Sunday, February 19, 2012

A frosty morning

This is a bit after the event, but I wanted to share the images with my overseas readers.

Last Saturday when we woke up, my iPhone weather ap said that it was -13˚C. My dad's car said it was -14.5 - the lowest temperature recorded locally was -16.

Whichever - it was a bit on the chilly side!

This is a cobweb!

The sun did eventually make it through the freezing fog and the landscape was stunningly beautiful, coated in it's white lace. You'll just have to take my word for it on that though - I was driving by then and BB just hasn't worked out how to use the camera yet!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New room

So, thanks to everyone for helping me out with the sleeping plan. Those of you that know me well will be familiar with the fact that it takes me ages to make a decision, but once I have decided that's it. I have no patience and have to act straight away.

So, since I was last here I have single handedly

  • moved the stuff from under the bed to the spare room
  • dismantled the bed (yes that's right desert dwellers, the room is not actually big enough to turn it around without taking it apart)
  • put the bed back together
  • moved the stuff from the spare room back under the bed
  • dismantled the cot and moved it into the spare room
  • moved the 30 loft flooring panels from my room to where the cot used to be
  • moved the cot to my room and reassembled it
All whilst entertaining a 7 month old - oh, ok, so Makka Pakka and Iggle Piggle did a little babysitting for a while there - but...

Yes - I do feel like a hero - and totally exhausted.

Here is the new arrangement. As you can see BB is perfectly happy with it for sitting in and playing/posing for photographs - we'll see what happens at bed time!

Meanwhile it's emergency pizza from the freezer for dinner tonight. Well, he's tried his first curry so it's about time he tried pizza, right?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sleep choices - please help me decide

I know this is likely to start a bun fight - but please help me make this choice...

Do I want to train BB to sleep in a cot, or should I carry on with our current co-sleeping arrangement?

The story so far
From birth to about 4 months, BB slept in a hammock. It was a fabulous little thing that moved around the house with me, hanging over my bed during the night, and in the lounge during the day. He slept soundly, didn't develop plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) as so many babies do these days, and the gentle bouncing motion helped him to sleep as when he stirred a little, he moved himself. That hammock was definitely one of my best baby purchases to date.

From about 3 months, once BB had grown enough and I had gotten over all the negative talk about co sleeping, he started to sleep in my bed. It's a Queen, with just me, and a safety rail (bought on ebay for £1.99) on his side he is perfectly safe once I am in bed. I love co-sleeping. I was asked about my favourite things about being a mum the other day and laying in bed sleeping with BB is so up there. I am so glad I finally found the courage to co-sleep, despite the 'warnings'. BB has never had a problem sleeping at night, waking only for a feed and then straight back to sleep. I have never had to get up to him, or get out of bed to feed him, so I too have slept well. I really do feel like I know him so much better through sleeping with him, and that I am so much closer to him as a result. Without a doubt, I regard co-sleeping (up to this point) as one of my best parenting decision for both BB and I.

The trouble was, at about 4 months, he grew too big for the hammock. I had a small crisis regarding day time sleeps for a while (night was of course fine). I tried putting him down in his cot but he screamed and screamed. After several attempts I gave in. Then we were given a fabulous bouncer in which he was able nap - that has solved our problem up to now as he could happily sleep in that until I went to bed - but now that he is getting bigger he's not comfortable in it for so long...

For the last few nights, after a bath and a story, I feed BB and put him to sleep at 7pm in my bed. I am slightly nervous as he is now mobile and could technically fall out or get tangled in the covers, but he goes to sleep happily. I have started reducing the night feeds too. Despite being told by the health workers that it would be impossible to night wean him whilst he was in my bed, (yes, there was challenge I had I take on!) I thought I would give it a try. So, in the last 10 days he has gone from feeding every 2 hours, to feeding only twice. I put him to bed a 7pm, and feed him at midnight and 7 am, and he sleeps until about 8.30 or 9am. In a few more days I will try and cut out the midnight feed too. 

For people interested in trying the same, I did it by just not feeding him. He woke up wanting a feed, I told him he couldn't have it - he cried a bit, but nothing like the screaming you get when you try to put him in a cot. The first night I did cuddle him a bit and then put him down again, but since then I have just left him. He does have a grizzle and wriggle, but he soon falls back to sleep again. I have been consistent and never given in to crying with a feed, though I have occasionally soothed him by talking gently, or singing quietly, holding his had and rubbing his back. 

So, in summary:
  • We both get a good night's sleep
  • I am single, so don't have to worry about a partner feeling left out
  • I am proving that you can co-sleep and night wean
  • I don't have to get up to him
  • It makes him really portable, we can sleep at other folks' houses, no need for a travel cot
  • I love co-sleeping
  • Really, for my own sake, I'd  like to carry on as we are

The future???
However, despite all this, I am currently considering putting us both through a considerable amount of trauma, and using controlled comforting (yes that's right, another name for controlled crying, but it sounds so much better doesn't it? This is one of the least harsh variants) to get BB sleeping in a cot. 

Why would I be considering such a thing when we are both so happy as we are? Well, I am wondering if it would be better for him in the long run. 

Firstly, I am afraid he may fall out of my bed in the time between 7 pm and when I go to bed, and the time between when I wake up and when he wakes up. He moves around a lot. He does have a safety rail on his side, and I do stuff pillows on my side, but, well, it's not ideal is it. Alternatives would be for him to stay with me downstairs or for me to go to bed at 7. Neither is practical. I want to establish a healthy bedtime routine, and I want him to get enough sleep. He is totally ready for bed at 7. I'm not. 

Also, he is not good at putting himself to sleep. I'd really like him to develop that skill, for his own sake, but also for mine. At the moment he gets sleepy when breastfeeding - and that wont happen forever. I guess he is getting some practice at that now, when he wakes in the night and doesn't get fed, and so he might learn. I read that is good to read him his story after his feed to help him to develop this skill - I tried that for the first time tonight - he slept through it!  I don't want to be having to lie with him while he falls asleep for the next 6 years! And, if I am lucky enough to have baby 2, as a single mum that just wouldn't be practical.

I have heard of many cases where the parents just wait for the child to decide themselves when they are ready for their own bed. That sounds great, I'd love to do that, but there is no guarantee that my child would be one to decide early... what if I do have baby 2 and he hasn't made that choice by then - then that's yet another thing to have a huge impact on him when the baby comes as he would be displaced from my bed at that point - poor honey - I'd like to prevent that from happening.

I also want him to have somewhere to sleep safely during the day, for naps. As he is getting bigger, the bouncer isn't comfortable for so long, and he will eventually out grow it.

I have read that the sooner you do this 'sleep training' thing, the better. It would be very hard if he was able to stand up/walk/get out of bed etc. It may also be harder for him, having had longer at my side.

I'd miss him so much if he went to a cot.  I feel I'd miss out on half of his life! But am I being selfish? Is it better for him to go? 

It's such a hard choice!

So, should I do it? Or should we stay as we are?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences to help me make this choice

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oatmeal Sodabread


175g Plain wholemeal flour
50g Plain white flour
50g Pinhead Oatmeal
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 large egg
275mls buttermilk


Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the buttermilk and mix
Add to the dry ingredients and mix well
Place in a greased 1lb loaf tin and bake for 50mins at 190°C
Cool on a rack