Sleep trained!


I did it!  I’ve been meaning to write about it but I was worried that it might be too good to be true but we are on week three of having a sleep trained baby!  Thank you to everyone who gave me their advice.  It was a major source of encouragement and support.  In the end I used a combination of various techniques that I’ve outlined below in case any other parents may be interested.

-First night- I used the shuffle method, standing next to his crib and tapping him until he fell asleep.  That night he woke up almost every hour, but I didn’t picked him up until 5 AM.  I would just go in and tap him until he fell asleep.

-Second night- I continued with the shuffle.  He slept a 5 hour stretch and then woke up every hour.  I didn’t picked him up till 5 AM.

-Third night- I decided to see what would happen if I just let him cry for 5 minutes before I went it to tap him.  After the first five minutes of crying I went in to tap him for a couple of minutes and the walked out again.  The second time I waited 10 minutes before I went in.  By the third time he as asleep before the 15 minutes.  He only woke up once that night.

-Fourth night- at that point I knew he was capable of self soothing so I decided to go for the full on Cry-It-Out method.  He cried for 15 minutes and fell asleep.  That night I put him down at 7 PM and picked him up the next morning at 6 AM.  He woke up several times but went back to sleep after just 5 minutes of tears.

That has become the norm for most nights. But it’s not always like this.  There are nights that he wakes up and refused to go back to sleep.  On the nights he doesn’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, I go in and comfort him.  And if he has a cold I will also nurse him and put him back in bed.  Some mornings he is up by 5 AM.  And that’s just fine.  It’s still a major improvement from where we were.

His naps still need work.  One step at a time.

Parents, I know there is a lot out there about whether or not to sleep train.  And it’s true, there are children who are not trainable for whatever reason.  From my experience it’s definitely worth trying.  If it doesn’t work, my heart is with you because I understand that exhaustion.

Sleep trained!

Sleep training speed bump

So just when I finally gathered the courage to start the sleep training process, and succeeded in getting the baby to fall asleep in his crib during his naps, he woke up with a terrible cold and cough.  And so once again children teach us that life is always unpredictable.  Back in the swing we go until everyone is feeling better.

Sleep training speed bump

Sleep deprived

I’m tired. I have never in my life been this tired.  Since returning to work about three months ago, my baby who used to sleep 6 hours straight, started waking up every 1.5 – 2 hours to nurse.  He is six months now, the perfect time experts say to sleep train.  But for me it’s a form of torture, just as it was when my first was six months old.  If you read my past blogs you’ll know, I don’t do well with their tears.   But my first used to at least give me three hour stretches.  According to my FitBit, I am currently only getting 50 minutes to 1.5 hours of sleep at at time, with no more than four hours total.  And this has been going on for months.  I tried to do the Cry-It-Out method last week. After 50 minutes of hearing him cry, I’m the one who ended up in tears and with him back in our bed while he nursed to sleep.

Today I began the sleep shuffle, a more gentle version that takes two weeks to complete.  In the mean time I will continue gulping down the caffeine. And I’ll let you know how it goes.

What are your sleep deprivation stories and how did you survive?


Sleep deprived

Hello… It’s me

Ok, I’m sorry about the title.  I couldn’t resist.  It just felt too perfect.  Moving on…

It seems that I only blog once every two years. I was shocked to see that some people were still reading my old posts.  So I’ve decided to revive my blog, this time with two kids and a full time career.  I’m in my mid-thirties;the digital revolution is sprinting past and I refuse to be left behind.  The goal is to write, promote and maybe even podcast.  These are grand dreams for someone who barely has time to go to the bathroom in peace. Time will tell how far I get.

The focus of my blog will continue to be motherhood and career.  It’s something that’s become a major focus over the last few years thanks to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter.  Can I have it all?  Should I lean in? What does having it all even mean?  And how far should one lean in before falling over and crashing?  These are grand discussions.  What I really want to know is how parents manage going work after months of sleepless nights with a new baby? I’d also like to figure out how to motivate myself to become fit again.  I’m always healthiest when I’m pregnant because I have gestational diabetes.  But as soon as those babies are out, the slide backwards begins.  These topics and many more still to come.

I hope you’ll keep reading and tell me what you think.

Hello… It’s me

Why aren’t you fasting?

