Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stuff on my Mind today

Today I wanted to post a couple of things on my mind including:
1. Ferberizing
2. Christmas for an Infant
3. The only-breastfed (no bottle) child--why I think this may not be a good idea
4. How much knee surgery sucks when you have a almost 5-month old

Topic 1.
I'm sure you've heard of the Ferber Method for getting your child to sleep on its own. If you haven't:http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc

The above is a link from "Babycenter.com", NOT a primary source, but an overview all the same.

My husband and I always knew we wanted Mimi to be able to self soothe. We both believed this was an important thing for children to be able to do and this ability to self-soothe will help her develop good sleeping habits into childhood. BEFORE ever trying it, I was all about it. When the day came when my husband I decided to give it a try, I had some doubts.

The idea is that you have them sleep in the same place--not a swing or bouncy seat--but their bed, every-time. She had been sleeping in her crib since about 2 weeks old. Which I never intended to do--I had a co-sleeper next to the bed, but she slept longer and sounder in her own crib in the next room. This step we could handle.

Next, you eliminate sleeping crutches such as pacifies, rocking to sleep, nursing to sleep, etc. This was a change for us, but not to terrible to get over. Pacifiers were not an issue, she could careless about paci's most of the time, rocking and nursing to sleep however was difficult to cut out. I had been nursing her to sleep and gentle transferring her for MONTHS. We changed to me nursing her (or getting a bottle depending on who was home), then putting her in her cribbed (burped and dry diaper) while still calm but awake. Thus begins the difficult part--she screamed as soon as we walked out her door.

Ferber's technique it to let them cry for five minutes, then go in and reassure them WITHOUT picking them up, then waiting ten minutes, then 15, you get the picture. Ferber explains that most babies will "break" in 3 days, and no longer cry when put down to bed. If it wasn't for my husband blocking me from going near her room until our little "ferber timer" went off, Mimi would not be ferbered today. Is ferbered a word? lol. Anyway...I can say to you now, that Mimi successfully puts her self to sleep for 2 naps a day and every-night. It took about 3 days (go figure). We have been doing this for several weeks now. Mimi takes about 2 naps a day, one is usually one hour, and the other is about 2 hours. She sleeps from about 9 pm at night to 8:30ish in the morning and doesn't wake up to eat (maybe 3 times a month she'll wake to eat). Mimi seems much more rested and settled after we started ferbering her. She loves her crib, and often wakes up and plays in there without crying for awhile.

It worked for me, but only because my husband supported the decision and didn't let me interfere in the process. It was hard to hear her scream. But she doesn't even do it anymore. Now before you go leaving me a comment exclaiming "She's too young to do this! You're cruel" which is what my friend Grace delicately mentioned to me, I'll tell you a story. We tried ferbering awhile ago--even though I thought it was too soon--my husband wanted to try it. We would leave her to "cry it out" but when we would go back in she would be so worked up, she wouldn't stop crying and she would be really upset. We knew it was too soon. We held off a couple of weeks--now when she is crying and we go in, as soon as we open the door, she turns off the crying like a light-switch and smiles at us, then proceeds to cry as we walk out the door. She's manipulating us.

One thing to note--we had not had a bumper in her crib before. Even though they are pretty--we believed them to be useless because:
1. You can't see them
2. They can't really even move for several months, so there was no worry of her getting her limbs caught in the crib slats
3. They make is a pain is the ass to change cribs sheets---if you have a puker you know how often you have to do this

However--no that she rolls and is no longer swaddled, we installed a breatheable mesh bumper (bought off amazon for less than 20 dollars), she can't get her limbs caught in the slats anymore.

Enough on this topic? Okay, ask me questions is you have them

Topic 2--Christmas for my Infant
Am I a bad parent because I didn't buy Mimi stocking stuffers and Xmas gifts? My feeling is that she really doesn't even understand what gifts are, nor can she have the fun of unwrapping them. Also, she doesn't need anything. I buy her stuff all the time when it's on sale. I recently bought her some Robeez and Umi trainer shoes for when she's older and learns to walk, I bought her the "if you give a ..." series of books from Kohls (at 5 bucks a piece vs normally 15 a pice for hardcover), and I bought her a cozy fleece jacket from LLbean when it was on cleareance last month. I didn't wrap any of these, but they are gifts for her I guess. Besides all this, my family and my husband's family, not to mention our friends have showered her with Christmas gifts beautifully wrapped under our tree right now.

