Monday, 9 May 2016

{The Ordinary Moments 16} #18 'Being sleep deprived and a new routine...'

As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa and it is 8:25pm on a Monday evening. Normally at this time I'd be getting comfy on the sofa, ready for an evening in front of the TV with Mr F and my littlest boy snuggled up in my arms where he would normally rest on and off until about 10pm when we would change him, put him in his gro-bag and carry him upstairs, carefully tip-toeing past LO's bedroom and avoiding all the creaky floorboards, and then settling him back off to sleep in his cot for a few hours. 

This seems to have become our routine for a while now, and for the most part it's worked well. We were happy to have a bit of an evening back and be able to relax in front of the TV whilst enjoying cosy snuggles with our baby boy. But recently, now that he's 4 months and well and truly out of that fourth trimester phase, we have felt that something needs to change. I am exhausted all the time- I often have days where I can barely keep my eyes open. Little L has always been a very snuggly baby, and unlike his older brother, isn't the best of sleepers. He will fall asleep in the car and if he is out and about in his pram, but at home, he is very much happiest when he is being cuddled or carried about by me. He will go in his bouncer chair for short bursts and for the most part has been so good in there when we have been eating. But on the whole, our snuggly littlest one is happiest when he's in our arms. 

Today, while LO was having a short nap upstairs after we had been out for the day, I spent about an hour trying to settle Little L. He's been fed, we had played, his nappy was clean and yet he just wouldn't settle down. I put it down to exhaustion as he hasn't really slept all day, except from in the car. My normal 'go-to' solution would be to feed him and cradle him in my arms, and just wait for him to wake up. I'm not even sure why I've been so lax at putting him down in his cot for a nap, it's just not become part of the routine yet. I laid him on his play mat and tried a dummy- something I never tried using with LO as he never needed one. It seemed to soothe him but it kept falling out of his mouth so he still wouldn't fall asleep and I spent an hour sitting popping it back in his mouth. 

When Mr F got back from work, LO was sitting quietly on the sofa watching TV, Little L had just settled on his playmat and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner for everyone. I think I must have looked pretty exhausted (I feel about 70 at the moment, and that's on a good day). I'm not sure if it's the fact that he's just turned 4 months, but we both decided then and there that for everyone's sakes, we need to start a better evening routine, rather than plodding on with a scattergun approach as we have been every evening for the past few months.

And so I've literally just come downstairs from trying out a new bedtime routine. I bathed LO while Mr F played with Little L, then we swapped over and he read to LO and put him to bed while I got Little L into his gro-bag fed him and put him into his cot, duping him into thinking it was his 10:30 bed time routine, but at 8pm. It took about 40 minutes to get him to settle down, but as I've been writing this I've had my eye on the baby monitor which is next to me, and so far (touch wood) there's not been a peep. I am really hoping that this is the start of a whole new evening routine- one which will benefit the whole family, after all as a family we thrive on routine. I hope that he will become a better sleeper, I will be a less exhausted mummy for my two boys, and I will also get a bit of me time back in the evenings- something which I think is hugely important when you've got young children to look after all day. 

Being a mama is the most rewarding thing- but this time around it's felt much harder than I imagined it would. We were very spoilt by LO's amazing sleep habits, with him sleeping through from 6 weeks and being a good sleeper ever since then. They are very different babies and you get so used to what you know. Little L has been amazing at just slotting in to our little family and I think we have tried to almost carry on with things as we used to. I've very much been in a total haze for the past 4 months- a  weird combination of that feeling of utter bliss at having a new baby around, sleep deprivation and just trying to juggle everything at the same time. 

And while I have relished every single cuddle and look forward so much to every time I get to feed him, I am also looking forward to beginning a new chapter with a new routine. My little family and I thrive on routine I know these days can seem difficult at the time. Motherhood isn't easy at all, but I have hindsight on my side and also know how quickly these early days pass too and I really want to relish these moments with my boys- something I know I'll make more of if I'm a less tired mama and Little L is a content, happier baby. 



  1. I really empathise here, I found having a second so much harder than I thought it would be as from 16 weeks she wasn't a good sleeper, we too strive on routine and it really helped that we had our evenings at least - even if I was up in the night! I hope the new bedtime works well for everyone Xx

    1. Aw it's so much harder isn't it? We are back to our normal late bedtime routine but at least he's settled and it seems to work for now, but as he gets older we will need to get him used to being in his own bedroom. x


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