Posts Tagged ‘ crib tent ’

Fia’s Angry Words (Does She Think We Yell at Her?)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I was in my office this afternoon and Fia came in “to play.” Usually that entails trying to type on my computer, or getting out markers, pulling a Post-It note, and attempting to color on it. You can imagine where that leads: to bright purple all over my desk. I told her I was working and needed a few minutes of quiet if she could find something to do.

She wandered over to this statue thing of a woman and began talking to it. I was thrilled to see her play on her own. She doesn’t do it much and it was so cute. At first.

“Hi baby,” she said. “You need a nap.” She pretended to cover it/her with an imaginary blanket.

“You need a pacifier. I will get you one,” and so on. I was just sitting there smiling, thoroughly enjoying the moment. But then, her tone turned and I must say I was a bit shocked. She began screaming and really railing on the non-baby statue:

“Stop standing up in your crib!” she screamed.

“I am going to shut the door!!!”

“You get a time out!”

“I’m going to zip up the crib tent!”

I got up and went to her. “Fia, you don’t need to shout like that. Why are you doing that?” “Because the baby was bad,” she said. Huh? What?

Okay, what she shouted are all things we say–not shout– to get her to go to sleep. It’s a song and dance like many parents experience. But we never ever yell. Neither does Cleo. I’m around all the time and I hear how it goes.

We are firm, but never mean. I’ll say in a totally regular voice, “Fia, lie down. Fia, I said lie down.” She’ll look at me and grin. Sometimes I get down on her at face level, grin with her, touch noses, and we both laugh. It’s kind of our little “thing.” Then I say, “Okay honey, I’m going to have to take your pacifier away if you don’t go to sleep.” I usually gesture as if I’m about to pull it, then she concedes, lies down and I tickle her forehead.

Sometimes she’ll be standing in her crib and won’t lie down and I walk towards the door, like I’m leaving. “No mama! Tickle my forehead!”

“Then lie down,” I say, sternly. She does and I tickle.

We get about 3 sleep encores a night like this before she really goes down. I’m really never even frustrated by it. I figure this is just par for the course.

Also, in terms of time outs, I’m not just saying this because I’m her mom: Really, she’s only had about 3-5 of them in her life. I’m not a lax parent. She’s just a really good kid. She follows rules, likes order and routine, and is just an affectionate, goofy, fun-loving girl. She doesn’t misbehave much. Rarely tantrums. Something like the nighttime routine described above would never warrant a time out. She has to do something really wrong to get one. And she just doesn’t.

So what is up with her imitating us in such an angry way? It broke my heart to hear her shout like that. Is this a normal toddler thing or does she think we really yell? What is her perception of us? Of herself? That she’s a bad girl? Or am I overthinking all this? Please parents, help me on this one. I don’t want to lose sleep over it. It’s weighing on me.

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Milestone Monday: Toddler Testing

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between. Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!

I am writing this with bleary eyes today from another sleepless night. Just when I think I’ve got it down (wrote last week about solving the sleep problem), she throws a curve ball.

Last night Fia started crying at midnight. WTF??? I went in, laid her back down, not saying a word. Woke up again at 12:40. I laid her down again. Then at 1:30, she woke up, at which point I changed her diaper. She’s never been bothered by a heavy diaper, but am just trying to crack the code. Told her we weren’t coming back in.

She screamed for an hour. At 2:30, with neither Phil nor I sleeping, I gave in. Put her in the guest bed with me. I’d like to note there wasn’t one tear on her face. Nor a runny nose. So she was just screaming. I couldn’t fall asleep as she kept thrashing about in bed. I feel like hell today.

I think I may have to go to straight CIO (Cry It Out) tonight. Tell her when we put her down that mommy and daddy aren’t coming in until morning. And stick to it. I guess we’ll alternate sleeping downstairs (where we can’t hear her as much), etc. But how much you want to bet, just to mess with us, she’ll sleep through the night? (not complaining if that happens, but just making a point). I swear I am following a moving target. And I can’t keep up.

I think some of this might be the testing phase of a toddler. For example, when I was putting her PJ’s on, I pulled out the ones with monkeys. “No Monkeys!” she said. “Mice and cats.” Okay, so I got those out and put the monkeys away. Started to put them on her.

“No cats. Want Monkeys.”

“Fia,” I said, “Which do you want? You make the decision and it’s final.”

“Monkeys,” she said. So that’s what we ended up with.

She has a crib tent that we have started using (I wrote awhile back about how I didn’t think it would work, but we tried again and she seems to like it, or at least not mind it). With her screaming, and leaning over the crib, I can’t chance her falling out.

Last night we didn’t initially zip it. But at the 1:30 wake up, I went in and she said in a very emphatic voice, “Zip it!” So I zipped it.

She did the same thing the other night with Cleo when Phil and I were at dinner. Cleo zipped it and she slept the whole night.

But then last night after I zipped it, she started pounding on it (it’s mesh, so it doesn’t make a noise). She seemed like a caged animal. I couldn’t watch her flail like that. Which is why I finally just put her in bed with me.

