Learning about Toddler Sleep

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Good morning!

Our son turns 2 very soon, and we recently experienced an epiphany regarding his sleep. The nurse practitioner at Target confirmed that an ear infection had cleared, but that fluid remained in one ear. He suggested that I contact our pediatrician about allergy medication to help dry him out and, hopefully, remove the discomfort that the fluid can cause. We did, and she agreed that it may not only prevent his frequent midnight wakings, but put him in a better spot to eat well and (finally) gain weight. You see, his weight has been under the curve for his age for much of his life.

I am happy to report that he is waking less often at night, and also that he is growing! Praise God!

Another thing I am remembering from when our daughter was 18 – 36 months old: she frequently woke early in the morning, fussing. Too early, according to her parent’s gauge. (I know you all know how important our sleep gauges are!) My husband finally figured out that she didn’t need comfort, she didn’t need questions about how she was doing and cajoling to just go back to sleep, already. She needed to be told, firmly that she was still tired, that it was still *night time* (again, we as the parents were the gauge of that 😉 ), and that she needed, right now, to lie down and go back to sleep.

It totally worked. Each time he was firm, she slept for at least another 30 minutes. It was a welcome reprieve for all.

I want to share these couple of items in case they help another family.

That’s all for now, folks!

Blessings to you,

MMC

 

10 Health Hacks for Mamas

PicMonkey Collage March 2016

Since pregnancy, which roughly lined up with turning 30, it seems that the AGE part of the phrase “as we age” has applied more and more pervasively in life. Until a couple of years back, I’ve been able to plausibly deny that I am part of the “WE” in that phrase.  “AS”, a measurement of time progressing, of COURSE never happened to me, since I am perpetually 19 years old.

But my doctor, and my friend Marilyn, and an eerie number of other folks have, lately, regularly diagnosed me with: “as we age” syndrome. Continue reading

Sleep Struggles in Baby’s First Year: an Evolving Story

PicMonkey Collage sleep

Good evening! For the first time in several months (and possibly ever – I don’t remember!), I put the baby down to bed without nursing him first. He is 11 months old, and since birth has woken up every 3 hours at night, give or take an hour. By the time he was 9 months old, I felt this was getting, well, old. We started weening our first (pictured on the left of the collage) from night time feedings at 10 months old, and we probably could have done that sooner. So I expected that as we got into the 4th quarter with Joshy, we could really start to expect some decrease in nursing.

As we got to his bedroom, he was more interested in Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown than in anything else in the whole world, and I reflected that what my husband had done in getting him to drink cow’s milk from a sippy cup tonight, just might work in place of nursing. So, we read the book, I said a quick prayer with him like we normally do, said how much I love him and ” ‘nigh’nigh “, put him down, and left the room uttering our custom “shush shush shush” soundtrack.

That was 6 weeks ago, and since then the little rascal has played around in all sorts of unpredictable ways with the morning nap, turned one year old, had back to back double ear infections, a couple of URIs, gotten to be a fiend for climbing, danced quite a bit, has not weened or been weened, and in general has been a delight and an enigma and a little “fuss bucket”, as from time to time we affectionately call him.

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And wouldn’t you know it! There he goes, sticking his tongue out at us as we speak. What a rascal! A love of a rascal!

So as you have probably guessed, my plan to finally get his sleep under control, ergo to sleep a little myself at night, completely backfired. Come to think of it, all my plans for all types of sleep for all of us have backfired over the last year. So you won’t be surprised to learn I’ve been complaining about it! My general view is that we gotta get into “normal” very soon, and at the latest it SHOULD have happened 10 months ago. Wouldn’t you know, I complained so much that folks took pity on me, and they must be praying, because we’ve gone from 3-4 wakings overnight to 1-2. Wahoo! I can’t think of any other explaination.

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I wrote the above roughly 4 weeks ago. This is the beginning of a series, an evolving story. Maybe you have some ideas for us? Let me know. Maybe you struggle with some of the same? Hope some comradery helps.

PS: the one on the left in my top photo is our champion sleeper. I’m beginning to think her little brother is not competitive in the area of sleep. Can you see him grimacing in his sleep? It’s like he does it only reluctantly.

A Parent’s Reflections on being “in survival mode”

A card I found at a shop in Stillwater, MN. By Papyrus.
A card I found at a shop in Stillwater, MN. By Papyrus.

Several months back, a friend said to me, “you’re in survival mode”. At the time, it really helped me. I realized she was correct, and the clarity it brought to my situation also helped me cope with it better, both emotionally and physically. I wish I could describe it clearly, but I don’t remember exactly what we were going through at the time. I think if you’re also in survival mode, you know instinctively what I mean. (For that matter, as I learned in preparation for laboring, one aspect of the fight or flight mechanism is that, once it’s all over, your body’s hormones assist your mind in forgetting the trauma. So It’s natural and good that I don’t remember!)

    ...and...the inside of the same card! Too true/funny to leave on the shelf. Such humor must be shared.
…and…the inside of the same card! Too true/funny to leave on the shelf. Such humor must be shared.

Since that time, another friend has brought it up that I’m in survival mode, and I even wrote a little about it recently, here. But something about being in survival mode is bothering me. Continue reading