Why aren’t you fasting? It’s a question practicing Muslim women around the world dread being asked during Ramadan. For weeks many of us have been talking about our upcoming long fast and suddenly your co-worker whose been stressing out about it walks into the office with a grande soy latte and a sheepish look on her face. If you’re not Muslim, and maybe even if you are, you’ve probably completely forgotten that it’s Ramadan. But she, the Muslim woman with the soy latte, is stressed out because she’s worried that someone might ask her, “why aren’t you fasting?” The reasons are often very personal, not the kind of thing she may want to discuss around the office. So I’ll do it for her (and me).

1) She got her period and is excused from the fast. OR
2) She’s pregnant and isn’t ready to tell the world. (Technically women who are pregnant are allowed to fast but when Ramadan falls during the summer, it is best for them to make up the days later in the year since dehydration can endanger their health and the baby’s health).
3) She’s breastfeeding. Women who are nursing are also exempt.

There you have it. It may not seem like a big deal but for that Muslim women, believe me, it is something she is definitely worried about.

Ramadan Kareem to all 🙂

Why aren’t you fasting?

Since I didn’t get any Ramadan Advice…

No one responded to my request for Ramadan advice, most likely because no one is reading this!  Just in case you are, and have been waiting to see what people come up with, The Economist recently posted a piece about how Muslim athletes competing in the World Cup have been advised to cope.  The one caveat is their fast is much shorter that for those of us living above the equator.  Still, they are taking part in a far more strenuous activity, to put it mildly, than I am.  Though I do plan on working out twice a week through out the month so that I don’t lose all the muscle and endurance I’ve gained over the last year.  Below that article I have also posted other links for advice I’ve found.

How professional sportsmen cope with Ramadan

Jun 22nd 2014, 23:50 by B.R.

THIS year Ramadan begins on June 28th, just as the knockout stage of matches gets under way at the World Cup. It is the first time since 1986 that the tournament has coincided with Islam’s holy month. This will cause a dilemma for some Muslim footballers. During Ramadan observant Muslims are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and sex, from dawn until sunset. Contrary to their licentious reputation, most players can cope with the latter. Nutrition, though, is considered critical to a sportsman’s preparation—particularly in Brazil, where the climate can be punishing for even the best-prepared athletes. In Fortaleza, which is hosting several big games, daylight lasts around 12 hours, with the sun rising and setting at around 5.30am and 5.30pm. The average maximum temperature in July is 30ºC (86ºF); humidity reaches an average of 92%. How do footballers who observe Ramadan cope?

Many teams in this World Cup have a large Muslim presence—and not only those representing predominantly Islamic countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, Algeria and Iran. Star players from France (Karim Benzema), Germany (Mesut Özil), Switzerland (Philippe Senderos), Belgium (Marouane Fellaini) and Ivory Coast (Yaya Touré), among numerous others, will have to decide how to deal with Ramadan, should their teams make it that far in the competition.

Players are advised to eat plenty of slow-release carbohydrates, like sweet potato and corn, outside of fasting hours, according to Zaf Iqbal, Liverpool FC’s club doctor. They should also avoid anything with too much sugar, which is a quick-release carbohydrate. However, sports nutritionists suggest that the lack of fluid has a bigger impact than the lack of food. Dehydration can affect cognitive functions. Muslim athletes often report feeling fatigued and can suffer from mood swings during Ramadan, according to a 2009 paper in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. It can also increase the risk of injury. Muslim footballers are told to drink plenty of liquid before dawn, and to make sure they do not train during the hottest parts of the day. Indeed, as fasting can also affect sleep patterns, some team doctors advise players to take a siesta instead. Where such steps are taken, most studies suggest that athletes’ training performance is not adversely affected.

But dehydration during matches could be a problem. Unlike training sessions, match times cannot be tailored to a sportsman’s needs. So many Muslim athletes take a pragmatic approach. While some, such as Kolo Touré (pictured), an Ivory Coast defender, are strict observers, others, like Marouane Chamakh, a forward for Morocco (which did not qualify), fast on most days but not on the eve of a game or on matchday itself. (Mr Chamakh says he makes up the lost days later in the year.) Others postpone fasting altogether during important events. During the London Olympics in 2012, which also coincided with Ramadan, Abdul Buhari, a British shot-putter, told the Guardian he believed it was impossible to stay in peak condition while fasting, so he came to another arrangement: “I believe God is forgiving, and I’ll make up for every single day I’ve missed.”

– See more at:



Other recommended reading:

These are tips for early preparation:

Another good one: 10 Tips for Fasting This Ramadan in New York


Since I didn’t get any Ramadan Advice…