The Juggle is Real - Part 2 | S3 EP 82

The Juggle is Real – Part 2 | S3 EP 82

Welcome Moms and Dads to our weekly podcast! In this episode, ‘The Juggle is Real – Part 2’ we delve into the intricate world of parenting three kids, each with their unique challenges. I’m joined by Tove, a mother of three, as we navigate the joys and complexities of parenting together. (The Juggle is Real – Part 1)

Solo Parenting Challenges:

Tove shares a moment that deepened her understanding of the struggles faced by solo parents. We explore the intense and demanding nature of managing three children, especially when her husband is frequently away. Our discussion delves into the intricacies of catering to children with varying meal preferences and emotional needs.

Baby Nova’s Sleep Disruptions:

Tove opens up about baby Nova’s sleep disruptions after her hospitalization due to RSV. We’ll explore Nova’s nighttime wake-ups and the challenges of getting her back to sleep. I provide insights on addressing these sleep issues and offer suggestions for gradual changes to encourage longer stretches of sleep.

Bedtime Routines and Transitioning Toddler to a Bed:

Tove and I tackle the bedtime challenges of managing three children with limited hands. We discuss strategies like using TV as a babysitter and rotating bedtime routines. Our conversation shifts to the idea of transitioning Jagger from a cot to a bed, highlighting the importance of considering his readiness and comfort level.

Transitioning from a Cot to a Bed:

Our discussion continues with insights into transitioning from a cot to a bed, with a focus on Jagger’s situation. I stress the importance of recognizing the signs of readiness, such as climbing out or needing more space, before making the switch.

In the final part of this episode, ‘The Juggle is Real – Part 2’ Tove and I wrap up our conversation, emphasizing the significance of support and understanding for parents in similar situations. We encourage our listeners to reach out with more questions and seek further information.

This podcast is proudly sponsored by Parent Sense App, your go-to parenting companion. Don’t forget to listen, subscribe, and check in weekly.

Guests on this show

Tové de Chazal Gant

Tové de Chazal Gant

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Meg: Hello, moms and dads. It is always so good to have you back here again. Each week we have so many new parents joining us. And of course, all of our regulars who listen in each week. And I just absolutely love my weekly chats with real moms. Occasionally I will have an expert on, although I [00:01:00] think my real moms are experts.

Meg: I do love having my real moms on with me exploring the weekly highs and lows of parenthood. So each week I’m joined by a parent. We tracked Cassidy’s journey. And if you haven’t listened to that journey, that’s incredible. All the way through from when her baby was born.

Meg: And also along the way, we have been tracking Nova’s journey through Tove and Tove is actually a mom of three. She’s joining us here today. Tove, welcome.

Tove: Hi, thank you.

Meg: The story with Tove is that she’s a mom of three. I actually joined her on her journey with her first born, who is almost four.

Meg: I’m thinking, is she four already? She’s almost five. Oh my word. Tove, gosh. So Gray is nearly five years old in September. She is a special needs little one and has really given Tove quite a journey. She then went on to have little Jagger, who is going to be

Tove: Two? End of

Meg: in end of September. Oh my word.

Meg: So that time has flown and we tracked his journey a little bit along the way. And then most recently she had Nova. And Nova is now six [00:02:00] months adjusted age. I think she’s about 32 weeks, 31 weeks, 32 weeks actual age, chronological.

Tove: think by the third, you’re just like, it’s, it’s alive, right? I don’t even have any idea. Someone asked me that the other day. I’m gonna go check my

Meg: is around about six months old and she really did. Kind of come along in her own style, in her own manner. And she was born nearly eight weeks early, seven weeks early.

Tove: Yeah. Seven weeks

Meg: Yeah. Seven weeks early. Tove works alongside me in Parent Sense. She has been involved in the Parent Sense app almost from the beginning.

Meg: She is our head of business development and has taken an extended maternity leave based on a really tricky time with childcare and child cover. It’s been a really interesting journey to be alongside you Tove and I’m really excited for our chat today. So welcome again.

Tove: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Meg. I love being here.

Meg: So we were just chatting as we were starting recording this podcast about what it’s like to go from two to three. How are you finding that?

Tove: It is [00:03:00] like, I think someone said to me, like from one to two is quite a big leap because there’s so many. And then they were like, then, then it just like, you’re just adding on that person lied. It’s like two to three for me has been astronomical in difference.

