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I blame it on that smell.
It lingers in the fold of his neck, grazing his cheek and wafting up towards me as I nuzzle into him. It’s not the newborn smell anymore, the smell I could never quite pinpoint the origin 0f (though I swear it came from his eyes), but the smell of baby. Sweet, pink, baby smell.
My baby fever is returning. I wasn’t expecting it so soon, but it here it is knocking at the door. It surprises me, this pull towards another baby, because I couldn’t even begin to imagine another so soon after Owen. It wasn’t until he was a year old that I even started to consider it seriously.
Ryan will be eight months in just a few days and I can’t believe he is that much closer to turning one. Maybe it’s because he’s my second and there is so much more going on, but I feel like his first year of life is hurtling by me at top speed. He spoke his first word — “mama” (be still my heart). Yesterday he was thisclose to getting up on his knees, prevented only by one chubby leg getting stuck. It’s all just happening so quickly.
A few months ago I found myself in the “two week wait”, wondering if a positive pregnancy test would be at the end. It wasn’t planned — I felt it was too soon. I wasn’t ready, not at all. While I worried about taking away from Ryan’s babyhood, about throwing yet another baby on Owen, about my milk supply drying up from pregnancy before Ryan was even a year…Michael calmly and happily said another baby wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The more we talked about it, the more I began to think maybe he was right.
As it turns out, I wasn’t pregnant. As I stared at a single pink line on the stick I felt relief, and just enough disappointment to know that our family isn’t full yet.
Something has shifted in the last few weeks. As I watch my boys double over in giggles while they play with each other, my heart swells and whispers to my head, another baby.
It would be a lot, sure. A lot, a lot. I’m tired now, you know? I just got back to my happy weight. I’m still nursing. I just got one out of diapers. There are enough reasons to rationalize it’s too soon, and yet I feel myself starting to ache for the time to be now.
My body, as it turns out, is in control. I didn’t ovulate for 14 months after Owen, and while it appeared I was trying to a few months ago, I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet as my cycles haven’t returned. Because of that, I might be longing for #3 for quite awhile.
Don’t get me wrong, my boys — OH, my boys. I don’t want another baby to replace the two who are growing so quickly. I want another baby because I’ve tasted how delicious this time is and I want more of it.
It’s really the smell’s fault. If only the baby didn’t smell so good.
Although, sometimes the baby smells like yogurt…
When Owen was a baby he would bust out of the swaddle so often that I decided he must not like it. I stopped swaddling him early on and he was never a great sleeper. When Ryan was born I decided he would be swaddled, no matter what, and had great success with the Miracle Blanket. Of course I can’t attribute all the sleeping highs and lows with swaddling, but I know it helped significantly.
By the time Ryan was four months old he was such an excellent sleeper, but he was starting to wake himself up breaking out of his swaddle. I tried all the gradual weaning techniques to no avail. I even tried going to a sleep sack cold turkey and he completely lost his mind, unable to settle and sleep until I swaddled him again. We needed a new solution and quickly.
As I poured over parenting forums, I kept coming across the mention of a blanket called the Zipadee-Zip. It got great reviews, so I had to check it out.
The Zipadee-Zip is a blanket that helps ease your baby gently from swaddling to using a blanket. The starfish design allows the baby to have their arms free, but gives just enough resistance to keep them feeling snugly. There’s no need to worry if the baby rolls over, because unlike with a swaddle, they would be able to use their arms.
Designed by Stephanie — a mom looking for a solution to her own swaddle-weaning problem — each blanket is handmade to order and comes in both stretch cotton or fleece. See how it works here:
Our Zipadee-Zip arrived just as I was getting Ryan for bed. I figured it was just as good a time as any to try it, so I nursed him, zipped him up and hoped for the best.
He slept 10 hours before waking up to nurse, just like that. That was the entire transition. There was no fighting, no crying. Just a happy, un-swaddled baby. Each night was the same, and even his naps got better.
As per Stephanie’s suggestion, I started with a small Zippy to make the transition as smooth as possible. I like that it covers his hands while he sleeps keeping them warm and his face free of scratches. Ryan takes comfort in sucking on his hands as he falls asleep, so I have to wash it a little more often than I might otherwise, but I’m ok with that. If he’s fussy, he immediately calms down as I zip him in and he wakes every morning with a huge smile on his face. To say I love the Zipadee-Zip is an understatement. As a matter of fact, I just ordered the medium today! Eventually I will wean him from the Zipadee-Zip as well, but from what I’ve read that usually happens without a problem.
