Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday (9/26)

Today, I'm thankful that this little boy is so darn sweet and good-natured, even when he's not quite feeling up to par.

LOVE him. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(Non-)Wordless Wednesday (9/25)


and this...


are my thoughts today. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Things Tuesday (9/24)

1.  I forgot to do last Thursday's "Thankful Thursday."  Maybe I'll do two this week. 

2.  After a solid week of Jack sleeping through the night from around 10:45 to 7:30, last night he woke up super hungry at 3:55. Well, I guess it was this morning. Anywho, super hungry. So, I set my alarm, and then, when it went off, I proceeded to go right back to sleep. I woke with a start at 8:00 and got him up. He nursed well that time, too, so I think it's a growth spurt. We'll see if he does it again tonight. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two Things Tuesday (9/17)

1.  Jack has slept from around 7:00pm to 7:30am with a dreamfeed and a diaper change around 10:30-11:00 the last two nights. He cried for less than half a minute both nights sometime between 5 and 6am, but he was able to go back to sleep without me going in there. Both mornings I had to wake him to eat. *big grin*

2.  The downside of him sleeping so well at night is that my milk supply hasn't quite figured it out yet!  It's painful waiting for him to wake in the morning and then again after his first nap, haha!  I'm actually considering purchasing a hand breast pump just to alleviate the extreme discomfort first thing in the mornings. Then, I'd have some stored up for an emergency I suppose! We'll see :) It was so uncomfortable this morning before I woke that I actually dreamed about pumping--something I've never done! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday (9/12)

Today, I'm thankful for living in a place that offers not only a room for The Husband and me but also one for Jack-Jack to move into. 

Since The Husband started his new job, he's been working 12-hour night shifts, which means he has to sleep during the day. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem--he can sleep anywhere at any time--except for the fact that Jack has to sleep during the day, too. In the same room. Every time Jack cried halfway through a nap or to let us know he'd finished with one, I had to run in there, so The Husband wouldn't get his sleep disturbed. Well, that was awful. I don't know that he actually got any sleep with all the fussing going on in that playpen this morning. So, I decided the move had to be made. 


My dad and I got things shifted around in the other room, I silently (yeah, right. I managed to make more noise than Jack) got Jack's bed taken apart and moved out of our room, and all went well with his other naps. 



We've now begun sleep-training all over again. Bless his little heart.

A new room, with new smells, too much light, and lots of VERY exciting things to look at made for extremely short naps that came to abrupt ends with the loud and persistent cries of a slightly curious, very ticked off baby.

So while I'm very grateful we have the option to move him into his own room, I'll be even more thankful when he adjusts. 

Here's to a hopefully better night of sleep than the sleepless naps we had today!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Two Things Tuesday (9/10)

1.  The Husband got a part time job as a security officer at a local security company.  He started last Saturday night. He seems to like it, and when he's not working, he can hopefully be studying for more IT certifications.

2.  I'm feeling slightly cooped up, mostly of my own doing. I hate to waste gas to go anywhere, and it's still pretty hot outside. Hot enough that I don't feel comfortable taking this little man out for walks in the neighborhood yet. We do enjoy spending time in my parents' screen room with the fans going though! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Ins and Outs of Our Sleep-Training Adventure

I said before that sleep-training is not for the faint of heart.  It hasn't been easy, but nothing truly worth it ever is, I suppose. I decided to write an update for future-me. The future-me who is going through the sleep-training ordeal with another baby and who wonders aloud, "Is this going to get better? Is it really worth it??  Can I really take much more of the crying, the scheduling, the constant leaning over the baby bed to hold arms and shush cries, the being home all the time?"  Future-me, trust me. This too shall pass!