Meg: no, I definitely think that person lied. So my experience of becoming a mom of three was I found 0 to 1 was an absolute complete game changer for me because up until having a baby, I thought I had everything waxed and then I had my first baby and kind of did like everybody else did, during the headlights and my husband and I, it was so funny in the early days, we would decide how many nappies had you changed?

Meg: When is it your time to have a chill, whatever, you know, and

Tove: That’s like accumulation of who’s done what.

Meg: Exactly. And then, and then along came number two. And of course that was actually fine because for me, that was, we were doing it all anyway. There were two kids, two adults. We weren’t outnumbered. And so we found that fine.

Meg: But two to three was like you’re saying, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It really is. It’s just that you’re [00:04:00] outnumbered.

Tove: So many. There’s so many hands. You know, I feel like, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Birds from Hitchcock. I literally come up the stairs and they descend on me like, like animals and they pull and they yank and they’re like, it’s like, they see me and they’re like food attention and everyone’s pulling in a different direction and there’s three of them and nobody’s napping at the same time and everybody’s eating a different meal and so the one wants that and the other one wants that and the one’s throwing it and the one’s on puree and I’m like, oh my gosh, this is just, it’s chaos.

Tove: It’s literal chaos.

Meg: You are definitely at the rock face right now. There is absolutely no doubt. Because like you say, three different meals because you’ve got everybody eating different food because you’ve got a six month old who’s still on purees and mashed food. And then of course you’ve got your toddler who is probably eating very little, except when he feels like it, or is he a good

Meg: eater

Tove: Yeah. He’s a good eater, but he’s very emotional about his food. I’ve never experienced such emotion in my life. So like it will be thrown, it will be flung and it’ll be crying because like he flung it,[00:05:00] but he wanted it. And he, I like, it’s all very

Meg: Oh, there’s

Tove: And then Gray ,although she’s five, obviously developmentally, she’s probably younger than Jagger, like she’s never had these emotional developments.

Tove: So for me, although I have a five year old. It’s been quite incredible because I haven’t had a lot of this journey. And so she’s still a baby, right? Whatever I put in front of her, she’ll pretty much eat. But with her, it’s about getting her to use her spoon. And so you have to sit and hold her hand and do hand over hand.

Tove: So for her, she needs like dedicated time when she eats because it’s like our time to develop a skill with her. With Jagger, it’s, so actually I have to try and feed them at different times because I can’t give each of them their own time. It’s just chaos. So

Tove: it’s,

Meg: and you’re a miracle mom because your husband actually travels so much. I know he’s away at the moment again. So I was thinking about you this morning, doing all the night workings on your own and doing all the meals on your own. It’s it’s real.

Tove: I think today was the day when I was like, this is what [00:06:00] solo parenting for all those single parents out there must be like. So I was, two of the kids upstairs, Gray was sleeping, but I couldn’t leave Jagger with Nova. So I went into the laundry room and just took out my wet clothes from the washing machine.

Tove: And I was like, I can watch them while putting on my wet clothes. So I’m currently sitting in damp, wet gym clothes from yesterday. And it’s yesterday’s clothes. It’s not even like two days a day’s clothes. Yesterday’s damp, wet gym clothes. And I was like, this is when you’re winning. You’re just wearing wet clothes in your life.

Tove: Don’t even have time to go downstairs and put on dry clothes. Just wear the wet ones from last night. like,

Meg: My word.

Tove: like a giant hug.

Meg: It is, no Tove. The juggle is very, very real. It

Tove: Very

Meg: And in fact, you and I actually recorded the juggle is real just after Jagger was born. And for those of you who haven’t, well, for those of you who haven’t listened to that episode, please go and listen to it. It was one of our most popular episodes ever, Tove.

Meg: And when we thought the juggle was real, then the juggle just got a whole lot realer.

Tove: Yeah, that was like, [00:07:00] that was like, I don’t know why you even let me say the juggle was real. You should have said to me, you think it’s real, but let me give you a giant hug, have a third, and then we’ll talk about a real

Meg: But Isn’t that the way it is though, like, I mean, for those moms who are listening, who have got one baby, and I remember this like super clearly, like 10 o’clock in the morning, I still hadn’t showered, then the juggle felt completely real, and then

Tove: feel broken.

Meg: So any moms who are listening, who’ve got four like hats off, cause I’m not going there.

