"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Routine update...

Five days in and I think we may be getting somewhere.  I have managed to extend his feeds from 3 hourly to (mostly) 4 hourly, and he has stopped catnapping and now sleeps for around 1.5-2 hours at a stretch (as per routine below).  So two successes there.

What is still being worked on is the self-settling but he has not used the breast to go to sleep for 3 days now.  Not that I can't say I haven't been tempted to let him have a little feed when he is screaming very loudly in objection at being put to bed.  The longest he has gone is 1 hour - quite a few times - but this morning it was 30 minutes and this afternoon it was 15 minutes.  I do not believe in controlled crying at this age so am trying a mixture of ssshhhhhing while patting and picking up if he gets really distressed but putting him back down still awake, which usually results in crying again but I am trying to break a habit not create a new one, so am sticking with him going into bed awake even if it takes me an hour sat there each time.  Am hoping that today's reduction in the time it has taken for Nathaniel to go to sleep is a turning point and he will be completely self-settling by next weekend.

The other difficulty that I have found with the routine is sticking to the times, which isn't the end of the world as he is mostly in a 4 hourly EASY (Baby Whisperer) routine but the problem is that I also need to be able to fit a toddler and her activities/clubs into the day, which is why timings are very helpful.  However, I am hopeful that once Nathaniel is sleeping as soon as he is put down and being more consistent in his feed times, the actual timings of the day can be more easily predicted and organised around activities of the day.  Give me a little longer (1-2 weeks) and we will be there.

In the meantime, I have another busy week but all in a good way - meeting friends and going to new baby/toddler groups - loving maternity leave!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Time for a routine

The 'Back to School' day arrives and I have decided that after all the chaos (and fun) of the last six weeks, we now need to get back to the routine.  I am used to the working routine and getting the kids to all their various places on time, but I am currently a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) and need a new routine.   More importantly, Nathaniel needs a routine as he is nearly 4 months old now.  Unfortunately, over the last 6 weeks, he (like the rest of us) has got used to the go-with-the-flow of the holidays, so it might come of a bit of a shock when nasty Mummy puts him into a routine.

I'm happy just as things are, thank you, Mummy

Where to start with the routine?  Well, for the first morning in quite a while, I had to set the alarm clock to ensure that my girls were up and ready to get to school on time, so I decided that Nathaniel could also get up with the alarm and that was my starting point.  I have since written a routine for him (and Hannah and I) and we will see how it fits in with daily life.  The great thing is that I can adapt it if it doesn't work but the essential thing is to have a routine so that we all know what we are doing when.

So this is what I have come up with and tomorrow we will see how it works (or doesn't!):

Nathaniel and Hannah up and feed
Nathaniel and Hannah dressed and have playtime
Girls go to school.  Housework
Nathaniel down for a sleep.  Playtime with Hannah.
Nathaniel awake and feed
Go out to baby clubs, friends, park etc
Nathaniel down for a sleep.  Hannah has lunch and play
Nathaniel awake and feed
Go out if weather good or playtime inside
Nathaniel short sleep.  Cook dinner
Nathaniel awake and feed
Dinner for everyone
Nathaniel and Hannah have bath
Hannah in bed
Nathaniel feed and down for night sleep
Janette does 2-3 hours work

On top of this, I have really got to get Nathaniel to self-settle to sleep quite quickly as I will be away from my little boy for three days next month while I am on a training course, and I don't think that any babysitter will want him chewing on their breast!  Going to be a tough week (at least) I think but so worth it in the long run.  Will let you know how it goes.