I keep thinking of what my Brooklyn pediatrician told me last week in email when I reached out to her about the sleep problems.

“They are smart little buggers. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

So I guess I need to zip it when I put her down so it doesn’t become a reason for debate at 3 a.m. And make a decision to allow her to SIO (Scream It Out….my new acronym.). They say consistency is key. And not to mix methods.

We are 8 days out from the new baby coming, I am exhausted in this pregnancy and being tortured at night. I’m just not sure what to do. And that depresses me. Bleh.

Picture of crib via Shutterstock

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Sleep Training: Will It Ever End?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Unhappy in Crib

Ugh. Fia is waking up in the night….again. With baby Leroy just 2 weeks away, we gotta figure this out. I can’t have both of them up all night. I’ll lose my mind. Or at least more so than I already will with a newborn.

We sleep-trained her at 4.5 months. From then until this fall (so like 18 months) she was a consistent sleeper: Down at 7, up at 6:30-7. Never woke up in the night.

Then, right when we were packing/moving to LA, she began to wake up in the night. And getting up earlier, like 6:15-6:30. I figured it was all part of the chaos of the move.

But now we’ve been settled here for nearly 4 months, and instead of getting better, she’s regressing. Not only is she now waking up in the night, but she also gets up between 5 and 5:45. For good. Unless. Unless. Unless…we (ack) put her in bed with us. Then she sleeps until 6:30-7. I don’t sleep, but she does.

I have tried cracking the code. We got her this “bunny” alarm clock. When the light on the bottom is on, it shows the bunny sleeping and the moon. When the light on top shines, bunny is awake and the sun is shining. We’ve set it for 6:30 a.m., and explained to her when bunny wakes up, she can wake us up. I really do think she understands. I also think she chooses to ignore.

And now I’m finding that this middle of the night thing is getting out of control. She doesn’t go back down on her own. We have to go in and hold her. Sometimes it’s up to 4 times a night. Add to that, over the weekend she was up at 4:45. For good. I tried to “referber”. Went in at 5 ,10, 15 minute intervals. Can you believe she screamed straight until 6 a.m.?? No tears, just whining/screaming/squawking. Maddening. Phil and I were zombies all day Saturday and Sunday.

I enlisted the help of some of my friends who have all the books on sleep training. I even wrote my old Pediatrician in Brooklyn, Dr. Gold, this weekend asking for her insight/advice. Here is the consensus:


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What a Difference a Week Makes

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Author’s Note: Join me every Friday for a dose of cuteness as I share snapshots of Fia.  Adorable photos are guaranteed on Fia Friday!

On Monday I cried. On Tuesday I had a mom date. On Wednesday night I mourned–but this time for the victims affected by my alma mater, Penn State. Today I am getting my feet on the ground. Finally.

Since Monday when I felt so overwhelmed by the move, the lack of mom friends, Fia’s sleep issues and lack of childcare for Fia, a few things have fallen into place.

First: the pre-nursery school. I found an amazing one called Segray. The woman who runs it, Annette, is all about keeping things simple. She wants to teach the kids gardening, and using recycled materials. She’s not about fancy toys. She doesn’t like chaos. Her program is 9-noon, and I’ve enrolled Fia two days a week. Today was her first day and she loved it. I put her in pigtails for the first time, though I need more practice. They look like a seesaw on her head, though here you just see one side.

First Day of Pre-Nursery

Tuesday was my mom date. A friend from when I was out here for a few months in 2010 came over. Her daughter is also Fia’s age and we all hit it right off. Another wave of relief. We are going on another date next week.

What’s not resolved is the sleep issue. And my anger at the crib tent. Click here for details.

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The Crib Tent Ain’t Gonna Work

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Sleeping soundly--for five minutes

I had my sights set on the crib tent I ordered. It was $80.00. With Fia suddenly waking up multiple times in the night,  I figured this would us to let her cry it out a bit without the worry of her climbing out of the crib. I have friends who swear by it.

I put it together on Tuesday night and put her to sleep. Of course it’s the one time Phil was out of town for the night. She slept for 30 minutes then began waking up every 5-10 minutes. By 8:30 pm I was exhausted. She has never been this bad, and all I could link it to was the tent. Instead of feeling like she’s in a pretty white canopy, she must have felt like she was in a mesh jail. I admit, I think I’d feel a little freaked too.

In order to take it off, you have to take the mattress out. So here I was at nearly 9 pm, her wailing on the floor and my pregnant self trying to disassemble the whole thing. Finally got her back to sleep–then the usual waking began. Every 3 hours she needed me to come hold her. It’s like she’s a newborn again.

The next morning, this is what I found on our bed:

Really? The cat has to rub it in?

So do I keep an $80 item and call it a Wayne Tent? This is ridiculous. Wayne sleeps too much, Fia not enough. And now she has a runny nose, so I can’t retrain her tonight. Bleh.

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