Tove: Oh no. Never. When I meet people like that, I’m like, you are either a saint or you’re crazy. Like, it’s one of the two because I don’t know, I actually don’t know how I would do it. I think I would just, I like, sometimes I just want to go into a ball in my bathroom and be like, like rocking on the side.

Meg: Trauma, trauma, trauma. So tell us what’s going on. Cause Nova is now six months old. Tell us about the life, the day in the life of a six month old and what she’s presenting with you at the moment.

Tove: yeah. So Nova’s been a bit tricky the last few weeks because she had RSV. And so we were hospitalized because her breathing [00:08:00] wasn’t great and her oxygen levels were low. And so I feel like I just got her to the stage where she was linking her naps. a little bit better and moved away from those, hideous 30 minute naps.

Tove: So by the time you put her down and gone upstairs and, taken out the laundry, it’s like, hi, I’m awake, play with me again. You’re like, damn it, I just put you down. Are you serious?

Meg: Yeah. So, so let’s just actually talk about that. Just, I want to pick up on that because it’s probably one of the most common questions moms ask me is like, when is my baby going to link their day naps? So very often until six months old, they are doing these kind of 30 to 45 minutes sleeps and they’re doing multiple of them throughout the day.

Meg: And every mother is hanging on every thought of how do we actually start to link these sleep cycles and how does it happen? Just a couple of things around that is that very often in terms of normal sleep is that in the early days, kind of up to eight weeks old, most babies are actually linking their sleep cycles and sleeping quite well, maybe a little earlier than that, maybe six weeks.

Meg: And then suddenly they become a whole lot more alert and they [00:09:00] don’t link their sleep cycles because as they come into that light sleep state of sleep, they then become alert and actually wake. And then of course, they then. Go towards six months old when they’re on three solid meals a day. And that’s usually when it happens quite naturally.

Meg: And that’s obviously what happened for Nova is as she hit having three solid meals a day, a full lunch, which includes protein. And often I suggest to moms is to actually pop a little bottle after a little express breast milk or feed after lunch, which you can try. So. Yeah. So what you do then is you have got your breakfast, lunch, and supper.

Meg: Usually your feeds at this stage are probably four hourly apart. So 6, 10, 2, 6 might be what your milk feeds are doing. So your baby at this age will often be doing 6, 10, 2, 6 milk and then 8, 12, and 5 solids. And then what I often do is that after that 12 lunch, just pop in a very small feed of the two o’clock feed.

Meg: So just kind of 60ml or a 100ml, and then see how that works. Cause that often just, there’s an Afrikaans saying that is ‘magies vol, [00:10:00] ogies toe’, is, yeah. So, you know, just get that little bit of extra milk in there, a little bit of tryptophan and see whether or not that helps as well, but usually that’s exactly when they do start to link their sleep cycles,

Tove: Okay. Cause honestly, the 45 minutes is absolutely killing me.

Meg: We can’t get

Meg: anything done.

Tove: no, nothing done, literally nothing. And then she’s awake now she’s in a new a wake window. So I’m like, Oh, well she can’t possibly live up to said wake window because she’s still only napping.

Tove: And she does, she does. So she’s awake longer and she’s sleeping less. I’m like, this is not happy for

Meg: What’s interesting about the wake windows is that they don’t change based on how long little ones sleep. Just what does change is how many you fit into the day. So if you’re always keeping your wake windows the same, but your sleeps are longer, you’re going to have fewer sleeps. And if your sleeps are shorter, you’re going to have more sleeps.

Meg: So ever since being hospitalized, she, has she gone back to linking that midday

Tove: No, no. So she’s, she hasn’t linked any and she’s just 45ing, 30ing, 25ing everywhere, which is just horrible. And I think it’s also what’s happened is because her evening sleep has been thrown out because obviously [00:11:00] they come in every hour and do stats and they were waking her up and so her evening sleep is very disrupted.

Tove: And so she’s gotten into a horrible habit of waking up, going down beautifully, waking up at about half past 11. And now I know. The sleep sense course that I did and my notes that I had from five years ago, tell me that I must not give her a bottle, but I’ve gone to bed at like half past 10 by the time I’ve done the washing and the house and the half past 11.

Tove: I’m just like, here’s a bottle, please go to sleep. I need to sleep. And I know, so I’ve created the habit. It’s been like three days, but I’ve created it. And, and then she wakes up at half past four again, and then I’m like, here, please take another bottle because I just want to try to get another hour and a half sleep.

