As I write this, I am 36 weeks into my 2nd pregnancy and more pregnant than I have been before, having had my 1st baby at 32 weeks. With the relief of this comes the annoying reality of what being “heavily pregnant” means – to me, at least!
Getting up several times a night to use the loo – highly conflicting with The Sleep Fairy’s idea of “a good night’s sleep”
Hip and lower back pain through the night (and day unless my brilliant husband spends 45 minutes massaging coconut oil into those achy bits)
The continuing desire to eat fried chicken and chips or McDonald’s apple pies regularly
Feeling big, hot and exhausted way more than I’m used to BUT also feeling PRETTY DAMN GOOD!!!
I’m expecting the first few weeks to pass in a blur of feeding and sleeping, and waking A LOT IN THE NIGHT! But I’m hoping that by three or four weeks we can get onto some kind of regular-ish feeding routine, every two hours or so. I don’t expect there to be regular nap times, but it will be good if we can tell the difference between day and night – the right way round. If the little man can’t, I will strip him down and wake him at regular intervals through the day, and switch him around.
As we move toward six weeks, I’d like to get into the habit of feeding every 3 hours, and then 4 hours as soon after that as possible. Earlier if I can!!!! If he’s not keen to do it himself, I will stick him in the sling or pram and go for walks to stretch the time between feed. Or I’ll go out, leaving him with husband/mother-in-law, and return at the next feed time! I might even use the dreaded dummy to push him through.
If breast-feeding is a struggle, I will do my best to express and if that doesn’t work for us, I will use formula. My concern is that he could end up dairy intolerant, as I am totally intolerant so he has had no exposure to it whilst inside me. It will be interesting to see if he is or not…
We will have a crib in our bedroom for the night-time, and a Moses basket in the living room for the daytime and evenings. I’m not planning to put him up in the bedroom until I’m ready to go up to bed, as I don’t believe that many infants are capable of sleeping a full 12 hours at night until they are 3 or 4 months old (and even then they will usually need at least a feed or 2). So, we will have him downstairs in his basket, while we have our dinner, hang out and do our usual family things. He will also have to come to trampolining, gymnastics and whatever other activities his big sisters has to be taken to in the evenings.
I have invested in a rear-facing fixed carseat, having spent years going on about how babies should spend minimal time in carseats. I don’t think carseats should be stuck on pram wheels unless it is for VERY brief trips of less than 15 minutes. Babies certainly shouldn’t be carried into the house in them and left to sleep in them for hours! Infant carseats are a safety device, they are usually lined with some kind of fire-retardant nylon, so babies get incredibly hot in them, and are all scrunched up which can potentially restrict their airways. Is it any wonder so many will sleep so well in them for so long!?! Most mothers are highly aware of their baby’s bedroom temperature and the dangers of over-heating, but that all goes out the window when it comes to letting them sleep in a carseat!!! We’re going to use a pram and a sling once we get to the end of a car journey, and our little man will either learn to resettle or not.
Will I sleep train him and leave him to cry at 6 weeks? Certainly not!
But I would like to let him get used to being put down while he’s awake from around then or slightly after, so that he can start to develop the skills that will allow him to calm down and fall asleep independently. But a lot of this depends on his temperament and his general neediness. If, for example, he has reflux, he will need to be held upright a lot more. Do I think his cries will cut through me, as they do for so many mums I meet? I really hope not, but maybe they will.
Watch this space for the reality of what actually happens…