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Friday, August 31st, 2012
In my constant quest to get my daughter to sleep past 6:03 every morning, I’m trying to come up with ways she can entertain herself. When friends tell me, “My baby plays quietly in her crib in the morning,” I want to spit. But one can always dare to dream…
The other night, after she was asleep, I put some books in her crib. I figured when she woke up, maybe she’d read them. Instead, I was awoken by two huge thumps. I raced into her room, terrified she fell out. Nope. She was just chucking the books out.
“No books in my crib!!!” she screamed.
OOhhh–kkkay. Didn’t know we had crib rules dictated by a toddler.
I told my friend Elizabeth about it, who did just about the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. She offered to make me a “pocket crib.” I didn’t know what that was, but it sounded cool. And considering I can barely sew a button, it’s like she just offered to climb Everest for me.
Two days later, we had it. Fia and I made a big production out of stuffing it with books, animals, and a sippy cup. I explained to her how she can read her books and play when Mama is still sleeping. Unfortunately, she hasn’t grasped the concept so I’m still not that mom who can say, “My daughter plays quietly in her crib.” But for naps, she sometimes reads a book or two before falling asleep. I’ll take what I can get.
Elizabeth is now custom-making these by the way, so feel free to visit her website.
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books, crib, crib pocket, dreams, naps, playing in crib, reading, sleep, sleep training, toddler | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Fia Friday
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
The pacifier remains my ace-in-the-hole and the thorn in my side. If Fia is whining or acting bratty, I can threaten “no more bagdee” and she immediately reverses her behavior. I’m an army drill sergeant using a pacifier instead of a bayonet to get the results I want.
But Cleo, having nannied for 30 kids thus far (Emmett being #30) told me it was time to get rid of Fia’s paci, at least for naps. She declared that when Fia turns 3, we will get rid of it entirely. Clearly, this is not a democracy.
In theory, I’m totally down with it. In reality, I cringe. I wanted to beg Cleo to reconsider, as that stupid sucking thing is my last remaining bargaining chip. But I know she’s right. She even pointed out that Fia’s teeth are starting to buck a little. Of course a small part of me is like, “So what? She’ll get braces and we’ll keep the paci until she’s 5.” But I know I’m being selfish. I have to remind myself this is in Fia’s best interest, not necessarily mine.
After our recent trip to Emmett’s baptism (where we gave Fia the paci for the flight and threatened to dispose of it every time she kicked the seat in front of her–which happened exactly once), we sadly said goodbye to bagdee during naptime. I wept.
Two weeks into pacifier sobriety, I had a shoot at my house. They wanted to see me in action with my kids. Fia came home from preschool, and without even thinking, I put her in her crib and stuck the pacifier in her mouth (it was in the crib from the night before). I even made a joke to the camera about how she still takes one. I was in such tunnel vision that I seriously forgot that she’d been without for two weeks.
Part of it was because I had been traveling for a family emergency, so I hadn’t been participating in naptime. And of course Fia didn’t volunteer it. Instead, she happily settled in without a peep and slept for almost 3 hours (another reason I love that thing. The naps are doubled in time).
Cleo was in the hallway and asked twice, “She went down without a fuss?”
“Yup” I said nonchalantly. I didn’t know why she seemed so surprised.
At 4:30 that afternoon I came in from an errand, and Fia is sitting at her highchair with the pacifier in.
“What is that thing doing in your mouth?” I asked sternly.
To which Cleo tersely replied, “Well, I guess since mommy doesn’t care if Fia takes the pacifier at naptime, she may as well have it all the time.” Then she stormed into the dining room.
It took me a second to put together the puzzle and then grasp the magnitude of crisis I was facing. Cleo was pppiissssseeeeeeddddd at me. Furious in fact.
“Oh my god, Cleo,” I stammered, as I followed her around the table. “I am so sorry. I totally forgot. I was so distracted by the shoot. I seriously just spaced.” She was pretending to dust the table but in reality was hitting it angrily with the cloth.
“You are really mad at me, aren’t you?” I asked.
“Yes, I am,” she replied, practically in tears. “I’ve tried so hard for two weeks to break the habit and then when you come in and give it to her, all my efforts go to waste. Plus, then Fia doesn’t listen to me.”
She was absolutely right. I really did feel terrible, though I did chuckle later at how irate she got. When I told my Aunt the story, she said, “Good for her for doing so. I’m with Cleo. And I agree: you gotta get rid of that thing.”
I finally got Cleo to believe it was an honest mistake and we both had a good laugh at how pissed off she was. Meanwhile, Fia is sitting there in hog heaven sucking on that stupid thing. I took it out of her mouth and explained how mommy made a mistake. Fia continued to remind me of it all evening. “Mama was bad. And made Cleo mad.” Mea Culpa.
So now, every morning, we take her pacifiers out of the crib and put them on her light stand. That way bad mama won’t mess up again. Fia can gaze longingly at them during naptime and I can dream longingly of sticking them in her mouth, knowing I’m being carefully watched.
I’ll admit over the weekend, when I couldn’t get Fia to nap, I tried to conspire with Phil.
“Can’t we just give it to her this one time?”
“No, absolutely not,” he said. I think he actually glared at me. I am in enemy territory. My only ally is a 2 1/2 year old. And she is the reason I’m on lockdown. Sigh.
