No Short Cuts!

Before Annabelle was born I used to spend time with my sisters and their children, helping out with the odd nappy change or cuddle where ever I could. Rather by accident I learned then that babies don’t accept short cuts. What I mean is when you are at your wits and end and you really want your baby to eat or sleep or do whatever, we tend to take short cuts and the baby always knows and he/she will always tell us! Back then I was always fresh faced, relaxed and excited to watch the children, so was always happy to put in the time. But now, with my own child I do try to take short cuts when rushed, tired or in need of shower and it never pays off!

If you are trying to get a baby off to sleep and you are rocking and shh’ing, I always give an extra five minutes before I put the baby down. And when that five minutes is up I put in another five minutes of shh’ing for good measure. And then maybe another 5. Then and only then might I try and put the baby down.

The same is true when baby is feeding and you really need him or her to take a full feed for whatever reason. If she comes off the boob, I put her back on or wake her up. Then again and again. And once more. To ensure that when I do take her off eventually she has had a full feed.

Sadly this week I have been so tired from travelling (and if I’m honest adjusting to being just me again) that as soon as her eyes appear shut I creep out the room or take her off the boob, only for her to sqwark anytime from when her door closes to when my head touches my pillow. If only I stuck to my own rules of NO SHORTCUTS! (You might be asking why I’m rocking or feeding Annabelle to sleep and what happened to my sleep training? Yea, me too!)

 

 

Jet Lag – What a Killer

We have just returned from 4 weeks in the UK and Spain. Annabelle has slept in 5 different beds in the last 28 days and she has been pretty laid back with it all. Arriving in Europe from Mumbai was comparably easy. The first night she was so tired she slept through. Result. After that she seemed to be back on schedule pretty quickly.

Returning to Mumbai has been a different story. Maybe it’s because there’s only me at home to handle the adjustment or maybe it’s because we’ve gone west to east (my Dad always says West is Best when it comes to jet lag) or maybe it’s just because poor Annabelle was totally over the whole travelling malarky! Either way, yesterday, day 1 into our return I was officially dying from exhaustion.

We arrived back on Sunday morning. Sunday was a relaxed day with friends visiting on and off. Annabelle slept and ate whenever suited her. I bathed and bedded her at the usual time and with no fuss. My husband and I went to bed at 8pm as I was so knackered. I was awoken by my husband saying he could hear Annabelle. I sat up, blurry eyed, thinking it was 3am or 4am only to discover it was 9.10pm. WHAT? Annabelle has never woken before 10pm. Ever. This is new. I didn’t think she could be hungry since it had only been a couple of hours since she last ate. Plus she was howling, which is very unlike her. She proceeded to wake, and not settle, every 90 minutes until 3am. Eventually I was at the end of my tether and just screamed “please take her, I can’t cope”. My poor husband was great at keeping me sane and allowing me to go back to bed. Not that that really helped though as she was still howling.

Bed no.5, week 4

Bed no.5, week 4

On the plane and ready to sleep....zzz...

On the plane and ready to sleep….zzz…

Home and wiped out

Home and wiped out

 

On the Monday she went down for her morning nap with no bother and then it was time for her lunchtime nap. All hell broke loose. I spent a good 90 minutes trying to settle her. In the end I left her in her cot to cry herself to sleep. Something I haven’t done very often.

Of course, like every desperate mother I turned to Facebook, and was offered some very helpful advice…
1) Keep the daytime routine as normal as usual
2) Take baby outside during awake time to remind them it’s daytime and to get some fresh air (so called “fresh” here in Mumbai!)
3) Put baby late to bed and day by day slowly bring it forward bit by bit

I did this yesterday and last night and guess what? It worked. A great night and today has been good too. She has settled on cue and without fuss. I think we are nearly there. They do say expect one day per hour time difference, for example travelling from UK to India where there is 4.5hr time difference expect 4.5 days before you are back to normal.

Annabelle is certainly more tired than usual but I think we are nearly there already. Fingers crossed I get my happy easy baby back soon.