeping in your pristine clean and tidy house with…. ha ha yep this definitely ain’t no musical!
So, on the 22nd December our uninvited visitor arrived proving the smug joy spreaders right and setting us up for a Christmas that would be not so merry and bright.
Teething hated the Mums down in Mum-ville they say,
so he snuck down in secret, early Christmas day.
He stole all their sleep, he stole all their dreaming,
he stole all their smiles ,all their giggles and snoozing.
Then he took it all up to the top of Mt. Crumpit,
packed high on his sleigh, he was ready to dump it.
He stared down at Mum-ville!
Teething popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Mum down in Mum-ville, the tall and the small,
Was smiling and singing! Without any sleep at all!
He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And Teething, with his Teeth-pain-ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: ‘How could it be so?’
‘It came without sleep! It came without dreams!’
‘It came as the Mums know how much it means!’
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then Teething thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘means so much more.’
‘So after Christmas … perhaps … ‘I’ll let them all snore!’
And what happened then …?
Well … in Mum-ville they say
That the baby’s small teeth
Grew without pain that day!
So we were already dealing with Teething and then the madness of Christmas descended on us. Which leads me to the question… Did Christmas Break my Baby? Is she teething? Or is she just being a madam? Suddenly we have gone from a baby that sleeps well to one that will not nap (again) we have had our fair share of nap strikes but i thought we’d cracked it. We had got ourselves into a nice routine and then suddenly we are back to square one.
Christmas consisted of the usual floods of visitors and passing around of the baby. I was more than happy to share her around. Photos, presents, kisses, cuddles… she was a delight to be with and made our Christmas extra special this year. But, she didn’t nap properly. She fed sporadically… too nosey to finish a bottle… I didn’t keep proper tabs on her sleep, her bottles… ah well it’s Christmas… yeah that’s great until she’s so tired she has screamed for two hours straight and been majorly sick ALL OVER YOU for the SECOND time that day. I didn’t really think about how three days of family visits would affect her. It was like the early days again. It was so nice to have people helping, but clearly she didn’t agree and eventually it all got too much for her and Mummy had to pick up the pieces! Well wipe up the sick to be precise.
Her piece de resistance had to be whilst sitting at the table for Christmas dinner. I was just about to tuck into my dinner and was encouraged to let her try some veg. She dabbled with broccoli, then cast it to once side. The carrot was smudged, poked and discarded. She honestly didn’t seem that bothered and had already inhaled her My first Sunday Dinner jar. (I would have bought a Christmas edition if they’d made one!) I am well known for being festive and liking to get involved with all festivities… so why not try her with a sprout? Hmmm big mistake. The sprout all but grazed her lip, she took a teeny tiny lizard lick with her tongue and then it started. The all too familiar wretch. The gag reflex. And then the Christmas Spewzilla popped up to wish us a Merry Christmas. True to usual form she managed to cover my arm even though I caught most of it in her giant festive Santa bib! My Christmas dinner had hardly been touched, so I enjoyed it with a side portion of spew and the gentle aroma of baby puke. Cheers! Merry Christmas!
That night after several hours of pass the baby combined with a crazy concoction of teething gels, anbesol, powders and calpol (all at the recommended dose obviously) she was again sick. She’d been changed into her My First Christmas Baby gro and after almost two hours of screaming writhing and refusal to sleep we attempted to give her the calpol. This was an instant regret as the whole of her insides projectiled out with a slight hint of strawberry… thank god for the easily distinguishable reflux rattle as it does give you that all import 2 second head start to grab anything in sight to catch the puke. This is one definite advantage of being untidy as there is always some discarded towel, blanket, muslin, vest or pair of tights within grabbing distance which can (and have) been used to catch a Spewzilla special.
I didn’t think we had a routine until it was well and truly trampled on. I have actually quite enjoyed the other half being back at work in between Christmas and New Year as we have started to get back to normal.
I don’t want to let routines rule my life, but i am more aware of how important it is for all our sakes that she eats and sleeps when she should…
So, the bells of Big Ben have chimed as I have been writing this. I gave my beautiful babba a midnight kiss and have had a silent bet with myself as to how soon into the new year she will be sick. So far it has been 49 minutes… we are doing well.
Wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR
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