Before Eve joined our family I did, as is my way, a lot of research into the issues we might face and how to deal with them. I discussed with friends what they did, joined in the Gina Ford debate (either love or hate her) and thought I knew the basic "dos and don'ts". Routine = good, reactive parenting = bad. I was determined to have my baby in a routine from Day 1, let her cry herself to sleep rather than picking her up whenever she cries, and stick to the same routine each day. I approached this with the same determination as managing a big project at work, with planning, organisation and sticking to the approach.
I am, therefore, a bit baffled as to how after only 4 days at home I ended up at 5am with Eve asleep on my chest (bad), in bed (bad, bad), having just fed her to get her off to sleep (for which mothers rot in hell). I know why I rebelled against all the books. Firstly, I have not slept more than 2 hours in one go since she came home. I am tired, emotional, and simply need her to sleep. Secondly, I have tried what the books tell us. I rock her rather than feed her if she cries outside her "routine", I wait 10 minutes until I go to her when she cries, I even try to wake her up on routine during the day. However, this simply doesn't work. It is now midday and I spent an hour this morning trying to wake her up at her "routine" time. Once it became clear she was not waking up I tried undressing her, changing her nappy, turned on the TV really loud and put her in the middle of the living room when the flat below is doing renovations and there are roadworks outside. Nothing. Eve would not wake up and not feed. Most likely because she was up all night and is really tired now!
I have done what parents for years have done and taken the path of least resistance and done all of the things I shouldn't. Why don't babies come with user guides?