As sleep regressions go, I think Rafe could win a few medals for not just taking part, but for fully wanting to jump right into it and win a gold medal - just to kindly make sure, as a first-time mum, I know we are well and truly in a regression. As with the four-month sleep regression (shudder at the memory) we are on a merry-go round of, will he self-settle tonight? Will he nap at all today? How many miles will I walk today? How many wake-ups tonight? Wow, he actually slept ‘okay’ last night – are we turning a corner? Nope, nope we are not. We’ve had success (one 60-minute nap – though I did have to walk for two hours and almost wet myself), a six-hour stretch through the night (I thought I was a new woman), but then we’ve had no naps, one 20-minute nap all day, refusing to self-settle, will out right refuse to sleep in cot during the day, multiple wake-ups during the night, so tired falling asleep feeding - true coffee in my eyeballs moments. But leap 6 is now over (great for Rafe’s development, not so much for knocking out z’ds), so maybe next week I will be saying – GUYS, I’VE CRACKED NAPS, I’VE SLEPT FOR HOURS ON END EVERY NIGHT. Fingers crossed, ey?
I mentioned last week that I was going to try and self-settle again and maybe try and speak to a ‘sleep guru’ (although don’t think the bank balance will stretch!) if all else failed but with the heat (hello summer, hello milk bottle legs), teething (he has his two front teeth now) and a sleep regression, it’s just been a bit of a disaster. I’ve tried getting him in his cot during the day – and even doing some controlled crying but he is just not having it. Screams the house down and I just can’t see him ever being able to self-settle in his cot. And at night I’ve been having to shush him to sleep again. I don’t mind the cuddles but he’s getting so heavy (got him weighed this week – 20Ib 3oz, the chunk) and it’s like a mini workout. Even walking in the pram, he’s only been having 30 minutes – if he naps at all. Although I did have one nap success but almost wet myself. I’d walked for two hours – took an hour to get to sleep and he woke after 30 minutes but went straight back down (hurrah) so I carried on walking. I headed back home and just walked round the garden, literally in circles as too scared to stop. I was desperate for the toilet – it’s the second time I have considered wetting myself to keep him asleep – good times. My husband was home and through the kitchen window he was happily eating his lunch and watching TV and smiling and waving at me as I kept passing the window – which he obviously thought was lovely but after the 20th circle round the garden I really wanted to give him the middle finger, rather than the lovely wave. “IT’S OKAY – YOU ENJOY YOUR FUCKING LUNCH!!” He had been on nap patrol in the morning so I couldn’t really get too much rage. And he had bought me chocolate. Anyway, I've bought yet another white noise machine – last one I promise! The unmummsy mum has recommended it – the avantek white noise machine – so I’m hoping this will save the day.
Rafe’s still been a bit off his food and I’ve tried to do more baby-led weaning but he's quite fussy, especially with meat, so back to doing 'mashed, textured food, (sounds delicious) with a mix of finger foods. My husband made meatballs and meatloaf, but I don’t know whether he doesn’t like the texture – or he’s just not a huge fan of meat but just blows raspberries and spits it out. He likes pasta, toast, these organic biscuit thingys, cucumber, bananas, pretty much anything that is sweet as finger food so just going to keep doing a mix of both and see how he gets on.
I was going to attempt dropping a breastfeed but he’s started to drink less during the night again (praise the Lord) so I don’t want to shock my boobs. I just still feel like I’m tanking him up to the max and it’s literally milk, food, milk, food! And I don’t know whether him doing somersaults and trying to do flips (no exaggeration) while nursing is his way of saying he is full or doesn’t want any milk – or he’s just being extra fussy. Who knows? I thought men where confusing.
Speaking of nursing. It’s national breastfeeding week! If someone had told me in those early weeks of pain, frustration, exhaustion, I'd still be breastfeeding now, I’d probably have told them to do one. But here I am. And this isn’t supposed to sound smug, but I'm quite proud of myself as I found it so hard in the beginning, so, so difficult. Even though I’ve lost my tits and they’re closer to my knees than ever before – it’s worth it and I’ll actually miss it when I do stop.
As much as this leap has been a little challenging - it’s also been a joy to see Rafe learning new skills and his own little personality emerging. He’s quite an intense little guy – especially at our baby classes where he tends to stare/suss everyone out. But he’s also an active little giggler, who comes alive in the morning and is full of smiles. I feel very lucky.
How hot has it been? Apart from the normal “what shall Rafe sleep in?” dilemma - it’s been amazing to be in the garden and see Rafe loving life in the paddling pool. We also went to Whitehouse Farm yesterday, near Morpeth, which is amazing. Really reccommend it for a day out if you're in the North East or ever visiting. I'm trying to make the most out of the rest of my maternity leave as really feeling quite emotional and nervous about going back to work. Where has the time gone? People said how fast the first year goes and I just can't believe he's almost nine month's old and I'll be back at work soon. But hopefully I’ll win the lottery before then...
Hope you all enjoy the sunshine!
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.