For the first several months of parenthood I was a pretty laid-back mom. Global Baby went with us everywhere and we took him all over the place. Everything went very smoothly until he was about 5 months old. Then it quickly spiraled out of control.
Global Baby required holding and/or movement to sleep. I held him or pushed him in the stroller for every nap. At night I held him all night long. His sleep patterns were all over the place. He was cranky and he cried more as an older baby than he ever did as a newborn. GLH and I got almost no sleep.
By the time he was 7 months old I was barely functioning due to sleep deprivation. Very confused and completely exhausted, I did what I always do when presented with a difficulty. Research and reading.
I found my answer in a book I like to call "Baby Voodoo." It's published title is Sleepeasy Solution. Within 3 days of following the program, Global Baby was sleeping in his own crib, going down for naps and bedtime on a predictable schedule and a much happier baby. Which makes for a much happier Mama. Which also makes for a much happier Daddy.
Within a week he no longer had dark circles under his eyes and there was a nonstop smile on his face. He also had a huge surge in developmental milestones. Although it is just as likely it was coincidence rather than finally getting adequate sleep, I'm not going to experiment with that theory.
I immediately stopped being a Laid-Back Mother and became a Schedule Mother.
My sphere of existence has shrunk. During the week I rarely go further than a 20 minute walking distance from the house. I save our times when we change his schedule slightly to days when we are all together as a family. I am very focused on keeping Global Baby on his schedule, especially with a Maybe Baby #2 potentially coming in October. Otherwise I have no idea how I am going to handle two babies at once.
Fortunately it is all made bearable by the fact that I am also meeting other mothers of similarly aged babies. All within a few minutes walk of me. So I have new social outlets. And I reason it is only for a few years. Once Global Baby and Maybe Baby #2 are old enough to drop their morning naps (generally at 12-18 months old), I can once again go further afield. The older they get, the further my sphere will expand.
The only question has been how we will be able to continue traveling?
Well, obviously for at least a few years we will not do as much traveling as we have done in the past. Neither of us have any issue with that as Global Baby is more than worth a little less freedom to travel at whim.
And when we are traveling I become militant about Global Baby's schedule. Even more so than at home because everything else is different. We are limited in how much we can see, but we still are able to see and do enough. And more importantly, Global Baby's routine is maintained. Which means he remains a happy, smiling baby.
Although after our recent trip to France, it also likely means we will limit our travel to child-friendly places. Italy, for instance, was extremely child-friendly. France? Not so much. (Why is it that in many smaller French towns the only restaurant open before 7 pm is McDonald's? 7 pm is Global Baby's bedtime.)
Pretty sure France will still be there when Global Baby and his potential sibling are a little older...