My Seven Month Old Potty Pooper

Potty Training

I may not have a sleep trained baby, but I think my little man is almost potty trained.  For the last month that’s the only place he poops.  It all started when he was only a couple of weeks old and we noticed that he cannot poop unless he is sitting up.  Things only got more complicated when he started to eat solids. He couldn’t do it with his diaper still on!  It wasn’t a pretty picture.  And I was a little concerned because I have seen many babies including my nephew poop regardless of how they were sitting.

I told friends at work about it and one told me I was lucky that he gives such clear signals.  She recommended that we  start putting him on the potty.  She said parents in Europe start potty training their children at a younger age than here in the U.S.   I was intrigued and did a bit of research of my own.  According to Baby Center,  most parents train their babies before their second birthday.  In the U.S. they aren’t completely trained until their third birthday.

It turns out there’s even a name to potty training infants.  It’s called elimination communication.  Parents who do it actually start at a very early age— from birth to four years. And by 18 months the baby is usually fully capable of going to the bathroom on his/her own and not relying on a diaper.

Potty Training

He’s proud of himself too.

Now, I don’t think I could have started this before my baby turned six months.  It seems too complicated to hold him over a potty at that age.  By six months he was generally sitting up on his own.  So we bought a potty and every time he gave us the poop face (moms, you know the one I’m talking about) we just put him on the potty.  And for the last month that’s become the norm.  In fact, he has not pooped in his diaper once.   Just last week there was an article published on Huffington Post about a six month old who says “boo boo” when she needs to go to the bathroom.  We’re not quite there yet.  But I’m proud, nonetheless.

Sleeping In His Crib

Comfort of mommy's arms

For weeks I’ve avoided blogging because I didn’t want to admit defeat. I didn’t want to face the world of super parents who have sleep trained their children while mine still slept next to me and my husband. I’m no super mom and I don’t really want to be one but for two nights my baby has spent half the night in his crib. Now for all the Cry It Out parents, that may seem like a minuscule accomplishment, but for me it’s nothing short of amazing.

There’s no particular method, just a slow process of getting him used to sleeping on his own. And I won’t leave him to cry, not even for one minute. I can’t say I have any evidence that letting a baby cry isn’t good for them because I don’t really know if it is or not. But what I do know is leaving my baby to cry for any period of time feels completely unnatural to me. I respect other moms who can do it. But I also understand why many moms don’t.

I’m going to wrap up this post before I make any enemies. If there’s one thing I learned since becoming a mom, it’s never insult a mother’s way of sleep training her little one. And so I will end with this thought: I’m going to enjoy this transition period because it means we both get to have everything we want and everything we need. We both get to sleep in our respective beds for a few hours, uninterrupted by the other’s movements. But we also get to enjoy the bonding time that comes with sleeping next to each other the second half of the night. In a few weeks (or months) he will be sleeping in his crib the entire night and he’ll probably be fine, but I will miss him terribly. As a working mom who only get’s to see my little one a few hours a day, there is no sweeter feeling than falling asleep while holding my baby’s hand.

It Has Begun…

Where shall I sleep tonight?

After receiving some great advice from friends and readers I took the first step to moving my baby out of our bed. Last night, after his bath time and his bottle, I put him in his pack n play. I was an experience that helped me learn a bit more about my son’s personality. For two hours he tossed and turned and tried to climb out. I was amazed with his tenacity and perseverance. At six months old, he was trying to figure out how to get out of the pack n play and into my bed. But I did not give up. And neither did he. First he tried to seduce me into picking him up by looking into my eyes and giving me a big smile. And while that ALMOST worked, I stayed strong. Then he yelled at me for about one hour. He didn’t cry. He just yelled, as if to say, “how dare you abandon me?” Then he tried to climb out. All I could do was bury my face in my pillow and laugh. Two hours later, he wore himself out and started crying. That is one sound I cannot stand to hear. Plus I think he was trying to tell me that he was thirsty. I know I would be if I exerted all that effort. So I picked him up, gave him what was left in his milk bottle and he passed out.

