16 Sleep tips: ages 0-12 months… if you’re into schedules

I love lovies
I love lovies

Baby not sleeping as long as you think he can? Baby waking up way too early in the morning? Here are my biggest takeaways from the first year of sleep meets Bailey….this post may not be for the faint of heart when it comes to planning sleep.

  1. Baby is probably the easiest to go out with for the first 6-8 weeks of life, of course mama may not be so excited about going out at that point in birth recovery, but seriously try to take advantage of bringing baby out to dinner, brunch, lunch, whatever! Ok, that wasn’t a sleep tip exactly, but still worth mentioning!
  2. Reflux can cause sleep issues early on in life. If baby gets hiccups a lot, spits up a lot, arches her back after or during nursing/drinking; and wakes up screaming periodically and seems to settle when more vertical….you could be dealing with reflux. Getting an antacid prescription from the ped and/or modifying your diet or formula can buy you more hours of sleep. Other tips include a) keep baby upright for 20 minutes after nursing/feeding b) burp baby often while nursing/feeding c) elevate one side of the bassinet/crib d) let baby take naps in a baby rocker or swing so they are more upright
  3. Around 4-5 months, baby’s sleep develops into more of an adult pattern meaning they have lighter periods of sleep and may stop falling asleep anywhere/when they need sleep. This can lead to overtired fussy babies that wake up more and more thru the night and drive parents bonkers with sleep deprivation!
  4. If you swaddle and the baby starts breaking out of the swaddle, learn the double swaddle technique. It looks kinda crazy, but It is Awesome.

    The double swaddle in action
    The double swaddle in action
  5. Once you’ve hit month 4/5, keeping baby on a sleep schedule for naps and bedtime can really help consolidate night time sleep and do away with early wake ups….here is a good chart to keep in mind from the Baby Whisperer:

    Awake time for babies
    Newborn 50-60 mins
    1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
    2 months 1 hour and 15 – 20 mins
    3 months 1 hour and 20 – 30 mins
    4 months 1 hour and 45 – 2 hours
    5 months 2 hours – 2.30 hours
    Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-3 hours
    6.5 – 7 months 2.75-3.15 hours. Some are getting more.
    8 – 10 months 3 – 4 hours. Some are getting more.
    11 – 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap***Remember these are guidelines, NOT rules, so if you feel that your baby is not yet ready for these A times, please do not force them, as this will cause further problems. PLUS, if the wake time is 2 hours, that means baby should be asleep at the 2 hour mark not getting ready to go to sleep.***

  6. At that 4/5 mo mark, aim for 3 naps a day. Naps are more restorative if they’re an hour or longer. Though the third nap is often a shorter cat nap.
  7. As the first year goes on, you may want to aim for naps around 10am and 1/2pm.
  8. If you think they’re waking up because of teething pain, give them ibuprofen! They will sleep, therefore you will sleep!
  9. 6 months or later: If baby is waking up crazy early in the morning and/or waking up crying multiple times during the night it may be a sure sign of being overtired. You may want to move bedtime earlier and get that nap routine more tightened up. The other totally random culprit for early wake ups is if the morning nap is too close to waking up for the day. A combo of an early bedtime and then extending the awake time before the first nap can help iron out the issue.
  10. Any schedule change can take 3-5 days to make a difference.
  11. If it’s a growth spurt, you are screwed – a lot of babies want to eat more during the night and you should probably help them out. This rule of thumb applies until you have them pretty solid on solids πŸ™‚ However, a growth spurt usually lasts 3-5 days.
  12. It’s ok to let them cry a little before going to them at night – they might just resettle on their own! Oh, and once you’re past the swaddling stage, give your baby a lovie. It will help them self soothe to sleep.
  13. CIO does not work for everyone. Before you try it after your ped and all your friends tell you that you have to do it, at least read Ferber’s book first so you can read about how SCHEDULE is just as important!
  14. Read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. And visit www.babywhispererforums.com for lots of useful tips
  15. If you’re lucky, you will have a good sleeper and you won’t need to use any of these tips. BUT just remember that it’s totally normal for babies to not sleep through the night even at a year. You are not alone! But hopefully, you are not in this club…
  16. My kid has been going to bed between 6pm and 7pm since he was 7 months old. If he goes to bed later than that, he wakes up multiple times a night and much earlier in the morning. It’s because his naps are on the shorter side. Before I had a kid, I thought this was crazy talk. But really, I’ve tried a later bedtime and it does not work! If it’s not working for you, give in and move bedtime earlier!
The super cute sleep days
The super cute sleep days