We started our sleep-training journey with Jack around five weeks ago.  My main source of help and encouragement is a blog called Chronicles of a Babywise Mom.  The author has done a great job of chronicling her experiences with her four small children, and I especially appreciate her posts on naps and night time sleep.  She researched and wrote an excellent post discussing why consistent naps and a routine/schedule for babies and toddlers are so important.  I'm asking all of the people who have questioned why I schedule our day the way I do to read it.  I couldn't have said it any better, and really the research is astounding. So, quick!  Go read it, and then head back over here. Seriously.  I'll wait.


So, I heard a news report a few days ago on the benefits of naps. The report focused on adult naps, and because I missed part of the information given, I searched online to see if I could find the episode in its entirety.  No luck.  I did, however, find this article.  It's a great short read on why it's important for people who are sleep-deprived (moms, teenagers, adults, children, etc.) to take a nap each day.  It also mentioned how a nap is best achieved (quiet, dark space, comfortable blanket for when your body temperature drops, etc.), and that got me thinking about Jack's naps and what some people have said regarding the things I do or don't do.  Okay, y'all, we do not live in a noisy house.  People don't yell or slam doors.  TVs are on, phones and doorbells ring, and we have conversations (just not right outside his door).  So, when people say things like, "He's spoiled.  Y'all need to make more noise when he's sleeping.  He needs to get used to sleeping anywhere," I'd like to respond with this:  "While I agree with you that he needs to learn how to sleep anywhere within reason (he has slept in the car, at church, walking through the mall, and in other houses), I do have a few questions for you.  Do you like to sleep in a noisy house?  Do you sleep well with people shouting or even with them having a chat directly outside your room?  Does it make you happy to be woken by a loud dog barking or a horn honking?  Do you find it easy to fall asleep when the sun is shining on your face through the window?  No?  Well neither does Jack."  I try to keep his room quiet and dark when he naps because I know that sleep is important for his health and his attitude.  I love when my baby boy is happy, and he's happy when he's slept well.

He continued his nap after church in the car for a few minutes.  Oooh I could just squeeze him.
Anywho.  Stepping off my soapbox...

His successful naps are all about consistency.  They begin with me saying something to him about needing to rest and that he's going to take a nap.  We walk to his room, and I sing "You are My Sunshine" as I get him ready.  I turn off the light and turn the white noise machine to the loudest setting.  After a hug, a few kisses, and an "I love you!  Sleep well," I put him directly in bed without rocking or swaying or shushing. I cover him with a light muslin blanket and leave the room.  These things I do for every nap and at bedtime.  Consistency.  I know it works because when I start singing that song, he often puts his head on my shoulder, and generally, if I haven't missed his nap cues (first yawn or rubbing of eyes), he goes down without a cry.  In fact, he often sighs with contentment.  Not having to listen to him cry when I put him down is WONDERFUL.  Sleep-training has saved my sanity.  At least in that area of my life :)  If he's slept at least an hour and fifteen minutes, besides the initial cry to get my attention, he's pretty happy and is very alert. Like this :)

For the record, those are not my legs. Ahem.
We have tough days where Jack has trouble transitioning from the first half of his nap (I can actually watch a clock and tell you when he's about to transition) to the rest of it, and I've had to go in there two and three times to hold his wild arms still and shush him until he relaxes enough to fall back asleep.  We have awesome nap days, too. Awesome nap days are where he follows the napping schedule for 3-month-olds here. The first nap of the day, he normally makes the transition without any problems and will sleep at least two hours. The next two are between an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours in length, and he usually needs help transitioning. The final nap (unless it's a Sunday and his naps have been thoroughly messed up) usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Then, he's down for the night between 6:30 and 7:30 (sometimes earlier if his naps were interrupted with outings or with wonky transitions) with a dreamfeed (where I wake him to change his diaper and nurse and he goes right back down) between 10 and 11. 