We made it through half the night with him in his pack n play. I woke up around 1 AM to pump and found myself counting the hours till 7 AM so that I could bring him into our bed and play. I only made it to four AM. And while he was perfectly fine, I wasn’t. He spent the rest of the night next to us. Tonight we will try again :)

And one note about the pumping. I have decided to keep going, mostly because my prince doesn’t seem to like formula. He’s the boss.

I’m In Trouble


Two days ago my husband took baby boy to his monthly checkup.  I’m usually the one who takes him and I really love his pediatrician.  She is a new mom herself and so her advice resonates on a more real level.  We chat as if we are two friends having coffee and talking about our kids.  But I couldn’t go this last time because I had to work.  So when my husband came home and told me his pediatrician needed to talk to me about a few things I was doing, I knew I was in trouble.  And I knew what she was going to tell me.  But I’m not one to shy away from criticism so I quickly picked up the phone and called her answering service.   She called me soon after and after a moment of chit chat she told me what I didn’t want to hear but know is the truth: it’s time to put the baby in his own bed and his own room.  Just hearing those words made my heart sink.  But I know she’s right. My best friend, who is also a pediatrician, has lectured me on this in the past but that was before he was six months old and I thought I still had time.

Now though, I know that if I sleep train him he will soon sleep through the night without waking up and that by keeping him next to me as a snuggle bunny, I was only being selfish.  I promised that I would try to at least put him in his pack ‘n play in my room.  The idea of putting him in his own room, all alone, is just unbearable at the moment.  And what I don’t want to do is go through reading another sleep training book.  So if you would, I beg of you to give me advice.  How did you sleep train your baby?  How long did it take?  And was it worth it? And please, please don’t tell me I have to let him cry.

One thing you should know about me is,  growing up, I was always the teacher’s pet.  I don’t like when the teacher is disappointed in me.  So I have to get this assignment right.  But unlike grade school, I don’t have a clear text book on how to ace this exam.  I hope that you can help.

My Baby Is Sleep Training Me

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It’s been weeks since my last post.  My schedule has changed at work, giving me more time to spend with my baby on a daily basis, but less days off during the week.  I now wake up in the morning, spend 30 minutes with my little one, hurriedly get dressed and run out the door.  When I’m finished with work at seven, I get home as fast as I can, run through the door and pick up the baby before he has had a chance to fall asleep.  I then strap on the pump and eat dinner so that my son has some fresh milk to send him off to dream land.  And then I do my favorite thing of the day.  I lay next to my little one and watch him fight sleep until he gives up and finally closes his eyes.  Sometimes I fall asleep before he does and that’s OK, because I need every second of slumber I can get.

Sleep.  I don’t know a single new parent that isn’t obsessed with this issue.  How can we get our child to sleep through the night?  It’s a multimillion dollar industry with hundreds of books preaching just as many techniques.   For every book or article I read, I have found there are others that tell you to use the exact opposite method.  And for every method, you’ll find at least one parent who will tell you it was miraculous and one parent who will say it was impossible to implement. 

As for me, I have given up on the idea of sleep training my baby.  He is now sleep training me.  He sleeps better when he is in our bed.  And so that’s where I put him.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night, I give him a bottle.  My son’s pediatrician, who I hope reads this blog, will be very disappointed to find this out from me.  She has advised me not to do any of the above.  It’s not that I can’t.  It’s just that I don’t want to.  I work all day and so sleepy time is also bonding time for me.  And if he wakes up, even if it’s for 10 minutes, I don’t mind giving him milk because it’s another chance for us to bond.  Some nights, he only wakes up once.  Others, four times.  I no longer check the clock because I have found that if I don’t know how little sleep I’m getting, I don’t feel as tired.

Last night, we decided we would make him sleep in his crib, the one next to our bed.  He is only 27 inches long, but he has found a way to take over most of our bed, leaving his dad and I literally sleeping on the edge.  When he complained, however, I was thrilled and picked him up and put him next to me.  I love that he loves sleeping next to me.  One day, and that day will come sooner than later, he will not want to be with us.  In the mean time, I’ll enjoy every second with him that I can get, even if it means I barely get any snooze.  I just wish we had a king size bed.

