Posts Tagged sleep

Spring fun, dancing gorillas and momma’s boy

Even though it was gray all day and poured all night tonight, we had one of those weekends that I totally live for:  it was sunny, laidback, yet productive.

The weather on Saturday? Perfect.  I think it was the first warm day of the year that warranted flip flops.  We headed into the City on Saturday to attend the Go Green Expo.  I won tickets, so we had the chance to learn about new and upcoming green companies, services and products, some of which I’ll post over at The Next Kid Thing.

Go Green Expo

The show was packed with all sorts of green and sustainable products, including organic vodka (!), Eco Brew, organic baby clothes, green makeup and Hybrids.  We even witnessed some dancing gorillas.  (Only in NYC!)

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and cleaning, things that we haven’t had a chance to tackle together in quite awhile.  It’s so nice to get things done in the morning and then enjoy the park twice in one day.  Having been so busy with the new site, and Jeff working late hours, I live for the weekends.  “They” say Spring in NYC is magical.  I have to agree, especially Spring weekends like this!

Always plottingMaxwell Park
Our streetIMG_0322

The magic is gone and we’re back to reality now.  Jack woke up screaming at 1am and after trying to let him soothe himself for quite sometime, I had to bring him out into the living room to calm down.  Lucky us, “calming down” took several hours, thus Jack and I once again slept in the chair.  It turns out, the culprit for this week’s night wakings could be attributed to all 4 canines coming in.  good times!  Good Lord, this kid has a lot of teeth!

As hard as it is trying to comfort the kid in the wee hours of the night, I try to savor those moments.  He’s so sweet and commands frequent hugs and kisses, when trying to fall back asleep; he’s such a snuggler, I can barely handle the cuteness.  I have to remind myself that one day, probably in about 16 or 17 years (if not sooner) he’s not going to want to have anything to do with me.  Until then, I’ll whine about the lack of sleep and totally savor these sweet snuggly moments with my little momma’s boy.

I hope everyone had an equally enoyable weekend, but with a lot more sleep!

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Dr. Jen on baby’s sleep habits and nighttime routines

Sleep.  I crave it like a juicy Five Guys Hamburger.  I need it, I want it, but like many moms, I don’t really get it as often as I’d like.  (Sleep, not the delicious hamburger.)
Today, for the first time in a few weeks, I actually feel well-rested.  We’ve been going through our own sleep issues right now, so it’s amazing what an extra 2 hours of sleep can do for you.  Though,  I won’t say that too loudly, I don’t want to jinx it!

Fact:  On average, babies fuss about 74 minutes a day.

Dr. Jen TrachtenbergThere are many reasons behind mom’s lack of sleep, but often, a new baby is at the top of this list.  Even though my child is beyond the baby days, with all this lack of sleep that’s been going on, it’s so fitting that I was able to sit in on an event to listen to Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg talk about something so relevant.  The renowned pediatrician and author of Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children, Dr. Jen offered some invaluable tips and insight on sleep and nighttime routines.  Here are a few things that she had to say about baby and my old friend, sleep:
My are notes indicated with star-pink-32x32

