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March 8th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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edgeofelise edgeofelise is offline
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,451
When I was pregnant with DD I thought I'd be very AP. I didn't believe in CIO, I knew I would BF for as long as possible, she wouldn't watch TV, etc. We held on to a lot of AP philosophies but I'm turning out to be a lot more traditional than I thought.

Sleep- the only place she would sleep when she was a newborn was her swing or with me. However, I couldn't nurse side-lying because of my c-section incision so it just wasn't comfortable to have her in bed with me since I had to be upright to feed her anyway. I slept on the couch with her in the swing next to me for the first two months or so, because it was easier with the all-night feeding marathons for me to not wake DH. She had to be burped every five minutes because she spit up so badly, so a feeding session would take up to 45 minutes. I watched a lot of movies at 3am. This time I have a TV in the bedroom and we'll keep the swing and a bassinet next to the bed depending on what he likes. If I'm able to have a vaginal birth and nursing lying down is more comfortable, we may bedshare. We'll see.

Around 8 months DD starting having serious, SERIOUS sleep issues. I didn't believe in CIO so I tried the No-Cry Sleep Solution, but it did absolutely nothing to help and I became completely obsessed with her sleep to the point where I would camp out in her room staring at her, waiting for her to show signs of waking from a nap so I could swoop in and nurse her back down. I lost my mind and it wasn't healthy. One night I just SNAPPED. It was one of those moments where it's safer for everyone to just put the baby down for a minute and step away before somebody got hurt. I closed the door and had a panic attack in my bed while she cried in hers. It last 20 minutes and she slept until morning. That was the moment I decided a little bit of crying might actually be what she needs to learn to sleep, so I got the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and it was so, SO helpful. We never let her cry longer than an hour (we never needed to, but I wouldn't have, anyway) and the book helped me come up with a concrete plan that I didn't feel terribly guilty about. We'll be using the same techniques with Henry if he needs them, and much sooner. But again, every baby is different so we'll play it by ear.

Food was a nightmare with DD, and still is. She just wouldn't eat. Anything. She dropped below the charts completely and I got a lot of crap from her doctor about her failure to thrive. I thought I'd make all of her food and she'd never get anything unhealthy, but she got so thin that her ped was seriously like, FEED HER MILKSHAKES. ANYTHING SHE WILL EAT, JUST GIVE IT TO HER. So now she has terrible eating habits and it's caused an unbelievable amount of stress. I've learned to let go, and to offer healthy foods along with foods I know she'll eat, and hopefully someday she'll come around. We may try baby-led weaning with Henry, and we'll start later. I'm actually really dreading starting solids with him. We'll do extended BF again, as well. DD weaned just after her second birthday.

We don't ever, ever spank and so far we've really lucked out with her behavior. She's very sweet and mild-mannered and most of the time redirection works very well. She gets time-outs, but only after two warnings or if she does something that could hurt someone. Works like a charm for us. I mostly try to anticipate her needs and make sure that we don't expect to much of her. For example, if she doesn't nap we try not to run errands. Taking an overtired toddler to the grocery store is a recipe for disaster. We set very clear expectations and give small rewards. Positive discipline works very well in most cases. I hope Henry is as easy in that respect!

I'm hoping our lifestyle will change drastically by the time Henry is out of the infant stage. DD gets WAY too much screen time because we just don't have access to the outdoors (we live in downtown Seattle) and our schedule is nuts with DH being in school. I thought I wouldn't let her watch TV at all but I need a break. I don't drive, so we don't get out much. Our neighborhood is dirty and unsafe at times. I'm really, really hoping DH gets a job somewhere where we can afford to live in a suburb or even a rural area and our kids can be more exposed to nature. I never realized how important it was to me to raise my children this way, but it's the single most frustrating aspect of parenthood so far. I really hate where we live.

Eliza Rose, born 6/9/10
...and getting a little brother for her birthday! Baby Henry Wilder, due 6/7/13

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