Showing posts with label sleep regression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep regression. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sleep rocking, CIO, teething, Ninjinti and baby adventures





It's hard to be a gangsta!



Manya is now living in a world of relative routine.  Most parents agree that creating a bed time and nap time routine is beneficial for building solid sleep habits in children.  As parents with little experience (we're only 10 months into making mistakes with this child) and having lived through a wave or two of the ever exciting sleep regression, building a routine was a logical progression from our previous organized chaos.  We're not sticklers for exact to the minute schedules.  More often than not, even if we try to create a blow by blow routine, we end up totally throwing it out of wack every other day. 

Manya is teething all at once.  She has two cute bottom teeth that are totally adorable and a mouth full of gums that are sore and sore and sore and horrible.  The aching pain comes randomly, often at night, and distrupts her sleep.  One day, one side of her mouth is purple and sore.  Then next, nothing.  Each time her mouth aches her nose swells a little, boogers run and her nose gets clogged.  It's a rough life for our little cutie.

Despite the teething pains, the swollen mouth, and the snotty nose, Manni has fallen into a bit of a sleeping pattern and is able to put herself to bed (sort of) and stay asleep even if she wakes up during the course of the night - horray!  It's still a daily adventure and the other night we had our most memorable sleep experience yet.

As we discussed before, we dabble in the Cry It Out (CIO) Method.  We don't have the heart to let her cry to the point of near sickness but we do let her work on putting herself to sleep via a little tears.  Recently Manni's gotten to the point where she cries for just a few seconds sometimes and barely two minutes other times.  It's amazing.  Due to the teething sometimes we aren't so successful.  This one time she was upset on and off for almost 40 minutes.  It was quite unusual.  She'd be quiet and then cry and then quiet, and then cry, on and off, on and off.  Rather than entering her room and test the fury of an upset baby, we checked on her via the Manya-nitor.

I wish I had the poise to have video taped what I saw, but parental instinct kicked in too quickly.  On the monitor Manya had - in a sleep induced haze - pulled herself into a sitting position and passed out.  She sat there rocking back and forth and side to side like a drunken sailor, bopping her head into the crib post (its padded) over and over again in slow motion.  With each knock she'd barely wake herself up enough to whine.  I ran into the room and with a gentle and swift flip I put her square on her back and after five seconds of crying she was out for the night.

Nothing quite like a baby who falls asleep sitting up.

No sleep walking please.

 She thinks it's funny.



Manya doesn't need anything with her for comfort to fall asleep but if she had to chose it would be a small white sleep blanket.

Manya's sleep blanket is a small square of fabric attached to a stuffed bunny.  For the past nine months we referred to this bunny as Manni's Ninjinti.  It's called her Ninjinti because it says "Ninjinti" on the small square blanket.  Great story right?  Well what exactly is a Ninjinti?  We have no idea...  well, now we know thanks to the infernets and the internets.  Apparently Ninjinti is a Dutch little white bunny.  I never would have guessed.  Google told me that much.  How it got to our home or why a bunny is called a Ninjinti or how you pronounciate Ninjinti correctly is beyond me but if it gets baby Manni to sleep every night then Ninjinti is out best friend.  And it's fun to say.

Ninjinti.

Ninjinti.

Nin- jin- teeeeeeee!!!!!!!

I am easily amused.

BTW this is not the only time I've been confused by lettering on baby stuff.  For three months baby Manni wore a onesie with words separated by snapping buttons.  On one side it read "RABLE" and on the other "ADO".  Each and every time I put this onsie on her I read it as ADO'RA'BLE! (imagine it as though read by an Italian)  I swear that only after three full months of wear did I realize it actually said 'adorable'.  And yes, I felt like an idiot, and no, you will not get a picture of a onsie that says Adorable on it.





I sleep.
I got some toys!

TWITTER : @babymanni

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sleep regression, CIO, crawling, baby jail, baby sleep positions



The Baby is crawling.  She's not a speed demon yet but she is very sneaky and can be quick.  The increased mobility means less time for writing and a good deal of time learning what's dangerous in my house.

Our house has been fully childproofed.  Poisons, pans, sharp objects and glassware is locked away, wires have been tucked aside (as best as they can), doors closed, corners softened and all other baby proofing opportunities have been taken care of.  Nonetheless baby Manni - like all babies - will find any and all possible dangers quickly and with no thought to her own safety.  Fully baby proofing a home is impossible but I'm fairly confident that the precautions we have taken should suffice for the time being until she learns how to climb or pick locks (possibly July?).

