**Hot Topic Alert!! Keep an open mind if reading, and kindly refrain from unleashing unnecessary judgement. Thank you!! #EndTheMomWars**
When our twins started climbing out of their cribs at 19 months, we were terrified. Terrified they would fall while climbing out half asleep, terrified that they would get into trouble in their room or elsewhere in the house in the middle of the night, and terrified that none of us would be sleeping ever again. We immediately converted their beds to toddler beds, and bye bye went their beautiful naps and stress-free bed time. Bye bye went sleeping through the night. Bye bye went having my bed for just me and my husband. The next 2 months were tough, to say the least. We quite often ended up co-sleeping with the twins and our older son (who shares a room with the twins). In that situation I can't sleep well because someone is always kicking me, and I'm scared one of the kids will fall out of bed, not to mention the girls don't sleep well together - one will wake and be pissed the other is next to mommy and bite her and then they're both up screaming! Sigh.
I'd been venting on Facebook and one of my friends recommended a crib tent by Aussie Cot Net Co that saved her sanity - it had been recommended to her by a sleep consultant who basically told her that children this young just don't have the will-power to stay in bed.
I mean, it makes sense. There's a reason they make seat belts for high chairs and strollers. Do you really expect a 1 or 2 year old to stay in one spot when the world is calling to them to come and explore, or all they want is to cuddle up with mommy? Nope. And as far as laying down the law with rules and rewards and consequences, yeah, not so much working with my wee ones just yet. I watched many Super Nanny clips to no avail. I was in their room for 90 minutes each night putting them back in their beds, as soon as one was in, the other would jump out. If I left the room to end the "game", they would climb up to the windowsill and started jumping around and banging on the glass, or they would bang on the doors and scream, or start opening and slamming shut the kitchen door (and our downstairs neighbor would break out her broomstick and start banging on her ceiling). It wasn't safe and I was seriously at a breaking point (as were our neighbors, yay city living...)
Suffice it to say I reached out to get two of those crib tents for review ASAP! Our "Baby Crib Safety Nets" (also called Crib Popup Safety Net) came the next day, I reinstalled the 4th crib rail on both cribs, and installed the crib tents (the latter of which took all of 5 minutes for both cribs - it's SO EASY!) - just watch my demo below to see me unbox the tents and give a demo of how they work!!
The zippers are stiff so they're not easy for little kids to work, plus they can be pulled to either the inside or outside and completely shut, so their little fingers can't reach the zipper or poke a finger through to pull it down. The tent is made from a tight-woven mesh that is breathable and see through, and the wire frame literally pop right back up if you pull them down, so there really doesn't seem a way for them to come down on the child to entrap them. The carry-case gives instructions on how to twist the tent back into a flat circle for easy storage and travel (they also make a version specifically for mini cribs and pack 'n plays if you prefer traveling with that).
There are two ties for each corner of the crib, made of thick mesh fabric. The crib tent fits snugly down under the corners and sides of the mattress (the material is satin down by the mattress), but does not go all the way across the bottom, so if you needed to you could untie the corners and yank it up and off from above without removing the mattress from the crib. More likely you would be utilizing one of the two windows to get your child in and out, and pulling out the mattress for changing sheets. Though, if you don't already know about QuickZip, these sheets are amazing and even more helpful if you are using a crib tent or bunk beds - you just zip off the top of the sheet and don't have to take the mattress out to change the fitted sheet!! (See my QuickZip review here!).
The Baby Crib Safety Net meets all US Consumer Product Safety Commission baby product requirements, however I would recommend carefully checking your crib tent daily for any tears in the mesh, because a child could possibly get caught in a hole if they managed to make one. There have been several other kinds of crib tents that have been recalled due to injury or death of children, so, be reminded it's not advised to put anything in the crib, even a bumper, pillow, or crib tent, and choosing to do so should not to be taken lightly. Also, it should be noted many of the other "hacks" parents try to keep their toddlers in the crib longer have risks as well, for example, when wearing a sleep sack or pajamas that have been altered to make climbing harder, a child is more likely to fall head first if they manage to get over the rail. Yikes!
