Monday, December 2, 2013

After crying it out

When your husband is on the verge of tears you know something is wrong...

We have now made a pact that if Andy's cries are escalating after a couple minutes we will do all we can to help him.

Since Andy hasn't been sleeping through his sleep cycles I thought I would try holding him and not allowing him to nurse until 1:30AM.  The first time he cried but I held him and it wasn't too bad.  I had just talked with friends that let their kids 'cry it out' alone in their cribs and Andy cried for about 13 minutes and did a little bit of screaming.

The next time we let him cry it out I asked my husband to hold him since he didn't have boobs and I thought it would be easier for our son that way.  Well, a half hour later they came back exhausted and my husband was mad at me too.

That was when our son was around 9 months old.  He is now 17 months old and recovering from Croup and sleeping 10 hours straight and then usually after nursing he will go back to sleep for another hour or two.  He had fases where he wouldn't make it past 1:30, then he would make it to 3, then he'd get sick or a new tooth coming and revert back to waking up early.  Most of the time I would get him and nurse him in bed where he would stay until I got up.  I would take him to the bathroom around 4 or 5.

We tried to let him cry it out again.  The results:
1.  our son exhibited more fear related behavior in assosiation with the environment (his pack 'n play)
2.  quicker escalation of cries
3.  more reserved when he woke up
4.  guilty feelings becuase I believe that there has to be a better way

If solitary confinement is literally one of the worst forms punishments we use in society today then why would I want my innocent baby to experience it?  Babies have a very skewed since of time where a minute is an eternity.  There is a reason it is so hard for us parents to hear our babies cry.

Our solution?  We are working on it...

As we work on it our son also grows, learns and is better able to understand what is going on around him.  When we go to bed he knows that we will brush our teeth and then we nurse.  Sometimes we will read a book if he is still bouncing off the walls.  About half of the time he still falls asleep nursing as a 17 month old.  The other half of the time he comes off and simply lays down.  And flops, tosses and turns, moves the pillow and babbles. I recite a verse and sing a song.  Sometimes he takes 15 minutes to go to sleep.  Sometimes I get his dad to lay with him who will hold him if he is still in his flop mode.  This will cause him to fuss, but it's not the gut wrenching cry.  But I think about how he is growing so quickly, how beautiful he is, or I'll plan out what I want to do the rest of the night.  I used to worry that he would only go to sleep if he was cuddling like it was a bad thing but honestly now that I know he will go go sleep on his own, I find myself snuggling up closer to him or resting my hand on his back just to enjoy myself.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Counting to five at 9 months... I'm a little impressed

So while on vacation our good friend was tapping with Andy, our 9 month old.  He would tap a few times and the Andy would tap.  After watching them I realized something; Andy was copying him.  He would tap 5 times with his hand, Andy would tap 5 times with his hand.  Then another time Andy copied him using both hands one at a time!

Has anyone else seen this with their babies?  I'm a first time mom so I don't know how normal this is, but like I said, I'm pretty darn proud of my little fella!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our EC Timeline

So I have a wonderful baby boy and I know boys are different from girls but I thought I would just show you how things progressed with us.

0-3 Months: We started on his second day and caught his first pee on that day.  We used a combo of disposable diapers and cloth diapers and ended up just using cloth after a couple weeks.  We would take him around 15 times a day and as to be expected mostly missed everything but it was fun to try and guess and get one pee or poo a day.  I think his diaper rarely had more than two pees in it.  I loved guessing if he had to go, needed food, or a burping.  I usually fed him first, then if he was fussy, held him over a big bowl, and then burped him.  I had to deal with a bit of frustration in the second month as I was starting to expect too much of him.  I think I took a day here and there 'off' just to recalibrate and try to see the signs better.  We tried to listen for a 'neh' cry which according to the Dunstan method, meant he was hungry.

3-5 Months:  This is when we saw his bowel movements become regular.  He would typically go only once at 7:30 AM when he first woke up.  We started catching around half his pees so he wasn't going through quite as many diapers.  I also started doing more diaper free time, usually just around 20 minutes a time a couple times a day.  I loved having my 'Itti Bitti Luxury Change Mat' for the diaper free times. He started to enter the 'distracted by everything' stage and having him pee in the toilet was great because he could see and hear his pee which brought his attention back to using the bathroom.

