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Aug 19 2013

Finding the Perfect Lullabies for My Daughter

By at 10:11 am

lullabies illustrationAfter reading Elissa Strauss’ recent post, The Best Lullabies Turn Out to Be Jewish, I got to thinking about the songs I sing to my daughter when she goes to bed.

Before my little girl was born, I set out on a mission to find non-traditional lullabies. I didn’t want to croon about bows breaking and cradles falling or trying to buy my daughter’s peace and quiet with diamond rings. And really… who’s buying their babies diamond rings? And that’s the consolation prize only if the mocking bird doesn’t sing? Sheesh.

Anyway, I wanted to sing songs that meant something to me. See, my family instilled a love of music in me and I want to do the same for my daughter.

My mom always sang non-traditional lullabies from Peter, Paul and Mary’s “500 Miles” to “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 22 2013

Making the Switch to a Big Girl Bed

By at 10:30 am

big girl bedMy 2-year-old daughter celebrated Independence Day in style: she got a big girl bed. She had asked about a bed for months. I was resistant. Her 4-year-old brother had only gotten his early because we were pregnant with her. And we had no concerns about him getting out of bed; that was not the case with her. Knowing she was in the crib meant I didn’t have to worry about her getting out of bed, wandering around, looking for her brother, for us, or for the nearest thing she could crack her head on. Her crib was the ticket to a little bit of extra time to get ready in the morning. She didn’t need a bed yet.

Around her 2nd birthday, my son made her an art project representing a bed which she clung to and very clearly said, “I want a bed.” Her requests got more insistent after that. My husband and I finally decided what to do: our son would give her his low-to-the-ground Ikea bed that we had inherited from a friend and he would get a new bed (the one we anticipate he’ll have until he leaves the house). They were beyond ecstatic; I was trepidatious. Every night and morning, my daughter would tell us the plan, sometimes before saying good morning.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 28 2013

Sleep Training with the Shema

By at 10:08 am

baby lying awake on bedSleep training. Like just about every other parenting decision, the controversy rages about how to get an infant to go to sleep. I’ve heard that some babies snuggle down for a night of uninterrupted sleep, and will even take naps during the day. But my 4-month-old daughter seemed afraid that if she went to sleep, she might miss something exciting. She thought that a nap meant resting on my lap with her eyes open for 20 minutes, and that sleeping from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a wake-up call for snuggles every two hours was “sleeping through the night.”

With such an overtired baby and no longer able to get through the day ourselves, my husband and I knew something had to change. Like many first-time parents, we had imagined a calm bedtime routine. She had her bath, got a short massage, read a story, nursed, and then was supposed to go quietly into her crib as we sang the Shema and Adon Olam. For a while, everything went according to plan, except for the part about going “quietly into her crib.” Instead, we would finish the routine with a baby who appeared to be well on her way to dreamland, but who, as soon as she was placed in her crib, began to cry as though she was being tortured. It wasn’t gas. She wasn’t still hungry. She had been sleeping in her crib by herself for several weeks, so it wasn’t a scary or unfamiliar place. She just did not want to go to sleep.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 6 2013

Free Stuff Alert: Lyla Tov Monsters

By at 5:01 pm
lyla tov monsters

Ahhhh!

If you want help ensuring your kids get a good night’s sleep, you ought to be looking to the monsters. That’s right, monsters.

6-year-old Lyla Black has become quite the entrepreneur with her line of Lyla Tov Monsters, friendly adorable monsters meant to keep the bad ones away. With the help of her mom, who got her start as a costume designer for Sesame Street (and now has two Emmys under her belt) Lyla has designed a whole line of these adorable monsters and now needs your help to produce them for the masses.

Check out the just launched Lyla Tov Monsters Kickstarter Campaign to learn more about the monsters and help the company get on its feet. And then be sure to fill out the form below to enter our giveaway. A lucky random winner will receive the spunky monster featured above, named Ahhhh (though we’ve been assured it’s totally kosher for Ahhhh’s new owner to rename it whatever he/she wants).

**Head over to the Lyla Tov Monsters Kickstarter here and enter our giveaway below.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway has now ended. Congrats to the winner, Elisha!

Apr 4 2013

Hello, My Name is Janel & I Hate Co-Sleeping

By at 9:46 am
parents sleeping with child in bed

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 →

Jan 29 2013

How Jewish Teachings Helped Me Be a Patient Parent

By at 9:36 am

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to parenting.

My most recent journey into impatience came last night as my 2-year-old daughter twirled and sang her way into the wee hours of the night.

I had been trying to put her to sleep for three hours, and it just wasn’t working. Given the fact that she had experienced a transatlantic flight, and we arrived in Israel a few hours before (and that she was excited about being in a new place, and sharing a room with her older brother and being out of a crib, and and…) I had to cut her a little slack. But my ability to empathize and (what seemed like) the Herculean task of mustering the patience I needed had grown thin. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 2 2012

Figuring Out This Sleep Thing by Trial & Error

By at 4:12 pm

baby sleeping holding on fingerTo sleep. Ever since I became a mother last May, that’s all I’ve wanted.

Lila started life as a good sleeper. But our beginners’ sleep luck ran out during her third month, in the run-up to our Boston-D.C. move.

We clung to the notion that Lila was osmosing our pre-move stress and hoped that everything would resolve itself post-relocation. Instead, things deteriorated.

Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 13 2012

The Problem with the Ferber Method

By at 10:27 am

baby crying in cribAnd now, a word from a professional baby sleep coach:

Who hasn’t heard of Ferberizing a baby? As an acclaimed doctor and leader of a child sleep disorder clinic in Boston, Richard Ferber has become so well-known that his name even has a verb.

Many parents contact me who feel hesitant to leave their babies crying alone, and as a mother of a brood myself, I can’t argue with them. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 24 2012

What’s Easiest for Mama is Best for Kids

By at 9:35 am
new york city bus stop

My kids can handle the bus.

Occam’s Razor is a scientific heuristic that, simply put, states the easiest solution to a problem is, more often than not, the right one.

I am Occam’s Mother. I believe that the easiest thing for me to do, vis-à-vis my kids, is, more often than not, the right thing. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 9 2011

I Miss Him When He Sleeps

By at 10:26 am

Good morning everybody! Here’s something sweet to start your Wednesday.

He opens his eyes and starts to stir

Calls out for me, because I’m preferred

He nurses sweetly in the chair

I run my fingers through his hair

He’s off to play and make a mess

I haven’t even showered yet

I try my best to get things done

But get sidetracked with Lego fun Read the rest of this entry →

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