Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sleep Training: Day 2

The only good thing that came out of Day 1 is that Little Guy slept fine that night. He got up twice to eat (no big deal) and promptly went back to sleep after each time, until starting his day at 7:20. I know The Book said don't let a baby sleep past 7am, but after his stressful day I figured he needed his rest (plus, what's 20 minutes anyway?).

So, Day 2. Everything is fine until I lay him down for Nap #1. Total scream-fest for the entire hour - again, no sleep. Afterward, husband and I decide to make a slight adjustment. I think I was going for too much change all at once - from the swing or our arms to the Pack & Play, unswaddled (he is swaddled at night still, for the time being, and isn't used to sleeping on his back unswaddled). For his next nap, we put him in the swing and let it soothe him to sleep. The Book says this is fine, as long as the swing is turned off after he falls asleep. I do just that and he sleeps for a little over an hour, after which he wakes up happy and smiling. Oh, sweet relief. I think I'll stick with the swing for as long as I can, which at the rate he's growing really won't be much longer!

Later, he takes a nap...in Dad's arms on the couch. According to The Book, this would be a Total Fail. But, both he was able to sleep for over an hour, which was good. The Book says sleeping in arms doesn't give babies the good restorative rest they need. I don't want Little Guy to get into the habit of sleeping in Dad's arms - it would mean hell for me when he goes TDY or deploys. But they both love it, so I guess I'll have to wean them both off it slowly.

I was really nervous to put him to bed tonight, as he screamed for 1.5 hours last night before falling asleep. Plus, I'm on my own tonight as Bryce is at work - would I have the resolve on my own to withstand that much crying??? Luckily, Little Guy cried/whimpered for only 33 minutes. And it wasn't anywhere near the intensity it reached last night. It was definitely more of the "Hey this sucks" crying as opposed to "OH MY GOD I HATE THIS COME GET ME RIGHT NOW" crying. It wasn't easy, but we did it. :)

I have another sleep book on the way - The Sleepeasy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack. I read 2 chapters online (thanks, Google Books) and I like what I read. I'm not ditching The Book - it just never hurts to have more resources!!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Sleep Training - Day 1

The time has come for Little Guy to learn how to sleep. Never thought you had to teach a baby to sleep...there's so much crap you don't know about parenting until you're in the thick of it!

We're using the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children to help Colt learn how to sleep during the day. It involves adhering to a schedule of naps that flows with his natural sleepiness. His night sleep has been regular and predictable for quite some time, but he's never been much for day sleeping.

I thought Day 1 was going to be great at first. We woke at 6:45, and after a change and a nursing session, he slept from 7:20 - 8:30 in his swing (even put himself back to sleep a couple times even though I turned the swing off). Wow! Then we played for awhile. At about 10:00, I put him in his swing (since The Book advises no longer than 2 hours of wakefulness between naps). He cooed to himself in the mobile mirror for about 20 minutes, let out one or two small whimpers and fell asleep. What?? He only slept for about 40 minutes before he woke up crying, which usually indicates he hasn't had enough sleep. And it was downhill from there.

When we went for the afternoon nap around 12:45, he fell asleep nursing and slept for about 15 minutes in his Pack & Play, and then woke up screaming. The Book advises letting the baby cry for no longer than an hour at nap time, so we let him cry, hoping he'd fall back asleep. Yeah, right - he cried the entire hour. Longest hour of my life. The attempt at a late afternoon nap was even worse - he fell asleep nursing, but as soon as I laid him in the P&P, he woke up screaming. This time I didn't let him cry as long - The Book says a late afternoon nap might not happen and I couldn't take another hour of screaming.

Our next sleep time: bedtime. The Book advises putting babies to sleep between 6 and 8. No problem - he usually goes down around 7ish, give or take. However, he was so exhausted from today's endeavors that when I nursed him at 6:00, he was out...or so we thought. I swaddled him and laid him in his crib, just like we do every night. 20 minutes later, he was screaming. Now, this is pretty normal. It sometimes takes us one or two tries to get him to sleep. We never thought much of it. But our new method also has a prescription for night sleep: Let the baby cry it out AS LONG AS IT TAKES. Whew. For our little guy, it took an hour and a half before he fell asleep. My living room is spotless, because I couldn't just sit there and listen to his cries. It absolutely broke my heart and almost broke my resolve. Thank God Bryce is here for support.

