Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Chalk and cheese

The very first thing I noticed when baby girl was born was that she looked almost identical to her big sister. Apart from hair and eye colour, every other feature looked the same. They were almost born at exactly the same weight too {only 50g difference} despite me going a week overdue the second time around. A feeling of calm washed over me as soon as they put her on my chest because it was like meeting someone I already knew. It was all so familiar. 

However, it's become inherently obvious that their personalities and likes/dislikes are completely chalk and cheese. The food they eat, the clothes they like, the toys they like, the way they play, reaching various milestones, learning to talk, the sleep {or lack thereof}... it's all been so different. Which basically means everything that worked the first time around is pretty much irrelevant now.

I'd done this parenting gig almost four years before this little person came into my life, yet I still constantly feel like I know nothing. Nothing. That's a tad disconcerting as a second time mum who should {apparently} have it all figured out.

So what do you do when your second child is so different?

You wing it adapt. Make changes. Try everything, until finally something works. It's basically like being a new mum again and starting from scratch. Fun times!

Take sleep for example, first time around I thought we had a bit of a rough time, but now I know we had it pretty easy. She had her normal unsettled periods, regressions and the poop nights when she was teething or sick, but for the most part she slept through the night from a few months old on her own and in her own bed. I honestly have no idea how that happened because we never sleep trained, never used white noise, never tried getting her attached to a comforter, we never stuck to a strict routine. Our only routine was feed, get into sleeping bag, go to bed. Oh and her muslin wrap became her blankie {purely by chance}. She kind of just fell into her own groove and we ran with it. No such luck with her sister though.

This time around we've tried it all. We swaddled, arms in and arms out, and then tried sleeping bags {she hates them}. We used a dummy, until she rejected it and decided I was her personal dummy instead. I've rocked, shushed and patted for hours in the middle of the night. We tried white noise toys and apps, a lulla doll {this works as a sleep association, but doesn't keep her asleep all night}. We even went to sleep school and tried implementing a routine. No luck. This child was sent to break me I swear. Seems she's a stubborn, independent, free spirit who will only sleep on her terms.


The only thing that's worked to get me a minute amount of broken sleep each night {and stopped me going insane} has been co-sleeping and letting her snuggle against me and feed all night. Now don't get me wrong I love cuddles, and to some extent I think I've become co-dependent needing her next to me at night too, but after 16 months of chronic sleep deprivation something needed to change. It's lovely having snuggles but it's utterly exhausting having zero personal space within a 24 hour period. Times that 24hrs by 16 months and I was seriously beyond touched out.

I thought I'd tried every type of sleep aid available, then I got to see the new Gro company Groromper at the Brisbane bloggers brunch. In simple terms it's like a quilted onesie you can use instead of a sleeping bag, but it has some really cool added features like underarm breathable mesh vents, a reversible zip and foldover grippy foot covers. It's like the best features of a onesie and a sleeping bag all rolled into one. This video probably explains it a lot better than me.




I couldn't put my hand up to try it fast enough, and I'm so glad I did, because my child is now sleeping without me for a few hours a night. Yes I repeat, I can put her down and walk away without her waking up screaming every 10 minutes. It's a bloody miracle.

I think the key is that the Groromper has helped to regulate her body temperature at night, keeping her warm and then helping her cool down through the mesh vents when needed. It's something we've always struggled with as she absolutely hates having anything restricting her legs at night. She screams and kicks off blankets and when I put her in a sleeping bag she flails around like I've just locked her up in a straight jacket, even though her legs can still move around in a bag. The Groromper allows her to have complete movement, including rolling all around the cot {which she does all night long}, but she can't kick it off and the best part is she doesn't feel like I've layered her up in anything. She just thinks the Groromper is her pyjama onesie. 

She was a little wary of it the first 2-3 nights, mainly because I roll the foot covers over so her feet stay warm and she hated that. We sleep in air con though so she has to have her feet covered or she wakes up as soon as she gets cold. Once she accepted that she's grown to love it. In the morning when I take her out of it she grabs it and puts it into her cot and snuggles into it.

We've been using the long sleeve Groromper mostly because 90% of the time we have the aircon on in our room at night so our room sits at about 18 degrees. We'll {hopefully} be moving the girls into a shared bedroom together by the end of the year and that room has no aircon or fan. With summer on it's way I'm glad there's also a short sleeve Groromper available for warmer temperatures, so we can avoid WW3 trying to get her to use sleeping bags again. Thankgod.


Not going to lie, I'm kind of dreading moving them into a shared room because I'm scared her sleep will go to poo again.

At the moment she feeds to sleep initially and wakes once or twice a night for feeds. I feel like we're in a much better place sleep wise {finally}. I can now put her down and know I have at least 2 hours of free time at night, I'd have more if I could keep my eyes open longer. I finally feel like I have a teeny bit of personal space and free time back. I know she's warm or cool enough and I know she can't get tangled up in any blankets. I'm actually so relaxed about her sleep at night I forget to use the video monitor {which is huge given I have major anxiety}. I feel like we've finally found our groove.

Of course that may change again in a few weeks when we try to move both girls into a shared room, but hopefully not. Wish me luck!

Have you had non sleepers too?

Toni x



Disclosure - I was sent a short sleeve and long sleeve Groromper for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed within this post are based on our experience using the Groromper {and my immense sleep deprivation}. I did not receive payment for this review. Stock photo has been used with permission from The Gro Company AUS.

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