May 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm (Baby) (, , , , , , , )

Xander – Standing up on Daddy on the sofa 12.05.09

I’m pleased to report that the sleep training has been an unmitigated success! Xander now has a regular routine and goes down for his morning nap some time between 9.00 and 9.30am without a fuss (a few minutes of crying at the very most) and will happily sleep for anything between 30 minutes and 1hr 30mins! He goes down for his afternoon nap some time between 1.00pm and 1.30pm (if at home – and sometimes closer to 2.00pm if we’re out and about in his buggy) and will sleep for roughly the same amount of time (if his morning nap is long, his afternoon nap is shorter and vice versa). He goes to bed around 7.00pm (give or take five or ten minutes) with a minimum of fuss and will only cry for any length of time if he is overtired, but even then, he’s sound asleep inside of 20 minutes nine times out of ten (and in less than one minute most of the time!).

He’s also sleeping through the night! He’ll wake once or twice but will go back to sleep himself, without us having to go through to see to him, after a few minutes of feeling a little sorry for himself.

“Up time” is any time between about 6.00am and 7.00am (although the other day he was awake at 5.30am and complaining loudly – I waited to see if he would go back to sleep, but at 6.00am he was still crying so I got him up after all).

Our day is now far more structured:

Up some time between 6am and 7am
Breakfast starting some time between 7am and 7.15am
Play time
Put down for nap some time between 9am and 9.30am
Up some time between 10am and 11am
Play time
Lunch at 12pm
Time with Daddy when he gets home from work
Put down for nap some time between 1pm and 1.30pm
Up some time between 2pm and 3pm
Play time
Afternoon snack around 4pm
Dinner at 5pm (he has finger food consisting of a little of whatever we’re having and has a go at feeding himself)
Bath at 6pm
Supper at 6.30pm
Bedtime story, cuddles and quiet songs
Put to bed some time between 6.50pm and 7.10pm after final milk feed

When he naps through the day I’m able to actually get things done! I can do some laundry, do prep for our next meal, do a little cross stitch or perhaps do a little reading if I have the time. I’m actually starting to feel a little more like myself again, which is great, and feel able to accomplish things at long last!

Of course, some days we’re out and about, but we always go out either immediately before or after a nap so that Xander can sleep in the buggy (if it’s nap time) or be wakeful and see everything around him (if he’s just had a nap). We’ve been going to lunch once a month with a group of local Mums and babies for a while now and it’s become much easier since we did the whole sleep training thing. I’m able to schedule appointments and meet with friends more easily because I know roughly when Xander will be waking and when he will need to nap – it’s great being able to see windows in my life where I can schedule activities!

And best of all, my return to work has been delayed by almost a month as I have to use up my accrued full-time annual leave before returning, so that I will only accrue part-time annual leave when I go back, as I’ll only be working afternoons till the end of the year. So now I get to stay home with Xander till 10 July (I expected to return to the officwe on 15 June), which is a Friday, so I’ll only have to work one afternoon my first week back – a nice way to ease back into things! I’m so lucky to have such accommodating employers!

Of course, if I win the lottery between now and then, I won’t be going back at all as I would love to be a Stay-At-Home-Mum if we could only afford it (as things are at the moment, it’s just not possible).

P.S. On a different note – Xander has TWO teeth now! His second tooth poked through the gum next to the first one a week ago and he made very little fuss about it. We’re so proud of our toothy little boy!


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Sleep Training…

May 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm (Baby) (, , , , )

Xander playing with one of his toys this afternoon after his nap

Seeing as how I’ve not been able to sleep for more than 2 1/2 hours straight since I was 20 weeks pregnant, we thought it was best to try and sort out Xander’s sleeping patterns and habits. Up till now, he’s only ever fallen asleep if in the buggy, in the car, on the breast or, after breastfeeding, on my shoulder, and that’s not good. We did try to use Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution but it categorically DID NOT work for us. I’m sure other people have found it useful, but all it succeeded in doing for us was to get me more and more frustrated and stressed out whilst making not a jot of difference to Xander’s ability to go to sleep by himself.

So we finally accepted defeat and decided to try what I wanted to avoid if at all possible – controlled crying. To do this, we had to move Xander’s cot out of our bedroom and into his nursery, which felt really strange – I’m used to having him sleeping right next to me where I can see him.

It took us a while to actually find information on how, exactly, to go about it, but once we had the know-how, we made a start on Sunday past. Xander got put in his cot on Sunday night and cried for an hour before falling asleep. He then woke half an hour later and cried for another hour before sleeping. He slept till midnight but then wanted to be fed. After breastfeeding, he cried and slept, off and on, all night till about 6am when he went to sleep and stayed that way till 8am (an hour later than I’d meant for him to sleep, but I slept too, and only woke when he was crying again – oops!).

Throughout Monday, we continued the controlled crying for his morning and afternoon naps, at both of which he screamed for an hour then slept for about 10 or 15 minutes total.

Monday night, he clicked halfway through his bath that bedtime was approaching and got very upset! He cried all through his supper and then we put him in his cot at 6.50pm. He cried for exactly two minutes and then fell asleep! He didn’t wake up till 3.55am, whimpered for a couple of minutes and went back to sleep without having a night feed! He then slept till 7am on the dot!

