Saturday, 29 September 2012

Contented Little Mamas?

Ok Gina, let's be ‘avin ya.

My friends fall into different schools of thought when it comes to parenting: some are super-strict with their routines, others are, let's say: more lackadaisical and then there are the ones who are in the middle. I think I fall into the latter category, but then I've always been known to sit on the fence.

When I got to the point of being up all night and I could no longer put matchsticks in my eyes, I needed to try something; anything. So out came ‘the book’ - we all know the one.

I'm of the opinion that you need to do what works for you, so when I flicked through this so-called holy grail, it alarmed me. I was suddenly being shouted at from the pages with a stern point-of-the-finger. I felt like I had been sent to baby boot camp and had been given my first detention for turning up late.
But because I was more in despair than Desperate Dan, I needed to try it, so I decided to pick a chapter that suited us.

The first rule was to make sure that the little one was up, nappy changed and fed by a certain time - which didn't bode well as I was already 15 minutes behind schedule - oh dear, epic fail so far...Still, I thought, I need to keep at it so I moved on to the next task in the regime.
Then something magical happened: he went down for his first nap; all by himself. No motion involved, or terrible singing. And then it happened again later at a relative’s house! The relative and I (let's call her Shirley) decided to try out the commands together. For the first time ever, the babies were in sync (see female of the species for reference) and both went to sleep, unaided, within 10 minutes.
We sat there a bit shell-shocked, 'Right then', said Shirley 'lunch?'
Not daring to make a noise to possibly disturb them, we crept around the house like the milk tray man; avoiding things like the 'fourth step on the stairs' that creaked.

Forgetting she had put the bagels in the toaster due to the shock, Shirley jumped out of her skin when they popped up (burnt to a crisp).
We sat there not knowing what to do with ourselves; would they suddenly wake up?
While the bambinos snoozed contentedly, so not contented were we; we sat with our backs as stiff as cardboard, eating our cardboard bagels.

Later on in the day, the rules started to get harder to follow:
Shirley said 'He's getting tired and irritable and I know he should be sleeping not playing'.
So we consulted Gina's marvellous medicine which said not to interact with them for a certain period before they rest.
'Put him in his bouncer, facing away,' I advised, suddenly being a nap-pro after two siesta successes.
'Then what?' she said as he was starting to grizzle.
'[Get him to] look at the plant'.
So she turned towards the plant, staring.
'What are you doing?' I said.
'You told me to look at the plant!'
'What?! Get him to look at the plant so he becomes dozy.'

And we fell about in hysterics, (hysteria is a usual emotion I feel these days) completely disturbing him in the process.
That's how desperate we were to settle them that she would try anything - yet somehow I don't think parental 'greenery gazing' would catch on as a new method for baby sleep training.

So while the day ended well, the nightly verdict? Hmm, I gained all of an extra hour’s sleep - all that hard work and it hadn't paid off. But I'm going to stick with it, albeit our own tailored version. I don't quite fancy baby boot camp, not quite yet *yawning*...


  1. Ah, Mrs W, I don't think you're the first parent to feel a bit befuddled by Miss F's instructions! It must be hateful when old timer parents like me say things like 'oh, they'll get there in the'll be shaking them awake for school one day...'!

    So I won't. ;)

  2. Love it! But I have to say Mrs F made me cry! I think my boys are allergic to her magic medicine. Do whatever works for you in the quest for the holy grail of sleep! Xx

  3. I found that trying to follow Gina nearly drove me mad! I soon gave up and tried the Baby Whisperer instead which was much more relaxed!

  4. I hid my friend's Miss F book once as she was going bonkers over it! She thanked me later!