Do you want a Zipadee-Zip?!
Here’s your chance to get one! Stephanie has graciously offered up a free Zipadee-Zip to one lucky reader. If you don’t have kids yourself, it would make a great gift.
To enter, leave a comment about anything you want. Easy, right? I will randomly select a winner next Friday, January 14th.
Every night before I go to bed, I check in on my babies. Owen is usually sprawled out on his back at some interesting angle, blanket askew, his “Mommy shirt”, an old t-shirt of mine he made his blankie, draped across him. I gently tuck him back in, occasionally removing his wedged feet from between the bed slats, brush his hair off his forehead, kiss him gently and tip toe out.
Next is the baby. I turn the light on in my bedroom across the hall so I will have just enough light to see him, but not enough for him to wake. He looks like the world’s sweetest little starfish zipped into his blanket. Ryan will have rotated to his right — he always does — and will have pressed his face against the one bumper I have in there. The one bumper I put back in because he kept waking himself up trying to snuggle himself into the crib rails. I have stopped stressing about him sleeping like that now, but I always pause just long enough to see the rise and fall of his chest.
It occurs to me that my children will never know I do these things. They might remember the story hours I took them to, the outings at the playground. They might one day remind me of the pictures we drew together or the songs we danced around the living room to. They will know I parented them all day every day, but the memories of the night will be mine alone.
At night I am transported both back in time, and towards the future. Ryan’s dewy skin and sleepy suckling are all baby, and Owen’s rosy cheeks remind me of when he was tiny. The other night, though, before my eyes adjusted to the dark, I caught a glimpse of who my little boy will become. In the dark, Owen’s sleeping profile was so strikingly similar to his father’s, I actually gasped.
Babies don’t keep, but these nights will. In my mind. In my heart. In the dark.
We were pretty well stocked with baby stuff after Owen was born, so we didn’t really need to get much for Ryan. As it turns out, though, there were some items that I feel I wouldn’t have survived without the second time around, and since I’ve seen some bloggy moms who are pregnant with their second asking what they could possibly need, I thought I would share what I found helpful.
I wore Owen a fair amount, but this time it has become an absolute necessity that I wear Ryan. There’s no way around it, with a toddler, I need my hands to be free. When Ryan was new the Moby wrap worked wonders at calming him during fussy times. I use it less now at three months, but occasionally I’ll wrap him in a hug hold if he’s being a pill and he will chill out.
Three-ish weeks old.
Unless he’s sleeping, Ryan does NOT like the car seat, so when we go shopping, putting it in the cart isn’t an option. Owen still rides in the cart anyway, so if I were to put the seat in the big part I’d basically have no room for groceries. Because of this, the Bjorn is always in my car ready to go. If he’s sleepy, I’ll face him towards my chest and he’ll conk right out. If hes’ awake, he faces outward and takes everything in. I also use the Bjorn when I take Owen to the playground or just playing outside at home. That way I’m free to push him on the swing, play with cars, etc.
If Ryan is anything like his brother, he will eventually become too chunka munka for me to carry him in the Bjorn comfortably, so at that time I will switch to our Boba, which works all the way through toddler years.
Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper
Both of my kids hated the bassinet. It felt like the minute I lay them down in it, their eyes would pop right back open. Fail. Owen spent many of his early weeks sleeping in the bouncy seat, but with a toddler that comes into our room in the morning, I didn’t want Ryan on the floor in the feet zone. I mentioned this to a friend, who offered to loan me her Rock and Play. I had read reviews of it at some point and knew people loved it, but I didn’t know how much of a convert I would become.
The design keeps baby at a slight angle much like a bouncy seat, which helped with that newborn reflux. It’s high enough off the ground that I could reach him from bed and if he just needed a little soothing, I could gently rock it back and forth. We moved him out of our room and into his own by four weeks when he started sleeping longer stretches. I would set it up in the center of the room, and easily fold it up in the morning. We used the R&P for about 5 weeks before I transitioned him into the crib. I probably would have used it longer, but because he sleeps swaddled I was unable to latch him in, so as soon as he started wiggling around I didn’t feel it was safe for him any longer. That being said, by snapping baby in, the Rock and Play is designed to hold baby up to 25 pounds. I wasn’t willing to give up swaddling for that, though. Which brings me to…
The Miracle Blanket
When Owen was born he didn’t like to be swaddled. After a week or so of trying to force it, I gave up until around four months old when I brought it back to help transition him out of our room and into his crib. I can’t help but wonder if it was just first-time parenting naivety on my part. I may have done us all a disservice by not finding a swaddling solution that worked for him. Maybe we would have slept more! There’s no going back now, but when I heard about The Miracle Blanket, I knew I wanted to have it from the get-go this time.
