Friday, September 28, 2012

Day/Night Confusion

source
Your baby sleeps like a champ all day but wants to be up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the middle of the night. Many babies have some day/night confusion when they first enter the world. If you follow Babywise or Baby Whisperer principles of Eat/Play/Sleep, you are less likely to have it, or will have it a shorter time or less intensely. There are some strategies you can apply if your baby wants to be awake in the night more than in the day.

Regular Feedings In Day
Waking baby up regularly at 3 hour intervals in the daytime will help with day/night confusion. Be sure to stick to your 2.5-3 hour routine in the day as closely as possible (always feeding baby sooner if baby is hungry). Work to keep baby awake for feedings so she gets full meals all day long.

Start Day at Consistent Time
Start your first feeding of the day at a consistent time. For more on this, see:


and


Have Waketime
You don't want your baby sleeping so much during the day that she isn't tired enough at night. However, with a brand newborn, remember that often times just being awake for a feeding and diaper change is all the awake time she can handle. Remember waketime as a newborn is typically anywhere from 30-60 minutes. For more on this, see:


and


Keep Blinds Open in Day
If your baby will nap with the blinds open, leave them open for naps in the day. Three of my four children have napped great with blinds open as babies. McKenna wouldn't even as a newborn. If your baby will sleep, keep the blinds open to help baby's body know when day is happening and when night is happening.

No Playing in Night
When you feed baby at night, keep things dark and calm. Whisper if you need to talk. Keep lights dim. 

Change Diaper Mid-Feeding at Night
I change the diaper mid-feeding in the night. Not all people change the diaper at all at night feedings, but I don't want a wet diaper waking my baby. So I feed between sides so the baby won't be fully awake when I put her back in her bed. For more about diapers at night, see:


Expose to Noon Sun
You can try taking your baby out for a few minutes at noon each day. This can work with people of all ages; exposure to the sun at noon can help your circadian rhythm get on track so your body knows what time is day and what time is night. Of course you need to use common sense here. If it is the middle of July, you might not want to stand in direct sunlight with a newborn. Try standing in the shade. For more on this, see:


Turn the Lights Up
This is going against everything I just said. The tips above are all good and are from sleep experts. However, sometimes doing all of those things doesn't solve the problem. They will say "give it time," but when you are in the moment and it is 12 AM and your cutie just wants to look around, you don't want to wait a couple of weeks. You want to sleep. 

Kaitlyn was a sleepy, sleepy newborn. She was very hard to keep awake for feedings all day long. After her late evening feeding, however, she was suddenly wide awake and not ready to go right back to sleep. After a night or two of this, I had an idea. Instead of keeping the lights dim and sleep-friendly, I turned them on as bright as can be. She ate and went right back to sleep.

I figured she wanted to stay up because her eyes were not used to bright light, so having it be nice and dark with low lights was perfect for her to check out the world around her. For a couple of days, I tried to keep her in lower lighting during the day and kept the lights bright for her late evening feeding at night. After a couple of days, her body was adjusted to being awake in the day and not the night.

With McKenna, I tried the same trick and it worked again.

Brinley never did have the issue of being more awake at night and less awake in the day. This led me to wonder if it was the timing of her birth. Kaitlyn and McKenna were both born late in the day--the 8 PM and 9 PM hours. Brinley was born in the 4 PM hour. I don't know if it is just coincidence or if there is something to it.

Reader Input
Do you have any tips for helping with day/night confusion?



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Timing the First Nap

In the book  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child  (HSHHC), Weissbluth gives a lot of details on when and how to time naps. Many moms report following these with great success. His suggestions aren't exactly what I land on 100% of the time, but they are close. In the past, we have talked about the Importance of the First Nap. So the nap is important, yes, but how do you time it all to get optimal sleep length? Weissbluth talks about this starting on page 121. Here are some key points.

