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Posts tagged ‘RIE’

My Sleep Mantra and BabyM’s Sleep Story

BabyM is almost 14 months old already. It’s crazy how quickly the first year of his life flew by, and I know the subsequent years will be no different.

The upside of that passage of time is that we’re all sleeping pretty well now, and that is a wonderful thing. To be honest, though, I actually enjoyed watching my baby’s sleep develop this time around. I know that time softens my memories, but I already miss those quiet middle-of-the-night feedings with my baby.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I wrote a lot about sleep when Cee was a baby, in the early days of the blog. I also wrote about evidence-based sleep strategies for my book. I’ve read hundreds of papers on sleep since Cee was a baby, and that changed so much about my approach to M’s sleep. Lots of readers have asked me about how M’s sleep went, so I finally wanted to share his sleep story. Read more

6 Little Secrets of a Sleeping Baby

So, here we are, six posts and two months after my declaration that I would get to the bottom of this little issue of infant sleep. It shouldn’t have surprised me that it has taken me this long to begin to understand this topic. After all, it is a field with decades of research and thousands of published papers. If I was only interested in finding support for one side of the issue, I could have dug up a few papers in an hour or two and whipped something out, but I needed a more complete understanding – for myself, if for nobody else. My experience was quite beautifully summed up by a reader’s comment on my last post:

“…wide reviews of research (rather than simply focusing on the work of one or even a few researchers or studies) tend to show that dogmatism on many parenting issues is rarely justified.” ~Becky

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My conclusion: do what works for your family.

I want to wrap up this project by sharing some of the major lessons on infant sleep that I learned along the way, both from the science and in reflecting on my own experiences.

These first 3 are things we can do from the very start:

1.    Know that crying is normal. It is how we respond that matters.

When I was pregnant with BabyC, I knew that for the first few months of her life, she would wake often during the night, but I envisioned sweet nights with her – a dim light, a comfortable rocking chair, nursing her until she faded back to sleep. And in my imagination, these scenes of maternal bliss were always quiet. So I was not prepared for the nights during those early weeks when BabyC would wake at 2 AM and I would do everything I knew to do – nurse her, burp her, change her, hold her, rock her, try nursing again – and she would only cry. There were nights when she would wail, eyes squeezed shut, for hours, while I tried everything to soothe her. Looking back, I realize that in my mind, I believed that my success as a mother was tied to my ability to stop my baby’s cries, as quickly as possible. If she cried, I felt that I was failing. Read more

BabyC Explores Gravity, and Mama Learns to Step Back

We’ve been blessed with a couple of beautiful sunny days here in Eugene. This is our first winter in Oregon, and I’m learning that sunshine should not be taken for granted. If the sun peeks from behind the clouds, I try to drop whatever dishes I was washing or laundry I was folding, bundle up BabyC, call the dog, and get outside. (Actually, Yuba the dog never needs to called; he’s always ready and waiting to go outside and perks up if I so much as put socks on, as I’ve written about before.)

We go to the park every day, rain or shine, because Yuba needs his exercise, and we all need to get out of the house now and then. Lately, though, our park trips have been short on time and fun because of the cold and soggy weather. I throw the frisbee for Yuba until he shows at least a little sign of tiredness or until BabyC’s hands turn purple from the cold, whichever comes first. But today, we all wanted to linger in the sun as long as possible.

BabyC focused her attention on a small slope of grass bordering the playing fields. She only started walking a few months ago but hasn’t tackled many hills yet. She started climbing up the hill but quickly fell down, face first, confounded by the slope of the earth and gravity pulling her towards it. She looked up at me but did not cry or seem distressed. She did a typical toddler maneuver to right herself: head down, plant hands, butt up (downward facing dog, my little yogi!), bend knees slightly, push back with hands to slowly transfer weight onto feet, and then carefully, carefully roll up to standing.

And then she fell again. Read more