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Jul 21 2014

Ask a Sleep Coach: My Baby’s Day Sleep is Only Getting Worse

By at 3:39 pm

Sleeping-baby

Dear Batya,

I hope you can help! My 7.5-month-old’s sleep has been steadily worsening since he was about 6 months old.

In the day, he has always had a hard time napping and sleeps with quite a lot of effort on our part–45 to 50 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Up until a month ago, he would nap in his crib in our bedroom. Then I started to nurse & nap with him in our bed and try extend sleep by nursing when he would wake. We both really love this, although it only works once in a while at making the naps longer.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 10 2014

A Hawaiian Vacation is So Romantic… Unless You Bring Your Baby

By at 9:47 am

hawaii

When you think of Hawaii, you think beautiful beaches, hula dancers, volcanoes, and– perhaps most importantly–ROMANCE!

There’s a reason the tropical islands are among the top honeymoon destinations year after year, right? Lying on the sand, snuggling up with the love of your life, watching a beautiful sunset while drinking your fourth Mai Tai–it is paradise.

But that’s not how it panned out when I went to Hawaii with my husband, my 13-month-old daughter, and my parents recently. Actually, “romantic” was the last adjective that came to mind. Somehow the getaway felt more like a business trip. Just as a business trip can include a gorgeous location, phenomenal people, and delicious food where you leave learning a bit more about yourself, a trip like this was–for me–more than a bit of work. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 29 2011

The Missed Nap

By at 2:20 pm

Yeah, this happens a lot these days.

The importance of napping to toddlers is well-documented. It gives their growing bodies a rest and chance to recharge. And that’s pretty much why naps are important to parents, too. Not naps for parents. Naps for their toddlers. When the kids sleep, we get a chance to rest and recharge, too. I learned this the hard way today when my toddler, Ellie, decided not to nap.

You know the saying you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone? I didn’t realize just how much I depend on her naps. It’s my two hours of the day to check e-mail, write, conduct interviews, clean the house and stay seated in a comfortable chair for more than 30 seconds at a stretch. And today my 120 minutes of no-toddler time were spent listening to said toddler talk, cry, talk, cry, talk in the monitor. No amount of soothing, rocking, tickling or pathetic begging (from me; hers eventually made me crack) made a dent.

I’ll probably never know what caused her sleeplessness today. She should have been good and tired out after running around an outdoor playground all morning at a preschool meet-and-greet ahead of the start of the school year. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 21 2011

Stepping Out During Naptime – Would You Do It?

By at 12:08 pm

What would you do for garlic?

A good friend of mine–a nice Jewish Mama with two little ones ages 4 and 2–recently posted this on her Facebook page:

Just left the kids napping in the house to run and pick up something I needed to make dinner. Can I be arrested for that?

Maybe I’ve been spending too much time on the local Mama list-servs, but I sat back and waited for the fire storm to erupt. I anticipated a wave of accusations and judgments, but apparently my friend has nicer (or perhaps more restrained) friends than I do, because the worst she got was “I wouldn’t risk it, honestly.”

So, the question is, would you?

Let me give you some context. My friend lives in a condo in a fairly safe urban neighborhood. In order to get to the store, she had to go down three flights of stairs, and around the corner. Her GPS calculated that the store was about 350 feet away, and the whole trip took her about 5 minutes. Her children have a reliable nap schedule, and my friend was quite confident they wouldn’t wake up. (And, for the record, they didn’t.)

You’re probably wondering what was so important that my friend felt the need to ditch the kids. Garlic. Well, yes, it was garlic, but not just garlic. It was the entire dinner. She needed five cloves of garlic for the recipe, and there was nothing else in the house to make. They had already made plans to go out another night that week, and she didn’t want to eat out twice. I think we can all relate to how frustrating it is when you have a week’s worth of meals carefully planned out, and something goes awry.

(For the record, this is how you know I’m not talking about myself in the second person. This Mama doesn’t “cook” or “use recipes”.)

As it all turned out, the garlic she bought was rotten anyway, and she ended up using garlic powder. My friend told me that the bad cloves were the more frustrating part of the whole situation—she took this risk for nothing in the end. She also told me that she wouldn’t do it again unless it was something really important, and apparently garlic won’t make the cut next time.

My friend’s biggest concern about leaving her kids wasn’t that they would get out of their beds and get into trouble while she was gone; it was that they would freak out because she wasn’t there. Also, looking back, she was more concerned that something might have happened to her while she was out. That’s one reason she wouldn’t have gone to the pharmacy, which is slightly farther away and across a busy street.

I’m not sure where I come down. One the one hand, it’s tempting to say that I would never leave my sleeping kids for any reason. Yet before I had kids, I swore their nap schedule wouldn’t dictate my life. And that I wouldn’t be that Mom who owned four strollers. And that my chicken nuggets would never cross my children’s lips. Yet here I am, a stroller-toting, nugget-feeding, slave to naptime.

As I mentioned, I’m pretty mixed. The anxious part of me worries about what could have gone wrong, but I also trust my friend’s judgment—I think she’s a good mother, and that we’re probably not that different in how we think about child-rearing. It seems to me that our society has probably gotten a little too uptight about certain things, but on the other hand, I wonder if our kids aren’t safer now as a result.

I’m just not sure. Fortunately, I don’t think I’m going to face this problem any time soon, because I live in the ‘burbs. There’s not much within a five minute walk of my house. The closest I could go is my neighbor’s house… and if she had fresh brownies in the oven, I might have to seriously consider it.

Are you overprotective? Read this article to find out.

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