Reasons for Short Morning Nap
  • Waketime length was too long before baby was put down for a nap.
  • Baby was put down at the wrong time for the biological systems to work with the nap.
  • Baby was put down too early.
  • Other activities interfere with nap (like older siblings activities).
  • Bedtime is too late.
  • Morning wake-up time is too late.
Baby Younger than 4 Months
  • Start nap only one hour after waking in the morning. The most common cause of baby not taking a good morning nap is because she was up too long before starting the nap.
  • *My input here--most babies in this age range definitely do need a waketime of only 40-60 minutes. Morning waketime is often the shortest of the day. Don't be afraid to put your baby down for a nap. I remember when Brayden was a baby and I was putting him down for a nap. One of my good friends commented, "He takes a nap already?!?!" She had her first baby one year after Brayden was born and she commented, "I thought it was crazy that he took a nap so early, but now I see that babies need that!" It seems crazy, but it is right.
Baby 5 Months and Older
  • Should start nap between 9-10 AM if possible. "You are willing to allow the child to become a little overtired but not become so wigged-out that he has great difficulty falling asleep" page 122.
  • Wake child up around 7 AM so she can go down at 9 AM (I would argue this some--especially for a 5 month old. Not all 5 month olds can go two hours).
  • Have an early enough bedtime that the child wakes at a good time in the morning.
  • *My input here--a baby will slowly add waketime length. You won't be at one hour as a four month old and then two hours when baby turns five months old. Baby adds time in 5-10 minute increments slowly. Take the increase slowly and as baby can handle it. For your morning wake-up time, I would shoot for the 7 AM HOUR. So between 7-8 AM. If baby naturally sleeps until 8:30, go for it. You will get to sleep in on weekends :). Remember to have bedtime about 12 hours before your morning waketime. Most babies seem to do best with bedtime in the 7 PM hour, so between 7-8 PM.
If you get the timing wrong for the first nap, it can make it so the afternoon nap is not good, which leads to a cranky baby by the end of the day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poll Discussion: Breastfeeding


For some reason unknown to me (because I have not looked into it), the polls for blogger (at least mine) are not working and haven't been for about two months. I thought things would get fixed, but they aren't, so I thought I would take this as a chance to try something new.

I thought it would be interesting instead of just seeing data to have a discussion going in the comments about the topic. We can get a clearer picture, AND we can get information on more than one child if you have more than one. In light of Hank's guest post on breastfeeding a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to discuss that topic very first. 

Here are my questions for you:
  1. Did you intend/want to breastfeed when your baby was born?
  2. Did you breastfeed for any length of time?
  3. If yes, for how long did you breastfeed (until what age)?
  4. When you stopped breastfeeding, what was the reason (your choice, baby's choice, lack of milk...)?
  5. Share any other thoughts you think might be of interest.
Here are my answers:

Brayden
  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. until he was just past one year
  4. my goal was one year and I wanted to stop.
  5. I was also pregnant for four months during this breastfeeding.
Kaitlyn
  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. until one year
  4. again, my goal was one year. I would have considered going longer, but my husband and I were going out of town for a week right after she turned one so I wanted her easily taking milk/formula when we left.
  5. We breastfed through months of thrush.
McKenna
  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. until one year, then we weaned
  4. again, my choice.
  5. We breastfed through two rounds of thrush
Brinley
  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. she is 7 weeks old and I am still breastfeeding with no issues
  4. N/A
Your turn! Feel free to discuss further.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Newborn Summary: Week 7

isn't this funny! I took this of her this week
This is for the week Brinley was 6 weeks old--so her 7th week but while she is 6 weeks old.

NURSING
Nursing is still going great!

POOPING
This week, Brinley suddenly stopped pooping 4-5 times per day. My other girls were always the type to poop several times a day. Brayden, however, was always a "once every few days" sort. So I knew this could be normal for a baby. They can poop multiple times a day or once every week (or longer). I have to wonder if the timing is with wonder week 5. The book  The Wonder Weeks  says baby's digestive system will be more mature after that week.

WITCHING HOUR
So far, Brinley rarely has witching hour times, but McKenna didn't start until she was older so I wouldn't say we are free and clear. We decided to set up her swing this week. We hadn't used it at all yet, but I thought it might come in handy sometimes and I wanted to know if she would like it since McKenna hated it.

She had one night of witching hour this week, and for that we put her in the swing and she took a nap in it! Always remember, if your baby has witching hour, don't be afraid to do what it takes to keep baby happy and get a nap in. 

Also, if your baby has reflux and needs to sleep in the swing often, don't worry about it. Kaitlyn took a lot of naps in her swing as a baby, and she is a great sleeper today. It didn't negatively impact her at all. Sleep comes first.