At nap time this morning, I put him in his cot at 9.10am and he cried for 50 minutes (I went in after 40 minutes as per the schedule and had to move him back down his cot and put his blankets over him again as he’d squiggled his way right up!), but then slept for 40 minutes (I had to move the blankets up to cover him as he’d moved again). Not too bad. This afternoon, we put laid him down at 1.15pm and he cried as I was leaving. I went into the kitchen to put the milk I’d expressed into the fridge. When I came out again, he’d stopped crying. I waited 10 minutes just to be sure and then checked on him – he was out like a light! He hadn’t even moved so I didn’t have to move his blankets at all. He slept soundly till 2.55pm.

So, now we just have to see how he does tonight. Fingers crossed that he goes down without too much fuss and sleeps quickly, soundly, and through the night!

P.S. He seems to have forgiven me for leaving him in his own room all alone as after a little coaxing he actually gave me a grin and a kiss. 🙂

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October 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm (Baby) (, , , )

Xander and me at my computer this afternoon!

Today saw something of a major achievement – not only did we have a pretty good night with feeds only at around 11.30pm and 3am before sleeping right through till 6.30am, but I managed to get up, get showered, do my face and hair, and take Xander to the doctors’ surgery to see the Health Visitor all by myself! And it was a good visit as Xander now weighs 9lbs 5.5oz, so he’s gained half a pound in a week! If that’s not the sign of a healthy, growing boy, I don’t know what is! Unfortunately I noticed this morning that he’d picked up a touch of thrush. Fortunately, it’s only a little bit (we’ve caught it very early) and it’s easily treatable with drops.

Of course, while we were at the pharmacy picking up the prescription, Xander started complaining rather loudly that his mother was starving him! It’s a good job we live just around the corner – although he fell back to sleep in his buggy on the way home anyway, so I didn’t have to hear his pitiful cries all the way home after all!

This afternoon, my old boss, Sandra, will be coming to visit. Xander has just been fed again and is pretty much snoozing on my shoulder as I type, so she may well be able to get a little cuddle before I put him down…

PS Please forgive any typos – I’m typing one-handedly whilst cradling my adorable boy against me!

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Sleepless in Scotland…

October 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm (Baby) (, , , , )

Post-lunch nap (4/10/08)

Xander having his afternoon nap today

It’s been a tough few days since we got home from the hospital. Getting into the habit of sleeping when Xander sleeps is a big adjustment for both Dale and myself and it hasn’t helped that Xander seemed to be deciding that night-time is party-time!

The first two nights at home were pretty nightmarish, with both my devoted hubby and I resembling extras from a George A Romero film and almost collapsing with sheer exhaustion. However, the midwife came for a visit and offered a few suggestions. That night was a little better than the two preceding it, but we were still very tired. Last night, however, was wonderful – Xander only woke to feed and have his nappy changed, then went back to sleep again within about twenty minutes of finishing. Dale had a very peaceful night and I woke up this morning feeling more rested and refreshed than I have in several months – and this was despite going to bed with a stonker of a headache last night!

The only other difficulty, really, has been breast feeding. The first few feeds, whilst still in the hospital, were fine, as he wasn’t very well and didn’t have the strength to fight or wriggle about too much. By the third day, he was becoming impatient and fractious when it came time to feed and would have trouble getting latched on, so I ended up with very grazed, sore nipples for a couple of days. However, after expressing a little to give him via syringe, he calmed down a bit and was able to get onto the breast a little easier.

Once my milk came in, however, it was a different story (it was a little delayed due to the C-section), things happened much more easily (I woke up one morning with a nightie that was soaked all down the front where I’d had a leak of epic proportions – totally Niagara Falls!) and we hit on a good position (with Xander under my arm like a rugby ball) and he’s gone on like a dream ever since. He’s certainly a good feeder!

Since getting home, we’ve just been concentrating on trying to get into some kind of routine and accepting visits from family (all his grandparents adore him already – my Mam and Step-Dad came up with my Grom while I was in labour and saw Xander briefly after he was born, but had to head back to Northumberland; they’ll be coming back next weekend to visit again; Dale’s parents came round to visit yesterday afternoon; and my Dad gets sparkly-wet eyes whenever he looks at his grandson). Auntie Leni absolutely adores her wee nephew too! Then again, when a baby is this adorable, how can anyone possibly resist?

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Rude awakening

June 14, 2008 at 8:23 am (Life gets in the way...) (, , , , )

An open letter to the git who disturbed our sleep last night:

Dear Inconsiderate Bastard,

Who on earth did you think you were phoning that made you think it’s alright to call someone at 2.10am? I fully accept that it may have been a case of “wrong number” but that doesn’t excuse you from being so rude as to hang up on me when I picked up the phone and groggily said, “Hello?”  after I was so rudely awoken, nor does it explain why you would be calling someone at stupid-o-clock in the morning.

It’s bad enough that we have our wake-up time dictated to us by the noisy brats who live upstairs and start thumping around as soon as they wake, and worse still that I already have interrupted sleep due to night-time pregnancy peeing, not to mention the fact that my husband has to get up at 3.30am as he’s a postie, but to also have someone call us and disturb our broken sleep even further is just not on.

I don’t care if you were drunk or high – just don’t call people at such an inhospitable hour – the only time that kind of call is acceptable is in an emergency and this was clearly not one.

If I ever find out who you are, I shall make a point of calling you every time my baby wakes crying in the middle of the night and let you hear the wailing. I think that’s the only fair exchange.

I hope, for your sake, that you lose your phone before the baby is born because if it takes after its mother, it’ll have a set of lungs on it beyond compare!

Consider this a sincere warning.
Very tired Kell.

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