baby bedtime routine

We’ve been using the same bedtime routine for Elsie since she was around four months old. At around 6-6:30pm we’d take her for a bath, get her dressed and ready for bed and then sit in her darkened room and feed her. Usually she’d nod off drinking the last few ounces and we’d put her down. Yep – we put her down asleep! Call the police. Seriously though, we’ve probably made a rod for our own backs and now we’re battling a baby that wants milk in the night to get herself back to sleep.

It’s definitely time to change our routine but it’s hard going and it’s only day three.

We discussed all the ways we could wean her off these night time feeds but we’ve opted for cold turkey. Sounds harsh doesn’t it but so far so good. We’ve had two nights of no feeds. But we’ve also had two nights of listening to her cry it out. I’m not all clued up on the techniques and their names but I guess we’re doing a form of controlled crying or sleep training?! We go in and settle her and put her music on and then leave her for five minutes. If, after five minutes, she is still crying we go back in again and do the same. We repeat this to a maximum gap of fifteen minutes. So far she has settled herself after the third time of going in and so we’ve kept at it. Supposedly it could take a week or so to break the cycle but we’re thinking of the long term and hopefully a week or two of pain for us both will mean a better nights sleep all around.

I hope that doesn’t sound selfish.

The Health Visitor agreed she needs to sleep through and was happy for us to crack on weaning her off bottles but she suggested offering water. I think part of the reason Elsie wakes is for a cuddle so I don’t think this would help much.

Unfortunately, this week has been pretty rough for Elsie as she also has a cold and seems to be teething (they may be linked) so we’ve had the Calpol out and we’ve had a cot covered in vomit. It’s hard to implement any kind of new routine when your baby is ill but now we’ve started we need to see it through. Matt is so much better at being hard on her then I am but I know it’s in all our best interests.

It’s bloody hard though. Although we’re not feeding her we’re still awake three times a night trying to settle her and listening to her cry on and off. I’m praying that when the cough and cold disappears she will sleep much more soundly. Every time she lies down at the moment she coughs.

Did you need to implement some kind of new routine to get your baby to sleep or did they do it by themselves? If they managed it on their own how old were they? Elsie will be 11 months old on April 21st and so I don’t think we’re expecting too much but she’s just such a cuddly little duck I feel so awful for her!

You can read about Elsie’s five month update here.

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I’ve not written an update on little Elsie since she was 5 months old and that’s mainly because I’ve been feeling rotten. It’s been a season of illness in our house and along with being pregnant I’ve not really felt like putting finger to keyboard. However, reading back over Elsie’s 5 month update I realise how much she’s changed and I really want to document all these little moments.

Elsie is now a fully fledged crawler and is desperately trying to stand up. Her curiosity knows no bounds; she’s pulling herself up on furniture, putting everything in her mouth and obsessed with cables, phones and laptops (another reason I’m getting zero blogging done).

It’s been a long time coming but I think we have a first tooth on the horizon too; her bottom gum has a couple of little white specks where the tooth has just broken the skin and we’ve had some horrendous nights to go along with it.

Speaking of sleep; Elsie is still loving a milk or two during the night. I’m hoping, now she’s on three good meals ( + snacks) and crawling, that she’ll start sleeping for longer periods. She’s also loving waking up pre 6am! It’s slightly irritating for Matt and I as it’s like waking up half hour before your alarm everyday but the real problem is that it wakes Florence and Logan up too. Florence is already shattered from school and usually she’d wake up 6:30-7am but recently she’s been wandering into our room at 5:50am.

I’ve had the letter come through to book her 9-12 month review which, in a weird way, I’m looking forward too. I think our little girl is doing brilliantly and I hope the health visitor agrees. Obviously I’m no expert so they might spot something I haven’t but fingers crossed she’s doing well.

As I mentioned earlier, Elsie is now on three meals a day plus the odd snack or milk in between. Her milks during the day are hit and miss depending on when she naps and her naps are hit and miss depending on whether she sleeps in the car on the school run. Everyday’s a little bit different. Elsie’s favourite foods are….everything. I’m yet to come across something she won’t eat. She loves homemade lasagne and pasta dishes but is equally as happy to scoff an Ella’s Kitchen pouch. She loves to gnaw on pear and cucumber and feed herself but she’ll also be spoon fed if needed.

I’m so excited to see you learn and develop your own personality – we can already tell you’ve got a temper on you! You’re learning so fast too; you move your arms to help me get you out of your car seat and when I say “Elsie, no” you just grin at me and carry on!

Anyway – I’d better get this posted otherwise you’ll be nine months before we know it. Love you little one x

elsie at christmas, first christmas

weaning, happy baby

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I’m a few days late with this update on, not so little, Elsie and I considered not bothering but then I thought about all the cool stuff she’s done this month and I really wanted to make a note of it so we can look back on it with her in years to come. My mum and dad kept a baby record book of my milestones when I was a baby and I absolutely love looking at it!

So probably the biggest change in Elsie’s life this month has been the introduction of food.  We decided we’d try and wean Elsie a little earlier than advised. To us, she seemed ready. She can sit, with padding, in her high chair and we get the full on grabbing at our food when we’re eating something with her on our laps.  I had Marmite on toast for breakfast last week and Elsie was sat on my lap. Every time I tried to eat a piece of toast she’d try and grab it from my hands so in the end we gave her a piece big enough for her to hold and she sucked it until it fell apart. I don’t think she actually ate any but she loves Marmite!

