This topic in particular sets off all kinds of emotions in me and it’s actually been really interesting to see how the sense of change has already made an impact on Joseph’s behaviour.
I always knew that it would be a little challenging with Joseph being that little older and more aware. Plus the fact that he has had us to himself for well over 3 and a half years. If I’m honest, it kind of makes me a little sad too in a way. Of course I am excited for our girl’s imminent arrival but we have also gotten so used to it being just the three of us, our little ‘wolfpack’ as we like to call it. However, having spoken to many of my friends who are already on their second, they reassured me that the baby just slots in to your setup and it’s almost like they have always been there.
For the fact that Joseph is older and more aware, we have made more of a conscious effort to get him involved with everything baby related which I will dedicate a separate post to. That said, I do think you need a fine balance on this one. I feel like there have been times where I may have over compensated a little bit too much, and kind of forced it upon him so I would definitely advise drip feeding it. I guess it is a lot for of a little person to take in so you have to be careful to not completely put their nose out of joint.
Behavioural wise, there were a couple of changes in Joseph that were brought to our attention;
We have always been fairly strict with our routine with Joseph from very early on, and we have never had problems with him when getting him settled for bed time. He has also been pretty adaptable in the sense that if we did need to be a little more lenient on his bed times for occasions, he would fall back into his routine the night after. A couple of months ago however this completely went up the spout. To be honest I think the fact that we cut out his dummy a few months ago definitely made an impact with this, but he was just a pain to settle in general. What would usually be a 7-7.30 bedtime was turning into a 8.30 sometimes even 9! That combined with him waking up in the night (see next paragraph) .. and me growing a human, we were honestly starting to struggle. We both lead pretty hectic work lives at the moment which I also think has made a difference because we also wasn’t settling down for our usual times and the evenings can be a little more hectic. A few weeks ago, it really got too much for us and the broken sleep was starting to really effect us having to then get up and go to work each morning. We decided to really make an effort into focusing on his bedtime routines again and apart from a couple of off nights, normalness has resumed thank god!
Here are a few steps that we took that seemed to work for us;
No tv for atleast an hour – hour and a half before bedtime.
- A chilled and calm atmosphere by keeping the lights in the house quite low.
- We was recommended ‘Johnsons bedtime bath’ which we started to use, along with his little massage which I’ve always given since he was a baby to help wind him down before bed.
- We brought him a night light and gave him control of what colour to have each night to bring an element of fun to bed time (along with some superhero bedsheets which he is obsessed with)
- A lavender pillow spray (could be complete bollocks but I have always used one for myself, and again it gave bedtime an element of fun
- Increasing the number of books we would read.
After being dry for months through the night, all of a sudden he went through a phase of wetting the bed, even once doing this on purpose! It was a bit of a catch 22 with this one. Out of sheer tiredness, when Joseph would wet the bed at 3am it would be so much easier just to chuck his sheets in the wash and then get him in bed with us, which worked for us at the time (and we secretly liked having him in with us) however for him, it was a perfect way to get into our bed and became more of a frequent occurrence. Obviously with only a few weeks before the baby is due, this is something we had to come down hard on.. being up every two hours with a new born to then end up with Joseph in our bed would hardly be an ideal situation. We started to fully change his bed there and then regardless of what time it was and how tired he was were so that Joseph would learn that even if he did wet the bed, he would still have to sleep in his own bed. We also never told him off and explained that accidents happen etc as this can make them worse. Touch wood, minus a couple of accidents he has been waking up to use the toilet as he did before 😊
Wanting to get in our bed
Just as we managed to get the previous two struggles under wrap, he has now started this new thing of wanting me in his bed! This reflects his general clinginess with me the past 2 weeks. Ads been the one getting up with Joseph in the night when we wakes lately, usually we take it in turns but with me having my own sleeping struggles at the moment, I think he has taken pity on me and takes over! Ad will take him to the toilet however Joseph will then call out for me for some kind of reassurance and then asks me to get in bed with him. The past few nights this has happened and I have to say, perseverance really pays off.. don’t get me wrong, its pretty shit hearing him calling out my name and crying for me to get in his bed (the first night was an hour and a half and honestly, it broke my heart) but now we will try his luck for 5 minutes and then nod off 😊
Again, Joseph has always been really adaptable. I think the fact that he has been in childcare since 10months has made a difference with this. He has never really been a clingy baby or toddler, until lately that is. I think the fact that visibly I am bigger now so it’s kind of hit home with Joseph a bit more. Nursery drop offs have been a little more difficult, even with family members he hasn’t been like he usually is. Especially with Ad. He is a total Daddies boy, which I absolutely adore, and when upset or hurt he will happily go between the two of us, but lately it’s all about me which is of course lovely but definatley out of character. I don’t see this as a negative though. I need those hugs as much as he needs them right now. It’s hard not to get a little emotional at the fact that soon he will have to share me. I know it will be amazing, and I cannot wait to watch their bond grow but for now I will really take in those precious moments even more over the next few weeks.
With all the above mentioned, Joseph has really started to settle down and return to how he was before, so fingers crossed long may it continue because we definitely need a few decent nights sleep before we embark on our new chapter of sleepless nights 😊