Baby Alyssa was born on the 3rd August 2016 as our fourth child and our first daughter. What a joyous moment when her head full of curly black hair popped out into the world. Weighing at 3.52 Kg and 52 cm long, she is our heaviest and longest child.
Life with a newborn at 40
So it begins again, 5 years on from when Callum was born. The expectation of sleepless nights and ever-growing eye bags will soon become reality once more. OK, she is our 3rd pregnancy so we thought how difficult can it be? The difference now is I am 40 years old now, compared with 30 when the twins were born. I had to face it, my age does make me feel more impatient and easily agitated to every whine and cry that disrupts my restful sleep.
Yes, the first few nights were rough, as rough as I remembered it to be. The incessant crying and constant feeding, every 2 hours or less was becoming quite a a heavy load to bear for Zoe and I. Thankfully my mother in law and our very capable helper were around to help us with our household chores and our older kids while we focused on our baby.
The importance of routine for baby
The sleep routine started from day 1 when we came back from the hospital. Then at exactly 8 weeks she was sleeping like a baby! Literally like a baby! That night she slept for 8 hours straight. Woah! How can that be?! A fully breast fed baby could sleep without needing a feed for 8 straight hours! In fact, it is not surprising because leading up to that glorious night, she was already showing signs that she could sleep longer.
The result of a well rested baby is …. a happy and smiley baby! She is such a joy to see when she wakes up. She doesn’t cry, or grizzle, she just open her eyes, smiles and coo.
My wife, being the Supernanny that she is, was the dynamo behind the reason why our baby managed to develop a predictable and almost controllable routine, from her feeding to sleeping time. Zoe just knows when her cry is out of hunger or tiredness. For me, they all sounded the same to be honest.
What an achievement which I must really give all credit to Zoe for her insistence on setting the routine right from the beginning. All the knowledge and experience that she has acquired from our twins and Callum (whom all slept through the night from 3 months ) is testament once more with Alyssa! We got back our sleep, our sanity and most importantly made us appreciate our baby girl even more.
How I feel as a Father of 4
As a full time working father, the last thing I want to come home to is the sound of a crying baby and a stressed out wife who would just hand over all responsibility to me to settle the very tired baby! I do have some friends who had to deal with this on a daily basis and trust me, it’s far from pretty!
There are even some who co-sleep with their 3 year old child and still drinking from a baby bottle and waking up multiple times at night. I could understand that it’s probably easier for the parents to give in and be permissive just to keep the peace around the house. As a result, they have to accommodate the needs of the child, sacrificing their comfort and much needed sleep. I certainly would not appreciate that kind of dynamics in my household. It would be chaos if we had to co-sleep with 4 kids!
I am not saying life is always smooth sailing for us. Of course there were some nights she would wake up at 3 am to feed and to poo and Zoe had to wake up to do all that. Those nights are few and far in between. But having a baby who can just self settle so easily without needing our help to rock her or to pat her definitely made our lives so much easier especially when we have older kids who demand our attention as well. Having 4 kids is definitely no easy feat but somehow my wife just made it all seems so easy.
Zoe and her passion for sleep
Zoe knows her stuff well (just like Doc McStuffins knows how to fix sick toys)! She is extremely passionate about baby and sleep ever since our twins were born. Zoe reads a lot and she has many years of experience helping other parents struggling with their children’s sleep. Zoe always tell me, she sees herself like a personal trainer. We all may know the kind of exercises to do or the diet to start on, but without the expertise, experience and encouragement from the coach, we will fall short somehow. Zoe is there to help and to encourage parents that they too can foster healthy sleep habits to get a happy well rested baby. Take it from me, a father of 4 who works full time, coming home to a well rested smiley baby is such a joy to behold!
In closing, I really commend Zoe for her sacrifices she has made for our family. She is a great wife and a natural mother. Her knowledge and her persistence in implementing the importance of getting enough rest and sleep for our children has paid off. And all she genuinely wants is for other exhausted and sleep deprived families to share the same experiences we have, one family at a time.
Justin, Husband of SG Supernanny, well rested and happy father of 4