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Bedtime skirmishes

On the bedtime front, things are looking up a bit with Little O and now probably half of the nights, he drops off to sleep within 15-20 minutes of being put down. Definitely, a case of a few skirmishes here and there at bedtime, rather than the full-on bedtime battles we had been having.

Prince of bedtime - Wendy Gratz

We adjusted his routine so that, in addition to reading him books with him for the last half an hour before bed, we then take him to sit on the potty (which is a whole other story…) and brush his teeth and then one of us lies down in bed with him and reads him up to three bedtime stories (depending on how tired he seems) before leaving him to settle down to sleep. And, as I said, at least half of the time, he is asleep soon after.

So, bedtime seems to be working much better, apart from the fact that I start to drop off during the stories!

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photo credit: Wendi Gratz via photopin cc
  
 
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Sleep solution… for now!

As I may have mentioned a few times recently (!), Baby E has been waking up early in the mornings, usually at 1am, and then struggling to settle back down to sleep. We had been going in to him, soothing him, putting the music on and trying to get him to settle back to sleep himself. This has had varying results: some nights we would need to go back in 5-6 times over the next hour before he fell asleep, while other nights, he would fall back asleep within 10-15 minutes.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: baby self feeding porridge toddler sleep solution

We have had a bit of a breakthrough this past week though – a good old toddler sleep solution, for now at least. Last week, Little O had his biggest tantrum to date and just as I was feeling like a bad mamma and unable to deal with him, Husband saved the day by coming home an hour early and taking us all out for a walk. The walk turned into dinner at a local tapas restaurant that we had not visited before, and both boys surprised us with just how well they behaved. It was just what I needed to reassure me that we can cope with tantrums and difficult behaviour from Little O and that we can still occasionally have dinner out in a public place.

Just before we went out I had given Baby E dinner (Little O had refused to eat anything) but when we arrived at the tapas restaurant only an hour later, he was keen to eat again. And he ate and ate and ate. And that night he slept and slept and slept, and slept through the night.

So it seems that we have just needed to stuff him fuller than we were – which we had not thought possible as Baby E really does love his stomach. But apparently he can fit even more food in there than we had believed.

We have carried on this since then and he has slept through until 5.30am (and then settled back down to sleep) every night since. This might very well not last, but we are certainly going to enjoy it while it does!

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Photo 366 challenge – week 7

A bit of a mixed bag of photos this week from me – some of Little O and some of the things I have seen. It has been a strange week really. Husband is coming to the end of his intense working period, which means he will finally be able to take some leave, for which I am incredibly grateful. Baby E’s first four weeks have not been the easiest, but I just glad that it was like this with him and not with Little O. I cannot imagine how I would have coped being largely on my own for four weeks with a first baby!

Day 44:

Photo © English Mamma

I’m trying to psych myself up to filling in this form to apply for Baby E’s Swedish passport. We have a slot booked at the police station to hand the forms over and get his photo taken on 5 March. So there is only so much procrastinating that I can do. (And then there is the joy of the British passport application after this…)

Day 45:

Photo © English Mamma

Not sure that they should really be recommending that people do this. (Although it has worked out well for Husband and I!) I got my Valentine’s wish today. I phoned Husband as he was on his way home and begged to know, over the sounds of a screaming Baby E and wailing Little O, when he would be home. He was two minutes away but planning a detour to buy me flowers. The flowers idea got shelved and he walked in the door two minutes later to rescue us – the perfect Valentine’s gift!

Day 46:

Photo © English Mamma

On Wednesday, I finally found the time to print out, write and post the thank you cards for Baby E’s gifts. I know I really should have done this sooner, but people will forgive me won’t they? After all, life can be a little, shall we say hectic, with a toddler and a newborn.

Day 47:

Photo © English Mamma

About an hour before I was due to pick Little O up from preschool, I had a call from them to say that he had a fever of 38 degrees and please could I collect him a little earlier. I bundled Baby E up in his snowsuit, into the stroller and jumped on the bus. By the time I got there, it was only half an hour before I would normally have collected him and it was snack time. We already knew that Little O loves his food but I really found out just how much. Despite a fever, he sat and ate three sandwiches and drank two cups of milk, while I waited for him, sweating in my winter coat. Two other little boys also had fevers and were awaiting collection; they both flopped their heads down on the table and one sobbed quietly. Not Little O – by the time he decided that he was ready to go home (at the time I would normally have collected him anyway), he also decided that he was well enough to run round and round the cloakroom seven times… Not too feverish then! Given how well he seemed, I took him to the hairdressers for a long-overdue haircut, as you might or might not be able to see in this photo.