All that said, you do what you gotta do and what you feel is best for your children and family as a whole. You feel me?
So, how has it been going for us using the crib tents? We've used them for the past 3 nights and each night has been better than the last!! The first night, our twins laid down and went to sleep in the tents without a whimper, but they were up screaming at midnight and I brought them to my bed. The second night one of the girls screamed for about 10 minutes before laying down, but she slept through the night! Her sister woke around midnight and I brought her to bed. But last night, one of the girls whined for 5 minutes at bedtime and woke crying at midnight (but I was able to sooth her and put her back down into her bed quietly) and they both slept in their beds til 6:30AM (10.5 hours)!!! Ah-may-zing!!
So, the crib tents seem to be working to help the girls realize they need to stay in their beds to sleep, and that nighttime is not the time for exploring or cuddling with mama. We talk about how everyone sleeps best in their own comfy bed, with their own pillows and stuffed animals and no one bumping into them. We talk about how they can cuddle with their baby dolls and have a sip of water if they wake up. Of course, they're not even 2 years old and talking about this alone just doesn't cut it. But together with the crib tents, we may be on to something. I really really hope these crib tents are the solution I'm counting on them being!!
There are also a couple of other reasons you may want to try out a crib tent: 1) they can keep pets out of your child's bed, 2) keep bugs out of your child's bed, and 2) protect a newborn baby from an older sibling (for example, a toddler who wants to "take care" of his little sister - you can flip the zippers to be inside the tent, and a toddler won't be able to open it from the outside).
You can find the Baby Crib Safety Net for sale on their website, and the owner warned there are some knockoffs on Amazon with paid reviews - these knockoff crib tents have not undergone the scrutiny of testing and she warns they may be using inferior materials and design, so be careful!!
Because many of you reading this review are having trouble with your child's sleep, I want to give a shoutout to my friend and AMAZING sleep consultant, Achieve with Carolina!! She has helpful (free!!) Facebook chats and seminars here in NYC, and offers fee-based consulting over the phone or in person. She doesn't believe in a "quick fix" but rather to look at the whole child and family - including the sleeping environment, sleep routine, and even the child's diet!
Have you encountered any sleep troubles with your baby or toddler? Have you used the help of a sleep consultant or any sleep aids? I'd love to hear from you - leave a comment below!!
While you're here, don't miss the chance to enter to win my $300 value Back to School Goodies Giveaway, running through July 26!!! Clickity Click Here!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
**updated in 2020: rock 'n plays and similar products have been recalled - DO NOT purchase these second hand, they can be dangerous**
In celebration of our twins' half birthday, I'd like to present you with the products I deem must-haves for baby twins - the things we simply couldn't have survived without! I'll also throw in a few which may not be *essential* but are fun to add to your baby registry or splurge on if you have the budget! Ready, set, GO!!!
Twins Prep Book & Classes
"What To Do When You're Having Two" will educate you on how to eat for three and get through your pregnancy, what to expect at the birth, how to tandem breastfeed or bottle feed, create schedules, interview pediatricians and nannies, you name it!! While you're at it, check out author Natalie Diaz' awesome website, Twiniversity, and in-person and on-line twins prep classes!
Tandem Nursing / Feeding Pillow
There are 2 awesome pillows out there for tandem feeding twins. Mothers tend to be divided over preferring one over the other, so I really can't say definitively that one is better. Personally, I preferred the My Brest Friend Twins Feeding Pillow but only because I found the height of the pillow higher and better for me. The Twin Z Pillow (see my review here) is the other beloved one, especially if you have a c-section or are bottle feeding. It also doubles as a baby lounger, and has built-in back support for mama.
