A year in the life: 2010
I love New Year’s Eve. Not from the party point-of-view – God knows we don’t get much of a chance to go out! But from the point-of-view of reflecting on the year gone by and remembering all that has happened.
Looking back on the months from last year, I find most of my thoughts are sleep-related. There’s some other stuff in there too, but in the end, it all comes back to sleep.
January – a cold and icy month, we were housebound for a lot of it. But Little Man was sleeping well, not waking for night feeds anymore, and I thought we had this parenting thing sorted. Even though we were stuck inside because it was so bitterly cold outside, we enjoyed this month. Feeding was easy, sleeping was good, and you could put Little Man down to play, safe in the knowledge that he wasn’t going anywhere!
February – we had Little Man’s christening. Two weeks before it, he outgrew his christening robe! That’s what happens when you wait until the baby is nearly five months old to christen them! But crisis averted, his Nana had knitted him a white cardigan and bonnet, and it did perfectly on the day. Alas, it wasn’t all roses in the garden this month, because this was the month when Little Man got his four-month vaccines. For three nights straight he woke screaming every hour. And then he never slept the night again. (Ok, I exaggerate a little – but it was months, honestly, and at the time it felt like hell.)
March – Half-way through this month, Little Man ate a piece of broccoli. So we decided it was time to start weaning him. We did a little bit of baby-led weaning and a little bit of pureeing and it worked out just fine. He still didn’t sleep though!
April – Little Man was six months old. He learned to sit up this month. He liked to practice in the middle of the night. This was also the month when we decided that we would start giving him formula feeds during the night instead of breastfeeds, to see if he would sleep more. He didn’t. But the days were wonderful. He was trying to crawl, and learning to eat. He learned to love carrots and broccoli, watermelon, and peaches. And he had great fun!
May – As soon as the number of formula feeds in the day was greater than the number of breastfeeds, Little Man didn’t want to know about his mammy’s milk anymore. Too much like work I guess! So on the day he turned seven months, he had his last breastfeed. And after that it was bottles all the way. This month was particularly sleep-deprived! I trawled the internet, and bookstores, and old wives’ tales for advice on how to get him to drop his 2-3 night feeds. We tried everything. Refused him feeds, watered down feeds, dreamfed him, practically forcefed him during the day to try to stock him up for the nighttime. Eventually half way through the month of May, I gave up and gave in. My Little Man wanted and needed to be fed at night, and so I was going to feed him and then go back to sleep, rather than try to debate it with him each night! We were all happier for that decision. Towards the end of May, one night he stopped waking for one of his night feeds. All by himself.
June – A fantastic month. Little Man learned to crawl. And the same week, he stopped waking for the second night feed. Out of nowhere! We were like new people with all the sleep. Oh and we had a holiday that month. Like I said, a fantastic month!
July – A bittersweet month. My last month of maternity leave. Little Man obliged and slept through the night for most of this month. So we enjoyed our time together. We played all day and we slept all night! Until the last week of the month when I had to start him in the creche. He cried, and I cried. And cried. And cried. I would drop him off in the creche, walk the five minutes home, close the front door to the house behind me, and then cry. Even thinking about it now brings a lump to my throat.
August – Back to work. And back to sleepless nights. Starting in creche made Little Man clingy. He kept waking at night, and I think a lot of it was him checking that we were still there. By Friday evening, each week, I was wrecked. But as the month went on, it gradually got easier.
September – If I had to pick a month that was the low point of my year, this was it. I got a chest infection. It took weeks and weeks to clear. And Little Man had a cough that kept him awake half the night. But at the end of this month, I started to get better. And then a wonderful friend of mine got married, and Little Man’s auntie minded him while hubbie and I went to the wedding. What a great night! We had a ball!
October – Little Man turned one! I couldn’t believe it. And he learned to walk. A couple of steps at first, but as the weeks went by, he grew in confidence. Soon he was flying around the place. By the end of this month, he was burning so much energy walking, that he slept and slept and slept at night. Bliss.
November – Still walking, still sleeping. Winter kicked in early with snow and ice, and we were housebound again. But we were having fun, and getting sleep! What more could you want?!
December – Christmas trees, fairy lights, baking, and snow. Little Man is now walking and climbing, and trying to talk. Even though he got sick for Christmas, he still had great fun opening his presents. And right now, he is sleeping soundly…a wonderful way to round out the year!