Although my husband and I are what you might consider “late-starters” as far as parenting goes, our journey together has opened my eyes to a broader culture than offered by my upbringing in the North East.
When H and I got together, I experienced his family as an unfamiliar culture. Celebrations were different, meals were delicious, but different, the language barrier was hard and even expressions of love were different from what I’d been brought up with. Yet I was intrigued by everything and had an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
Over time, I have learned so much more than if I’d stayed in my comfort zone and my mother-in-law has shared so many little gems with me over the last two years in an effort to make things easier for us.
It’s thanks to her tips and advice that have helped me survive miscarriage, get through pregnancy and pull together a positive parenting strategy.
Now that brings me to today’s subject – the difficulties of establishing a routine around a seven-month-old baby.
As a mum over 40, I have a blog to write, calls to make, the house to clean, my email to check and make-up to apply ready for the day ahead. I have to do all of this as well as tend to Master Cyrus.
“I don’t know how you have time to do it all,” a friend said to me the other day. So I let her into my little secret that helps me to gobble food, drink tea, answer the call of nature, relax and reboot my brain at nap time.
Now I know the use of pillows is frowned upon to get a baby under 12 months to sleep safely and soundly, but having talked my method though with a health visitor, she could see no harm in it. Apart from this, I had seen my mum-in-law in action as she calmed my nephew when he was a bub, so it was a no-brainer that I should try it too.
I didn’t want to be one of those mums who ended up exhausted, pushing C around in his pushchair, taking him out in the car, downloading white noise apps (shudder the thought), and rocking him in my arms IF there was an easier solution to get him to nap.
Here’s everything you need to know about what makes nap time work for me. It’s a method that won’t leave you running around like a headless chicken, reading online forums at 2am in the morning.
10 steps to success at nap time
1. First of all, make sure everything else is in order. Make sure your little one is clean, warm enough and fed and then STOP wondering what else could be wrong.
2. Grab your iPad or mobile phone and go to YouTube where you will find this Iranian lullaby called A Textile Dream. Singing a lullaby (lalaei) is a sweet and simple way to calm your baby and this particular one works a treat.
3. Next, get yourself comfortable with your legs up and out in front of you on the sofa.
4. Make sure you have whatever you need close by…remote control, water, cup of tea, book, mobile phone, iPad etc.
5. Place the cushion (balash) on your legs with the tip resting on your toes.
6. Position baby on his back on the cushion so he’s looking at you and hold his hands.
7. Very gently sway your legs left and right and if you can, sing to him while gazing into his eyes.
8. Cover baby with a blanket once he’s asleep and wrap blanket under the cushion so he’s snug if you’re able to unwind and relax.
9. If you’ve got chores to do, gently place baby into his cot, but remember to remove the cushion. Do not allow your baby to sleep in his cot on a cushion.
10. Get yourself a large cushion from the links below to ensure a comfy sleep for baby.