Newborn Twins Baby Carrier
For newborn twins, some parents are able to figure out how to tandem wear using the Moby or a woven wrap. This mama? Not so much. For me, the WeeGo Twin Carrier was a lifesaver. Seriously. (Check out my "Life With Newborn Twins" video featuring the magic of this carrier!). The WeeGo is good from 3 pounds until they're about 6 months, however I found that once they hit 10 pounds each I couldn't use it anymore. I never got it to fit right and it hung from my shoulders quite painfully... still, when both newborns were screaming and they'd been fed and changed, this was often the only thing I could do to get them both quiet and asleep!!
Tandem Baby Carrier
For older twins, or even a toddler and baby, the TwinGo Carrier is amazing!!! You can wear them as 2 separate carriers (one for mom and one for dad, let's say), or remove one set of shoulder straps and hook them together so you can wear one child on the front and one on the back. They also have great pocket storage allowing you to forgo the diaper bag! Check out my full review here.
Stroller for Twins
Strollers all have various features which may or may not be what you are looking for. Many twin parents will go with a twin snap 'n go followed by a Baby Jogger City Select, or something like that, because they get the job done and are budget-friendly. But my family had some unique requirements. Being city dwellers with a toddler, newborn twins, and no car, I needed a stroller that had infant-compatible reversible seats, and preferred side-by-side over tandem alignment. The ONLY stroller out there that fit the bill was the StrollAir MyDuo. (If you're thinking Bugaboo Donkey works, no... it's not infant compatible - you have to use the bassinet until baby is 6 months or so). Overall, we LOVE LOVE LOVE our StrollAir!!! You can use with 2 seats (good for infant or toddler), 2 car seats (with universal adapters), 2 infant bassinets, or any combination of those! You can get standard never-flat tires or upgrade to the air-filled tires for a smoother ride (what we have). It's really an amazing stroller!! We also purchased the Englacha X-Rider sit/stand toddler board which has been a GREAT add-on, and later used the Lascal BuggyBoard Maxi+ with Saddle (which doesn't have as sturdy a seat but is easier to take the seat off while out and about to use as a stand board, or to pull the whole thing up and out of the way when not needed). The StrollAir MyDuo comes with 2 plastic rain covers, but we prefer the Manito (see my review here).
**2020 update note: StrollAir's newer version of the MyDuo is the TwinWay, and their tandem version of that is the Solo to Tango a great stroller that goes from single to double! Evenflo Pivot Xpand is another single - double converting stroller that we loved. Video reviews and demo's below!!
Eventually, unless you plan on one giant "family bed," you will need your twins in their own separate cribs. Some choose to go straight there from day one, others wait a month, six months, a year... It's up to you! You can start them off in co-sleepers or cradles, sharing a crib, or whatever, but one really unique option is the Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle (see my full review here). It rocks smoothly and has the babies' heads slightly elevated (good for reflux) and when they grow out of it at around 6 months it flips to the side and becomes a storage shelf (or a fun bartender's nook as some friends advised me!!)
I prefer BB Blocks (wooden numbered blocks) for weekly and monthly photos, but Milesone Cards have a twin-specific set with cards such as "We came home today" and "We smiled at each other for the first time today" which are really fun to use and keep (if you ever find the time to put together baby books for them)! They also include a set for each individual baby because let's face it, they will hit most milestones such as rolling over, sleeping through the night, and crawling at different times.
Crib Mattress, Cover & Sheet Savers:
Soothing & Pacifiers:
So there you go, my must-haves for twins! As far as diapers and toys and bathtime and all that, they need pretty much the same products as a regular singleton baby. I took the advice I received at my Twiniversity prep class which was to get one of each and get a 2nd after we're home and decide we NEED another. For example, we started out with two auto-rocking Rock 'n Plays (which they slept in for the first month - BUT THESE ARE NOW RECALLED - DO NOT GET ROCK N PLAYS even second hand!!!), and decided after a few weeks to go ahead and get a 2nd Baby Bjorn Bouncer and Fisher Price Swing. We still have only got one exersaucer, one play mat, one Bumbo seat, and one activity seat, and I just kind of rotate them through those! We also have one baby bath because I can only bathe one at a time, HA! You will most likely eventually need two cribs, two high chairs, and if you drive, two car seats.
My final piece of advice is to search for your local Mothers of Multiples group. You can save a TON by buying all of these products used and/or selling them used after you're finished with them!! This tip and many others are offered in my article "How to prepare for having twins" - check it out!
Did I miss any great twin-related products? Do you have some I should check out for older twins? Share in a comment below!!
So you've got twins on the way, do ya? Congratulations!! You have a TON of shopping to do, and one of the first things you have to decide is where your little bundles of joy will sleep. They can co-sleep in one crib but that involves an increased risk of SIDS. They could go straight into their own cribs. They can co-sleep with you in your bed, but you might have to kick your partner out of bed to fit them in there, and many will argue co-sleeping with your baby/babies isn't safe. There's also the good ol' Rock 'n Play, however many blame them for flat head, not to mention the steep incline creates a risk of postural asphyxiation, yikes!
Yes, you have many options for sleeping arrangements but here is one you probably haven't heard of and should definitely consider. Are you ready for a REALLY cool (and beautiful) product for twins? Are you?? I give you, the Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle:
We just got one and here is what I'm loving about it:
Daddy put the cradle together in about 10 minutes, with some "help" from our toddler. This made for a great present to our girls on their first Christmas! Here are our twins enjoying their So-Ro:
We're not the only ones loving it. The Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle has been awarded "Best of Baby" by The Bump in 2015 and the Norwegian Design Council's Award for Design Excellence, and was a nominee for the 2012 German Design Award.
Distributed by Babyhome (like other awesome children's products from high chairs and bouncers to strollers and bed rails), click here to purchase your very own So-Ro Twin Cradle (or a single So-Ro Cradle for just one baby).
And don't forget to follow Babyhome on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest for the latest info on their products, and giveaways, too!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
We are a co-sleeping family. It started when my son was about 18 months (see my story on Mommy Nearest) when we realized bringing our son into our room and attaching his crib to our bed "sidecar" style meant a full night's rest for all three of us. Now, I couldn't be happier with our situation! Except... my son is a pillow thief!! About halfway through the night he'll roll or crawl his way into our bed and basically push me off of my pillow and use it himself. If I dare try to reclaim it, all hell breaks loose! So, I've been sleeping without a pillow half the night for a couple of months now. It could be worse. At least I'm sleeping! But it got me thinking: isn't he about ready for his own pillow?
Most pediatricians and professionals recommend waiting until a child is at least 2 years old before allowing ANYthing into the crib, from pillow to blanket to stuffed animal. I've adhered to this for the most part so far, but my son is 22 months old and I figure we're close enough! I did some research and got what I found to be one of the best toddler pillows on the market...
So what makes the Calla Toddler Pillow so awesome!?
My first thought upon opening it was, awwwww, how cute. It's like a mini pillow (13" x 18" - great for toddlers, or even as an adult's travel pillow). It was really soft and fluffy, a natural cream color (not all bleached and processed in appearance like most pillows), and there were no chemical smells or anything, phew! Also, the following were included and a nice reminder that the Calla Toddler Pillow is a family-business - love that!!
My only problem is now I have to find a pillow case that fits it. For now we have a regular sized pillow case on it, which is fine. I might try a t-shirt on it as well. I feel like a snug fit is probably safer.
Also, it should be noted that while the cover (i.e. the part that comes directly in contact with your child's face for 12 hours a night) is made of organic cotton, the filling is not. But that doesn't mean the filler is all chemicals and baddies. Quite the opposite. The filler is a special blend of Calla Polyester Cluster Fiber. It's hypoallergenic, washable and non-aromatic. Jeremy Mentz, half of the parenting duo behind the Calla Pillow explains, "Unfortunately there are no organic filling options for toddlers that are washable, hypoallergenic, and non-aromatic...so we did our best to match form with function. This might be a deal breaker for some parents, but we've found most parents (and their kids) appreciate the practicality."
