Last week I asked my boyfriend what the one thing he would do more of if he could go back to his pre-baby days.
‘More late nights and late mornings’.
And fuck me, what I would give to be able to stay up until 1am and then laze around in bed all morning (and maybe all afternoon and early evening until I showered and put on a fresh pair of PJs) with a mild hangover. Maybe order pizza. Go to the corner shop for snacks. Watch back-to back-documentaries. Maybe play a spot of Mario Party or Two Point Hospital. Take a nap. Embrace the sluggish laziness of the day.
I mean, I wouldn’t give up my baby, but I dunno… maybe one of the cats?
I jest, I jest.
From the minute you announce your pregnancy to the world, you’re ambushed with really helpful and uplifting comments like ‘lol, get ready for the sleepless nights’ and ‘are you tired? Better get used to it!’.
And yes, parenthood is tiring. And yes, when non-parents say things like ‘eurgh, I am so exhausted’ I want to smush a cream pie in their face and force them to take a nap because I’m not sure anyone understands how glorious nap freedom is until you no longer have nap freedom.
A particularly shocking crash down to earth after a few weeks taking daily sofa naps during the last stint of pregnancy to the newborn days when HA! Will the baby go more than 45 minutes without screaming for my nipple so I can power nap or nah?
But this weekend brought sweet, sweet torture to parents up and down the country.
I mean, my Instagram feed was swimming with mums praying sweet nothings to the universe for coffee.
A particular fave upload was from ex-LOOK editor Gilly Ferguson whose caption read: “LOVING seeing everyone’s incredible Halloween costumes on here. Me? I’m going for the ever so subtle ‘Mummy (the clocks have gone back)’ costume – deep sunken eyes, deathly pale skin, zombie walk – and wrapped head to toe in white to bounce off the light/startle away strangers.’
Gurl, I feel you. On a deep and personal level.
Because that’s right lads, the clocks went back.
And whilst everyone else was reveling in a extra hour in bed, those of us with small children were sobbing into our bedsheets wondering why we couldn’t at least order up room service to take the sad edge off.
Maybe a little (read: super size) coffee, a stack of pancakes, some crispy bacon, a few strawbs, a green juice. Y’know, just the basics to help us on our merry way.
In our household, we’ve been battling with 5.30-6am wake-ups for weeks (maybe 7pm is too early for bedtime?), so it was a touch tricky on the soul to be woken up at 4.50am by a baby head-butting his monitor and whimpering for milk.
Love you Atti!
But seriously, when are you supposed to put ten-month-olds to bed? When are they supposed to wake up?
I spent a large chunk of time that should have been spent playing musical instruments and mummy’s make-up bag with my child this morning, on Google, frantically searching ‘ten-month-old routine.’
And I realised that actually, we don’t have it so bad.
I usually put Atti down for a nap in his cot two-hours after he’s first woken up (sometimes earlier if he’s yawning, cranky and rubbing his eyes). He sleeps for somewhere between 40 minutes and two hours.
I’ll then put him down for another nap three hours after he’s woken up from the first nap, and again, the length can be anywhere between 40 minutes and two hours.
I use a cheap black out blind, and I place my iPad on the floor with white noise. He sleeps in a sleep bag and has a dummy and usually self-settles himself down within about ten minutes.
And admittedly, it did take some sleep training to get him to this stage.
By the time his second nap is finished, it’s somewhere between 2pm and 3pm, and sometimes that means we’ve got FIVE hours before bedtime and it is a stretch.
By 5pm, the witching hour begins and it’s all hands on deck trying to keep him from having an extravagant melt down. There is a lot of tower building, playing peek-a-boo and throwing a small child in the air.
But even if he is ready for bed earlier, I can’t put him to bed because I don’t really like the sound of 3am wake-ups?
Or if I put him down at 6.30 will he secretly love it and sleep in til 6.30?
Does he need me to push his lunchtime nap deeper into the afternoon?
A micro third nap?
Or do I just keep riding it out and hope that as he eventually starts to sleep in a little longer?
I love when other people share their baby sleep routines as it gives me a rough guide of what I should aim for. Morgan Alice is great for this and I loved when The Mothership ladies shared theirs – so please tweet me and let me know where you’re at, because I find it even more fascinating than researching conspiracy theories when I should be asleep.
Peace out ladies, may your coffee be a strong one.