  • Nighttime routine is very important;  I can’t stress that enough, she said.  It needs to be done consistently, on a day-to-day basis.  It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but more of a daily routine. It’s not a schedule she says, but more of a routine.
  • Not only is the nighttime routine important for the kids, but Dr. Jen says transitioning yourself to nighttime from daytime is really important–turning down the lights, turning down the tv, make it quieter, playing nighttime music such as classical or softer tunes.  In the baby’s room, close the blinds so that baby’s sleep isn’t disrupted by light.  Natural sunlight is known to wake up baby, Dr. Jen says baby should wake up on his own terms.
  • Also check the room temperature.  Babies sleep better in between 68-72 degrees.  Too warm or over-layering the baby can make the baby too hot, thus more fussy.  It’s great to have a fan in baby’s room for many reasons.  There’s new research showing that circulating the air can reduce risks for SIDS for babies.  It also has that white noise effect and drowns out other noises, making it easier for baby to fall asleep. Fans are simple, economic alternatives to those white noise machines out on the market.
  • Good nighttime routines typically start with a bath.  It’s a great time to bond and talk to baby, Dr. Jen says.
      star-pink-32x32 After not having much luck with our initial baby tub, I have to say, Munchkin’s inflatable safety duck tub is the most versatile baby bathtub out there.  It’s portable, inflatable, soft, easy to clean and does the job.  Not bad for $10.
  • Dr. Jen recommends moisturizing the baby right after the bath.  Lotion is a great way to help with massaging the baby.  Baby massages–usually slow circular motions–after the bath is another great time to bond, as well as time to wind down and get ready for bed.
  • going-to-bedQuiet nighttime activity, reading is always recommended.  Dr. Jen says it’s never too early to start reading to your baby.  Starting with a board book that is easy and only has a few words on the page.  Eventually, babies start to respond to rhyming and then inflection in your voice, Dr. Jen says, then reading becomes reciprocal with the anticipation of page turning and when the book is about to end.
      star-pink-32x32Our personal favorite nighttime book is Sandra Boyton’s Bedtime Book.  It’s a short and sweet story about animals aboard an ark that are also preparing for bed.
  • After the quiet activity, ultimately, it’s time for bed.  Dr. Jen recommends putting the baby to bed when she is sleepy, but still awake;  ideally, they should still be arousable but drowsy.  This is important so they learn how to transition from your arms to the bed.  According to Dr. Jen, this is so important for babies so they learn how to fall asleep on their own, and ultimately, sleep through the night.
      star-pink-32x32If they don’t know how to fall asleep on their own or are used to falling asleep with help–rocking, feeding, etc.–they won’t know how to fall asleep without that help when they wake up in the middle of the night.  Dr. Jen confirmed exactly what I kept trying to tell my mom who was big on rocking/singing when putting Jack down for a nap and the occasional bedtime all of those months.  It was so helpful at the time, but unfortunately, Jack never slept through the night until a few months ago (which is a distant memory for now and our current battle!)
  • Dr. Jen is a big proponent of swaddling.  When you swaddle the baby it makes them feel cozy and warm, just like they’re in the womb, but it also decreases the startle reflex they have as newborns, she said. Some moms say that their baby likes to sleep with their arms out, but studies show that babies sleep much better and stay asleep when they are swaddled.  Receiving blankets do the trick, but there are great innovations out on the market equipped with velcro and other things to help with this.star-pink-32x32
    The NYT recently provided some information on the “right” way to swaddle.  We started out with several Kiddopatomus Swaddle Mes which were awesome, but Jack grew so quickly, that by the second month we were miracle_blanket_step11looking for the next size.  Recommended by a good friend, I ended up buying a Miracle Blanket which ended up being one of our best newborn gear investments.  There was no Velcro, just more soft fabric to wrap.  I ended up using it until he started to roll over (around the 5-month mark,) which is when pediatricians recommend to stop swaddling.  If you decide to swaddle your baby, the Miracle Blanket comes highly recommended!

      We’ve probably heard or read some of these pointers along the way,  but hearing her actually say it all was that much more reinforcing. Here’s hoping that all of you, including baby, get the sleep you want/need/crave!

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In like a lion…

IMG_9317

We got our much anticipated snow storm yesterday and ended up with about 7 or so inches.  Since most of the east coast got snow, I don’t know how many times I heard the phrase, “March is definitely coming in like a lion!”  How original ;)

Jack and I admired the snow from afar until I decided to get us all bundled up after lunch.  I took advantage of a lull in the storm and layered us all up.  It ended up taking me about 30 minutes to find all the appropriate winter gear and then get it on the both of us.  By the end, I was sweating from wrestling with a wiggly Jack.  Argh.  By the time we got outside and walked to the park, the wind picked up and poor Jack could barely walk because the snow was too high.  It was a fun 10 minutes.  As usual, it was fun in theory, but realistically, yeah, not so much.  It was pretty when it first fell, but after that, well, it became a big mess around here.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their snow days!  We’re spending the day indoors since it’s too cold outside and Jack once again slept like hell–this time, a fever could be to blame.  It’s never a dull moment around here.


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Blog Party!