Meg: So let’s just break that up a little bit. First of all, very interestingly, my very first thesis I ever wrote was when I was at university. So I’m going back like 25 years or a little bit more was on the effect of hospitalizations on little ones on babies.

Tove: Ah,

Meg: there’s re there’s a lot of research on it and it is a trauma, even though I know in [00:12:00] your case, it was a gentle trauma because you allowed to be there.

Meg: You had your own bed in the ward. I mean, most moms don’t actually get that, but the reality is that being in a hospital is traumatic for little ones, partly because a lot of the interventions that they’re doing are a little bit traumatic. And the fact that they are getting very disrupted by hospital schedules, it’s not dark.

Meg: It smells different on a sensory level. Hospital is not a good sleep environment, full stop for any of us.

Tove: No, but I do think just interjecting there from your from the piece again from your sleep course, what I did with both Gray because Gray obviously spent a lot of time in the hospital and I’m did for Nova is I took my lavender. I took my red nightlight. I took my black out things that I can stick on the window.

Tove: And I was very adamant with the nurses as well, come half past 6, put on your probes, put on whatever you want, but you need to get out for an hour. And I would do the music, and I can’t obviously bath her, but I would try and recreate the routine. So actually, she was very good at putting herself down.

Tove: Just by sprinkling a bit of lavender in her room. It’s like she immediately knew that it was bedtime. [00:13:00] So she was actually very good at self soothing herself. I think it’s that constant waking in the middle of the night, to do the stats and then the machines beeping all the time. And there’s nothing we can really do there.

Meg: And then also very often, particularly with something like RSV and our chesty, snotty illnesses, they often have stimulants in the medications that they’re on as well. Is she still on any medications?

Tove: No,

Meg: Okay. That’s

Tove: she’s, because it was a virus, they wouldn’t actually give her anything other than paracetamol and ibuprofen. So it was, and obviously there was just a lot of oxygen to kind of keeping that mask on her or around her was relatively traumatic because they just, they’d pull it off and they’re busy and

Meg: No, absolutely. Yeah. So just going back to the number of times that she’s waking, I would look, I mean, first of all, When you’re single parenting and you’re doing what you’re doing at the moment you might be going path of least resistance and that’s okay. We can always deal with breaking habits later on, but if Davey was around, my principle would be not to offer milk at that 11 o’clock

Tove: Yes. So what do you do? Oh, water. That’s it. I knew there was something. So, so it wouldn’t be like a pickup and a. No picking up. What would you

Meg: Just give her a dinky bottle of water, a little bit of water. Did she ever take a dummy? I remember the early days we tried, but I don’t think she did. And did she, has she got a doo doo that she loves?

Tove: [00:15:00] Loves doo doo. Over her face, so it looks like she’s not breathing. It’s charming, so I have to keep going in and just… But yeah, she loves her doo doo and very, very attached to

Meg: Okay. So that’s fine. So I would definitely make sure that she’s got her doo doo with her obviously, and then just turn on her side. If she’s a side sleeper and give her bum a little pat, give her a little bit of water in a dinky bottle so you can give her like 60ml’s, a 100ml’s of water make it lukewarm so that it feels like it’s a milk bottle, kind of Fox her and see whether or not she’ll take that.

Meg: Probably she will maybe fuss a little bit, but might eventually settle with it. And then you might just for a couple of days, have a second night waking, which is going to kill you at around about one or two, and then rather give her the milk then. So we can try and fob off that 11 and shifted through to one or two.

Meg: And then the 4:30 is absolutely fine. I actually personally would be offering the milk then and seeing whether or not she would settle and go back to sleep till like 7 and see

Tove: Yeah. So she does generally do that. That’s the dream, right? That she wakes up only

Meg: Only at

Meg: 4. 30. Exactly.

Tove: does a bottle [00:16:00] and then goes back. Okay.

Meg: Start with the water now and shifting the milk a little later, see if that works. And then if that doesn’t work and it’s killing you because you can’t do a 2am waking, then do the 11:30 milk. And then we’ll just have to do a little bit of sleep training in the next couple of weeks to get her through till 4:30.

Tove: So I mean, I know I’ve perpetuated the trauma, so I need to just now not, so it would be just giving her milk, patting her and then walking out. And if she cries, it’s the kind of go in, wait, go in.

