During the past few weeks with LO, it has really been a roller coaster of emotions. We have had some really, really good days and some not very good days. On the whole, she has been amazing and she has a lovely sociable temperament. Her sleeping has been a bit of an issue as recently, she starts crying when we put her to bed.
Against all the advice I have read, I have picked her up and taken her to another room as I have tried reassuring her without picking her up and leaving her. These methods do not work with her, particularly as she has only really known us for about a month and so us leaving her may be more damaging than good. She doesn’t really cry that much so when she is crying and so vehemently, it breaks our hearts and that she is really distressed. After a while, she calms down and I put her down to sleep again and the next day, she is fine. However, it really gets to me and I blame us for changing her life and her routine. We have stopped giving her bottles for her day naps as this is bad for her teeth. We are now giving her, her bottles earlier and then rocking her to sleep in a push-chair with the intention that she will sleep in her cot without the bottle. We are still giving her, her night time bottle to sleep as we suspect this will be the hardest one to break and we will need to crack the day time bottles first.
This day time feeding and napping has been working well but as I said, her night-time routine has become distressing. This has really upset me as I thought that maybe it was too soon to implement change and we have created this distress to her. We both have had separate melt downs about this. For the first time since introductions, we have cried which I think is pretty good-going.
This parenthood business is really unforgiving. When she is upset and we’re doing our best to comfort her, she is still upset. She doesn’t care that we haven’t really slept, or that I’ve had a cold for a month, she just cares about how she is feeling. The unrelentlessness of the situation can really get to us sometimes and we can feel really frustrated and angry which then makes us feel guilty as she is just a baby after all. However, to not feel these things would make us inhuman. This experience has made us realise how important it is to talk to each other, particularly after she has gone to bed. For a few days, I forgot to do this and to actually spend time together. It was only when my beloved said that she felt that she was ‘losing me’ that I realised and so we are now talking to each other and spending quality time together.
Anyway, we have finally worked out why she gets distressed when we put her to bed. She is now getting a lot more stimulation from us and she is in a really good mood after dinner that we start being quite physical with her in tickling and chasing her. This obviously makes her very excited and then we try to put her to bed which distresses her. So we have tried to not get her too excited after dinner and engage in calmer play. After her bath time, we give her half of her formula milk (as she expects to get her bottle at this time) and then I chill out with her in the living room without my beloved. I am then super boring and will not engage in play with her, despite her very cute attempts. Then when she is showing signs of tiredness, I give her a second bottle with the rest of the formula and then calmly put her to bed and it worked! I am very relieved and less emotionally wrought at the end of the day, particularly knowing that we haven’t damaged her!