Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eating the elephant

My wise and glamorous entrepreneurial friend tells me that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Not that she eats a lot of elephants, so far as I know. But she often tackles large and apparently unmanageable tasks, and does so by breaking them down into bite size chunks.

I have decided to take the same approach to raising Lady P.

By raising, I mean creating a baby who settles for a nap without fuss, isn't dependent on a dummy, doesn't need to sleep in our bed every night, and has a reasonably predictable eating and sleeping schedule. (Later we'll be creating a toddler with a nice attitude, and a child with good manners, but let's cross one bridge at a time).

As you can tell, I have set quite a high standard for her, and for us. I was just determined not to get into bad habits, that's all. I was always a bit sniffy about people whose 2 year olds still use dummies, or can't go to sleep without having their hand held. I figure you have to nip that stuff in the bud.

But maybe 3 weeks old is a bit early to be so strict. After all, it's a lot to handle, being born and existing in a world you didn't even know was out there. I feel for her. No wonder she needs rocking to sleep sometimes. And we're both learning the basics here, like how to feed effectively. So if she's wailing for food in the middle of what I thought would be a good long nap, I just need to take that on the chin and provide the boob she demands.

So as I said, it's like eating an elephant. One bite at a time.

Right now I'm focussed on learning how to get her to feed properly, frequently and till she's satisfied. Once we've got that sorted we might start to think about getting her to sleep without resorting to a buggy ride or curling up together (not that I don't like curling up with her, it's just, well, like I said, bad habits die hard). And one day we'll get rid of that dummy.

For now, we're savouring the first bite of elephant. It's a little chewy, but still very satisfying.


  1. Me and my husband really didn't lose much sleep when our babies were small- both were in cots in the room but then would be taken into bed for feeding /comfort and we enjoyed co-sleeping - it seemed the natural thing to do. This article I think is really interesting and puts this in a wider context :

  2. Absolutely. And actually, bad habits CAN be changed, when you are not exhausted and sleep-deprived and trying to learn everything all at once. You will know when the right time is to give each of these problems/issues/training areas separte attention.

  3. Wise words from 2 supermums. Thanks & I agree. It's nicer to enjoy the snuggly co-sleeping and feel gratified about the baby nodding off at the boob than to fret about any of it. Plus she's so darn cute even if she grows up with the most obnoxious manners she'll probably get away with it