Fourth trimester · motherhood · parenting · postpartum · sleep training

Tiny House Nursery Tour ~ because everyone needs their sleep…

Slowly but surely I am capturing the different corners of our tiny home and want to introduce them to you here. While I blog about sleep training, Ill show you Valentine’s neck of the woods.

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Blogging about sleep training is probably one of the hardest blogs that I’ve had to write because I know that parenting is something so deeply personal and unique to every family and even child. None of this is said in judgement to those who parenting differently, this is just what worked for us… incredibly well!

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We entered the parenting journey having a fairly confident idea that we were going to sleep train.  There were several reasons for this, one of them being that we wanted our little edition to add to the family, joining into the already formed ‘Shearer unit’ rather than having to change our lives dramatically to fit around his needs. Don’t get me wrong, life does change with a child, and for the better, but we can do just about everything we did prior having Valley and he just comes along for the show.

Another reason, I am a big believer in sleep equals good health. Literally, when I am tired I become irritable and more prone to sickness. This is why, for the sake of loving my child, I wanted to train him into sleeping well. I’m very confident as a mother believing that, just like adults, if a child has enough sleep then they are happier and healthier. In the sleep training guide we used it stated (based on research) that humans are naturally creatures of habit whether there baby or not.  No matter what behaviour (sleeping through or waking often) Valley was doing, would be creating a habit and we decided to help support our child to create healthy habits.

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More than that though, I’ve always been someone who is need a lot of sleep and function poorly on low sleep. This is why at five months of age we decided to train Valley to sleep through the night. I needed this for my sanity. I needed it to be a better mother. I didn’t see this selfish either because I believe happy mum equals a happy home.

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I definitely have value some old school principal that come from my upbringing however I really disagree with the concept of leaving a child cried out. From working in the Child Protection field before I became a mother, I learnt enough and  I didn’t want to have Valley feeling abandoned or emotionally abused. So rather we sleep trained gently, consistently and we have beautiful bedtime routines that we have created together to prepare for bedtime. Its always a very special time of the day for me.

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The most important principle was teaching him to fall asleep on his own rather than using a prop such as myself or the car. The only sleep proper use with the Lulla doll as it didn’t require my attention every time he woke up. We we did this from a very early age so that there were some nights where I was feeding him in the middle of the night and had a wet cloth to wipe gently on his feet so that you stay awake in order that when he was put down, he fell sleep on his own.

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At five months old, I decided to stop feeding him through the night, feeling (and knowing from research) that he had enough strength and to not need to be fed through the night. I would’ve done this earlier if we weren’t moving houses and having so many visitors between 3-5 months old. It was just the right timing for the season our family were going through. Then rather than feeding him when he cried and I would going and sit with him and pat him until he was calm, and supported him to learn to fall asleep on his own. I was super blessed that this only took one night and he was trained. From then on, only on the rare occasion we may wake up through the night but I can very happily tell you that I am no longer a sleep deprived mother. 

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I also find that sleeplessness creates sleeplessness, so for my little lad, since he started sleeping through the night he is a much happier camper in the day. I have the sleep training program on a PDF ebook so if you want to check it out yourself and modified to fit your family definitely comment of shoot me an email and I will send it to.

Uncategorized

6 months with you ~

My son Valentine.

6 months with you has been the best thing I have ever done and I couldn’t imagine life without you.

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You radiate confidence and are so self assured.

You have never been shy. In fact, it wasn’t hard to see you are a little extrovert just like your Mumma from virtually the beginning. However, your confidence is something that I am seeing more and more as you grow. You took a while to bring your extroverted personality out into the public space but each day I feel you are becoming more sure of yourself. You are so eager to explore your world and your curiosity is one of your biggest traits. I love watching you do this so passionately and fearlessly.

You are active and embrace life fully.

Valley, you have two grandmothers and a grandfather who don’t know what the word “rest” means… not to mention a mother who isn’t dissimilar. You my darling, sure have inherited this trait. I sometimes wonder what it’d be like to have a child who cuddles into me, or plays independently and quietly in one place for a while. You my son, will have me continuing to wonder. Every cuddle consists of you attempting to climb onto my head, pulling at whatever you get your hands on, eating everything, chatting away, squirming, launching yourself from me and constantly changing positions to keep entertained. I love your enthusiasm and your go getter attitude to life.

In your enthusiasm you have often thrown yourself down stairs, into walls and been knocked about but you are so tough. It takes a lot to bring tears to your eyes and I think this Mumma will need eyes in the back of her head to make sure you are kept safe as you get stronger and more curious about your surroundings.

You are calm and relaxed.

