February 28, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon... er... Baby

Seven days.

No blogging.

The crickets in here are loudly chirping. I'm surprised you came back to read.

I almost forgot how to blog. It seems I'm caught up in a swirling whirl of sleepless urgency that is my breastfeeding lot in life. Not that it isn't a blessing and doesn't have it's 'over the moon' moments, of course.

There's this lady in my vanity mirror that looks pretty haggard lately. I noticed her when I tripped in to the powder room to brush my teeth over the exotically large clean laundry pile on my bedroom floor.

Today makes one month since my little wildcat got here (a nickname based on his catty scream when he's angry). You might think that someone with four children would have already figured out the ropes by now; that quatro-baby would already be on a tidy little schedule and mom back in her regular routine. You would be mistaken.

I lost my copy of "Baby Wise" about twelve years ago. These last two under two have kicked my schedule-loving BUTT. Pardon the French.

So, if there's anyone out there with a life-line... please throw me one. Mail me a copy of "Baby Wise". Hire me a SuperNanny to whip me in to shape. Give me some tips on surviving the toddler and infant years while maintaining your homeschool and sanity.

P l e a s e.

Somebody? Anybody?


Tracy said...

I hope you find a copy. These last two have kicked your butt and you are not YOU!?

Kristal said...

Awe, I don't think I have my copy anymore. Sure did love it {most of it}.

Praying you find your groove.

Michelle said...

Personally, I like the No-Cry Sleep Solution. But, I'm due to renew it and I'm running out of renewals. I might actually buy it, but for now I will just turn it back in until someone requests it. ;-)

Anyways, I'm hopeful that sleep is right around the corner...

Brenda Johnston said...

I did Babywise with my three kids and they were sleeping through the night by 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks--and they are still great sleepers! I totally respect other moms who use other books/methods--we are all programmed differently. As a homeschooling mom, I HAD to have my kids on a schedule as quickly as possible without going crazy! If you don't have time to read the book again, here are the basics.
1. Have a start time for the baby each morning--for me it was 7am. Even if you just fed them in the middle of the night at 5:30am, wake them and start them again. (Or have an earlier start time to your day.)
2. Feed, wake time, to sleep with no feeding--it's about a 3 hour schedule. The hard part sometimes is keeping them awake after a feeding--they just get so comfortable! Put baby down awake.
3. If it's been 3 hours since they last ate and they are still sleeping, wake them and feed! It's tempting to just let them sleep and get stuff done, but you'll have more awake time in the middle of the night!
4. Work really hard during the day at the 3 hour cycle. At 10pm when I gave my last feeding, I would put baby down to sleep. When baby wakes once or twice at night I would feed and put back to sleep--no wake time needed during the night.

Hope that helps refresh your memory a little. It is hard having a newborn, but you'll be sleeping again before you know it! Blessings!

Sam said...

Never even heard of that book!

Shell in your Pocket said...

You are in the "fog"...it will pass...it will.

sandy toe

Gwen Toliver said...

One of my homeschooling books makes the comment that it's difficult to do much schooling when the baby is using your breast for a nosewarmer. :)

Humor that only a nursing mother can appreciate, right??

So what works at our house? Well, "alone time" is the lifeline that keeps things joyful around here. From the time our 7 kids were newborns we've given them alone time. For non-moving infants, I put them in a bright room with happy music playing and set the activity gym over them for 10-15 minutes. If they're not used to it, you may have to start with 3-4 minutes and gradually build up. As they start to get mobile, I put them in a playpen, then around 18 mo. I put them in a kid-safe room. Still with happy music and plenty of toys.

Our 22 month old has about 30-40 minutes of alone time a day (she still is actually in a playpen). Our 3yo is also in alone time in a separate room and during that segment of uninterrupted time, we get an IMMENSE amount of schoolwork done. They aren't unsupervised - I peek around the corner from time to time and can hear them happily playing on their own.

It's great for kids to learn they can self-entertain, they can be happy and content w/o others around and they learn to be less demanding of mom and older siblings.

And the benefits to Mom? Well, that's obvious. :)

Hang in there, Heather - and keep serving the Lord w/ gladness!


MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

you know your friends will still be here no matter what. :)

it has only been a month. you'll get the hang of things...

i hope you have a peaceful, productive and super happy day, dear heather!


Lizzie said...

