Setting her own pace

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Saturday, 15 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Days Old.

It amazing how over time Ayla is slowly setting her own routine that is much more “in line” with what I expected!

I was one of those pre-parents who raved on about the plans I had for my first child, saying things like “my kid will be in bed by 7:30 every night” and “my kid will have dinner when we have dinner” and “my kid will eat what we eat”.

But the reality is, it’s nothing like that (* insert collective “I told you so’s” from friends and family)

Since Ayla was born I’ve slowly learned to go of the silly, unsubstantiated “rules” I’d made up for what constituted good parenting, and instead have allowed Ayla to set her own pace for growing and learning… within a loose set of “guidelines” that keep her from completely ruling the roost!

At times I’ve seen a few raised eyebrows from people who’ve been shocked that Ayla’s bed time was anywhere between 8 and 9.30, or that Ayla might go a couple of days without eating hardly any solids but hey, at the end of the day I think being flexible and intuitive has contributed to the happy, healthy Ayla we all know and love.

But as my return to work looms in the near future I’ve been questioning some of my decisions and worrying about how a 9pm bed time is going to be sustainable.

I’ve also spent many a long night wondering about weaning; should I wean Ayla, how can I get her to take a bottle, will she go to sleep during the day if she can’t nurse?

I’ve been trying to catch myself in the act of over thinking, reminding myself that it will all sort itself out in due course and, well, turns out it is.

Around 6pm each night, Ayla starts getting hungry for her dinner. By 6.45 she’s usually finished and having a bath and by 7.30 Ayla’s starting to get tired and rub her eyes.

By 8pm, for the last few days anyway, Ayla’s read a story, been cocooned, and tucked into her bed, preferring to fall asleep on her own now instead of in my arms.

Ayla’s also sleeping much better through the night, and we’ve finally returned to the 7 or 8 hours stints she had when she was six months old.

While Ayla still refuses the bottle, and still relies on mummy cuddles for her day time naps, having a consistent, calm and natural bed time routine is making a huge difference to my confidence and I’m sure the other things will follow in due course.

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