The best piece of advice I ever received
It’s just a phase…..
It was my first trip back to the UK since getting pregnant, 5 months gone at a wedding chatting to a friend of a friend about what else… babies, when I was given what would turn out to be the best piece of advice ever!
I’ve had a lot of ‘advice’ shared with me, both asked for and unsolicited, from the moment I announced I was pregnant right through to today. Some proved helpful however most just threw me off my game, made me feel compelled to try something I wasn’t comfortable with and in almost all cases failed.
Who knew a semi drunken conversation (not me obviously) could turn out to be so pivotal in the early months of motherhood. And yes I’m sure to anyone who already has children it’s pretty obvious but when delving into the scary unknown of first time motherhood it really proved to be a revelation.
It’s just a phase...
I didn’t really get it at the time, oh so my baby will be lovely one day and not the other, ok I can deal with that, teething will happen but it’ll pass, there might be a period where the baby decides to stop sleeping, ok seems pretty standard.
What you don’t realise is there are sooooo many phases! Every week is different…
The first few weeks Bo would only sleep on our chest, I was told this would spoil him and I should stop so instead of enjoying this lovely time I spent it worrying I was doing something that would make my baby a terrible sleeper and justifying his chest sleeping to both myself and anyone who would listen - It was just a phase, one that was way too short and that I should have just embraced. I long for those snuggly sleepy cuddles and know I won’t be getting them again for a while….
After sleeping like a baby for the first 3 weeks Bo then decided he was scared of the dark and didn’t like being asleep at night, we spent hours walking him up and down trying to figure out how we could get him back to himself, going over everything we had done wrong that had made this happen, considered every solution under the sun including changing feeding, sleeping position and even bedroom….. it was just a phase, within 3 days I was back to normal.
Just last month our 8 month sleeping baby decided he hated going to bed, screamed for a good hour and a half at bedtime then every hour in the night until it was time to get up. We were at our wits end, what have we done? Did we ruin him by letting him sleep on our chest as a newborn, does his floor bed give him too much freedom (yep we were told he had too much room and that’s why he didn’t sleep!) Are we feeding him the wrong food causing him to have tummy ache all night, does he actually hate us now? Nope, it was just a bloody phase. I very testing one that lasted a bit longer than the others but we held fast, adapted to make him as happy as he could be around bedtime and 3 weeks later he is now completely back to normal. This was possibly the worst phase yet but as with all the other it came and passed.
Some of the other phases we encountered over the last 9 months:
- Throwing up after every feed, every single feed! This one lasted about 4 months
- Only going to sleep when being walked
- Only going to sleep when not being touched
- Only going to sleep when it was light
- Only going to sleep when it was dark
- Being obsessed with the wall behind the sofa, only going to sleep if he could see it
- Sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, deciding at 3.5 months to stop sleeping through the night
- Liking sleeping in his cot
- Hating sleeping in his cot
- Loving sleeping in his floor bed, then hating it, then loving it again
- Not taking his milk (this is frustrating, a tired hungry baby who won’t eat) again lasted a week then went back to normal
- Being a general grouch
- Not eating vegetables
- Loving vegetables
- Choking on anything that is remotely lumpy
- Eating whole bits of toast
- Liking cuddles
- Hating cuddles
- Not taking a dummy
- Not sleeping without a dummy
The list is endless and there will be many more I’m sure! As parents we need to be adaptable but not over react to every little change, if we took on all the advice that’s given to us our babies wouldn’t have a clue if they were coming and going.
So follow your instincts, make changes when you feel you need to but don’t be afraid to just breathe and accept that babies change and if they’re being particularly testing 9 times out of 10 it’s just a bloody phase, there will be a new one in no time :)