A vast majority of Manya's free roaming time is spent tormenting Cojack the dog.

My Ear!

The dog likes people but when he's hot he likes to rest.  During the summer the dog lies on the cold floor for hours at a time enjoying being lazy.  The new love the baby gives him has thrown him for a loop.  Adults and children give rubs and pats.  They tickle behind ears and whisper sweet nothings.  Baby Manni offers full body presses, ear pulling and little finger massages (he likes those).  After a few minutes it become a game of chase as Cojack runs away from the baby and she follows him unrelentlessly.


I have been playing with the idea of Baby Jail.

In order to keep baby Manni from wondering unsupervised and/or tormenting the old dog, I'm considering confining the baby for short amount of times in an octagon fenced in playpen.  I hate the idea of the baby jail but it may come in handy.  Part of me believes its a pathetic cop out to purchase a pen for a baby but part of me likes the idea that I know exactly where she is and what she's doing when I'm trying to do work.  I'm weighing my options.

Switching gears, getting a baby to sleep is a full time job.  A job that, like the stock market, is constantly changing, adapting, and working with all its might to destroy you.  Once you think you've gotten a hold of it and are master of your domain, nothing works anymore and you have to start anew.

We are always working on getting Baby Manni a good nights sleep and several solid naps each day.  We've discussed it in sleep posts, and sleep regression posts.  Recently we tackled the CIO method.  CIO stands of Cry It Out.  There are many, many parents who swear by this approach and it works great for their children.   There are also many people who believe it is the cold and heartless approach to getting a baby to sleep. 

I believe the CIO approach is one in which, similar to Spider Man III, everyone cries.  The babies cry, the mommies collapse in front of the door in a heap of maternal guilt and cry, Kristen Dunst with her snagged tooth and Spider Man cry.  Even the bad guy Sandman cries.  (I thought SpiderMan 3 was ridiculous)

Bottom line.  Everyone is miserable and after the baby can no longer cry for her parents love she collapses in a heap of sweat, tears and abandonment.  The parents are unnerved and can not function properly or relax even after the baby is crying due to the stress of the ordeal.  The meaning behind this torture for all involved is that the child will learn to put themselves to sleep on their own and eventually not cry to exhaustion.

So we put ourselves through this torture for somewhere around 9 or 10 nights.  First it was an hour minutes of hell.  Then 50, then 45, then 31, then 29, then 26 (Oh look a pattern!)  but then Manni said Fuck You! and we went to 39, 48, and then the one night of real devilish fun, 16 minutes of hysterics, followed by 2 minutes of quiet into 15 minutes of crying and 2 minutes of silence (repeat 4 more times) and then back to half an hour of crying until ENOUGH!!!!! 

Cry It Out is not for us.  Not because it doesn't work - I'm sure it works wonders for numerous parents - but because Manya defeated it despite our best efforts.  Because she's stubborn.  Because listening to a baby scream to the point of losing her voice (she still has a strained voice) for 30-45 minutes for a week and a half is horrible.  Because we can get our baby to sleep without having her cry it out.  And because if we can't get her to sleep by other methods (due to teething, sickness, or pure stubbornness) we don't mind co-sleeping from time to time.

The only downside to co-sleeping is the midnight attacks from Baby Manni.  Manni is a HOG of the bed!  For such a little baby she loves to take up the whole bed!  She kicks, she chops, she punches both of us to make as much room for herself as possible.  She also has to be touching both Sarah and myself at all times which makes things very interesting. 

The following image taken from Fail Blog perfectly explains the challenges of co-sleeping and one of the reasons its nice to have your baby sleep in her crib most of the time.
http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/epic-fail-photos-parenting-fails-baby-sleep-positions.jpg


Manni does sleep in her crib most of the time but when she is taking over the bed she performs a violent combination of "The Roundhouse", "Snow Angels", "H is for Hell" and "Jazz Hands".  Three nights ago I was awoken to three swift karate chops to the back of the neck only to find baby and mommy cuddling in "The Dog House" position silently.  I'm 95% sure I didn't dream it.

Of course to get Manni to go to bed we have several different tricks.  Our most successful baby calming technique is the Yoga Ball.  We've used the bouncing technique to calm Manya down since she was very very young and I touched upon it in a long time ago in  this post.  Manya hates bouncy seats, rockers and lying in cribs.  Her true passion is the fart ball/yoga ball.

