When the babies were little (14 days old actually) one of my helpers recommended we keep a diary of their day. This was not any ordinary diary. My helper purchased an A4 business diary with full page days and she divided each day into two columns. She also bought a matching pack of sharpened pencils and an eraser. And so the twin diaries were born…
Some of the ladies in my mothers group are onto their second babies and so quite often our talk is about feeding and sleeping. I just can’t remember what I did when mine were little so I am pleased I have the diary to look back on. But………..I haven’t been able to bring myself to get it out. It was placed in the twins special keepsake box at the end of the first year. And is now probably buried beneath all the items I have thrown in over the last two years. Things like first paintings, first shoes, and my childhood bassinet blanket.
This diary holds some of the most amazing memories for me. It recorded their sleep times, food, play, outings and bathroom habits for the first year of their life. Nobody I know has done this and I am sure people thought I was crazy. But it helped me to keep track of the amount of fluid they were taking but in particular the amount of sleep they were getting. Teaching them to self settle seemed to take forever and a lot of time they would go to sleep at different times. Recording the exact time they slept meant I could remember who was getting what. You would be amazed how often you could forget who needed a bit more sleep because they had settled 20 minutes later than the other one. Every child is different but by keeping track of the amounts of milk taken I knew at the end of each day whether they were getting enough (within the guidelines anyway). You could the tell from the totals whether sleep was going to be affected at night. My memory in the first six months was particularly prone to fogginess and I never would have been able to remember it all.
So, I have been talking about getting this diary out of that box for the last 3 months but still haven’t done it. And I don’t really know why. I think it might have something to do with lack of time or maybe I am scared of the feelings it might evoke. During this time I suffered terribly from PND and part of my way of dealing with it was to invoke unbreakable routine to my day. It probably was good at the time as it turns out that the twins and I all benefited from the structure. I got well and they seemed happy most of the time as they slept and ate well. Remember, I also recorded the food they were eating too. Another problem I had during the fog was to remember what they had eaten the day before. This way I ensured balanced meals and lots of variety.
But, back to taking the diary out and looking to see how much milk they were drinking at night aged 15 weeks? Watch this space for Part Two.