So, we'll see how he does overnight after our first attempt at day sleep. If we're consistent, The Book claims young babies can catch on very quickly. I hope it's true.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

First visit with Santa (and don't forget to vote for Colt!)

We took Colt to visit Santa (or Father Christmas, as he's known over here!) last weekend. He's too young to really care either way, so this was mostly for Mommy. :)

In the UK, Santas aren't allowed to actually hold the kids. There was a little bench in front of him that kids could sit on, but that didn't really work for our little guy...hence the reason Mom is in the shot! Colt is also wearing the adorable bear suit Gram got him from Old Navy. It was super cold in Bury that day, but his little bear suit kept him nice and toasty.

I recently heard this song by Taylor Swift - Never Grow Up - can relate to it as a mom and as a daughter. :)

In closing...don't forget to vote for Colt!!!


Monday, 20 December 2010

Vote for Colt!

I entered Colt in the American Baby Cover Contest over at parents.com, and he's in the running to become one of the weekly Reader's Choice Finalists!!! This is the photo they selected:

Cutest little reindeer
Adorable, right? If you agree, help us win! Head over to http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/640260?esrc=nwphotofaves7 and vote!

Also, if you have a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., please share this link and ask folks to vote for him! The more the word gets out, the better our chances!! Thank you!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Mornings with Colt

My favorite part of the day with my baby boy has to be in the morning when he wakes up. No matter whether it's 0530 or 0800, or whether I'm cursing the early hour or wide awake, I'm instantly happy when I reach his crib. He always wakes up with a smile on his face. Our routine is pretty much the same every morning (well, except for today, funny enough):

He never makes that much noise when he wakes up, so I'm never quite sure how it wakes me up. I'm a light sleeper, but not that light (plus we have white noise playing in the room). I guess it's just I sense a change in the room or something - I'll call it my Momstinct. :) Anyway, I get up and go over to his crib. He's either squirming around or just lying there looking at his woodland animal mobile. Sometimes he makes little happy noises, especially if he's looking at the mobile. Often the swaddle is around his waist and his little arms are raised over his head in his Victory pose (like, hooray, I defeated sleep again!).
An early combo of Victory and Stiff Baby poses

I let him see me and then put my hand on his little tummy (don't want to startle the little guy too early!). As soon as he sees me, he gets the biggest grin on his face. And that's what I look forward to every morning. It's a truly beautiful sight, where his whole face lights up and his little body wiggles - he really smiles from head to toe! I say good morning and ask if he's ready to start his day, to which he responds with more wiggles and smiles. I usually give him 1 or 20 kisses on the cheeks while unwrapping the swaddle, then it's off to the changing table. He gets in a good stretch (Stiff Baby!) while I get ready to change his diaper, then it's downstairs for a meal then playtime or playtime then a meal, depending on what he wants.

I really treasure these mornings with him. Even though we spend all day together, there's something special about these moments when it's still dark out and everything feels mellow. Today was different only because he didn't wake for a nighttime feeding until 5:30am, and then didn't want to go back to bed afterward! Though my day started a bit earlier than I would have liked, the upside is that my baby boy slept through the night for the first time!

Since the above picture is from quite awhile ago (don't have any newer pics of him being stiff or victorious), here are some recent photos of my 3 month fella (who now weighs 15.5lb and is 26in long!):
New toy from Gram's advent stocking!

Playing with Rudolph

Yummy baby paper in the Bumbo!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Tummy time!

Little Guy and I hit up a tummy time class on base this morning. It went pretty well. He wasn't into the infant massage portion...guess he just wasn't in the mood! He did better at the tummy time portion...we've been doing tummy time since he was 2 weeks old and he does pretty well with it. The ladies running the class said he was ahead of what they expected for his age. That's my boy!!
Doing some drooly tummy time with his new duck toy
The rest of the day will be spent relaxing inside...it's super foggy again today and temps are below freezing. Though he did just get a wonderful fleece bear suit from Grandma. We'll have to take it for a spin sometime soon!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Another giveaway from Houghton Happenings!

