When Isabella was newborn she slept all day and would wake up every hour in the night. It was like doing a night shift every night, just without the double pay. It’s not even like I could sleep in the day because she wouldn’t be put down. She would wake up to feed, have a dirty nappy, need feeding back to sleep, then have another dirty nappy. I’m sure every new mum can relate to this. I would spend half an hour singing and cuddling her to sleep, then put her down ever so gently for her to scream the house down. It’s like hell on earth and you think back to when you could sleep all the way through from 10 until 8, wondering why you weren’t more grateful. I would be so happy for 6 am to come around so I knew it was an acceptable time to get up and I didn’t have to do the whole feed, nappy, feed routine. Looking back on pictures I didn’t realise quite how deathly I looked at the time.
Anyway, fast forwarding 5 months, she now generally goes down at about 9/10, wakes up for a dream feed at 3/4 then sleeps until 6/7. Not an A* baby but I’m more than happy with that. The day is where the problem lies. I’m so jealous of people who can just put their baby down and they’ll go to sleep because they’re tired. Not Isabella. I put her down in her cot in the day in her sleepyhead, suit, dummy, pull the curtains etc and she just looks at me like ‘you’re having a laugh aren’t you?’ And screams. And screams. And screams a bit more. Until I feel like the worst Mum in the world and give her a cuddle. We’ve got everything. We’ve got Ewan the sheep, we’ve got a lamb skin pram liner but she hates going for walks, swinging chairs, slings, the lot. Nothing works. The only thing that does it is feeding (even then I’ll only get 20 minutes out of her at most) and the movement of the car. I find myself just taking her for a drive at 11/12 when she gets tired then sitting in the car outside the house for an hour.
I’m grateful I can now actually put her down and she’ll entertain herself with her toys instead of needing to be held constantly. Now she has grown out of her colic and reflux which she suffered really badly with, I can’t complain because she’s the happiest little thing. She is so interactive, smiley and chatty. She makes me laugh so much with her sounds and facial expressions. Especially the way she kicks her legs and screeches when she gets excited. I really do feel like the luckiest mummy in the world and it makes all the hard bits well worth it.
The last few nights I’ve been trying to get a routine in place of bath at 7 then bed at 8. It’s going to take time as she really doesn’t want to go down at that time and she’s got into a habit of sleeping on me in the evening but it’ll pay off eventually! (I hope anyway).