Posts tagged cosleeping

30 Weeks Pregnant

Wow! Only 10 weeks to my due date–only 7 weeks until I’m considered “full term”. This pregnancy has gone by so much more quickly than my first. I am less anxious about things and have been able to relax a lot more this time around. Also, having a toddler to care for certainly keeps me distracted.

My low-sugar diet has been going well. This time around I’m not stressing over every bite I put into my mouth like I did with Daniel. My meals tend to be similar to what I was eating before–I just make sure not to indulge in the carbohydrates. I don’t really eat sweets, though. Before the high glucose reading, I was eating oreos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, chocolate, ice cream, brownies, whatever–and whenever, too. Now I only let myself eat desserts on occasion, and I make sure they include protein and are reasonably sized. I’ve been enjoying homemade peanut butter milk shakes every now and then. Mmmmm. We’ll see how my diet has affected my sugars this weekend when Margo gives me another glucose test.

Baby Reid has settled into the same position as Daniel was in at this time in the pregnancy. He’s head-down, facing my left side. Back when I was seeing a chiropractor, he told me my pelvis is tilted, or off center, or something like that which was probably the reason Daniel was positioned the way he was. I wondered if future babies would settle into the same pocket. And I guess the answer is yes. I just hope baby Reid figures out how to get himself turned around before labor starts so I don’t have so much back labor this time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our sleeping arrangements are going to work when baby comes. Currently, Daniel goes to bed in his own bed, but usually climbs into our bed sometime between 1-3 AM. He comes to my side of the bed to get in, and usually just rolls over and goes back to sleep. It is lovely to wake up with him next to me. We start our day with hugs and cuddles. But when baby comes, I’m worried that middle-of-the-night diaper changes and crying episodes will wake Daniel up… and then we’ll have two little boys not sleeping. Also, I’m afraid there will be times when I’ll have just fallen back to sleep after nursing or changing a diaper, and Daniel will choose that moment to climb into our bed–waking me up again. I’m thinking about making him climb in on Dan’s side starting now so he gets used to doing it that way before baby comes. I was hoping by now he’d be staying in his own bed all night. He used to do that occasionally, but he hasn’t for quite a while.

Today Daniel had his first melt-down in a couple weeks. I could tell he was exhausted while we were eating lunch, and could have predicted that nap time was going to be difficult. He complained a bit about having to take a nap, but the real drama came when it was time to take his shoes off. He insisted he was going to take them off himself, but he just put his hands on his shoes and looked at me with that “I’m testing you” look. I told him either he needed to take his shoes off by himself, or I was going to help him. I gave him several opportunities to take the shoes off–all with the same touching/testing pattern. So I ended up taking off his shoes. That set him off like none other. I miraculously stayed calm, hugged him, told him I knew he wanted to do it, but that I’d given him lots of chances to take off his shoes and he didn’t do it. I told him that next time he could take off his shoes by himself. I told him he needed to get into bed and stay there–which he resisted quite violently for a while. Finally I got him to get into bed. I told him he either needed to stop yelling at me, or I would leave the room until he could calm down a bit. I had to leave the room. Every time I went back, I stood in the doorway and asked him to stop yelling at me and to lay down and I would come back into his room. Finally, he just put his arms out to me through his sobs and said, “I just need to hug you!” So I went in, hugged him, layed him down and told him I was so sorry he felt so sad and that I loved him. I stayed with him for a couple minutes until he could relax, then I left the room again so he could nap. When he woke up, the first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry I yelled at you.” How’s that for a sweet boy?!?!

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Nearly 17 Months Old

We are still cosleeping, though our methodology has changed a little. We leave Daniel in his own bed until he wakes up–usually around 1 or 2–when we bring him into bed with us for the rest of the night. We’ve only been doing it for a few nights and his wake-up time has been pretty consistent. We’re hoping, though, that he’ll start to extend his first wake-up time by a little more each night as he gets more used to the new sleeping arrangement. We’ll see how it goes. We’re still not ready to forcefully break his all-night nursing habit. We do have plans to break him of it–if he still has it–by the time he can really understand when we tell him he won’t get any more until the sun comes up. But we’re hoping he’ll just slowly and naturally cut back as he is able to sleep longer without interruption in his own bed.

