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- My Mini Digital Detox – by Anna Bell
Night feeding was a blessing in disguise!
*My triplets are now 20 months old so not really babies anymore, but I still refer to them as the babies. I’ve not got used to the term triplets when referring to them and as I have two girls and a boy I can’t call them the ‘girls’ or ‘boys’.
My oldest daughter slept through the night at 6 weeks, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, had no experience of babies and hadn’t read any books so we just went with our instincts and what we thought she wanted and by 6 weeks she was having two hourly feeds during the day and sleeping through the night! – that was fine by us!
When we had our second daughter we did the same again and she again slept through at 6 weeks. They both went through stages of waking up early and it took us a while to perfect getting them to bed, but once they were in bed that’s where they stayed.
When we finally told everyone I was expecting triplets, the horror stories came flooding in. I was even told by a specially trained ‘multiples midwife’ that it had been proven that there wasn’t enough hours in the day to look after triplets on your own. We were told we would need two maternity nurses and the list goes on. The thought of sleeping through the night while someone else fed my babies was appealing, but I had an instinct that I knew what I was doing, these weren’t my first babies and so we decided we were going to give it a go ourselves (plus have you looked up the cost of two maternity nurses?!).
We arrived home with the tiniest babies in the world (to us anyway) on 22nd March 2011 (the girls) and my boy on the 23rd. We decided that they would all sleep sideways in a cot bed next to me and that I would go to bed early and get some sleep and then my husband would give them their last feed as late as he could stay up (normally around 10pm) and then bring them up next to me. As they were 5 weeks early and ranged from 4 – 5 lbs we were told not to let them go more than 3 hours between feeds to start with. There was no need to set an alarm as one would naturally start to stir and so the feeding would begin. I bottle fed all three, and would just lift them out one by one at first and give them a bottle. They slept through the feeds and would be back in their cot after a nappy change. I would then go back to sleep and repeat the process three hours later.
They very quickly started to go more than 3 hours and the visiting midwifes were happy with their progress. I had already decided that I was going to give the babies until they were 11 weeks old to get into a sleep pattern – which would be when they were 6 weeks past their full term due date. It would also coincide with half term and so if it all went horribly wrong and we ended up with screaming babies at least my older two could sleep in.
It took 5 nights from Monday to Friday – I gave dummies and resettled the babies for an extra half an hour a night over those 5 nights – until we reached a 10pm and a 7am feed. It worked with no hiccups and we crossed our fingers and hoped it would last. As I was already back to work part time at this point, a good night’s sleep was very welcome and really made all the difference to my day.
Saying all of that, if it wasn’t for the night feeds, Mojomums wouldn’t be where it is today! I had been thinking about the ideas that make up Mojomums for a few years. I was shocked to see confident successful friends have children and then have no confidence to return to work, even when they wanted or needed to. I had also evolved an environment within the Payroll business I run of flexible working and it really has a huge, positive impact on our business.
So it was during the night feeds, trying to stay awake to feed three babies, that I started researching on my mobile phone and compiling notes. I also shopped, which proved less productive as I would forget I had done it the next day and end up with two of everything!
I started to not dread the night feeds after a while, it was quiet in the house, my babies were all mine for an hour or so and I was discovering and formulating a business idea and plan in what felt like secret! The time passed quickly and each night I got more and more done! It also kept me wide awake, which was definately one of the biggest challenges in the first few weeks!
I think I can safely say that following the great reception and overwhelming response to Mojomums that those night feeds were a blessing! (though I’m glad they’re over!)