So, what's my toddler think about it? As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words...
And the best news? He slept on it the whole night!! My pillow is mine again!!! Hooray!!!
Oh wait, I lied, that's not the best news... The best news is that you can enter below for a chance to win your very own Calla Toddler Pillow (you must be 18 or over and a resident of the US to enter, giveaway will end at 11:59PM EST on Thursday, November 6 and winner will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail)! If you can't wait, you can buy one on Amazon for $49.99 (don't forget to add code "NU8IBVXP" for 15% off! valid through the end of the year).
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
I could not have been more informed about my pregnancy and birth. There was no possible way! I read books, went to classes, listened to podcasts, you name it! Unfortunately, it stopped there. I totally forgot to prepare myself for what to do AFTER THE BABY ARRIVES!!! My husband and I were totally clueless. Thank god the learning curve is steep, but let's just say the first few days, weeks, let's face it months, were a blur of exhausted confusion!!
I had a hand-me-down copy of What To Expect The First Year, and read through the first chunk of it during middle of the night nursing sessions but eventually gave up on it. From there I pretty much used Doctor Google for random stuff like "Is it possible my baby's belly button didn't close" (haha yes, this was actually a concern of mine I brought to our pediatrician when my baby was 7 months old, you can see my blog about it!!). Unfortunately Doctor Google, while often helpful, can really bring out the paranoid hypochondriac in you and lead you very very astray.
I recently discovered Dr. Carey's Baby Care book which is really an amazing resource for new parents (or parents-to-be) to have on hand. It's basically a users guide for your baby's first year, covering the following topics:
Dr. Carey's Baby Care book is easy to read and concise - only 80 pages - so you get the really important info without all the filler that will put you to sleep or make your foggy new mom brain wander! It's also very very graphic and by this I mean it has 180 full color photos for when you have those "Is this normal??!??!?!!" freak out moments about your baby's rash, poop, or etc. Here's an example of what you'll find:
The photos are also really helpful in showing you how to care for your baby. Here, look, 4 steps to make the perfect baby burrito!!
Dr. Carey, a pediatrician in Ventura, California said, “In a world of information overload, I aimed to keep this book short and to the point. Despite the quick read, if a picture is worth a thousand words, one might say I spoke a lot. The photos that I share in my book depict items that I am asked about every day in my office.” I'm very visual myself, so this book really speaks to me and I think it will to you as well!!
Order your copy of Dr. Carey's Baby Care book on Amazon (also available for Kindle), or enter to win one along with a whole slew of cool products for baby, toddler, and mom in my $1500 value Mother Of Giveaways going on through May 26! Enter to win here!
*Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
For parents of little ones, a good night's sleep can be hard to come by. Without a doubt, you'll be up around the clock the first few weeks (or months), that is for sure, but after that it seems like the luck of the draw if you'll have a good sleeper on your hands or become a mombie for the next few years. But maybe it's not completely luck...
Die hard sleep training enthusiasts have many a theories that they swear by - it is such a hot topic in the parenting world!! Cry It Out vs. No Cry Sleep Solution vs. blah blah blah blah - OMG, seriously, what to do?? I've done plenty of research and attempted a few different methods myself (you can read about my experience with Babywise, Sleep Sense / CIO, and finally banishing baby to a partitioned off area of the living room!). My takeaway? Keep to a schedule, don't let baby get overtired, make a routine including cues so baby knows sleep time is coming, and eliminate sleep props that baby cannot initiate or recover himself (i.e. nursing to sleep or letting him fall asleep sucking on a pacifier that he cannot find in the middle of the night to plop back in his mouth is a no-no whereas a sound machine and a sleep sack would be OK).
Since we've had such a long drawn out drama with sleep in our house, when I came across the Bitta Kidda Sleeper at a baby expo recently I was really intrigued. What is Bitta Kidda, you ask?
