Transition from the cot bed

A few weeks ago we made the decision to convert little man’s cot bed into a bed (though we have only taken one side off as he will be getting a full size single when baby needs this). He hadn’t started climbing out, but we were having issues with him going to bed and his bedtime and wanted to get him into some kind of routine before baby arrives. Although if he has nap, especially late in the afternoon falling asleep in the car or something, he just will not go to sleep early no matter what! He doesn’t usually nap though, he hasn’t done since just after he turned 1.

Our usual routine went like this – there was none! 


He was such a nightmare to get to bed on his own and would usually go to bed when we went and then co-sleep with us all night. Anyone who knows me knows I love co-sleeping but it was just getting too uncomfortable for me and I couldn’t actually sleep at all. 


If he did go in his own bed, it would be after falling asleep on either of us with his bottle. And sometimes that didn’t even work because as soon as you put him down (having to lower him down) he would most likely wake straight up and then not go back to sleep, so he would just end up in with us anyway. 


So the reason we converted his cot bed into a bed, was so that it might feel a bit more like ours and he would go to sleep in it and stay in it a bit longer – if not all night. To add to the big bed ‘feel’ we also bought him a proper duvet and a pillow. 


For the first 3 nights, he still had his bottle with us, and then we would put him in his bed, but it was easier because we could just slide him in. He slept in there ALL night! And then he got ill. So he started coming in with us again as it was just easier. 


Fail.


When he was better, we decided that giving him his bottle in bed might be easier – if he fell asleep with it, that is. One of us sat with him though as I think he prefers someone to be there. 


Success!


He fell asleep. Miracle.


Ever since then he has gone to sleep in his own bed. At a reasonable time too – between 7pm & 8pm. I cannot actually remember the last time this happened. Sometimes though, he does still wake in the night and I wake up to find him in our bed – I must get a gate on his door! 


But I am just so glad now that he has a proper bedtime routine, as this is what was stressing me out and upsetting me the most. As well as him being incredibly grumpy because he was so obviously tired, I would often be in tears as we never got any downtime to relax or time to ourselves in the evening, but now we do, almost every night.


Thanks, little man. (Please keep it up!).


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Does it really make me a bad Mum?

Recently certain things have been playing on my mind again – mainly “you know what” which I am always feeling at least a bit guilty about and extremely sensitive sometimes. Some days I am fine, and it hardly bothers me, but then I start seeing things about it everywhere and it just starts playing on my mind. Some may say I am overly sensitive about it, or should just get a grip, but that’s just me, I am a sensitive person and things go round and round in my head and I blame myself, take me or leave me, really. 


Which leads me on to the question of am I really a bad mother, for not breastfeeding, and other (controversial) things regarding how I may bring the little man up.


Am I really a bad Mum?…


…for not breastfeeding?


Now I know the answer here should be no, and everyone else would tell me no, like I would tell other people no, but I tell myself that I am all the time! Which really frustrates me as in my head I know I’m not, but my heart thinks different. I did give it a go, it didn’t work out for us. At least I can say I tried. The little guy is doing extremely well, he’s gone from the 50th centile at birth, to the 75th, to the 91st which he is steadily travelling along now. In 6 months he’s only had 2 colds, which I think is good going, who says he wouldn’t have had them even if I did breastfeed him? The main thing is, he is getting fed, and that should be the most important thing, not where it is coming from. Yes, we all know breast is best, but the best thing I can do is to not let my baby starve. I’m not exactly poisoning him, am I? (Though sometimes it bloody well seems like it…)


for co-sleeping?


We did this quite a bit when the little man was very young, because he just would not settle on his own. That feeling of comfort, being near your baby, and knowing my baby is getting much needed sleep, is comforting to me. I do know the risks, I knew the risks before he was born. I will admit, I wasn’t totally set on it, and didn’t think it would be something I would ever do, but I love it now. He sleeps in his cot at night, but sometimes I just want to go and pick him up and bring him to bed with us as he just looks so cute, but mainly because I love our snuggles! The main reason I won’t bring him in with both us though is that I’m worried hubby will roll over and squish him! It is something we do every morning now, when he has had his first bottle, we go back to bed and snuggle for an hour or two, and it is just delightful waking up right next to him with a big smile for me. And me, I’m usually hanging off the edge of the bed as I instinctively move when I’m asleep to make sure he has plenty of room! 


…for using controlled crying? 


We had problems (and still have, during the day, but that will be tackled when we return from holiday) with the little man not going to sleep by himself. He would just want to be rocked, and then when he was put down, he would wake up. It was getting a bit silly as it would be incredibly late when we sat down to eat, as it would take a long time and a fair few attempts before he was successfully rocked, asleep, put down, and stayed asleep. Now, I wouldn’t say we used CC in its entirety. The first night we decided to try it, I was in hysterics as I just couldn’t listen to him crying being away from him. So on the second night I ‘camped out’ next to his bed, and held his hand and stroked his face. Yes, there were still a lot of tears from both of us, but the time it took him to get to sleep got shorter as the nights went on. Now, we put him is his cot, and instead of crying he usually either shouts or chatters away to himself for 5 minutes or so, and then just drops off. I will say I did hate hearing him cry, and did feel like a bad mum at the time for doing it, but we had tried other things with no success. Would I say it was worth it? Part of me, yes, as I now know he can go to sleep by himself if he wants to, but I suppose there is a part that still feels guilty. 


If we all parented the same, how would we learn? What would we discuss? The same things, and have the same opinions on everything. Which would make the world a boring place. As they say, all babies are different. So are parents.