Meg: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And you can actually, because she’s thriving you can actually go a little bit cold turkey, but you could stop offering her anything and see if you can stretch her later. The only thing with that at the moment is that there’s a lot of change happening for her at the moment.

Meg: The first thing is that she’s been hospitalized. Second thing is that her daddy, who she adores is not there at the moment. And then the third thing is that you’ve got a new nanny starting as well. So there’s going to be some time, and I think if you go back to that sleep course and you do the, we do the episode on or the masterclass on the emotional world of little ones.

Meg: I actually touch on hospitalizations there, [00:17:00] and there’s a strategy that we call watch, wait, and wonder. And I think that would be a great thing to do with her right now, especially after hospitalization is to go back, do the watch, wait, and wonder time just before bedtime.

Tove: yeah. Actually, so bed time is a really good piece that you’ve brought up now . In semi single parenting, so like, I cannot possibly do bedtime alone, I have to bring in a third party, or second party, there’s no three. Because there’s three children who all need to be bathed, and my rule is everyone is down by seven.

Tove: So, there’s only one set of hands. So what I’ve been doing, and it’s interesting, and I’m trying to navigate the best way to manage it with all three, is Taking Jagger down and bathing him early at like quarter past six and then letting him run around downstairs, which he thinks is fabulous. And then taking Nova down, bathing her.

Tove: And then the second person either bath’s Grey by herself and does Grey’s bed or bath’s Nova by herself and does Nova’s bed. And Jagger’s just bouncing in between and gets done last because he enjoys the flurry [00:18:00] of it all. I did that with him the other night with Nova. He was coming into a room and obviously shouting and having a fat chat and it was very noisy and reading her a book and throwing all her toys everywhere.

Tove: And I was wondering, is there a world where it’s better? I think the answer to it is yes. It’s better that he’s more disruptive, I guess, in Gray’s space than in Nova’s space at that time of the day.

Meg: So the juggle with getting multiple little ones to sleep at night with few hands is super real for any mom of multiple babies. And you’ve got three babies and one set of hands and obviously a nanny now as well that you, that is assisting you or an au pair. My suggestion is, first of all, this is the one time of day where I do advocate a little bit of TV as a babysitter.

Meg: If you’re drowning, even though TV is not great for sleep habits, sometimes it just as a necessity. And then this is a perfect example where it needs to be done. My suggestion potentially would be actually to give Gray the device to watch because she probably would be able to [00:19:00] just sit and watch it.

Meg: And I would probably get Jagger and Nova down as quickly as possible. And the reason for that is that I think a very busy wild two year old and I know what Jagger’s like, is going to be super disruptive on anyone, whether it’s on Nova or on Gray and also on himself. So I wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t want him to get over tired.

Meg: So I would probably get Gray onto some technology, Jagger down, Nova down, parallel, and then turn your attention to Gray. I don’t know, would that be something that you think could work?

Tove: Yeah, I mean, TV is a big babysitter in our house because, as you said, we’re just wildly outnumbered. My thing with Gray is that the thing that will keep her upstairs and away from, know, danger is generally something that hypes her up. Last night I did it the other way because I found him quite disruptive in Nova space.

Tove: I brought him into Gray’s space. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Gray wave. I’ve never seen her wave before. And I think she waved at me when I left the bedroom with Jagger because I think she was so excited for us to get the hell out of her room. I like had it on [00:20:00] video. I was like, Davey, look at this, because he was throwing her like unicorn, her books, her toys everywhere.

Tove: And I think she was like, get out of my room. So I, cause I thought, okay, no, he’s a bit noisy for Nova. Let me try it in Gray. She doesn’t mind. She’s a sensory seeker. Like there’s a lot going on, but, and I think she was in bed, cuddled up

Tove: and she just went like,

Meg: Yeah. Yeah. So do you think it could work maybe to put a little screen instead of taking her upstairs for it, put her in her bed with a tablet, an iPad. Yeah. And then just let her kind of agitate with that. I mean, none of this is ideal, but that’s parenting, it’s gritty and it’s real and it’s not, it’s what we have to do.

Meg: And then maybe get him down so that he is a little calmer. Does he sleep through the night?

