Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Thursday, 15 December 2011


I wrote a while ago about how I found myself behaving in a slightly hippymum-type way. Screw that. I am officially bored of night feeds. One, I can cope with. Two, not so much.

Until now, I have been taking the path of least resistance with regards to nighttime - if the quickest way to get The Littl'un back to sleep is to stick a boob in her face, then a boob in her face she will get. That way I get back to bed sooner. But it was all starting to get to me, not necessarily the lack of sleep, but knowing that she would need me, and only me, twice a night, every night for the rest of her life. OK, maybe not, but that was what it was starting to feel like. So, after a delightful night on Tuesday, where she wanted feeding three times between the hours of 11pm and 7am, and threw a charming mini-tantrum after each one, I decided to a change of approach was needed. I didn't want to let her cry, not really for ideological reasons, but more because I'm not about to do anything to increase the already very good chance that The Toddler will wake up and demand a wee, or a drink, or a song. Instead, I have decided to try the jiggle-rock-cuddle-or-whatever-else-might-send-you-to-sleep-because-I'm-sure-as-hell-not-feeding-you-until-I-am-100%-sure-you-are-definitely-hungry approach. The title may need work, I appreciate that.

For last night, at least, I can call it a tentative win. Yes, The Littl'un ended up in my bed kicking me in the stomach, my arm has a strange deadness to it from rocking her back and forth and not being allowed to relax my hold for a second, and I have that slightly other-wordly feeling that comes from sleeping in two-hour chunks, BUT, we got until nearly 5am before a feed, which gives me hope that she actually doesn't really need two feeds a night, and is just looking for comfort when she first wakes up and not milk. I am being cautious in my optimism though. I know only too well how babies like to make you think they're co-operating, only to mix it all up again the next day. Besides, if I've got to do the same tonight, it will be a big test. I'm very very tired, and the temptation to sit down and snuggle into a blanket feeding rather than walking up and down in the cold jiggling a baby who gets heavier by the second may prove just too great. But I really hope that we're on the road to ditching a feed, and that soon I will be happier.

Because that's the thing. I'm not doing this because of any notion that she "should" be sleeping through, or that I'm somehow doing something wrong by allowing her "still" to feed on demand. I'm doing it because it was starting to make me unhappy. I was perfectly happy doing what we were doing, but now I am not, so I'm going to change it. And that, in my terribly unimportant opinion, should always be the tipping point. Other people will try and tell you that babies need this, or should be doing that, or that you need to develop good habits and drop bad ones, but they are not the ones living your life and dealing with your baby. It's not a problem until you decide it is.

So wish me luck. Hopefully I'll soon be able to report that The Littl'un is sleeping better. Or at least that I can now kick Husband out of bed to deal with her too. And then once that's settled, perhaps we can look at making The Toddler realise that 3am is not the time for "Jingle Bells".

1 comment:

  1. you're doing great! Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. I was the same, giving in to the baby everytime to avoid the toddler waking up! Now my youngest sleeps beautifully (much better and longer than the older one), it did him no harm. I hope for your sake the same will happen!