Most homes have a giant yoga ball taking up space but rarely being used.  We use that yoga ball as our bouncing ball to rock/bounce our baby to sleep.  While holding the baby in our lap with her either sitting or lying down we slowly bounce on the ball.  The rhythm of the bouncing puts Manni out within minutes.  A side effect of the yoga ball rhythmic bouncing is that the ball also unexpectedly releases any and all gas stored inside your body.  The plastic ball reverberates the sound of said gas tenfold and distorts it into either an unusual duck quack or a sticky wet balloon.

Note to readers: If attempting the yoga ball method for the first time do so without company in the room.  Know you limitations.

For the record I love the yoga ball.  Not only does it put the baby to bed but it provides hours of entertainment.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Now for some pictures:
Too Cute!

Whats that?

I kinda like the blurry drool.

She likes swing.


That is not my voice.


Twitter : @babymanni
Instagram: @babymanni

Monday, April 30, 2012

Baby's first tooth, more sleep regression and more fun



We got our first toof!

I have no idea when it came in but yesterday I caught a fleeting glimpse at a sliver of white surrounded by a darker gum bruise.  Upon closer inspection to has been confirmed, the Toof Fairy arrived!  This Tooth Fairy is original as she creates drools puddles and sleepless nights rather than leaving quarters and dimes under your pillow.  The tooth is barely breaking the surface of the bottom front gum but it's interesting and exciting to see the baby's mouth slowly transforming into a vicious sharp bottle opener.  I'm quite certain Sarah's nipples will shortly no longer cherish the bonding time of nursing.

The wonderful milestone of our baby's first razor blade has been coupled with the inevitable restless sleep.  This sleep regression is not as intense as our first bout of sleep regression.  Logic would dictate that teeth breaking the fresh soft innocent gums in a baby's mouth would cause extreme discomfort (check), excessive drooling (check), some bruising and swelling (check) and the end result would be a lack of sleep by baby (check) and daddy (check)... and mommy (check).  The teething has also arrived at the same time a frustratingly irregular nose cold graced us with its presence.  This cold is evil.  Pure unadulterated evil.  It only reveals itself once Sarah and my eyes close for the night.  All tucked in, parents in their bed, baby in her crib, dog curled up in his, lights off, house locked.  Within minutes the thick snot grows and builds, slowly suffocating our baby and resulting in fearful and unnerving snorting, gasping and choking.  Disturbing cries for help and Daddy comes running armed with the horrible blue booger suction ball.

During the day, clear nasal passages.

At night, thick swamp-like pipes and (possibly caused by?) a cute white baby toof.

To add insult to injury, our suction ball is received by Baby Manni the way most would welcome a amputation; with paralyzing terror and asphyxiating abhorrence.  This all too common pure hatred of the snot suction ball all but assures us that if the initial inability to breathe didn't wake her up entirely, then after the exhuming is completed, we are all but guaranteed full bright eyes, bushy tails, tear drenched cheeks and a generally quite agitated infant.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat every hour and fifteen minutes.

Good times.

Cue alarm clock...  miraculous disappearance of nocturnal booger monster.

Baby is still cute.



I must insist this isn't the norm.  With a clear nose, Manya sleeps in her crib for hours and hours.  Often from 8:30-9:00 at night all the way until 8:30 in the morning.  Of course just because the baby doesn't wake us over the course of an evening doesn't necessarily mean we don't create our own adventures.

Two nights ago Manya crashed immediately following dinner and didn't wake until hours after the sun rose the following day.  I on the other hand apparently have delusions regarding the whereabouts of my infant over the course of a full night.  At around 4:15AM I awoke in a panic.  For some reason I believed the baby was in our bed, but had been misplaced somewhere within our sheets and comforter.  I thrashed around under the blankets flipping pillows and yanking at the sheets, patting everywhere in search of the lost infant.  The lights were off and not a beam of light penetrated the shadow of darkness, but neither the unyielding blindness nor the illogical search ceased my panic.  It wasn't until a still sleeping Sarah mumbled, "You search for the baby?  Stop it.  She's in her crib." that I calmed, realized I apparently "awake thinking I lose the baby in the bed several nights a month" and returned to my much needed slumber.

I'm quite a fool when the moon is out.

...

Also quite a fool when the sun is out.

Hey, look, bunny ears!






Here are some videos...

Chewing on the feet




Exciting grandma time!

