Tag Archives: baby

The Other Other White Meat

Yup. I’m still alive and well. The alive part is for sure, the well part is debatable. For one, I have a horrible head cold that I caught from my offspring. While I am incredibly grateful that his immune system seems kick ass and he usually only gets a wee bit stuffy, I am not grateful for my own immune system that treats the common cold like it’s THE END OF THE FRIGGEN WORLD!!!!…!

I haven’t been able to write pretty much for the same reason that I look like a sheep dog (bangs in desperate need of trimming), most of the time can’t be bothered to get out of my sweats and drink almost the same amount of caffeine that I consumed when I was a Starbucks employee but this time it’s not freed and soon I might have to sell my kid in order to keep up the habit… but then I wouldn’t have a kid and I wouldn’t need all that caffeine. It’s a tough decision.

First Baby H was going through a “Muahahahah Mom. I’m NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN” phase. That sucked and certainly kicked the caffeine consumption up a notch, but I would take the no sleep thing over this “Muahahahaha Mom. You must hold me AT ALL TIMES or else I will SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, or at least scream until your ears bleed” phase. It’s hard to type with a kid in your arms. It’s also hard to do basic things like brush your teeth, hair, go to the bathroom etc. So, it’s either have a baby attached to my person at all times, or listen to a constant whine/scream-fest.

To those people who think the Reasons My Son Is Crying blog is cruel, I say get a grip. You either:

a. Have no children, in which case I hate you a little bit

or

b. Have perfect children that never cry, in which case you are basically the worst kind of person, and oh yeah, I hate you a lot

(I’m sorry, did that sound bitter?)

If I weren’t able to laugh at the situation I’d go stark raving mad. My kid is an absolute delight as long as he’s being held/played with. When he has to do anything on his own (and by this I mean sit and play while I clean the kitchen, not feed himself or pay the bills) he’s miserable. And his sad face is just as cute as his happy one, so you better bet I’m gonna take a picture.

Without further ado, I give you some reasons Baby H has been crying:

Kitchen Cry

We told him about the other other white meat

We told him about the rising cost of university education

We told him about the rising cost of university education

He wanted to be picked up

He wanted to be picked up

I picked him up

I picked him up

I put him in this baby cage

I put him in this baby cage

He was having too much fun

He was having too much fun

I wrote this blog post

I wrote this blog post

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How to (Sleep) Train Your Dragon(s)

Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 9.04.35 AM

Image from deubellzebub’s Etsy store. Go buy something so that I don’t get sued for stealing this image.

I think Baby Dragon is about to fall asleep for his early morning nap, but I can never be too sure. With babies you can think you have a good thing going and then blammo, your hell spawn is screaming in his crib and you’re cowering in the corner covered in various kinds of bodily fluids (His? Yours? Who the hell knows).

Yes, the time has come to kick sleep training into high gear. Baby Dragon, whose roar of choice is a wail so deep that instead of striking fear in its opponent (me), it penetrates to the very core of my soul/heart/being (reader’s choice!) and whittles away at my sense of reason by activating the self-doubt gene that every parent struggles their whole existence to overcome. But THAT is the challenge of the ‘cry it out’ (CIO) school of thought. When your baby dragon is wailing alone in his cage (crib), demonstrating his mad drama skillz (he is going to make it in Hollywood, I swear!), you will question your parenting choices. Is CIO really the way to go? What if he really NEEDS me?

Answers: Yes, it is the way to go. And if he really needs me, I will know it, and no book detailing a method is going to deter me from picking him up!