(Not my baby)
I’m glad I did! This baby straightjacket kept him from smacking himself in the face and I thought it worked better than any of the Velcro ones I had tried. I can’t give the blanket all the credit, but Ryan is a really great sleeper, and I know the blanket has contributed to that. We used the Miracle Blanket from day one until just now at 12 weeks when he started to break free and wake himself up. We are now using a double swaddle method with a muslin blanket and a sleep sack, but I am tucking these blankets away for future children for sure.
(Actually my baby)
We also purchased a double BOB jogging stroller, but I haven’t used it too much since Ryan is too small to sit in the seat and I have to use the car seat attachment. Which works awesome when he’s screaming!
So really, we didn’t need that many new things at all. Got any must-haves to add to the list?
I was not compensated in any way for these reviews. I just really like this stuff!
I have a tendency to fall off the face of the blogging earth when I have a baby. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that when I have down time, I tend to use it in other ways. Like sleeping. Or eating cookie dough straight from the fridge.
But here we are, six plus weeks into life with two children, and I figure it’s about time I document some of it; if not for you, than for me, because oh Ryan, I’m sorry, but what they say is true about second kids. I haven’t even purchased a baby book to document your first spit up, or the first time you said “Ah-glurg”, or all those countless little things that no one really cares about. (I’m lying, Ryan! I totally cared the first time you said “Ah-glurg!” You are a genius!)
My last post where I felt like I was really getting my footing was followed by a week or so of realizing that clearly, I had not. Michael was working a lot and I was home alone and Ryan was growth-spurting and yeah, it wasn’t great. I emailed a friend and told her that sometimes I felt like I was really failing at this two kid thing. Sure, they were both alive and fed and generally clean, but I found myself yelling more, playing less and mostly going through the daily motions of survival. It wasn’t a great stretch, but I finally swallowed my pride and allowed people to help me. (I’m not sure why that was so difficult — perhaps a feeling of I should be able to do it all myself? Who knows…) Michael’s mom and grandmother would pop in and I can’t remember a time I felt more happy to see my in-laws. They played with Owen while I vacuumed, held Ryan while I showered and provided me with adult conversation that I so desperately needed. It wasn’t much, but it was a lot.
And then, just as quickly as the clouds rolled in, they parted, and we’ve been grooving again. You know, until the next storm. At least I will be able to suck it up and ask for some help next time!
Ryan is amazing. One day he took a four hour nap and I swear, he woke up bigger not fitting in any of his clothes. He has started to smile and coo at his play mat and for the last few nights has been starting the night with a 6.5 hour stretch, which I can only hope will continue to get longer. Owen is Super Brother, loving on his baby from the moment he wakes up. He has tested his boundaries a bit (asking if he could push his dump truck into Ryan. No, you may not.), and has had a few regressions when it comes to going to bed and using the potty. (He was kind of interested in it before, now he requests the changing table and a diaper. I get it.) Overall, though, he has transitioned into his big brother roll really well.
As for me, I’m getting there. I’m still not showered as often as I’d like to be and while 30 pounds has fallen off on it’s own, there’s about 12 to go that I know are going to stick around until I start moving. I’m uncomfortable in my flabby post-pregnancy skin right now, anxiously waiting to fit into my pants or wear a shirt that doesn’t blouse out from the waist. I have been pushing the double stroller all over the neighborhood, and while pushing 40 pounds of kids, the stroller and the infant seat up hill certainly works up a sweat, it’s time to bite the bullet and make a date with the 30 Day Shred.
As I’m writing this, Ryan is napping in the crib, Owen is playing at my feet and I’m drinking a chai in the quiet of my dining room. No one is screaming or spitting up or demanding graham crackers. So far, today is a win.
I know not every day will be, but I’m pretty confident in the end, we will have more wins than fails. (I hope.)
Yesterday was one of those days.
There was endless fussing from the baby, and demands paired with meltdowns from the toddler. There was two solid hours of suckage that felt like at least eight, the cliche “hand-off-the-baby-to-dad” move as soon as he walked in the door, and the questioning of whether or not it was acceptable to have a glass of wine at 4 p.m.
Yesterday was a rough one, but later on, our little family of four headed down to the beach before dinner, and as I watched Michael and Owen jumping in the waves and kissed Ryan’s silky head sticking out of the top of the Bjorn, I realized that despite it all, we’re finding our groove.
