Sleep Routines and Babies: The Truth Revealed.

   My wife and I did our share of research when we found out we succeeded in having a kid.  Perhaps the most frustrating area to try and master is “sleep”.  The truth is, every baby is different.  You will soon come across things in books and online showing sleep routines with ridiculously laid out plans like:

7am: Nurse/Bottle
7:30am: Playtime
9:00am: Morning Nap (1.5 hours)
11:00am: Playtime

   This is the most ridiculous thing ever.  Of course, before you actually have the kid in real life, one would read a plan like this and be like, “Oh OK, that seems reasonable.”  You than have the kid in your possession and this schedule is perhaps the dumbest thing you could ever read.  I’m amazed that people even get hired to write books that have these mindless simplistic plans laid out.  We try to stick to a schedule, but sweet Amelia Rose does not have it.  She sleeps when she feels like it.
   Last night was another experience where we tried sticking to a schedule/routine that Nicole had read about.  Establishing a routine for your baby.  A specific time of the night that the baby goes into its room,the lights are dim, the changing occurs, the soothing, the baby massage, swaddled up and rocked to sleep.  This ritual happens, she falls asleep and we both go down stairs and enjoy some adult time.  A glass of wine and a movie under a blanket.  15 minutes later we glance over at the baby moniter:

Paranormal Activity Amelia

   Not only is this the most frustrating thing ever to see after the lengthy sleep routine prior, but it’s also super creepy.  She doesn’t even move for a while when she starts this!  She just stares at you.  I know what your thinking, “Oh she will just go to sleep.”  Never has that happened.  It starts with this…..then it goes to crying….then screaming.  With the baby being too young for the cry it out method, we have no choice but to go back up and start again.  With Nicole bearing the brunt of similar rituals during the afternoon, I volunteered my services and went up stairs.  I slowly open the door, thinking of myself as the dad coming to the rescue!  I will pick up my baby and rock her in my arms, she will be so happy that I’m there comforting her, making her feel safe.  Of course that image is shattered when I pick her up and she screams bloody murder.  I stay calm, I rock her and sing her sweet songs while she screams louder and louder.  Now its starting to look like one of those movies where a crazy guy kidnaps someone and is completely crazy singing songs while the victim is screaming and crying, desperately trying to escape – a true horror scene.  OK so not exactly that intense of a scene, but I certainly didn’t feel like a hero.  After about a half hour of this, Nicole enters the room to see if I wanted to switch because my ears were on the verge of bleeding. The baby is transferred into the arms of my wife and immediately stops crying.   
  Unfortunately now that this behavioural pattern has been discovered, we can’t solve it that way.  Now if she does this, I have to rough it out until she stops and falls asleep which is usually about an hour…
  This has happened the past three times now for me. Fourth times a charm!?  Back to my original point, these books can piss off!  If your lucky enough to have a kid that sleeps, it will sleep. If your unlucky, then your kid won’t sleep.  There is no book for that.

Happy New Year!

    This has been one hell of a year for The Super Sweet Shirt Co.  Between having a baby, trying to move, and staying active with new designs, this was possibly the most exhausting year yet.  We crushed last years holiday sales and have been getting awesome feedback.  Thanks to some of the feedback we got, I am excited to announce that we will be slowly offering some designs on youth sizes.  I’m not sure yet in terms of specifics, but they will be all American Apparel as we hope to slowly shift most of products to this brand because it rules.
    For this blog, I am going to be trying to get more of a schedule on this.  This blog will still be just a place for cheap plugs but also a blog for guys like me to read.  Technology, movies, parenting, beer, music, and more.  Stay tuned!

One Month!?

Time flies when you have an infant!  It may seem like your nights last an eternity, but a month has gone by and it doesn’t even feel like it.  What have I learned after a month?  Nothing stays the same.  You may think you figured out your baby, but you are probably wrong (unless you’re one of the lucky folks and have one of those babies that the literature says “sleeps a majority of the day”).
 
Some things we have picked up after a month:

1)  The Swaddle:  You read so much stuff online: “Swaddling is good,” “Swaddling is bad,” “Only swaddle for 3 months.”  All I know is, the swaddle is a life saver.  Our baby hates it, but there is no way she will sleep without it!  She doesn’t even come close.  Once those arms are free, she goes insane and her arms start flapping like shes trying to take flight, accept failing at it…..and then screaming because she can’t fly (that must be why shes screaming right?).  Then we go in and swaddle her, and shes out in 10-15 minutes.