How do I know it’s the way to go? Because sleep in this house is on its way to being something that actually exists! CIO, contrary to popular believe, does not mean leaving your dragon to wail himself into a fury, hone his fire breathing abilities and burn your house down so that you wake up amongst the smouldering cinders (that exact scenario is the popular belief). It is actually a progressive waiting method. The idea is that you put your dragon in his cage awake, tuck him in, kiss him goodnight and leave. If he cries you set a timer and wait until it runs out before going back in. When you go back in you may adjust blankets, replace a soother, pat and kiss for reassurance, but for the love of God DO NOT PICK UP YOUR BABY DRAGON! If you do he will demonstrate the fire breathing skills he’s been working on and you will not only be homeless, you’ll also be hairless… and everyone knows that if you’re homeless in this winter climate you need lots of hair, so please, don’t be ridiculous. You then leave the room again after having spent no more than two minutes with your baby dragon. If he starts to cry again you reset the timer for a slightly longer period and wait it out once more. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat etc. The miracle is that we have never gone beyond two wait periods! This method works for this dragon!

Baby Dragon asleep in his cage

Baby Dragon asleep in his cage

And not only does it work, it has improved his sleep. When we were co-sleeping and Daddy Dragon was relegated to the spare room, Baby Dragon was waking up every 1.5-2 hours during the night. Since the CIO sleep training has begun the 5-6 wake ups/night has been reduced to 1. Yup, that’s right. 1. 1 measly little almost insignificant wake up! It’s a miracle. So, you’d think this mama would be getting some sleep now. Well, you’d be Wrong. That’s right. So wrong that the ‘W’ needs to be capitalized.

Let’s back up a bit.

The sleep training began not by choice. It began because Daddy Dragon reclaimed his rightful place in bed. He weaselled his way back in by engaging in our most romantic conversation to date. It went something like this:

J: The baby is sleeping in his crib tonight.
S: No! I’m not ready!
J: Don’t be a wimp.
S: I’m not a wimp! I’m just not ready! Neither is the baby!
J: You promised that at 4 months he’d go in the crib.
S: … (I got nothing… it’s true. I did promise).
J: So the baby is going in his crib tonight, end of story. (He tries to end the story quite often. He has yet to realize that is isn’t the sole author of this story. Hell, he’s not even the first author of this story! I’m pretty sure that’s the kid.)
S: Fine. If you want the bed back I guess I could sleep with the baby in the spare room.
J: What do I have to do to make you realize that I want you in my bed again? Tell you?
S: Um… yes?

D’awe. Aren’t we sweet?

Romance Fail

This is typical of J’s idea of romance, and is the reason why yes, he did need to tell me!
Image courtesy of mindskin.com

So, Baby Dragon went to his crib that night with no time for me to mentally prepare (probably a good thing cuz I would have just psyched myself out) and Daddy Dragon reclaimed the west side of the bed. At first I was happy that he had expressed a desire to sleep by my side again… but then reality set in and I was swiftly reminded of how difficult it was to learn to sleep by each other’s side comfortably in the first place. Daddy Dragon’s roar of choice is the snore roar, and let me tell you, it is loud and it is mighty. Mighty. Loud. He also likes to fight battles in his sleep which involves a lot of thrashing and grunting. These are the various forms he took last night:

Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 9.58.01 AM

Image courtesy of my real life experience

The pink ‘x’ represents where I fit into the picture. b. is the absolute worst case scenario because I have the least space and the weird neck angle results in the most tremendous snore roar. All scenarios result in blood pouring out of my ears and unhealthy homicidal thoughts. I’m not too sure if sharing the bed again is so good for our relationship… ok, that’s not true. I value the pre-sleeping cuddle time and we did manage to figure out bed-sharing once before. I just need to recommence the shoving and punching that beat him into shape last time around.

Baby Dragon has awakened from his nap and is letting out that frustrated cry that only creatures with underdeveloped wings can master, so off I go to rescue him.

Despite my whinging, I love my Dragons

Despite my whinging, I love my Dragons. Aren’t they beautiful?

P.S. I love that I have about five million drafts started, but this post is the one that made it to completion. Why? Because two of my favourite blogesses have also posted about sleep (or, to be more accurate, lack thereof) in the last two days. Sleep is so important and so scarce with wee ones around. I have to credit their misery for the actual completion of this post. Check them out:

Sanity Has Left the Building

A (mostly) Depressing Post

Bored Baby

This? Again? Really Mom?

This? Again? Really Mom?