Bless your heart, this too shall pass.

Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms said...

As for time management ideas, Crystal at MoneySavingMom (she spoke at Relevant '10) just offered free downloads of her book about Time Management. I only have 2 kids, but I do have a boat-load of responsibilities and I'm still struggling to find my own "perfect routine/schedule" or close to it ;)

You might want to read her book for some ideas on how to break your time in blocks, etc...


LizyBeth said...

My fourth baby (who is now 14 months old) did the same thing to me. Unfortunately, I borrowed a copy of Babywise, so I don't have one to give. It took a full year for me to really "recover" from baby number 4; for a full year, my hubby wondered where his real wife was...
Best advice I can give is, sleep whenever you can, forgive yourself for what doesn't get done the ideal way, stop saying yes to outside activities, and enjoy the little ones! There will come a new day, with a full night's sleep for both of you, but for now nothing will get done perfectly.
I'll be praying for you, I've just been where you are now.

Michelle said...

Aww.. he's so precious:) I haven't been over here since I moved to my new blog, so I haven't seen the little guy!

Baby-wise did not work with our third child who screamed and cried no matter what we did for her. That high-pitched cry that you are describing? Yep. She only had one cry and that was it!

If that describes your little guy, then please let me know and I will be intentionally praying for you alot!

The upside is that she is now one of the most sweetest joys a mama could have ever hoped for. I am thankful God got me through those times!

Mandy said...

Aaah yes, the joys of motherhood - how quickly we forget about the lack of time after a newbie has been born and all that goes with it - isn't mother nature amazing in her wisdom? M

revisedexpectations said...

Brenda gave you an awesome summary of the BW principles for setting the schedule! My fourth is now 15 months old and I *cannot* emphasize enough the importance of working that three-hour routine during the day if you want to do the BW thing. I didn't for the first several weeks with Z...if she slept during the day I just let her sleep to give myself a break, but the resulting "schedule" was absolutely awful: she developed uneven, snacky nursing patterns and was catnapping at night. I finally gutted it up and woke her up when it was time for a feeding during the day and worked to keep her awake until naptime. It took us about a week to really get on track--totally worth it!

I've got a copy of Babywise if you really want it. Send me word at kriscello(at)aol.com!

Hang in there, girl! ~K

Laura Odom said...

My favorite baby book is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I give it to all my new-mom friends & relatives.

travis said...

Congrats on that sweet new baby! I had baby #5 on New Years Day. I mentally gave my self afew weeks off, but my Feb was out-of-my-mind about getting back on schedule. I love "the schedule." It took 2 weeks of trying different things to make it work. You'll be back in your swing soon enough. Enjoying your blog!

Jamerrill said...

Sorry, my last comment came through as "Travis,"I was signed into my hubbys account :-)

justgiveme1year said...

I loved your post. The title is what pulled me in. I'm in about the same boat as you. Baby number four is 6 weeks old. I read my copy of Babywise in the hospital and then shoved it in the cupboard because I haven't had time to look at it since. I think the one nice thing about baby number four--I just don't have as much time to feel guilty when he's in the back room crying a bit because I have the other three hounding me! It's so much harder to ignore a bit of crying when he's the only one in the house.

I hope the fog passes for you soon. I called a friend of mine when baby was about 4 weeks old and asked, "Do you just cry some days?" Yep, completely normal. But, it will all pass and it will get smoother. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I found that four children pushed me from relatively competent to "clinging to the feet of Jesus" in a desperate way. 22 months in, I can say that it is getting easier. People who have all kinds of solutions for managing toddlers while homeschooling, or managing homeschooling while having a tiny (non-sleeping!) infant confound me. I think they have forgotten, perhaps, ACTUAL life with a newborn and toddler. I know that my mind gets fuzzy, because we keep having more children...and each time, I think, was it this hard? And it was, sister, I promise. It just was. Also, balancing the older girls (in my case, 11 and 8) while channeling the rambunctious 5 year old and disarming the destructive 1 year old-- is often completely overwhelming. Still. :)

I can say, now, that God has done some serious refining in the past two years. Realizing my situation is beyond my total control has been both terrifying and necessary. I am forever humbled, made more graceful, silenced, and changed. Good stuff.

Bless you as you walk an exhausted, challenging path. Decide each day to give yourself fully to loving your children. Don't hold back. :)




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