Bitta Kidda is basically pajamas with a built in lovey. Putting a security blanket or lovey in the crib with a baby isn't completely safe (suffocation / SIDS), and you also run the risk of him chucking it out of the crib (as mine did) or not being able to find it in the middle of the night when he wakes up and needs to self sooth - cue screaming baby who needs your help to fall back asleep! The idea of the Bitta Kidda is that the lovey is always within reach so the baby can hold the piece of blanket for comfort and fall back asleep without your help. Sounds amazing right!?
The Bitta Kidda Sleeper is sold in two colors (yellow and green) in sizes 6 months through 3 years, but obviously the younger you can start the more effective it'll be as it becomes part of their sleep and soothing ritual. They recommend you have 2 (so you have a spare during laundry time) and that baby wears it every night and every nap time.
And guess what? They're actually going to be launching the Bitta Kidda Sleep Sack soon! Exciting stuff!!
The Bitta Kidda Sleeper is one of the fabulous prizes in my $1500 value "Mother Of All Giveaways" running through May 26. ENTER TO WIN HERE TODAY!!
**Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation, monetary or otherwise, to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and completely unbiased.
I'll skip to the chase - sleep training in a one bedroom apartment is impossible, or nearly so, at least for me! I searched the web high and low for sleep training guides focused on families in small apartments forced to share a bedroom with their little one. And you know what, I couldn't find a single one. Sure, I found the occasional question on a sleep training forum, with a few suggestions such as "put up a barrier so baby can't see you", etc. But I'll tell you, it's not easy and for us it just wasn't happening.
Baby wakes up for whatever reason: transitioning between sleep cycles, a loud truck rolled by, the neighbors dog was barking, you name it. Baby wakes up just enough to start crying and stand up in his crib. Then he sees you, or if you have the barrier up or are hiding under the covers, he still knows you are there. Thus begins the process of getting himself so worked up that eventually he's dinosaur screaming (you know, where it's all guttural high pitched screaming from the throat, that sounds like he's in excrutiating pain). Maybe you are deteremined to let him cry it out. Commence torturous moments or even hours, if you have the will and heart of coal. Maybe baby gives up and lies down, but is up and at it again in 5 to 30 minutes. You finally cave, thinking something must be terribly wrong with your baby - he's hungry, teething, has a poopy diaper, is gassy, had a night terror, sees dead people, who knows!?!?! it's the middle of the night and you're exhausted and you're scared your child is crying for a real reason and you've been ignoring him! Worst mother ever!!! So you pick up your screaming child and the SECOND you pick him up out of the crib he is the most quiet and peaceful thing you have ever seen. Your mind suddenly switches from terrified to angry - YOU BIG FAKER!!!! But he's angelic and sweet and so you cuddle or nurse him and he's back to sleep in no time. Finally you put him back down in the crib, maybe he protests with a few cries, maybe not. But he's back to sleep and you know the cycle will just repeat in another hour or two.
Welcome to the #ZombieMom Zone.
I've been here for about 7 months, since my perfect little sleeper turned 5.5 months and decided he would no longer sleep 11 hours through the night, would no longer find comfort in sucking his thumb, and would begin torturing his parents on a nightly basis. #ZombieMom Zone is not just uncomfortable, it's dangerous. Your ability to reason and to have patience of ANY sort whatsoever are out the window. It's not healthy for you or your family or the world. The longer you remain in #ZombieMom Zone, the deeper you go until you don't even remember what it's like to function like a normal thought processing human being. Every cry of your child in the night sends you to the edge, making you remember the words of your discharging nurse after birth warning you about shaken baby syndrome: "no baby every died from crying - do not even go near that crib if your thoughts are anything other than warm nurturing ones".
I used to bring him into bed with us, but I broke that habit with our last attempt at CIO sleep training a few months ago (that attempt did help - he's now a great napper and goes down at night usually without crying at all, it just didn't help with not waking up every couple of hours!), and don't wan to start the habit again or confuse him with sometimes allowing it and sometimes not. I love co-sleeping actually, but my biggest fear is baby will fall out of bed in the middle of the night. He's really restless and does acrobatics all over the place. Co-sleeping is not conducive to me getting a good night's rest, unfortunately, so it's out of the question.