How I Survived Returning to Work


It’s been more than two weeks since I returned to work and I’m happy to say, my brain and my heart are faring much better.

Those who follow my blog know that there were moments in the first couple of days when I didn’t think I would survive being both a mom and a career woman.  There were lots of tears and lots of anxiety.  I’m sure there will be some days that are tougher than others, but now I also know that I will make it through.  For  moms that are preparing to return to work, here are few tips that helped me get through the first couple of weeks.

1) Make sure you have childcare you can trust.  I miss my son every day but I don’t worry because I know that he is in good hands with his nanny.  I can handle missing his beautiful face but I cannot handle being away from him and worrying about his well-being.  In order to trust your childcare, if you can afford it, hire your nanny while you are still on maternity leave.  You have enough to adjust to, the last thing you need is to deal with is someone new in your life and your little one’s life as you return to work.

2) Talk to other mothers who work with you.  Tell them about your concerns and your worries.  They have been there and the fact that they are still working means they may have tips to help you through the tough days.  I would stop and talk to every mom that I see in the hallway.  I found it very comforting to know there are many others going through exactly the same thing.  Taking five minutes to talk about our children also helped me get through the days I missed him the most.

3) Talk to your spouse/partner.  Chances are if you live in the U.S. your husband/partner had to return to work mere days after your baby was born.  Daddy loves the baby as much as you do, and if he can adjust, so can you.

4) Stay in touch.  I set up a Skype account for my son and everyday I call him and either his dad or nanny picks up.  I work 11 hour days and taking 10 minutes, while I pump, out of the entire day to see my son makes all the difference.  It also helps with my milk production.  I know some parents who have a nanny cam that allows them to check in every once in a while as well.  But I personally like being able to interact with him.

5) Know yourself.  I have many friends who said to me they thought they could never be a stay-at-home mom until they actually went back to work.  For me, going back to work confirmed that I am a better mom when I work.  Instead of feeling exhausted, I feel refreshed when I see my baby.  My time with him is so precious and I enjoy every second.  But for some moms, being away only increases their anxiety.  Be honest with yourself about what’s best for you and your family. After all, if mom is not happy, no one is.

It’s only been a couple of weeks for me but things are already dramatically better than they were the first day.  Moms, do you have any tips on how you survived the return to work?

A tough first day for this mommy brain.

It was this photo that sent me over the edge to a pool of tears on the first day.

It was this photo that sent me over the edge to a pool of tears on the first day.

It’s over, my first week back at work is over and I’m happy to see it go.  I only worked two days, but it felt more like a month.  The amount of emotion and exhaustion I felt was just too much for two days.  Luckily, the first person I saw as I was about to enter the doors of the news center was a friend who a year ago became a mom herself.  I burst into tears the second I saw her.  She reminded me, there is no crying in baseball (news) and told me a funny story about a friend of hers who was out on a date once and her date picked her up to kiss her and she farted.  I then burst into laughter.  That worked, for a while.  I was able to keep my composure as I tried to portray myself as a capable leader in the newsroom but about seven hours later, and after my husband sent me one picture of my baby, I could no longer hold it in.  The tears came back and I couldn’t stop them.  So I ran up to my friend’s office who promised me that it would only be this bad on the first day.  Tomorrow, she said, would be much better.  She shut all the shades in her office and told me to sit there and pump while I prepared for our next show.  I did exactly that and I felt connected to my baby again.

Part of my emotion was also partly due to the fact that I barely slept a wink the night before.   It wasn’t because the baby kept waking up. It was because the baby wasn’t with me.  I thought that it would be a good idea to let him sleep in his nanny’s room for the night before my first day back at work.  Big mistake.  I ended up waking up constantly.  And my husband told me that at one point he saw and heard me crying as I slept.  So at 5 AM I went and got him back.  I don’t care if he wakes up 10 times a night, I need him with me, in my room, next to my bed, and in the early morning hours, in my arms.  That’s exactly where he was the next night.

