The reality of night feeds


Come 6.30 and we’re pacing the downstairs with Evie trying to eek out another 15 minutes before starting the bedtime routine. It finally hits 6.45 and we head straight upstairs!! Daddys on entertaining duty whilst I run around like a headless chicken getting a bottle for Evie and cup of milk for Louie, PJ’s out, beds turned out and bath ran.

It’s a major quick dip for Evie; grumpy, tired and hungry means that she can’t last longer than 5 minutes in the bath. We whip her out and I head straight for the bedroom leaving daddy and Louie to it! This is when the fun really begins! It’s a world record attempt at getting Evie’s nappy on and dressed in her Pj’s before she breaks down. We always do a bit of the hokey pokey with the layers, vest and baby grow, or just baby grow or just vest under the 1 tog grobag, so stressful trying to get the right amount of layers… Don’t want her to over heat or get cold…. Time I’ve finally decided that we’re going with long-sleeved vest and Grobag, Evie’s had enough and is now at breaking point!

Quickly I zip up the sleeping bag, turn the light off and grab the bottle. I start the long process of trying to get her to drink I full bottle (mission impossible when she’s knackered), managing 110mls not even near a full bottle; damn it she’ll want another feed in a couple of hours!! I quickly try to transfer the drowsy baby to the cot without waking her up fully, always a tricky process. Creeping out slowly avoiding the squeaky floorboards and hoping my knees down crack too much.

Success, now it’s keeping her down with Louie screaming with excitement whilst daddy reads his bedtime stories.

Both Babies are asleep and we make the most of the whole 2 hours before heading up for sleep ourselves.

When we head up for bed we climb each stair as quiet as a mouse, opening the stair gate is always a stressful affair. Finally we manage to get into the bedroom where our little Evie sleeps, Daddy kindly makes as much noise as possible cleaning his teeth and getting ready for bed as I start the shall I, shan’t I do a night feed debate! She looks so peaceful and sound asleep so waking her for a night feed is surely asking for trouble!! But then again last time I did a night feed she slept until 3.30…

I go with the no dream feed and slide into bed, we don’t even risk a kiss goodnight as the squeaky wood slat in the middle of the bed is a sure-fire way of waking the girl up. Romance is dead until Evie heads into her own room!!

2 hours later and I can hear a stirring Evie sucking her thumb, this starts the shall I pick her up now and feed her before she screams and wakes Louie or maybe if I leave her she might fall back to sleep. I listen to a stirring Evie for half an hour before the stirring starts to become a cry! It’s action stations, make bottle and feed under the cover of darkness hoping the girl goes back to sleep. I look down at my baby with just a small ray of light from my phone, looking at her beady eyes staring back at me! Please go to sleep, please go to sleep I pray to anyone up above that’s wanting to be kind to me….

Bottle down and I gently make movements towards the cot, laying her down… Success, she’s still asleep and I do a little dance. Sliding back into bed knowing I’ll be repeating the same process in a couple of hours!

This is of course when the husband starts to cough and stir, rolling around making as much noise as possible. I resist the urge to karate chop him in the head to make him shut up! I let out a ‘shhhhh’ hoping he’ll get the message without violence. I watch Evie like a hawk… Watching every movement hoping that twitch of the hand and slight tip of the head doesn’t mean eyes open and a night of no sleep ahead.

I drift off back to sleep, what seems like 10 minutes later I can hear a stirring Evie once more. Crap… the husband must have woken her up with his rolling around after all. I grab my phone for the torch to have a look at Evie to see how awake she actually is when I realise it is in fact 2 and a half hours later! Hello half 3…. I start the whole process once again. This time it really is stressful getting Evie back down as it’s always 50/50 on this feed whether she goes back down to sleep!

Tonight it’s a no go and an awake Evie makes it into our bed, surely if I’m next to her she’ll sleep! Dont be stupid of course she won’t, it’s now 4am and it’s wake up time with the girl. I start the musical chairs action… Cot, our bed, pacing up and down the room, trying more bottle and repeat… Hoping something will work to get the girl back to sleep. I decide on popping her back in the cot and hope she’ll self settle. Half an hour of listening to coo’s, woo’s and sucking her thumb noises which then turn to slight cries and then major screams I realise nothing is going to work and give in to the fact my day has begun. Downstairs we head…. Caffeine is in order!

Until tomorrow

Charlie xxx

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