If you can keep up with this and actually get to the end then kudos to you :)

I've made no secret of the fact that I am your typical 'Type A' personality. I fully admit that I like to have everything in order and under control. Now we all know what happens when children enter the picture. You can wave goodbye to structure and organisation. You like plans? Forget it when you've got a little one tagging along with you. When James was six months old and in no kind of routine at all, I stumbled across the Contented Little Baby routine by Gina Ford. I read the book in one day and implemented the routine the next day and honestly, he took to it like a duck to water. He dropped his 3am feed, he started napping during the day and was generally a contented baby. So, when I decided it was time to try and get Emilie into a routine I went straight to Gina Ford and expected it to be just as easy as it was with James.. I was wrong.

I'm not saying her routines don't work because James is testimony that they can work but I personally think they are better if you only have one child. Emilie took to the routine but she's not happy and contented. It's also no secret that my daughter is a contender for worlds grumpiest baby but trying the Gina Ford method has just made us both miserable. I have to clock watch all day and the only time I can leave the house is between 9-10am.. Yeah, not happening when I also have a five year old. So I end up stressed because I need to go out to the shops but oh wait it's nap time.. Or I need to get James from school but that's when her afternoon bottle is due.. I get invited to a Mummy & Baby group but I can't go because half way through it's lunch and then nap time.. You get the picture?

I've spent the past two weeks feeling miserable.. Trying to keep Emilie in a routine but also lead a life where I get out of the house and maybe speak to an adult or two. Emilie has an awful case of separation anxiety going on and I want to socialise her to try and help her realise that she can be around other people and I'm not going to run off anywhere and leave her but that means actually going to different places..

The idea of not having a structure in place makes me break out in a sweat. I imagine that by the end of the day we'll all be in a shambles where I'm not even dressed and the kids haven't been fed. All of that aside, I've decided to throw my Gina Ford book out of the window. I'm going to trust myself as a mother and also trust my baby. I know when she gets tired. I know that she needs three naps a day and that she likes to be in bed by 6.30pm. I know that she likes to have a bottle around 10am but that if she doesn't have her lunch by 11.30am then all hell breaks loose. I don't need a book to tell me that. Yesterday was my nieces 1st birthday party and we were out of the house all morning and well into the afternoon so I figured it would be the perfect time to follow my instincts and tell my type A personality to do one and although Emilie only slept for 30 minutes at lunch time.. The whole world didn't cave in. By the end of the day we were all still standing. The kids were fed and clean and tucked up in bed by 7pm.

If there is one thing that trying to use the Gina Ford method with Emilie has taught me is that no two children are the same. James thrived on it whereas Emilie tolerated it. Who knows maybe living without a routine will teach me a thing or two about relaxing and going with the flow.. Something which I've never done! It's quite an exciting prospect..

Here goes..

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