Day two was much better.  Instead of spending the morning crying, I spent it enjoying my time with him.  Emotionally I was in a much better place.  But my brain was still half working.  When I work, I like to give my job 100% and I just didn’t feel like I could.  Luckily, I didn’t screw anything up.  But it just wasn’t what I wanted from myself.  I wish I could attribute it to mommy brain.   But now I’m reading that  having a baby actually makes you smarter, at least when it comes to matters related to your newborn. So what’s my excuse then?

My Baby, My Motivation.


My skin is breaking out, my stomach is in knots.  Next week I go back to work.  Yesterday I spent the morning in tears.  It’s a flood of emotions I haven’t felt since the birth of my beautiful boy.  I’m going to miss him.  I haven’t been without him for more than just a few hours.  Now I will be gone for 11 hours a day.  Leaving him in the very capable hands of his nanny makes me feel better than if I had to leave him in a daycare at such a young age.  But I’m still going to feel pangs of guilt for not being there for him all the time.

My tears are also tears of stress.  For weeks, my world has revolved around my baby, as it should.  But that also meant that I didn’t have any time to focus on what’s happening around the world, and I’m worried that I am going to return to work and fail at my job.  Someone once told me that once I had a baby, my priorities would change, that I may no longer want to advance in my career.  I disagreed with that person then, and I disagree with that person now more than ever.  Having a baby has made me want to be even more successful in my career.  The stakes are much higher now.  My son’s future depends greatly on what opportunities my husband and I can offer him.  Before, failure or even stagantion in my career was only a disappointment to myself.  Not any more.  I want him to be proud of me as I was proud of my mother and father, who worked tirelessly to make sure we had all that we needed and more.  The challenge now is how do I work to excel while not compromising my precious time with my boy.  I know it’s a balancing act that millions of women struggle with every day.

Fellow career moms, how do you do it?  How do you find the time to focus on work while also thinking about finding the time and place to pump while away from your babies?  How do you push for a promotion when that promotion may also mean less time with your little ones?  How do we find success as mothers and career women?  I still have a long road ahead of me before I can answer any of these questions.  But perhaps you already have some tips?

The Etiquette Of Visiting Parents With Newborns

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There are few things in life more heartwarming than meeting a newborn baby for the first time, especially if that baby is the son or daughter of a dear friend.  But for the parents who have just had a baby, there are also few things that are more stressful and exhausting.      The new mom or dad have probably not had more than three consecutive hours of  sleep.  The mom’s nipples are probably sore and bleeding.  And neither have had time to eat a real meal.  This post is dedicated to the etiquette of visiting new parents.  I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.  It shouldn’t.  I definitely violated these rules before I had a baby.  This is meant to simply help friends understand the needs of a new parent.

1) CLEAN YOUR HANDS: When you arrive for your visit, the first thing you should do is wash your hands and let your friend know that you are washing your hands.  You want to give your friend the peace of mind that when you touch his/her new baby, you are doing it with the cleanest possible hands.  And ask if there’s any hand sanitizer for you to use.   I guarantee there’s probably a couple gallons of it around the house.  Newborns have fragile immune systems and you don’t want to be the reason the baby gets sick at such a young age.  Believe me, parents keep tabs on who may have made their baby sick— they may resent you forever.  This brings me to rule number two:

2) IF YOU’RE SICK DON’T VISIT:  This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people seem to think it’s ok to visit a newborn when they have a cold.  Even a minor cold could make the baby sick.  So just wait till you are back to full health before you visit.

3) COME EARLY, DON’T STAY TOO LONG:  This is probably the most important piece of advice.  You probably think your friend wants to have some adult company after spending days alone doing nothing but changing diapers and burping a baby.  That’s true.  But unless you’re the kind of person that knows how to handle babies and can give mom or dad a break to go shower or sleep, don’t stay for more than an hour.  Moms need to do things like breastfeed, or pump milk, or put the baby to sleep in a quiet environment.  It’s not easy to do any of these things with friends around.  Try not to stay past 6 PM.   New moms and dads will be trying to go to sleep as early as possible and they need a little while to get things in order before they can take a snooze ahead of a long night of interrupted sleep.

