After Tuesday’s post about Stopping the Madness and joining the “Mother Knows Best” club, life has gotten substantially easier. I’m far less stressed and so is Ava. Life in the VW household is peaceful again, everyone is happy, everyone knows what to expect and when to expect and life is good!
After recognizing that trying to squeeze Ava, a potentially round peg, into a square hole, was simply making her, and me, extremely unhappy and all because of my Type A personality, I decided to try and kick back a little and let her find her rhythm and she didn’t disappoint. She showed me on the first day and has stuck to it ever since!
Our new routine looks something like this:
06h00 – rise and shine time, regardless of if or when Ava woke up during the night, she ALWAYS wakes at around 6am. So she gets her first feed of the day at this time and usually falls back asleep quite quickly after this feed.
07h00 – 09h00 sleepy time, little sausage is sleeping like a dream after her two weeks of intensive chiro treatment.
09h00 – 10h00 – cuddles with Mom, playing and top and tailing and getting dressed for the day
10h00 – 10h30 – feeding time
10h30 – 14h00 – sleep time, this is her best sleep of the day. This is also the time when I get my chores done (laundry, bottle prep etc) and then I usually eat lunch (on my bed) and take a nap myself.
14h00 – feed time
After this Ava does not really sleep for the rest of the day, she doses on and off and I’ve decided to just leave her as trying to force her to nap puts us back into that vicious cycle of square pegs and round holes. I usually use this time to head off to the shops as she’s quite the johler and will always fall asleep in her pram so its a good time for me to get shopping done. I also put her in the hug-a-bub carrier and do my grocery shopping or my other appointments, for example, yesterday I went and had my annual eye test during that time. We usually get back home at around 17h00 and then its suicide hour. From around 17h30, she becomes extremely unhappy, lots of crying and no amount of cuddling, swinging, walking etc changes that. I’ve mentioned this to a number of friends and almost all of them say they have/had the same problem. So to counteract that, we use the time for bathing because Ava LOVES to bath.
By 18h00 we give her a bottle and by 18h30 she is lights out. I’ve started waking her at 21hoo to change her nappy and give her a little top up and won’t you believe it, she has two nights out of three now, slept right through from 21h30 till 06h00 the next morning.
So despite what some have said, a 4 hourly routine is the one that is working best for her. She’s falling asleep by herself and I’m able to recognize when she’s getting drowsy and immediately take her and put her down and she does the rest herself. What a cleaver little sausage. I’ve also ordered a block out blind, which will be installed in her bedroom next week. For now, we have a chocolate brown queen sized duvet cover hanging over her curtains as if her bedroom is too light for daytime sleeps, she simply chats to the sunflowers on her cot. I tried covering her eyes, but its so hot and all that did was make her sweat and now she has heat rash on her face. The block-out blind I’ve chosen is 100% block out, so her room should be really nice and dark. I’m considering getting one for my own bedroom as cream curtains don’t do much to keep out the early morning sunshine!
I’m feeling far less stressed and she seems to be thriving on this routine.