Workshop #5 - Baby’s Early Years; Crying, Night Waking, and Attachment Parenting - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 46 Old 08-25-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thomrho View Post
I am really struggling with having balance in my life as a mother. What has worked for others? What helps you cope and feel more fulfilled?
Balance is hard to find! As much as I'd love to SAH with my little one, I think WOH helps me to find my balance and continue to define myself as Susannah, not *solely* as Keagan's mom. Keeping in touch with friends (mostly online) and taking some time to myself after he is asleep at night helps as well.

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It's true that if you want to avoid being a sleep deprived zombie with a newborn, you need to breastfeed and co-sleep.
My little will be 3 in November and I feel like I am just starting to *not* feel like a sleep deprived zombie in the last few months. He was EBF until a year and we still BF and co-sleep.

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Wearing two slings is not an option for me. I actually can't wear a sling, I need a wrap that goes over both shoulders b/c I have a neck & shoulder problem that can be easily re-injured.
I've carried one babe in an Ergo and another in a wrap. What about doing something like that if you are wanting to carry both?

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I don't feel like a mother - I honestly sometimes feel too young to be one (I am 21) and so much like a kid myself. My birth was extremely impersonal (emergency C-section, didn't see son till he was 3 days old) and I wonder if that has had an impact on how I view myself and how I view my son. I also wonder if I am so afraid to screw him up that I don't want to have anything to do with him. I do love the little guy, but I have a hard time doing what I feel a mother should do.
I'd be willing to bet that your birth experience could have something to do with it. Do you think it is possible you have postpartum depression?

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#32 of 46 Old 08-26-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Do you have some toys that you like to play with? I'm kind of a kid myself because I was robbed of my own childhood so I find it easy to 'play' or 'pretend.'

When I feel like I'm not spending enough time with my little ones I always look for a toy set that I like to play with. This helps me interact with them in a way that they enjoy. If you don't have any, look around on the internet and find something that you would buy if you were a kid. Even if your child wouldn't ordinarily like it, at this age they will just because you do.

Then when we give them this attention, our babies cry a lot less which can help is feel less resentment towards them and in turn that brings us closer, enabling us to do the things that we know we should do as mothers.
Sweet I am totally breaking out my Star Wars toys now. But seriously, thanks for the suggestion. I have been thinking about it and think we're going to start reading more books together. I love to read and want my son to as well, so we'll see what happens. Heaven knows we have enough books around here

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The internet is addicting. I've found myself thinking "Couldn't you just stop fussing so I could finish reading about how to be a responsive parent?" Then I realize how ridiculous I'm being. None of us is perfect.
This is EXACTLY what it's like. Thank God I'm not the only one!!


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I'd be willing to bet that your birth experience could have something to do with it. Do you think it is possible you have postpartum depression?
Absolutely. I have my first counseling appointment in about 3 weeks, and am currently on anti-depressants. Hopefully the counseling will help - I have a feeling there's a lot of issues I need to resolve with some professional help

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#33 of 46 Old 08-26-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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Sweet I am totally breaking out my Star Wars toys now.
That's funny. My DH still has his star wars figurines from back in the 70's. It's really fun to have a reason to be a child again...sometimes that is what I love about being with my children the most. It's like a free ticket to be silly.
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#34 of 46 Old 08-26-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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Absolutely. I have my first counseling appointment in about 3 weeks, and am currently on anti-depressants. Hopefully the counseling will help - I have a feeling there's a lot of issues I need to resolve with some professional help
I hope it is helpful for you.

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#35 of 46 Old 08-27-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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I'm a little nervous about night waking with my little one coming soon.

Although my DS wakes at night he goes right back to sleep and DH gets up to bring him to bed with us often. Obviously DH can't nurse the baby though.

The last two pregnancies I've been a wreck for the nighttime hours...bf'ing makes me frustrated in the early weeks when I'm very tired too because I almost always have a hard time getting the baby latched during the night. I have to have a lamp on.

I really want it to be different this time. I'm not sure if it is hormones or something that I really can have control over.

Has anyone experienced very troublesome times during nighttime waking with a newborn to have a better experience with a subsequent baby? If so, what do you think it is that made the better experience?

Also, I was reading an article about bedsharing it mentioned that co-sleeping advocates recommend parents don't bed share with an infant and other children in the bed. My ds still sleeps with us at some point during the night.

