Saturday, February 21, 2009

7am - Look no dummys!

The first hour was the worst. Nice Man shh-ed and coo-ed to Mr Hugh as he tried to get to sleep on his own for the first time - that is, tried to sleep without the aid of dummy or breast milk. It was hard but it worked. Once asleep he slept better and even had spells of contented babbling in the cot at night. No more holding our breath, waiting for the dummy to fall out. He still put up a fight at his morning nap, but it was less of a fight. I'm hoping we've turned a corner or qualified for some gold stars or something.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Cold Turkey and the Dummy?

I take it all back. I will not complain about getting up at 7am, if that's what Mr Hugh needs to get his wee (almost) 4 month-old body into a proper sleep/wake/feed routine.

We gave him a 'dummy' (or pacifier) to help him through his awful colic (at 6 weeks old) and now, almost shamefully, I can see that he needs to go to Dummy-holics Anonymous and stand up (okay, lie down) and say, My name is Mr Hugh and I am a... (Well, he can no longer get to sleep without his dummy). Other babies in the room will nod sagely and gurgle support.

What is the problem, you may ask? Well, now Mr Hugh wakes up every 1-2 hours crying to be replugged with the dummy. Since we don't have a machine or a small monkey to do this, it means myself and Nice Man are wakened 8 or 10 times a night (it's almost worse than the newborn phase). This would likely go on for another few months until Mr Hugh could put it back in himself.

So, after obsessive reading of the Internet and asking everyone (including the gas man) about dummy weaning, it seems Cold Turkey may be the most effective method. The thought is stomach-lurching for me. I see how much he cries when he wants it.

Of course, you have to be resolute once you start, and we will try to follow the Baby Whisperer's tools / methodology, which mean that you stay with, and gently support, your baby while it cries, as opposed to closing the door, but, ouch ouch ouch, you can expect baby to put up wailing protests every time (even for an hour or two) until you teach him/her to sleep on their own. It may take about a week before Mr Hugh can say, Dummy? What's a dummy?

Apparently, allegedly, this is the best gift to teach the baby and it should sleep better after this. But oh, I am dreading it. I don't see any other way around it. Surely we will be doing him a favour in the long run? My sister had to implement a similar strategy when her baby started waking-to-feed five times a night. They don't need it at this age. It's a habit you have to wean them off.

Wish us luck and resolve. I'm feart.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

7 until 7? Is it madness?

So, I've been reading the baby books again - this time 'The Baby Whisperer' by Tracy Hogg. It seems to make more sense and isn't as scary as the infamous Gina Ford. However, I have one stalling point. All the books aim to get your baby to sleep 7pm to 7am.

Now, my own family were never early-wakers, and, my whole life long, I have never risen before 8am (ie 8am in school days). People in America and England get up at 6 or 7am. Not us Celtic types. Nooo. We like to get up about 9 or 10am (or 8am if we have school kids). Likewise, I don't want to have to fall into bed at 9pm, when all the good programmes are starting on TV. I love the quiet hours between 11pm to midnight and beyond.

So, when the baby books tell you to get up at 7am it all seems a bit of a cold shower. Can't we have 8 till 8? Or 8 till 9am? Anyway, Hugh has started to comply by sleeping earlier (currently 8 or 9pm). He then thinks it's fun to wake up at 1am, 5am and then 2 or 3 times after that. I keep looking for answers in The Baby Whisperer, while trying not to read the bit that says 'Get up at 7am'. Is that cheating?

Yikes, it's gone 11pm. You see? I feel pressured to get myself off to bed now, instead of chatting to you folks.

I took Hugh to a local Gaelic-speaking playgroup today. They called him Ùisdean, which is Gaelic for Hugh. I love that name, but no one would ever be able to pronounce it. And I thought my name was tricky. Anyway, I tried to look like I knew the words when everyone sang The Wheels on the Bus in Gaelic.

Okay, better go. Sleep pressure! Gute Nacht. That's German for Good Night instead.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Shout We Are

I am having my usual 'five o'clock wilt' (delayed effects of sleep deprivation) but I found pockets of joy earlier.

I took Hugh to 'Bounce and Rhyme' at the library, where a room full of mothers sat on orange carpets with babies plonked on their laps. We sang dumb nursery rhymes and pretended like our babies could sing too. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (A few of the toddlers had only just mastered the art of clapping). The babies drooled and let their heads wobble gently as they gazed around the room and absorbed it all, neurones buzzing. If you're happy and you know it, shout We Are. I instructed Mr Hugh to gurgle it for me as I was all choked up with happiness tears. That's babies for ya.


Monday, February 02, 2009

How much for my eco guilt?

So Nice Man has to go away on a business trip in March and I looked up possible flights to my sister's in England. BMI Baby would charge me £27.98 return (huge bargain apart from the tax of my eco-guilt. I know, I know...). But get this - an infant (ie Mr Hugh) would cost £30 return. He doesn't even get his own seat (he'd have to wriggle in my lap). What is that all about?!

It's enough to make me take the train in protest.

Our snow went all sleety and didn't lie. Aww.


Okay, now I'm really feeling hypocritical. Sneaky wee internal flights are one thing when they are anonymous. As soon as I declare such an intention publicly, the irony is inescapable. We have a baby boy. I should be minimising our carbon footprints at every oppor-chancity. We should get the train...