Wednesday, 3 June 2009

HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR ADDED EFFECTIVENESS.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009



39 days to go. 22 days left at work. Let me tell you, Internet… this lady is ready to pop.

My girth (aka my planetary status) has in the last couple of weeks been elevated from a nice, respectable Mars/Venus right through to borderline Jupiter territory. Lovely Lynnette will tell me exactly how corpulent my belly is when I see her tomorrow; is it too much to hope that the visit goes like this?

Me: Good afternoon, Lovely Lynnette… may I present my gigantic tummy for you to measure?

LL: HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD! NO NEED TO MEASURE! LET’S INDUCE YOU 6 WEEKS EARLY TO SPARE YOU EVEN A MOMENT’S FURTHER DISCOMFORT, YOU POOR, KIND SOUL!!!


Probably not going to happen.

But in other news, I have officially started ‘nesting’. Its onset has only been mild so far, but it was sufficient enough to kick me in the arse and make some progress on getting the baby’s room ready.

This is pretty big news, dear readers… you may remember that Ben was born in November of 2004. It was April 2005 before we moved him into his own bedroom. And the decision to move him out of his tiny little Moses basket into his big cot was forced upon us; he outgrew that Moses basket and it was only at the point when the poor kid looked like he was squashed into a half of a walnut shell that we decided we had better get his bedroom ready. Honest, we’re not neglectful parents! We were just. So. Tired.

So… the fact that we’ve had the bedroom ready from a full 7 weeks prior to the estimated arrival of this baby is a pretty spectacular achievement. Jason did all the painting, and with the help of this fantastic fabric called Fabler from IKEA, I sewed some curtains and cushions and other lovely treats. This is a nice segue into a topic on which I’d be grateful for some advice under my ‘Things I Will Do Differently This Time’ umbrella: “Sleeping Arrangements.”

With Ben, he was in our room for so long that we had total nightmares getting him to go into his own room. Honestly, the whole bedtime routine was such a shambles; we had to cuddle him to sleep (even at 8/9 months old) and the minute he was put down he would wake up. We had this ridiculous Bedroom Exit Strategy which took about 20 minutes from start to finish and saw us being slave to the following painfully laborious 12-step programme:

  1. Feed child. Enlist assistance of co-parent in advance switching on of all baby monitors, preparing of blankets, drawing of curtains, etc. prior to commencement of attempting to get child to fall asleep.


  2. Burp child.


  3. Cuddle child.


  4. While cuddling child, mute the TV and switch on the subtitles so you can ‘read’ the dialogue from Coronation Street to eliminate any superfluous background noise that may disrupt the child’s easy slip into gentle slumber.


  5. Establish that child is asleep. Listen for regular breathing, rhythmic rise-and-fall of torso of child.


  6. Stand up, very slowly. Once you reach a full standing position, FREEZE. Just in case the movement may have yanked the child backwards on his journey to Dreamland. Hold your breath for added effectiveness.


  7. Walk to the bedroom in slow motion. Enter the room and FREEZE. Ascertain whether journey from living room down the corridor to the bedroom disturbed the child in any way.


  8. Put the child down in his cot, but DO NOT remove your hands from beneath his body. FREEZE. Ascertain level of sleep/wakefulness before proceeding to Step 9.
    Slowly remove your hands from beneath child’s body, taking vigilant care not to interrupt or agitate the child. FREEZE: keep leaning over the cot so the child can still sense close proximity of parental body heat.
  9. Stand up only when you are sure the child remains asleep.


  10. Take a deep breath: you will need to hold it for the remainder of the Exit Strategy. Now, walk out of the bedroom – in slow motion, and also backwards.
    Turn the door handle to a ready closing position. Grit teeth to ward off potential squeaks.


  11. Pull the bedroom door closed, release the door handle in slow motion. FREEZE. Exhale slowly and quietly.


  12. Establish whether any movement can be heard from within the room. Cross fingers to invoke aid of fairies, kindly spirits, gods/goddesses or karma and only retreat to safety of the living room – in slow motion – once you are certain the child is fully asleep.



I’m NOT doing that this time… so our temptation is to put the baby straight in the cot and bypass the Moses basket altogether, unless I am in a bad way physically after the birth and I need to have the baby right next to the bed.

Is that mean? Will banishing my newborn to its own bedroom straight from the off give it some kind of complex or other in later life? I’m conflicted. Maybe I should use the Moses basket for a few weeks, and then move the Moses basket to inside the cot, and then gradually take the basket away so the baby is just in the cot. These are the things that keep me up at night.

… and my constantly full bladder.
…and my aching wonky pelvis.

:-)

2 people had something to say about this...:

Lis said...

Let me tell you every child is so different. Rhys stayed in our bed until he was 18 months (you heard me), then Ash would not sleep in our bed at all, he was in the crib from the start of his own free will. Kin did the bassinet and crib and only after he turned one did he take to sleeping with us. I love the routine with Ben though, did that with Rhys!! It will be different, you are more comfortable and experienced, it will be great!

Nicola Proctor said...

Eight?
Teen?
Months?

Eesh! I once let Ben sleep in our bed... he was about 2 or 3 months old, and Jason was snoring and I elbowed poor Ben! Not enought to hurt him or anything but it spooked me a little so it was separate beds from then on!