Jun 24 2014
Now that I’ve been a parent for a month, I’m hoping to see evidence of an emerging parenting style. Am I an Attachment Parent? Or am I Detached? What are my philosophies on where, when, and how the baby should sleep? Or eat? To wear or not to wear the baby?
Our days go something like this: Wake up. We’ve already woken up several times, this waking up is unique because it’s daylight. Perhaps the baby is in the crib next to the bed. In this case, we’re Room Sharing. More likely, I’ve fallen asleep breastfeeding once again and the baby is draped across my stomach. Both of our mouths are open and we are both snoring. In this scenario, we are Co-Sleeping. (My pediatrician has already given me major stink-eye about this, incidentally. I want to know though, how is it physically possible to not fall asleep breastfeeding in the middle of the night for two hours at a stretch?)
Ok, so we’re awake. The reason we’re awake is that Penrose is hungry. Penrose is basically always hungry, eating, or asleep. That’s fine, she’s 1 month old. So, I’m Feeding On Demand. Which I think is in line with Attachment Parenting. I feed Penrose until she seems calm enough to go back in her crib so I can shower. Inevitably, while I’m showering, she remembers that she’s neither sleeping nor eating, so she must be hungry. She begins to signal appropriately. However, I am in the shower, asserting my Right to Clean Hair, the only right I have retained since giving birth. Since I am not at the moment Attached and able to Feed On Demand, she begins to Cry It Out. This continues until I am out of the shower, whereupon I remember that I am Feeding On Demand and wrap my hair in a towel and get to it. Once she’s calmed down enough to put her back in the crib, I finish my toilette, such as it is. Sometimes she eats again before I can finish getting dressed, and definitely before I can make the bed. Often there’s a diaper change or spit up event necessitating a complete Penrose costume change. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 26 2014
I hate the phrase “Working Mom.” I was home with my daughters for almost three years, and I promise, that was work too. But it is a different kind of challenge than working in a paid profession. I returned to my job as a guidance counselor this past September, and it’s been an interesting few months. (Read: It’s slightly insane. Moms of many and single mothers, I salute you.) But I confess, I’m doing things that I never thought I would:
1. I make three dinners.
My husband is a picky eater. Each night, my mother-in-law would come home from work and cater to her son’s “discriminating” tastes by cooking a separate meal. “Not me,” I swore. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 4 2013
Co-sleeping has NEVER looked like this for us.
Let me start by saying that I know a lot of people think co-sleeping is fantastic including some of my close friends. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is mine. I’m not trying to convince anyone to change their view.
That being said, I know some parents who share my opinion and they are afraid to speak up for fear of being negatively judged by anyone who is in favor of co-sleeping. Doing things differently from others don’t make you a bad parent; it just means it doesn’t work for your family.
For a couple of months, my 4-year-old has thought her place at night is in our queen-sized bed and my husband’s position in the same bed is rather arbitrary. She’s said that he should sleep in the spare room. She starts out in her own bed, but comes to ours sometime in the middle of the night. I think she knows she has a better chance of getting to actually stay there if it’s so late that we won’t want to argue with her. I give her kudos on that one. The other night, it happened that we went to bed later than usual and she came to our room earlier than usual, so I got zero sleep. ZERO. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t think straight and ended up taking a half day off work because of it. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 21 2011
All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.
– A new public service announcement compares co-sleeping to putting a baby to bed alongside a giant knife. (Salon)
– Is the fear of being labeled “sexist” thwarting important research on the differences between boys’ and girls’ brains? (Slate)
– Pizza retains its classification as a “vegetable” — at least as far as school lunch programs are concerned. (Reuters)
– Parents with young children are taking issue with airlines’ efforts to relegate them to “baby ghettos” in back of the plane. (The Wall Street Journal)
– The New York Times is suing the Huffington Post for copyright infringement. The target of the lawsuit is HuffPo’s new parenting blog, Parentlode; it’s helmed by Lisa Belkin, who, until recently, was the lead writer of The Times’ Motherlode blog. (Adweek)
– Over at Motherlode, KJ Dellantonia, who ably stepped in following Belkin’s departure, questions the zeal of home-birth cheerleaders. (Motherlode)
– Disney buys Babble. (Dealbook)
– And Mickey and Minnie’s latest acquisition introduces us to “Peregrine,” “Samoset,” “Damaris”, and other baby names “inspired by the First Thanksgiving.” (Babble)
Aug 31 2011
Mayim Bialik in the family bed with her two sons.
Last week, abcnews.com posted an article by famed co-sleeping expert Elizabeth Pantley about how to stop co-sleeping and get your kids out of your bed.
If you’ve read my writing before, you know I’m a big proponent of co-sleeping. My husband, 3- and 6-year-old sons, and I share a gigantic family bed which consists of a king and a full futon pushed together on the floor, and I believe our co-sleeping will end when our family sees that it is time to end it. But it’s not my intention to tell you why co-sleeping is good and beneficial and natural and fun (my book which comes out in March devotes a whole chapter to that). I want to share two things that go on in our family bed that are specifically Jewish, because I don’t hear it spoken about very often.
Disclaimer: the things I describe can (and do) also occur in non co-sleeping families, but this is simply the experience of our family bed from a Jewish perspective.
1. Bedtime Shema. After teeth are brushed (Fred fighting the brushing with varying intensity on any given night), and everyone has gone to the bathroom one last time (ditto; he’s 3, it’s normal, right!?), we read books, Fred nurses, and we sing the first two lines of the Shema. As a child, my parents recited the Shema to me and just as it was technically my first full sentence as a toddler, it was our boys’ first as well.
Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 26 2011
When you're so tired you can't see straight... call Batya!
Israeli sleep coach, Batya Sherizen is taking questions from Kveller readers. Send your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My son is 13 months old. We co-sleep. We usually go to bed anywhere from 10-11 pm depending on what time my husband has gotten home. I usually nurse my son to sleep and then he gets between 2-3 am to nurse and then 5-6 am to nurse and then he gets up for the day anywhere from 7-8:30 am. I’m exhausted and would really like to get more than 3-4 hrs of uninterrupted sleep a night. He naps twice a day usually for an hour between 10-11 am and for another hour or so between 4-5 pm. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jordana
It sounds like he is already on a consistent routine during the day – which is great! His main issue here is his sleep dependency issue in the nights. Co-sleeping has many advantages, but it can also be extremely difficult to teach a baby not to nurse so frequently when he is pressed up right against you all night. Assuming you want to continue co-sleeping and that you’re ready to make a commitment for 2-3 weeks of improving his sleep, I would do the following:
1) Ensure that his bedtime is at a time where he is not overtired, as 9-11 pm at night can be very difficult for such a little one. Over tiredness can cause frequent night wakings so it’s crucial that his bedtime is at an early, predictable time.
2) Next, you need to teach him how to fall asleep without nursing. Nurse him until he is calm and relaxed, but not fully asleep. From there cuddle him/hold him tightly until he is asleep but don’t give into nursing him.
3) Any time he wakes at night repeat the process of nursing him until he’s calm, then hugging/holding him to sleep.
As the days progress you will see that he will gradually become accustomed to falling asleep without nursing. From there you can decide if you’d like to continue cuddling him to sleep or use other tactics. Good luck!
Contact Batya and mention you saw her on Kveller for a free phone consultation! www.BatyatheBabyCoach.com