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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
I hate the book Bringing up Bebe. Not because it’s bad. Quite the opposite. I find it brilliant. And logical. And depressing. I’m only on chapter 6, but so far, every page has made complete sense to me.
I know it caused quite a stir when it came out. I wish I had read it then–before Emmett was born. I’m convinced he would be sleeping through the night by now. We might even be able to take Fia to restaurants. It makes me feel awful–like a lot of what I’m doing is now irreversible and insurmountable. Maybe the pregnancy hormones are still raging. Or maybe I’m just mad at myself for not putting down more ground rules with Cleo (nanny) about Emmett. Here’s where I’ve gone wrong:
The first few weeks of Emmett’s life, we all held him constantly. I get that. But then I started to notice if I didn’t hold him he often fussed a little in his swing/Moses basket/crib before putting himself to sleep. In the book Druckerman talks about, “The Pause.” In France, when a baby starts to fuss (not wail), the parents “pause” for a few minutes before doing anything. If it escalates into wailing, they pick them up, feed them, burp them, change them, whatever. But what they have found is that many babies fuss, then fall asleep. It’s their own way of self-soothing. Many do this out of the gate. In her book, Druckerman claims many babies sleep through the night at 2-3 weeks. But this “pause” window is finite. At around 4 months, if they haven’t learned to self-soothe, then you have to do hard-core sleep training.
I’m a Ferber fan, and we did it with Fia. But I am not excited to do it with Emmett. Unfortunately, our window is closing. He’s 4 months old this week.
He’s also on zero schedule. He naps when he’s tired. Usually when he’s being held. Or nursed. A lot of the naps are just 20-30 minutes.
Sleep? Some nights he goes down from 8:30 pm-5 a.m. Other nights he wakes up every 3 hours. There is no rhyme or reason.
Looking back, I realize that rather than capitalizing on his ability to put himself to sleep or get any semblance of a schedule, I just went with whatever happened each day. Still do. Cleo still picks him up when he fusses. I’ve asked her to give him a few minutes before rushing to him. Sometimes she does. Sometimes she doesn’t. I can’t blame her. I do the same thing. I’ve made us both inconsistent. I also nap with him on the weekends. I love his little body next to me. Every morning I put him in bed with me to nurse and get an extra hour of sleep. Should I stop?
With Fia, I had a lot more confidence in sleep training. She woke up at 3:33 every single morning. So I knew it was just a habit. Emmett is all over the place, so I’m not convinced that he’s not hungry or gassy. Plus, he is such a good baby 90% of the time. He rarely wails. He likes to sit in his carseat or swing and entertain himself. He laughs and coos. I hate to think about CIO with my little guy.
I might take off next week and just let Cleo do things with Fia while I tackle the schedule. Maybe getting the days down will help with the nights. But how? Even with naps, I get confused, then I give up. Am I supposed to do it every 2 hours? What if he sleeps for 20 minutes? Then do I keep him awake for 2 more hours until the next nap? There’s no way. Especially if there is a feeding involved. He’ll fall asleep on the boob. Guaranteed. But probably just for 20 minutes again. By that time, I know I’ll just say screw it and throw the attempted schedule out the window. I’ll continue to be consistently inconsistent. Unless….I really decide to commit.
But then does that mean he can’t nap with me on the weekends? What about the mornings? Can I have my cake and eat it too? I don’t think the French do (which is why they’re all so skinny–as also pointed out in the book).
He is my last baby so the heart part of me says “F-ck the schedule.” But then my brain part says, “Yes, it’s time to get some order back.” And I know most babies thrive on a schedule.
I can’t even tackle the restaurant ordeal in this blog post. Suffice it to say, eating out with Fia is an exercise in misery/exhaustion. In France, toddlers apparently sit quietly and eat.
I hate this book.
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Bringing Up Bebe, CIO, Druckerman, Ferber, french parenting, pregnancy, pregnant, schedule, sleep, sleep training, The Pause | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Our New Blog Picture
We have a new name! No, not of Emmett or Fia, but of my blog. While we loved Of Fi I Sing, Emmett was excluded. Plus, with two kids I am entering a new phase of my life. As my blog has evolved, we realized my outlook is more than just focusing (and obsessing) on Fia. Motherhood is so all-encompassing and takes on almost all aspects of my life. We wanted the title to reflect that more. Plus, I didn’t want my boy to need (more) major therapy later on for feeling left out.
So after some massive brainstorming sessions in which I thought my computer Thesaurus was going to fire me, we came up with this new one. Introducing:
Fearless Feisty Mama: Candid and Comical Confessions of a Slightly Obsessive Mom
I’m really excited about it. I think it conveys more of my tone and style. We decided on “Fearless” because I’m not afraid to share my story. Whether it be the death of my drug- addicted mom, my decision to stay on antidepressants when pregnant, or my ugly vag issue, I tend to speak my mind and give an open and honest opinion.
We came up with “Feisty,” not only because I love alliteration, but in many ways it is my attitude towards parenting issues. From my annoyance at my babysitters for constantly losing sh-t, to the people who pay their nannies six-figures (ridiculous!), to my adamant stance on sleep training (do it!).
With my new name, we have a new look! My friend Jilly Wendell is an amazing photographer. She was kind enough to come over to our chaos and take a zillion pictures, hoping to get one without Emmett barfing, Fia screaming and me grimacing through a forced smile–though that is probably more realistic of our current state.
I’ll post some of the others this Friday.
Also, you may notice some of the older posts have images missing. And there are a few technical difficulties we are sorting out in changing my blog title. So bear with us and keep coming back. You guys help feed my creative soul.
Blog photo courtesy of Jilly Wendell Photography
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babysitter, Candid, comical, drug addiction, Fearless, Feisty, Ferber, jilly wendell, nannies, nanny, new blog, new posts, old posts, photography, pictures, posts, sitters, sleep training, taking antidepressants when pregnant, toddler pictures, ugly vagina | Categories:
Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
Okay, I’ve written about 13 blogs in 7 days about Fia’s sleep regression. I hesitate to even write this one for fear of jinxing myself, but I do think we’re slowly making progress.
We basically made a rule with ourselves that we go in the first time she wakes up, but not subsequent times. This doesn’t count the “encore” that happens every night when we initially put her down. She starts to cry/whine whatever right when we leave the room. I wait 1-2 minutes, then go in for the encore. Rub her tummy, re-tuck her in, and say goodnight. Occasionally it happens a 3rd time. It’s no biggie and it’s just the routine.
So here how the night wakings are going:
2 nights ago she woke up at midnight. I went in and was sharp mama. “Fia, lie down. Lie down. Go to sleep.” She obeyed, and I left. This is similar to other nights. Going in and just not saying anything and physically lying her down wasn’t making a dent. A lot of experts say not to speak, but with her, I think it works.
She woke up again around 1:30, 2:30, then 3:30. We just ignored her until the 3:30 one when I heard her say, “diaper change.” Granted, a heavy diaper has never affected her before, but I certainly couldn’t just sit there. I went in, felt it (it was 400 pounds), changed her quickly, then when back to bed. I think she woke up again at 5 or 5:30, put herself back to sleep and was down until 6:30!
In general I’m noticing progress in the duration of the screaming. The 45-90 minute torture windows are shrinking. I honestly don’t know how long she carries on for, as Phil knocks himself out with ambien and I put in earplugs. But I know they’re shorter durations. And by refusing to go in before 6 a.m., I am at least guaranteed a certain amount of sleep for myself, which I desperately need.
Last night she only woke up at 4 a.m. (in which Phil went in as “sharp dad.” FIA, GO TO SLEEP. NOW! he said.) Then she slept until 6:50!!! So that’s major progress. But I also know last night she was exhausted from prior nights of waking and today she is super well rested. So we’ll see what tonight brings.
But basically in following the pediatrician’s advice/Weissbluth/Ferber with a few minor modifications of our own, I think we’re getting there. I think going cold turkey and not putting her in bed with us really is the key. And probably how the problems began again. You can really tell when you toddler gets a good night sleep. They are so much happier. As are you. Yet another argument for sleep training. It’s for their own good. And yours.
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CIO, Ferber, night routine, pregnancy, pregnant, sleep, sleep training, sleeping through the night, toddler waking, toddler waking in night, weissbluth | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Happily Eating Her Churro at the Zoo
God help me. I just wrote a post about feeling like a big crumb in letting Fia Scream It Out last night. Explained in the post that on a playdate yesterday my mom friend told me that perhaps she was waking up so often because of an ear infection. I didn’t really pay heed. Then, lo and behold, after 90 minutes of screaming last night, I went into Fia’s room and she says “Ear hurts.” I nearly toppled over.