Yesterday I analyzed our living room and realized there is a spot by the window that I can fashion a makeshift room for Kenzo. If I put the sound machine in there, and we are super quiet when are going about the rest of the apartment, he should be able to sleep in there...
So, our plan was not to go to Kenzo unless he was crying for at least 20 minutes. How did it go??
AMAZING NIGHT OF SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I put him down at 8pm. While we were still awake and working in the kitchen, Kenzo woke up and cried for a minute or two at 9:45 and again at 11pm. There were a few more times during the night were I heard him cry very quietly for a minute, but it was the kind of cry you could tell he wasn't really awake, and thankfully he just laid himself down and went back to deep sleep. He didn't really wake up until 6:45am. Hooooo-freaking-rah!!!!!!!!!
I'll still put him down in the bedroom in his crib for naps, so I can get stuff down around the house without tip-toing around, and then we'll continue the nighttime sleep in the living room. I really hope last night wasn't a fluke and this is the solution until we move to the new home in 2 months and he gets his own for real room! Also hope this cold-turkey night weaning doesn't land me with another bout of mastitis! Eeeek!
It was bad, then it was good, and now it's bad again. Ha! I could stop there, but maybe some of you want some more details (crying and sleeping totals are for the 24 hour period from bedtime through next day's 2 naps, also I should add they're totals for the baby, not me, haha):
DAY 1 = HORRIFIC!!
Total Crying in Crib: 6.5 hours
Total Sleep: 11.5 hours
DAY 2 = MUCH better!
Total Crying in Crib: 1.5 hours
Total Sleep: 9 hrs (boycotted 2nd nap)
DAY 3 = NOW we're talking!! ^_^
Total Crying in Crib: 40 minutes
Total Sleep: 14 hours (not a peep from 8pm-6:30am)
DAY 4 = Gooooooood!
Total Crying in Crib: 1 hour
Total Sleep: 13 hours (slept 8pm-7am with just a couple of peeps)
DAY 5 = Back to Exhaustion.
Total Crying in Crib: 7 hours
Total Sleep: 12 hours
DAY 6 = Better...
Total Crying in Crib: 2.5 hours
Total Sleep: 10 hours
DAY 7: Sucky suck mc. suck alot
Total Crying in Crib: 5.5 hours
Total Sleep: 10.5 hours (boycotted 2nd nap)
So, looking at his total time sleeping he is WAAAAAAY sleep deprived. He slept through the night 2 times out of the week. We're not doing so well... He's developed a cold with some pretty major congestion, and 2 bottom teeth are trying to bust through (his 7th and 8th teeth), so I'm hoping once these 2 issues are through he'll be sleeping through the night regularly and getting his much needed cumulative 14-15 hours of sleep. After all this, I'm definitely not going to revert back to letting him pass out at the breast, even when he's not feeling 100%. If he's really miserable I will comfort him in other ways, but not by co-sleeping and not at the breast. We will get through this... soon... fingers crossed!!! @_@
In case you're new here, here's a recap of my baby's sleeping history:
I read "Babywise" at 7 weeks and my little guy quickly took to the eat-play-sleep schedule. By 2 months he was a great napper and slept through the night 6+ hours, by 3 months 9-11 hours straight. I put him down awake, he sucked his thumb and went to sleep quietly.
At 5 months all went to hell in a hand basket due to any combo of the following:
1) He cut his bottom teeth and promptly stopped sucking his thumb
2) We had a 1 week vacation to my parent's house
3) He developed object permanence
4) We stopped using his swaddle/sleep sack
Around 7 months my sister convinced me to do "Cry It Out" and we gave it a half arsed attempt but had 2 things in our way:
1) It was summer and we don't have AC, so he got way too hot while crying.
