Hi, my name is Faye and I’m a nap-obsessed-o’holic. I think readers of my blog may have guessed I had such a condition, round about the three-four month-old mark when I was beginning to have mild palpitations questioning whether I should have a routine yet and why my baby can only nap for 30 minutes. I foolishly said I was going to be more calm and not stress about naps a couple of weeks ago when another mum gave me some great advice – but I relapsed last week when I had been walking for an hour and a half, with major sweaty under-boob and a sunburnt back, with baby still wide-awake loving life – the baby who only slept for 15 minutes that day and well, I almost shed a few fed-up tears (again). Oh and I have given up on the nap in cot situation – that ain’t never going to happen. But just as I was in full relapse, nap-obsessed-o’holic mode – another mum sent me a link to an article that quite frankly – saved my life. (Okay, slightly dramatic but it made my day). I know what you’re thinking – another article! Yes, I am aware that my google search history covers only four things: “how long can (insert month) stay awake for between naps, what is the best nap routine for () month old, how to get baby to self-settle for naps, how can you get a flat stomach and still eat your body weight in chocolate every day?” But after reading it, I feel I am no longer going to be a broken record of worrying about whether Rafe isn’t sleeping enough and may finally accept, as so many of you have been telling me – that maybe Rafe does just not need a two-hour afternoon nap, maybe he will just always be a cat-napper, I might never get to have a hot cup of tea and watch a box set while he sleeps in his cot – but at least I’m not going to stress about it anymore….Right? And quite frankly, if I read or download another sleep programme or buy another fucking white noise machine I’ll lose the plot.
So basically, as you can see if you read the link, https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2017/11/01/in-defence-of-cat-naps/ my new best friend goes into detail about the benefits of a catnap – and says “If you have a cat napper, rest assured that you’re not alone and in all likelihood there is nothing wrong with your child’s sleep, even though other books and sleep trainers warn otherwise. The next time you doubt yourself and your child, remind yourself that there is no evidence behind their claims...and you are not alone!” So I’m no expert – and trust me, if Rafe suddenly starts to sleep longer and naps in his cot then I will be writing a novel about it. But I will – although I have said this a number of times. CHILL THE FUCK OUT. I’ve spent almost six months’ (I’d say the first three months of Rafe’s life I was worrying more about what the hell I was actually doing) literally obsessing about bloody naps. I’m sure I will laugh about it and kind of are now – but I’ve spent most my maternity leave, every day, worrying about how I was going to get Rafe to sleep longer, or stressing because he’s only had 30 bloody minutes. And, unless he doesn’t nap at all or only has one little nap – he seems to be okay just having his two little catnaps. And some days, when he needs it, he does sleep a little longer (35 minutes…) So, like I said, I’m no expert but if there are any other nap-obsessed-o’holic’s out there – we are in this together. If I could turn back time to five months ago, I would say to myself: Turn off google. Don’t download another fucking sleep programme. Stop buying white noise machines. Don’t compare Rafe to other babies. If he sleeps for 30 minutes, that’s better than nothing! If he has an hour – praise the Lord. Just don’t lose your flipping mind over naps. Oh and go have another biscuit.
Sleeping through the night at the moment is a bit hit and miss as it’s been so hot. The other night I felt like I was abroad, yet I wasn’t in some beautiful air conditioned apartment, listening to the ocean, in a deep sleep after too many cocktails – I was in a stuffy, hot room in Whitley Bay, listening to a fan noise on a white noise machine, trying to block out the birds twerping away, while Rafe was up most the night. He is self-settling a bit better but mostly just falling asleep feeding, so ending up putting him down drowsy but he’s been doing some good little stretches – normally wakes around 12-1 for a feed and can go back down till 7. Though the other night he whinged for 2 hours before he went back to sleep. Does anyone else think the whinge is worse than a cry? And teething is in full force at the moment so we are having a few rough nights. I had to hold his hand while he fell asleep the other-night and I literally could have burst with love so it’s not all negative Nancy. Even though he’s sleeping better at times, I still wake-up feeling absolutely exhausted and in a constant state of feeling hungover. I seem to manage quite well for a few days and then day 4 I just feel absolutely cream-crackered. Yesterday I could have slept all day. Rafe had woke at 4.30am and would not settle. As I was feeding him I could smell a strong smell of poo. Wasn't Rafe. Thankfully wasn't my husband so went downstairs and Yankee had shat all over the kitchen so was cleaning poo off the floor at 5am. Nevermind. One for the memoirs.
As I mentioned last week, I have dropped a couple of breastfeeds – the lunchtime feed as he’s eating three meals now (although still a bit of a fuss-pot) and then afternoon feed I’ve replaced with formula. He’s not loving it like he loves the boob, but don’t know whether he ever well. He likes lying down and feeding himself though so I guess it’s just him getting used to it. I plan to drop the mid-morning feed and replace with formula (or snack? I don’t know whether he is having too much???) over the next two weeks. Still want to keep breastfeeding but just means when I go back to work, he will have adjusted to not having breastfeeds (hopefully) during the day. Just morning, before bed and through the night. I got a bit emotional about it as it feels like such a big change, I’ve been used to feeding him myself throughout the day and although I still will be breastfeeding, I just feel like things are coming to an end. (Dramatic I know.) Maternity leave. Breastfeeding being cut down. Time has just gone far too fast and I’m trying to treasure every second (in-between the tears, mind-numbing exhaustion, husband rage and cleaning up dog shit) as I’ve suddenly blinked and Rafe is now almost 10-month’s old. He held my hand when I was breastfeeding the other night and those are the moments that make everything, even the nap nightmares, worth it and the moments I will miss so much when I stop breastfeeding.
How old was your baby when they started crawling? Rafe’s just rolling all over and showing no signs of wanting to pull himself up on to furniture but you can see he is wanting to try and crawl. He keeps bringing his knees up and instead of rolling, sometimes he just rotates round in a circle but he just can’t quite work out how to crawl! I know he will just do it when he is ready but any tips on trying to help him?
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.