Sleep Update! (And Bitta Kidda Review)- August 10, 2014

Hi. I’m Amy and I slept 7 hours last night.

 

I slept 7 the night before too. It’s a miracle, ya’ll. My squirmy little 9 month old has found his circadian rhythm. It’s about time, son! We were incredibly spoiled with our daughter. Our first born slept through the night when she was just a few weeks old. Seriously. It’s this trait that runs in my husband’s family. All the babies do that.

We quickly realized Henry did not inherit this trait. After talking with a pediatric sleep consultant, I learned a couple things:

  1. We can’t do the same thing with both babies. They are different people. Happiest Baby On The Block, the 5 S’s and all that shushing was great for Baby #1. That helped her establish early sleep patterns as a young infant and we never had to use any other sleep methods. In addition, I was working so she naturally fell into a great sleep routine with daycare. I lazily did the same for Baby #2. Mistake! As a newborn, the 5 S’s were great,  but then he needed ME to help him get into a sleep routine as he grew into an older infant. With me staying home, I was the one who needed to establish that, not daycare. Duh! I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure that one out. Live and learn. Granted, he is a lighter sleeper and more voracious eater than his sister, so he may have still had trouble until 9 months, who knows?
  2. “Cry It Out” is not the child abuse I thought it was. I wondered how anyone could ever be so cruel as to let their baby scream. Here’s the thing, I was still in the “newborn mindset.” Of course you don’t let a newborn cry it out. They need milk and swaddling and comfort. They can’t be taught anything. They are in the “4th Trimester.” Thank you Dr. Karp. (Karp wrote Happiest Baby On The Block.) But an older infant? My older infant needed a sleep routine and I knew he could sleep through the night. The first night was rough as you may have noted from my Twitter stream as I live tweeted the affair using hashtag #HenryCIO14. But, the next night was better. The next night was even better and by the fourth night he was asleep by 8:30 pm and waking up at 6:00 am. Cue angels singing!

One other thing really helped Henry too as he transitioned out of the swaddle. Remember last week when I had a review and giveaway for Summer SwaddleMe products? I mentioned Henry is now in the fourth stage of their swaddles, the Wearable Blanket. While, he does wear it at night occasionally, he mostly wears that for naps. What is he wearing at night? Glad you asked!

When he was really little I mentioned to Beth Anne, “Henry wants to hold any tag on any fabric all the time. It’s crazy!” She said, “Oh! He’s a tag baby.” Huh? Oh, yeah that’s a thing. That’s why they have baby products devoted to kids who love tags.

Right as I was trying to ditch the swaddle because he was squeezed in it like a little sausage, I discoverd Bitta Kidda. I was all like, “ZOMG! What is that?!” They sent me a Bitta Blankie. They call it a “wearable lovie.” Genius! It’s a sleeper with soft tags right on them to promote self soothing. It is truly perfect for a tag baby or a kid who loves lovies, but you don’t want them to have toys in the crib. In some of the pictures below, he is holding the tag as he sleeps.

Bitta Kidda collage

All this good sleeping at night as put him on a better nap schedule and we are all generally happier in our house. Now that our tag baby is a self-soothing night sleeper, the husband and I are all like…

Disclaimer: Bitta Kidda sent me a sleeper. My opinions are free and honest. 

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9 Months- August 7, 2014

Henry 9 months

Dear Henry, I won’t say “Aw! 9 months! You’ve been on the outside as long as you were on the inside!” because that’s a nauseating cliche and surely when you’re older we’ll roll our eyes at statements like that. That being said, I can’t believe you turned 9  months old yesterday. I love the loud “slap, slap, slap” of your hands as you crawl across the floor. I will miss that sound when you start walking soon. You crawl so fast we can barely keep up. You know your name now so when you travel too far we say, “Henry!” That’s when you turn and give us your “Aw, shucks!” grin before turning and crawling some more.