p.s. who knew I would read so many books and be so crazy about sleep?? I’m a terrible planner, but I seriously love my sleep. So these tips are really all about my own self preservation! B might not be the best sleeper, but he’s not the worst. And he sure is happy most of the time!


Ultralite – week 5: The End!

instagram me
instagram me

I made it y’all!

Five weeks on the Ultralite program and I had my final meeting earlier today. It has been anΒ  incredibly rewarding weight-loss program. I’ve lost weight. I’ve lost inches. I’ve learned about portion control and how to ratio my protein and carbs to maintain good energy through the day.

When I started the program, I had completed four weeks of crossfit (including eating more paleo-style). During the crossfit month, I lost 7lbs, plus a total of 7 inches from various body parts. At the end of the Ultralite month (while still doing crossfit), I lost a total of 11lbs. And in terms of inches, I lost 3.5 inches from my chest, 2.5 inches off my waist, 2 inches off my bootie and 2 inches of my thigh (yep, that’s 10 more inches off my body!). Best of all, I am below my pre-pregnancy weight; I have great energy; and I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Yay! The only thing I’m missing is pictures. boo 😦

Next Steps

For the next month, I will slowly incorporate back higher carb veggies and fruits. In general, I’ll aim for a cup of veggies and about 120 grams of protein at each meal. Generally, I’ll avoid grains, dairy and legumes. I am allowed one serving a day if I want it, but my body just seems to feel so much better without the stuff. It’s nice to have tools that I can use in the future if my energy starts to flag or if my weight starts to creep up.

And now, I’m looking forward to a more varied diet and more varied workouts at the crossfit gym!

p.s. The worst part of doing the diet was not the portioning or the eating tons of green vegetables or depriving myself of sweets and starches. The worst part was the surprising lack of support at my office! My coworkers were constantly trying to get me to go get treats with them. They gave me a hard time about how strict the diet was and they kept insisting that it was just water weight and that it would all come back as soon as the diet ended. It was kind of shocking because on the one hand they would cheer me on about going on the diet, but on the other hand they would try their hardest to drag me to froyo and to get me to cheat. Luckily, I was really committed to following the diet and was prepared for the challenge. In reward, I have gotten a lot of compliments around the office on how much weight I’ve lost and how good I look. In fact one woman signed up with Dr. Tara Skye-Goldin to do the program herself!

The 2-1 transition is over! I hope?

sleeping on a hike
sleeping on a hike

I think it’s official, Bailey is on a one-nap schedule that works for us. He takes one solid 2+hour nap each day, goes to bed around 7pm and wakes up around 6:30am for the day. For those of you who love your sleep, this may sound awful, but for me, this could be a glimpse of heaven. Of course everything seems to change from week to week but I’m hopeful that this schedule will become a longer term trend!!

We switched B to a one-nap-a-day schedule at month 13. The sleep experts all say this can be a rough transition that can last months. We made the shift pretty abruptly because 2 naps a day just weren’t working anymore. As in, he was fighting bedtime and waking up super early for the day.

For the first month or more of the one nap schedule, his naps were all over the place, lasting from 1-3 hours. To compensate for not enough daytime sleep, I kept him on a very early bedtime (like 6pm)Β  which typically resulted in a wake-up around 7am. If his bedtime ended up later, like 6:30pm, he would wake up at more like 4:45am (ugh!). Then there were the days that he woke up screaming at midnight or sometimes it was 4am…and could only be soothed with ibuprofen. Turns out he had a molar trying to poke through and come out…. I think you get the picture. It’s been rough. A year in, the hormones have faded away and the long-term sleep deprivation of the previous year has really kicked in. How you parents’ of multiple kids of different ages handle it, I just don’t know! But then again, I’ve always needed a lot of sleep to be a cheerful, functional person.

