Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Evenings just aren't evenings any more

I've blogged before about bedtimes. I guess we've not gone down the traditional route with bedtime and Baby Badger. Some would say we are weak-willed, others would recognise it as a type of attachment parenting. For the first five months we co-slept, with all the associated guilt is piled on. Quite honestly I wouldn't have had any sleep if we hadn't as Baby Badger fed two hourly for a long time, and after her shaky start there was no way I was going to discourage feeding. We have since managed to get her to spend the night in her own cot, which sounds more impressive than it is...

Her cot is next to our bed (yes - she's almost nine months old and not in her own room - tick: parent fail number one). She doesn't go to bed until 11pm and I feed her to sleep in our bed then transfer her (tick: parent fail numbers two and three). She has a feed at about 3am (no, she isn't "sleeping through" - tick: parent fail number four) in our bed and is then transferred back after she's fallen asleep feeding (tick: I've lost count, but you get the idea...), and her morning feed is some time between 6am and 9am, after which we get up and go on with the day.

I have an inner conflict about this state of affairs.

The cold, independent pre-mum in me is desperately fighting for some time to regain my identity and ability to achieve at least one non-baby-related task per day. That's quite a tall order when I'm actively being mum for 99% of my waking hours, and why I'm blogging at midnight! I would love for my evenings to be evenings again. I'd like to spend some time with Father Badger as a couple - I'm not talking nookie (quite frankly I'm more interested in undisturbed sleep!). He is wonderful at looking after Baby Badger when he's home to try to free me up, but it means that his attention is on her rather than me and I can't remember the last time we just curled up together.

The smitten, adoring mum in me has absolutely no wish to change anything. I like cuddling up with Baby Badger in bed to feed her. I love it when she falls asleep on me on the sofa in the evening (apart from the aforementioned inability to do anything while she pins me down). I absolutely refuse to try controlled crying to get her down to sleep: it is perfectly natural for her to expect me to come to her if she cries and I don't want to reset her expectation so that she doesn't try - babies are not meant to be independent creatures!

The logical part of me knows that something does need to change. I'm going back to work in June and I will need to be getting a decent night's sleep by then - I can only think of a handful of occasions in the last nine months where I slept for longer than four hours in one stretch (MI5 would be proud of my resilience under extreme torture).

So... what's the next step? We're going to go back to basics. A tickle under the chin to half-wake her after she feeds to sleep, to help teach her to self-settle. Maybe next we'll move the feed to before the bedtime story. And then move bedtime forward half an hour. And again. And again, until it resembles 8pm rather than 11pm. It's going to be a slow process - wish me luck!


  1. Oh I wish you luck. I have no advice sorry but I wish you the best of luck xx

  2. I never enforced a bedtime for Lara. I let her feed in the evenings to get to sleep, if thats what it took. Until about 13 months bedtime was regularly 10-11pm or whenever she got there but I enjoyed the time I got to spend with her.

    something happened at about 13 months and Lara slowly became able to settle herself in her cot and, for a while we got our evenings back.

    At 17 months I moved her into a cot bed (she was too mobile for the cot) and then our evenings were lost again! These days it takes about 1 hour minimum to get her to settle to bed but that's fine... one day things will sort themselves out for us, as they will do for you. Not sure you need to force the issue unless you really feel you need to.

  3. Oh gosh, I'm not going to even attempt to offer advice, as we are definitely from opposing ends of the parenting spectrum! I've come over from the blog hop and it's lovely to read something totally new :)

  4. Hahahaha, I fear I'm in the MTJAM camp. I'll also not offer any advice as it'll be nothing you'd want to hear or act upon anyway.
    At the end of the day, it's your family, you raise it the way you want it. And the rest of the (parenting) world has no right to any opinions one way or the other, as long as you yourself are content. If something is feeling that it's no longer working for you, then time to change it.
    Good luck!


Leave me some bloggy love...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...