#blogmas Sleep when baby sleeps..and other rubbish people might tell you

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*** New Blog post at 6pm each day during BLOGMAS ***

On the fifth day of #blogmas, Mamafurfur decided to give it straight to ya!  In a non-ghetto style of course as I was raised in a posh part of Glasgow.

The wisdom around babies and raising children is all around us when you are a parent.  Endless books by celebrities telling us just how they manage to do it all, juggling everything from a home to a multi-million dollar career, multiple TV shows showcasing the worst parenting skills and how everything can be solved in 3 days or less, and then there is the endless advice you may hear from family and friends or just people you randomly meet along the day.

I’ve now been in the parent club for approximately 3.5 years and seem to have kept two humans now alive ok but each day still feels like I’m learning.  I’m learning just how to be me and balance all I want to achieve in all aspects of my life, not just motherhood.  Their advice in most cases is wonderful for them as they truly believe it is helpful, but usually in most cases it is only when you stumble upon wisdom learnt yourself that it makes a difference in how you are raising your children.

For example, one key area where endless discussion and very opposite strategies are posed as being the “only way” is sleep, and dare I say sleep training.  Even the thought of calling it training turns some parents the other way as it sounds to harsh, but this is the subject matter where everyone has an absolute way to do it.  Even if they still have their 13 year old co-sleeping with them – they will swear it is probably for the best, and maybe it is!

“Sleep when baby sleeps” is one such wisdom nugget you might hear.   Do I also eat when baby eats and only clean when the baby cleans?  What about if I have more than just a baby in my life, and dare say have a toddler too?  Do I go to sleep during the day and ignore the toddler running havoc round the home? Of course not.  I’m in the situation right now where baby is being weaned and that usually means until it is completely nailed he will wake up early until we manage to up his food to what he needs during the day to last all night.  So for me and the past week or so, I’ve seen mainly 5.30am as my starting point of the day.  Toddler wakes usually at 7am so there is a big window of potential sleep I’m missing out on – and don’t I know it.  However, I know that this is where I have to use my own trial and error, and maybe even just ride it out until he manages to sleep a little longer.  Keeping him up later at night will not achieve any later mornings – which is the ultimate baby kick up the bum everyone attempts and fails at least a few times at.

So whatever stage of parenthood you are at right now – please remember you are doing the best you can if you are going on your gut feelings.  Everything takes time, and we have never seen a 21-year old yet who isn’t potty trained – so your child will get there.  Try to set the ideals you want right now and eventually they will happen.  If you want kids asleep by 7.30pm each evening so you have a few hours – then make it happen and keep trying until it falls into place.  We have a toddler who has been going to bed at 7pm for as long as we can remember (baby goes down at 6.30pm usually) and he will happily stay in his bed until we get him at 7am onwards with no wake ups during the night.  Sometimes he might wake up but he can be reassured back to sleep with little efforts and a drink of water.  That means we all sleep well most nights and are our best selves for the day ahead.

So enjoy your days – fill them with what you want to achieve as best as you can as a parent, whether that is working or playing or both – and remember to do things your own way with inspiration along the way.

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