Have any of you slept with a newborn and a toddler at the same time?
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#36 of 46 Old 08-27-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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I wish I had the option of not leaving DD with a stranger while I had to work, but it wasn't financially feasable. How can I make leaving DC with a child care provider to work fit into AP?
I see my mod sister Arwyn already answered this in great detail but as a working Mama, I wanted to add my own 5 cents. I have 2 kids, a 16 yo ds and a 3 yo dd, and for the most part I have always worked. In fact not working wasn't even as option when I had my son since trying to love off $300 in public assistance was virtually impossible. That said I do beleive you can create rythyms and routines that create deeper connection, when I was a single Mom with my son, weekends were are time to connect, at 16 he still remembers many of the things we did rather fondly.

With my 3 yo, I was able to SAH for her first year and I ended up taking on an adjunct teaching position that was pt, right now I work from home and while we use pt childcare this setup does allow me ample time with her. As far as childcare, while finding an AP style provider is not aways an option, you can find a childcare provider who is respectful of your parenting style.

In choosing to work, I don't beleive for a moment that it means you cannot practice AP style parenting, in fact I feel AP makes working easier in some ways. Admittely I don't get much done as far as things as housework or things like that but there is always time for that later.

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#37 of 46 Old 09-01-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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Also, I was reading an article about bedsharing it mentioned that co-sleeping advocates recommend parents don't bed share with an infant and other children in the bed. My ds still sleeps with us at some point during the night.

Have any of you slept with a newborn and a toddler at the same time?
DD1 was 26mo when dd2 arrived... the reasoning given for the guideline is that toddlers don't have the same sort of body awareness that adults do. They can and do roll out of the bed, they flail around, they squirm back and forth across the bed, and can be tough to wake... not good things if you have a tiny/can't move much babe in there too.

Our solution looked pretty silly but it worked for us... basically we pushed dd1's toddler bed up against the side of the "big" bed, which created a bit of a "lip" since the big bed was a few inches taller than the toddler bed. On the other side we put the arm's reach co-sleeper so there would be a bit more space available for dd2 if necessary. And we swapped the order in the bed so that it went dd1 - dh - me - new babe. DD1 could wiggle all she wanted but there was enough space that dd2 wasn't going to get squished.

As dd2 got bigger we rearranged everything and even got a different bed, but we're only just starting to let dd1 and dd2 sleep together "on their own" without dh or I in the bed too. (dd1 is a pretty aggressive sleeper, and she has sent dh to the ER twice in her sleep so I'm not taking any chances with dd2). If your older kiddo is a gentler sleeper or if there will be an adult between them I probably wouldn't worry.

Breastfeeding/new babe sleeping- I had a hard time when dd1 was new but I didn't have the same sort of nightwaking problems with dd2. I think I was more relaxed (about breastfeeding & cosleeping) and that helped, but I think mostly the difference was dd2's early personality. She was sleepier and calmer than dd1 had been, she took her time nursing and just fell back asleep most of the time. And dd1 rarely woke up even when dd2 was upset so I almost never had to juggle both girls at night.

I know that doesn't really help, but maybe you'll have a cozy sleeper this time too?

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#38 of 46 Old 09-01-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Amen to a cozy sleeper! I'll take one of those this time...

I've actually been laying awake at night thinking about how sleep is going to work for us b/c DH can sometimes get irritable about not having his room in the bed. but mostly b/c DS wants to cuddle me.

Anyways, I did get a mini-cosleeper and there is just enough room for it between the bed and the wall...it's mainly there for if someone (besides me) rolls off the bed. But, I was thinking...maybe this baby will sleep in there. :

Then I was was reminded of was when we were first-time parents....

I felt like I wasn't getting very good sleep with newborn DD1 in arms so I pulled the port-a-crib in with the bassinet attached and put her in there. Ugh, my sleep was even worse. I remember feeling like my eyelids were glued to my eyebrows while my eyes tried to focus on her in the darkness through the mesh port-a-crib to make sure she was okay.

After about 10 minutes of that I was like forget it, and put her back in my arms to sleep.

My sleep may not have been perfect but my blood pressure was.
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#39 of 46 Old 09-01-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Our co-sleeper was mostly an "extra roomy bed rail" too. The times when either girls actually slept in it my arm would go numb because I'd keep my hand on their bellies. But it was nice to know that there was that little extra space if necessary, and it made night time diaper changes easier since everything (including a flat space) was close to hand.

Actually, we were trying to sell our house right around the time dd2 arrived and our "master" bedroom was soooo full of beds our agent was a bit worried (the toddler bed, adult bed, co sleeper took up almost the entire wall, you could just squeeze between the wall and toddler bed and that was it!)