For regular readers, I’m sure you’ve noticed lots of transitions since I’ve started writing fulltime.  Well, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in even more events.  Last night, I attended a fantastic Mompreneur seminar in NYC hosted by Big City Moms, which I’ll post about it later today.  This afternoon, I”ll be listening in on a webcast called No More Bedtime Blues. Considering Jack, who’s quickly approaching 14 months, slept like a newborn last night, waking every other hour (!!), this webcast couldn’t come at a better time.  If you’re around and interested, I highly recommend you tune in today at 2.  Sponsored by Sprout, the webcast is featuring  Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW, a pediatric sleep specialist, family therapist and co-author of The Sleepeasy Solution.  But more importantly, I’m participating once again in a Blog Party; this one is hosted by MoMDot.

This Blog Party is holiday themed, so it’ll be a great way to reminisce about Jack’s first Christmas, as well as welcome new readers.  There are a series of questions/statements, with the first one being:  Introduce us to your family and share Holiday pics of years past.

Easy enough, right?

This is my family.
us with Santa

I like to drag my boys, Jeff and Jack, around NYC and the surrounding vicinity. This was with Santa at Santaland at the big Macy*s in Herald Square–y’know, the big Macy*s, as in the huge parade.  The kid looks “over it” because he was…In fact, he hated Santa last year.  Let’s hope this year is different :)

We’re originally from Va., so we spend a lot of time trekking up and down the east coast to be with our famiy. Like for everyone else, the holidays are so much fun, but oh so exhausting.
familyJacky slept through the presentsProud LoloSanta was very generous!

But in the end, it’s worth all the chaos.  It’s all about the family.

That’s why caffeine and booze were created, right?

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Fall Back and the new shuffle

The bedtime shuffle started at approximately 5:45 tonight.  It was just 5 minutes after I put dinner in the oven and heard my unread newspaper being used as a new-found toy.

“Jackson,” Jeff pleaded, “that’s mommy’s newspaper.  She’s going to be upset if you rip it, please bring it to daddy.”

*rip, shed, rip, rip*

ugh.

It wasn’t the loss of yet another Thing of importance that was frustrating, it was the fact that Jack was smacking his head (his sign for sleep) in hopes of getting the message across that “Hey mom and dad, I’m tearing up this dumb newspaper because I WANT TO GO TO BED.”

My plans for the 3 of us having Sunday dinner together was quickly kiboshed as soon as the boy completed his confetti crusade and went into full-on meltdown mode.  From the crescendo of his shrieks, Daddy negotiations wouldn’t suffice.  I poked my head out of the kitchen to find my pantless, tearful toddler with arms fully extended and fingers wiggling my way.

Smacking his head even harder all my buddy could do was, “MAMAMAMAMAMA  wahhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Daylight Saving Fall Back, I hate you.

Ok, no, I don’t.

What I mean is, I love AND hate Daylight Saving Time.  I love the arrival of spring and how it gets brighter earlier.  I love summer afternoons lasting until 8:30 p.m.!  I love how the concept begins in March, giving us about 8 months worth of daylight savings.  On the otherhand, I truly hate it when it’s dark out at 5 p.m.  But what I’ve recently learned is that I hate how this whole Fall Back thing rattles the bedtime shuffle even more.
I’m really never going to sleep ever again.

Last November, since Jack was an infant, I REALLY didn’t sleep at all, so I didn’t notice the time change and its effect.  So this year, I assumed it’d be seamless once again…especially since I actually got that extra hour of sleep this morning!  (Jack slept in until 7a.m.!!)
So when reality reared its head this evening at dinnertime, I really didn’t expect to battle tears and almost 3 hours of clingyness.  It was rough, but we made it.  Thank goodness Jeff and I were able to tagteam with the tear-wiping and toddler negotiations long enough to eat a maellable Sunday dinner.

According to Lisa Belkin, writer of one of my favorite Times Blogs, all should be back to “normal” once everyone is adjusted to this new routine, supposedly in 5 days or so.  Of course, as soon as I get a grip on our OLD bedtime shuffle, things have to get all crazy.

Oh well, it’s not like I’m ever going to enjoy sleep again anyway.

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