Confessions of a Sleep Consultant: The Jett Diaries; Week Six

Parenthood is a constant string of first experiences; for our children also.

This week, Jett caught his first cold. Poor little guy sounds like a pot bellied pig when he is feeding, and we can now add snoring like a freight train to his night-time repertoire (among the dulcet tones of  farting, squirming, and grunting). He refuses to be put down for longer than 2 minutes, and has been crying…. a lot. And if this is not enough, let’s throw in a 6 week growth spurt  smack bang in the middle of a stormy patch; aka mental leap one.

Yes, I am tired, but I remind myself to have empathy on this little baby human; how vastly different things must be for him after 9 months floating around in a toasty warm bath tub, being fed intravenously, and rocked to sleep 24/7. I can only imagine the shock of adjusting to being earth-side to be similar to when I discovered Lachy and Emma from The Wiggles were engaged.

Routine helps. However, it is extremely tricky to expect a consistent sleep routine in place in the first 3-4 months. Sleeping patterns are naturally inconsistent as our babies are establishing their circadian rhythm. Personally, I choose to feed on demand and honour their need for a fourth trimester, than have them on a strict hourly schedule; I have tried the latter with my previous children and it’s always ended in tears (mine and theirs!).

Babies thrive on routine and consistency. We don’t need to have our babies on a schedule as such, but setting up healthy sleep associations (e.g. white noise, swaddle, darkened room, song/book etc) can be extremely effective for letting our babies know it is bedtime. Responding to our babies in a consistent manner when they cry, also helps foster secure attachment and builds trust, safety and security – essential for our baby’s wellbeing (and believe it or not, this will encourage better sleep for the long-term).

It’s impossible to spoil a baby in the first three months, and same is true for responding to your babies needs in times of illness, leaps, (and teething to an extent). In fact; the reasons our children become so ‘clingy’ at these times is physiological, as much as for comfort. Holding our babies close (e.g. baby wearing)  can help raise their antibody production and temperature (essential for fighting off illness). 

For anyone interested in my current daily routine, it goes a little something like this…

6:00-6:30 am

– Wake up after doing the graveyard shift (6 week growth spurt, developmental leap and head cold = awake; crying and feeding every 1.5hrs)
– Get screaming Mr 2 from cot, change pooey nappy, administer a change of clothes
– soak shitty pj’s  and sleeping bag in laundry, change sheets
– kiss (almost) Miss 4 good morning, remind her (like a broken record) to turn off her night light, heater and make her bed
– empty her potty full of wee into the upstairs toilet (usually spilling some along the way)
– attend to screaming (sick) baby

 

7:00-7:30 am

– Breakfast service; weetbix, honey toast and PODlife protein shakes prepared en masse
-Wild, hungry screaming children claw at my legs for attention whilst I am wearing the newborn like a mother kangaroo
– make coffee and eat left over scraps of kids’ toast
– chase Mr 2 around house with wipes before he covers everything in honey and mushed weetbix
– Clean food off kids, table, chairs, floor, bench and cupboards

 

8:00-8:45 am

– play referee between children bickering over a toy aeroplane
– empty dishwasher and load up again
-reply to client emails with one hand, whilst breastfeeding baby in the other
-put on a load of washing and load up the dryer
-answer door for Woolworths delivery man with one breast hanging out
– Dress children for childcare/kinder
-Change yet another pooey nappy, whilst Mr 2 escapes with remnants still on his bottom as he climbs all over couch
– clean poo from couch
Ponder: is it too early for a wine?
– drink stone cold coffee instead
– change baby nappy
– take out over-flowing rubbish bins
– attempt shower whilst baby screams
– change another pooey nappy
– attend to screams from Mr 2 as he takes a tumble down the stairs
– make lunches and pack bags
– put away Woolworths delivery – realising the only two things you desperately needed are out of stock
– Referee again
– do daughter’s hair in ‘Ana’ plaits (5 times before they are acceptable to her standards)
– search for kids shoes for ten minutes, before realising they are still in the car from yesterday
– search high and low for car keys.. only to find them in the walk in robe (?)


8:45-9:15 am

kinder/childcare drop
– get caught in torrential rain on the only day I bothered to blow-dry my hair
– note to self; must hunt down Murphy (and his law) and have a serious chat

 

9:30 am

– drive to pilates (baby finally asleep)
– Baby wakes up within mins of arriving
– breastfeed and change nappy
– refuses to settle
-leave pilates after 30 minutes and drive home with screaming baby
Ponder: surely it is 12 pm somewhere in the world; hence making it perfectly acceptable to have a wine now?

 

10:15 am – 2:45 am– try to settle baby in bassinet (to no avail)
– empy clothes from dryer, load up again
– fold washing whilst wearing baby and bouncing up and down
– multi tasking like a boss as I breast feed baby whilst putting  away folded washing
– try to put Jett in bassinet to sleep 5 x without success
– Ponder whether it would be acceptable to have a wine, seeing it’s now 12:05pm
-prepare dinner whilst baby wearing
– lunch consists of sampling dinner
– emails, client calls, paperwork whilst baby wearing
– attempt what feels like 100 x to complete this blog entry… without success

 

3:00pm- 4:00pm

– Pick up Miss 4 from Kinder and Mr 2 from Childcare
– humour two very overtired, hypoglycemic children until dinner time
– more nappy changes, multi tasking breastfeeds, and refereeing

 

5:00pm

– Dinner service
– spend 45 minutes in tense negotiations; counting number of mouthfuls until dessert is warranted
– Repeat each step as outlined in breakfast service above

 

6:00-6:30pm

– Bath Miss 4, and Mr 2, and chase them around the house naked trying to get them into pjs before they piss all over the carpet/couch
– Brush teeth, read stories,
– enter negotiations on how many books to be read
– kisses goodnight
can expect to repeat last two steps as necessary 

 

7:00 pm

– Pour a glass of wine and scull
– Attempt yet again to finish blog (whilst trying to bounce screaming snorting baby to sleep)
– Give up on blog
– Get ready for bed myself

 

8:00-8:30 pm

– In bed asleep (with Jett) and ready to repeat for the next day!

 

Disclaimer: Yes, my house is messy. Yes, I haven’t had a decent sleep in a while. Yes, I sometimes smell as though I haven’t had a shower in days (because I haven’t). Yes, at times I find my baby’s cries and children’s demands stressful, and yes my memory is about as competent as a goldfish… but I know all too well that this does, and will pass. And this most likely is the very last time I will experience this very reality (as Jett is most likely our last child). Before I know it, my house will be empty. There will be no little grunts keeping me awake at night; no more early morning (or late night) visitors, no more messy fingerprints to clean from the walls, no more kids meals to prepare, or to clean up after…. and then I will be longing for just one more day of this routine…

 

Until next week…

With love,
Sophie & Jett xoxox

 

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