Topic 3
I recently watched a youtube vlog (you're saying, oh no here she goes again with her youtube rants...), and I watched this video:

She is giving an update on her 7-month old son, who has NEVER had any bottles or pacifies, only the breast. This is impressive! That means this women has NEVER been away from her son for more two or three hours in is entire life. Am I a bad mother because I often relish a trip to the grocery store or Target alone while my husband watches Mimi? On the pacifier issue, I don't really have anything against them and Mimi rarely wants her other than the occasional non-hunger soothing. I do however cringe at the site of 2 year-olds walking around with them in their mouthes. Out of curiousity, I commented on this women's video asking her is there was a specific reason she had NEVER used bottles or pacis, because whenever she's mentions it, she has this tone of smuggness "I have nursed his exclusively with NO bottles EVER! (add in scary laugh Muh Ha Ha!). Well she replies back to me that bottles and pacifiers cause ear infections, low milk supply, nipple confusion, and difficulty weaning to a cup. Whoa Whoa Lady, so you're saying that my kid (who gets atleast 1 bottle of my breastmilk a day sometimes more if I have class etc) is going to be prone to ear infections and this will lower my milk supply etc? I did do some research into this---the suction of n0n-vented bottles and pacifiers (which are hard to find because technology has caught up to this suction problem) can cause ear issues. So--I used Avent and Playtex Ventair, and sometimes Evenflo vented nipples. I feel confident that I am not causing Mimi ear infections. I wonder at the women's' point on this becasue her son is 7 months---exclusively nursed---with two ear infections so far, and Mimi (almost 5 months) often gets bottles, no ear infections here! So perhaps her son is prone to them genetically or due to some formation differences in his ear. Lastly, let me tell you my supply is not affected by Mimi's bottle feeding. I normally have at-least-30 bottles stored up in the freezer. Which leads me to my actual point----I had to have surgery on my knee this past week to repair a buckle-handle tear in my minicus. Because of the anesthesia, antibiotics, anti inflammatory and pain medications, I was unable to nurse at all for over 24 hours. I pumped and dumped while my husband gave her the frozen milk in bottles. Mimi was okay with this deal except in the morning and evening when we generally do our long comforting nursing sessions. So imagine you, like me, had an unplanned surgery that left you in this position and you had NEVER EVER given you kid a bottle for 7 months. How traumatizing would this be for your kid? I therefore suggest you do give your kid a bottle here and there even if you normally exclusively nurse--it gives you a break and prepares you child incase you ever HAVE to use a bottle like I did.

This blends into topic 4--me moaning about how much is sucks to be on crutches when you are caring for a 5-month old (almost 5). Like mentioned above, I had to have some-what sudden emergency surgery on my knee last week to repair a torn knee menisucs. I had what is called a buckle-handle tear, where the inner portion tears away, causing pain and inability to fully bend or extend your knee. Left untreated, this injury (I was told) would do further damage to my knee and cause life-long pain. So they wanted to get me in as soon as possible to try to re=attach the tear. Because is was re-attached and not removed, I am no on crutches (no weight bearing) for 6 WEEKS! This F'ing sucks. Can you believe this!? I can't even take care of the baby, shower, get my self dressed, NOTHING for six weeks. My husband and I are trying to adjust to the situation. I am depressed at my situation. I am the type of person who hardly ever lets people help me out---let alone fully take care of me and my baby. I need constant help if I have the baby with me. If left alone, I lounge around in gym clothes with ice packs watching PBS. Now that we have our office back (my husband's friend finally moved out after 3 months) at-least I can sit at our desk and do work and feel at-least mentally productive. So I'm depressed. I cry everyday pondering how I will survive 6 weeks on crutches under my husband's care. Any tips for not drowning in tears and going insane?

After January 1st, Mim will be spending two days a week at my friend's home-run daycare (which I love), and one day a week at home with our expensive but capable babysitter Jenna. A nice college girl who loves my daughter, but needs to learn to rinse out bottles. I was meant to stay home with her two days a week--but now I think we will be spending Monday's at my friend Grace's and Friday's home with Daddy. I pray this goes by quickly and everything heals right so this never happens again.

I wish all you girls a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Both! Enjoy your babie or pregnancies or just life!


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