H 9 mo post edited

We have to sweep the floor after every meal because of the mess you make with the finger foods you’ve been trying. Finger foods are a 95% to 5% affair, with just 5% actually making it in your mouth. It’s not unusual for you to have multiple baths in a day because you smear baby food in your hair and all over your body. When we wipe your face you act like we’re pouring acid on your skin or something. It’s dramatic. So, often we just throw you in the tub. Oh! The bathtub. Yeah, you constantly try to climb out of that, risking your life and taking years off of  mine. Little daredevil. This  month you went to the beach for the first time and loved the water and eating sand. You will see the video of your first time in the ocean below. Yeah, I should have edited it, but I figured you would enjoy rolling your eyes at me and Grandma’s friend who’s recording this momentous occasion as we fiddle with the phone.(Here is a very similar post and video of your sister 3 years ago this week! )

 

Last night you gave your mama a belated birthday present and slept through the night! We are SO PROUD of you. We knew you could do it! This week we let you “cry it out” while I live tweeted the whole affair with the hastag #HenryCIO14. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. It helped me be distracted from your cries. You make our lives better, Henry. I love you, my sweet, sweet boy. Love, Mama P.S. Here’s an outtake this month from our monthly photo shoot. Yes, your daddy is wearing Angry Birds pajama pants. I feel you may be rolling your eyes.

Summer 2014 057

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Bathroom For My Birthday- August 4, 2014

bathroom edited

 

Yesterday I turned 33. My husband asked me what I wanted. I wanted waffles for breakfast. It’s a “special day” so I justified the sugar intake, pretending I abstain from sugar the rest of the year.

It took me awhile to tell him what I really wanted. You know, the present you mull over in your mind the week before your birthday and really, REALLY want, but feel guilty asking for it? I finally looked at him the day before and said “Okay. I know what I want and I promise it doesn’t cost anything!” I find this tidbit is crucial for the money-conscious. I said, “I want the bathroom clean and I don’t want to do it. I mean, I want to get it really clean, like scrubbing-the-shower type cleanliness. Oh, and I don’t want to do it.” He looked at me funny and said, “Okay.”

Greyson and I share the housework. He’s great about cooking and cleaning. Naturally, I’ve picked up more of the load now that I’m home, but he is great about dividing up the chores. We seem to get disgusted with our filth at the same time and get anxious to clean it up.

I peeked in on him scrubbing. He was sweating. He looked up and saw me holding the baby. He warned me about the chemical smell and told me to leave. I did. I just wanted to see him scrubbing. It was adorable. I giggled at his plumber’s crack as he was down on his hands and knees. (I’m so sorry I told everyone that on the Internet, Greyson. But, your plumber’s crack was cute. Hey, I didn’t take a picture!) 

I walked on the floor and wiggled the toes of my good foot on the clean, cold tiles. I showered and leaned my head against the glass clear of soap scum. My sink had been sanitized, free of toothpaste globs. As I brushed my teeth I knew I was a loved wife and mother.

Husbands of world, you are likely to experience some ::ahem:: “marital bliss” if you make this part of your wife’s present. I’m just saying, it was a happy birthday.

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Summer Infant Swaddle Review & Giveaway- July 31, 2014

Summer swaddle

Oh, I am still tired. Less tired than I was, but still sleepy. My darling little baby is 8.5 months old. He’s still not sleeping through the night. It’s been a battle, but we are so close! Hopefully I’ll get some good pointers when I attend a seminar with a pediatric sleep expert soon. That’s why I have put off writing this post. Two companies sent me some great products that have really helped Henry sleep and I want to do them justice, but it took several months to get where we are now. I’m going to write about one today and one next week. Stay tuned for more.

So where are we with Henry’s sleep? Well, he takes about a 30 to 45 minute nap in the morning and a two hour nap in the afternoon. He will go down anywhere between 8:30 and 10:00 pm before waking up one to three times a night. Let me be clear when I tell you this is SO MUCH BETTER than it was. I flashback to the days I slept downstairs on the couch with him either on my chest or in the bouncy seat because he woke up every hour or every other hour each night. I’m still waiting for him to sleep for a continuous 8 to 12 hours. We will get there! Keep the faith!