Okay, she is just over 2 years old.
She always says various body parts are hurting, so I’ll kiss them. Ear has never come up. (Somehow, even though she gets gobs of attention, she must still be wanting more with these constant “hurts.” Maybe because new baby is coming?) I knew she must be telling the truth. And my puzzle was rapidly coming together.
For background: as this mom and I were discussing the ear thing, Fia was loudly playing with another boy, jumping up and down on his bed. She wasn’t paying attention to us or what we were talking about. Or so I thought.
Our sleep conversation used the word “ear” once…maybe twice. The whole discussion was about 3 minutes long.
When the doc came in to examine her ear this afternoon, she points to the opposite one. I instantly had this sinking feeling, like, Oh no, she can’t be making this up, right? Right?
He looks in that ear. Declares it perfect. Looks in the other one. Perfect as well. I am almost in tears. I’m so G-d D-mn tired, I can’t believe I still have no solution to her sleep issues.
But get this: I now think my little busybody overheard our conversation and somehow used it in the night. I know, that’s giving a 25-month-old a lot of brain credit. But I think it’s true. I think she is my little master manipulator. I cringe to think about her teenage years. We will definitely have to move to New Zealand and become sheepherders. That way when she sneaks out her bedroom window, she’ll only have the sheep to party with.
I tell the doc everything. Bunny clock, going in at 5, 10, 15 minute increments, letting her cry for 90 mins. And, of course I have to disclose that we bring her into bed with us when we can’t take it anymore.
He told me that the bed thing is the kiss of death. And that she might scream for 4 hours. But that if I want to have her back on her schedule, I absolutely cannot bring her into bed with us. Especially now that we know nothing is wrong with her. He said it may take 3-5 nights. I have 6 nights before my c-section. So once again, we’re starting tonight and this time refusing to give in.
I took her to the zoo after the appointment. As she chased a peacock, she turned and said to me, “Mama, ear hurts. Kiss it.” I looked at her, started laughing and said, “Fia, your ear does not hurt.” She got this mischievous grin on her face, laughed, and ran after the bird. I waddled after her. This girl is going to keep me on my toes. Always. She is trouble. Pure and simple. But I love her so. Now GO THE F-CK TO SLEEP!
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CIO, cry it out, ear infection, Ferber, sleep regression, sleep training, sleep training methods, solving toddler sleep problems, toddler sleep problems | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Must Read
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Okay, gotta make this brief. But it’s important information for any mom who is as clueless as I am.
I was on a playdate yesterday and was telling my friend about Fia’s sleep issues. She said she had a friend with a similar scenario and it turned out to be an ear infection. She told me to take her to the doctor.
I basically shrugged it off. I mean, I’m a week out from my C-section. I don’t have time right now to do this, nor did I think it was anything ear related. Fia is a hypochondriac. I wrote a post about how she is going to be the youngest person diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She always has me kiss her elbows, her knees, her wrists. If any other body part was hurting her, she’d be the first to tell me.
I went to bed last night, fully preparing for the SIO (Scream It Out), as I am at a loss of what else to do. Armed with ear plugs and extra pillows to put over my head, I feel asleep at 10. At 3 a.m. the screaming began. I refused to go in this time. Phil moved downstairs and slept on the couch to try and escape the noise. I sat there and watched the monitor until 4:30. At that point, I decided to just go in and tell her to please lie back down. I was desperate. And hate to see her upset. I walk in and go to her crib. You ready for this? She says, “Mama, ear hurts. Kiss it.” I almost dropped to my knees. I grabbed her and held her. She kept pointing to her left ear. “Mama, ear hurts,” she said again. I don’t know what hurt worse: her ear or my heart.
I gave her some tylenol and put her in bed with me. She slept, I didn’t. I kept thinking about how terrible I was.
I am taking her to the doctor in 2 hours to find out for sure. But for today, I think I get the worst parent award. Or at least the most unaware. I guess ear infections can have almost no symptoms. I had no idea….
I will let you know the diagnosis shortly.
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