OUTINGS
The big outing for us this week was my doctor visit. I wasn't worried at all about how Brinley would do. My other girls did great (Brayden, however, did not. He was crying so much my OB had one of his nurses take him out so he could talk to me. That was before we started with Babywise, though). 

Brinley started to cry as soon as my OB entered the room. Before that, she was fine. But I was thinking how funny it is to have a woman with a 6 week old stripped down and ready for a pelvic exam. It doesn't really put you in a position to help your baby. My OB did my exam and then I picked Brinley up and soothed her. Neither of us were stressed; she has four kids, now I have four kids...I guess we are used to it all. My OB commented, "At least her cry isn't annoying." It's true! Her cry isn't annoying at all. I assumed I just thought that because she is mine. Oh, and you might have noticed the pronoun genders changing with my OB; my first OB moved across the country after Kaitlyn was born so I have a different one now. Anyway, we survived just fine.

DREAMFEED
For her dreamfeed, she pretty much went back to eating from only one side. She sleeps the same with one or two sides, so I don't stress it out. I try to get two sides, but if she will only take one, I put her in bed and don't worry about it.

WAKETME ACTIVITIES
These are the things we do during waketime. If there is a certain time of day we try to do something, I have noted it.
  • Bath (I always do this after her first feeding of the day)
  • Get held by siblings/parents (this happens a whole lot)
  • Tummy time (this varies based on mood--I like to do tummy time when she is happy and alert)
  • Gym play (I do this after her 10:30 AM feeding. I treat it like an independent play, though I am in the room with her while she does it)
  • Read stories (we do this before bed--after her 7:00 PM feeding)
  • "Play" on blanket
  • Lay there and have me take a million pictures of her
  • Walks 

AS FOR ME
I had no insomnia this week! Hurray!

I had my six week visit this week with my OBGYN. Everything is great with me and I was cleared for exercise, so I decided to start out with simple pilates. With pilates, I don't get sweaty, so I am cool with doing them at any point in the day and not having to get up early to do them before I get ready. I figure I will do pilates for a couple of weeks and then try something more vigorous. Pilates will also be good because my abs really need some strength! They are definitely the weak spot in my body right now. 

If your back is really sore, work your abs. Often times back pain is caused by a weak "core"--including your abs. I am sure the extra weight from your breastfeeding breasts doesn't help, either. I have seen a big improvement just after three times of doing pilates. I did Winsor Pilates

SCHEDULE
This is our daily schedule that we shoot for. Our first feeding varies the most. It typically ranges between 6:30 and 7:30 AM. She is now old enough to do 2.5 to 3.5 hour intervals between feedings, so if she is sleeping when the time comes up, I let her go up to 30 minutes longer. She will eat better if she wakes on her own, and if not, those extra thirty minutes can often be enough to get her interested in eating.

7:30--feed
8:20--nap
10:30--feed
11:20--nap
1:30--feed
2:20--nap
4:30--feed
5:20--nap
7-7:30 (time varies here)--feed, then bedtime
10:00--dreamfeed

then night feed(s). Typically, this happens between 2:30-3:30 AM.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Newborn Products: What We Used Month 1

As I was prepping for Brinley, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed on hand for the early days so we wouldn't have to go to the store a million times after she was born. There are a lot of lists out there of what you need, but what do you really use? Of course, what you use will vary some from baby to baby. What you use will also vary from mom to mom. Hopefully this list can give you a better idea of what you might actually need and use in that first month with baby. Hopefully I can remember it all!

