What to do when your baby won’t sleep.

Before I had kids, everyone told me that my babies would start to sleep through after 6 or so weeks. In my pre-baby mind, that was totally doable right? Besides all I ever heard was, “All babies do it eat, poop and sleep! You’ll be fine!”

The reality, however, was so polar opposite that I often wondered if I had dreamt it all.  My child consistently woke up every 45min to 2 hours for the first 18months of his life.  There was no break. I felt like I was walking around in a fog for ages. He eventually started sleeping through at age 2. 2 whole years.  And I tried EVERY SINGLE THING I could manage to get him to sleep. The first time he slept through the night I was a wreck because my body didn’t know what to do with itself! It really messed up my sleep hygiene. By the time man-child number 2 arrived, I hoped for the best but mentally prepared for the worst. Now he isn’t as bad as my first child on a night but during the day, he is such a FOMO (Fear of missing out) baby. Afternoon naps only started after he was 6 months old and even now…they aren’t long or regular. The boy just enjoys life to the max!

In my quest for sleep, I read so many blog posts and books on how to get your baby to sleep through the night. Only problem was, my baby never responded to what all the other babies seemed to be doing. Now what if you are like me and nothing seems to work with your bambino? Well let me share how I coped with and it can help you survive the sleep fog.

Sleep when baby sleeps

As a mom, you always have something to do without a shadow of a doubt but you know what? If you are severely sleep deprived, then the cleaning can wait a little longer. So can the dishes. Mommy is useless if she can’t function properly so do yourself a favour and sleep when baby sleeps whenever you are able. That 1hr or 3 hr nap could end up being your life line during those tough days. If you happen to have older kids, implement a rest time for the whole household. It is only for a season and your baby will eventually sleep. Someday!

Get help

There is zero shame in getting help.  You bambino may be like my little one who just never slept much during the day or at night. Gather your tribe. People you trust and let them step up to help you. So grandparents, besties, aunts and cousins are all game. As long as you are happy having them around to cuddle your little one whilst you sleep for an hour or two, use what you got. Set up a darn rota if that is what it will take. But don’t turn down good help if you genuinely need it.

Get Baby checked out

Occasionally the reason that your baby might not be sleeping through the night might be due to a possible underlying issue such as silent reflux or bad colic. It is worth going to see your doctor just to rule out such problems. If there is an issue, the doctor can help you figure out a plan to fix or manage the situation as best as you can.

Be Kind to yourself

Mommy guilt is oh so real and life is hard enough with the societal pressures that we face each day. Be kind to yourself momma! Don’t feel bad if your baby doesn’t sleep. Seriously, sometimes it just cannot be helped. Don’t make your situation worse by blaming yourself. You gotta keep your head up and you gotta keep going cause these babies need you. Keep a check on how you are feeling. Again if it starts to feel extremely overwhelming, get help. Get checked out and make sure there aren’t any deeper issues at hand like postpartum depression because that can be a real serious issue for sure.

Automate

There is a school of thought that says something along the lines of: the less mundane decisions you have to make each day, the more energy you have to invest into making decisions for things that really matter. Many successful people do it. President Barak Obama used to only wear blue or black suits to cut out choosing an suit each morning. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg did the same. As a mom, that school of thought can look like this:

  • formulate a capsule wardrobe and wash your clothes once a week
  • do some batch cooking once week so that meals are easier and faster to prepare
  • hire a cleaner if you can afford it
  • grocery shop online
  • plan your week every Sunday night to know exactly what is coming and what needs to be done to prepare
  • meal plan
  • Set up your bills to pay automatically on pay day to ensure you don’t miss any by mistake

Find the things in your life that you can automate. Removing those decisions from your daily tasks means that you don’t have to waste your precious limited energy on something that can just about run itself.

Consider Co-sleeping

I know quite a few mom’s who have resorted to co-sleeping. It can be a very good option for mom’s who need to get a bit more sleep with their little ones. Now before you consider this option, here is my disclaimer: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Make sure you are well informed and know how co-sleep safely. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the following to start off:

  • Make sure your baby can’t fall out of the bed or become trapped between the mattress and the wall.
  • Keep your baby cool by using sheets and blankets rather than a duvet.
  • Ensure bedding does not cover your baby’s face or head.
  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back rather than their front or side.
  • Babies don’t need a pillow until they are at least a year old. They should also be kept away from parents’ pillows.
  • Never risk falling asleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair. If you’re feeling really tired and think you may fall asleep with your baby while feeding or cuddling them on a sofa or armchair, move to a bed (keeping in mind the safety guidelines above) or, if possible, ask your partner, friend or family member to look after them while you get some rest.

