What’s Going On With…

26 01 2012

The big bed is still fair game for play time and photo shoots.



Well, we’ve had some good times and bad times since we began crying it out.  Last night was amazing: she woke up four times to nurse, and each time I put her back to bed, she simply went to sleep without a peep.  The night before, however, she was up at least every hour.  I expect that we’ll see both sorts of nights for a long, long time… but hoping for some more good ones.

















(We put Hazel to sleep on her back, as recommended; however, she is able to roll herself over now, and ends up on her tummy.)


Cloth Diaper Butt!


…Cloth diapers:

I’m hooked on disposables for night.  One a night is something that I can live with.  The rest of the time, she’s in cloth.  Thank you so much to my friend who pointed me to a cheap cloth diaper source, so I was able to double my stash and reduce my laundry loads.






"Cloth is Cool"

Good news: He still moves fast when he wants to. Sad news: I had to go back a month and a half to find a photo of the poor dog.



Oh, Charlie.  He’s an old man.  Sad to say, I’ve taken to putting up the baby gate to prevent him from using the stairs; he’s taken some tumbles, and I worry that he’s going to hurt himself.  Although I fell down the stairs a few weeks ago, and that’s probably not due to senility.  Otherwise, he is still a pretty happy dog.  He doesn’t get many (or any) walks, but he loves taking rambles around our property and short jaunts around the off-leash area.  He shows no resentment towards the baby, but won’t be interested in her until she starts dropping food on the floor.

In his couch-cushion fort



He loves everything the baby comes with: comfy crib, comfy changing pad, comfy carseat, jingly toys…














Well, there were plenty of people who told me I would miss my job.

Yeah, it's 2 in the afternoon. Yeah, we're in our pjs. So?

They were wrong.


Tummy Time! And Drool!

25 01 2012

Oh, Jealousy…

23 01 2012

And everything the baby does…

…the cat must do, too.

I wonder if he expects to be spoon-fed?


23 01 2012

It Wasn’t Supposed To Happen This Way

22 01 2012

Here is our sleep log from Friday night:

Down at 7:25

Up at 7:40

Down at 8:10

Up at 8:15

Down at 8:30

Up at 9:05

Down at 9:15

Whoops… Up at 9:15

Down at 9:20

Up at 9:35

Whoops… Fell asleep nursing her…

Up at 10:00

Down at 10:30

Whoops… Fell asleep nursing her…

Up at 12:45

Down at 1:15

Up at 1:45

Down at 2:00

Need some sleep… Both of us try to sleep while she’s nursing.

Up at 6:15


Sleep Log from Saturday Night:

In her crib at 8:45, crying until 9:15

Up at 12:00

Nurse 15 minutes, in her crib at 12:15, lightly fussing until 12:30, crying until asleep at 1:00

Cried out at 2 and 3am, back to sleep in seconds without help

Up at 4:15, brought her to bed with me to nurse and sleep

Up at 6:30


She has battled sleeping alone after nursing down so hard and for so long, that I thought crying it out would be a nightmare of 6 hour crying stints.  I imagined such hard crying that she would make herself sick.  That she wouldn’t nurse because she was too upset.  That she would hate me when I finally went to her.

Last night, I was finally so frustrated with my No-Cry book, which described a process that my own child would have NONE of, and so stressed about my deadline for figuring it out, that last night I decided we just needed to rule out the CIO method and move on.


It worked.

Two three-hour chunks of sleep?  Alone in her crib?  And, actually, with LESS crying than a typical night, when I go downstairs for some dinner and she wakes up every 15 minutes (all those two-minute crying jags when I go racing upstairs to put her back to sleep add up to A LOT of crying)?


Of course, Jason and I stayed up THE WHOLE TIME, waiting for her to wake up, checking on her obsessively, and eventually just talking to each other like a married couple does when there isn’t a screaming child to distract them.

The first half hour of the evening, I was a wreck.  I drank a beer in about two minutes (to prevent myself from running upstairs, snatching her up and nursing her – I won’t nurse for a couple of hours after a drink, a drink that I’ve not ever had since she ALWAYS nurses after an hour or so).  I went down to the bed in my office, curled in a ball, and sobbed hysterically, while Jason sat next to me and talked and reminded me that we could go to her after an hour.  And told me I’m not a horrible mother.  And reminded me that the pediatrician told us to do this.  We listened to her calm down and then… sleep.

Maybe this was just a strange night, and maybe tonight it will be much, much worse.

Certainly, I never, EVER wanted to let my daughter cry it out.

But just now?  I put her in her crib for a nap.  And she cried.  Then she fussed.  And now she is getting some sleep.


The one bad moment came after she fell asleep for the second time.

Jason went up to check on her.  After a moment, he called out my name at full volume.

I jumped up, not knowing what to expect, if she was awake or hurt or what, although it was quiet.

I was already to the stairs when he yelled, “WHERE’S THE BABY?”

My heart stopped.

Then he said, in a quieter voice, “Oh.  I found her.”

She had worked herself into a dark corner of the crib, and with her light pajamas on the light sheet, tucked next to the rails, she was damn near invisible.  I had trouble finding her, too, though Jason had just told me she was there.

