If I could go back in time to my pregnant self, I would tell myself, don’t worry about reading about pregnancy as much. Read about babies, parenting as much as possible. I was so concerned with doing the right things during my pregnancy, that I read endlessly about it. (What I should be doing, why am I having this pain, what can I eat, what can I take for illness.) I skipped over reading about parenting. Somewhere in my foggy mind, I thought I would figure it out after.
This is on the job training with an actual live human, you’re figuring things out and testing them in the moment. You feel massively unprepared. What’s been hardest part is the constant feeling of not knowing what the hell you are doing. I like having a plan, I like to back-up plan, I like having a back-up plan to the back-up plan. I like to be prepared. Add to this, (while your parental instincts do kick in) a lot of what babies do is counterintuitive. It’s so massively overwhelming sometimes and there is so much conflicting information on the internet. Sometimes I just want to stick my head underground like an ostrich and just stay there.It’s maddening.
For example, bedtime. Simple concept…not so much. (Before I delve into it, I have to explain. I follow James and his cues, but within reason, I have somewhat of a schedule but it’s very flexible.) So finding your baby’s bedtime is critical to sleep. Too early and they won’t sleep, too late and they’re overtired and won’t sleep. We’d been putting James to bed at 7. At 6:30, we’ll start: he gets a bath, pyjamas, bottle, book and then bed. But we’d been finding that from 5:30 – 6:30, he would be so cranky. I started calling it witching hour.
I started thinking, I should put him to sleep earlier. But James is still waking up once a night. So if we put him to bed earlier, he’ll wake up earlier. However, everything I am reading seems to indicate that if you find the right time, they will sleep. Still, my husband was resistant and to a certain extent, as was I. As I kept reading, it seemed more and more that I would have to move up his bedtime. So tonight for the first time he was asleep shortly after 6. I have no idea how it will go. I’ll let you all know tomorrow.