It’s interesting though because despite how active you are, your temperament is so calm. Nothing really worries you. You have never appeared fearful or anxious. In this way, you are your father’s child. I feel you’re going to be happy just going with the flow ~ after all, the routine we have is ‘no routine’. I can throw you around, change up your sleep patterns, have you day after day doing new things in new places and still, you are a dream baby. This I think, is one of my favourite parts of your personality and character.

You are such a chatterbox and desire to be with humans.

I doubt that you’ll ever be a solo rider as you’re constantly seeking interaction and play with people. Even if that just means making eye contact and facial expressions. On the rare occasions you’re happy to play on your own, you talk away to your toys, or the cat, or the cat food. You just love interacting with things and people through the use of your voice. It’s funny, now you’ve slept through the night for a whole month, as you enter in and out of sleep cycles, rather then crying or fussing as many babies do, you just audibly exert a relaxed, almost meditative like hum before you settle back for more sleep. It’s funny to be woken, not because you need us but because you just like to talk, even in your sleep.

You desire to be happy.

Even when you are sick, or tired or sad, it isn’t hard to get a smile out of you. Often I’m not sure if you are giggling or crying as the noises intertwine. It’s really easy for me to tell when you’ve genuinely hurt yourself or teething badly because it is if, on rare occasions, you can’t find a smile.

You desire to make those around you have happy.

Yesterday I was in the airport and any time you would see someone you would just light up in a big smile. This resulted in wherever I went, people were smiling and charmed by you. However, one business man on the phone didn’t respond to your smile at first, and this did not put you off, rather you just persisted in looking at him with your big grin for almost 10 minutes until finally you won him over and got a smile.

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I love being your Mumma and cannot wait ti relish in every moment of you growing up.

Body image · Fourth trimester · motherhood · postpartum

Societies unrealistic expectations on mothers ~

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With the raging rise of social media it has put a unprecedented pressure on the expectation of self-image. I’m the first to promote a active and healthy life but have myself been sucked down the vortex of expecting a myself to look a certain way especially in light of ‘bouncing back’ after childbirth.
Because of being fit before pregnancy I have had a number of people tell me how quickly I’ll bounce back. That I’ll be in a bikini in no time. That by the time Valley is 12 weeks and I got to the Whitsundays for a wedding I’ll be bikini ready.
I have loved getting my blood moving and being active again with my new found postpartum energy BUT I want to say a few things:
1. ladies, as hard as it is, do not listen to the voices of those who put pressure on you. And don’t beat yourself up over comparing yourself to other mothers postpartum because like my picture above, it may not be realistic. I encourage you to overcome the expectation that you need to be different than you are. You are beautiful. You just created a human. You’re pretty much a superhero.
2. To those who intend to be “encouraging” or just have an opinion about someone body, don’t say “oh you still look thick around your waist”, “you’ll loose it all soon enough”, “you’ll be like before in no time”. It’s unrealistic to think that women who have birthed a human will ever be free from the marks of childbirth.

In fact, society should celebrate these marks rather then wish them away as it’s make feeling confident far easier. Which brings me to my final point.
3. Society as a whole need to rethink how we view mothers. Mothers shouldn’t HAVE to justify why they look different, why they struggle to look like they did beforehand and how much time it takes to look ‘socially acceptable’.
Mothers are incredible.

Oh and the background and dirty mirror is just another beautiful reflection of motherhood where a child is put first before presenting a perfect household.

And that too, is perfectly ok.

Outdoors · Uncategorized

6 weeks of you ~

It’ so great to have my mojo back. Pregnancy was like “blahhhhhhh” but postpartum is WONDERFUL. I hear Mum’s say “I can’t wait until they are walking, walking, this or that” but for me, I am so relishing in every moment of my little, not so newborn son.

He is 6 weeks old now. Already wearing cloth for a 3-6 month old, using his legs, head and vision with strength. And he has just about been dragged across the countryside, handling it like a trooper.

I hear a lot that women struggle to get out of the house with their newborns. And by no means do I criticise that because breastfeeding is hard, having little sleep is hard, working out what to wear is hard and for me most days remembering to eat is hard. But boy oh boy is it nice to feel like I have energy again.

These are the adventures we have been able to embark upon so far:

  • Evendale markets (1 hr drive) ~ 5 days old
  • George Town Sight Seeing (half hr drive) ~ 2 weeks old
  • Deloraine and Liffy falls (2 hr drive and 45 min walk) ~ 3 weeks old
  • Rock climbing ~ 3 weeks old
  • Launceston play dates x 2 (1 hr drive) ~ 3 and 5 weeks old
  • Derby sight seeing and lunch (2 hr drive) ~ 4 weeks old
  • Holwell Gorge (half hr walk) ~ 5 weeks old
  • Cataract Gorge (1 hr drive and 1 hr walk) ~ 5 weeks old
  • Today at 6 weeks ~ first RUN!