EATING
Your first step in your routine is feeding baby. This is what I used while feeding Brinley in the first month.
  • Nursing Pillow : I love having a nursing pillow. It seems like when Brayden was a baby, the Boppy (or generic versions that were the same thing) was the one option for nursing pillows. Now there is My Breast Friend, Mombo, and much more. What will you like best? I don't know. I have tried the Boppy and the Mombo. I like both. I find the Boppy better for sitting on softer surfaces, like my bed or my couch, and the Mombo better for sitting on harder surfaces, like my computer chair. What is your favorite?
  • Milkies Milk-Saver : This is cool. The Milkies Milk Saver is a relatively new product. This is something you put at your breast to collect the milk that drips out during let down. I think the company's product description is slightly misleading. They say it " allows you to breastfeed anywhere without worrying about embarrassing leaks or uncomfortable nursing pads The Milk Saver is easy to use simply slip into your bra cup on the non nursing side before you breastfeed. "  This product is rather bulky and large. It is not discrete. So it isn't like I am going to be bringing this to church with me to "slip" into my bra before I feed my baby. It is definitely much larger and more noticable not only to the touch but to the eye than a simple nursing pad. However, it is great for collecting the letdown. Then the milk does not go into your nursing pad, which means you change those less frequently and leak through them less (I haven't at all). It also means you collect extra milk. This is milk you can freeze and store. My question with that milk is do you use it to give baby a full bottle? I don't know. I would use it for sure to mix in with cereal or pureed food when solids time comes along. The thing I worry about with the milk is the foremilk/hindmilk balance. If you have a bottle full of the milk that comes out during letdown, there will be a lot more foremilk than hindmilk, which can lead to digestive issues for baby according to breastfeeding information. Perhaps this would not be a problem for the occasional bottle every so often? I am not sure.
  • Lansinoh HPA Lanolin : I love Lansinoh for preventing dry and cracked nipples. I use this a whole lot in the early days. 
  • Newman's Nipple Cream: This is a prescription item. I LOVE this stuff. It helps ease pain, heal nipples, and prevent bacteria from spreading from baby to mom. I used this this time and did not get mastitis in my first month for the first time.
  • Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads : These are my favorite nursing pads. They can hold so much liquid! Just be careful you change often enough so you don't build up yeast.
  • Cotton Nursing Pads: I also have cotton nursing pads I use during the day. I do not at night because I leak milk in the night enough that cotton would not contain it.
  • Bravado Nursing Bra : This is what I used with McKenna, also. I like this because it has a liner in the bra that has some padding so you can't see your nipples through the bra. What nursing bra do you like?
  • Nursing Nightgown: I got a nursing nightgown from motherhood maternity when Brayden was a baby from my mother-in-law. I love having it. I like that I don't have to lift a shirt up and hold it up in the night. I eventually move to my normal t-shirt for sleeping, but in the early days, I stick to the nursing nightgown.
  • Robe: I put this on in the night when I get up to do night feedings. I find I get cold since I am often wet from all of the sweating (I hate the sweating!).
  • Fresh Baby Ice Cube Trays: I use these to freeze my breastmilk into cubes for easy storage.
  • Nursing App: I asked on Facebook what everyone uses and loves. I ended up going with Total Baby. I like it, but I am not necessarily in love with it. There are a lot of things I would change...maybe someday I just will make an app that I would love!
  • Burp Cloth: She isn't a huge spitter, but I keep one nearby because it does happen sometimes.
PLAYING
  • Gym: We got the  Tiny Love Super Deluxe Gymini Activity Gym for Brinley and I am super happy with it so far. It is great for independent play and tummy time. It also folds up easily, so I can put it away when she is done playing. I LOVE that feature. Oh, you could also hang any hanging toy you have from it, so you can change up the toys that are on the gym, which I think is nice for baby.
  • Bouncer: We just have the same bouncer we bought when Brayden was a baby. Nothing spectacular. Made by Fisher Price. We are obviously happy enough with it to not want to replace it. I think this is close to what we have (I don't think they make the one we have anymore):  Fisher-Price Deluxe Monkey Bouncer
  • Blanket: Just a plain old blanket. This works great for tummy time and just laying and observing the room.
  • Books: I also read her a book each day. We have a lot of baby books at this point in child-rearing. The one I have read the most to her is  That's Not My Puppy.
CLEANING
SLEEPING
  • Bassinet: So far, she has only been sleeping in her bassinet. I put it in her crib (we took it off of the base). I have tried one nap in the crib and she didn't sleep as well. It could have been a coincidence, but I am fine with the bassinet so far. It is more cozy for a tiny thing.
  • SnuggleU: She sleeps with her SnuggleU in her bassinet with her. I really love this for helping baby stay cozy while sleeping. 
  • Microfleece Swaddleme: She sleeps with her Swaddleme. Since she likes to be so warm, we use the microfleece right now. 
GEAR and SAFETY

