Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Crib notes

**Warning. Long mommified post ahead. Non-mommy types can feel free to skip. No harm, no foul.**

When I got pregnant, I always thought that Em would sleep in our room in her Pack N Play for a couple weeks and then we'd transition her to the crib in her room. With her frequent night feedings - typically 3 or more - it just became easier to keep her with us. I wasn't looking forward to the not-so-long-but-still-not-conveniently-at-the-end-of-our-bed trek down our hall. Then I realized that a couple weeks had turned into a couple months, and thought it was time for her to get acquainted with her nursery.

I started off trying to put her down in her crib for naps, but that was problematic because I don't put her down for naps in general. I know when she's been up too long and it's time for a nap, but I just let her fall asleep and stay asleep wherever she is, for the most part. That's usually in her swing -- which she loves so much that I bought another one off Craigslist to keep at my in-laws' -- in her car seat or on me while wrapped in the Moby.

The first few times I tried to get her to nap in her crib? Fail. And on Saturday when Brent commented about how he was worried that Em shouldn't be swinging so much, I showed him exactly how tough it was to get her to nap in her crib. She cried and cried and cried some more, basically crying right through her typical time for naps. (We didn't let her "cry it out" - we'd pick her up when she started to cry, then put her down when she was almost asleep only to have her wake up again and start crying.) Then I decided that we should try swaddling her for her nap like we do when we put her to bed, something I was trying to stay away from as it's not good for babies' joint development to be swaddled for longer than 10 hours. We swaddled her and she finally napped in her crib... for about half an hour. Back to the swing it was.

Sunday evening I told Brent that I wanted to try to put her to bed in her crib, but if it looked like it wasn't going to work then it'd be back to our room for the night. I didn't want to battle putting her to sleep on my lonesome - if it was going to take a fight, then I'd rather it be on a weekend evening when Brent could stay up and help me fight the fight. But Sunday's attempt turned out to be ok. It took three or four times to get her to fall asleep somewhat happily in her crib, but once she was out she slept her usual 3-4 hours before waking up for her next feeding. I slipped into bed and watched her for a few minutes via our video monitor. (Totally awesome product, by the way. It has night vision!)

Monday evening started out even better. She passed out after her feeding. And I mean, passed out. Nothing seemed to stir her, and we didn't want to jinx it so we carefully wrapped her up in the swaddle blanket without evening changing her into her pjs. She was fine until 4 hours later, when she woke up and basically stayed up for 2 1/2 hours. I'd feed her, try to burp her with no luck, put her down asleep only to have her wake up 20 minutes later crying from gas pain. She'd burp easily then, and then be hungry for more. So I'd feed her, try to burp her again with no luck, put her down asleep and then she'd wake up again from the gas. Ugh. Once I got her down comfortably, though, she was back into her typical sleeping ritual, even allowing us to sleep until about 7:45.

Last night, though, was a bit insane. It started in the evening, after I had gone in for what I call a breastfeeding tune-up. I had a late afternoon follow-up appointment with my lactation consultant to work on Em's latch technique, which had gotten sloppy. When I got her home, I fed her some more.

Then she flipped out.

It was definite gas pain, and I knew exactly what did it.

For lunch all I ate was a big bowl of leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. And Monday evening I had some with dinner, followed by her crazy gas episode in the middle of the night. By deduction I figured that sweet potatoes are not Em's friend. I tried everything to calm her down - gas drops, gripe water, burping, and then a special baby hold that my lactation consultant had recommended. I held Em with her back against my stomach and her legs pulled up, her feet in my hands as I walked around the house. That worked much better than the ol' bicycle trick. She seemed happy for a bit, but then the hard cries came again. The interweb told me that a warm bath might calm her down and relax her stomach muscles. Thankfully Brent was home by then, so he tried to calm her as I scrambled to pull the bath together. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as she got in, she was relaxed. And wouldn't you know it again, as soon as we got her out, again with the crying.

Ugh.

By then it was time for her to eat again, so we gave her a bottle of milk I'd pumped pre-sweet potatoes. She gulped it down, BURPED (it's the simple pleasures, folks), and then passed out. She then slept the longest she ever has - nearly 6 hours! The next feeding was simple - eat, burp, back to sleep. But this morning's early feedings were a little hectic. 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 - then more of the gassy crying, but not nearly as frantic as last night's crying, followed by TWO huge poopy diapers. (I'll spare you anymore details.) Relief at last for all involved.

I knew I had to blog about this so when I think back about transitioning to her crib, it won't be all dandelions and unicorns.

If you've made it this far, you deserve a gold star. And I've made it this far, so I deserve a little pampering. Grandma is coming over to watch Em and I'm off to the salon!