Day 48:

Photo © English Mamma

One of Little O’s more unconventional sleeping positions!

Day 49:

Photo © English Mamma

As part of the toddler tantrums that have started recently (poor thing, he gets so incredibly frustrated that he cannot make us understand him), Little O is also showing his willpower. And this is what Little O was determined to wear yesterday afternoon. The fire engine/police car vest was something that he had grabbed in H&M and refused to let go of. We then had a little to-do at the till when, after explaining 12 or so times that he’d have to let go of it so I could pay for it, I had to wrestle it from him for an interminable 30 seconds while the girl scanned it and removed the security tag. I had not realised until yesterday just how loud Little O could scream. (He woke this morning and brought the same outfit to Husband to have put on him. Oh joy…)

Day 50:

Photo © English Mamma

Little O loves to return Baby E’s little pink elephant rattle to him if he has dropped it. It is moments like these that I cherish, when I see Little O being so gentle with his baby brother.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Take a look over at The Boy and Me’s site and see what she and others have chosen as their favourites of the week:

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

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Learned this week

  • Even the best sleepers can have their off nights…
  • …and these are exhausting to the previously lucky parents who are used to a good sleeper.
  • Heartburn can strike even when you’ve not been eating.
  • That 33 weeks into a second pregnancy is a good time to stop training at the gym and switch to training only at home.
  • That, according to my midwife, I should have written my birth plan by now and that, according to Baby Centre, I should be packing my hospital bag this week – eek and double eek!
  • Article

    Living for the weekend

    At the moment, I am just counting the days and hours until the weekend rolls on. The past few days have been manic: Friday, I flew down to Copenhagen and worked from our office there for the day, did a presentation, met up with Husband and Little O, jumped on a train and then spent the weekend with the in-laws in southern Sweden. We flew back Sunday evening, then it was up early on Monday for the usual work/preschool collection/afternoon with Little O/crash out at 8.30pm routine. Yesterday, I flew to Oslo for the day, did the same presentation as in Copenhagen, spent the rest of day in the office there, flew back yesterday evening after Little O was in bed. Today, up early and into work to do the same presentation and then the same routine as Monday. Tomorrow, it’s another early start, a flight to Helsinki, doing the same presentation yet again (fourth and final time), spending the rest of the day working from the office there, flying back in the evening after Little O is in bed. Then Friday will be presentation-less (hooray!) but the same tight routine as Monday.

    So, yes, Friday evening and an hour at the hairdresser, followed by date night on Saturday… well, it cannot come around fast enough for me. And the added bonus about Saturday is that it was Husband’s idea – and this means he’s fulfilling his part of the bargain for Karin’s Relationship SOS Challenge over at Cafe Bebe without even knowing it.

    And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bed. Zzzzzzz…

    Article

    The wonder weeks

    newborn baby wonder weeks

    Photo © English Mamma

    Have you heard about the newborn baby Wonder Weeks? We have now. Yesterday we had a bit of a difficult day. O woke at his normal early morning feeding time (3am-ish) but then woke again every hour and a half not really wanting to feed but just crying, then screaming. I fed him to calm him down, but he just got more and more agitated.

    We finally got him settled down to sleep after around six hours, only for him to wake again about an hour later. I got him to settle down after another feed by taking him out in the pram. That lasted just over an hour before he woke and became wound up again. I got him into the BabyBjörn carrier and after bouncing and walking him around for about 40 mins, he settled down again.

    When he woke a couple of hours later, he fed and fed and fed, and when we went to settle him in bed, he cried and cried and cried and then screamed and screamed and screamed… for an hour and a half…

    Being new parents, we were beside ourselves. We kept on going in to him to try and settle him by picking him up, rocking him to sleep (breaking many of “the rules” in the baby books), but every time we put him back down, he’d wake again and resume his screaming.

    Eventually, I managed to settle him (thanks to Tracy Hogg, the Baby Whisperer) by gently patting and stroking his belly, but what a night…

    Then this morning I heard about the Wonder Weeks from a friend with an eight week old. These are weeks in a newborn’s life when their development ramps up a few extra notches. They seem to follow a similar pattern to the growth spurts, which makes sense since growth spurts occur so newborns can develop further.

    Well, looking at the symptoms for wonder week five (baby being upset, having problems sleeping, wanting to spend more time close to you and feeding more frequently), it seems that O is heading into this wonder week… [sigh]. Well, at least forewarned is forearmed!

    This blog post by Sue Haydon at Bloggin’ About Babies gives some more info about wonder week five and offers some useful tips for how to deal with it. We will follow her advice and see if tonight proves better than last night.