...

… 2 minutes later

Every Mommy Needs a Daddy Sometimes

So after yet another night of four feedings I groggily and reluctantly woke up before the sunrise because Baby H said so. I went down, popped a T-Disc in the machine and cried to myself a little bit. I miss my friend Sleep so much, although I somehow don’t feel it so much during the day. I miss it in the throes of lacking it, when J is fast asleep and snoring.

I came back upstairs to where my little wiggle monster was, well, wiggling around in his bassinet. I flipped on the TV to find a familiar scene unfolding.

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 7.43.01 AM

As a pregnant lady watching this movie last summer I definitely related most to the Elizabeth Banks character. Despite people telling me that I had ‘that glow’, I did not have that glow. It was just sweat. Buckets and buckets of sweat. To be fair, it was the hottest summer on record and I had no air conditioning, but still. I spent the last months of my pregnancy flopping around on the couch feeling like I’d never be comfortable ever again.

So, given this information, and the fact that I have clearly forgotten it, why on earth do I feel twinges of envy as friend after friend announces their summer babies on the way and posts adorable belly bump pictures? They are still small enough that they really are glowing and lovely. Maybe that’s why. Maybe if they were posting pictures of themselves looking like beached whales or Violet Beauregarde post-blueberry incident I might not feel that little bit of envy.

Two days before the birth of H... see the resemblance?

Two days before the birth of H… see the resemblance?

Why on earth would I miss being pregnant? Besides being huge and uncomfortable, I was a sleep deprived hormonal nightmare. I haven’t slept since August! I have no sleep in the foreseeable future. And while I don’t begrudge J his sleep (ok, I do begrudge him just a smidgen of sleep), I have in fact, as Amy at Pregnant Chicken (<- Pregnant women, click that link. You’ll thank me later.) warned, stared at his sleeping, peaceful face at 2am and wondered what the hell the point of him is. In those sleepless 2am moments, especially post-baby, as I stumble around blearily trying to figure out if the baby needs to be changed, nursed, or both, I think of J simply as “the sperm donor” and feel like he couldn’t possibly be the father because he clearly abandons me in every 2am moment of need. If only the men had the boobs… (ok, no. I love breastfeeding and wouldn’t give it up for any amount of uninterrupted sleep, and that’s the truth!).

Sperm Donor

Ok, to the point. On those nights I don’t really feel abandoned. That’s the deal. He needs to get up at 5am to work every day, and he operates heavy machinery. I’d be a pretty horrible person if I expected him to share in the sleepless nights. However, despite my supermom status, I must admit that sometimes I need him. And so does the baby. The other night, I was having a moment (or several). For the life of me, I could not get little H to sleep. He’s normally really easy to put to bed! Nurse him or pop a soother in and he’s fast asleep in 5. This night, though, I felt like my baby had been replaced by a banshee. He screamed until he was purple in the face, tears streaming from his eyes. I tried everything but he could not be consoled. This is how J found us upon arriving home from work at 10pm (where he’d been since 6am). I fully anticipated that he’d disappear into the basement or to bed and leave me to deal with the shit show we’d created. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. He came into the room and started talking to the screaming, writhing mass that I suspected was the baby but was no longer sure. My head was throbbing and I couldn’t think clearly. All of a sudden there was silence as H listened to his daddy’s voice. There was still some pouting and gasping going on, so J picked up the baby and off they went to play in front of the mirror and have a little chat. An hour later a perfectly calm little angel child was returned to me and we fell asleep side by side, which is where J found us 6 hours later at 5am. It was a miracle.

So you see girls, there is a point to him. If you’re tempted in those last days of pregnancy or early days of baby to stab him with a fork as he lies there sleeping like an angel (or snoring like at trucker), hold off. Think about it for a few days to make sure its what you really want to do. You might end up regretting it because even though it may not seem like it during those sleepless nights, every mommy needs a daddy sometimes.