You might be reading this through the very same sleep fog I mentioned before. Hang in there momma. It doesn’t last forever. If you’ve been to “Sleepless in Baby-attle, what worked for you? Please comment below with your tips and tricks. They could be another momma’s saving grace!

Blessings,

Normalish x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a Great Morning Routine: Command your morning

Have your ever felt as though you are constantly running behind? Rushing from one thing to another? Barely making it out to work on time? Creating a great morning routine could be the answer to your problem.

I never really paid much attention to my mornings until I had my first child. When you’re childless and free it’s quite easy to be lax about your mornings and just take it as it comes. Throw a child in the mix and you are playing with fire I tell you!! For the first few years of my eldest boy’s life, it was a struggle y’all. I would constantly forget things, forget appointments, wear stuff inside out, just about anything you can imagine! It was thoroughly horrendous and my whole family suffered. Only when I started to implement my morning routine did I start to see a change that made life so much sweeter! So what exactly should your morning routine entail?

Get up earlier

This one is a killer if you don’t go to bed on time! (Post on an Evening Routine coming shortly) To get ahead of the pack aka your morning, you need to hustle your butt outta bed! I’m going to put my hand up and confess: I don’t always manage to get up early. I have a baby boy who’s addicted to breast milk at the moment so I sleep when I can, however when I beat my boys, those days are so much easier. Getting up even just an hour earlier means that I can be ready to face my boys with patience and peace.

Pray and Meditate

I don’t know about you but prayer makes such a difference to my life. When I spend some time praying in the morning, the Lord makes me more mindful on what I should focus on. He may remind me to pray for someone I haven’t spoken to in ages, something specific for my husband and boys and a lot of the time he settles my heart over things that may be bothering me. Take the time to pray and meditate. It will ground you and give you focus for the day.

Eat a decent breakfast

Before I had kids, I heard rumours of mothers who could go a whole day having just eaten one piece of toast. Some will get to 4pm without having drunk their morning coffee. That cold cuppa mocks them. I understand now why Mommy Bear’s porridge was cold in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears! As mommas we are always so busy and it is very easy to put everyone else before ourselves. We have to practice a little self care ladies. It’s necessary to ensure you’ve eaten well on a morning. If you don’t fuel yourself right, you can quickly turn into a grumpy momma bear. No one wants to deal with grumpy mom! I understand that your morning time may be limited. Do yourself a favour and batch prepare some easy breakfasts for yourself. Stay tuned for a post on easy breakfasts on the go coming soon.

Exercise

This point is very much a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Ha! I am *still* working on this one. We all know that exercise leads to more energy. So make it a point to do something. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. Youtube is great for finding some good 10 to 15 minute work outs to fit in before the kids get up. We all need the energy to chase our kids so we may as well include in our morning routine.

Get ready. To your shoes.

The temptation to stay in your pyjamas is great! Especially if you don’t have to leave the house. Do yourself a favour and take that shower. Throw that makeup on if you want to and get dressed, including your shoes. You will feel so much better for it. I have found that when I’m dressed, I tend to be far more open to doing stuff. Need to pop out? No problem. Already dressed. Weather is suddenly good? Great let’s go to the park. Postman delivers a parcel? Great! No shame in opening the door because you are already dressed. Simples!

Start on the housework

Wouldn’t it be great to have your laundry done and dusted by lunch? Well it’s possible! If you start your one basket of laundry as soon as you get up, you can be folding and putting it away by lunch time. No more laundry stress y’all! Keep it simple for yourself by just doing one load where you can and watch the stress decrease.

Sort out dinner

I despise not knowing what’s for dinner especially when I am the one cooking it. Meal planning is a great tool to help stay on top of things. If I know that I am cooking a chicken stew for example, I will try and prep my food during my morning routine. Defrost that chicken, chops the veggies and wash the rice ready to be cooked. By the time 4pm rolls around, getting dinner on that table is a breeze. Better yet, if you use a slow cooker, prep everything and set it going. Super easy cooking with minimal effort. You are released to do more of the important things in your life. It’s a win all round.

 

There is so much more that can be added to your routine. All you need to do is decide what works for you. Give yourself a chance to establish a good morning routine for yourself and command your morning girl! Let’s say no to the hassle and stress. Peace and calm is what we are all about! If you already have your own routine, I’d love to hear about it. Please drop me a comment. I wanna know!

Stay blessed!

Normalish x

How to survive School Holidays like a boss!

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had an amazing Easter and enjoyed spending time with your loved ones. Now, if you’re like me then you might be responsible for some little people (hello adulting!) and that means school holidays are a part of your life.  The first time I dealt with a school holiday I completely underestimated how prepared I should be. It was a disaster. We won’t even talk about how bad it was! Ain’t it good to learn from your mistakes though?! Having a plan can be difference between sheer survival (drastic much?!) and enjoying time with your children. Let’s go for prepared shall we?