  • Carseat: of course you need a carseat. I asked for favorites on Facebook and came up with three carseats. One from Graco, one from Britax, and one from Chicco. It was a HARD decision! I spent so much time mulling this over. In the end, I went with Graco. That is what we had for the older three and we had no complaints about it, so it was familiar and comfortable for us. With the older three, we had the smallest Snugride. This time, we went with the  Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat.  This has the aibility to adjust straps from the front still (the newer snugrides in the smallest size does not have this feature anymore, which would infinitely drive me insane). It also has the newborn insert, so the baby is much more snug and comfortable. Fabulous feature.
  • Diaper Bag: I get a new diaper bag with each baby. I just want to. I once again asked on Facebook for favorites. There are many, many options out there. I settled on  Skip Hop Studio Diaper Bag Tote Bag. I am very happy with it. It is not too big--perfect for one baby. I like that it looks nice--it could just be a purse. It has lots of pockets for organizing. The quality is fabulous.
  • Changing Table: I am a changing table person. I like them.
  • Glider Rocker: We have a glider in Brinley's room. This is where I do night feedings and the dreamfeed. We got it from Target 5.5 years ago. It is comfortable.  
  • Video Monitor: This is amazing. You can use a  Foscam Camera and hook it up to your home network. Then you can buy an app and see your baby on your phone anytime, anywhere. My husband can see her while he is at work. I can have a video monitor with me at all times without hauling something extra around. The Foscam Camera is used for home surveillance systems. You can snap pictures of your baby sleeping with the camera, too. Love it.
  • Audio Monitor: We got a new audio monitor for Brinley. After browsing Amazon, we went with  VTech Communications Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor. It is a nice monitor--it does not pick up background noise, so you don't have the "shhhhhhhhhhhhhh" going on all the time, which is nice since we have an audio monitor for all of our kids. Three different monitor background noises can get old.

CLOTHING

  • Socks--and they sell some socks that are cute and look more like little booties or shoes than socks. I like those for going out. I want comfort first, and my newborns spend time in socks (unless they are Kaitlyn and hate socks).
  • Onesies
  • Shirts/outfits
  • Dresses
  • Sleeping nightgowns: I have my newborns sleep in  Newborn Gowns and socks for the first while. I like how easy it is to do diaper changes with these. 
  • Bows and bracelets, too :)


MEDICATIONS

eBook info

If you have emailed me about purchasing an eBook, I have sent paypal requests to everyone who has emailed me. So, if you haven't gotten the request, check your spam or email me again and let me know. Thanks!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Healthy Foods From A to Z {Giveaway}



Today's giveaway is of this fun book,  Healthy Foods from A to Z / Comida sana de la A a la Z . This book is fun because it is bilingual. My children are currently all very interested in Spanish--my husband speaks Spanish, so they are always asking him how you say [insert word here] in Spanish. This is a children's book, with fantastic pictures that reveal healthy food choices by name on each page from A to Z.  Each of the foods on each page forms an interesting face, each with different expressions that show different emotions. Displaying the healthy foods this way keeps the young reader's interest, yes, but it also makes them more curious about these foods. 

At the end of the book there is a bilingual description of each food unveiling the origin of each food as well as its nutritional value – parents and kids alike will learn why grapes are not just good but are good for them as well as and why after eating beans, a child's energy will soar. This is another area of interest for my children right now ("What do apples do for you?"). My children have really enjoyed the book.

Today you can win your own copy!

For Your First Entry: 
Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following), comment telling me so. 

Sample Entry 
I am a follower!


For Your Second Entry:
What is your favorite healthy snack to feed your kids? Share for an entry!

Sample Entry
Apples with peanut butter.

For Your Third Entry:
Like Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook. Already do? Tell me so. Comment saying you like it. 

Sample Entry
I like Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook!  


For Your Fourth Entry:
Free Entry! But you must enter.

Sample Entry
Entering for free!


For Your Fifth Entry:
Blog, update your FB status, or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

Sample Entry
I tweeted! 


For Your Sixth Entry:
Blog, update your FB status, or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did.

Sample Entry
I updated my status! 


For Your Seventh Entry:
Blog, update your FB status, or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

Sample Entry
I blogged! valscreatsions.blogspot.com 

Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good. Plus, it makes sure I don't miss an entry.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow this blog, you can just do entry one.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until I choose the winner sometime October 5.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at random.org
  • The winner will be announced Friday October 5.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!
  • US mailing addresses only

Journey to the Fringe WINNERS!

Our two winners of an autographed copy of Journey to the Fringe are:

Meg

AND 

Lisa S (posted as "Unknown")

Congrats ladies! Please email me at valplowman@gmail.com to claim your prize. I need your mailing address AND who you want the autograph written to. You have one week or another winner will be chosen.

