Finding out you’re pregnant and are going to have a baby is a very exciting time in your life. That doesn’t mean you won’t have mixed emotions about it. Of course, you’ll have several questions running through your head right from the start. This is true […]
Isn’t it crazy how baby sleep makes you question everything you know about parenting!
Freddie is almost 5 months old. This month his sleep has gone downhill! He’s always slept so well, getting up 1-2 times a night for a feed.
“It’s the 4 month sleep regression” I hear you say.
With Arthur I read all about sleep regressions and it made total sense to me, I had always fed him to sleep so I got that I needed to teach him to fall asleep on his own, without me!
But with Freddie, we have always put him down awake, he knows how to self settle. So I can’t understand why his sleep has turned upside down all of a sudden!?!
The last few nights Freddie has been having around 4 night feeds. I know that he doesn’t really need this much, but I start playing mind games with myself. I question if he has had enough milk at his bed time feed. I start to get so frustrated that I don’t really know how much milk he’s had.
My problem comes when I think Freddie has woken too soon after a feed in the night. He can’t need feeding already, I tell myself if it’s only been a couple of hours since his last feed. But then doubts start to creep in and I can’t stand the thought of leaving him to self settle when he’s hungry.
I did this with Arthur too. I gave myself a hard time about it all.
We had done sleep training with him but he still would wake a couple times for feeds when I knew that technically he didn’t need it any more.
I never got the hang of expressing, Arthur was not keen on the bottle anyway and I so desperately didn’t want to give him formula.
I felt like I would be failing as a Mum.
When I did eventually try him on Formula one night, he gulped it down and had the best sleep ever.
This of course led to extreme mixed feelings from me. I was of course really happy Arthur, and I, was getting the sleep we needed. But then there was the guilt; guilt that I hadn’t switched him to formula at night sooner, and the guilt that my milk hadn’t been enough for him.
So this time round, I decided I’d be way cooler about it all. That it didn’t matter, as long as Freddie was getting what he needed I didn’t need to stress.
Well, clearly that’s not quite gone to plan else I would not be sat here now writing this post!!
My latest reason for stressing out is that Freddie is nearly a month younger than Arthur was when I started giving him formula at night time. That by itself is not too much of a problem, but I know that Freddie is a way better feeder than Arthur ever was. So, perhaps it’s not the amount of milk he’s getting, its something else….but I have no idea what!
As I got myself all stressed and upset about it this morning, after another rubbish nights sleep, Mark asks me what I want to do. I tell him how I’m feeling about it all.
He then said something that made me snap out of my upset. He reminded me that we are about to start weaning Freddie so asked why is trying him on formula any different?
He is right.
So, Mark picked up a can of formula tonight and at bed time we gave him a bottle. He didn’t drink it all but about 2/3rds. We put Freddie to bed awake and as always he drifted off no problem. We will see what the night brings!
I’m not giving up breastfeeding all together yet. I’m not ready. If it works tonight then great, I’ll have my guilty feelings the same as last time of course, but at least he will be sleeping better. If it doesn’t work, well at least we can rule it out and then try something else.
This post is just a reminder to us parents to stop being so tough on ourselves! A reassurance that all will be fine, whether he has formula or not! Arthur was on formula totally by 8 months and he’s doing great!
At the end of the day we are all doing our best, and worrying is just part of the job right!?
Anyone else as neurotic about their babies sleep as me?
I haven’t even started on proper routine nap times yet with Freddie yet, that’s a whole other area for me to get crazy about!
This post is all about the harder bits about being a Seychelles mama to a 0-8 month old. These things do not outweigh the positives of living here for us. I’m not looking for sympathy here (and know I won’t get it!!!) but I thought it […]
Thought I’d share a little bit about being a seychelles mama (the good bits):
Getting Arthur dressed
is never really a chore he pretty much lives in bodysuits. It’s too hot for anything else, so no layers required. In fact often he is just in a nappy during the day.
He gets to be outdoors – a lot!
I always wanted to have kids somewhere where we could spend a lot of time outside, somewhere hot basically . We definitely get this here. I find it amazing how a walk in the fresh air can do a grumpy baby so much good (and a grumpy mama too!). The view is obviously good too which is another bonus for us both! At 6 months he’s just starting to get to an age where taking him to the beach is fun. He can sit up by himself and so can have a good look round at everything.
Health and Safety hasn’t gone mad here.
I guess the most obvious example I can think of is how baby walkers are now so frowned at as they are ‘dangerous’ due to the injuries they can cause. They have even been banned in Canada. Now I bet that nearly all of us had baby walkers when we were little and we are all just fine!!! Surely common sense needs to be used here, if the baby is supervised these things are perfectly safe!! Sorry I’ll get off my soapbox now I just get cross when ‘health & safety’ steps in when a bit of common sense just needs to be used!! Here people get along just fine without all of the health and safety overkill that happens elsewhere!
I don’t feel judged.
I’m not saying everyone feels this way in other places, but we really are pretty much left to it here. We had a health visitor come round once for about 5 minutes and we go down to the clinic once a month to get him weighed. His 6 month check up consisted of them asking if we had started feeding solids yet, seeing he could sit up already, seeing if he could crawl (he can’t). We briefly spoke about his sleep and that was pretty much it! I can breastfeed wherever I like, without any weird looks or comments.
There’s no ‘x-box culture’.
I guess this partly goes hand in hand with my second point. I know Arthur is too young for this to be an issue yet. It’s still it’s something that scares me and is one of the reasons we wanted to have a baby here!!
There is a small hotel thats a two minute walk from our house that we can Arthur swimming in all the time. It’s my favourite thing to do with him. He loves being in the water (just like me!). We have started taking him to splash his feet in the Ocean too. It’s rainy season here right now. This means its a little chilly by Seychelles standards so we haven’t taken him in for a full dip but it won’t be long….I can’t wait.
The expat community.
It’s been amazing how helpful people have been. We had a lot of stuff given/loaned to us that has been so useful. To name a few, a bumbo, a changing table and we even got our cot (actually this was from a Seychelleois family)…..Its at least 20 years old and handmade. It was in a bit of a sorry state as had been kept outside and kind of used for storage so me and Mark did it up and now its beautiful. We had to order a custom mattress as its an unusual size but it will last until Arthur is ready to go into a proper bed as its really big. I even got thrown a baby shower which was just so lovely considering by that point we hadn’t even been here a year!
People here LOVE babies. Everywhere you go people want to give Arthur cuddles, he gets a lot of fuss made of him! If we go out for somewhere to eat there’s always been someone offering to hold him/play with him while we eat….amazing! Also there is more availability of baby things then there is anything else which is of course very useful!
There are also some challenges in being a Mama in Seychelles. Read all about the harder bits of being a Seychelles Mama!