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army, binky, buck teeth, camera, crib, democracy, dentist, enemy, enemy territory, mouth, nanny, naps, naptime, on camera, paci, pacifier, sleep, sleep training, suck, sucking, teeth, toddler behavior | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
Monday, July 30th, 2012
Okay, Emmett is now 6 months old. Besides being the world’s most hyperactive, happy baby, he is still not sleeping enough. I get 20 minute cat naps a couple times a day. Last week we had 8 straight nights of 10-hour sleep. I was getting hopeful. I mean, a habit is 3 days right? Well, not with this guy. On night 9 all hell broke lose.
I think it’s a combination of getting older, and thus more active and stimulated and also the gas pains. Ahhh, yes the flatulence. Lots of it. The other night he woke up hitting himself in the face, pulling his legs up and down like a speed freak, and arching his back. He was screaming too. I knew he wasn’t hungry. The boy had taken 12 ounces between 5-8 pm. That’s an insane amount (hmmm…too much maybe? Could that be it? Now I’m starting to feel like an idiot writing this blog).
At any rate, I pushed and pulled his legs and rubbed his belly for 30 minutes. Then the alien farts began. I say alien because I’ve never heard anything like it. 31 farts. In a row. (I had nothing else to do at 3 a.m. but count.) Then he began to laugh maniacally. I guess I would too if I had just released 30 fart bubbles.
I needed to calm him down. He was so wound it was hard to even change him (and this is the case even during the day). Phil was sick so I couldn’t wake him up to help. I pulled out the old Velcro swaddle from his newborn days and wrapped him up like a straight jacket. Suddenly he went limp. My little guy was completely tuckered. He slept for 7 hours. I slept at the edge of the bed so I could see him in his crib, lest he try and roll over. He didn’t move. A couple times I checked to make sure he was breathing.
I decided to try the swaddle with naps, since Cleo or I can keep an eye on him. He is so wild it’s the only way to restrain him from himself. I know sleep begets sleep, and I’m not kidding: he needs to chill out.
With the swaddle, we are on day two with consistent naps. An hour in the morning, 45 minutes around lunch, 90 minutes in the afternoon. This is far beyond what I’ve had since his birth. And it’s setting a schedule. But what to do about the swaddle? He can roll over easily and pick his head way up. Part of me thinks what is the danger? If he rolls over, won’t he just rest his head to the side? I ordered the miracle blanket to see what I think. But I also don’t want to do something stupid.
I hate to compare my boy to a dog, but he does fart like one, so here goes: dogs can be trained to sit, be still, lay down. I almost think with such a hyper infant, I need to train him to calm himself. If I don’t, I’m going to have hell on my hands when he starts to crawl, or worse, walk. Thank god he does all this with laughter or I’d be committed. But still, I gotta figure this out. Any ideas?
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6 month old, arching, arching back, baby napping, crib, farts, flatulence, gas pains, infant, nap, naps, newborn, roll over, rolling over, schedule, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep training, swaddle | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care
Friday, April 27th, 2012
We have a new game. It’s called Moving the Stuffs. As in stuffed animals. We do it around 5:30 at night when I have to feed Emmett and wait for Phil to get home. It’s a great way to keep the evening chaos at bay. Fia, Em and I go to her room–and enclosed environment– and bring her basket of stuffed animals to her crib. She methodically throws them over the rail, one by one, until about 53 animals are in there. Then she goes in. After a while, she methodically throws all but the sesame characters back in. Those friends accompany her all night.
It’s fun to see her entertaining herself like this. It gives me a chance to feed Emmett and watch her play. Two of my favorite things in life, actually.
After we cleared the crib, I put her and Emmett together. They light up when they are around each other. They are going to be the best of friends. I can just tell.
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Monday, November 7th, 2011
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!
Okay, so I’m a self-declared sleep Nazi. At least I have been since Fia was 4 1/2 months and we did Ferber. Worked like a charm. Got a few hate comments from my blog on it, but I stand resolute. I believe sleep is the best thing for her and myself and I have never backed down. I haven’t had to. She has consistently slept through the night. Until now.
I can attribute it to a few things: a huge move from Brooklyn to LA; having her routine completely uprooted; having my in-laws here the last 10 days showering her with constant attention (which I have no problem with). But in the midst of all the chaos surrounding us, we have lost the sleep. It could also be that this is a milestone regression. I hear that some tots hit a certain age and you have to re-Ferber. She is 23 months now, and I’d say the sleep started to go downhill a month ago.
I have held off on re-training because I wanted us to settle in. And here’s my dirty little secret: when she wakes up at 2 or 3 a.m., the only way to get her down now is to lie with her. In other words, co-sleeping. Gasp! And whereas before, in those early months, I was terrified of rolling onto her and never slept, now I actually cuddle into her warm little body and doze off nicely until 5:45 (which blows, but she goes down at 7 pm, so I can’t expect much better).
When my mother-in-law was here, I could hand her off and go back to bed until 7 or so, feeling rested. Now I don’t have that luxury. And with the new baby on the way, I know I can’t begin co-sleeping. It just isn’t our thing. Sleep is far too important to Phil and me.
I guess my question is: do I start tonight? Or wait another week until we have a little more routine? I fear that the longer I wait, the worse the habit will become–like it is with her pacifier now, which I swear I’m going to get rid of before her two-year old bday next month (that’s another one I’ll be looking for advice on). Maybe I just dive in tonight??
So for today’s milestone, I feel like I’ve gone backwards a bit and am looking to you all for advice and insight. I have a crib tent that I will put on so that when we do re-Ferber, I won’t worry she’s going to climb out.
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climbing out, co sleeping, crib, Ferber, Ferberizing, milestone monday, milestone regression, moving, moving to LA, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep training, sleep training methods | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Must Read