22 May 2008

Twelve weeks old - things we've learnt

Spence will be 12 weeks old this week - and to celebrate this event he's decided to learn to sleep through the night! That's right! The last two nights Spence has gone to bed about 7.45pm and not woken up until 5.30am!!! It's fantastic! Hoping this is his new routine. It's amazing how much more human you feel with a good amount of sleep.
Anyway, decided that i will share some of the things that we have learnt in our first 12 weeks of being parents:

1. Learn to put the baby down to sleep - as in put the baby down in the cot and help him learn to sleep there, rather than in your arms or in a bouncer etc.

2. Don't go into their room too early if crying - give them a chance to get themselves back to sleep as they will do it sometimes and you'll end up with a few more hours that you thought! Note - this one can backfire during daytime sleeps where if left too long, he will work himself up so much that he can't be settled again and he is crying so much he looks like his head will explode.

3. They don't have to be asleep to leave them in the cot - feeding to sleep in the early days was ok, but they need to learn to go to sleep by themselves, put them down, say good night and leave the room. They can get themselves off to sleep - well, sometimes!

4. Their own room - if you are at all a stress head like me, have them in their own room, they can be such noisy little creatures and you worry with every little sound. You do need to switch off sometimes and just sleep.

5. Dummies are not a bad thing - we use a dummy during the day, not for getting him to sleep but usually to settle him when he gets himself really worked up - and it works! I'm glad we don't use it for sleeping in a cot as i've heard lots of stories of kids who wake up constantly because they've lost their dummy.

6. Only buy the bare necesseties before the baby comes - people give you heaps of stuff. We got so many clothes, we really didn't need to buy much - also, it's good to see what it is you actually need rather than taking guesses. Think about the seasons also, we were given lots of 000 summer stuff, but by the time he got into 000 (just now) it was winter and i think he'll have grown out of them by the time it's warm enough to wear them.

7. Use a washing detergent for sensitive skin - we pre-washed all of his clothes before we went to hospital but just in ordinary detergent, then little spence developed a newborn rash and we were told we needed to wash everything in special detergent, so we were in hospital with a bunch of new clothes for him, none of which he could wear!

8. It does get easier - i really thought in those first few weeks 'how on earth can you look after a baby and ever have any sort of life again' - but it does get easier with each week. The baby learns to sleep and to just be in the world and you learn to do things as well.

9. Make contact with all those friends you lost contact with when they had kids - they know stuff and can offer really good support.

10. Get out for a walk - it's healthy for you, can help you get back into shape and it's really good for when the baby is cranky and won't sleep or even stop crying! It was my 4pm life saver for a while!

11. Set little goals for each day and be happy to achieve them - don't aim too high, one or two little goals each day is more than enough to handle. I don't mean goals with the baby, i mean household chores or other things you want to achieve. In the early days, just getting to the shop and back is a day long palava!

12. Take heaps of photos and video if you can - they change so quickly and it's awesome to be able to look back at everything. They are also just soooo cute!

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