Thursday, 1 September 2011


Miraculously, both my son and daughter have an afternoon snooze at the same time, 12 noon - 2pm. I'm so chuffed that I was able to get them into this routine as it means I have 2 hours to myself to get housework done, sort through the mounds and mounds of laundry (where does it all come from!??!), make a start on dinner or fanny about on the internet with a nice hot cup of tea (Pinterest, online shopping, blogging...) or even have a sleep myself if I'm feeling particularly lazy! Another favourite activity during these 2 hours is to catch up on my TV... the joys of Sky+. I've been recording ER on Sky Atlantic - I was never really into ER before and didn't really get the whole Dr Ross, Dr Carter & Dr Greene thing - but I'm loving it now! I'm also looking forward to catching Grey's Anatomy which is being shown from the beginning on Really from Monday. Again, another show that I missed first time round.

I'm not sure how I managed to get the kiddies into such a good routine... With my son I was quite strict about his sleep times and I rarely drove or walked anywhere when he was supposed to be awake as the movement sent him to snoozeville rapidly. He had three naps daily to start with - one around 9am, another longer sleep from 12-2pm and then another shorter nap at 4pm. So if I was going anywhere I tended to travel between 9-10am, 12-2pm or 4-5pm. He also settled really easily in his cot and I put him in his cot for daytime sleeps as soon as it arrived (he was 7 weeks early so we weren't organised at all for his arrival!). I also introduced a bedtime ritual (bath, baby massage, milk, story, bed) as soon as we got him home from the neonatal ward and he always settled well in the evening.  

Sometimes he was so exhausted he'd be asleep before I even got him into his cot!

I've heard numerous stories of parents who have to drive about in the middle of the night to get their children back to sleep, or have to pound the streets during the day to get their babies to take their daytime naps. One trick I did use with my son, that I've not had to do with my daughter, is use white noise. I used to have my iPod dock near to his cot and I had downloaded some womb music, wave noises, hairdryer sounds and the hum of an untuned radio. I played these on repeat (his favourite was the untuned radio!?) until he settled at which point I would turn it off. Eventually we didn't use it at all. Swaddling also helped and we have been using a swaddle pod with my daughter. 

Staying asleep was another matter and my son did wake frequently until he was about 14 months. For a while it was because he would roll onto his front and we'd have to go in and turn him over, then as he was older it was because he had lost his dummy (I was advised by health visitor to try a dummy strap and it was a great help). Now he only wakes up if he's ill or teething. 

My daughter has been an angel. She has slotted into her brother's routine so easily. She similarly has a morning snooze around 9am, then a longer lunchtime sleep at 12-2pm and another shorter nap in the afternoon about 4/4.30pm. I've not been out and about as much with my daughter and so her one downfall is that she doesn't seem to settle well in the car seat - she much prefers her cot. It's also a bit tricky on the days when my son is in nursery and I have to collect him, normally about 4pm, which coincides with her nap and so she tends to be a bit cranky on these days. She crys herself to sleep and we leave her for 5-10min until she settles. We've made the decision not to use a dummy and she sleeps through from 6.30/6.45pm until 7am without a peep (we do wake her at 10.30pm for a feed and she settles again in minutes. We did the same with our son and didn't drop this feed until he was established on 3 solid meals a day). A lot of people have commented that 2nd babies tend to be easier because you're more relaxed, but from a few mums I've spoken to that's not been the case with their 2nd babies so I think I'm very lucky.

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