Ryan will be a month old tomorrow. There’s some saying about the days being long but the years being short, and I totally get that. Aside from a really rough second week where he was having a growth spurt, but I was convinced he was going to be colicky like Owen was (I was thisclose to calling up my friend who works on a psych unit and booking a long weekend), he’s been a fairly easy kid. I mean, relatively. He’s an infant, after all, so he cries and spits up and doesn’t sleep nearly as long at night as I would like, but compared to the first month with Owen, he’s been a cake walk. I’ll take the two 3-hour stretches at night (I bring him in bed with me after that because…yawn…) over the maybe hour and half at a time we got the first time around.
I know a big part of it is I’m more relaxed this time and thankfully am not experiencing the baby blues again, but it does fascinate me how different kids can be.
So, yes. This two kid thing. It takes a lot of multitasking and patience and some tears too.
(Morning multitasking: chai, nursing, emailing, and tiny feet.)
It’s going with the flow and trying not to take things too seriously. It’s showering when I can (that fear I had came true. Showering with two kids is…difficult) and making a point to lie down with Ryan and take a nap as soon as Owen goes down for his. It’s a little extra TV (I both love and loath you, Fresh Beat Band.) It’s doing the laundry, but maybe not folding it right away, running the dishwasher but being physically unable to unload it for 24 hours, and needing to set an alarm to remind myself to put dinner in the Crock Pot.
But our groove, we’re finding it. Little by little.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to have two children. I get asked about it a lot already. When are we having the next one? It seems to be a common question as O approaches his first birthday, as if the one-year mark is a counter ticking down to a sibling. I was asked a handful of times this weekend and my mother-in-law recently told me she had a dream I was pregnant, than waited patiently for me to confirm that her dream had truth to it.
We always loosely toss around the idea of trying for a second child around the time Owen is 18 months. I guess that means we could try around the time he’s 15 months, or 20 months, or what-have-you, but we both like the idea of having them about two years apart. Michael is an only child and while we’re very close now, my sister and I are nearly seven years apart, which caused some natural distance between us growing up. I want my kids to have an always-buddy, my house to be filled with (controlled) chaos (ha!), and to someday have my backyard filled with big family picnics. We imagine at least two, probably three children.
Sometimes when the reality hits me that I could potentially be pregnant before the end of this year, I am filled with joy and anticipation. I loved being pregnant. I would love to be pregnant again. I can only hope that we are blessed with an easy conception and a healthy pregnancy again when that time comes; we were so very fortunate for that with Owen.
But then sometimes, I wonder how can I ever even consider being pregnant again so soon? A year has just flown by — this time a year ago I was having fun at my baby showers and today I’m wrestling a 10-month old monkey. It’s so cliché to say they grow up so fast, but they DO. Especially these last few months, I feel like he changes and grows so much over the course of just days. The little peanut who used to cry all the time is now this ridiculously joyful, adorable, loving little boy who gives kisses and giant smiles, can feed himself some food and drink out of a cup and is speaking words. And is napping and sleeping through the night!
Sometimes it feels a little selfish to even consider starting the path towards bringing another life into our family, when I don’t dare to miss one small milestone of Owen’s. And then on the flip side, to imagine doing it all again, to experience another first smile, the first “mama”; to imagine Owen as a big brother. Well, that just seems wonderful. One small person has made our lives so much fuller. We have so much love to give him, and I know I have enough love to give to more.
There was never a perfect time for us to get pregnant the first time. Our ducks were in a row, mostly, sure. But I had lost my job and we wanted to sell our house so no, it wasn’t a “perfect” time by definition. But it turned out to be the perfect time for that baby, because here he is, and we wouldn’t change it for the world. So is there a “perfect” time for another? No, of course not. There will always be a lone duck off on its own, away from the others in a row.
For the immediate future, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this time with Owen, before there are two. Before we are no longer first-time parents of an only child. Because this time will only happen once and I plan to absorb every minute of it.
If you have children, how did you know you were ready for more? Or that one was enough?
Yesterday at the grocery store, a woman came up to Owen and touched his face. Just reached out and touched it. He was sitting in the shopping cart and I know those cheeks are just begging for a squeeze, but it weirded me out.
I posted on Facebook about it and people started commenting. Most felt the same way — that it’s just not cool to touch a stranger’s kid without asking. But when Jenna commented that she thought it was better that the woman touched his face, rather his hands which he would put in his mouth, it got me thinking.
