Twenty three weeks today.
Twenty three whole weeks since this little madam arrived.
Twenty three whole weeks of love.
When we a first announced our pregnancy to everyone, we were in an absolute bubble of happiness and excitement. We loved receiving everyone’s congratulations and seeing their reactions, with people often recalling the time they announced their own pregnancies etc.
What we WEREN’T expecting was the shed load of advice and comments that a lot of people had regarding your pregnancy/birth/soon-to-be babys life. The majority of people were well meaning, and a lot of the time, their advice came in very handy, but the odd person would be very judgemental and often added to the anxiety I already faced as a first time mum. I should’ve realised then that it was just the start of the ‘advice’ I was going to receive, wanted or not…..
‘You probably overdid it at the gym.’ (the reason my waters broke at 34 weeks apparently….)
‘Glad to see you’re breastfeeding, it’s the only way to get the important nutrients into her body.’
‘Oh, she should be sleeping through by now, have you tried to leave her to cry?’ (At 8 weeks old)
All actual comments I received in the early weeks of my life with a newborn. And all as useful as a chocolate teapot.
One of my most ‘favourite’ bits of advice, that continues on and is applied to just about anything you do with your baby…..
‘You’ll create a rod for your own back’
The next person that says that to me might actually get poked in the eye. It used to seriously stress me out and I would start to worry that I was doing things and developing habits that would be detrimental to Liv & me.
I got it when I told people I fed her to sleep. I got it when I told people I brought her into my bed when she wouldn’t settle in the early hours. Aaaand here I am again, getting it now.
You see, these past couple of weeks, Liv has become really quite clingy. Having never really been a cosy baby, it’s something I’m taking quite bad with.
When she was first born, i used to either rock or feed her to sleep as there is no way she would’ve gone to sleep any other way. Surprisingly though, at about 12 weeks, she really nailed this ‘self settling’ thing and we could put her down awake and she would fall asleep easily. She got SO good at it however, that she hated getting held to sleep anymore. She would only settle if she was on her own. Although it was brilliant for managing to get things done around the house, I couldn’t help but feel really sad that I was missing out on all those baby cuddles I used to get. And of course I had no more excuses to not get the washing and hoovering done…..
So it’s taken me a bit by surprise this past little while, that she’s been getting upset easily and only being consoled by cuddles with mummy. I’m loving it the majority of the time as I now know how quick it can change. But apparently by picking up my baby when she starts crying, and cuddling her, I’m ‘creating a rod for my own back…’
Oh, thanks for that amazing advice Mrs Brown, you’re right enough, I know TONS of seventeen year olds that cry and will only be consoled by being picked up and cuddled, must’ve been because their mum did it to them when they were 5months old….’
Thankfully I take the advice with a pinch of salt now. As we all know, mums needs advice. And lots of it. A lot of the time.
I love the advice i get from other mums when i ask for it, and receiving advice from others that have gone through it or are well intentioned is amazing. That stuff, is what I focus on now, instead of the negative nancy brigade.
One of the things I was keen on from the start, was making sure Liv knew and felt comfortable with family members and close friends. I didn’t want her to be a ‘strange’ baby or to only ever settle with me or her dad. So again, we were quite lucky that she has always gone to others absolutely fine and we never had any issues.
Until now of course.
You know, just when we’d been lulled into a false sense of security.
Cos that’s what babies do apparently….
She has spent the majority of the week screaming whenever she has been in anybody else arms, especially if I’m in the same room and she can see or hear me.
Although it’s lovely feeling wanted, it does get slightly embarrassing explaining to people that she’s never usually like this and trying to reassure them that its nothing they’re doing and that its not because she ‘doesn’t like’ them.
Of course, multiply the embarrassment by a million if we’re in a public place….
The worst it’s been was Wednesday night. She was really unsettled, crying a LOT. To the point where she wasn’t even taking her bedtime bottle with her dad. As soon as I took over, she settled almost instantly and took the rest of her bottle. She’s NEVER not settled with her dad. In fact, she’s often settled easier and quicker with him. So I think this has thrown us a bit.
I’ve been reassured that its just a phase, that it could be down to her teeth or that its just a growth in her development. She is still in leap 4 (due to her prematurity) according to Wonder Weeks so it probably
hopefully is a lovely little combination of this.
Any words of wisdom from other mums that are going/have been through this? Is it just a phase? Or is she maybe just going to be like this from now?
Am I spending too much alone time with her?
Am I actually creating a rod for my own back?!
Speaking of Leap 4….. Sleep Regression.
I’d been pretty relieved that I’d seemed to get off pretty lightly with the whole regression. Apart from the odd couple of nights, she’s continued to sleep through.
Until this week of course….
Because one worry isn’t enough to have this week. Hey, let’s add another and compound it with sleep deprivation. That should do the trick!
Although not having to get up, Liv has been wakening through the night, needing her dummy put back in or just needing resettled. At least once in the night though she’ll actually squeal on wakening, like a little sore squeal. I put the teething gel on and after a little while she’ll settle again. It gives me a fright every time though, and then I start to worry.
Or am I over-analysing?
On a positive note, I feel that week by week, we’re getting into more of a routine, finding out what makes her tick and what to avoid. When she needs a nap and when she needs a bottle. It really is becoming more and more enjoyable as she develops, and as much as I’m starting to realise that there will never be a worry and stress free time of raising a child, I’m also starting to discover all the amazing bits as well.
I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and much NEEDED & ASKED for advice ❤