Friday, May 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes (68)

Bad news. I read through an entire book about raising a family cow and have decided that we won't be doing it. At least not until I'm past childbearing years and can really do it right. (Because let's be honest, who would want to get up and milk a cow at the end of the third trimester or after nursing all night long?) I can't tell you how disappointed I am.

I can't tell you how relieved my husband is that I got that cow notion out of my head.

My husband found the video below (here) a few months ago and showed it to me. We debated whether it was a real baby or just a doll. But ultimately I had to turn it off - I was just too horrified at the sight.

(Hopefully I embedded this right. It was all in Russian...)

Now that Miriam is bigger, I'm able to pull her up by her arms, though, and that video came to mind again. So I thought I'd try to rewatch it. Turns out, I'm still aghast. Especially since it turns out it's real.

I was tempted to make all seven of these takes about baby sleep. It's all I've thought about for a few weeks now, since Miriam's decided she'd like to go from waking up 2-3 times a night (which I was fine with) to 4-8 times a night (which I'm less than fine with). But I have been very unimpressed with the several books I have read about the topic so far. So would you mind if I asked you a couple questions?

What is your bedtime routine? Or perhaps more specifically, what was it when your child was a baby (approximately 5 months old)? I hear a lot of suggestions for giving a bath every night, which I do think would be a strong association, but my husband and I would rather not do that - it's too much work, especially since it's not like she's crawling through mud and actually needs to be cleaned every single day. We actually think it'd be better for her skin to not be bathed daily. So are there any alternatives to taking a nightly bath? I can't figure out how reading three little board books and saying prayers will amount to the 30 minutes of pre-bed soothing that I keep seeing suggested. What routine works for you?

What time do your children go to bed? Or again, more specifically, what time did they go down as babies? I'm thinking 7:00 would be good, but that would mean we'd start soothing her down at 6:30, which my husband thinks is way too early. Plus it's still light out! Right now we have a bedtime of roughly 8:00, but I'm pretty sure she's overtired by then, because she'll just cry in our arms until I nurse her to sleep. Also, if it makes any difference, she usually wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning.

It's interesting trying to balance EC with sleeping. I had totally planned not to try to do it at night, but sometimes when Miriam halfway wakes up crying, I know it's because she has to pee. I keep a tupperware container right next to the bed now and will sometimes put her over it; she'll then pee and go right back to sleep. Sometimes. Fascinating.

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Have a great weekend and a happy Mother's Day!


  1. gotta tell ya, from two kids worth of experience, some kids just pick their bedtime. john went to bed kind of whenever i nursed him down but joey is DONE for the night between 6 and 7 and then gets up between 6 and 7 in the morning regardless of when he goes down.

    so we do a 6:30 winddown for 7pm bedtime and it IS a pain and i kind of HATE it, but if i dont, hes a screaming mess of a sleephead.


    you could try doing warm washcloth wipedown for bathtime instead - it pry is better not to bathe them as much (and they certainly don't NEED it), but ours have both found it relaxing. or, some lotion/baby massage in a darkened room, pajamas, books, prayers/nurse. oh and for you guys, potty time :)

    30 minutes seems like a bit much. ours is only that long because i'm also wrangling the 3 year old!

  2. also, re: up at nite - have you heard of the wonder weeks? its these developmental milestones that result in NO sleeping. lol has some great sleep articles that make you feel like you're not the only one who has a kid who never sleeps.

    just take her [uberliberal social agenda] with a grain of NFP, Catholic salt :)

  3. I honestly wouldn't worry about frequent waking and bedtimes at five months. Yes, it is annoying, but they are changing SO fast at this age that anything you put in place now will change in a matter of weeks. Our daughter started being amenable to a regular bedtime around 10 months-ish. Before that it just seemed like a battle every time we tried to get her on a strict parent-decided schedule. I used to know when the sleep-regressions happened, but I've forgotten all that now that we've had almost a year of regular sleep! So it could be that. Have you heard of the Wonder Weeks? Reading about those really helped me when I was struggling with fussiness/ sleep issues when our daughter was young. Good luck, it won't last forever!

  4. Playing a quiet instrumental music CD was REALLY helpful for a long time. Indeed, he took it with him to Iraq and now college!

  5. re baby sleep- My first woke 3+ time a night until he was 12 months. He would not fall asleep on his own, and needed to be nursed to sleep. So probably not the best example. My second is about the age of your first (almost 5 months) and he falls asleep around 8pm when his big brother goes down and usually falls asleep before I know it happened, which mean he gets zero routine except a nurse before I put big brother down.

  6. I don't have much suggestions for baby sleep since Henry is younger than Miriam, but just wanted to wish you a Happy 1st Mothers Day!

  7. My friend does baths every night with her 9 month old son and she swears by it. I know, I'm in the same camp as you, babies DO NOT need baths that often, but hey, it works for her. (and I'm NOT a mom!)

    They also give their son a nightly massage (he is an in-utero stroke survivor!) so I don't know if this is part of his physical therapy instructions, something nice they want to do with/for him, or both! I think that works for him too; I know they use lavender lotion on him, which is soothing.

    I think their routine is bath, massage, pj's, story, bottle, and bed. Hope this helps!

  8. Maggie has a later bedtime. She has a bottle, diaper change, gets rocked, we play pandora lullaby station, and she gets her paci.

    We usually start that at about 9:15 or so, and she's usually in her crib by 10:15. Some nights she'll wake up around 12:30 or 1 wanting her pacifier, other nights she'll sleep through until 4 or 5. The she has a bottle, diaper change, and goes back to sleep, usually until about 9-ish, when she wakes up for the day. The later bedtime works well for us because we go to bed around 11 and then I can either go back to sleep for a few hours in the morning, or do things that need to be done.