We started her weaning using these Babease pouches; they’re totally organic and suitable from 4mths. I’m a bit advocate of making homemade food for the little ones, especially during weaning, but as Elsie is still so young I felt more comfortable knowing the Babease purees were specifically designed for babies of her age and I didn’t need to worry about any hidden lumps. It’s one of the easiest times to ensure your kids get a great diet because believe me, as they get older its hard to say no to all those naughty treats!

babease

Elsie’s been weaning for a good 2-3 weeks now and she has  2-3 meals per day – it just depends on our schedule that day. She has a mixture of pouches and homemade food and I’ve found one of the cheapest ways to feed Elsie is to bake a sweet potato and then divide the flesh into four zip lock bags. Each bag makes more than enough for a small meal for Elsie when combined with her own formula.

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In my last update I think I mentioned how erratic nighttimes were. Sometimes Elsie would feed twice a night, sometimes once and sometimes 3 or more times. We have now introduced a solid routine and Elsie seems to be loving it, and so are we! Elsie feeds once a night now, at around 4am, and then goes back to sleep until around 6:30am. During day Elsie has a loose routine but come 6:30pm we are in her bedtime routine. We give her a bath, sometimes on her own and sometimes with her sister, she is then dressed ready for bed, given a bottle and asleep by around 7pm. This has worked every night without fail since we started two weeks ago. Last night I put her down wide awake and she was asleep by the time we’d finished reading Florence’s bedtime story. She then slept soundly until 4am.  We couldn’t ask for more! I’m not sure if it’s the routine, the food or a combination of both thats sorted her out but I’m feeling much more human these days. Time for another baby?! HA HA HA!

Finally, this month Elsie has learnt to roll.  Like properly roll, not just a one off, overtime I put her down on her back she rolls on to her front. I didn’t know about this little trick and put her down on the carpet and walked out the room to see what Florence wanted.  Came back to muffled sounds and she was face down.  I almost had a heart attack so, suffice to say, I won’t be leaving her again! I need to take the cot top changer off now as it’s just not safe for her to be on there. I think we will also be moving the cot mattress down soon as she has started grabbing the bars and it won’t be long before she can pull herself up.

How time has flown and my how she’s changing. Our little rainbow baby is flourishing!

els1

If you missed Elsie’s four month update you can read it here.

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Today, as Elsie turns three months old, we are in Cornwall.  Elsie is on her first holiday and we are on our first holiday as a family of five. I really couldn’t be any happier.

It’s been another big month for little Elsie. Just after Elsie turned two months old she had her first set of immunisations.  Unsurprisingly she cried when they were administered but settled quickly afterwards. A few doses of Calpol seemed to keep her in good spirits despite a raised temperature.  Within 24 hours we were over the worst of it and Elsie was back to her smiley self.

Last month we had the smiles, this month we’re getting cooey conversation and we’re almost getting a giggle, but not quite! When Elsie coos and gurgles at me I chat back.  I wait for her to finish and then start talking.  When I’m finished I wait for her to reply, which she almost always does.  I think I’ll remember these first chats with Elsie forever. She looks at me straight in the eye and its as if she’s trying to tell me something and then flashes a big smile. Elsie enjoys nursery rhymes and hearing me or her sister singing to her. Round and round the garden seems to be a big hit at the moment!

three months old

As I type this I have just won an eBay auction for a Bumbo seat. Elsie, although only just three months, is so desperate to be sat up all the time. She is already fiercely independent, just like her sister. There’s no more cradling Elsie like a newborn – she just won’t have it (unless there’s a bottle involved)!

A big first for our little lady this month was when I took her and Florence swimming at my mum and dads house. Thank goodness we had access to their pool as I don’t think it would have been such an easy ‘expedition’ to a public pool. My mum came in to the pool too and helped with one whilst I was with the other.  We dunked Elsie’s feet bit by bit to get her used to the temperature and eventually plopped her into the Zoggs swim seat.  She was just big enough for it and actually seemed to enjoy floating around taking it all in.  I was expecting some tears when we first dunked her in but she didn’t shed one! we spent about 20 minutes or so in the water before she got hungry and so I sat on the side and fed her whilst my mum and Florence carried on splashing around. I think Elsie is going to be a water baby!

baby swimming

Our daily routine is becoming more, well, routine! Elsie tends to wake around 7am and a couple of hours later is ready for a nap.  Naps tend to last for 45 minutes and then she’s ready for another bottle and more play time! The only way I can get any blogging done is to pop her in the LapBaby.  We were kindly sent the LapBaby to review and so far I’m loving it – I have my hands back!

LapBaby

Bedtime is anywhere between 8-9pm and sometimes we take her up before we go to bed and other times she sleeps in her bouncy chair downstairs until we go up. During the night it can be just a 1am and 6am feed or it could be 12pm, 3am, 6am.  I think it all depends how awake she’s been during the day and how much she’s fed in the day too.  After night feeds Elsie’s as good as gold and goes straight back to sleep – long may this last!

We have started selling on all of Elsie’s newborn and 0-3 months clothing as she’s already in 3-6 months.  Actually the swimming costume she’s wearing in the pool pictures and the featured image at the top of this post is 6-9mths! Suffice to says she’s doing well!

Finally, I can’t not mention the dribble.  Throughout the last week Elsie has been a little unsettled and dribbly which I can only put down to teething albeit it seems super early!? It’s not all day every day but she does soak through the top of her vest or bib and loves sucking on her finger. We’re armed with Dentinox and Teetha so bring it on teeth – we’re ready for you!

It’s been a great month! We’re creeping closer to the weaning stage and I already notice Elsie watching me whilst I eat.  I’m excited to give her some first tastes in the Autumn.

I’ve been a bit of a naughty blogger and have struggled to find the time (and energy) to write.  I’m hoping, now we’re approaching ‘back to school’ that I’ll have a little more time on my hands.

If you missed Elsie’s two month update click here.

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