My initial ickiness about it was germs. It’s winter, we were in the grocery store, this woman was a stranger and who knows where her hands have been or what she’s carrying on them. Sure, he’s just as likely to touch something on his own and get sick, but why add another element into the mix that can be avoided? But after Jenna’s comment I began to realize that what really bothered me about it was that it was invasive. Not really invasive for him (although, I guess you could argue that it is), but more invasive to me, the mother.
It goes along the same line as stranger reaching out to touch a pregnant belly. I never liked it when it happened to me, but I didn’t know how to handle it either. Smack their hand away? Ask them not to do it again? Ignore it? (I ended up always ignoring it, smiling and putting my hands over my stomach protectively hoping they wouldn’t do it again.)
I didn’t say anything to the woman, even though it bothered me. I’m not big on confrontation and I knew she wasn’t doing it out of malice, she just wanted to touch the cute baby. People like cute babies, I get it. But by not saying anything, am I making it ok?
Maybe it’s because I just don’t think to touch strangers’ kids. Or if I was going to, I would touch a less personal area…like shake their little foot or tickle their knee. The face? It’s just so…theirs.
So what do you think? Is it ok to touch someone’s baby without permission? Do you? Am I and the other moms who agreed with my Facebook post overreacting?
- The last few days have been spent trying to avoid my husband in our own, small home. He’s been sick. For days! It started off as a Man Cold. You know, the little tickle in the throat that becomes a cough, that becomes THE END OF THE WORLD.
But then, it became the flu. Not even a Man Flu, just an honest to goodness flu that brought with it body aches and a fever. And since freezing rain was pouring from the sky making it impossible to go anywhere, Owen and I hibernated upstairs as far away from him as possible. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room and while he talks to O from afar, he hasn’t picked up his son in days. (He’s really upset about this. It’s sad!)
We’re on Day Three now, and while the fever is gone, the coughing and sneezing and runny nose are in full force. KNOCK ON WOOD, O and I are still healthy, maybe just by luck or maybe by the compulsive hand-washing/orange juice drinking routine I’ve been doing. But as much as I feel badly for Michael, I have to say, a little bit of the Man Cold symptoms are lurking again, and I’m not sure how much longer I can take them.
The moaning after every cough, specifically. I know he’s sick. I feel bad for him, I do! But it’s been three days. Of Man Cold Moaning. And that’s enough.
- Owen, on the other hand, is great. A riot, actually. This week as brought some new discoveries. Specifically, pelvic thrusting. Yes, my little boy is thrusting. Omigod. In reality, he’s just figured out he can arch his back from the reclined-on-pillows position, but holy crap is it hilarious. And he knows it makes me laugh, so he does it even more.
TROUBLE, this one, I tell ya.
And tonight, he also discovered…his parts. Now look, I don’t call them “his parts” in real life, but I’m not about to write the anatomically correct word for “his parts” in a post about my baby. Because ick, I do NOT want to see the search results that would come from that.
The discovery of “his parts” happened on the changing table tonight and guys, he thought it was just about the best thing ever. He looked at me like, “Mama! Did you know this was down here? Like, right here? This thing? A toy! For me? Right here? All the time?’
Boys. They’re a weird breed.
What else? Ah yes, poop. Because we always talk about the poop. The other day he went 36 hours without pooping. I know this can be normal, especially with the addition of solids (he loves those sweet potatoes), but THIRTY SIX HOURS is a long time. I did everything I could to help it along…a little diluted pear juice in his food, yoga moves to promote digestion, taking his temperature rectally. (It’s supposed to trigger the pooping reflex, I swear!) But in the end, I think he just went when he was ready. He didn’t go again today, so it looks like it might be another long stretch…
(I’ll stop talking about poop now.)
- On a totally unrelated topic, I’m think of getting a steam mop. Does anyone have experience with these? Is there one brand that’s better than another? Do they actually work? We have light-colored linoleum in our kitchen that gets gross fast (thanks, Kodiak), and the only thing I’ve really found that works is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Mop. But I can’t use that on our hardwoods and I’d like something natural once Owen starts crawling.
- A friend told me tonight he had a very vivid dream (rare for him) that I was pregnant. I’m not, but I sometimes think that I could be (did I just feel nauseous? Am I smelling things more strongly? Why is my nose all runny??) and freak out a little. Not enough that I’ve taken a test or anything, just enough to start flipping out about where we would put another baby and how I just got my body back and how Owen changes so quickly and I just want to keep getting to know him before we become a family of four.