Tove: Yes. Both him and Gray do. And if they do wake up, they self soothe themselves back so they don’t leave their rooms. Yeah. No, that’s well into sleep course. Thank you. Cause Gray, I always say this, but Gray’s condition is anonymous, like known for kids that do not sleep ever, like on the family groups where these parents are like breaking.[00:21:00]

Tove: And I think because we didn’t know what we didn’t know, it took me eight months to train her, but I used, the sleep technique and eventually she’s just learned that come seven o’clock she’s in that room. Sometimes she’ll wake up for like two hours between two and four or one and three, but she’ll just, read her books and play with herself and then take herself back to sleep, which is a blessing.

Meg: Yeah. That’s incredible. And that’s what real self soothing is that you’re able to do that. I mean, it’s what we all do. We don’t, we know when we wake up in the middle of the night, we don’t go and disrupt everybody else’s sleep. We just, self regulate back to sleep. So that’s good. That’s great.

Tove: I guess on that, but now I feel like I’m veering off Nova. It’s so pull me back if this is not the time. Cause I, we can have another one,

Meg: Yeah.

Tove: but I’m curious about moving him into a bed. I saw one your posts, I think it was yesterday or the day before talking about when to move them.

Tove: Now, in our case, it’s really interesting because Jagger’s never shown any signs of climbing out his cot, like he’s super risk adverse. [00:22:00] So he’s not interested in leaving his cot. He like loves going to bed. It’s his favorite time of the day. He like laughs going down the stairs. He’s excited. He like takes himself to bed.

Tove: He just loves sleeping. But he’s turning two in, less than a month. And I know two, you should consider it. But he’s so contained. I don’t want to uncontain him. I’m so terrified that when I take him out of this cot, I’m like, I know that my evenings will now cease to be mine. Gray was actually surprisingly, she was relatively easy to get into her bed.

Tove: But Jagger, I just don’t know if he quite gets the like, you need to get back into bed before mom comes into the room. Like developmentally, if that, if he’s not there, so I don’t know what to do.

Meg: Yeah. So it’s a very interesting one. And again, another question that moms ask a lot of is when is the right time to take my little one out of a cot? So the principle is first of all, if they are happy and they are sleeping well in a cot and in particular, I think Jagger’s cot is quite large. And if he’s not showing any signs of wanting to [00:23:00] get out of a cot.

Meg: I just wouldn’t move him out of a cot. I would leave him there for as long as possible. It’s absolutely fine. There’s no reason that little ones need to be moved out of cots. At any point, usually a couple of things happen that are triggers to get little ones to move out of cots. So the first thing that is usually a trigger is that they start to climb out the cot and they’re dangerous.

Meg: In which case that’s a clear sign. You need to move them out the cot and that can happen before two, which is not preferable, but it can happen. The other signal is that they outgrow the cot. So they actually start to sleep worse because they’re bumping themselves on the cot sides all the time and they just need more space.

Meg: And so that’s another signal. And so when they start to sleep quite poorly because they’re bumping themselves, then that’s another signal that they can move. A third signal that they’re ready to move is that they start to understand verbal boundaries. Now there’s quite an interesting, a psychologist who talks about what’s called tools of the mind, which is the ability of us to use language inside our mind to control our behaviors.

Meg: So for instance [00:24:00] Jagger’s about to pinch Nova and he goes, he hears mom’s voice in his head saying, we don’t pinch Nova. No, we don’t do that. And he hears that voice, that narrative actually plays in his brain. And so he can start to control his behavior because of his own internal thought processes.

Meg: Now, when that starts to kick in, that you can see that they actually are using language internally to self regulate their behavior, they are also going to be more likely to stay in bed because of course, when they’re not self regulating their behavior, they’re not going to do that. Now, Jagger isn’t at that point yet.

Meg: He’s still too little to be self regulating his behavior. So in an ideal world, you would want that to also be starting to be established, but usually nine out of 10 times that has not happened by the time the child’s showing the other two signals, which is climbing out the cot or waking up now, Jagger’s not climbing out the cot.

Meg: He’s not waking himself up. I would personally leave him exactly where he is for now.

Tove: Okay. Great.

Meg: Then the question comes. Once we do decide to do it, how do we do it? And the best way is to go cold turkey overnight. So you move both day sleeps and night sleeps into the bed. [00:25:00] So you don’t do sometimes day sleep, sometimes night sleeps, or only day and only night.

Meg: You go straight into the whole lot. You make the bed quite special. So you might have something new, like a new blanket or a new pillow or some new bedding , that’s according to their favorite program or whatever book or whatever it is. So you have something like that. You create barriers on the side of the bed.