6 Months:  I had hoped to have him out of diapers at 6 months so I did a big diaper free push.  This wasn't so smart and after about a week I had to give up the idea of telling everyone that he was potty trained at 6 months.  Then magically, a few weeks later, things started to click for him.  At night we just put a blanket or towel down over his waterproof mat on the matress and left his diaper off because he was peeing before we could get it off.  This made it easy to change his bedding if he did pee.  Generally, if he cried for more than a minute at night he would pee, unless he had just peed within a few minutes so we were quick about nursing him and then taking him to the baby potty if he fussed.  The baby potty was great for night time since he could hold himself up and I didn't have to turn the light on all the way.  I was sure to keep both hands on him at all times and typically made sure he was pointed down so we didn't make a mess, although it still happened from time to time.  After the first few diaper free nights I started doing more diaper free time during the day again.  From being diaper free for half the day for a few days we went to three quarters of the day and then bypassing diapers all together if we were at home.

7 Months: We have started going to town diaperless.  I've had to wash the car seat cover a few times but it's been worth it.  When he is under my direct care it's great but he still goes into a diaper if he goes to the nursery or if I know I'm going to be distracted and not holding him.  My husband started taking him in the morning so I could get a little extra sleep and discovered that he pees right when he wakes up, and usually poos too of course, but then he needs to pee in ten more minutes and then in twenty minutes.  The rest of the day he usually doesn't go more than every half hour.

8 Months:  He has started arching his back when I take him.  It seemed like he needed to move around to get things going so I made a game out of it and he really liked it.  My husband is a little more utilitarian and would just hold him until he peed and then play with him.  Well... of course Andy started getting upset if I didn't hold him upside down and do all the play before hand, or even if I did.  I don't know what was going on but he started just being unhappy when I took him.  I wouldn't keep him in the bathroom for long doing my best to trust this little baby but then he'd pee thirty seconds after I got his pants back on.  It got so that if my husband was available I'd ask him.  There is nothing quite like having your child go nuts in the grocery store bathroom and then trying to explain EC to really embarrass you.  After a day or two of this I finally started just holding him in place to pee even though my little angel became possessed for a minute before he'd pee.  Now that it's been a few days he's back to normal!

9 Months: It seems to help now to have a distraction for when he needs to poo.  He can sign 'all done' and so we sometimes need to say 'almost' and keep him over the toilet a little longer to get more out.  In the mornings it's pretty important for him to use his baby potty that he can sit on for a longer period of time to get his poo out because my back gets tired and he gets too bored when we hold him over the toilet.  We have had a few nights where he held it all night long (9pm - 6:30am) but I still can't count on it and if he gets too mad, he litterally gets 'pissed off.'  I had to think a bit about that one...

10 Months: Well, I'm going to say I think we've regressed a little, or are entering a new stage or something.  If we have a full day of no misses we're happy but I feel like we are missing more pees.  Maybe we've gotten lax on taking him?  He can make it from 9pm to 5am without needing to go to the bathroom though!  Other than a certain whiny cry he still isn't signaling that he needs to go.  I have started taking him whenever I see him put his hands in that region and sometimes it seems like it is a signal.  He has more control as well because sometimes he will sign 'all done' without having peed but I will make him wait a little longer and he will pee about half the time.

17 Months: Andy is now signing 90% of the time to tell us when he needs to go to the bathroom.  We can ask him and he will either run to the potty or shake his head "no."  He had his first accident at night in months last night.  He is able to pull his pants down and empty his potty into the toilet.  He still can get his pants up over his bum.  He is sleeping from around 7 to 5ish, Dad takes him to the bathroom and then he nurses off and on to around 7:30.

19 Months: Andy has learned to hold it.  This means that most of the time he will say "no" if I ask if he needs to go potty.  So, we will force him to go when we see him do the potty dance.  He has had some accidents but I want him to be able to feel the consequences of not going: the discomfort of wet pants and cleaning up after himself.  A friend of mine told me that both of her kids went through this faze around the age of two.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting out of fear

Love > Fear ?