4) INSIST ON HELPING:  If you know how to handle a baby well, offer to hold the baby and give the mom or dad a chance to do something for themselves, like go to the bathroom and maybe even brush their teeth.  If you’re not good with babies, bring lunch or dinner over.  The new mom or dad have probably not had a proper meal all day.

5) GIVE USEFUL BABY GIFTS:  Your visit is sweet enough and you should never feel obligated to buy a gift.  Bringing a meal or a snack over is more than enough.  But if you insist on giving something, make sure it’s useful.  Far too often people buy very cute outfits but they are likely the wrong size and for the wrong season.  Sure, you may have included a gift receipt, but believe me, the new mom or dad will not have a chance to do any exchanges or shopping for a very long time.  Books for the baby are always a good idea and they don’t take up too much space.  One of my favorite gifts was a book called “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch.   I will read it to my son for many years to come and think for the sweet friend who gave it to us every time.   Gift certificates are another good option.  Babies need many different things as they grow and a gift certificate gives your friends some extra cash to buy what he/she may need.

5) DON’T JUDGE: Remember the new mom and dad are functioning on very few hours of sleep and they may not make much sense at times.  They are also probably hyper-sensitive and they may still be wearing the same outfit they put on the day before.  Forgive them their faux pas, and they’ll forgive yours!

I believe if you follow these five simple rules, your friends will really appreciate your visit and ask you to come back again and again.  But after hearing all the crying and fussiness that comes with a newborn baby (from both the parents and the baby), you may  decide to wait a few months before going back again.

All I Want For Christmas (and my birthday)…

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… is a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. For three months I have gladly woken up several times throughout the night to feed my baby and pump. There was one night when I was so tired, I actually slept for six straight hours. It was so beautiful. But it only happened once. I desperately want it to happen again.

We just came back from a trip visiting family in California and I have a very fussy jet lagged baby who refuses to sleep before 1 AM. Last night, for the first time, I actually got annoyed with my three-month old! I put him to bed at 10 PM. He woke up at 10:15. I tried again at 11. He woke up at 11:30. And I actually found myself frustrated with him. That feeling was immediately followed by enormous gilt. How could I get mad at my baby, especially when the reason for his fussiness has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with our decision to travel? I felt like a terrible mother. But I’m really tired and I really miss sleeping.

Tonight I may get my wish. It’s my birthday and my husband has offered to take the entire night shift and let me sleep. Honestly, I cannot think of a better gift. Now, the question is if I can actually let myself sleep. In my mind waking up throughout the night is synonymous with being a good mom. Plus, I’ll feel so guilty seeing my tired husband tomorrow. I wish we could both get a good night’s sleep. I wish all three of us could sleep for eight hours straight. Do you think Santa grants wishes like these?

I wish you all a happy holiday season and a very good night’s rest. As for me, I think it’s time for a nap since my little one is with daddy right now and seems to be dozing off.

Moms, will I ever get to really sleep again?

 

Maternity Leave Madness


I finally did it. This week I finally opened up my work email. I had about 30 messages with the subject “your mailbox is full.” And more than 2500 other unread emails. I was perfectly happy letting it stay full. But I’m now just a few weeks away from returning to work and it is time for me to send the email I had been dreading since the day my baby was born. It’s time to find out when my official start date will be.

I won’t lie. A part of me is really looking forward to going back to work. I love what I do and I’m excited to jump back into the world of international news. But another part of me is having a major panic attack. How am I going to leave my three and a half month old for 10 hours a day? I tend to get anxious when I’m having dinner with friends and I’m a way from him for only two hours. I’m really lucky because I will be leaving him with an amazing nanny who he already loves. . But I will have to let go and get myself used to the fact that my son will not be spending the day the way I want him to spend it. I will be sharing his most precious moments and milestones with someone else. I will cry my eyes out every morning when I leave him.

It just feels too soon to go. Why is it that the great United States has the worst maternity leave policies of the developed world. In Canada, moms get 52 weeks off work during this life changing experience. The same is true for the U.K and other parts of Europe. In France, both moms and dads get to take a combined 104 weeks off work. Even Afghanistan has better laws concerning maternity leave. The law there requires women to take 12 weeks off work with 100% of their pay. In fact, the law in the U.S. does not require a company to pay moms anything, though most get some of their salary through short-term disability. We are forced to choose between having the opportunity to be good moms or to be successful career women. And most of us don’t even really have that choice. We have to work in order to help provide for our families.

