Sleep trained!


sleeingbabycat

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.

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Sleep trained!

Sleeping In His Crib


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.

Sleeping In His Crib

It Has Begun…


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.

It Has Begun…

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?

How I Survived Returning to Work

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

Traveling With A Nine Week Old