I was shaking so bad that I could barely walk back down the stairs.

So, other than losing the baby for a minute or two, it was a pretty good night.

4 Months… It’s Not ALL About Sleeping…

16 01 2012

Neon bandaids for the FOUR immunizations. Happy four months!

Some Stats from 4 Months of Existence:

# of teeth: 2

Current Weight: 14 pounds, 7 ounces

Total Gained Since Birth: Approx. 8 pounds

Length: 25″

New Skills: Oh, the rolling over!  Diaper changes just got interesting!

Likes: Nursing, rolling, watching the cat, mornings, new play mat, music, people, Dad’s TV


"Show Mommy your teeth! Let me see your teeth!" Over and over for days, and this is all I get. Trust me, there are two teeth behind those hands.

Dislikes: Sleeping without mom, shots

Good News: “Car Seat” has moved from the Dislike list to a neutral position, making running errands feasible again.

Our days are filled with toys now, toys that a couple of weeks ago seemed pointless.  The bouncy seat is still a favorite hangout, the swing is still a no-go on many occasions, and the crib is still primarily the cat’s bed.  Oh, and books, books, and more books!  We love books!  When I run out of things to say, I turn to Dr. Seuss and let him do the talking.  Oh, and music!  Our days are also filled with music!  Another way to fill in the conversation gap when I get bored with narrating my every move…  And sign language!  Baby sign and American Sign Language and the signs I make up in the moment.  And poop.  Always the poop.  Our days still contain more than their share of poop.

Sleep Diary. Or, More Accurately, Wake Diary.

16 01 2012

My last post elicited many comments on facebook, containing both support and advice.  It was really, really appreciated.  My comments in response might not have been so positive – I felt like my answer to each suggestion was “Yes, but…”  Yes, we tried bottles but they upset her reflux.  Yes, we tried pacifiers (7 brands) but never with any success.  Yes, I could start with naps instead of nighttime, but even with me nursing AND rocking her for as long as she will sleep during the day, it’s rare to get more than an hour long nap.  Yes, but… Yes, but…

Overall, I came to two realizations.  First of all, many parents deal with reluctant sleepers.  I am not alone in the sleepless night.  Second, there is probably no easy answer.  Time to put my head down and charge this thing.  This second point has occurred to me before, that’s what started me on my No Cry Sleep Solution (NCSS) journey three nights ago.

My NCSS has failed.  One of the main principles of the method is that I cannot fall asleep nursing the baby.  Obviously, if I’ve fallen asleep while nursing her, she has fallen asleep, too, and therefore the sucking-to-sleep has been reinforced.  Which leads me to ask: how in the hell does a sleep-deprived mother stay awake?  I’ve fallen asleep nursing at some point each night since I determined I was going to really stick with the No-Cry method.

So.  Nap time.

I was waiting to tackle nap time until she was on a regular nap schedule, but it’s been two months now.  Also, Pentley, author of the NCSS, suggests waiting on naps until nights are settled, so the baby isn’t totally sleep-deprived.  Well, nights are long and full of failure (mine, see above), so today I decided we are REALLY going whole-hog.  No more nursing down.  Even for naps.  Even though it makes her scream until she gags (mind you, I am holding her, rocking her, talking to her – and offering her the breast right up until she is about to doze off, at which point I will still hold her, she just can’t nurse and I’m trying to limit rocking/walking as well.  Still: hysteria).

Today, so far:

# of times she’s fallen asleep without nursing: 2

# of minutes she’s napped since 7:30am: 60

# of minutes of screaming: 180+

# of minutes spent attempting to get her to sleep: 300+

A lot of crying for a method that NAMES ITSELF FOR NO CRYING.  For me, the consolation is that there is no pressure to leave her alone to cry.  She is frustrated and confused because she thinks she needs to nurse to sleep, and she is dealing with those emotions on less and less sleep.  But she always has one of her parents with her, soothing her and cuddling her, and when I look at her foaming at the mouth with pink eyes and streaming nose as she screams uncontrollably, I just can’t imagine PUTTING IN HER CRIB AND WALKING AWAY when she is like this.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I not only imagine it, it seems infinitely preferable to watching this, but it doesn’t feel right.

At times, too, I felt like maybe she just isn’t ready to make this move.  But I have to remind myself that I have spent 4 months without a break from her, without deep sleep, and spending 15+ hours a day in bed with her (or in a rocking chair, or bouncing her on the yoga ball, or walking her in a carrier) and I can’t sustain that indefinitely.  Also, I am losing precious waking moments with her, because those are the times I leave her in a bouncy seat or with Jason and take my shower, etc.  I’d rather do those things while she is sleeping, and enjoy her awake time with her.  At the very least, she needs to learn to sleep without nursing and without me in bed with her.  Ideally, we will also transition her to the crib, which is a safety issue.  Jason is a deep sleeper, our bed isn’t big enough, she is already rolling around.  However, the move to the crib will have to wait until we resolve the nursing issue.

And that, apparently, requires some tears.  From both of us.

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