I’m still here and still plugging away at my Change One Thing Challenges, unfortunately I’m not finding much time to write about them. As any parent to young children is all too aware, free time is not something abundant in our lives at the moment. That’s one of the reasons I was hoping to improve the sleep situation in our house a little. For Challenge #8 I was hoping to trade down Baby H’s sleep association from breastfeeding to sleep, to holding and rocking. It had some promising effects for the first 5 days or so but then she got her hearing aids, she was teething/had oral thrush/mouth ulcers (we’re honestly not sure which but pro-biotic yoghurt helped and there are no new teeth so…) Anyway, my little girl knows what she needs and when things got rough for her she let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted to be at my breast as she fell asleep.
We’re all about letting our children lead the way in showing us what they need and so circumstances (a solo-parenting evening) led me to swap my Challenge #8 focus onto Toddler J and his bedtime sagas. Being by myself meant switching things around a bit, and it worked, so we’ve kept up with it. He now goes to sleep by himself (usually within 15 minutes of a goodnight kiss) and sleeps through the night about 50% of the time. The rest of the time he cosleeps with his Daddy. This is beyond our wildest dreams. This is the child who used to wake every 40 minutes all night every night even when co-sleeping. The situation isn’t perfect. Mr S takes him up to bed once Baby H is asleep but he then can’t get out of the room (J hangs on to his arm – he misses his Daddy on work days something rotten) and I have to go in and do the last goodnight so Mr S can leave. This normally takes 5 – 10 minutes and J knows we can see and hear him. We talk to him on the ‘walkie-talkie’ (baby monitor) if necessary and go to him if he asks. It feels gentle and developmentally appropriate, and a little weird not to spend out whole evening helping him to sleep! When they’re ready, they’re ready.
Baby H is still waking regularly though, but she’s passed through the phase of needing to be in my arms to sleep and so things are looking up for getting a little time to ourselves. I even managed to fit in a session on the exercise bike around H’s wake-ups last night, and this brings me to Challenge #9 Fitting in some exercise.
When you’re chronically sleep deprived, have carried and delivered two kids in two years, been breastfeeding continuously for 32 months and counting, 8 of those months tandem feeding, had major surgery twice and been through the birth trauma/special care/Great Ormond St journey, it takes its toll on your body. I am not feeling healthy, comfort eating is a BIG thing for me and with no free time, exercise isn’t something I’ve managed to do a lot of for a long time and I am really feeling it. So, the next challenge is for me to get on my (exercise) bike 3 times a week for 30 minutes. It’s a tall order, it means sacrificing some of the little time I have with Mr S but I desperately need to do something for me. I’ll let you know how it goes!
The Rules: Change ONE thing in your life. Commit to maintaining that change for 14 days. At the end of the 2 weeks decide if the change worked for you. If it did, keep it. If it didn’t, ditch it and move on. Either way, decide on a new change to begin on Day 15. Lather, rinse, repeat. Document what works and what doesn’t (use the #changeonething hashtag) and see how many changes you’ve made by the end of the year!!
Change #1: New Morning Routine: Started 07/01/13 – KEEPER
Change #2: Reduce Telly Time: Started 21/01/13 -DITCHED
Change #3: A Room for Baby H: Started 04/02/13 – COMPLETE
Change #4: Moving baby naps & evening sleep to H’s new room: Started 18/02/13 – KEEPER
Change #5: Eat more veg/’Cooking Mondays’: Started 04/03/13 – KEEPER
Change #6: No Caffeine!!! : Started 11/03/13 – KEEPER
Change #7: Find a Family Meal Solution: Started 25/03/13 – 07/04/2013 – COMPLETED
Change #8: Trading down sleep associations: Started 08/04/13 – 05/05/13 Bad timing for H, winner for J = KEEPER