Tonight Daniel fell asleep laying alone in his bed without protest! I haven’t tried it in a while since it usually ends in tears. But tonight, he couldn’t stop wrapping himself around me, so I got out of bed, and sat in the rocking chair facing him. He whimperred, “Mommy? Mama?” a couple times, but it was enough for me to say, “Mama’s right here.” He rolled over and went to sleep! I couldn’t believe it. I’m trying not to get too excited, since I have yet to repeat the scenario. Tomorrow we’re trying it again.

Daniel’s vocabulary has exploded. He can repeat just about anything, and says of his own accord about a zillion words. We still have a hard time understanding him sometimes because he has trouble with the hard g and k sounds. He often mixes up other similar sounds as well. Some common ones he has trouble with are: doggie is doddie (sounds like daddy); trucks are ruts; milk is nilp. He calls basketballs batebottles; and bicycles bidibiderdidles; and ping pong balls pi po bas.  But his words are getting better every day and he’s starting to string them together. He tells me “help me” when he needs help and “socks and shoes” when he wants to put them on. And it sounded like he said through his tears the other day, “I don’t want a ping pong ball!”

I started going to MOPS with Daniel recently and have a bit of a rant to unload. It has been very hard for me because I have to leave Daniel in a childcare room. At his age, moms are strongly discouraged to allow their children in the meeting room. Every other group I attend is child-friendly, so this is just very different for me. It is hard enough for me to leave Daniel in the childcare room, but on top of it, I don’t like how the room is run.

First of all, they have a policy that children are allowed to cry for up to 20 minutes before their parent is retrieved! That seems so extreme to me. I spoke with the childcare coordinator who responded to my concern by telling me she had over 20 years of experience doing this, so she’s trustworthy. I’m pretty surprised that she’s discerned in her 20 years that children ought to be allowed to cry for so long. I think Daniel has only ever cried for more than 1 or 2 minutes when he was in his car seat and we were driving somewhere and we unable to stop to comfort him. When it is in my power to comfort him, I do so. And sitting in a room waiting for door prizes to be given out does not take priority over my comforting my child. Lucky for us, Daniel has done wonderfully both times we’ve gone, so the issue isn’t necessarily a personal one. Still, I am so very opposed to that policy and would be surprised if other parents were okay with it if they only knew.

Another thing I don’t like is that last week, the ratio of caregivers to children was much too low. The coordinator responded to that concern with the defensive comment that she was short 5 staff persons and she’d exhausted her pool of workers, so what was she supposed to do? I asked whether she’d considered asking the parents to take shifts throughout the meeting, but she said they’d never do that, they’d first ask the Mentor Moms to help out, but that she rarely does that because the Mentor Moms’ purpose is to lead non-believers to Christ, and how could they form relationships with the women if they were in the childcare rooms? So I asked if there was a policy in place that designated a minimum number of childcare workers. She had to look it up. She had just reminded me that she’s been doing this for 20 years, and she didn’t even know what the minimum number of childcare workers was supposed to be. That really made me uncomfortable.

She also told me I shouldn’t bring my own snacks for Daniel (I brought him carrot sticks last week) because it wasn’t fair to the other children who were given cheerios and goldfish crackers. Really? The other kids were jealous of carrot sticks? If so, why not prepare healthier snacks for all the children? If I’d brought cookies or something more universally desired, it would have been received better. And if she hadn’t just rubbed me the wrong way about my other concerns, I’d probably have thought nothing of it and understood. But I was really annoyed by that time.

I finished our conversation by letting her know that the previous week the 11 one-year-olds were left alone with a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old (who happened to be my sister who was visiting for the week–and who was the source of this information) for several minutes. She responded by reminding me that she was short 5 workers. And that everyone gets a 10-minute break, and that the doors are always open and there is another class across the hall if they were to have needed anything. That really caught me off guard. I expected her to be defensive of their policies, but not about a breach in them. I think she was just annoyed with me for having so many concerns at all.

