Routine queen
Babies have a way of changing the best laid plans, admits Carrie.
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Before our baby arrived I had bought so many books on routine, I was a routine book junkie. If a book promised to have my baby sleeping through by six weeks, I bought it. Only to find one the next day that promised sleeping through by five weeks. So of course I bought that one too. I had a stack next to my bed so high that it literally blocked the sunlight from coming in. I lived in the shadow of routine books for nine months. Then little Joseph arrived.

And after five or six weeks of keeping this poor baby awake when he was tired (page 37) and trying to put him down when he was wide awake (chapter 6), I realised this boy beats to the rhythm of his own drum and I haven’t taken a routine book seriously since.

Not Gina Ford (or, as we say, Gina I’m bored), nor Rachel Waddalove (Rachel Waddajoke). I’ve realised those books weren’t written with the individual baby in mind, and certainly not with the individual colicy, refluxy baby in mind. So I take every day and night as it comes.

And three and a half months later, Joseph always has a morning sleep, and always has an afternoon sleep. They are never at the same time each day, nor for the same length of time, but hey I’ll take what I can get. Nights are still trying (and tiring), but I think they’re improving on the whole (hope lives eternal in the human breast…)

What we once saw as gospel, we now see as comic relief. We read extracts from the books and weep with laughter.

One book says, “If your baby wakes up between two am and seven am, be sure to settle him back to sleep within twenty minutes.” Really? You think that’s a good idea? Why would I do that! When it’s so much more fun holding him over my shoulder listening to him scream while I pat him on the bum and do squats for two hours!

Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but when you’re as tired as we are, even the lowest form of wit is better than the alternative: a depressive pit. In a few months time I might resurrect the routine books, but for now, no more beating my head against that wall. And if the books never help, well then good thing we’ve just had a nice new fire place installed because I have a mountain of kindling pilled up next to my bed.

What kind of routine does your baby or child follow?

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