S and J

Greetings from my Kitchen Dance Party (I suck at cleaning)

I have never been tidy. Most of my parent/child battles were over picking up after myself. It was typical to go for weeks without seeing my bedroom floor. Who needs carpet when you can make your own carpet out of My Little Ponies and a million discarded outfits? Pre-pregnancy my idea of a kitchen dance party was getting drunk in my best friend’s kitchen/living/dining/office room thing (hey, at least she owns a condo, ok?) and shouting the lyrics of Firework to each other across the room (which basically means in each others faces… have you seen what an affordable middle class condo in Toronto looks like these days? It’s ridiculous. I’ve been watching old episodes of Property Virgins and its ridiculous how far 300K went even just 10 years ago).

Drunk Ponies

S: “Do you ever feel”

R:”LIKE A PLASTIC BAG!”

Lately I have felt like a plastic bag… full of groceries, for everyone but me. Seriously. If I’m not looking after the kid I’m making dinner or cleaning something, and lets face it, time for that is scarce with a baby. I spend most of my day making funny faces and sounds in order to keep my spawn entertained (ok, it’s entertaining for me too). Right now he’s napping and I have so much housework to do. How the hell did I end up a stay at home mom? Sometimes I want to be like Jenna Marbles and just sit in front of my webcam, hold my Master’s Degree in my arms, and cry.

Except it should say "Before I clean my kitchen"

Except it should say “Before I clean my kitchen”

Who am I? Seriously. I SUCK at taking care of a house. It’s pathetic. If I had been the CEO of RIM (or Blackberry, as it is now called) I would have saved that sinking ship long before Wednesday’s announcement of the Blackberry 10 (jury’s still out, Blackberry). I could have built a Titanic that was structurally sound. I can move any kind of mountain… unless its made of laundry. In that case I’d be more inclined to lie on top of it and read a good book. Yeah…

So that's how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

So that’s how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

Hard to believe that I’ve been a stay at home mom for 3 months now. Yup. That’s right. Baby H is three months old today! That means he’s officially an infant and no longer a newborn (*sniff*). He’s getting so big! It’s like he changes before my eyes every day.

HBug

So, how can I make this new gig mine and stop this house from being condemned? Recreate the kitchen drunk dance party! Cuz baby I’m a firework! Or I could just set off some fireworks inside and get the house condemned so that I can move into a one bedroom condo. Crazy you say? I say there is much less to clean in a one bedroom shoebox than a three story three bedroom house!

Instead I listened to Firework on repeat because for some reason it reminds me that I’m still me (even if I’m alone and sober… and despite the fact that Katy Perry’s tits have never been kicked out of a Walmart) and baked cupcakes.

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I might suck at cleaning, but I’m original, cannot be replaced. Also, I do own the night like… Canada Day Night… yeah.

P.S. For the record, I’m doing a pretty freaking good job for someone who might have failed home economics had it been offered at my school.

P.P.S. I was kidding about the whole drunk party thing. I haven’t been drunk since… last February. You do the math.

P.P.P.S. Cupcake?

Breast-feeding in Public: It’s My Prerogative

WARNING: These shenanigans are kind of political, and provide pictures of, *gasp*, breasts. I’m providing this warning not because of the pictures, but mostly because some people really aren’t interested in any kind of politics but may want to scroll through in order to see all the boobies.

“Honey, I was expecting our free formula samples to arrive yesterday. I thought they were coming via sabre toothed tiger post, but at this rate I bet they sent them wooly  mammoth,” said no stone age woman ever.

