“You really need to get him to self-settle.”
“You’re making a rod for your own back.”
“Babies need comfort and cuddles so you shouldn’t leave baby to cry.”
"Of course babies should be cuddled to sleep."
“If he only settles on your boob – what will you do when you stop breastfeeding?”
“Once baby number 2 comes, what are you going to do?”
MINE-F-FIELD. Vodka for breakfast sounds quite appealing right now. So seems the boobs were as I always thought – a magic, comfort inducing sleep miracle that when you take away, means it is pretty tough to get a toddler to sleep without shushing, cuddling, singing - and begging.
I’m still feeling quite emotional about stopping breastfeeding and will randomly cry at different times of the day, like when I see breast pads in my wardrobe. Though I did give myself a talking to then. But like I said in my post last week, it became such a part of my life, it’s been really hard to let go. I thought Rafe was managing well – and I think he is – luckily he loves cow’s milk and enjoys his drink before bed. But getting him to actually settle is really quite hard – which I knew it would be. He would nurse for a while, become sleepy and had been quite easy to put down for a while (most of the time). I think sometimes you forget what a comfort breastfeeding is – so it is naturally going to help baby to feel sleepy and safe. And then to switch the routine and for him not to have that – although he hasn’t tried to ask to nurse too much (though the past couple of days he has been pulling at my top asking to nurse which is hard and feel so guilty) – he needs a cuddle and some help to get to sleep. Which is understandable and some days are good – and he will go to sleep after 10-minutes – and I do love the cuddles. But other times it’s a battle of putting down three, four, five times before he eventually settles – and he has been waking up through the night. He still has a bit of a cough and cold so I don’t think that is helping. And it might be because he is still has the sniffles and coughing in the night that it has been a challenging week for sleep – but I think the switch up of routine, stopping breastfeeding and the way he settles at night is causing these coffee in eyelids mornings. Yes, I can hear and read the advice about “not letting baby fall asleep on boob as will make it hard for you in the long-run” and I can see other advice about how important it is to cuddle your child to sleep and I can see my face in the mirror where I look like a bag of shite and well that says it all. I love cuddling Rafe to sleep – and I don’t necessarily want to not do that – but I do wish it was as easy as falling asleep in my arms after 5-10 minutes and then being able to put down. I know he can self-settle but it involves leaving to cry for a little bit and I just don’t have the energy and my hormones are going mental right now. But at the same time, I know if I can get him to be happy being put down sleepy and fall asleep – it’s going to help me when baby number 2 arrives as going to be so much harder. I guess I need to attempt the pick-up put down method again maybe? Or if anyone else has any tips on how they got their breastfed baby to sleep after you stopped would be flipping great right now.
Rafe’s been so much better and although still has a bit of a cough, we only had to give him his inhaler for 5-days (which he is so good at now – hardly any tears thankfully!) and he looks like he has put on weight and is just full of beans and a bit like a tornado at the moment. And touch wood – his rash on his face has gone down. So not really sure what the allergic reaction was - and whether cow's milk was/is the issue. But he seems to be ok now. Still waiting for a referral letter for clinic and my health visitor couldn’t make her visit last week but going to get him weighed and then go from there. It’s been a worrying couple of weeks but he is so happy and full of himself this past week – it’s been such a joy to see.
He’s took his first few proper steps too! I have to stand him up, flatten his feet and entice with chocolate but we made progress! He’s not ready yet to go but is wanting to get on his feet all the time so hoping it won’t be too long. I think what he really needs to do is be able to go from sitting to standing – without using us, the dog or furniture to get up. He is trying – he is almost doing a headstand but just can’t quite get up. It’s hard to help with this as needs to kind of do it himself – but if you have any tips – fire away please!
Baby number 2 has started to become super active – well I can feel him/her kick and move so much more. Which is pretty exciting. I feel pretty big already and can’t quite believe I am almost 25 weeks! And starting to think how the fuck am I going to deal with 2 under 2?! But also trying to just chill the fuck out. I had my whooping cough injection this week and the nurse has three children – she said her first two, there was an age gap of three-and-a-half years – and then when baby number 2 was four months – she fell pregnant. So not much of a gap at all – and she reassured me you manage – and that such a small age gap is lovely. But obviously I know it’s not going to be all skipping through meadows and laughing and smiling. Now my pregnancy seems to be flying by (I bet it drags now!) I started thinking that I just can’t quite imagine this being the last time I’m pregnant. I just can’t imagine it. So trying to treasure everything. But at the same-time thinking – maybe we go for three?! Madness I know! Blame the hormones. As long as baby number 2 arrives healthy – I’ll be happy. And chances of husband and I having sex with 2 under 2 ever again is pretty slim anyway.
I’ve been on antibiotics this week as have a UTI, which has been marvellous. But it’s my birthday today (21 again) so having a wild party tonight, shots, shots, shots! Maybe not…Husband is overseas again (thankfully not for long) so just having a quiet weekend with family. It's a bit shit he's not here but just one of those things and spent more birthdays since we have been together without him (violins). Can’t believe I’m 34. Like, how did that happen? Still look like a fresh 20-year-old though, if 20-year-olds have boobs down to their knees and crow’s feet’s and a moustache. But I know I’m lucky to have what I have – just would prefer a few less wrinkles and no beard – but can’t win them all.
So have a glass of wine and a tequila for me!
Till next time,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.