10 Tried and tested ways to get your newborn to sleep

I think almost every new mum has a few moments of madness where they just CANNOT get their baby to sleep despite trying everything in the world. And when they finally do sleep you run to the loo, put the kettle on, put some laundry on, then sit down to drink your cup of tea.. and just like magic they wake up! A whole twenty four minutes later! This ordeal is repeated multiple times a day until you are literally ready to tear you hair out.

So here I my tried and tested ways of getting a baby to sleep..

  1. Feed to sleep. This is the simplest, easiest method out of them all. Feed your baby until they fall asleep. Simple? Although many books, experts and other mums will tell you that you must absolutely NOT do this and you will ‘make a rod for your own back’ which is why I spent the first 9 months or so with my first little monkey avoiding feeding him to sleep but had an even worse ordeal in doing so. And now, my new little cutie will not feed to sleep and I so wish he would! Typical!
  2. Go for a stroll. This is a win win all round, baby gets fresh air and so do you (and a chance to burn some calories in an attempt to lose some baby weight.. only to go home and destroy a whole pack of chocolate biccys after 😂), and they will peacefully nod off. The only problem is if you have cheeky monkeys like me you have to keep walking the entire time you want them to stay asleep, otherwise they wake up the minute you stop!
  3. Take a drive. This is perfect if your feeling  to lazy to go for a walk or the weather is rubbish or your so shattered from trying everything else. But again, my monkeys will wake the moment the car stops!
  4. Wrap your baby. This worked like a dream when my baby was first born. I could pop him in my ring sling, carry on with chores and he would be asleep in minutes. But now he’s older he screams and screams when I attempt to put him in and my toddler is sat in the pram ready to go and gets impatient so when we attempt this we end up in a full blown disaster.
  5. Rocking.. This is another one that the ‘mum police’ will tell you to avoid unless you want to be rocking your child until they get married! But if it works you’ll do anything to get them to sleep when you so desperately want them too! You could also add in some humming and singing for quicker results.
  6. Humming or singing. Some babies will sleep to just music with no rocking involved.. worth a try!
  7. A bouncer/ swing. Your baby may weell fall asleep in these, perhaps with some encouragement (meaning rocking/ bouncing it so much it never stops). Mine very rarely did or do.
  8. Swaddling. This apparently works like a dream, if only you can figure how to swaddle without annoying your baby so much they are no longer tired from all the crying!
  9. White noise.. such a good way to calm down a screaming and overtired baby. You tube has many noises to choice from, or you can even just switch the tap on :). My baby seems to know the difference between ‘real’ white noise (the rap running) and ‘fake’ sounds on you tube, which my husband is rather unimpressed with as we have a water meter.. hmm.
  10. A combination of 1 or more, or ALL.. if your desperate like me, you might need to attempt more than one of the above. I rock, and sing AND use white noise all at the same time, until he finally nods off 🙂

You’ll be pleased to know, this mainly applies to the fourth trimester, after that, its easier to predict when you baby will be tired, and therefore easier to get them to sleep in a more ‘normal’ manner. So hang in there mama’s those first three months go quickly, and then you move on to new challenges!

 Surviving with a newborn and a toddler… one month on

I still can’t get my head around the fact that I’m a mum to two little humans, and I can’t believe we have survived a month already. Suprisingly I am coping pretty well with a 20 month old and a newborn and here is how…