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#40 of 46 Old 09-03-2008, 03:17 AM
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#41 of 46 Old 09-03-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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I am looking for more information
Welcome! MDC is a treasure trove of information on attachment parenting and natural family living. Do you have any specific questions?

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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#42 of 46 Old 09-03-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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Yes, please let us know what you are looking for specifically and we can help. Though I would also encourage you to look around as well. Welcome :

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#43 of 46 Old 09-03-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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My kids are 4.5 years apart and while I was already doing some AP things with ds, we breastfed for 18 months, coslept for the first 6 months, cloth diapered, he is intact and I never felt right leaving him to cry for long periods of time I was doing those things somewhat instinctively. I had no internet and had never heard of AP. i was just doing what felt right. I didn't find MDC and the full range of AP and NFL until I was pregnant with dd.

It made things so much easier. I discovered slings. I had used a snuggly type baby carrier with ds but found it so uncomfortable that I didn't use it very often. With dd, she lived in her sling for the first several months. With ds, I knew that i didn't want to leave him to cry when he needed me and he was a very high needs baby but all I knew how to do was to sit and hold him. Without a comfortable carrier it was hard to move around and do things and hold him at the same time so my choices were to be trapped on the couch/bed with a fussy baby while the house dissolved into chaos around me and my dh grumbled about working full time and then coming home to do all the housework (another rant for another day...he did do it all though I have to give him that) or letting ds cry while I tried to get some other things done. Neither option left me feeling good about the situation or myself. I'm sure my lack of comfortable baby carrier was a contributer to my PPD. I also found that there were others parenting like me. I didn't feel like I had to get the kids out of our bed. Or that I had to ween or any of that other stuff that didn't feel right but that everyone else was doing.

When dd was born I had an active preschooler in the house and I just didn't have the option of sitting with her for long periods of time. I'm so glad I found a comfortable sling because I used it all the time. With dd in her sling I could play with ds, take him to the park, prepare meals, do laundry, vacuume....I felt like super woman, I could do it all. Baby wearing was so freeing for me. Of all the AP tools that I've made use of over the last few years, baby wearing is the one that saved my sanity and improved the lives of my children the most. My biggest regret is that I didn't have one with ds. He missed out of a happy mommy for his first year because of it.

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#44 of 46 Old 09-09-2008, 01:26 AM
 
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I nightime parenting. And my little is 4, and he's still really on our schedule or his own...so it's no big deal.

Can someone talk about Nighttime Parenting the older child? 8.5 years old going on 40. My son doesn't go to sleep w/o one of us lying down with him. And he cannot stay up as late as I do, though he would like to...he just can't do it.

So, it's not the parenting to sleep that I mind, it's the constant complaining. The "I can't sleep" when he's been lying in bed for maybe 1 minute. The "why can't I stay up". The horrible fit melting down if he doesn't get to bed in time--but being mad that he has to.

And he thinks nighttime routines are waaaaaay beyond him. Sigh. and

Anyone have any ideas?
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#45 of 46 Old 09-10-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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Older kids defiantly need a bed time routine to help them get to sleep. Heck I need a bed time routine. However the playing in the bath, story read by mom or dad and a lullaby that works great for a preschooler is not necessarily going to be enjoyed be a kid who is edging toward the preteen years.

My ds is 8 and while he is generally a good sleeper, he does have nights where he wants to stay up and claims he can't sleep after just a few min. When he was smaller he defiantly needed me or dh with him to fall asleep. About a year ago though we started running into the sort of trouble you were describing. We started letting him play quietly in his room for a while. I would come back and check on him in about 15 min or half an hour. If he still wasn't ready to sleep he could read by himself for a while. Often he would fall asleep before I got back into his room but if he hadn't yet, that would be when I lay down with him and he was usually ready to fall asleep by then. The quiet play and reading became his new bedtime routine and it's working for him now.

Some things you can do could be turning off extra lights about an hour befoer you expect him to go to bed. Lower light levels signal our bodies that it is getting close to time to sleep. Dh and I had always done that for ourselves but the kids go to bed so much earlier that the house was still fairly bright at their bed time. When we started turning the lights down right after supper it helped the kids sleep better.

Offering a bed time snack can help to. Ds really likes herb tea with milk and honey at bed time.

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#46 of 46 Old 09-10-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Thank you! What wonderful ideas. I bet he would love tea-time before bed. He's always always hungry.

He & I spoke about it last night, and he said that he would like someone to read with him at night. So we decided that he would read to himself, and that I would read to myself, in the same room.

And the light thing He is very light sensitive. I actually hadn't thought about that in terms of my younger son too, but I wonder if they are both having that issue.

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