Meg: Now barriers, there’s lots of different fabulous kind of cot sides or bed sides that you can put in. We had a wonderful one where we had little things that kind of fitted underneath the mattress, like a

Tove: Mattress. Yeah.

Meg: And then a little bars that went up on the side and we pushed the bed against the wall so that they could only get out the one side.

Meg: I saw a fabulous hack this week on a reel actually, where mom had taken, those pool noodles, those long flexible pool

Tove: And then puts them under.

Meg: and wrapped them into a triangle and then put those triangles, those little pyramids, one on each side underneath the fitted sheet to create a boundary inside the bed.

Meg: So they won’t roll out. Now, what’s great about that is they won’t roll out the bed, but what they will still be able to do is actually climb out the [00:26:00] bed. So the bars are slightly more, Kind of forms a little bit more of a boundary. And then what’s super interesting is that they often don’t climb out and you said you had that experience with Gray and you’re not anticipating it with Jagger, but actually with all three of my kids, they just never climbed out the bed.

Meg: It’s almost like they didn’t know that they could climb out the bed and so. They stayed in the bed exactly like we had done with the cot and they just stayed in the bed until for about three or four months and then they started to work out, okay, hold on, I can actually get out and then the night wandering starts, but it usually actually doesn’t start on the first night.

Tove: And Meg, did you put them immediately in a normal size bed? So with Gray, obviously, because of her condition, we did a floor bed. And we just did a really big bed so that could be her bed forever because we know routine and transitions are not easy for her. And I guess the question is, do you start with a floor bed?

Tove: Do you just go into a bed?

Meg: I would do a normal bed and I push it up against the wall so there’s any one side to fall out of and put a boundary on the side of it that is the way that I would do it.

Meg: Preferably not like a massively [00:27:00] high bed. So a fairly lowish or normal height bed would be fine. And then what I also did with my little ones is just lay out the whole next to their bed with continental cushions. So the whole edge of the bed on the floor was led content of cushions.

Meg: If they did fall out, they fell onto the continental cushions. A floor bed, I’m a little less keen on it because I think that you’re going to find that they’re going to step straight out of it. They’re more likely to potentially just get up off it.

Meg: But yeah, it certainly could work. And then you’ve got another transition where they’re going to normal bed, obviously.

Tove: Well, that’s why I’m asking, for us, it’s more like you’ve got to buy another bed and you’ve got to go through, but there is this whole like floor bed, Montessori movement. We did it for Gray for safety reasons, because we obviously can’t explain to her heights and she’s got no concept of danger.

Tove: So for us, Gray, we’ll always have a floor bed, but, it was for me, it would be quite nice to limit the transitions with Jagger. So I was quite keen to just use what we had.

Meg: Yeah. I would go with what you’ve got. Yeah. Sure. Tove, I think this has been an incredible episode and [00:28:00] I think for many moms, well, for some moms potentially quite daunting because maybe they’re pregnant with their second or third and wondering how the juggle, how real is this juggle actually going to get?

Meg: Um. But for other moms, very comforting because actually, it’s really real, the things that you talk about, it’s really hard, these are the practical questions, especially when you’re juggling three little ones, which you do quite incredibly. So, yeah, well, thank you for joining. me.

Tove: Yeah. I think it is also very easy to get wrapped up in the Instagram mom and everything’s perfect, and this is how you should do it. And this is what you should do. And I think. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a reality check that there’s other people who are struggling and it is very normal to simultaneously hate your child and love them so much within the same minutes.

Tove: And doesn’t make you a bad mom or it just makes you human.

Meg: yeah, absolutely. And I certainly had moments where I hated my life and loved my life, where it was like, I actually, I can’t do this. Like, where is somebody to help me? Like, you know, and,

Tove: yeah. Where’s this tribe [00:29:00] that everyone speaks of? Where’s this village that’s like bringing up my child? I don’t see it.

Meg: And then, and for me, it was like, and how does he get to go off to work and I get left with this, you know?

Meg: And, yeah, and there was a lot of anger for me at times and a lot of frustration, a lot of like resentment. And in the split second, the absolute complete delight of the love and cuddles and the overwhelming emotions of being a parent and a mom. But I think, you know, I think you’re so right.

