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.
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.
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.
When you have a baby, people are always eager to find out how you’re doing. For me, it’s a very simple answer. I’m tired. The irony is, I have, quite possibly, the sweetest baby in the world. He only cries if he’s hungry, in pain or needs to sleep. And actually, my two-month old has been sleeping between 5-7 consecutive hours a night. It’s a dream for every mother of an infant. And yet, I never manage to even come close to that amount of sleep. Why? Because I am exclusively pumping.
When my little one was born he latched on right away and did it so well that he left my nipples bleeding. I had to give myself a break and give him the bottle while I healed. And since my little baby is a little genius, he quickly figured out the bottle was a much faster, more satisfying way to get milk. Since then he screams every time I time to get him to breastfeed. Knowing how healthy breast milk is for him, I have insisted on pumping and feeding. This means, I have to pump every 2-3 hours. Most of my day is spent walking around with strange contraptions attached to my breasts as I get milked like a cow. My entire day is planned around when I need to pump. My goal is to get my little one to six months on my breast milk. Right now, it’s perfectly doable. But soon, I’ll be heading back to work (something that’s already giving me nightmares). I don’t exactly work in the most mommy and kid friendly environment. I hope my milk regulates in the next month so that I can pump less but not lose my supply. There’s nothing like mama’s milk and I hope I can keep him on it as long as possible. He’s worth every drop, even if it does leave me so completely exhausted.
-EAST COAST MAMA
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.