I have ALWAYS wanted to be a Mummy and I’ve always had this vision of what sort of Mummy I would be, loving (obviously), nurturing, caring, fun – all the good stuff really. But aside from this I was going to be organised!! As soon as I found out I was pregnant I bought Gina Ford’s Contented Little Baby and I was loaned The Baby Whisperer. Upon reading both I decided I would take a little bit of guidance from both parenting styles but first and foremost, our baby would fit around our life, not us around the baby!!
Well let me tell you, that lasted all of one day when we got home from hospital! ONE DAY! It was just far too regimented – don’t get me wrong I know for some families this method really works but for me, for our family we decided to ditch the books and just go with the flow. I breastfed Baby Bean for the first 5 months (until the milking parlour ran dry!) and during that time I just totally followed my “mother’s intuition” – within days of being home I soon learnt to “read” Baby Beans cries and know which ones meant she was hungry, wet, tired or just plain bored and I’m happy to say that on listening to myself and my baby I have had the most content little girl I could imagine. People used to visit and couldn’t believe how she would just sit so happily in her bouncer watching the world move around her and not moan or cry. She really hasn’t been a crier, UNLESS there really is something wrong.
I have ALWAYS put Baby Bean to bed when she is awake and this has to be my BIGGEST TIP to any new parent. We have never had to endlessly rock or sing her to sleep, we just observed and noted when she was getting tired and acted on it immediately to avoid the overtired stresses a baby (and parent) can suffer! When Baby Bean got tired there would be the usual yawns and rubbing of eyes but the biggest sign was and STILL IS the seven mile stare. One minute she can be playing happily, the next her eyes have glazed over and she has ventured into a different universe. As she has got older, the other hint for her getting tired is she gets louder and more manic! As soon as that strikes she goes straight to bed for “sleepy time” and 99% of the time she will just lay there quietly until she drifts off to sleep.
That is, until this morning!!! She woke slightly earlier this morning, 8am instead of 8.30am (I know I’m very lucky!) but by about 10am we had all the signals, rubbing her eyes, staring off into space, laying her head on the cushions and generally just lolling about. So I picked her up and took her upstairs telling her it was “sleepy time” but after 45 minutes of chattering quietly to herself she decided to start kicking the side of her cot and making loud squealing animal noises. I tried going upstairs and laying her down again, telling her “no sleepy time!” but after 15 minutes, no sleepies! So I caved in, I went upstairs and took her out of her bed. But for the next 15 minutes, everything made her cry uncontrollably, the top that I had chosen for her to wear, the socks that were obviously the wrong colour, the teddy which looked at her wrong, Mummy because I was “there” so I said to myself, trust your instincts, SHE IS TIRED! So I put her back into bed and within 5 minutes, she was fast asleep! That was nearly 2 hours ago!!!!!
So when you’re next doubting yourself and your decisions for your children – TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!! Mine rarely fail me. Nobody knows your children like you do so believe in yourself!
Right I’m off for a cuppa before she wakes up and bedlam is restored! x