Today, when I dropped Daniel off, I found new complaints. They have a television in the one-year-old room playing constantly! For 3 hours! Daniel didn’t seem interested in it at all when I dropped him off, nor was he watching it when I picked him up (thankfully), but I wonder how much he watched the rest of the time. And even if he didn’t watch it, one-year-olds in general shouldn’t be watching 3 hours of TV. I think I’ll need to give the coordinator another call and secure my place as the pain in her ***. My other concerns weren’t ones I could really complain about since I wasn’t in the room the whole time. But one of the childcare workers (who looked pretty old–maybe 75?) was sitting in a rocking chair when I got there and in the same chair when I got back. The workers were all holding children, but none of them were playing with them. They told one of the moms whose son started crying almost immediately to just go, that he’d be fine. She was sure pissed. She stormed out of the room, walked around a bit, and stormed back in. Then she huffed a bit, and stormed back out. She exchanged a few words with the coordinator who was curt and unfriendly with her as well.

All my concerns aside, Daniel seems to have a good time in the childcare room and plays really well. I am so grateful. If he was having a hard time, I don’t think I could bring myself to go another week. But we’ll probably finish out the semester and reevaluate then. I’m not so sure I’ll re-up, but never say never.

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Amost 15 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to write something about Daniel for the last couple of months… I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now there’s so much to say, I couldn’t possibly say it all.

This year–especially this summer–has been so busy! We’ve been traveling almost every other weekend. Since April we’ve been to (in order): Lake Tahoe (5 days), Newport Beach (5 days), Las Vegas (3 days), Bullhead/Laughlin (3 days), Hawaii (8 days), San Diego (3 days), Lake Tahoe (3 days). And we still have two trips left: Boston (6 days), San Francisco (3 or 4 days). Sheesh!!!

In between packing, traveling, unpacking, and doing laundry, I’ve been trying to get some work done (haven’t been very successful). I’m just not in that work mode. All I want to do is spend time playing with Daniel. He’s growing so fast and learning so much! He’s getting to be of the age where everything is a learning experience that we can share. He’s inquisitive about everything, constantly exploring and trying to do things, repeating words and sounds, communicating his wants and needs. He’s just so wonderful!

Last night after I had some trouble getting him to stay in bed (there were many protests and tears), he jumped into my arms before I could lay him back down and held onto me so tightly that I would have had to pry his hands off of me to do so. And before I even thought about doing that he looked at me and kissed me over and over again, then laid his head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep. It was one of those touching moments that you remember forever. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him and instantly regretted trying to make him lay down alone in his bed (I usually lay with him… last night I thought I’d try something new… didn’t work).

He’s still waking several times at night to nurse which is tiring and difficult for me sometimes, but it’s completely normal for a cosleeping child of this age. In fact, it’s something he’ll probably continue to do for quite some time as long as we keep him in our bed. This is no surprise to us–we knew what we were getting into when we decided to keep Daniel in our bed–but it does get tiring. I’m not really helping matters either… I stay up late checking email, MySpace, watching TV, spending time with The Husband, or even working (gasp!). Daniel sleeps for a good 3-4 hours for his first stretch. I could be sleeping then, too, but I’d rather have adult time.

Just a couple days ago, Daniel started saying “hat” and “ball”. He also says, “water” and “bottle” but never together–too much at once for him–but often they’re interchangeable. I always have my water bottle with me so he knows he can get a sip if he says either word. He says “no” a lot now even though we try to say things like “not for Daniel” or “food doesn’t go on the floor” instead of “no no!”. It was inevitable that he’d pick it up. He says “doh?” when he puts a phone to his ear and is finally saying “mama” and “daddy” with intention. He can make animal noises for: dog, cat, horse, goat/sheep, bird, and cow, and he says “un-unnnn!” when he sees a land vehicle of any kind. For air vehicles, he says “hkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk” and flies his hand around like an airplane.

He can point to most body parts when asked. We’re still working on some of the less “popular” ones: elbows, knees, neck, etc. I’ve been especially working on shoulders and knees because he knows all the other parts for the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He tries to snap when he hears music, but really all he’s doing is tapping his thumb and forefinger together. It’s pretty darn cute.

The other day I was looking for my keys–I knew Daniel had been playing with them the day before, but I lost track of where they ended up. I was going through the house looking everywhere I could think of, when I said out of frustration, “Daniel, where did you put my keys???!!!” He looked at me, and walked over to the DVR and retrieved my keys from the cubbyhole it sits in. They say that babies probably understand more than double what we think they do… this sure did prove that point to me.

