The mother of any toddler and newborn will nod her head in agreement when I say that one of my biggest fears before having Mika was that he would wake Luca at night. Luca is a really good sleeper, so we’ve been spoilt, and the idea of him being woken at night by a crying newborn and having to contend with TWO demanding little people literally fills me with dread. So I do whatever it takes to keep these feeds as stealthy and quiet as possible. Case in point: last night …
22H40 Night Feed 01 Commences
Baby wakes with gentle moan. Swiftly whip baby up and attach baby to boob. Bend over backwards to plug in bottle warmer* with right hand, and place bottle in said warmer, whilst ensuring that baby does not fall off feeding cushion or boob. Attempt to maintain state of consciousness while bottle warms. Awake 15 minutes later to baby covered in breast-milk and bottle heated to an undrinkably hot 40 degrees celsius. Re-attach baby to boob. Remove lid from steaming hot bottle, placing bottle on side-table and wait for it to cool. Check Twitter repeatedly in order to STAY AWAKE. Ten minutes (and twice as many desperate screen refreshes) later, finally replace lid on bottle and feed to baby. Tickle cheek/tummy/nose of baby in order to maintain baby’s state of consciousness so that baby consumes as much of bottle’s contents as possible, in the hope that baby will sleep longer than the predicted 3 hours. Place sleeping baby carefully back in bassinet and assume the sleeping position. House remains quiet and calm. Mission accomplished.
*WHY does the Pigeon Bottle Warmer not have an on/off switch ON the machine???
23H01 Night Feed 01 Complete
01H00 Night Feed 02 Commences
Baby wakes with a loud squeal. LEAP out of bed and knock over pile of nappies. Attach baby to boob whilst still standing. Pick up nappies whilst ensuring that baby remains attached to boob. Look desperately at the time. This can’t be right? It’s only been 2 hours and 20 minutes since the start of the first feed? Accept defeat. Place bottle into bottle warmer. Instantly drop off to sleep in seated position with baby attached to boob. Awake 5 minutes later and check bottle temperature. Slap forehead in frustration. Bottle warmer was not plugged in. Bend over backwards to plug in bottle warmer and wait, checking Twitter and now even Facebook, in utter desperation to stay awake. Repeatedly check temperature of bottle, thus slowing down the heating process. Eventually give bottle to baby anyway. Baby refuses to drink more than 40 ml of the 120 ml bottle. Give up and place sleeping baby in bassinet. Catch a whiff of poop and realize THAT’S why baby wouldn’t eat. Place waking baby on bed. Place bottle in warmer. Mentally high-five self for remembering to place bottle in warmer AND switch on. Use feet to keep restless baby still. Use one hand to keep
silencer pacifier/dummy in baby’s mouth. Successfully change nappy and fling, unsuccessfully at dustbin. Remove bottle from warmer whilst trying to shush baby. Hear toddler call out from other room and feel all blood drain from face. Send husband to assess the situation. Resume baby-feeding process. Baby consumes all of bottle and finishes off with ANOTHER poo. Repeat changing process and swiftly place baby in bassinet. Flop unceremoniously into bed and pass out in 3 seconds flat. Mission accomplished in longest period of time to date.
02H10 Night Feed 02 Complete
04H14 Night Feed 03 Commences
Baby probably wakes calmly but eventually develops into a desperate scream, due to the unusually long 3 hour, 14 minute time-lapse and a failure to leap out of bed fast enough. Simultaneously attach baby to boob and plug in bottle warmer. Wake sleeping baby to change nappy and mix formula bottle. Adrenalin has obviously kicked in and activities are happening thick and fast. Wake baby and successfully feed the baby a whole 20 ml of the bottle before awake baby becomes sleeping baby. Give up. Place baby quickly back in bed in the wishful hope that sleep will now resume until 06H00. Mission accomplished. Only just.
04H55 Night Feed 03 Complete
05H00 TODDLER WAKES UP
Wait until “MOMMY” has been called enough to assume that toddler is, in fact, awake and not just having a moment. Husband assesses the situation. Hear TV being switched on and CBeebies music quietly filling the house. Try, for half an hour, to sleep. Unsuccessful due to wriggly, hungry baby moaning and groaning for bottle that went undrunk at 04H14. Attach baby to boob and lie down to feed. Pass out and wake up 5 times in as many minutes. Get up to join bleary-eyed husband and perky toddler for a 06H00 episode of “Show Me Show Me”. Resist the urge to shout “ABORT MISSION” and make a run for it.
Over and out.