Is anyone else tired of being told to do things that don't feel right for the fear that your kids wont turn out?

"You have to let your baby cry it out for his own good..."
"A person's sleep habits are determined by seven months..."
"You'll never get to have sex with your husband as long as you co-sleep..."
"Don't let your baby fall asleep while nursing, being rocked, sang to, or any other pleasurable activity..."

Where is the fun in parenting?  No wonder us moms complain so much.  While all the magazines talk about how poor stressed out moms are making it why are we depriving ourselves of the joys of having a baby because of fear?  Can't we just love our kids anymore?

If we honestly love our kids and honestly communicate with them when they need to learn a lesson don't you think they have a fighting chance?  Instead of looking for solutions we can BE the solution our children need.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

EC Clothes

Having clothing for your baby that comes off easily and quickly makes ECing much more enjoyable.  Trying to wrestle your baby out of overalls, or an outfit of pants, onesie and diaper can take a long time.  In the winter you need to make sure your baby is warm but if possible try looking at these options for clothes.


Hand Appliqued Personalized Infant Baby Boy Onesie & Coordinated Striped Leg Warmer Set
I loved these, all you need with it is a pair of socks.  You can even add a pair of leg warmers too if you like.

Leg Warmers

Here is a great tutorial on making your own:

Wool Longies

Custom Upcycled Wool Longies
You can make these yourself or order them custom made for the same price as a diaper cover!  Wool is amazing - you can use it as a diaper cover, or on its own when making the transition to diaper free.  They can be used as a cover (dried between each wetting) until they start to smell.  I've never actually waited that long to clean mine, I usually let them be used around 5 times.  I do think lanolizing is pretty darn neat, it aids a lot with wicking!  It is especially great when you get a scented lanolin like blueberry.  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Resources that I've actually used and recommend

My favorite site for EC help:

This EC site has some great forums and help but takes a little longer to navigate:
This site is vast - you can find EC shops, you can buy used from other mothers in the forums, there is a ton to look at.  I recommend only coming here when you have a bit of time on your hands to really get into it.

If you are having a boy, are Christian, and considering circumcision take a look at this:

Newborn cries translated:
For us this was amazing.  We really only were able to hear the hungry precry but this is so useful!

Education for your child:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Elimination Communication Update:

Well, our son is now six and a half months old.  A friend of a friend said that her child was potty trained at six months so if one person could do it I thought I could too.  This had been my goal, I'll admit I am a little competitive.  My son turned six months and I really pushed to get him out of diapers but it wasn't so fun.  We both got frustrated and then I relaxed and faced the fact that it was out of my hands and not all kids are the same.

As a couple weeks went by I realized it was easier at night to not have a diaper on him since we were having trouble getting him over the potty in time.  I got tired of changing sheets so I just put a towel down over a waterproof mat instead so clean up was a breeze.  This really boosted my confidance and  I started leaving the diaper off during the day.  A few more days went by and I realized we were only having one or two pees not over the toilet.  And, we were going diaperless all day and all night!  This was so encouraging.

Now as we approach seven months we've taken trips into town with out a diaper on with success.  He does still wear a diaper if we got out cross country skiing or anywhere where I cant take him potty, like the church nursery.

I am so proud of my son my heart wants to burst.  And I really, really want to brag about how I don't have to clean up poopy diapers, especially since we've started solids.

Yeah!  We're doin' it!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Parenting Logic

Babies want to eat the same food their parents eat but are given 'baby food' instead, then parents wonder why they have to cook separate meals for their children.  For more information on baby food check out this article over at Skinny Gourmet.  For more science check out this article at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Babies are given brightly colored, flashing, moving, noisy toys and then wonder why their children cant sit still and focus on one thing.  Here is an informative article on how to build focus in your youngling.

Babies cry why they have to go in their diaper but parents force them to do it for years then parents wonder why its so hard to potty train them.

Parents "never wake the baby" then wonder why their kids are so grumpy when woken up in the morning.

Parents spank their children and then wonder why they hit each other.

Parents grab thing out of their babies hands and wonder why they 'steal' other's toys.

What else do we have backwards?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book review: Shepherding A Child's Heart

I'm currently reading this book with a group.  There is a lot to be gained from it and it's well worth reading and discussing.

