Wednesday, 20 July 2005


Wednesday, 20 July 2005
Now here's a subject I could write about all day.

It seems that the minute you announce your pregnancy you get bombarded with advice from all sides and it only gets worse after you actually produce the baby.

I was determined not to waste time, money and valuable leisure time reading books on babies. The midwife gave me a basic 'you're pregnant' book with all the relevant information in and that was all I bothered with. Any specific questions I had could be looked up on the internet if necessary but as I had such a good pregnancy I didn't need to.

I think that my main reasoning for this was that I had other pregnancy issues to consider (it was a diabetic pregnancy) and I was bombarded with so much extra medical information that I didn't want to even think about all the 'other stuff'.

The real eye opener was the five days I spent in hospital. There's three shifts of staff per 24 hours in the wards and I appeared to have given birth during holiday season as there wasn't any member of staff I saw for all five days.

The variation of advice I got from the staff there was mind boggling. For example, three different women helped me get to grips with breast feeding. The first would grab hold of my nipple, thrust it into DD's mouth and squeeze (you certainly lose all dignity when you've had a baby!), the second used a bottle of formula - first giving DD some and then wiping some round my nipple (this made me think about how they get orphaned baby cows to drink by putting their hands in a bucket of milk and getting the calf to suck their fingers) and the last showed me how to gently rub DD on the jaw bone, just below the ear, to stimulate her sucking (certainly the most dignified option as far as I was concerned).

Now, I don't know whether one of those methods was more successful than the others (although after number 3 DD got what she was doing) but it proved the whole 'there's no one way to do anything' theory right from the start.

At this point I decided to listen to everything and pick out the bits that made most sense to me.

Sleeping has been our main issue (as you'll know from previous entries) and we were falling into despair at DD's lack of sleep. The worst point was last wednesday / thursday when she slept for only one and a half hours. I'd spoken to midwives, doctors, health visitors, friends and family. I'd looked up sleep on the web and read the book a friend lent me cover to cover and still DD wasn't sleeping despite trying everything people suggested (which ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and this post would be ten times longer if I listed them all so I won't).

So, DBF and I had to make our own help. The first thing we did was put her in her own room. Till then she'd been sleeping (if you can call it that) downstairs during the day and in our room at night (all advice given being have the child near you for the first six months as she finds it comforting)

The first night we did this she slept for six hours solid!!!! Since then (the last six nights) she's managed eight hours, broken for a feed at some point, and this means that I'm now getting all the sleep I need over night so even if she doesn't sleep during the day I can cope as I'm not knackered.

We didn't have any success with the day sleeping though as no matter how tired she was, the instant she was put in the crib she was wide awake and crying.

My Mum and Step-Dad visited yesterday and DD was awake all day apart from a few 10 - 15 mins naps. I was talking to my Mum about it all and I said that I feel DD would be much happier sleeping on her side or on her tummy as she always goes to sleep like that when she's on or around me or DBF but when we put her in her crib on her back she's instantly awake and crying. Mum said that when me and my bro were babies the advice was to put children on their tummies to sleep and we'd always been much happier like that.

So, today I decided to take the plunge and put DD down for her nap on her tummy. I figure that generations of babies survived sleeping on their tummies and so, despite all the advice that says not to (including the standard advice from the government) that's what I've done.

DD has now been asleep for one and a half hours......

I will continue to keep her on her back at night as I don't think I'd sleep that well knowing she was on her front but during the day when I can check on her regularly and keep the baby monitor with me then I think we'll keep trying tummy sleeping and see how it goes.


Lorna said...

Exactly the same thing I found in hospital. Ask 5 different midwives the same question, get 5 different answers. Aaarrgh! Then, HV's never gave straight answers. By the time I had DD#3 the midwife told me that I probably knew more about bf-ing than she did!!8-O

Great news about DD sleeping so long at night. And I'm glad that you have found a solution for sleeping during the day. I know that they say no to sleeping on tummies but you have a monitor so I can't see the harm. :)

Gina said...

Well like you say, the advice when I had my two girls was to put babies to sleep on their tummies, but by the time I had my son the advie had changed. I think you have to do what works for you.


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