Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Baby Whispering--A Day Into the Madness

I've put Genevieve on the Baby Whispering plan.

At first, the whole pick up/put down process for settling her to sleep in her crib took up to 40 minutes. Now, we're down to anywhere from 3-10 minutes, and that's with only a day into this.

Gennie went from 11pm-6:30 am last night without nursing. Unfortunately, neither my husband nor I can recall for certain if she cried or screamed excessively last night, other than a shriek session from 5am-5:45am. The level of tiredness I feel would seem to indicate that I slept very little, but my sleep-deprived brain has drained me of any memory.

The most interesting part of this process has been letting go of the constant nursing (snacking, really) and catnaps, and, instead, guiding Gennie toward deeper sleep and fuller feeding. There have been times in the past day where she was so bright and sunny that it seemed she could understand that we were working toward this together, and that she could begin to soothe herself at night.

And I felt so pleased for her indpendence, and so sad at knowing that it's the first step of many away from me, and toward herself, and who she will become. I post on a mama blog and many mamas had conflicted feelings about encouraging a 6-month-old to sleep longer and nurse less frequently. I understand their concerns, because it's saying that a baby is ready to have some autonomy. One mama on my blog said that babies are meant to be held and snuggled all the time. I'm not so sure--I love snuggling Gennie, but I also love letting her explore beyond the boundaries of my arms.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Baby Whispering

I stumbled upon Tracy Hogg's The Baby Whisperer and have decided to give her sleep-through-the-night method a go. My daughter, Genevieve, is nearly 6 months and still wakes at 11, 1ish, 3ish, 5ish and sometimes extra to nurse, nurse, nurse.

Today is day one of the E.A.S.Y. plan--four-hour time slots of eating, activity, sleep, and you-time (during the sleeping). It felt strange and panicky to back off on the frequency of nursing during the day, but I truly look forward to easier nights.

I'll post here a couple times in the duration of this baby-whispering experiment to let everyone know how it's progressing.

Today was mostly about observing the baby's current routines, but I did implement the pick up/put down procedure. The procedure is a real struggle but, for me, ultimately better than letting Genevieve cry it out. You basically put baby in the crib for nap or night sleep and, if she cries, pick her up and speak in a monotone. The second she stops crying, back to the crib she goes. No rocking, singing, or coaxing to sleep. If she cries again, up again, then back down.

The book says that the record for repeated pick up and put back downs is 150 over the course of a couple hours...dios mio.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Two Years

Today is a good day to...
  • take a walk
  • eat a corn cake
  • jump off a bus to buy paper flowers
  • read a poem
  • hablar espanol
  • fight the good fight
  • tell a joke
  • look at the moon
  • sing an old-timey song
  • wear pajamas
  • laugh loudly
  • blow kisses to the four corners of the universe

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Few of My Favorite Things

The two-year anniversary of the death of my sister, Jenny Makofsky, fast approaches. In honor of her delighted obsession with listing favorite things, I thought I would list some of mine.

That really big harvest moon
Cartoony low brow art in bright colors (and cheap!)
When the bed is made
Wearing black
Walking in city neighborhoods and reading the flyers
Eating interesting food
Sleeping long and late
Singing sad songs loudly
The sense that a book or a movie or a play is going to be really good
Strange happenings in everyday life
Roadside shrines

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day!

This is Jenny's favorite holiday. Mine was always Arbor Day, and I no longer have any idea when it is.