Sleep. If you don’t have it, you want it. If you have it, you just want more of it.
A friend of mine said to me the other day, ‘How old do you think our kids will be before we stop obsessing about their sleep?’
I don’t know the answer to that.
I try to be relaxed about sleep and routines and so on. Baby has a gentle daily rhythm which I do my best to support each day. It starts whenever she wakes up, and we just flow through the day from there. An average day looks like this:
7am: Baby wakes up, breastfeed
9am: Morning nap
10.30am: Play time
12.30pm: Afternoon nap
2pm: Breastfeed and playtime
3pm: Walk or outing
6.30pm: Bath, play, storytime
Baby has dropped her third nap now so after she wakes from her second sleep it’s a long stretch through to bedtime. I try to plan outings for the afternoon now she is awake for so long. She will often have a nap if we are out and about, either in the car, sling or pram.
It changes a little each day… this morning she woke at 6.30am, went back to sleep at 8.45am and woke at 10.45am. She is playing on her mat now, quietly exploring. She has accidentally hooked a toy onto the leg of her shorts and is wondering why she can’t throw it away.
We never wanted to be the type of parents who couldn’t leave the house at particular times because of the baby sleeping… after our weekend however I am now sitting on the fence on this one! On Saturday night we went out for my family Christmas get together and got home at 9.30pm. Not exactly a raging night? Baby fell asleep in the car and I managed to gently ease her out of the seat and made it all the way to the cot. As I was lowering her down, one eye peeked open, the face screwed up and the tears came flooding. She was so exhausted this continued well into the night. I breastfed for what seemed like hours. Every time I would try to ease her back into her cot she would wake again, shaking and crying. By 2.30am she had only slept for one hour in her cot, but finally drifted off. Last night she woke three times.
I have to continually remind myself to be patient, and enjoy the night cuddles as although it feels like I have been stumbling around in the night for eternity at the moment, I know I will look back on this time and realise it was over in a flash.