  1. Going to bed early! As a first time mum everyone tells you to ‘sleep when your baby sleeps’ which is simply not possible when you have an active toddler who only naps for an hour a day! So the only way I’m coping with the 2-3 hourly night feeds is by going to bed super early. My toddler sleeps by 7/7.30pm, I then do a few chores and take my baby upstairs and we’re both asleep by 9pm! This helps with the 5/6am starts. Such a glamorous life I lead 😂
  2. A good routine. This goes with the above but basically having set nap times and a bedtime for my biggest monkey means I can semi plan the day and I know when to grab some lunch or start with dinner. I’m hoping to eventually have both boys in bed at the same time so I can get a couple of hours to myself. Maybe wishful thinking right now though.
  3. Doing grocery shopping online. I’m pre planning all my meals and ordering food online and getting it delivered as I just don’t have the time to go and do a food shop. I try and cook and prep dinner when my toddler is napping at lunch. I’m very fortunate to have my mum and sister nearby so one of them is usually here in the afternoon so as long as the baby is asleep they can entertain my toddler while I cook.
  4. Organising everything the night before. Once we come downstairs in the morning, it’s hard to just pop back upstairs to grab something as I don’t want to leave my monkey around the baby as anything could happen. Every evening I make sure we have enough nappy change essentials and spare clothes downstairs for the next day.
  5. Getting out of the house. This one is easier said than done. Firstly it’s winter so taking a newborn out requires more effort. And secondly getting out of the house with two takes longer than you would expect. But now we have all car seats and pushchairs set up, it should get easier. I’m finding it a lot easier to entertain my biggest boy out of the house, as he was getting very bored of being cooped up inside. And my littlest mainly sleeps while out and only feeds every 2-3 hours so this gives me time to focus on my oldest when out and about.. (Sami used to feed up to three times an hour which made going out when he was a newborn somewhat more challenging). Now the weather is nicer I plan to go out at least once a day, even if it’s just a walk around the block. We will also be taking advantage of our lovely garden.
  6. Strong support network. As I just mentioned my mum and sister live round the corner and help me daily. I am very lucky! As I’m breastfeeding there’s not much they can do to help with the baby but they help to entertain my toddler, by taking him out, feeding him, and helping with bath and bedtimes! I also have a very tight knit extended family who are nearby so have had lots of meals sent from aunties and cousins… I am very lucky I know and not everybody has their family nearby.
  7. Lowering my standards (and expectations). This one is an important one… I’m slowly accepting that my house will not be as immaculate as I would like. Things may be untidy and out of place, the laundry may pile up for a few days longer than I’d like, some days my toddler (and me) will stay in pjs all day and some days my toddler may watch nursery rhymes on TV for longer than he should. We may eat take out more then we should, some days my toddler will have weetabix for dinner… but it’s okay! Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and there’s no need. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I get a chance I am doing housework, or cooking, or trying to do worthwhile activities with my toddler, but some days nothing gets done and the world is not going to end!

Choosing baby names…

Having a name that NOBODY can pronounce was a nuisance growing up. Especially when your name can be mispronounced as ‘Salmon’, which is what I was unfortunately called for the first 16 years of my life.  This went on until I got to sixth form and decided I was fed up of being known by such an ugly name and made it my mission to correct everyone. But I know how annoying it is to have to correct people or spell your name out. For those of you who don’t know, my name is Saman, pronounced ‘summon’, as in a court summons…

I was therefore adamant about giving my children names that were easy to say and recognise. With baby number one, I spent hours reading baby name books and searching the internet to come up with lists of names I liked. But my husband thought it was ‘too early’ to discuss names until after the baby was born. So in the end I gave him my top 3 and he picked ‘Sami’ from my list, after our son was born. Simple 😄

So this time around we didn’t even discuss baby names. We knew the gender and I find boys names so much harder.  Being a multi racial family, it’s important for us both to pick names that ‘fit in’ with both cultures, as we don’t want our children to have confused identities. I had gone off the other two boys names I had picked last time (thank god my husband didn’t pick them) so we were back to square one and I knew if I started looking into it or making a list, he would be unwilling to discuss it. I did have one boy’s name that I liked in the past and had made a mental note off (it was saved in my iPhone notes.. my idea of a mental note).

One evening when I was around 34 weeks pregnant my husband asked me if I had picked any names yet. This was a funny question coming from him as if I had been spending my time looking at names he would have humoured me, telling me it was ‘too early’. This is exactly what I told him, and then mentioned that there was one name I did like… Laith. He thought about it for a few seconds then agreed that he liked it, and just like that we had our second boy’s name.

Laith is an Arabic name meaning ‘lion’ ‘strong’ or ‘brave’, but is easy enough for everyone to pronounce (I think anyway, time will tell). I love the name and think it is beautiful, just like my little boy. I also think Sami & Laith go together really nicely which is also something I considered.

So that’s how simple it was for us to come up with our babies’ names, thankfully we both agreed with each other and have picked names we both love…I’m all out of boys names though, so if we have another boy we would be stuck!

Our first outing with a newborn & toddler 

Having spent two weeks cooped up indoors since my little munchkin arrived, I’ve been feeling increasingly sorry for my biggest boy, who is getting more and more bored at home on the days he is not at nursery. Don’t get me wrong he still gets the majority of my attention, apart from when I’m feeding my newborn (which often takes over an hour). But the poor thing must be getting super bored and is fighting for mummy’s attention while he comes to terms with the fact the ‘baba’ is here to stay.