You will love it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Recommendation: Nurture Shock

Every so often, I read a parenting book that I absolutely love. One that I think all parents would benefit from reading. One is of course Babywise. Another very helpful one is The Baby Whisperer. Let's not forget Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and one of my very favorites, The Parenting Breakthrough. And of course we have my often acclaimed The Read Aloud Handbook. Today I have another one to add to the list. Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.

This book explores ten different situations we face as parents and discusses why and how our natural reaction on how to handle those situations is not correct. Topics are on praise, sleep (such a great chapter), race, why kids lie, gifted programs in schools, siblings, teen-rebellion, self-control, playing with others, and language skills, with a wrap up on the "super trait."

These chapters cause you to think. The authors talk about research findings on the topics and discuss it in depth, which gets you thinking about it and analyzing what you think. It is such a valuable book.

We will discuss each topic in the future. For now, get out and buy/borrow the book. It is worth it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brinley Newborn Summary: Week 6

This is what my husband calls "Brinley's spot"
Brinley is now 6 weeks old.

EMOTIONS
Emotions were great this week. This is the age I normally "snap out of it" and since I wasn't ever fully in it, I didn't feel the snap. But I also didn't have any emotional moments. It is nice to be more me :)

INSOMNIA
I had another night of insomnia. It wasn't as bad as the last one. She woke at 3ish to eat. She was not terribly hungry, though (she was on night one of a new cold and was pretty stuffy, so I think she woke from that more than hunger), so I had to wake fully to keep her eating. It took me a couple of hours to fall back asleep after that. Then I slept for about 30 minutes and had to get up to get ready for the day. 

Like I said before, with my other girls, I had a lot of insomnia nights, and so far I have had two total, so I am very glad for that. I still don't like them when it happens though.

NURSING
Nursing is going well. No mastitis. No problems. I still use Lansinoh and Newman's Nipple Cream.

She takes about 30 minutes to eat each feeding and has been pretty consistent with that in life. In the night, she is going a bit faster--maybe 25 minutes of eating. That is nice because it was taking me about an hour to get the feeding in plus the diaper change. Now we are done in about thirty minutes, which means an extra thirty minutes of sleep for me :). I think the reason it is a lot faster is for the most part, I don't have to try to keep her awake to eat. She just eats.

GROWTH SPURT
Toward the end of the week, I am pretty sure she had a growth spurt. She woke for more feedings on her own and had fewer poopy diapers. The end of the day one day, she ate every two hours, working another feeding into her day. Then the next day, she was super sleepy and very hard to wake up for any of her feedings.

DREAMFEED
The dreamfeed was a lot better this week. I think she ate from both sides basically every night. We start the dreamfeed between 10-10:15 each night.

SICKNESS
She got another cold this week! Poor thing. She had less than a week off. I think with school-age children, colds are common this time of year as they are all spending time with each other again. Then they bring that home. Or it is because we had a sudden drop in temperatures and so the cold virus is hopping around.

The first night of her cold, she woke at midnight and 3 AM then again at 6 AM. That is her most restless night of her life. I fed her each time. The poor girl was pretty stuffy. She has quickly gotten much better, though, and we only had the one rough night.

NAPS
Naps are as usual.

She is sleeping in her bassinet in her crib. I tried a nap this week outside of her bassinet and just in the crib. She did not sleep as peacefully and woke up about 30 minutes early. It could have been a fluke, but I went back to just the bassinet for now. We will try again another week.


WAKETME ACTIVITIES
These are the things we do during waketime.I am starting to have things I do at certain times of day.
  • Bath (I always do this after her first feeding of the day)
  • Get held by siblings/parents (this happens a whole lot)
  • Tummy time (this varies based on mood--I like to do tummy time when she is happy and alert)
  • Gym play (I do this after her 10:30 AM feeding. I treat it like an independent play, though I am in the room with her while she does it)
  • Read stories (we do this before bed--after her 7:00 PM feeding)
  • "Play" on blanket
  • Lay there and have me take a million pictures of her
  • Walk (we went for her first walk this week. She fell asleep)
WONDER WEEK
This week, she was kind of just off. She seemed a bit grumpy to me. She would pull off the breast crying, but I knew the milk supply was fine because I could feel how much was in there. I wondered if it was time for a wonder week leap.

