First thing I got as a present when I got pregnant was the well known blue book of Gina Ford “The new contended little baby book”. I was so happy as I wanted to get it anyways. It had such good reviews and it made me think that after I’ll finish reading it I will most definitely know everything about how babies work and I will be a better, more confident mother. Problem is I swear I couldn’t get pass the third or fourth chapter. It was so annoying. I mean I want a good read while relaxing in bed trying to forget about all pregnancy related aches not struggle to jump over the boring “I will tell you next how you can establish the perfect routine for your baby”. Well… tell me once and for all. Don’t let me read another hundred pages of this nonsense and after an hour close the book and start wondering what the hell did I just read? What was that all about? And this only about the sleep. You can also read on breast and bottle feeding and the every four hour routine. While she admits that all babies are different she, in the same time insists that you can train your monkey to do whatever you want. Let me tell you something on that my dear Gina Ford. I never heard one single mum telling me your method worked. I am sure there are lots out there but I never bumped into one. I would love to. I have so many questions for them. I would desperately ask: how long it took you to finish reading the book? Did you use post its around the house so you won’t forget the important parts? How did you actually get to make your baby sleep on command and eat when you want to and not when he/she is hungry? And so many other questions I can’t remember right now.
I’ll tell you something about my baby. She is one piece of work to start with. I mean she was breastfed for a while. More like until I reached the point of no return and went a bit crazy so I gave up and turned to bottle. Boob or scoop she never had the four hour cycle. She was fed on demand and that means so so often almost all the time while on my breast and every 3-3.5 hours or so when on formula. She ate whenever she got hungry. Try put this baby on feed routine. She can really scream when hungry. There is no way to calm her down unless she eats.
Maybe I wasn’t patient enough, maybe I failed to understand this book and implicitly failed as a mother. I should have made the effort on reading it to the end and put sticky notes all over my house: “feed baby every four hours”; “put baby in her bed and let her fall asleep by herself”; read baby bedtime story every night so she will know eventually that this is the time to sleep” and so on and on. Ruby knows her sleep time like this: it is 6:30pm and wherever she is she gets cranky cause it is bed time. She wants her milk and falls asleep almost instantly and she will wake up whenever she feels like it. To eat, to have her dummy back or just to feel my touch for comfort.
To be fair I think I am no good when it comes to being firm and follow a very strict routine. Or at least the one Gina Ford is talking about. I feel it’s more like fitting the baby into my own routine and missing lots of bonding time for the sake of military training my baby and myself. We just managed to get into a certain schedule and when I get confident and think I am mum-know-it-all there comes a growths spurt or a season is changing and out the window with all I knew. My baby is about to teach me new tricks and establish a new timetable for me. We learn on the way and we have our own feeding and sleeping patterns with no strict rules. If Ruby wants to play she will play, if she wants to be in my arms she will be in my arms and if she wants to cry I won’t let her cry until she calms down. I will hold her and give her kisses and tell her how much I love her and make it all better. She is spoiled and she knows what she wants and what she likes.
She was a good tiny baby and slept through the night at around six-seven weeks old. And she did it without me training her according to the book. She was just good like that but unfortunately I was stupid enough to tell the health visitor who almost yelled at me to wake her up so she can eat every four hours as she is too small to sleep all night. Such a dumb mum I was listening to her. There you go my baby waking up at all times as I ruined her own established routine.
And I think I said it all about being so strict and following a book or another. Your baby is unique. He/she will make their own schedule and will sleep when tired, eat when hungry and play when full of energy.
Regardless of anything, my baby is healthy, happy and growing to be so smart and this is more important than anything in the world. This is every mother’s goal.
Did you manage to set a routine? What is your trick?
SONG OF THE DAY: it has to be this one. Ruby loves it