I think it’s time for another wave of feminism in the U.S., one that celebrates the idea of being both a mother and a career women. We can do it all, if our country will give us the chance. It’s too late for me. Come mid-January, I’ll have to leave my baby for work before he even recognizes that I am his mom.

Moms, what are your experiences with going back to work?

The Scream That Brought Me To My Knees


Yesterday I woke up to a squirmy baby, trying to push out his morning poop. I picked him up, sat him on my lap and pushed his knees up to help him out. Within minutes we had a big explosion. The poop was all over his footie and onesie. His dad took him from me and began to change him. I insisted that we wash him with water. I proceeded to do what I do at least three or four times a day and I washed his cute little tush in the bathroom sink. He then began to scream, the way an adult would scream if he/she discovered a bloody murder scene.

I didn’t know what set him off or how I could stop it. I quickly handed him over to his dad. Now I was hysterically crying. What did I do to my baby to make him scream that way? I checked the water to see if it had gotten too hot. But it hadn’t.

His scream was so loud that his grandfather came running downstairs, thinking the baby must have fallen and gotten seriously injured. By the time he got to our room, the baby was cooing and laughing and I was on the floor crying. I still have no idea what made him scream that way. I suspect maybe my rings or bracelet accidentally pinched him. I took off all my jewelry and vowed to never wear it again. And then I proceeded to cry for another two hours.

I never, ever want to hear that scream again.

I was a mess most of the day, replaying the incident in my head over and over again trying to figure out what happened. To make me feel better, my mother in law sat me down and told me stories of what she went through with her three boys. She warned me that there will be many other times that I will feel like it’s the end of the world.

One summer her three young boys had just finished swimming at a swimming club. She was getting them dressed but she realized that all their clean underwear were now wet. Left with no choice, she had to dress them up with out their undies until they got home. As she zipped up the jeans of one of the boys, the zipper caught his wee-wee. And his scream could be heard for miles. She was in the south of France, where there is no 911 emergency center. So she had to free his wee-wee herself. Within a few seconds she was able to unzip the jeans. He survived. He is now all grown up and the incident is nothing more than a crazy story. I admire my mother-in-law’s nerves. I would have passed out. I don’t know how I’m going to survive this motherhood experience.

Our babies are the most important people to us in the world. And just the thought that we could do anything to hurt them is unfathomable. But we will make mistakes and that’s why, I believe, God protects them from our shortcomings. I just don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for making him scream like he did, even though I still don’t know what set him off.

Moms, have you been through similar situations?

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Traveling With A Nine Week Old


Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Sorry for the delay in my posting. We’ve been traveling and spending time with family, which brings me to my next post.

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Yes, the entire row of stuff in the photo above belongs to us. That, my friends, is what happens when you fly with an infant for the first time. That doesn’t even include the bags we checked in or our stroller. But don’t panic new moms, I had to pack a lot because we were headed to California for a month long stay with our family. I was already exhausted by the time we got through security. That, by the way, took us 30 minutes. I don’t mean we were waiting in line for that long. I mean it took us 30 minutes to get all our stuff through the scanner. All my breast milk bottles and formula bottles had to be checked by some little machine. Our stroller was taken to a secret location to be tested. And they checked my hands for chemicals because I was carrying the baby in a sling that didn’t go through a scanner. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t make me put my baby through the luggage scanner with my shoes. Oh the joys of traveling in the U.S.

We eventually made it to the gate and I had to find a secluded area to pump. Already two and a half hours had passed since my last pumping session in the back of a taxi van. Don’t worry, I used a breast feeding cover. Luckily, my husband and nanny are both traveling with us, so my baby had plenty of people to take care of him while I went to make him dinner.

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It may have been our first trip, but I already learned from the experience. So here are a few tips.

