Well it's that time again! Littlest Earthly is 5 months old and rapidly going through the associated changes. So to my trusty bookshelf I turn and pick off the following (with the slightest of sighs):
First up: The No-Cry Sleep Solution. After being the most miraculous of baby sleepers from day one, a couple of months ago baby Earthly no. 2 turned into the sleeper from hell. At the time I blamed a growth spurt and teething; now I'm just cross (and sleep deprived). Pantley's suggestions did nothing for our first, but then (as we know now) he was exceptional. We had higher hopes for no. 2 and I feel disappointed that I've been forced to leaf through this again. Having said all that, I'm still not convinced this is the solution for us. While Pantley's tenets are great in theory, and obviously for all of the test cases she talks of, they just don't seem to work that well on our kids. From the start we've been able to put littlest Earthly down at night, straight into her hammock whilst sleepy but not sleeping. Now she will have none of it. Every night is torture, and for no apparent reason. She just refuses, point blank, and the only way she will go is if we (painfully, finally) have her fully asleep first before depositing her to beddy-byes. She has a routine (and always has), she's well fed (believe me!) during the day, she has a comfy and cosy bed, an early bedtime (when she goes), she naps (though erratically - like her brother she won't go down at any kind of routine time for a nap) and she is used to self-comforting and falling asleep in different ways. I've tried a 'lovey' but to no avail. She's too young to be weaned off night feeds altogether, but I could certainly do with the frequency being diminished!
For now I'm happy to keep trying with the Pantley techniques, as they make sense and baby's current clinginess may pass naturally enough to make things easier. Fingers crossed...
Baby Earthly no. 2 is (as I write) sitting in her brother's high chair and happily grabbing at anything within reach to shove greedily into her mouth. So, it's almost time for solids then... Step in Baby-led Weaning. This book was super helpful in weaning boy Earthly and contains all you need to know and more about the philosophy behind BLW and why it makes sense, how you know when your baby is 'ready', how BLW works, getting started, what to offer them and when... plus so much more. In essence, like many natural parenting books, it's about observing your baby, following their lead, and adapting to what they want when they show the sign. It worked wonders with our first and we hope the the transition will be just as smooth with no. 2: watch this space!
The 3rd book this week is more for baby no. 1's benefit for the moment, as he has just got over a nasty chest and ear infection. Knowing that the doctor would only offer antibiotics for this, I turned instead to my herbal remedy chest and my homeopathic emergency kit. Being naturally more confident with herbal remedies, I find myself at a bit of a loss when it comes to homeopathy, despite many of the underlying remedies being very similar - i.e. calendula for burns, cuts and grazes; urtica for bites, stings and allergic reactions etc. However, Homeopathy for Children is one of the best I have found as an easy reference guide - and useful not only for children, though it specialises in typical childhood complaints and illnesses. With a full background on homeopathy and how it works alongside case studies and an in-depth look at treatments for everything from first-aid to childhood diseases, this is a fantastic introduction to homeopathy for the whole family. Teamed with my Helios Remedy Kit, I refer to this book time and time again.