Not Twiddling, Writing…

May 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm (Uncategorized)

Desperate times call for desperate measures… I am holding my iPhone in my right hand and composing this post with my thumb. What prevents me from sitting down and using my laptop, not to mention both hands, is lying in the crook of my left arm, sleeping. He’ll wake up in a moment, any moment, and I’ll have to renegotiate even this.

We got into a bad habit while we were away, and Master J is not taking kindly to my daily efforts to restore us to normal. The swinger didn’t – couldn’t – come with us, so cuddle snoozes became the order of the day. That is, with the exception of pram and car naps, either Llew or I pretty much held him for the duration of the sleep. And now – naturally enough – he’s figured out the swinger is a pretty shit offering by comparison. In this current
contest of wills, I’d say it’s Master J 4, Di nil. I let him rant a good
long while today, until I just couldn’t take the indignant screaming
anymore. He can really serve it up, and has apparently endless reserves of energy for bringing the house down until yours truly
caves, as I did today after a battle lasting a good 45 minutes. He
just would not calm down. Pick him up and he’s asleep in minutes.
Thank Christ this is not the nighttime routine, is all I can say.

So the dilemma is this: I need to break the back of this new little habit because obviously I can’t hold him every time he needs a
daytime sleep at home. So where do I put him, when he won’t have
a bar of his cot during the day and hasn’t done since he was about
10 weeks old. I revisited it not long after he moved to the cot from
the bassinet and he screamed like I’d dumped him in the eternal
hellfires. He isn’t one for simply registering discontent – he really
goes bananas. I have a fairly developed capacity for tuning out, plus
I have a stubborn streak myself, so I don’t capitulate the second he
cries, I really don’t, but he outclasses me for staying power. I tough
it out for as long as I can stand it, still foolishly believing he’ll settle
without my intervention. You have to understand this is after
cuddles as it is – he is well renumerated on that score. Anyway, I’m
out of ideas. Part of me thinks he’s only this age for such a short
time, I may as well cuddle him while I still can, but another part
says, ‘Don’t be daft.’

I guess I have a few awful days ahead trying to change things or at least return them to pre-trip status. I can’t believe I am finally blogging and all I can think to say is how badly our daytime sleep
routine has hit the fan… Riveting reading!

Please forgive me. I’m tired. It was a tense sleep after a long 13-hour day. Today’s been another.

The break itself was great, although I expected to read and write
and managed neither. We had our first family road trip, taking the
new car – now officially known as the Silver Surfer – up to the north
coast so we could introduce Master J to Nana and my sister. Master
J proved a star traveller, taking to his portacot like the world
wanderer we hope he shall be. He also embraced distance travel by
falling asleep in the car for entire legs of the journey, awakening
only when he was due for a feed. A miracle! He did, however, take
serious exception to being in the darkened car at night – once the
sun went down, we had to get him to the other end as soon as
possible or suffer the unhappy consequences. It was a race against
time we lost more than won, making for stressful arrivals
everywhere we went. But overall, I was amazed and relieved by how readily he took to the onslaught of change – he’ll be off on his Grand Tour in no time.

680 thumb-written words… We’re back in some sort of business. The thumb chronicles continue



  1. Annah said,

    Try a hot wheat bag in his cot while you are settling him, then remove it and place him gently down on the warm spot…works wonders!

  2. Woo said,

    I was going to suggest the same thing as Anna, and, if that fails, you could always resort to ‘Nannying Trick #407’ which is to stick the cot in front of the washing machine and run a load through. It always worked for me before with recalcitrant ones – I think its the rhythmic slushing noises – maybe it reminds them of the womb, maybe it just lets them know that they are near something that sounds ‘alive’, I dunno.

    Oh, and I always used a front-loader so I’m not sure if a top-loader would work in the same soothing fashion, but it must be worth a try!

    Good luck đŸ™‚

    • DoctorDi said,

      A wheat bag, eh? Thanks for the tip, Annah. The thing is, we have no problem with the cot at night, so I’d prefer, in a way, not to mess with that as it’s obviously the biggie. Daytime sleeps occur in a variety of places at a variety of times simply because no two days are alike, so I don’t really mind just leaving the cot out of the equation because he knows it’s bedtime when he does get there… And bedtime for the whole night, at that. So I really don’t want to mix the message, you know?!

    • DoctorDi said,

      External laundry rules out the washing machine and dryer, I’m afraid, Woo, but the things people are forced to do!!!

  3. charlotteotter said,

    The thumb chronicles … I love it!

    I’ve heard about the white noise trick too. My MIL used to get the vacuum cleaner going whenever she wanted my husband to have a day-time nap. Less dramatically, I believe you can get white noise CDs, which can be calming for sensitive babies.

    Good luck Di! It’s all experimentation isn’t it?

    • DoctorDi said,

      I might have to look into the white noise CDs… Although mercifully we are getting back to some sort of equilibrium as regards the swinger. And I will never regret a single one of the cuddle snoozes. It’s really hard to be sorry about holding my sleeping boy!! It’s not practical, but it’s lovely.

  4. David said,

    You’ll never win with a baby in a battle of wills. He has nothing else to do with his day, you see.

    • DoctorDi said,

      Excellent point, David. He does knit his hands together like a midget mastermind.

  5. litlove said,

    I’m with the white noise fans. I used to put the hairdryer on while my son was having a feed and he’d fall asleep. Then I found I could move him quite easily into the cot and turn the hairdryer off afterwards. It’s amazing how quickly babies fall out of routines and how resistant they are to being put in them! I completely agree with Charlotte that it’s all experimentation. I like the idea of the wheat bag, too, although they weren’t around when I was in the baby stage. Good luck! Hopefully you’ll get your thumb to the keys again in a bit to tell us how it’s going.

  6. Lilian Nattel said,

    If all else fails, what about a sling or snuggly, leaving hands free at least? Wonderful about the family vacation. Before my oldest learned to fall asleep, I had to vigorously dance with her in a snuggly, supporting her head, to put her to sleep at night. Yes, it took 30 min of polka. She was about 9 mo then.

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