So Friday had me in tears of stress, tiredness & frustration.
I’ve been trying to nap train baby for a week now, taking ideas from my sister-in-law A and biological sister N. The first nap of the day is about an hour after baby has woken up, so when we come downstairs I pop her almost straight in the sling whilst I make lunches for my partner and I. He has awful IBS and his stomach reacts badly to fat, and I’m still trying to lose the rest of my baby weight, so it’s very healthy: wholegrain rice salad with cottage cheese, and low fat yoghurt with strawberries, blueberries & honey. He also has Herbalife shakes so if I remember I make one of those up for him too (they’re great, by the way – for losing weight or just to have in the cupboard as a good snack, with soy milk). I also do the washing up from the night before, because that’s how we roll! Anyways I pop on a white noise app on my phone, playing through a little bluetooth speaker I got (Divoom Bluetooth Bean – tiny, very portable, great sound, cheap!) and bounce around the kitchen making shushing noises until she drops off for a while.
Then around 1 hour 1/2 to two hours later I start the next nap – into the car seat on the travel system chassis (age hates the pram), with a blanket, muslin, favourite dragon toy & white noise on the speaker again, and I sing my favourite song to her, ‘The Temptation Of Adam’ by Josh Ritter, and push over the rugs in the dining room which provide a soporific bump. The record is ten minutes to go to sleep, she’s definitely getting trained to the white noise!
However on Friday, baby wouldn’t nap. Possibly she was picking up on bad vibes because I was upset with my partner having argued about me not doing enough in our relationship, and around the house, and I’d text him but he was ignoring me & I was getting more & more upset. And baby got more & more upset, as she got progressively more shattered.
I tried every one of our usual techniques twice: pushing in the buggy, breastfeeding on a cushion, bouncing in my arms, breastfeeding & cuddling on the bed, but she kept arching her back, crying, looking at me as if to say, ‘make it better mummy!’ I guessed her reflux must have been bad too, and breastfeeding to sleep can be problematic when you’ve filled them up but they’re still not sleepy, as it just come back up, overflowing, and upsets them.
After three hours of this, I called my partner in tears & asked him to come home & help. He works ten minutes’ walk up the road so fortunately he came back, to find I’d temporarily distracted baby with a YouTube animation of black & white butterflies, but as soon as he took her, the screaming started again. However his presence must have had a calming effect on one or other of us, as after ten minutes I got her to have a boob suck & a snooze, thank god. I thought it wouldn’t get that bad again.
My partner and I talked it through, and worked out our differences. And last night was supposed to be a nice adult night – he was going to make a pizza from scratch (he’s an excellent cook) and I’d help. However baby had different ideas, of course!
I usually feed baby to sleep on a pillow, sat on the bed, with her moses basket beside me, and when she’s fast asleep I transfer her to her bed. I usually feed one side then the other, partially to fill her up and partially as one nipple is more pronounced and she has a habit of keeping it in her mouth, sucked in, and I can’t remove it without waking her, whereas the other is still flat & needs work to keep it pulled out, so when she’s falling asleep it’s easier to remove. Last night she was dropping off when I switched sides but as soon as I offered her the other nipple she seemed to wake up – very unusual. She was looking up at me with her huge blue eyes & chatting at me, being totally adorable, which was very endearing for a while. However, she wouldn’t drift off, she kept looking at me & wouldn’t go back to feeding, and eventually started getting cranky & being sick, which must have hurt her throat, so I had to hold her upright & walk her around, rocking & patting, but still no sleep. She was totally fighting it, she had her dazed stare on when she was quiet & was screaming the house down the rest of the time.
After 1 hour 1/2 of failure my partner brought me up homemade cheesey garlic bread, which helped morales. After 2 & 1/2 hours, 2 poos, and reflux on 3 onesies & two Gro-bags I admitted defeat, my partner made the pizza (it was amazing), and I managed to placate baby into having a soothing, sleep-inducing boob in front of the TV, (white noise still on) whilst I had a well-deserved glass of red. Then when she was finally asleep I transfered her upstairs to her own bed (she didn’t even wake up) and crashed out myself. Happy bank holiday!!