So yesterday I decided I would take him to a new stay and play group round the corner, and wrap the baby up warm so we could take him with us (I’m breastfeeding on demand so he goes where I go). It sounded simple in my head; get the boys dressed and ready for 10am, and off we go… it’s a five minute walk, how hard could it be…? I’m actually laughing at myself because of how wrong I was. This is how our morning turned out…

Both boys were up around 6.30am as usual. So I changed and dressed my biggest boy whilst my baby screamed in the background. Calmed the baby down while my biggest had breakfast and then spent the next couple of hours feeding and changing then feeding and changing my baby while my toddler occupied himself and battled for my attention!

I then made the mistake of putting my toddler’s shoes and coat on first. He was then determined to go outside and would not leave the front porch. Only I needed to get through the porch and to the car to get the base of the pushchair and set the bassinet up for the first time. So we had a little meltdown at the door for ten minutes or so, while the baby was screaming in the background! The people at Ocado decided this was the perfect time to deliver our online shopping, so I then had to bring all the shopping in and put it away without my toddler running off through the front door into the street..whilst the baby was still crying.

So once the shopping was dealt with, I finally set up the pushchair and got the baby’s coat on. He had, thankfully, now fallen asleep despite all the commotion. So we were ready to go, finally. Although, when my biggest boy saw the baby go into the pushchair and realised he wouldn’t be going in it he had another major meltdown! Luckily, the lovely people at Bugaboo had sent us a toddler board along with the Bee 5 we are road testing, so some quick thinking and five minutes later we had the toddler board all set up and we were actually finally ready to go! One whole hour later!

The bassinet was so lightweight and easy to push, and the toddler board was a hit although he did switch between sitting on it and walking which is still a new concept for him. My biggest boy loved the stay and play, I can’t believe we have never been before when it is literally on our doorstep! My littlest boy slept the entire time we were there, so the ordeal to get out was definitely worth it.

I’m sure as I get more used to having two boys we will find things like this get easier.  But having not slept more than a couple of hours the night before, the morning was just a disaster and the whole day then felt the same. Today is a new day. The toddler is off having fun at nursery, and my littlest boy has just fallen asleep… time to put the kettle on 😄.

122 days old 

My little monkey is 4 months old today. That’s 17 weeks, 122 days and 2928 precious hours. Crazy how when you’re pregnant 17 weeks drags, but now every day just whizzes by. 

My little bear has had a tough month. Although he’s a lot more alert, playful and giggly, he has also suffered from a cold for the last 3 weeks, as have I. He is also showing signs of teething and has lovely rosy cheeks a lot of the time. I can’t help but feel sorry for him, especially at night when he struggles with a blocked nose.

He continues to be spoilt by all of my family and extended family, and he just loves the attention he gets, being the only baby. My husbands family live an hour and a half away, and Sami loved his first trip to visit his aunties, grandma, and great grandma this month. Although since being back we have struggled to get him back into a good routine at night (see previous post). Sleeping and naptime are my least favourite part of the day.

On the feeding front, Sami feeds a lot less now, which has made a huge difference to getting things done and taking him out. For the last month he is still refusing my expressed milk in a bottle. I am hoping that these Mimijumi bottles do the trick. They arrived this morning and I am so eager I have already unpackaged and sterilised them, so their ready to go. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

Sami needs constant entertaining, which can be quite difficult for me, particulary with bad sleep and early mornings. Trust my baby to be a super early bird. Thank god for the many helpers around me, and lots of new toy purchases. His new favourite is his rainforest themed Jumperoo. He is a little young for it, but we prop him up with cushions and only allow a few minutes of play at a time. One day he’ll be jumping away on his own! 

We’ve been very busy finalising Sami’s nursery. We were all set to move him into it at night three weeks ago, but then the dreaded sleep saga arised, putting a halt to our plans. He now has lots of storage thanks to 3 sprouts. They have a colourful range of animal storage solutions, we picked three (an elephant, a snake and a hippo) which go perfectly with Sami’s jungle themed nursery. His rocking chair just arrived yesterday, which is the finishing touch, just waiting for daddy to come home and assemble it! Then, All that’s left is to move his snuzpod and we are good to go (only 4 months late, but we did have a house renovation and move the month before he was born). 

I am super happy as this month we have booked our flights and hotels for our summer holiday next year (it’s my sister in laws wedding but who needs an excuse for a month long holiday). Having not been away since February, I am already counting down to next July! Starting to make plans for it has made it more real, although when I return I will be back to work (sob). 

We have also had some amazing amazing news this month which I am so delighted about, but have to keep shhh for now! Super duper excited about this and just wish I could say more..