I’ll Do Anything

to get this little guy to take a nap!
Lately tents are the order of the day, with very specific requests as to what goes in there with him.
Certain blankets, certain trucks, trains, animals–you name it, I’ll do it!
Sometimes he definitely scams me and just hangs quietly in his playhouse until naptime is over, but at least he’s rested!  I’m grateful for even that!
And then this one is finally taking a binkie, loves her blankie, and is falling asleep very well on her own.
If only she’d stay that way for a decent afternoon nap (or night’s sleep, for that matter).  But I’ll take my small victories and strategies and enjoy all the silence I get.
Sleep tight, babies!
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You Are Getting Sleepy

Tonight we began the long and arduous task of juggling a bedtime routine for two children. Jax’s bedtime routine has been set in stone for a year and a half; we started it when he was twelve weeks old and have never varied it since. Yesterday Em turned twelve weeks old, so we undertook the same mission, to have her go to sleep on her own and sleep through the night. Eventually. Hopefully soon.

Our new routine goes like this: At 6:30 Daddy gives Jax a bath and I get the rooms ready for bed—nightlights on, shades down, pajamas out and overnight diapers on hand. When Jax’s bath is finished, I take over and rub him all over with lotion, his “age,” as he calls it, pronounced “ahj,” short for massage. Then pjs and books until Daddy comes in and I take over Em, repeating the process. Daddy gets Jax down, then comes in and reads to Em while she has her last meal, then hopefully she nods off and I lay her down for the night. JDubbs goes downstairs and starts dinner while I do the very slow put-baby-in-bed dance during which every movement seems to jostle her awake and start the whole process over again. We started at 6:30. Jax has been asleep for a while, but it’s almost 9:00 and JDubbs and I have been taking turns going up to soothe Em and pray that this is the last time we head up there. We actually got to eat at the same time and watch an episode of Entourage. She’s a good peanut and isn’t adverse to going asleep on her own; this is just a lot earlier than she’s been going to sleep prior to tonight. Oh well, she’s got to start sometime.I miss giving Jax both of our full attention at bedtime, but unless they share a room in the future I don’t see how that will be possible. At least they both get one of us all to themselves, and perhaps when Em is more comfortable taking a bottle we can alternate kids. For now, I’ll be happy to go in and do my little tuck-in ritual with Jax and listen to JDubbs read to Em like we did for Jax. I can’t believe Em is big enough to be put to bed, not just fall asleep on my shoulder. Is that stage really already over? I am so grateful every night that we can just put Jax in his crib, say goodnight, and walk out of the room because I love having time alone with JDubbs just the two of us to eat and catch up. I want Em to be on a bedtime schedule, too. But I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast; it’s going by so much quicker than it did with Jax and I feel like I’m not even cherishing it enough because I’m barely able to keep my head above water with the two of them. Did I snuggle her little baby self enough? Does she know that her mommy is the best pillow in the world, no matter what time of day or night it is? I want her to sleep well, but I don’t want her to grow up too fast. If those things must go hand in hand, then maybe I’ll take a few nights of poor sleep now and then to get a little extra cuddle from my baby girl.

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Sleep Training, Take Two

I felt the need to write about our second night of sleep training so that I didn’t leave everyone thinking that we are idiot parents who do whatever a book tells us to do and don’t pay attention to our individual child’s needs (basically I am paraphrasing my Mom’s concerns wherein she called Jax to tell him he should come to Gramma’s house and SHE would feed him). Last night was markedly better than the first, all because we did go with our instincts and gave him that little snack bottle at 5:30 that he had wanted the night before. What a difference two ounces can make! He fell asleep even beyond the next time we were supposed to feed him and was as happy and content as ever. I even took pictures to prove it 🙂
And if that isn’t enough to quell even the most skeptical grandparent’s concerns, I spoke to my pediatrician about it last night and he thought it sounded fine. So the moral of the story is: When Jax tries to communicate with us, we won’t ignore it in favor of a book. We’ll do what we know is right for our little peanut. And if it means getting him to sleep through the night a little faster, we’ll take it!
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Sleep Training

Today was one of the worst days in Jax’s short little life. His Mommy and Daddy thought it would be a great idea to traumatize him and begin sleep training–you know, starting him on the road to sleeping through then night. We are using the book The Baby Sleep Solution: A Proven Program to Teach Your Baby to Sleep Twelve Hours a Night
and the authors’ ideas seem very valid and make sense to us. Apparently, they did NOT make sense to poor Jax.
The first step is to get him to eat only four times per day, rather than his usual grazing. I had to try to keep him from eating until it had been four hours–much later than his usual 3 hour interval. Well, needless to say, no amount of entertaining, distracting, or cajoling could get him make it the full four hours. I felt okay with that, and he did, too, until about 5:30. He wanted to eat NOW. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my gut and tried to make him wait until the target time at 8:00–BIG mistake. I’ve never seen the poor thing so sad and uncomfortable. We gave him a bath to try to distract him but it didn’t work. I gave in and fed him but he was traumatized.
I have never felt so guilty in my life 🙁 I really hope that I will be able to stick with the program. I know from now on I need to trust my gut more and listen to my heart, rather than a book. Giving him a two ounce bottle at 5:30 wouldn’t have killed any of us, and would have made our evening much more enjoyable. No more parenting out of a book for me!!
PS. These pictures are not from tonight. They are of him burping a few nights before. I just thought they illustrated the point.  Don’t call CPS on us just yet.
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