I realize that to some people, this sounds like A LOT of napping.  But, if you look at this chart here, you can clearly see that babies this age need LOTS of sleep. Because he isn't completely sleeping through the night, I haven't dropped his fourth nap yet.  When that blessed day occurs, and he is actually sleeping 9-10 uninterrupted hours at night, then I will happily drop that last nap please*God*let*it*happen*soon*please*and*thank*you*very*much.  The longest he's gone straight through was--I think--8 hours.  That happened once.  The other times have been closer to 7 hours if we're having a good night.

So, our schedule (two and a half to three hours each "cycle") goes a little something like this on a regular day where I don't have to run errands:
Wake, nurse, short playtime and/or read a book (total of 30-45 minutes), nap (one and a half to two hours or longer).
Wake, nurse, independent playtime on jungle gym mat (total of 45 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes), nap (an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours).
Wake, nurse, playtime with Mommy (or Nana or Grampa or Daddy) on blanket (total of 45 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes), nap (an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours).
Wake, nurse, short playtime on jungle gym mat, read a book (total of 45 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes), short nap (30-60 minutes).
Wake, swing, nurse, get ready for bed, read book, bedtime (he sleeps through his transitions from bedtime on).
I wake him 3 to 4 hours later (depending on when he got to bed) for the dreamfeed.  If it's a good night, he'll sleep till 6 am or later for his first feeding of the day.  If it's not (or he didn't get enough feedings during the day or he's going through a growth spurt), he'll wake anywhere from 3:30 am to 5:30 am to eat.  If that happens, then I put him directly back to bed, and I wake him by 8 am, so our day isn't completely out of whack.  I don't love that night feeding, but I do realize how blessed I am that he sleeps mostly through the night.  He could still be waking every three hours, and for that very reason, I am very grateful.

I'm also grateful for how well he's taken to napping.  I don't dread naps now.  I don't cringe and cross my fingers when I start heading toward his room.  I like our routine (and so does he!), but I will be even more thankful when his wake time is longer than an hour.  When that happens, I can run errands during the day with him and not worry we'll miss a nap.  But, for now, I will enjoy my time with him.  I absolutely do not take for granted the fact that I'm able to stay at home with him.  It's a dream come true.  I know how precious these moments are, and he's just really a joy to be around.  I know as we add more children to our family, I probably will struggle more with scheduling, but I also believe it can be done.  And, it can be done well!  I'm glad I get to start slowly though, haha, with just my one child!

My one child who incidentally took a very short fourth nap this afternoon, who is still sleepy, and who would rather be held than sit in his swing :)

So, Future-me, and anyone else out there just beginning your sleep-training journey, it can be done!  And, it does get better.  It does get easier.  It does get sweeter.  It is worth it! So very worth it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday (9/5)

Today, I'm thankful for sleep.

I'm thankful for the 6-7 consecutive hours of sleep I've been getting most nights the last week versus the 3-4 I had been getting. I feel almost human again. 

I'm thankful for the sleep Jack has been getting during the day via his naps. We started sleep-training about a month ago, and I'll be writing an update this weekend on how that's working out so far. 

Today, I'm thankful for my sleep and Jack's sleep. And for beds. And pillows. And blankets. Pretty much everything involved with making sleep a happy thing around here lately :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Two Things Tuesday (9/3)

1.  I gave myself a pedicure yesterday (the last time I had one was 2 months ago).
I knew it needed to be done when I looked down at my once fully-painted nails and was aghast to see that they more closely resembled French tip nails instead. Yuck! 

2.  After a weekend of no schedules (which resulted in a very cranky boy and a not-so-thrilled mom), Jack and I are thankfully back on a good 2 1/2 to 3 hour schedule, and he's back to his super-sweet, super-smiley self. (He's wearing a disposable because I just KNEW he'd have a bowel movement since it had been quite a while since his last one.  No luck.  So, I put him back in cloth, and within 20 minutes, he had one!  Then, he got a bath.)

AND, he slept through the night again last night (the 4th time in the last week!). Here's what we did yesterday...(sooo sorry for the tmi business of bm''d be excited, too, if your child hadn't had one in a week haha!):