Meg: And, , I was listening to a great podcast this week. I had shared it on my Instagram. It’s a, a business leader called Riël Mallan and he interviewed Rachel Kolisi, Siya Kolisi’s wife. I shared it was just stunning. And, she spoke about this thing, which I’ve now started to Google and understand this comparison culture and, you know, comparison culture is so, endemic in our lives, especially if we doom scrolling or moving through our Instagram or TikTok reels rapidly, because it just is only the ideal that we seeing, and I think that it’s like you say, it’s.

Meg: It’s [00:30:00] not true. It’s not the reality. And that mother who’s got that incredible hack and has that baby who’s dressed in that gorgeous outfit and what a, what a, what a five seconds before that was also doing exactly what you and I do, which is like, what is this? Is this my life? Is this what I signed up for?

Meg: And, and how is it that I get to carry this load on my own, which even when our amazing partners are involved, it can feel quite lonely anyway.

Tove: absolutely. And I think that’s often not talked about enough. For moms, and I think especially those people who are falling for the first time or having kids for the first time or have kids who are on a very different journey. I found that with Gray. It was incredibly difficult to relate to my friends.

Tove: It was incredibly difficult to share what was going on because I didn’t know myself. And so you just completely feel disconnected. From, your world and from everyone around you and nobody understands you. And then, why is everyone else coping and you not coping? And like, is there something wrong with you?

Tove: And are you failing as a parent, but everyone else is managing like, and so having this, you know, finding the [00:31:00] people around you. You can support you on that journey. It’s a, it’s a timely thing, right? It does take time, but I think very important.

Meg: Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely. Yeah. I think it’s important to recognize that the juggle is real. No matter how many kids you have, no matter how much support you’ve got, that juggle is real. You know, it really is hard for all mums.

Tove: And I, and I think that concept as well, if she were talking to a friend of mine, who’s also has her own business, and we were saying that that concept that’s constantly portrayed that woman can have it all is actually a terrible concept that we should stop spewing to each other because you can’t, something gives, and it’s okay.

Tove: It’s very normal that something gives, right? But something gives. So when you see all these things and they’re like, woman can have it all. You can have the job, the nine to five and be the career and be the best mom and be the best wife. No, you can’t. Like it is physically impossible. There’s not enough hours in the day.

Tove: Something gives and it’s okay. Like

Tove: you just got to figure out what that thing [00:32:00] is. That’s going to still fill your cup and, not make you feel like you failed on all.

Meg: Yeah, no, absolutely. It was quite interesting on Friday night. I went and watched the Barbie movie for the first time. I’m sure everybody’s seen it. I know you have. And I don’t think I’ve ever felt as ambivalent about a movie in my life. There were messages that I absolutely did not like at all.

Meg: And there were messages that, even though they had an agenda behind them, a commercial agenda were fabulous, but the overriding message for me was around women can do it all can be at all. And. I found it quite like overwhelming. I felt like, oh my goodness, you know, yes, that’s

Tove: It’s more pressure.

Meg: but it ends up being that we still have the pressure to do it, to do what we were biologically built to do, which is have children.

Meg: And we’ve got this pressure that we want to be and do and engage in working. You and I both have always been working moms but that level of pressure, we just do ourselves no justice and it’s hard.

Tove: And, and that’s the thing is that the messaging [00:33:00] around us is that, but you can, you should do it. Be the CEO. You can, you can, and you, and you can’t like you, you actually can’t because you drop a ball somewhere. Cause you, you like you human.

Meg: well, what was so interesting in that movie is that I think her name was Midge, the pregnant Barbie who went onto the market and came off the market immediately. I mean, she was never sold actually, like the Barbie image actually didn’t have kids.

Meg: Barbie didn’t, you know, and, and she could be

Tove: it’s impossible.

Meg: could be anything she wanted to be, but when they did try and give her a baby as well, she couldn’t carry that load as well. Like symbolically that for me is, yeah, I mean, the juggle is super real because now we’ve got kids and we’ve got careers as well.

Meg: So, I will say though that you, and I know that what we see from the outside, as you’ve articulated is not what goes on every day, but you do do it with the most incredible grace, the amount that you carry and. The resilience that you show in the context of a really challenging life with, with Gray and and then Nova, when she [00:34:00] was Prem and husband who travels, you make it look so seamless.

Tove: You, you definitely know that the feet are paddling like this under the water, right? The duck looks like it’s just swimming, but the feet are.

Meg: the water. True story. Anyway, Tove, thank you for your time. Always fabulous to chat and we will definitely check in again soon.

Tove: I’ll chat soon. Thanks.

Meg: Bye bye.

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.