The Reflection Post: What’s New, What’s Broken, and What’s to Love
The power went out around here at exactly five minutes past blog o’clock yesterday, so I missed you all, but hey – I’m here now! For this edition of what’s new
Wednesday Thursday, I thought I’d take a look at some of the broader goings-on around here. We’re swiftly approaching miss Annabelle’s (one and a) half birthday, so I have been spending a lot of time looking at what works, what doesn’t, and what I’ve learned that I need to remember for next time. Perhaps my successes and missteps could be helpful to you, too?
I sort of went over breastfeeding last week, so feel free to refer to that post if you’re curious and missed it. If you want the Reader’s Digest version, it’s going well, but I’m sort of done with nursing to sleep. If there’s one breastfeeding related thing I’ll do differently next time, it’s finding loving ways to soothe my baby to sleep that don’t involve nursing.
Speaking of sleep…
Oh, goodness. Every time I think I have the beast that is infant/toddler sleep conquered, I am proven wrong. Very, very wrong. It’s hard. I have absolutely no idea how to do it “right.” Some advice leads me to believe that I should be putting Annabelle to bed at 6pm on the dot every evening, and other advice encourages me to wait for her cues and just go with it. No matter which option I choose, we have a frustrating (for me) dance of nursing, peeing, squirming, naming body parts, switching sides, and peeing again that lasts an absolute minimum of 40 minutes, but has gone on for as long as four (yes, 4) hours. Side note: It felt like a very cruel joke when I emerged from the four hour dance and could not for the life of me get my bottle of wine open.
I will say this: cosleeping works for us. When I go to sleep with Annabelle, it’s a breeze and we both awake rested. The trouble is, I need less sleep than she does, and there’s a good, long list of things I can only really accomplish when she’s sleeping. So, it only makes sense that I should help her get settled in for her first stretch of sleep and get me some mama time before she wakes to nurse and I take her into my bed for the night.
I have been trying different things and finally broke down and purchased some sleep books. The No Cry Sleep Solution has been mentioned to me many times, but Anna mentioned it at just the right time, and the toddler and preschooler version is now on its way to me, or more likely in my box. I also purchased a more mainstream book, which I may read a few more pages of before I toss it in the garbage. I think that may be a big enough topic for a post of its own, but feel free to add your sleep advice if you have it! We already have a consistent evening routine and fairly consistent waking and napping times, a bath at night, time outside each day, and all of that.
One thing that is going quite well is EC, or Elimination Communication. We are very rarely using diapers or waterproof trainers now, but opting for training underwear or bloomers instead, even for outings. I have tried to stick with a diaper at night, just to save the mattress in case there should be a miss, but Annabelle protests most of the time. She has been showing for preference for sleep au naturale, which is fine with me. She now lets me know that she needs to go by excitedly saying, “poot!” I think that came from poop, but you never do know. She names everything these days. (Other new words include beer and bra. I’m sure everyone who overhears our chats in public thinks I’m a fantastic mother).
I used to leave a little potty nearby at all times, so that Annabelle could go to it on her own when needed. She never did take advantage, however, so I stopped the practice. Today, there was one sitting out in the living room and while I was making coffee, Annabelle walked over to it and sat down. She sits on them frequently, but never uses them for their intended purpose without taking me with her, so I didn’t think anything of it and continued what I was doing. She then picked the potty up and brought it into the kitchen. This is another thing she does regularly, so again I thought nothing of it. Then I heard a splash. She had gone pee on her own – for the first time – but she had also poured it all over herself and the floor. Poor kid! I suppose I’ll be leaving a potty out all the time now, and watching a bit more closely when Annabelle sits on it.
I am definitely continually pleased with our decision to practice EC, and plan to do the same again if we add to our family. Of course our next will be a completely different child, so we may find that we do things in a slightly different way, but I can’t see myself going back to diapering!
|I don’t have any recent babywearing photos, but here’s
Annabelle with the babywearing goddess’ cat :)
Babywearing, I should tell you, has changed. I’m surprised, and even a bit sad, to report that I have fallen out of love with my Beco. It just plain stopped fitting comfortably, no matter how I adjusted it. I asked a babywearing goddess friend of mine for help, as I was sure I just needed to adjust something differently – my favorite carrier ever couldn’t possibly fail me! Sadly, she confirmed what I feared – it just doesn’t work with my frame. She was kind of enough to let me borrow one of her Mei Tai carriers and I love it, so I have arranged to purchase a BabyHawk this weekend and I’m pretty excited about it. That will be my go-to for longer outings and hikes during which Annabelle may have long periods of wanting to snuggle up instead of walk. For short outings, I keep a pouch sling on hand so I can help her get comfortable quickly and easily while I do things like check out at the store, but for the most part, she prefers to be free and unfettered, so I’m not using any sort of carrier all that much these days.
If we have another baby, I think I will invest in a nice wrap for the early days. I was so intimidated by wrapping and tying before Annabelle was born, so I stuck with things that had more structure. I wish I had taken the plunge, however. My babywearing goddess friend has shown me a few different ways of tying wraps and they just seem like the most wonderful way of securely cuddling up to a wee one while keeping your hands free.
Overall, life with Annabelle is pretty fantastic. Yes, I’m exhausted some days and frustrated others, but this kid brings so much joy to my life that those feelings never stick around for long. When we go out, she chirps a friendly hello at every single person who walks past, and when she sees a dear friend she flails her arms and literally shakes with giggly excitement. Her curiosity forces me to notice things I never would if she weren’t around, and I’m regularly blown away and honored when I can learn new things about her. As her mother, it’s my duty to think she’s the bees knees, but seriously guys: she’s the bees knees.
What would you do differently with future children if given the chance? What are the best parenting choices you’ve made? What awesome things are your children doing?
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