Doesn’t get much easier then that right? Wrong.  The swaddle is amazing because she oddly is able to sleep, however her split personality kicks in every few minutes and you get bursts of rage as she tries to burst out of it.  It then becomes a battle of the sleepy baby vs the angry raging baby.  Even more annoying, if the sleepy baby wins, she may pass out, but then as soon as shes in anything less then a “deep” sleep, she will try and burst out even in a half sleep, which can sometimes result in a wide awake fit!  This can usually be tapered with a pacifier..that is….only if she allows you to try that…sometimes she just spits it.

“Come on sweet little angel, lets go to bed…”

All kidding aside, she is getting easier to figure out and anything she may do to frustrate us is usually forgotten instantly when she smiles (except for when she is making you really mad, and then smiles at you while you are pulling your hair out).

2)  So many baby products, so many promises:  Its so easy to get wrapped up in the world of baby products that promise specific results.  For instance, our baby likes to be rocked, so we bought this:

              

We figured, “Well, she calms down usually when shes rocked, maybe she will like this!?” This item ended up being great, if you need to kill ten minutes and get yourself a cup of coffee.  Its not a very soothing item.  The swing rocks sort of unnaturally which I think just makes the baby panic and get confused.  We seem to have the same results every time (although its getting better).  You sit her down, she looks confused, then starts to wave her arms in hopes of flying out of the seat and escaping us, which is then followed by hiccups and a full fledged panic.

3)  Bottles for fussy babies:   So after doing some reading, we thought that maybe the baby was so angry all the time because of the way she was being fed.  We were just using some regular bottles, some given to us by the hospital (they sent us home with tons of stuff).  My wife discovered these bottles online:

These things claim to reduce colic by 80%.  That sounded pretty swell in our eyes.  They have this odd venting system that sometimes makes a squeaky sound when shes eating.  When we first used this, our dog (who is getting used to being second in our house now) looked really confused as if we awarded the baby with a squeaky toy.

The results from the bottle were pretty awesome.  We went from a baby that screamed and cried 90% of the time she was awake (the other 10% she was eating), to only crying when its time to sleep.  We now get to feed our baby and then enjoy her smile with a little play time!  This product has delivered.

First Week Being a Parent!

    Its hard to believe that a week has gone by already since the birth of Amelia.  I’ll attribute that to the insane lack of sleep.  Its no joke!  You hear stories from parents telling stories about how you don’t get any sleep when you have a newborn, but I guess I didn’t take that in a literal sense.  You literally don’t get any sleep!  You can’t! The kid needs to eat every 2-3 hours.  Apparently this lasts about 3-4 weeks, and then your sleep window grows another 1-2 hours.  I’ll take it!

A few things I’ve learned being a new parent in week 1:

1) Babies love to eat.  Basically they say, if the kid is hungry then you feed it until its full.  Amelia is not shy when showing that shes hungry.  She does this mouth motion where she mimics eating.  That eventually evolves into chomping and sucking on her own hand…..which is then shortly followed by crying with an angry face.  Basically you want to recognize that shes hungry before you get to that point or else she starts to act like a little zombie.

2) Babies really love to shit, and perform surprise attacks with shits.  We have discovered that its not at all difficult to tell if a baby shits itself.  Besides the obvious horrendous smell, there is the ever amusing (at least with our kid) straightening of the legs, rigid stiff stretch of the limbs, face red, furrowed brows, and a loud wet fart.  Similar to the end of the ketchup bottle.  Once you hear and see this event unfold, its time to change the diaper.  This is where things get tricky.  We have learned to let the baby “shit it out”.  She needs a second to fully unload.  If you guess wrong, then you peel off the diaper and while preparing for a new one…..blam!  A hand full of propelled shits followed by a blank stare and a gassy grin.  You would think its super gross (and it is), but its surprisingly overshadowed by just how hilarious this cute little being is that is performing the act.

3) Our baby sticks to a routine. Throughout the day she eats nicely and then just passes out.  At night, she chooses to all of a sudden consume way more food, eat way slower, and create as many challenges as she can before she gives in and passes out.  Long nights.

So in week 1, these are the major things we have discovered being new parents.  Its frightening, but pretty amazing at the same time.

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