And then I think that if it were to happen sooner than planned, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Challenging, yes, but not impossible.
But the short answer is no: we have no immediate plans to expand our family. We’d like the kids close, but not that close.
- I ate an entire package of Keebler Fudge Sticks in three days. They are delicious; I am disgusting.
- I need to get out of the house tomorrow, before my brain completely turns to mush and I can only ramble on about bodily functions for the next few posts. No one wants that, now do they?
I had read about it, this thing called sleep regression. I heard rumors of it happening around the four month mark, but was optimistic that the O Man would sail right by it.
Ha. Hardy har har.
There’s a ton of definitions about how long constitutes sleeping through the night at this age, but there’s a general consensus that a 5+ hour stretch before eating is pretty good. Up until about a week ago, we were doing just that. Even more, actually. I’m hiding under the table whispering this…but we actually had some seven and nine hour nights in a row. Sure, I woke up panicked and engorged at 4 a.m., but in a really blissful way. And truth be told, I got used to sleeping more than three hours at a time.
I got used to it real quick.
Then a couple of nights ago, it was a five hour stretch. Then the next night, it was three. And now we’re back to waking almost every hour and a half after 11 p.m. and guys….I AM SO TIRED. I’m dragging myself out of bed each morning and self-medicating with budget-busting chai purchases. And I can’t be mad at him, because he’s four months and is not purposely trying to drain me of all sanity. At least, I don’t think so.
I’ve read the books. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child sits on my nightstand with dog-eared pages. I believe the teaching that sleep begets sleep and have worked diligently to get him on a bath-book-massage-boob bedtime routine. When he would only sleep in a swing and I asked you guys for sleep advice, you all reassured me that I needed to relax because he would eventually give up the swing for the crib (he did) and to try and adopt the this-too-shall-pass mentality.
So I’m trying, again. I mean, I get it. He’s learning new skills that make his brain work overtime. His sleep patterns are starting to mimic those of an adult’s, but he hasn’t yet mastered soothing himself back to sleep all the time. And on top of that, he’s teething, so we have a whole grab bag of fun to work with.
Usually somewhere between 4 and 5 a.m., I bring him in bed with us to nurse lying down and get a couple extra Z’s. While I’m not anti-cosleeping, it’s not something I wanted to do exclusively, as while dad and baby snooze just fine, I sleep lightly, constantly checking to make sure the covers aren’t close to his face and because of that, I’m always freezing because the days of snuggling under my down comforter are long gone.
At his four month appointment, he clocked in at 27 inches and just under 20 pounds. The kid is in the 97th percentile and eats like a champ. We’ve decided to wait on all solids, including rice cereal, until he is six months. He’s definitely a boob man, and he wants it all night long, even if he’s not hungry. He’s using me as a human pacifier to fall back asleep. (And no, he won’t take a real pacifier, because that would just be too easy, now woudn’t it?)
Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for sleep training.
I’ve been resistant to full-on doing it until now because I really felt he was too young, but it’s time. He’s shown he can sleep for longer stretches and the pediatrician says that at his size, he can absolutely go five (or more) hours at night without eating. I’ve dabbled in it here and there, and always wait a few minutes when he wakes at night to see if he can settle himself back down. Sometimes he can. More than often, he can’t. He’ll be screaming like a banshee until I walk into the room, where I swear he smiles, winks and laughs to himself.
So I get up. At 11, at 1:15, at 3, 4 and 5:30. I soothe and nurse and while I truly love the quiet moments nursing my sweet baby boy, I’d love it even more at say, just 2:30. Or just 4.
Out of all the sleep training methods I’ve read up on, I’m most comfortable with doing a modified version of the Ferber method. If you want to know all about it there are tons of websites, but it involves letting him cry for short periods of time before going in to soothe him. This is of course assuming that nothing else is bothering him (pinching clothes, soiled diaper, actually time to eat) and that he’s not sick.
I’ve heard from fellow mothers that in anywhere from 3 days to one week, their babies really got it and they were blessed with better sleep until the next growth spurt/illness/what-have-you. I know there is no recipe for a perfect night’s sleep — especially at this age — but there has got to be better than what we have now, which is basically the sleep pattern of a newborn!
I’ll let you know how it goes, and I welcome feedback and stories of personal experience; just none of this “your child will hate you forever because you let him cry alone for 10 whole minutes you horrible, horrible mother” stuff. I’ll be telling that to myself when I’m lying in bed on my hands forcefully willing myself not to get up for another six minutes because OOOH THE CRYING.