Sample bottles and formula given to me at baby and maternity stores, and that I received in the mail

Sample bottles and formula given to me at baby and maternity stores, and that I received in the mail

Breast-feeding is as natural as breathing and people who are made uncomfortable by it need to get over it, in my humble opinion. Where would we be if our ancestors didn’t know how to breast-feed? Gee, I just had a kid and my boobs are killing me and dripping this white stuff. My child is constantly nuzzling my breast, targeting the nipple. Coincidence!? Hmmm…

Baby birds

My baby lies on my bed, legs kicking, sucking on his fist. He removes his fist from his mouth and looks up at me as I fiddle with the snap of my ridiculous nursing bra. His slate grey eyes get wide as he opens his little mouth, lips parted yet pursed looking almost like the open beak of a baby bird waiting for its mama to regurgitate some delicious worms, an eager “ah-ah-ah-ah” escaping his throat. He’s not anticipating regurgitated worm mush though; he’s eager for the boob. The second he has his lips wrapped around the target he quiets. His legs stop thrashing as he contentedly swallows and makes his happy baby sounds. I lie on my side curled around his body as he drinks himself into a milk induced slumber, nestled tight against me.

Elsewhere a mother sits in a rocking chair, her child’s head cradled in the crook of her left arm, her right arm poised, holding a bottle full of formula. She lowers the plastic nipple, carefully placing it between the baby’s lips and holds it at just the right angle so baby is getting only the liquid and not air. This baby too sucks and swallows contentedly as she drifts off to sleep in mama’s warm arms.

Both of these are intimate moments between mother and child. Both are mothers caring for their babies, ensuring they are nourished, safe, warm and loved. Why is it then, that the mother in the second scenario may provide this environment for her child wherever she goes, yet I may be asked to leave a public area for breast-feeding my child?

This is what happened to an acquaintance of mine (she’d probably be a friend if we lived closer… she seems pretty kick ass!) in a Calgary Walmart just two days ago.

Screen shot 2012-12-07 at 11.53.09 PM

The employee that asked Lindsay to leave insisted that all babies could be bottle fed before forcing her to leave the store to nurse Clay in the car. Might I add (though it’s beside the point) that it is also winter and this happened in Alberta where it is friggen freezing! Not only does this show complete ignorance about babies and breast-feeding in general, it also undermines the mother’s choice to exclusively breast-feed her child. Some people believe in nipple confusion and some people don’t. I can only say from experience that it does exist. So, if I decide to exclusively breast-feed my child, I should be able to do so wherever I please.

Is this really so offensive?

Is this really so offensive?

Besides, since when doesn’t the public enjoy boobs? Women expose as much of their breasts as they can get away with all the time. Why do women that run around with this porn star cleavage fly under the radar of judgemental Walmart employees while those that just want to nourish their child are asked to leave (against Walmart’s policy and in violation of human rights laws, by the way)?

I bet no one's asking Katy Perry to leave Walmart

I bet no one’s asking Katy Perry to leave Walmart

I will also ask you this: Would you rather take a passing glance at the picture of the woman breast-feeding above, or listen to my baby scream bloody murder in a public place because the only thing that can console him, my breast, must remain locked behind bars bras?

Baby H chillin' at the boob, makin' some calls

Baby H chillin’ at the boob, makin’ some calls

Baby H lost over 10% of his birth weight and the hospital would not discharge him after the usual 48-72 hour period following his birth, as per hospital protocol. They had me on a strict feeding schedule of pumping, nursing, and formula top up. I fought tooth and nail against the bottle and although the nurses tried to tell me I was causing both myself and my baby unnecessary strife, I fed him the formula via a tube taped to my finger. I wanted my baby to be exclusively breast-fed and was afraid that using a bottle would turn him off my breast.

Finger feeding is much closer to breast-feeding

Finger feeding is much closer to breast-feeding

It is normal for babies to lose weight in those first days when the body is only producing colostrum. No, it doesn’t come in great volume, but it’s called ‘liquid gold’ for a reason. Penelope Leach (2011, p. 69) writes that as the mother, for term babies who are not ill or under special care,

” You can produce all the food and fluid your baby needs now that he’s born, just as you did beforehand. Your colostrum is exactly what he needs today. Your milk will be exactly what he needs in a day or two. You can make enough milk and you can deliver it to him. He will like the taste. It will suit his digestion. It will nourish him perfectly.”