We were spoiled by our daughter. She slept through the night at just a few weeks old. She loved being swaddled. We only used one brand of swaddle with her. Summer Infant Swaddle. When we brought Henry home, we snuggled him up in the same pink fleece swaddle his sister was in. He also rocked the one with pink butterflies. (See below.) I tried to tell my mom that Henry’s manhood was in no way threatened by the pink, but she wanted to get him “a more masculine swaddle.” I told her that was fine as long as it was the Summer Swaddle with the Velcro. Both my babies calmed down as soon as they were swaddled. Granted, Charlotte slept through the night and Henry woke more often, but they both loved the secure feeling.

iPhone offload 03-28-14 102

Right as I was transitioning Henry out of the swaddle this spring, Summer sent me some of their new offerings. They now have four stages that will take you at least through baby’s first year.

SwaddleMeZulilyPost (1)

  1. I was so bummed out that my kids were too big for the SwaddlePod. They would have LOVED that since newborns seem to like to have their hands by their heads. It’s so “womby” and cuddly. Love it!
  2. We started with the SwaddleMe stage. (That is the pink swaddle and butterfly swaddle I referenced.) We called them our “baby burritos.” They loved them! They can’t break their arms out and startle themselves awake. So many parents tell me, “They break out of the swaddle!” Not these.
  3. When Henry was ready to transition out of the swaddle and it was getting warmer, the level 3 SwaddleMe Wrap Sack was perfect!
  4. Now we are in the SwaddleMe Wearable Blanket and I LOVE it. Henry uses it for his naps everyday. When he sees it he knows it’s nap time. It zips for easy diaper changes. I am still not comfortable with blankets in his crib, so this is great. We call him the “flying squirrel” in this thing. It makes me chuckle every time we put him in it.

So, the SwaddleMe Wearable Blanket is what we’re using for naps now and he is consistently taking good naps. We always had them in seasonal pajamas under their swaddle. We used fleece on cold nights and cotton every other time. If we were in the fleece swaddle, we typically had lighter pajamas underneath. We just used our best temperature judgment and they were almost always comfortable.

Henry uses another product for overnight right now, I’ll write about that next week. Again, we have used Summer swaddles with both babies and highly recommend them. Who wants some?! Summer is offering a super lucky Somebody’s Parents reader a prize package of all four products pictured above! Dude! Baby shower present, anyone? You pick boy colors, girl colors or gender neutral. Don’t fear the pink, boys! Henry didn’t. I’ll pick a winner Wednesday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Summer Infant sent me swaddles. My opinions are free. I only write about stuff I like.

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Why I’m Not Teaching My Baby To Walk- July 30, 2014

I always figured watching your child take his/her first steps would be this joyous, momentous family affair. Blerg. I had mixed feelings when my daughter took her first steps at 9.5 months and was full-on walking by 10 months. My son started crawling at 6.5 months. He’s now 8.5 months old, pulling up on everything and to my horror, trying to stand on his own.

h walk photo edited

Last month we were hanging out with a group of friends when one started holding my son’s hands up while he moved his feet. You  know, sort of teaching him to walk. In front of everyone I said, “Uh, no we’re not doing that.” I scooped him up. The adults all looked at me with either baffled looks or smirks. Another friend remarked jokingly, “Wow! I’d hate to be the first woman your baby boy brings home!”  I explained this was not weepy maternal sadness at losing my baby, but a practicality thing. (Mostly. Shut up.) My rationale is that he has his whole life to walk. I get another month if I’m lucky.

Just as my son is close to walking, suddenly walking is very hard for me. Yeah, the broken foot is a huge pain. As I follow my crawling baby around the house I feel like Quasimodo limping through the halls of Notre Dame following a small animal he is singing to. I’m slow. I’m awkward. The last thing I need is to chase an unsteady new little walker with my club foot.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hindering him from walking, I’m just not promoting it. I gladly help him back down on his rump if he’s unsteady after pulling up on some piece of furniture he shouldn’t be on anyway. I am quick to pick him up if he’s testing his balance. Sometimes I just look at him and say, “Slow your roll, son!” I’m just not ready. He has time.

I need to get out of this boot first. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.  So no, I’m not teaching him how to walk. He’ll figure it out on his own. If this somehow impedes his development I’ll take the blame and he’ll have plenty to write about on whatever a blog will be in twenty years. You know, “My mom was a gimp and delayed my development!!!!”

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