How to put an almost toddler to sleep

Here’s my bedtime routine for Sophia in case any first time mums like a reference. Only steps 4, 7 and 8 are sleep inducing actually, the rest are things that need to get done before she sleeps, that’s all.

1) eat dinner

2) take a bath

3) go for a walk to 7-11 downstairs and get her face pinched by the Indian cashier who says “chomaterpunay” to her countless times. I’m told this means “many many love”.

4) drink milk

5) brush teeth

6) bedtime story

7) lights off and goodnight song

8) get thrown into crib, pull self up, walk all over, tumble down, pull self up again, tumble again, repeat till tired enough to sleep. All the while mummy needs to be sitting by the crib but need not be actually doing anything.

I’m a bit miffed that without the maid dinner usually starts at about 7 and by the time steps 1 to 7 are completed its past 8 and on a bad day (which is, by the way, common), Sophia can toss and turn till 9. The plan was to put her to sleep at 7 each day so I have my own life after 8!

How much milk?

These days my baby is finally capable of eating a lot of solid food, like between 2-4 ounces per feed, depending on whether she likes the food. Even parents of a 13 month old commented that she is eating more than their son. Ok, that would also mean their son has a small appetite but still, the point is she is eating a significant amount of solids. Correspondingly I’ve reduced the amount of milk I feed her. We have now converged with my initial plan for weaning but unfortunately have also reached the point where I was stuck. Gina Ford enourages not feeding milk with meals once baby is taking a substantial amount as calcium apparently interferes with iron absorption, but at the same time she says 600ml of milk is needed a day. With between 10-12 hours taken up in a stretch of uninterrupted sleep at night, I can’t see how I can fit in so much milk in teh remaining 12 hours or so without bursting Sophia’s tummy at some point.

Recently my breastmilk supply has been going down, probably because I’ve dropped my pumping to 3 times a day from 4x not long ago. I’m only producing about 500ml a day the past 2 days and it suddenly struck me that I may be reducing the amount of milk Sophia drinks by too much and for the wrong reason viz that I don’t have enough milk!

As such, I sat down and seriously started rethinking my feeding plan and have come up with the following revised schedule:

  • 7am wake up
  • 7.30am – Light breakfast (2 T cereal / half slice of bread / 2T yoghurt)
  • 8am 150ml milk
  • 12noon – Lunch (4T protein with vege/grains + 2T fruit)
  • 3pm 200ml milk
  • 6pm – Dinner (3T protein with vege/grains + 1T fruit)
  • 8pm 170ml milk

That totals 520ml milk a day which I reckon should be ok because Gina Ford was afterall catering for a caucasian baby who will be bigger and hence need more nutrition. As Sophia’s appetite increases, the solids can increase but the milk intake would stay the same. That’s the plan for now. What do you think?