Combine and Conquer

Am I the only person who finds that when my kids get together with other kids I actually can get MORE done? Better yet I can relax a little bit more and finish a whole cup of tea! They literally entertain each other. So grab a friend in arms and arrange a play date for your little people to burn some energy. Combine forces for food so the load is easier for both of you. Momma, you might actually be able to finish your dinner without sharing. Ha!

And ye shall have Rest!

School term can be hectic at the best of times. I truly believe that our kids could do with some rest during the school holidays. Implement a rest period during the day everyday. Factor in some quiet time to allow your kids to  slow down and recharge. Rest time can include reading, quiet play in their bedrooms or even a nap. By the time they return to school they will be ready to take on the world!

Routine is King (but be flexible)

Do your kids have a routine during term time? Make sure they have a holiday routine too and stick to it as best as is possible. Yes it’s the holidays but sticking to a routine helps the whole family. As the parent you know what you are doing, the kids know what to expect and it minimises the chances of melt downs, crazy late nights and even unplanned spending like expensive take-aways.

Bust the boredom

I used to dread the words, “Mommy I’m bored!” Why? Because I didn’t have anything in place to entertain the man-child. Do not go into the holidays without some activities planned. Having a solid idea on what to do with your kids will save your behind. Plan for days in and plan for days out. Plan activities to do with your kids and plan a few that they can do on their own. Stuck for ideas? Check out my suggestions below…

 

Plan. Then Plan some more

Goes without saying. Have a plan. If you don’t have a plan you’re going to be flying by the seat of your pants and those little humans will run circles around you! You may have ideas on what you need to do but writing down a solid plan definitely helps. I believe that if you can plan the small things, then you can focus on the big stuff when it happens without distractions. I’ve designed a handy little printable for you to help stay on top of the holidays. No more overwhelm. Yes to all the fun! Write down as much or as little as you need. Stick it up some place visible and work your plan!

 

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Stay Blessed!

Normalish x

3 easy ways to make Easter meaningful.

Why hello there!

Welcome to my brand spanking new blog! I’ve been sitting on this little piece of internet space for a little while and I was pushed persuaded (you know yourselves!) to start writing again. So shout out to my girls for encouraging me. Love y’all!

A few years ago, a question popped into my mind. Why wasn’t Easter celebrated as much as Christmas was? I mean Christmas is huge and everyone goes all out but Easter? It feels a bit meh sometimes. As a Christian this bothered me a whole lot. And as I became a mother, the thought just never left my mind. So eventually I decided that I would try to be more intentional about how my family and I celebrate Easter. I honestly wanted to do more but I was so ill earlier this week that I had to set aside quite a few of my own plans. Next year though…I will be on it! Here are 3 quick and easy ways to make Easter more memorable for your family.

Easter Baskets

The crux of Easter is that Jesus gave his life so that we would have eternal life. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” What a beautiful gift. A gift so undeserved. If You have kids, you can give them their own Easter gifts to illustrate how much they are loved. Needs ideas on what to put into your basket? Have a peek at mine.

 

 

This basket is for my 5 year old and it contains a few Easter Chocolate, arts and crafts, a few outdoor toys (frisbee, chalk, water balloons, bubble wand), a new water bottle, toothbrush and most importantly a book on Easter itself. It was really quick to put together and if you want to save a few pennies, head to your local discount store like Poundland and you’ll pick some pretty good items.

Resurrection Meal

Easter Sunday is such a special day for believers.  One thing to do is get up early with your family (kids included…!) watch the sunrise and enjoy a lovely Easter Breakfast together. You can serve Hot cross buns, Smoked salmon and scrambled egg and fresh juice. Delicious, light and tasty. Now if that is too much of a stretch, then go all out for an Easter Themed Sunday Lunch. You still have time to nip into town and grab a few cheap but very lovely decorations for your table. Fresh flowers and a few cute bunnies and you’re set. Take the opportunity to invite some people around. It’s always so much fun when joy is shared!

Give an Eggtravagant Gift!

I love receiving gifts. It’s one of my main love languages. Let me tell you something though….giving is so much cooler than receiving. So why not bless someone this weekend with a totally unexpected eggtravagnt gift? We all know someone who could do with a little pick me up. Bless a neighbour, friend or complete stranger. Either way, we all stay winning. Throw in some Mini eggs for the special touch!

If you do something different this Easter please let me know. Perhaps you have some great family traditions of your own. I would love to hear about them.

Stay Blessed!

Normalish x