"You know, when you were a baby in your crib, your father looked down at you, he had but one hope - some day my son will grow to be a man. Well look at you now. You just got your asses whipped by a bunch of goddamn nerds." - Coach Harris, Revenge of the Nerds

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this! I am planning on brestfeeding and I love sweet potatoes so I definitely will not go overboard with them while b/f!

    I hope you have a great time at the salon!

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  2. I made it through, and I think it was fascinating, so :P

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  3. I made it too! My best friend is trying to get her three month old into the crib in the nursery too. So you know you aren't alone :)

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  4. so...yeah. i haven't made it that far yet. i dream of the day when i sprout the balls to put the bean down in her crib and stick to it, dammit.

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  5. Oh, the things I have to look forward to... :)

    Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. We are in the process of getting our 9 week old son into his crib too. When he slept in his bouncey chair, he was sleeping up to 8 hours. Now that we've got him in his crib we are back to him getting up every 3 hours. Its been about 7 days since we started, so we are hoping to get back to where we were soon. I feel your pain....

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  7. Is there anything you would have done different? Would you have tried to get her into the crib sooner? Inquiring minds want to know :) I have a lot to learn in the next 6.5 months!

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  8. i made it through and man kids are hard work, haha. but sounds like you guys are making it ,woo.

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  9. It's hard! You are doing great. Don't give up - remember that she has to learn all of this stuff, like how to sleep in her crib. If you have a hard time one day, do what it takes to calm Em and yourself (pick her up, plop her in the swing, whatever), but don't decide, "that's it, she's clearly never going to sleep in her crib." Just give it another try on her next nap, or the next day, whenever you have the energy.

    As my parents always remind me when I am frustrated with potty-training slipups, she probably won't be in diapers when she walks down the aisle. And like that, Em will eventually learn how to fall asleep, on her own, in her crib, and stay that way for enough hours that you can get some rest, too!

    You're doing great!

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  10. Oh man- I feel ya on not having set nap times! I'm trying so hard to get Missy Pants on a schedule now that she is almost 4 months old- but it's harder then it looks people!

    I would just keep trying over and over on the crib- she'll get used to it eventually. Our darlin made the transition beautifully- make sure she has something cool to look at when she's in there- that helped our girl. Also, when she found her hands to self-soothe her, that made a big difference!

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  11. It was good that Rex outgrew his bassinet and I HAD to put him in the crib. But then I slept on the twin bed in his room for a month :o) I get nervous about the napping sometimes too because he only naps in the bouncy seat. Complete failures when I tried to put him in his crib. But he sleeps just fine in at night (has never had any problem with it) so hopefully Em will transition just fine too.

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  12. Oooh, poor baby. I have lots of stomach problems (Oh what wouldn't I give to be able to burp like normal people) so I can really relate to how awful it makes you feel, and I can relate to your sleeplessness! I hope it gets better soon (and it will). Do you read Sundry Mourning's blog? She has been writing about this lately.

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  13. Ugh, sleep training is the WORST. And curbing your diet because of breast feeding is no fun, either. Sorry you have to deal with it!

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  14. How much sweet potatoes did you eat??

    Ouch. Gas.

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  15. Poor baby girl and poor you! As an adult, gas pains are crappy; I can't imagine what it feels like to a tiny baby.

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  16. Oh the pains of parenthood. Hang in there momma. It's a learned situation for Em and you. I promise you'll get through it and I promise you'll figure out what works. If not, then I promise to baby sit some time so you can go to the salon. ;)

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  17. i made it through! quite interesting actually. didn't realize gas pains were a baby's worst nightmare.

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  18. TAH has Gas, too. Maybe I should get him A Swing?

    xoxo,
    TDR

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  20. Sounds like you're doing a great job! We were wimps and kept Zoe sleeping in a playpen in our room until she was almost five months. By that time I think she was so glad to have some privacy, we had very little problems. This is the same kid who now walks into her room and very deliberately shuts the door behind her and turns on her stereo. :)

    Finn is going to start out in his crib right away since we have room for it in our bedroom. I'm hoping that will make everything easy, because easy might be kind of nice.

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  21. Even though I'm not a mom, I made it all the way through!

    I have to say, I appreciate you honesty and this is why I know I'm not ready for a baby. You definitely deserve some pampering!

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  22. Awwww, it definitely isn't unicorns and rainbows, that's for sure! We've been in the crib for about a week and a half now, and some nights are definitely better than others. Sometimes the swing is the only thing that will work. I hope tonight Em gives you an easier time. At hey, at least you've got kick-ass hair!

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  23. I don't know how you do it. I give you a lot of props. I'm really scared for when that time comes that I'll start crying along w/ her.

    Glad to hear you had a chance to step out and enjoy some hours of 'me' time.

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  24. Thanks for the real but still wonderful perspective on parenting. Randonly, my mom and I were talking about my infancy the other day -- apparently I spent almost all of my first year in one of those swings. I turned out relatively. OK. ;)

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