Yes it was! Wonder Week Five. Changing Sensations. This is when baby gets to be more aware of her sense and the world around her. The authors say that baby will pull from the breast while eating--leading mom to worry about milk supply. It can last anywhere from a day to a week. 

SCHEDULE
This is our daily schedule that we shoot for. Our first feeding varies the most. It typically ranges between 6:30 and 7:30 AM. 

7:30--feed
8:20--nap
10:30--feed
11:20--nap
1:30--feed
2:20--nap
4:30--feed
5:20--nap
7-7:30 (time varies here)--feed, then bedtime
10:00--dreamfeed

then night feed(s). Typically, this happens between 2:30-3:30 AM.




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom Log eBook




I have something exciting! I have created a book of logs. I have spent many, many hours over several months making these logs. 

In this book I have:
  • Daily log sheets broken down by age. On each page, it provides places to record feedings, naps, diapers, stats, events, playtime (when appropriate), and milestones. It also includes information for that age, such as suggested number of feedings, feeding intervals, and independent play lengths.
  • Sleep training log
  • Dreamfeed log
  • Optimal waketime log for tracking waketime day by day and help you figure out what is optimal.
  • Optimal waketime weekly log for tracking waketime for the whole week on one sheet.
  • Independent Playtime daily log for tracking indpendent play on a day by day basis.
  • Solids log for helping you while you introduce new foods to your baby.
  • Language log for helping you with teaching signs to your baby.
  • The Babywise Timeline. Two pages that summarize your baby's first year.
Here is a sample of a log by age:


I will be selling these books for $1.00 each. You will get it in PDF form and can print it as you desire. You could print out pages and keep them in a binder, print out pages and have them bound, print and laminate and use wet erase markers to re-use pages...whatever you like.

All other logs I have created in the past and made available for free in Google Documents are still free. I will not be removing them. These ones are just the new and much improved version of the logs. 

To purchase,  click the buy now button below or on the sidebar. I will then send you the PDF document containing all of the files! That simple.


Monday, September 17, 2012

When to start dentist check-ups

image source
I think the age for when is  best to start dentist visits is one of the most varied in all of parenting advice. You have the experts saying everything from "no later than first birthday" to "start thinking about it at age 3." On Becoming Babywise Book Two suggests you start no later than age one. They actually suggest when the first tooth comes in, but say to get the "well baby dental checkup" in by age one (page 111).

We take our children to a pediatric dentist. He suggests starting at age one. From age one up until three, they clean teeth with a toothbrush, check for possible problems, and do basic evaluations. Our dentist likes by age one so he can spot any possible problems early on. He also likes it so the child gets used to going there. At age three, they move on to real cleanings with the real tools--although if the child is super comfortable, they will start earlier than age three. McKenna was so comfortable at the dentist that they did a "real" cleaning on her at age 2.5. 

Our family practice dentist has a different policy on young children and the dentist. He likes them to come, sit on the chairs and get comfortable with the office. He does not start any real cleanings or check-ups until age three. 

So what do we do? We start at age one. I really don't see a reason not to. We do have dental insurance, so cost is not a factor. I am sure if we had to pay for it I would be a little more hesitant to take the one year old in. But I agree with the idea presented in Babbywise Book Two that they are "well-check" visits. I take my children to their well-check doctor visits even if nothing is wrong with them, so I view the dentist as no different. 

Some reasons for taking by age one include:
  • It makes early detection and prevention possible if there are any problems. "Infants and toddlers woh suffer from decay are more likely to continue to have issues with this disease into their permanent teeth" (page 111).
  • Parents can be informed of possible problems and what to do about it. For Brayden and Kaitlyn, there were no issues. McKenna had a couple of things we needed to watch. In the end, the two things we were watching corrected on their own, but I was glad we had taken her at age one so we could correct them if intervention was needed.
  • Children can get comfortable with the dentist.
  • It follows the "start as you mean to go on" mentality.
Some sources say you can wait until two or even three if you follow general rules. They are:
  • Do not put baby in bed with a bottle of juice or milk.
  • Move baby from bottle to cup.
  • Limit juice and milk intake. Have those at regular meal and snack times and offer water between meals.
  • Do not have night feedings.
  • Clean teeth at home. Toothpaste isn't necessary (and you don't want to use fluoride toothpaste until your child can spit it out and not swallow it). 
Those rules are pretty easy to follow for a Babywise baby. If you follow those rules, you might not need to go to the dentist at age one.