I really, really hoped that Bailey would follow in my footsteps. Or even better, my brother’s footsteps. Sadly, I ended up with a baby that basically didn’t sleep through the night consistently until the age of 1. And even then, it’s been sporadic thanks to fevers, ear infections,teething and poor naps…. The kid has actually always gotten tons of sleep, it’s just not typically concurrent with my sleep! Example, the day he turned 6 months, he slept from like 6:30pm to 7am and it was amazing. I thought, yes! this is the beginning of a wonderful new future. Yeah, that really didn’t last. He went on to mostly sleep a solid 8 hours but had to go to bed around 6pm – meaning he’d sleep to about 2 or 3am, nurse and then go back to sleep til 7. I guess I should be thankful that he always went back to sleep! But as he got older 7am became 6am and the night nursing shifted later to 3-4am. Did I mention it kind of sucks to wake up at 3/4am, feed a baby and then wake up 2 hours later to a super happy, excited baby that wants to crawl all over you and play? This mama does really well on 9/10 hours of continuous sleep!! You see the problem.

I’ve also officially joined the “early bedtime, routine is essential” camp. In fact, I may be the head counselor of said camp! Before I had a kid, I always thought, well duh, your kid is waking up at 5am for the day because he’s going to bed way too early. Just keep him up later! What did I know?! If we keep Bailey up too late and he’s overtired, he rewards us with like 2-3 nightwakings that night. It’s awesome, you turn off the light at 10pm and just as you drift into deeper sleep, your kids starts screaming and crying. It’s only 11:30pm and it really hurts. You get him resettled or you try to wait it out. Either way, you’re up for 20-30 min. minimum. A few hours later, repeat. A few hours later he wakes up extra early and he’s up for the day and you’re both kind of miserable. Yep. It’s definitely not worth keeping him up later because my single, solitary goal at night is to get as much sleep as possible myself!

P.s. remember that super cute photo at the top of this post? That was when B fell asleep on a morning hike to royal arch which pushed back his nap which pushed back his bedtime which resulted in a wake-up for the day at 4:45am. yawn.

p.p.s I’ve become much more of a morning person which is actually kind of nice. I like getting outside and maximizing my daylight. I just need to train myself to go to sleep by 9pm and all will be better. Speaking of which, it’s 4 minutes to 9pm. Time to go to bed.


incident report!

B gets a note home!
B gets a note home!

Well, I guess I have THAT kid in class. B’s bitten like three kids this week and today he finally got written up for it. I even had to sign the incident report. It’s a milestone in this young man’s life.

To be fair, he is teething like crazy and these other kids do silly things like put their hands in his mouth. But today, he chomped down on poor Delaney when she tried to push by him to get through a doorway. This is the same girl who gave him the sweetest hug this morning as he made his grand entrance into the Toddler 1 room on his own two feet. He walked in the room. She came over and gave him a great big hug. He promptly fell over in her embrace and started crying. Ah! young love.

I’m guessing Delaney’s mom isn’t very pleased… 😦

Note to self (and Lee): I guess it’s time that we stop play-biting Bailey all over his body – it’s just that he laughs so hysterically when we do it! But we may be teaching bad habits here. hmmm.

On a completely separate note, I’m down another 2.5 lbs at my most recent weigh-in. I also tried on several pre-prego pants and was able to button them up comfortable. woohoo! And less than 3 weeks left to go on the ultralite diet!

Things I will attempt to make GF and DF…

Maybe it’s because I’m on a food restricted diet right now,Β  but I keep seeing things that I really want to try to make gluten free and dairy free once my five four weeks are up. So, I’m going to start a list. Are you drooling too??

Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart

That is a garlic/beet tart! (above)

BREAKFAST CUPCAKES (original non GF/DF recipe below)

1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled*
chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. If the nests have puffed up too much in the center, scoop out a little with a teaspoon. Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with chives.