In the first chapter it talks about looking at behaviors and the root cause, which is awesome.  Because I have experience in dog training and I relate everything to that, finding the real issue is always what we do when we want to correct a problem behavior.  In our discussion one of the moms even said how her daughter at times just needed a hug and her feeling alone was simply causing her to act out.

So far I have three main issues though:

1.  The author claims God commands us to spank our children.  Prior to reading this my husband decided that we would spank our son for disobeying us in dangerous situations.  Spanking originated as a Greek pagan rite of fertility and the Bible doesn't use the term even once.  He ironically says "You do not have the right to substitute what God has commanded with the popular ideas of the culture."  The practice of spanking had always been tied closer to erotica than discipline until the Catholic church endorsed it in the 17th century.  This is also when they modified circumcision to the dangerous procedure of today that removes the foreskin, rather than just a ceremonial clip that produced a few drops of blood, in an effort to reduce masturbation.  Here are the hard verses in the Bible that refer to beating children that many people refer to about spanking:
Prov 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)."
Prov 19:18: "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
Prov 22:15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
Prov 23:13: "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die."
Prov 23:14: "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel)."
Prov 29:15: "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
Notice that all of these are prior to Jesus and the new covenant between God and His people.  Also realize that symbols are used in the Bible, especially in Proverbs.  A more accurate translation of the first verse could be: “The father who fails to exercise authority hates his son, but the father who loves his son is diligent to instruct and correct him.”  If I saw someone beating their child with a club to keep their child from dying, or to prevent them from being childish, as a literal translation that supports spanking would suggest, I would call the police.  We all know that violence is wrong - especially in a world that has been saved through grace - the sacrifice of one.  We do not the atone for sins through pain, as Tedd Tripp instructs us to model to our children.  What sold me on not spanking was this: He mentions that spanking is best with young children because they fear it.  Didn't Jesus say "Do not fear" more than anything else?  Why would I want to teach my child this?

2. Tedd Tripp tells parents to start spanking as soon as children are able to disobey.  He gives this example:
 "When our oldest child was approximately 8 months old, we were confronted with parenting our first mobile child.  He crawled everywhere.  We had a bookshelf constructed of boards and bricks.  Fearing the shelf would fall on him, Margy told him not to pull himself up by the shelf.  After moving him away from the shelf, she left the room.  As she peeked in on him, she observed him surveying the room.  Not seeing her, he headed back toward the forbidden bookshelf.  Here was a young child, not yet able to walk or to talk, looking to see if the coast was clear so he could disobey.  Obviously, he was old enough to be disciplined."
Is there no possible way the baby could have just been looking around because he was set somewhere new?  Could he have wanted to touch the novel texture of the bookcase again as a way to learn about his environment?  Spanking is the answer according to Tedd Tripp, not baby proofing the areas your baby has unsupervised access to. It seems he believes babies are inherently bad and are capable of understanding that when they reach their arm up and touch a certain texture with a specific part of their hand that pain will be inflicted upon them by the person they trust most in the world.  Not only will they understand that, they will understand that they deserve it.  These parents automatically assume that their child is being bad. How does he even come up with the idea that a baby will know that if you pick him up and move him that he shouldn't go back to where he was before?  We pick babies up when they pull on our pants and put them down in other locations such as the crib, does this mean they should never be by our legs?  They are assuming the baby knows that he will get in trouble if he does a set of behaviors and that someone has to see him do it for him to get in to trouble. Why be a parent always looking for the worst possible thing in your kids?  Jesus tells us that we need to be like little children to enter heaven.

3.  He tries to use guilt and fear to motivate you to spank your children.  "Where will your grandchildren be 50 years from now if the foolishness in your child's heart is never driven away?  How will your child ever see his need of Christ's forgiveness and grace if he never faces the native rebellion of his nature and his inability to obey God from the heart. "

4. The idea that our babies are born bad.  Many Christian books are this way and I can't think of a worse concept to convey to new parents...  Check out this post about discipline and how bad behavior is more of a sign of unmet needs than a desire to be bad, or the 'sinful heart' coming out etc.

Have you read this book?  What are your views on spanking?