Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The response to the great nappy debate was fabulous, thank you one and all.  My favourite comment came from my friend Bec, who said the following; “whatever you choose, don't feel guilty. Motherhood is an amazing rollercoaster of guilt, so why add to it?”
Touché, my friend, touché.  Take now for example.  I have been struck down by a dreadful cold and as horse radish and Echinacea can apparently possess harmful properties for your baby, I am only taking minimal amounts of Panadol and even that makes me feel bad!  Not as bad as the copious amounts of snot tumbling from my nose, or the headache that is pounding outside of my skull or the fact that I’m managing to waste precious recovery energy on stressing about how much work I haven’t done, but bad none the less.
In this week’s Good Weekend there is another article about parenting designed to insight a riot…the controversial Maternity nurse Gina Ford who guarantees that by week eleven your baby will be sleeping through the night.  
I’m sure she’s got some great ideas, and plenty of success stories to back those up, but I just doubt Gregory’s and my ability to stick to such a regimented routine.  Listen to this;
Baby should be awake, nappy changed and feeding no later than 7am. 
Now, Ms Ford writes from the assumption that the baby’s parents operate on a regular 9-5 ish schedule.  Whether our baby likes it or not, it ain’t coming into a family like that.  Based on the fact that we don’t tend to go to bed till about 2am, (which yes, could possibly have something to do with me currently being sick) do you reckon we can push her schedule a few hours back a bit?  Start this first time slot at say, 8.30 instead?
Make sure you get some breakfast
And then she tells you what to eat - cereal, toast and a drink.  At least she doesn’t specify what spread to put on your toast!
Baby should be getting sleepy.  Take him to his room.
Firstly, fifteen minutes is not long enough to really enjoy your cup of tea and toast, but I can manage to wolf down cereal that quickly.
Secondly – Gregory and I think we’re having a girl (based on nothing but a couple of dreams by the way) but since we don’t know for sure, I’m going to refer to the baby as ‘it’ instead.
Thirdly – do they really get tired that fast?  They’ve only been up for an hour!
This is a good time to wash and sterilize any bottles and expressing equipment.
I thought the whole point of feeding from the boob meant you got out of expressing.  I am as scared of milking myself like a cow as I am of epidurals.
Open the curtains and unswaddle the baby so it can wake up naturally.
That’s not a natural wake up – let me poke your little eyeballs with direct sunlight and unwrap you so you’re not warm and cozy anymore.  Thanks mum, you’re awesome.
Baby must be fully awake now regardless of how long it slept.  It should be given 20-25 minutes on the breast it last fed on while you have a large glass of water.  Lay it in their Moses basket so it can have a good kick and doesn’t become too sleepy while you prepare equipment for expressing.
Can you tell which boob you last used?  I’m assuming one is lighter than the other.  Otherwise I’m bound to forget details like that. 
Don’t you love how she tells you to drink water.  What if I want a cup of decaf tea?  Or…heaven forbid caffeinated coffee!
And then the Moses basket that we don’t have and weren’t intending on getting.
Express 60ml.
I know there are no guarantees, but I really hope the peanut and I can work out the breastfeeding gig because I am really looking forward to it.
The baby gets more milk from the boob you expressed from.
Baby should start to get sleepy at this time.  If it doesn’t settle within ten minutes, offer it ten minutes from the fullest breast.  Do this in the dark with no talking or eye contact.
Ok.  Not gonna happen.  I have been besotted with this baby since those initial days of indigestion when I was secretly convinced I was pregnant.  Ain’t no way.  I’m gonna stare at it every chance I get. 

Now, since I perform, do freelance writing and teach for only a few hours at a time, I am hopefully in a position for the peanut and I to muddle through for a bit until we work out our own little routine.  But if you had to go back to work immediately, I can see how this lady could really pull you into line.
Maybe I should get it for Gregory to see if she’s got a few pointers for overworked Chefs…


  1. That sounds horrible! I went for the what suited me and the baby option and that worked just fine. I can remember people ringing us at 10.30am - waking us up - their response was 'but you have a baby, how can you be asleep?' Well, we did what suited us!

    They are only babies for what seems a blink of an eye in retrospect though it seems like a looooooooooong time when you're sleep deprived I must warn you. Enjoy every second and gawk away....they are THE best time wasters. Not making eye contact is contradictory to Nursing Mothers advice I believe.

    Food for thought - you only get to have your first baby once so savour it and bank the memories.

    On another note, I reckon the 2am feed could be a good time for the cherub to see daddy and for family time....What ever works for you is the right way to do it. That is my advice.

  2. Too right wend. We're dealing with a peanut, a writer and a chef. I'll read the manual on that combo when i find it! xx

  3. hehe - that routine is classic! I would love to meet someone, anyone who has ACTUALLY used it.

    Hamish woke every night so many times I lost count and didn't sleep through until 1. We were so sleep deprived I made no sense when talking to people. Whereas Amy was the perfect baby until 3 mths, then teething was a nightmare. She turned 4 last week and has only JUST started to consistly sleep through.

    Yes a routine is a good idea but the routine is what is best for you , your family , your lifestyle and what baby dictates ( even though we are the parents don't be fooled, life will revolve around them to start with) actually , I think life still revolves around them??

    Also - did you watch the season return of Packed to the Rafters?? That's what the first few weeks are really like.

    my tip of the day - turn the phone off when you have naps during the day.

    hope you feel better soon.

  4. I know all about the guilt... I guess we all do. Wendy is right - whatever works for you.

    I used to read all kind of books and they made me feel guilty,too. Then I got more selective in my reading. If any book offered universal method that is supposed to work for any baby and any family - I'd just leave it back on the shelf.

    If you want to balance out your reading, try Pinky McKay and Elizabeth Pantley. They offer much gentler approach.

  5. thanks for the advice ladies - ellie have not heard of those people, i'll take a look. my problem is, i only like reading kids books and the Good Weekend - i need cliff notes for adult books. I get bored!


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