These are empowering and encouraging words and they are what a new mother needs to hear. Instead I was hearing, “You are not providing enough for your baby and we need to intervene.” What this translates to in an exhausted, confused and drugged new mother’s mind is, “You fail.” I cried and cried. I tried to fight them on the formula too, but eventually gave in after being told repeatedly that Baby H could become hypoglycemic, experience seizures, and suffer permanent brain damage. They told me this despite having checked his blood sugar three times and all three times the reading was normal. I was, however, not in a state to be arguing with medical professionals.

After a night on that horrible feeding schedule where I perhaps got two hours of sleep, Baby H was still over the acceptable 10% weight loss. At this point they discharged me, but kept my baby. What choice did I have at that point other than to bottle feed him and hope that he would put on the weight and come home with us later that evening? I was so angry.

Yes, he ate. Yes, he gained weight (although we later learned that it was actually never as bad as they said because there was a discrepancy between the OR scale and the portable one they brought to my room). Yes, he came home with us. He also developed a preference for the bottle and fussed at my breast where he’d taken it readily before. I was exhausted, so I let others bottle feed formula to my new baby. However, my milk had come in and I was in so much pain. I became so engorged that my underarms swelled to the point that I couldn’t lower or put any weight on my arms. Pumping didn’t bring relief either. Having no abdominal strength due to the c-section I was literally immobilized. It was painful, humiliating, and heartbreaking.

Of course, formula does have its place. Some women cannot or choose not to breast-feed and they should not be ostracized by the breast-is-best crowd either. The point is that it’s my baby and it’s my choice. I know what is best for the both of us, and should I need to make a switch I will.

After much perseverance and intermediary tools and tricks, Baby H is now breast-feeding like a champ. It pains me to think after fighting so hard to have a breast-fed baby that I might be told I can’t feed my child in public unless I use a bottle. Breast-feeding is normal, natural, and it’s damn hard work. Do not undermine a woman who has chosen this difficult route. It’s her prerogative.

Besides, when you with hold the boob he cries and pouts. Do you really want to be responsible for that pout?

Besides, when you withhold the boob he cries and pouts. Do you really want to be responsible for that pout?

References:

Global Calgary. (2012). Mother angry after being asked to leave Walmart while nursing. Retrieved Dec 7, 2012, from http://www.globaltvcalgary.com/mother+angry+after+being+asked+to+leave+walmart+while+nursing/6442767623/story.html.

Leach, P. (2011). Your baby & child from birth to age five. New York: Knopf.

 

Staccato: A Story of Sleep (Or Lack Thereof)

(This is a repost from my family blog. I’ve been trying to update my shenanigans, but life with a newborn is hard y’all! Finding time is tricksy. Hope you enjoy reading about my life these last few weeks.)

Towards the end of pregnancy friends and relatives unknowingly utter the most annoying phrase known to pregnant women worldwide, “Make sure you’re getting your sleep now because once that baby comes you’ll be dreaming of the days when you could sleep.” There are two things wrong with that sentence. Thing the first is that no, you will not be dreaming of those days because you will, in fact, never sleep to dream. You may stumble around your house deliriously muttering about pillows and sleepy time wondering where your mommy is and why she hasn’t tucked you in yet. Alternately you may find yourself yelling at the couch for sitting so still or looking so leathery. Either way, that’s not dreaming. It’s the nonsensical blabbering of a sleep deprived whale woman. This bring us to thing the second –the truth is that you already haven’t been sleeping for at least a couple of months. That ship has sailed and it left the dock so quickly and without warning that you didn’t even have a chance to buy a ticket. During the third and fourth trimester sleep is non-existent at worst, staccato at best.

Staccato: Marked by or composed of disconnected parts… [In] Music (of notes) short, clipped, separate… Italian, past participle of detached, to detachfrom staccare, short for distaccare (thefreedictionary.com, 2012).