Now she's reviewing items from My Baby Clothes Boutique, which has some seriously cute stuff. I've got my eye on a skull beanie or a teddy bear hat if I win the gift certificate. You should head over to Houghton Happenings and read all about it here!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

It's the little things!

Awhile ago I posted about getting serious about working out and losing this bit of baby weight that has taken up residence on my middle. The exercising is going a little slower than I had hoped, but that's the way it goes with an infant and a husband with an erratic work schedule. :) Therefore, I'm trying really hard to pay attention to the other side of weight management: nutrition.

I eat pretty healthy - whole grains instead of white, low fat dairy products, try to limit products high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, try to eat whole foods over processed foods, etc. However, I've never really paid attention to how much I eat, since I figured I worked out enough to offset any extra calories I ate. And I was correct, since my weight was pretty stable for years prior to getting pregnant. However, now that I'm trying to lose weight it's not so easy.

Counting calories is boring (and not how I want to be spending my few bits of free time), so I'm focusing more on making and celebrating small changes in my diet. For example, I tried a new healthy snack the other day: Cherry tomatoes with cream cheese and oregano on top. Delish, and better for me than if I'd scarfed a handful of Fritos. If I keep making tiny changes like that, in no time I'll have an even healthier diet - and one that will help the weight melt off.

Now, onto little things that are much cuter than diet talk...

Colt (the duck) and his BFF Nolan (the monkey)

I just love his little pants with animals on the rear

An apparently deliciuos Gloworm from Grammy

Most adorable reindeer ever

Komfort Kids!

Houghton Happenings is at it again...this time, giving away a beautiful homemade blankie from Komfort Kids. Ch-ch-check it out here.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Baby Dipper giveaway

Houghton Happenings is the bomb-diggety...she does lots of giveaways of awesome baby/kid stuff, so expect to see lots of posts about this! I'm a sucker for free, quality products...lol. :)

The latest giveaway is for the Baby Dipper, a bowl that helps toddlers learn how to feed themselves. It was developed by a mom! Check out the giveaway details here.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Lazy days...

...are a thing of my past...LOL. :)

No Mom, I will not nap
It's hard to believe I used to spend hours doing mindless things like playing The Sims 3, watching Family Guy marathons or reading a good book. What's weird is I don't even really miss doing those things (well, maybe the good book part!). Sure, I feel like I'm working harder than I ever did at any money-paying job, but it's a thousand times more rewarding. And, I really appreciate those snippets of time when Little Guy is napping (especially when it comes after 30 minutes of fussing!).

Colt and Nolan enjoying tummy time
I've started watching our friends' baby for them. Not sure if it's permanent - their regular sitter was a flake, so they canned her and I've stepped in to help for now. Their boy Nolan is about 3 weeks older than Colt. He's a really good baby and will actually sleep unswaddled on his back unlike SOME babies I know. :) Watching Nolan gives me a glimpse into what life with twins might have been like. While I enjoy watching him, I'm glad I only have one on a permanent basis!

Is this my present? Sweet!
We've started opening Christmas presents! Every year, my mom does advent stockings for us. Starting on Dec. 1, we get to open 1 present a day until Christmas. It's pretty sweet, especially since Colt is too little to open his own presents. It's like we get an extra present to open! He's opened some fun toys so far, though he's been more interested in the wrapping paper. :)

Heading to base in a bit to pick up some prescriptions, a few necessities and pizza for dinner. Then it's back home to watch Oregon take on Oregon State...if Oregon wins, they go for the national championship. Go Ducks!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Super cute baby hat giveaway!

Houghton Happenings is hosting a giveaway from My MojoBaby! My MojoBaby is the brainchild of a fellow Air Force wife. She makes the most adorable baby hats and pacifier clips. Check out Houghton Happenings' giveaway here:


And check out My MojoBaby's shop at Etsy: