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Rockabye Daddy

Friday, 21 February 2014: Three Hundred and Twenty Eight Days Old.

For the last few nights Ayla has refused to go to sleep unless her Daddy’s put her down.

It’s been a huge change for us and one that proves Baby Ayla is growing up all to fast, but as much as its made me feel a bit obsolete it’s also brought a new feeling of freedom.

While I still give Ayla her bedtime feed instead of backing that up with rocking and singing until she falls asleep the routine is now a family affair that Hubby and I share equally.

Plus, knowing that Ayla can go to to sleep at night in her Daddy’s arms means that we’re another step closer to being able to hire a baby sitter and have a baby-free night out!

It also makes me proud to see that Baby Ayla is gaining her independence and starting to make decisions about what makes her feel happy and content, not just what she likes and doesn’t like.

Growing up certainly happens fast, far faster than anyone can explain. I never thought I’d be using the word independent to describe a ten month old baby and I can hardly believe that in a blink of an eye she won’t need me at all.

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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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Where’s Spot?

Hubby captured this video last night as I was reading to Ayla during her evening “quiet time”.

I can’t help but smile every time I watch it back; I knew Ayla loved books but its so cute to see how enthralled she is at every page.

It also amazes me how Ayla can already lift the flaps in her Spot books, because each flap opens in a different direction…. Smart li’l cookie!

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Well done Sir!

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Wednesday 11 September 2013: One Hundred and Sixty Three Days Old

Hubby has managed to get Ayla to sleep two nights in a row… Well done Sir!

It’s a big deal because Ayla’s been super clingy and unpredictably difficult when it’s come to sleep and bedtime lately and it’s been starting to get me down.

Some nights Ayla’s goes to sleep easily, other nights she fights tooth and nail. Some nights she sleeps ten hours, other nights she wakes every two hours. Some days Ayla naps for hours, other days she doesn’t nap at all.

It’s been tough phase for all three of us, and Hubby and I have found ourself questioning our methods, our capability, our reasoning.

True to form, I’ve researched as much as I can about babies and sleep in the hope of finding a solution but instead I’ve ended up more confused, frustrated and overwhelmed than when I started.

Then tonight Hubby pointed out that there’s not one other person in the world who’s the same as Ayla.

And of course, he’s right! It was like a light suddenly came on and I felt a big weight lift of my shoulders.