This is the extent of what I'll do for the transition. I'm not changing the blog, renaming it, changing the address, or whatever. It's a personal decision, and this is what I see as working for me. I want to continue blogging, but I may not be writing about infertility quite as much, and will be writing about parenting a great deal more.
Today, a boring post about bedtime; that magical time of day when your hands mildly start shaking because your glass of red is just so close, you can almost taste it.
For the first 5 months of life, Gummy didn't have much of a bedtime routine. It basically consisted of: 1) Going to Bed. As a newborn, sleep is the main activity all day/all night, with regular intervals of eating. Wakefulness was sparse at first, as is true for many newborns (but not all. If that's the case for yours, I'm sorry). But by the time she was 2-3 months old, she slept more at night and less during the day (and slept through the night at least one out of every two nights. You can hate me).
I had been harbouring some fears about my baby's sleep before she was born, admittedly not so much for her as for Mr. A and I. We work best with ample sleep. On my end, I tend to be a complete bitch when I'm deprived of food or sleep. Mr. A just becomes more absentminded than he already is, which amounts to forgetting more than remembering. And putting his cell phone in the washing machine.
Then Gummy arrived and she LOVED to sleep. Truly, she was an olympic sleeper. We never went so far as to have to wake her up in the first few weeks to feed her (since, you'll remember, she also LOVED sucking and ate very well), but I have on several occasions had to check to see if she was breathing because I expected her to be awake when she was asleep.
So as I said earlier, the bedtime routine used to be simple. Baby is tired. Wrap baby up. Put baby in crib* But it niggled at me. I have extolled the virtues of a proper bedtime routine for children (and adults) countless times in my job, and here I was basically throwing my baby in bed.**
Now, there were a number of things we were doing consistently that made for somewhat of a routine. Sleep works best if you can have a ritual around it, whether you're a baby, a kid or an adult. So, we always wrapped her up in a little pea pod with a zipper (I've just now learned those are called woombies). We always put the sleep sheep to the same setting (rain). We always put her on her back (of course). We put her to bed at 7pm, plus or minus an hour depending on how she was doing.
But I've noticed that with this parenting thing, one must have an idea of where things are going, so as to lay the foundation for it early on. I wanted her to sleep independently from us in her own room. That's not where I started (she was in a bassinet beside our bed), but I thought of the steps to make that happen and we worked our way to her sleeping independently in her crib.
In terms of the routine, I was thinking about her being a toddler and going to daycare. And that she would need to be bathed much more frequently than we bathed her as an infant. So, I knew bathtime had to make an appearance in the bedtime routine. We started feeding her solids 2 weeks ago, mostly at dinner time. Bathing no longer is optional when your child is squishing peaches and avocado slices between her fingers, around her mouth (what am I saying, in the general area of her head) and up her arms. This is when I started considering the eating bandana suggested by Bunny and endorsed by Bun Bun.
It seems a bedtime routine is emerging. Thus far we have:
1) Eating (and there's another post on that coming). This includes cleaning her with a washcloth afterwards where a tug of war ensues over the washcloth. She has the crack addict intensity need to have it in her mouth.
2) Bath (after several bathroom floor floods (because we were too chicken to actually put her infant tub in the tub), I bathed her in her tub inside the big tub. Nobody was injured. More eating of washcloths. Also, she plays with a plastic baby hippo, and more recently a pink pig.
3) Diaper and pyjamas.
3.5) If Mr. A is not there, this is when I go downstairs to fetch formula. If we are both home, one of us gets the formula while the other does step 3.
4) put her halfway in the pea pod (woombie) and start the sleep sheep.
5) walk around with her while telling her about all she did that day. In French. Very calmly. (this is where I would like to read her a bedtime story, but all she wants to do is eat the books. I've tried giving her a book to chew on while reading her another book, but then she wants to chew on all the books and I have nothing to read).
6) She drinks a vat of formula
7) She dozes off. I kiss her, wrap her up completely and leave her be.
The bedtime routine has been working well. Except when Mr. A tries to do it. Somehow when he does it, she freaks out from steps 3 to 5. I usually have to intervene for steps 6 & 7 to happen. He's feeling down about that. I'm not sure why she freaks out when he puts her to bed. When we talked about it last night, I said I thought maybe she likes dad for fun things and likes mom for comfort, and bedtime is a hard transition so she needs comfort. But who the hell knows? Infants don't talk***
Gummy Girl is now having a terrible time sleeping. But whatever. She has a great bedtime routine.
* We started her in the crib at 2 months. Some will say that's a bit early, but her room is close enough to ours to hear her and be cribside in about 5 steps. It was important to me to have her learn very early on that this is where she sleeps.
** Before your call children's aid, I say that as a figure of speech.
***although they shriek, as she started to do last week.