By Ally Filinski
Hospital life is strict, your baby is either on the 2 hourly or 3 hourly cycle. Which means, they would take their temp, clean their mouth, change their nappy then feed them. In NICU this had to be done each time, though in SCN the care could happen every second feed if they where too tired to wake.
Being a first time mum I brought these rituals home, as you have to wake your baby too feed them if they are under 2.9kg because they are too little to wake themselves to feed. So being a good mum and not knowing any better I changed the nappy every feed and woke Isabelle every three hours. Lets just say second time around I have not done this, change nappies every feed for those of you who are thinking I don't feed my child. Every time throughout the night Isabelle would wake, she expected to be fed. If I tried to do the whole sshhh, pat the bum back to sleep world war 3 would erupt until I put the boob in her mouth. It took almost 8 months to break that cycle. oh did I mention that because she was so used to falling asleep on the boob or in our arms, she has to be rocked to sleep all the time. I can't just put her in her cot and she will magically go to bed. I don't regret any of it though, gosh getting our little miracle home was the best thing ever and I wasn't going to let the "know it all's' tell me how it's done. Second time around I have managed to break that hospital cycle in the first two weeks but we shall see how that goes. I should technically be pregnant still, so that little light bulb that goes off in their heads around the 6 weeks of age is yet to come...
There are some things that we noticed with Isabelle when came home from hospital. She refused to be swaddled, she would grunt groan and whinge until her hands and arms where free and to this day she still sleeps with her hands behind her head in a sleeping bag because she will kick the sheets and blankets off. She refuses head bands (though when she was little I could get it on and take a sneaky photo before she ripped it off), beanies and hats and this we think is because of the CPAP cap she would wear. You can't ever clean her nose or take her temp, and she HATED the bassinet. We often wonder if she remembers her journey through the first 8 weeks of life in hospital and if she relates to it. Neither of my girls had that squishy I can't move anywhere feeling in utero, they have always been free.
Penelope on the other hand is much different, loves being swaddled and self settles, but we won't be getting stuck in that routine of being held or rocked to be put to sleep. So no baby wearing here, even if Isabelle is running away from me.... ;-)