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!

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

My Seven Month Old Potty Pooper


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.

My Seven Month Old Potty Pooper

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

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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The Scream That Brought Me To My Knees

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