So what do you do? What age do you start the dentist? Why? Do you view dentist visits as a needed habit or something you do more sporadically?

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Brinley Newborn Summary: Week 5

Another one from Serra
Brinley is now five weeks old.

EMOTIONS
Emotions were awesome this week! I think I was pretty much just my normal self.

INSOMNIA
After I have a baby, I often get insomnia. It drives me crazy. So far, I hadn't had it with Brinley--until one day this week. I got her up at 10 for her dreamfeed, fed her, she woke at 3:15, I fed her, then I could not fall asleep. I stayed in bed and tried and tried but it never happened. I ended up having to wake her at 7:30 AM--and it was on the weekend so I could have been sleeping until 7:30 AM. Isn't that so sad? 

My uneducated theory (I haven't looked into it at all) is that it is related to hormones. But that might not be right because not all people get it...what do I do about it? I typically take one Tylenol PM before bed each night to help prevent the insomnia. If any of you have any insight to the insomnia, I am all ears. Or eyes. Why does it happen? What do I do about it? I am very grateful it has only happened once so far. I usually have it quite often.

NURSING
Still no mastitis. I will also share that she typically spends about 30 minutes nursing at each feeding.

DREAMFEED
The dreamfeed is still not perfected. She sometimes still will not eat from both sides. 

SICKNESS
She still had a cold this week until about the last day of the week. FYI, for the cold I just had her sleeping at an incline in her bassinet (which I then put in the crib). I removed the mucos from her nose by using a nasal aspirator. Toward the end of the cold, the mucous was harder so I would use some  Little Noses Saline Spray/Drops .

NAPS
Naps are still great. Nothing has changed.

But I have to say, this week I got tired of the fourth nap. I always get this way. I just want her to be up more and want a longer period to not worry about he rneeding to go down for a nap so soon. I know she will only need the fourth nap for at most 3 more months, so I can get by, but I remember feeling this way about the fourth nap with every child. This is the age the fourth nap usually shortens.

WAKETME ACTIVITIES
These are the things we do during waketime. I don't have a set waketime we do them in since her levels of sleepiness vary at this point in life.
  • Bath (I always do this after her first feeding of the day)
  • Get held by siblings/parents (this happens a whole lot)
  • Tummy time
  • Gym play
  • Read stories
  • "Play" on blanket
  • Lay there and have me take a million pictures of her

SIBLINGS
So this is funny. When Brinley is held by Brayden, she is calm and alert. When she is held by Kaitlyn, she relaxes so much that she is pretty well guaranteed to poop and fall asleep. When she is held by McKenna, her eyes get huge and she stiffens up. The funny thing is that this is the same reaction our cats have to the three children.

WITCHING HOUR
There really wasn't any witching hour this week.

BLESSING DAY
This week, we had her blessing day at church. It was a perfect day! She did great. She did not sleep at all at church, but she sat happily and looked around. She was much admired :) I let her be held while she slept by the family who came to visit. She did great with it. She slept well while being held and slept well afterward.

MILESTONES
Brinley rolled from her tummy to her back this week. She was doing tummy time and I thought, "I should video this." Then I thought, "Nah--nothing terribly exciting will happen." Then about 30 seconds later she rolled over. Always listen to yourself!

Another milestone was starting to "talk" a bit. Around this age, babies start to communicate some with vocal sounds. 

GROWTH
This week, Brinley grew a pound in five days. She is still little--she started out small, but that is quite the jump in a five day period!

SCHEDULE
This is our daily schedule that we shoot for. 

7:30--feed
8:20--nap
10:30--feed
11:20--nap
1:30--feed
2:20--nap
4:30--feed
5:20--nap
7-7:30 (time varies here)--feed, then bedtime
10:00--dreamfeed

then night feed(s). Typically, this happens between 2-3 AM and then she wakes close to 7-7:30 AM. Sometimes she wakes as early as 1:30 AM. Sometimes, she will wake another time at 6:00 AM. When this happens, I try to do the one side feeding and then get her up at 7:30, but if she wants two sides, we just do two and I let her go a little more than three hours for her feeds during the day so she can be on normal schedule. 


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