1) If you are traveling somewhere where you will be driving you’ll have to take the carseat along. After the hassle we experienced trying to get the carseat through security, I recommend that you check it in with your luggage. It’s $35 worth spending.

2) Bring a sling. Not only is it an easy way to carry the baby through the airport, it is also useful on the plane for when the baby gets cranky and needs to be lulled to sleep.

3) Changing the baby on the plane can be complicated. There are changing tables in the bathrooms, but as you can imagine, they are small. The ones in the back were the largest on our JetBlue flight. Take a few wipes and clean up the area first. It’s not the most comfortable experience for you or the baby. But it is better than trying to do it in your seat and risk spraying your neighbors, especially if you have a boy.

4) Dress your baby in layers. It’s cold in the airport and on the plane.

Moms, what other tips do you have. I hear traveling with kids only gets more complicated as they grow.

- East Coast Mama

Sleeping Like A Baby?


It’s clear to me that the person who came up with the term “sleeping like a baby,” never actually had a baby.  For the first few weeks, most babies do not sleep for more than four hours at a time.  That’s the absolute maximum!    My baby was no different in the first 6 weeks of his life.  But things have dramatically improved in the last week or so.  In my last post, Tired, I mentioned that my baby was sleeping 5-7 consecutive hours a night.  For those who are not yet moms, that is quite an accomplishment for a little 2 month old.  Other new moms have been asking me what I’ve done to get him to do that.  Partly, I think it’s because my son is just like his father, who loves sleep about as much as he loves me.  But I also believe the key is putting the baby on a bedtime routine.

Every night he gets a bath and a massage at around 8 PM.  Then he gets his last bottle of the night.  And at around 9 or 9:30 PM he falls asleep and stays asleep until around 2 AM.  He wakes up to eat and then goes back to sleep for a couple more hours.  On the days we give him his bath earlier, he ends up going to sleep earlier and staying up most of the night.  That leads me to believe that it’s the routine that determines his sleep cycle.  We also make sure to swaddle our little one very tightly and turn on some white noise for the first hour of his slumber.  Believe me, I know how precious sleep is to new moms and dads.  I hope this helps.

-East Coast Mama

REAL MOMS OF OC AND DC

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We are two sisters who married two brothers and just a few years later, ended up having two baby boys just one month apart. No, it wasn’t planned. And yes, it created a logistical nightmare for the family. One of us lives on the East Coast, the other on the West Coast. One of us works full time, the other is a freelance writer. One of us has full-time help, the other is trying to do it on her own, with a lot of help from grandma. Our lives are very different but we are embarking on the great adventure of motherhood together. This is our real account of what happens when the human desire to procreate becomes a reality.

Our posts may be short, because let’s face it, we rarely have time to shower these days. But we’ve learned the most from the experiences of other moms and hope that this blog will give other moms a real perspective on motherhood and all it’s glory. It really is the best thing that could have happened to all of us. But as with all things in life, all things worth having are worth many sacrifices. We would also love input from other mamas out there trying to keep their head above water. We hope you’ll follow us often and let us know what you think.

Some Newborn Essentials


One of my dearest friends is about to have a baby.  A few weeks ago I put a list together for her of all the things I used when my baby was born.  I’ve now put that list up on Pinterest for others who may be wondering what they will need initially.  The list grows along with the babies.  But this is just for newborns.  I’ve just discovered Pinterest and I love it!

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST.

Moms, please tell me what other things I may have missed.

Should I keep going?


When my baby decided he would have nothing to do with breastfeeding at the age of two weeks, I decided I would pump exclusively to make sure he got the nutrition he needed.  For those of pump, you know, it’s no easy thing.  It’s  uncomfortable and it’s time consuming.  It’s also a God-send for those who can’t breastfeed.  I told myself, if I could just get him to four months, that would be great.  When I got to four months, I decided I could keep going because it’s really best for them to get breast milk until six months.  So I vowed to keep going.  This weekend my sweet boy turned six months.  And to be honest, I’m really sick of this pumping thing. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to find the time to do it at work.  But, while my supply is decreasing, the milk is still there and I feel guilty stopping.  So everyday, I ask myself, should I keep going?  I haven’t decided.  What do you think?