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 7.23.57 AM

Staccato
Image courtesy of: it.wikipedia.org

In music staccato is denoted as shown above. Each note is a crisp burst of sound separated by an equally short silence. In a major key this can sound lively, blythe, and joyful, like Bach’s Invention No. 8. Fingers trip lightly and happily over the piano keys. In a minor key, however, staccato relays a sense of urgency. This brings to mind the passage from mins. 2:37-2:58 of Mozart’s Fantasy in D Minor from his darker days. Producing this urgency, the minor key and rising staccato notes combine with the volume beginning at a whisper and building to an apex where suddenly the sound. Just. Stops. Seemingly without resolution, before tumbling off a cliff at min. 2:59.

During the third trimester the waking moments (silences) between the short bursts of sleep (notes) are marked by heartburn, muscles spasms, difficulty breathing and/or the need to make a trip to the bathroom. Telling a very pregnant woman to get her sleep while she can is actually a joke. The sleepless nights begin long before those newborn cries pierce the night (also rather staccato with a building crescendo– wah. waH. wAH. WAH!). Dreams of the legato sleep of Brahms’ Lullaby are but a distant memory.

Legato: In a smooth, even style without any breaks… [In] Music to be preformed smoothly and connectedly… Italian, past participle of legareto bind, tie together (thefreedictionary.com, 2012).

LegatoCredit: en.wikipedia.org

Legato
Image courtesy of: en.wikipedia.org

Baby H likes to sleep in my arms and not so much in his crib or bassinet. I nurse or rock him to sleep, but the second I try to put him down he’s awake, wide eyed and wailing. I have tried warming his bassinet before placing him in it, bouncing, swaying, rocking, walking, dancing to his favourite music (Jack Johnson, for the record) etc. None of these methods have worked, much to my and his chagrin. Sleep deprivation makes me go a bit insane and it makes for a very cranky baby.

I’m currently working on ferberizing him. This is also known as the ‘cry-it-out method’, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. Basically at 3 months of age you start putting your baby to bed awake. He may cry, but you are not to pick him up to soothe or feed him. You do, however, come to him at regular intervals to pat him and reassure him that you are still there. Theoretically this teaches the baby to soothe himself to sleep. Baby H is only one month old and so I am not using this method to the T. Since returning from the hospital the only way he was sleeping was if I had him with me in the bed. The problem with this is that Joe has been relegated to the spare room for the unforeseeable future and I live in constant fear of smothering my baby. Several times now I have fallen asleep with him on my chest, or nursing him at my side. Although unlikely because I tend not to move too much in my sleep, all it would take would be for me to roll over in the wrong direction. I shudder to think…

photo-11

Hunter and his new buddy, the Sleep Sheep

Three nights ago I started trying to put him in his bassinet at my bedside, but he kept waking up. I swaddled him very tightly which worked the first time I put him down but stopped working soon after that. In sheer frustration, after having tried to put him down for what was probably about the fifth time in a three hour sleepless period, I didn’t pick him up again and he cried and cried and cried. I then began to feel like a horrible person. How could I let my baby scream like that? It was making me cry. So I turned to Dr. Google and found out about Ferberizing. Being too young for this method as it was described online I decided to modify it to suit my and my one month old’s needs. I turned on the sleep sheep that Nana had given us earlier that day, put my hand on little Baby H’s heaving chest, and began to rock the bassinet. The crying slowed in response, so I removed my hand and over time eventually stopped the rocking. He wasn’t quite asleep yet and started to cry again, so I resumed the rocking. Miraculously, he stopped crying again. I repeated this until he fell asleep. I have continued to do this over the past couple of nights, but I don’t attend to him immediately when he begins to cry. Lo and behold, sometimes he barely cries and puts himself straight to sleep.

When I was getting little to no sleep I was exhausted and irritable. I had feelings of desperation and hopelessness. Nursing at night was painful and I dreaded it. I was seriously worried that I was going to slip into a postpartum depression, eyes wide shut. Since the modified Ferberization of Baby H began, yes we have had to deal with some tears, but ultimately both mum and baby are much happier. We both sleep in longer legato stretches and are refreshed in the morning. We awaken only once or twice to nurse and resettle at night. Sleep more closely resembles that classic Brahms Lullaby and dark and desperate Mozart is now becoming a distant memory.