2) He gnawed at the crib when we left him in there crying (evidence below)
So, I got crib rail covers and waited for the summer heat to fade away. I found the Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman (more on that in another post) and decided to give it a go during my husband's next business trip (I don't want Kenzo's crying throughout the night to keep my hubby up, awwwww am I the best wife or what?? ha! Seriously though, he's such a wimp, always pulling baby into bed with us at the first sign of a whimper). In the meantime we've been co-sleeping for the past few months and he's been waking up about every 1-3 hours and cries until he gets a boobie. I whip it out and we both pass out within a couple of minutes. It's really not that bad, but it's not good (what would happen after I wean him??) and his napping has been getting worse and worse as well. We both need to get better sleep!
Tonight the sleep training finally commenced! Here's a video selfie just after I put Kenzo down in his crib. Whooooo that sucked...
The crying lasted 45 minutes, which funnily enough is the exact time Dana reported as the average time of first night crying on the hundreds of cases she's worked on as a baby sleep consultant. She gives the option of staying in the room with the little one throughout, or just going in to check on him and reassure him. I opted for the second method. I went in at 3 minutes, at 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes a few times. Then I felt like my going in was just working him up even more. So after the 30 minute mark I stopped going in and by the 45 minute mark he was silent. I waited a few minutes then went in to make sure he was ok and in a comfortable position. This is what I found and I almost burst out laughing!!!
He was out, kind of in a twilight sleep, and kept sitting up and falling forward over and over again. Really sad actually, but hilarious at the same time. Luckily he didn't wake up when I laid him down. I'm really not looking forward to him waking up in the middle of the night... I have a feeling it's going to be rough!! I blame myself - just giving him the boob to make him go back to sleep has just made him wake up more frequently and become so dependent on me. This might be a tough habit to break!
Preemptive strike against possible criticism: Sleep training with or without CIO, no sleep training, breast vs. bottle, SAHM vs working mom, whatever... #ISUPPORTYOU and hope you will support me too. We're all doing the best we can and doing what we feel is right for our families. I would love if you comment with your personal experience, advice, tips, etc. But there is no need for judgement or criticism.
Kenzo just hit 10 months, actually about 30 minutes ago! ^_^ I really can't believe how fast he's growing, it's kind of scary! Exciting, but scary. One by one his friends are all turning one year old and all the moms say what a hard day it is, full of sobbing and memory lane. I feel full of anxiety just thinking about that and it's still 2 months away!! Speaking of turning one, we just booked his birthday party - we're gonna have a joint one with 2 of his baby friends who were all born within a week of each other during the crazy week of Christmas and New Year. Of course all 3 of us moms have been sucked into Pinterest getting ideas for save the dates and invitations and decorations and food and.... Man, that thing is EVIL! haha!!
Anyway, back to my 10 month old little one... he's got 6 teeth now (4 top, 2 bottom), is taking solo steps, usually about 2 but up to 5 at a time! I introduced chicken and turkey so he's no longer a vegetarian! He is really into cuddling now which is uber uber cute, he is also a big fan of clapping, waving, and most recently throwing things. Ha! He's still a monster at night (since about 6 months) waking up multiple times and I've totally been enabling him as I just pull him into our bed and nurse him back to sleep cuz it's the fastest and easiest. He's dealing with his 3rd cold in about 6 weeks, but I swear as soon as he recovers we're conquering this sleep thing!! You're in for it little dude!!!
Also as one year approaches I'm having to think about the whole going back to work thing. I really really don't want to. I've got my hands in so many pies at the moment (blogging, Miny Moe, Mommy Nearest, Kidz Central Station, Eczema Company, and of course my Facebook groups Bay Ridge Baby Mamas and Bay Ridge Swappies) none of them raking in a ton of cash but together they take care of groceries, haha. But they keep me busy and my hope is that through them I'll develop the right skills and meet the right people so when/if it comes time for me to find a 9-5 again I'll have some good connections. And no one can ever say I was just twiddling my thumbs during maternity leave, that is FOR SURE!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!