Yep, Pigs in a Blanket…

But I’m gonna try tapioca starch (imagine a hot dog wrapped in Brazilian cheese breadΒ  – come on, that has real potential!). By the way, did you know that April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket day?

I wonder what else I will come up with in the next month or so! Is it lunch time yet??

Gluten Free Dairy Free Strawberry Almond Tarts

Strawberry almond tarts

Ooh – in this one the conversion work has already been done! and she has many other delightful looking GF/DF recipes….

What would you name your diet book?

Lee’s been playing around with some diet book titles – who knows maybe we’ll get stupid rich! Let me know what you think and feel free to add your own titles!

  1. Eat your way to thin
  2. Sing your ass off
  3. The no-day diet (the name might be a bit misleading. The diet is that you can’t eat anything on days that end in day – it’s only for extreme dieters)
Already exists...boo!
Already exists…boo!

I actually think that option 1 already exists…Damn! And she’s been on Dr. Oz. We really need to come up with our own here folks!!!

Idea #2 actually probably works better as an idea for a weight-loss reality show aka Dance your ass off – the best weight-loss reality show EVER!

Hmm, so as books go, we’ve only got option 3 as a starting point….might need to keep spit balling πŸ˜‰

But if we could come up with something as awesome as this:

best weight-loss reality show ever. seriously!
best weight-loss reality show ever. seriously!

I have no doubt that we would be on Dr Oz AND getting the highest ratings on tv that season! And seriously. I really want that show back on the air. It was simply the best. And in case you missed it, here’s a great clip from the last season. And another best moment!

Week 1: on the Ultralite program

Breakfast of champions - eggs, ham and kale
Breakfast of champions – eggs, ham and kale

As noted in my last post, I’ve begun a weight loss challenge for the month of May. I’m working with a trained practitioner and focusing on a very clean, allergen free diet while experimenting with carb/protein ratios to maximize fat burning. Translation: I have to eat veggies and meat and I have to weigh everything to better understand portion sizes. Boo! It’s a lot of work, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

As noted in my last post, I’ve begun a weight loss challenge for the month of May. I’m working with a trained practitioner and focusing on a very clean, allergen free diet while experimenting with carb/protein ratios to maximize fat burning. Translation: I eat veggies and meat and I have to weigh everything to better understand portion sizes. Boo! It’s a lot of work, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be, though Lee is pretty much on his own for meals since I’m carefully counting out all my grams of food each meal.

What are my stats so far? I just met with Dr. Skye-Goldin this morning for my one week check-in. Here’s what has changed in one week:

  • neck: -0 inches lost
  • chest: -1 inch
  • arms: -0 inches lost
  • waist: -1.5 inches
  • hips: -1.5 inches
  • thigh: -1 inch
  • weight: 3 lbs lost

How’s being on a portion controlled, foods restricted diet?? Because I was already eating pretty cleanly during my crossfit paleo month, the transition has been pretty painless. I eat three meals and then drink 4 small protein/vitamin drinks throughout the day. So far my meals have consisted of various combinations of the following:

  • grilled chicken breast
  • beef
  • beef, chicken or pork burgers (lean)
  • lean ham
  • tuna fish
  • eggs
  • chard
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • sugar snap peas
  • pickles and cucumbers
  • onions and garlic

Puh-retty darn healthy if you ask me! While I do contemplate all the things I shall eat in 5 weeks when this is over, I don’t have any overwhelming cravings.Plus, I’m still doing crossfit 3-4 times a week and I have good energy.

Did I go through a cranky detox period? I did have a brief three day spiral into congested angry-at-the-world-ness (sorry Lee!) but it turned out that it wasn’t a detox period at all. It was completely tied to taking the whey protein powder instead of the non-dairy stuff. It tasted so much better but man did it make me super moody and mad at the world. As soon as I stopped taking it, everything in me evened out again. How weird?! Note to self: Your body REALLY doesn’t do well with dairy!

General note: you can eat seafood on this diet, I just hate seafood. And here are the deets on the Ultralite program for those who are interested or just plain skeptical πŸ˜›

Martha’s vineyard, I’m gonna be so ready for you in July!!