Wine. The answer is lots of wine.
My baby is 8 months today, UGH, and I just now feel like I’m getting the hang of this parenting thing. So far he’s fallen off the couch twice and off our bed once, has figured out how to turn onto his tummy and slide out of his rocking chair and sit down on the floor, and I’m pretty sure both the dogs are working for him.
I’ve been asked how I’m managing a few times and I’ll be honest, I’m pretty lucky. I have an extreeeeeeeeeemely well behaved baby with a great attitude. But a lot of it comes from having asked friends with kids where they think they went wrong and the one fairly consistent thing we were told was not setting up a structured night time schedule.
Seth has always slept pretty well but it was erratic. I could never tell when he needed to nap, and as a result he never really did. When he was about three months old I decided he’d just nap when I felt he was tired and it actually worked. After some trial and error (you can not force a baby who wants to play to take a nap, fun fact) I started laying him down at 9:30 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. He fought it for a few days but eventually he started knocking right out. Those were paced well enough that he was ready for bed at 7:30. I tried keeping him up until 8 or 9 thinking he’d sleep later.
He sleeps from 7:30 to about 4 am, wakes up for a bottle, then knocks back out until about 7:30 most mornings. I will admit to one Bad Mommy habit: he has to nurse to go to sleep. We’ve tried pacifiers to no avail, so I lay him down with a 2 ounce bottle, let him drift off, then go take it away from him. We keep a space heater in the room (chill, it’s on a timer with a set heat, attached to a surge protector, and will turn itself off if it tips in any direction) because his room is goddamn freezing at night. We lay him down when the room is warm, turn on his Twilight Turtle (ONLY the blue stars or all hell breaks loose), turn on his mobile, and he’s good to go to sleep. I stay up until about 11:30, give him a diaper change, and it’s usually all quiet on the Western Front.
Unfortunately this week he’s been sick so all that nice, reasonable schedule nonsense went out the damn window along with my sanity and any organization in this house. Yesterday he refused to go down for a nap until 3, then woke up screaming at the top of his lungs at 4. That continued until 5:30 when he suddenly went to sleep and was down for the count. Because I’m a friggin idiot I thought that was a good thing and puttered around until 11 when it suddenly hit me that this was a Very Bad Thing. Unfortunately by then it was too late, I went to bed and accepted my fate. He was up at 1:30, 3, 4, 6, and up for the morning at 6:30. I can’t do cry-it-out so I get up when he’s crying to soothe him, I was so tired my hands were shaking this morning.
We probably watched more TV than we should have today. I’m not proud. But I was sober, and given how things went I feel like that’s a win.
If you’ve got tips, tricks, or a good recipe for fudge leave a comment.