Sunday, September 25, 2011

Too Many Theories... Not Enough Decisiveness. And an EC Win?

Calliope with Jen's daughter, Luna. Isn't it amazing how much
older Calliope looks, at five weeks versus three, even though
Luna is bigger (9 lbs 5 oz versus 8 lbs 8 oz)???

I need help.

I can't figure out which theories to go by.

I think I like the idea of Calliope sleeping by herself. Mainly because I think I sleep better without her in the bed.

But at the same time, I don't want to feel like I'm never allowed to bring her into bed with me. Sometimes a snuggle in bed is lovely. Though truthfully, I haven't exactly figured out  how to snuggle her in bed. She's either on top of me or smushed against my side (which makes me nervous but happens accidentally) -- both of these are the result of falling asleep while nursing. She still has to lie on top of me to nurse on the left side because my milk comes down so fast. But the right side we can do side-lying.

So the big question at hand is, I suppose, if I should be letting her sleep in the swing or insisting that she sleep in either the bassinet or the crib.

I haven't tried the crib yet. It just seems so huge for her little twenty-one inch self. Though truthfully, the bassinet isn't all that much longer than her, already.

The problem with the bassinet is that while she will willingly go to sleep in it, she won't stay asleep in it. She typically wakes up within five minutes of falling asleep in it. And is considerably more alert after the mini-nap, such that putting her down to sleep a second time can be more challenging than the first.

None of the sleep experts seem to address this not-staying-asleep issue. I put her down awake, so she's not waking up because she's surprised not to be in my arms.

Claire advised me not to worry, and said that Fiona lived in the swing in her early months, and apparently doesn't still sleep there now, two years later! So that was reassuring. This seems to jive with the advice of the author of Happiest.Baby.On.The.Block.

Since she advised that, I know I must've posted about this already. I guess I'm not making any progress.

On the plus side, she is definitely sleeping much longer stretches now. Typically we have one hour of awake time and then two hours of asleep time between feedings. We haven't had an overtired, cranky, won't go to sleep issue since we started the Baby.Whisperer regimen.

A success!

And frankly, that was the issue I cared most about.

Of course, two nights ago she decided to have some "quiet alert" time in the middle of the night, and wanted some company... but that's really the first time we've dealt with that. I even tried pumping that night, thinking I was too engorged for her to nurse successfully. But no, she just wanted to be up and wasn't hungry, thank you.

I can't even remember what the issue was last night. I think I was trying to keep her out of my bed and she was not interested in the glider seat in my bedroom. For some reason, the logical solution was to fall asleep nursing on the couch? I have no recollection as to why that made sense to me at the time.

(For the worriers among you, she was lying on top of me so there was no danger of me suffocating her.)

Please, if you have any advice, weigh in!

And a final success. I was planning to practice Elimination Communication with Calliope, but have been generally too physically exhausted to think of adding one more thing to the pile. But inspired by my SMC friend Jen (and her darling daughter Luna, such a sweetie, and so mellow!), I decided to at least cue Calliope with a "pssst" sound when I noticed her eliminating.

Today before our evening feeding, I put the Baby.Bjorn.Little.Potty on the ottoman of my glider, and sat Calliope on it without her diaper. She seemed happy enough sitting on it while I explained that she could use it for "pee pee" and "poop" (I'm not sure yet if these are the words I'm going to use... I like "pee pee"... growing up we used "wee wee" which cracks me up now. Was that typical lingo back in the seventies?). I made the "pssst" sound and then put her diaper on. Then I nursed her. She didn't nurse for very long and then pulled off.

Just for practice, I took her diaper off and held her on the infant potty for a minute. Again, she seemed happy about it. Then I took her back off and put her diaper back on and tried to nurse again.

A moment later, I happened to glance at the potty.


I am sure this is a fluke. But holy f*cking moly!!!

I never thought this could work.

I called my mom to report that her brilliant granddaughter had used the potty, and she said, "you mean, you caught her peeing and put her on the potty."


This was a legitimate potty usage.

It may have been accidental, but it was real.

I was kind of tired and grumpy (despite my fabulous daughter allowing me a nap earlier in the afternoon which I desperately needed... I haven't been napping in several weeks but the three hour awake period two nights ago did me in) and this was just the thing to cheer me up and make me have to kiss her increasingly chubby cheeks. She was delighted by my cheer, and shared all sorts of smiles with me. Lovely!


  1. Swing, baby, swing.

    I read a ga-jillion books it seems too before I had Tate. Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, What to Expect, Happiest Baby on the name it.

    Nothing 'worked' magically. When I finally realized that Tate was not a sleeper I was so much less stressed. I just stopped caring what other people thought and what I thought I should want.

    Live in the moment. Who cares if she sleeps in the swing? Tate slept in his swing for more naps than I can remember. Though, he did sleep in his crib for overnight sleep.

    I guess you need to decide what works for you as her mother. If you don't want her crying and to then not sleep at all put her in the swing. if you are able to cajole her into sleeping somewhere you like better with minimum fuss for both of you then go for it!! I honestly think letting a 6 month old cry a bit learning how to sleep in the crib is a much better plan(which may not happen, she may switch no problem!!). But that's just me.

    Also, what are your plans for her when you go back to work? Nanny? Daycare? And are you going back in about 6 weeks? Because if so, daycares tend to really help babies adjust to sleeping arrangements as do nannies from what I can tell. I think you need to just muddle through the next few weeks the best you can. Once you start childcare there will be someone else spending a great deal of time with her who will be able to pick up on her idiosyncrasies in person, and I bet they'll have some fabulous input!!

    Hang in there Abby!! One day at a time!!! :)

  2. I didn't leave Fiona in the swing all night, but when she was cranky for hours in evenings as a newborn, I'd put her in the swing and leave her until she was SOLIDLY asleep, then move her to bed with me. If you sleep better with Calliope out of your bed, i think that's important to respect. Crib is fine for her now, really! Also, keep in mind that Calliope is hopefully right on the verge of transitioning from the difficult new baby stage (as Happiest Baby author points out) - 6 weeks old is a big turning point for lots of babies. I'm with Jennifer - do what works!