We’ve been switching from using cloth diapers to training pants. He has a few different kinds and they’re all super cute. I’m sure I’ll give in to my temptation to buy him a couple more pairs as we transition away from the diapers so I don’t have to do the laundry as often. But I’m hoping that him being in trainers will help us be more on the ball when it comes to pottying. On our most recent trip (to Lake Tahoe), Daniel only wet 4 or 5 diapers the entire weekend (including nighttime!). I know he’s ready to be out of diapers. I do like to use them as my security blanket when we’re out in public. I’m still not ready to deal with “accidents” at the grocery store. Though I do shop at alternative grocery stores so it wouldn’t be too bad–and Trader Joe’s does have a nice big bathroom.

Daniel’s tooth count is up to 12–the four on top in front, on bottom in front, and his four one-year molars. I think he’s working on his canines now. His gums are red, but they’re not really swollen yet. He’s finally able to eat a greater diversity of foods, but still isn’t very interested in eating much. He just nibbles here and there.

Now that I’m beyond tired, I’ll get myself to bed and hope for a resful night.

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7 1/2 Months Old (plus a few days)

Sleep. Oh sleep. I dearly miss you.

Daniel’s night-waking when he sleeps in his own bed is unacceptable. I have been so pooped out lately. Dan and I have been discussing what we should do about Daniel’s sleep habits, including whether or not I should night-wean, or whether he should sleep in our bed again.

I tried soothing Daniel with cuddling, rocking, patting, singing, massaging, etc. for a few days, but that was AWEFUL! Daniel knew what he wanted (milk) and he wasn’t going to let me get away with not giving it to him. Since I don’t believe in the “cry-it-out” method, and this appeared to be where we were headed with the night-weaning, I gave that up real quick.

“Cry-it-out” seems convenient for parents in the long run, but it sure doesn’t seem right for baby. Instead of trusting that when he cries, mom or dad responds, he learns that even when he’s screaming his head off, mom and dad don’t respond, so he might as well give up on them. Infants require mom and dad to do everything for them–feed them, bathe them, change them, and even help them to sleep. It’s silly to think that a 7-month-old baby is ready to do any of these things completely on his own. Imagine if a parent put baby in his high chair with food in front of him and let him scream because he was so hungry, expecting him to finally figure out how to get the food from the tray to his mouth. Or imagine if a parent sat baby on the toilet and forced him to stay there until he peed or pooed regardless of how much squirming and crying he was doing. Those things sound ridiculous. And they are. But so is forcing baby to fall asleep on his own if he clearly isn’t ready to do it.

So, that said, we quickly chose a different approach. We put Daniel in our bed. When he was first born, he slept in our bed. Then, after several weeks, we put him in a co-sleeper (basically, a bassinet with one low side that attached to our bed). But Daniel outgrew the co-sleeper, which is partially what prompted the move to his own bed in the first place. So with no co-sleeper as an option, we put Daniel right in the middle of our bed.

The first night was hard. Daniel was used to having to cry to rouse me from the other room, so he quickly went from sleeping to crying. The next night, there was less of that, but I was kept awake by Dan’s snoring, so my sleep was even more interrupted than usual. The third night was fantastic. Daniel only woke up twice. He woke up gently, and I only had to nurse him for a few minutes before he fell back to sleep since he didn’t have to wake all the way up crying to get my attention. The next night, I tried putting Daniel on the other side of me, next to a guard rail, but I felt trapped and was so hot being between two warm bodies, so I didn’t get good sleep. But last night, he went back into the middle of the bed, and I got plenty of sleep… well, “plenty” in this case is relative.

Now I’m lobbying for a bigger bed. Dan sleeps fairly well with Daniel between us, but he’s not able to sleep very deeply because he’s so conscious of Daniel’s presence (a very good thing for a co-sleeping parent, but still difficult to deal with). We’ve been wanting a king bed for a while, but it’s always been something for our future. We’ve been happy enough in our queen bed, and even prefer it in some cases. This is not one of them. But mattresses are expensive. And because we are currently sleeping on an expensive mattress, we’re not willing to downgrade. So it might be a few months before we get up the courage to spring for a new bed, but it will certainly be sooner rather than later.

Now, if only there were a solution for the snoring…

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