    We don't do a bath every night. Honestly, with all of the other things we're doing every evening (dinner, cleanup, taking a walk, etc.) usually it's easier for me to bathe her in the morning after her breakfast bottle. We also only bathe her every other day (Unless she has a massive poop or something like that).

    Maggie's biggest need in order to get to sleep is her pacifier and to be rocked.

    I hadn't heard of the wonder weeks, but I'll have to check it out!

    Happy Mother's Day!


    here is the wonder weeks book. i found it helpful and interesting. i dont think you really need to own it, so much as read it and takes notes of the sleep regression cycles, so you can be all, oh she IS almost twenty six weeks, maybe thats it, when she's waking 9x a night for a week and fussing alot. not that its happened or anything :-p has lots of info on the weeks too, but for free :)

  10. I don't have any advice, but I do love reading all your trials of parenting, as we are expecting our first in November. Keep the updates coming! And I am so fascinated by EC, thanks for sharing that with us :)

  11. Gus doesn't have a bedtime routine. We had one for a while, which consisted of baby massage, diaper change, books, prayers, and nurse to sleep. It took about 15-20 minutes. The problem was, we eat dinner quite late, about 7.30 or 8. By the time we finish and clean up and maybe have a bit of family time, he is ready to go to bed. It is easier just to take him up and nurse him down than do all the other stuff as well. He usually falls asleep right away, although we have had a few nights recently where he seems to think that it is just a late-evening nap, and he wakes up ready to play at 9.30!

    We had a week or so of frequent wakings when Gus was around 4 months. That was not fun, and I am grateful that it was not longer. I hardly even notice him waking once a night, but any more than that can start to get really tiring, really fast! Hope Miriam gets through this stage soon!

    And happy mothers' day!

    Oh, and that video--horrible!!! It makes you feel sick to watch it. And I am sorry about your cow dreams. :)

  12. I honestly don't know what my reaction to that video is. Shock? Disgust? Amazement? I can't even figure out what went on in my head.

    How in the world did you come across it??

  13. Yep. I can't watch that video all the way, either! That is really not okay!!

  14. I can't say that we've ever been very good at a bedtime routine... it has definitely changed based on Jack's personality at his age. I'm with you on the bathing every day being a lot. Jack was 5 months going into wintertime and his skin was always SO dry and extra bathing only made it worse.

    At 5 months we were still co-sleeping so he would nurse around 8-9 pm, I'd put him in the bouncy seat to sleep until around 11:30ish when he'd nurse again then we'd both go to bed (sometimes my husband but he usually stayed up later).

    Now with a toddler, we're totally "bad" parents that let our son watch tv before bed. I know, I know, but we've tried everything to get him to snuggle up before bed and he's just so easily distracted by toys and light these days. We only watch a 15 minute or 30 minute child's show and then he's off to bed. Kisses for Mommy first, then kisses for Daddy. We've got a music & light box in his crib that we turn on and it lasts 15-20 minutes before automatically shutting off. Sometimes if he's not quite wound-down he'll call for us (rarely every cries) and we'll go in and rock him for a bit (10 minutes or so) then we put him in bed awake. He doesn't go to bed until 8:30-9 these days... being light out is killing an earlier bedtime because he's so aware of it being "daylight". BTW, he does get baths more often because he's a dirty outdoorsy boy, but its still only 2-3 times a week.

    Good luck! You'll probably find something that works for you and she'll change her mind on what works... the nature of children!

  15. Dang it, I just commented and lost it.

    Okay, a few things. Our pediatrician said to have bedtime at 8 at the latest. So... try 7. A sleep book I read said that if your baby is having a hard time sleeping, try an even earlier bedtime.

    We don't bathe every night either, just read a book in the rocker, pray, sing a few songs, and then put him down with his paci and lights out. If he's very awake, we add in a lullabye cd.

    Really though, the routine isn't that important and we probably skip it half the time. Judah is cued in by his bed and the lights out that it's sleepy time, so even when he's very awake, usually when we put him in the crib he immediately puts his hands over his eyes and starts his sleepy moan to get himself to sleep.

    That's what I've heard is crucial. You want her to be able to put herself to sleep. I don't want the baby to cry to sleep (hate that!) but I want him to be able to fall asleep without nursing, rocking, etc. Once she's used to a routine (even if it shorter), she'll at least know that this is bedtime.

    One key thing is to put baby down while she's quiet alert. When I get it right, Judah seems wide awake when I put him down, but he falls right to sleep. If the baby is really wired, he/she is probably over tired. If they are fussy, they're definitely over tired. Go for an earlier bedtime.

    Oh, and one more thought. A few weeks ago Judah started upping his night wakes and feeds, and it was because my milk supply dropped and he was trying to make up what he was missing in the day time by feeding at night. Any chance that's happening to you?

  16. I never tried putting them to bed before me until at least six months. Even then, I was going back there t the bedroom to nurse them back down to sleep every 30-60 minutes until I was ready for bed myself! Until they were six months, they just hung out with me and napped in the evening. It does get better... one day, they go to sleep at bedtime and stay asleep until after you go to bed! And one day, you will wake up in the morning having never been woken by your child all night long! For us, that wasn't until well over a year, but at ages 6 and 3, they sleep great and all night (barring bathroom needs for the 3 yr old). Regarding ECing... that had been a concern of mine as well, that they'd wake more frequently due to not liking being wet or needing to pee and not wanting to do it in a diaper.


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