Grandpa singing in Polish


And a little in Hebrew















Friday, March 23, 2012

Introducing baby food and sleep regression

Murphy's Law. I talk about the great sleeping patterns of my infant and BOOM! random shitty sleep schedule. As I searched through the internets, learning about the numerous first-hand experiences with "7 month sleep regressions", it was apparent that:

A) Sleep Regressions occur at any and all times. 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, ect. There is no rhyme or reason.

and B) Parents have no control, we are at the whim of our babies. But this does not mean that we don't attempt with all our might to trick ourselves into thinking we have control.

Sure there's plenty of books and PhDs and studies and more bullshit but you really have two choices with a baby who doesn't want to sleep. You can either let the baby control you and thus have a spoiled child who may or may not have deep rooted issues due to the fact that they didn't fall asleep alone at the tender age of 210 days and now rely on Momma for comfort, or turn your heart to ice and let that little bundle of joy turn into a red faced, swollen, hysterical tear face crying uncontrollably in the nursery until they pass out from exhaustion while you attempt to distract yourself by watching TV at a slightly higher than normal volume (aka full) and your wife sobs outside the nursery door clutching her bleeding heart. (Now that's how you do a run on sentence ladies and gentlemen, eat it Hemingway!).



Guess which one we did?

We spoiled our baby.... kinda. To put it in perspective, Manya is a great sleeper. When she goes down in her crib, she's down for the night and will be asleep until 7-8 in the morning. Her issue began when she didn't want to be put down in her crib despite falling into a deep sleep elsewhere (variety of places). The second her bum grazed the crib sheets, the eyes would pop open with disgust and disbelief while simultaneously screaming at me for my insolent transgression. It was ludicrous and frustrating.

We attempted Dr.Weissbluth's very popular and recommended sleep training but after a while it simply felt like premeditated torture. Each night we attempted the crib several times and after several failures, brought her into our bed for co-sleeping.

I know, we're silly hippies. First cloth diapering and now co-sleeping. But honestly, she slept 'like a baby' in our bed and it was pretty great waking up next to my two girls each morning. Mind you they take up the whole bed and push me into the corner, but I'll accept their selfishness because they're cute and smell wonderful. Manya would sleep between us, soundly, but if I happened to get within striking distance I would absolutely be woken by a jarring slap to the face or a quick hair pull. Some things never change.



For the past few days we have transitioned her back into the crib and things have returned to a relative normal.

AND NOW WE'VE STARTED REAL FOOD!

Or at least blended and pureed smears of color. Continuing with our hippie theme we are making our own baby food and basing our food strategies on two books. Cooking for Baby and Mommy Made and Daddy Too!.

We began the introduction to solid foods as all parents do with fabulously (not a real word) boring rice cereal which reminded me of a cross between the food we will have to eat in the Matrix and the insides of Bishop in Alien. Manya ate it with the reverence of paste. We then introduced a new puree every three days starting with the infamous stalwarts; bananas, yellow squash, apple sauce, avocados and sweet potatoes. Many infants love eating and regularly open their mouths wide for new tastes and the wonderful nutrients that accompany these fascinating explosions of flavor. Manya finds it much more enjoyable to wear each new food across her cheeks, lock her jaw shut and occasionally blow a spoonful of puree into her respective parent's clean face and wardrobe.



I liken the introduction of each new food to an tamer version of the Fox Network hit show Fear Factor staring man's man, Joe Rogan. Manya's appalling disgust for bananas and avocados would make you think we were feeding her bug larva and stink bugs. When the first full spoonful of avocado entered Manya's mouth she transformed into Nicole Richie. Her eyes sunk into her face welling with disgust as she repeatedly gagged while aptly balancing a hefty smear of green avocado on her tongue. Nutrition is fun.



As parents it is our duty to transform into fools during feeding time. We mistakenly believe we can 'trick' our children into opening their mouths so we can quickly slip a covertly hidden spoonful of mush past the guardian lips of doom. Little do we know but babies also believe in "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" so now not only am I wearing the 'food of the day' but I am also singing songs and dancing around like an asshole for no apparent reason because the now learned child can transform a full belly laugh into a sealed vice in a blink of an eye. Ironically aside from prying open the baby lips, preforming the Fools Dance is my only hope. It's humiliating. Every day I transform into an episode of Dancing with the Stars but look more like a dancing monkey in North Africa (maybe Casablanca?) without the skill set to pick pockets, back flip or climb quickly.

She does eventually eat some of the food, it just takes a little longer than if she was eager to get the food anywhere near her mouth and not just all over the room. On another bright note, at least her poop still doesn't smell yet.




This is the look for all aspiring baby chefs