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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elsie 10 months old

I still remember the evening I went into labour with Elsie like it was yesterday yet here I am about to write all about Elsie as she turns 10 months old.

In the last few months it feels like she has changed from a baby to….well, not a toddler but something in between. She cruises along furniture like a pro (and has been for at least a month), she almost has six teeth and she eats a roast dinner better than most kids five years older than her. I’m so proud of the little person she’s becoming. The giggles are more frequent and she can now wave when she hears people say “hello” or “goodbye” – especially the Teletubbies. They hold a special place in Elsie’s heart and when we’re having a bit of a meltdown naughty noo-noo and the gang seem to sort it out!

Poor little Elsie was quite ill last week; conjunctivitis, high temperature, chesty cough and nose streaming like a tap. It turned out to be a viral infection which cleared up on it’s own but it was a tough old week with multiple night time wake ups and all the Olbas oil.

Waking up in the nighttime is still pretty common unfortunately. Once, usually twice, a night we have crying. A few ounces of milk seems to do the trick unless it’s quite close to 6am in which case she’s up for the day. I’d be reluctant to give her milk at night in case it becomes a habit but as she eats so well in the day she doesn’t really drink milk between meals so I need her to have it at night at least!

She’s pretty big for her age and we’re in 12-18mth clothing – especially in trousers as she does have a good set of thighs on her!

elsie 10 month update

I’ve been watching her a lot this month and she is getting more and more interested in what her sister and brother are doing. She loves a bit of rough and tumble on the floor and will throw herself over Florence and giggle as they roll around together. Daddy’s got a special place in Florence’s heart too and she crawls over to him as soon as she hears the front door open when het gets home from work. He scoops her up and she places her head on his shoulder for the longest of cuddles. I do feel a really strong bond with Elsie, and I think Matt does too. I guess that’s because I stay home with her instead of going out to work as I did with the other kids. Or maybe it’s just because we’re more relaxed.

I can’t believe we’re steaming towards her first birthday – it’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’m so excited to see what she makes of her little sister in just a few months time.

Elsie at 8 months old.

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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!

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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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I think I say this every month but this really has been a month of firsts for little Elsie. I’m not sure where the time is disappearing to but my baby is changing in front of my eyes. She’s doesn’t feel like a baby anymore. We’re getting to know her and her little nuances. I recognise when she’s tired or hungry and I know what will comfort her. She’s a little person now and I can almost see the thoughts whizzing through her mind.

elsie

So firsts this month for little Elsie were;

1. First holiday – Elsie took a road trip to Cornwall for our first holiday as a family of five.

2. First boat ride – whilst in Cornwall we took a boat from Padstow to Rock. It was only a 2-3 minute journey but Elsie and the other kids loved it!

3. First aeroplane ride – she was as good as gold and fell asleep during take off and landing. We even had comments from people saying they couldn’t believe how well behaved she was.

4. First giggles whilst we were in Cornwall

That’s quite a list for someone so small!

Elsie is slowly getting to grips with her hands. If you hold something out in front of her she will slowly and shakily raise her hands up to grasp it and try and ram it into her mouth. I bought a few new small, hand held teether type toys to help her practice. Likewise when you lay her on her back she will roll into a ball and grab her toes and then start trying to roll on to her side.  I can’t explain how much I don’t want her to start moving – that’s when all the trouble begins!

I think during my last update Elsie was in a solid two feeds a night routine.  Well that’s gone completely out of the window and she could wake three times plus every night. Some nights its just twice but thats rare at the moment! My bedside table is awash with bottles in the morning.  I hear there is some kind of four month regression so perhaps that’s the cause of all these unsettled nights.  She’s generally pretty happy with it though and during the day it’s a play, feed, sleep cycle.

Elsie is certainly putting on weight as we have almost outgrown 3-6mth clothing. Well, she has outgrown some brands but annoyingly she is still too small for 6-9 mths so it’s either toe curlingly tight or she’s got acres of material hanging off her arms and legs.  I’m tempted to cut the toes off some of her sleep suits!

We bought a jumperoo this month and at first she wasn’t sure and perhaps a bit too small for it but she seems to have got the hang of it now and reaches out for the toys and bounces. I know it seems a bit young to have her in one but she is great at holding her head up and she just seemed to be getting bored and wanted to be stood up all the time.

I think that’s all I have to say about her this month.  It’s going to be lovely spending more time dedicated to playing with Elsie now Flo is at school and I am so excited to start weaning!

 

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