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Wednesday, August 08, 2007


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I'm so glad you posted, I was starting to think you had vanished on us! By the way - the Milla is the cutest little lizard-tongued girl ever. I'm glad you liked HP, I did too, although still processing though the ending.

She looks different! Older! Cuter! :)

Yay, crawling! What fun. I can't believe she's 10 months! I'm sure you're even more surprised than I am. :)

The picture of her with her tongue out has to be the cutest picture in existence. She is precious. I just want to give her a hug, which in itself is weird, because I've never been around a baby before. The closest I've ever come to one is 5 feet, and I'm always afraid that if I hold one I'll drop them and break them, but that little cutie makes me want to hold her and give her a hug. Which, given my fear, is probably more reason to not ever get near your child. That might be the weirdest compliment ever, but I assure you that it is one.

Of course we care if you post or not! Glad you're back!

Glad you're back! I always check every day, hopeful.

What great photos and what a nice time in your life! I remember when you got the new kitchen floor; it looks even better with a Camilla on it!!!

very glad you're back - I was at least hoping for a Nanny Diaries update, occasionally. :-) Have you ever read the blog Ask Moxie? They recently had a question about the extreme amount of night wakings that then require nursing to go back to sleep and there was some advice posted there. Not having a baby (yet - one on the way) I don't know how useful it is, but it might be useful to check out. I found it through Julia's REDBOOK Mom Moment blog (a link on the side) if you have trouble finding it via Google or the like.

Thanks for sharing the awesome photos of Milla. She is such a sweetie!

So it's not correct to apologize? Hmmm, I learn something new every day. I do hope that it is appropriate to be concerned and ask after someone though. I'll have to consult a manners expert about that sometime :-).

re night wakings - I've always found that they increase when new physical skills are being mastered. Then eventually go back to normal. As for ending - yes, they eventually end for the most part. Though my 3 yo woke up a couple of nights ago and thought it was time to play... at 3 a.m. It took some major persuasion on our parts that it wasn't playtime.

I haven't read that book, though I've heard good things about it. I'm not one to CIO or other sleep training things, but we did gently convince our children that it wasn't time to eat and was time to sleep eventually, especially if it was driving me crazy. I shouldn't say "we". It was K. K gently convinced them that they were okay, while I pretended to be asleep for a bit, to see if they really were okay, and if not, then I was suddenly awake and happy to see him/her/whoever it was.

love the pictures!

Pantley's "No Cry" books are some of my favorite practical parenting books because they are so flexible and offer so many strategies, instead of it being 'one size fits all' like so many parenting books. Hope you have luck with the sleeping through the night thing, they do eventually settle into a routine (sort of anyway)!

She is just too cute! In some of those pictures, she looks just like Brian. Especially the Lizard Baby picture, although that does not mean that I believe Brian looks like a lizard.

When my cousin (13 years my junior) was that age, she also began waking more in the night. This was a problem because my Aunt was working the night-shift as a nurse and my uncle, who worked during the day, was the only one there at night. I think he solved it by letting her play quietly in her crib (if she would), bringing her to bed with him (if that made her go back to sleep), or crouching in a corner and crying. Maybe I made that last one up.

Since Camilla is 10 months old, I would guess she's going through a developmental spurt and hopefully it will quiet down in a few weeks. I hope.

Happy to see a post! You were almost banished from my sidebar! Glad you've been enjoying some good family time.

This is just my two cents here take what you need and leave the rest.

One idea from a book my sister-in-law gave us has had a miracle power over sleep in our house:

Night wakings and/or poor sleep in general are from being overtired.

This gave birth to two counterintuitive notions:

1. Long regular naps (at least two) make for better night sleep.

2. Earlier bedtimes increase the quality of her sleep.

Working on her naps led to even better sleep at night! (Seems odd, right?)

And working on good quality naps are easier than working on good quality night sleep because you are not quite as bloody exhausted and can stand watch and soothe and rock to get her to fall asleep or fall back asleep. (Tough when one would like to use naptimes to get stuff done. As Maggie would say: GAH.)

Work on her naps and put her to bed earlier and the night sleep will take care of itself (Maybe).

Ask her guardian angel for help, too! Poor C needs her sleep time! (And so do Mommy and Daddy!)

Lovely pictures, lovely family! My babies are 6, 3, and 1, and I second what everyone else says about the wakefulness being developmental and, thankfully, temporary. I nursed exclusively but definitely started involving my husband in the middle-of-the-night routine when the babies were about Camilla's age. If you know she's not hungry, get out of bed (assuming you're still co-sleeping), go back to sleep on the couch, and let Bryan help Camilla back to sleep. That really worked for our kids, and now either of us can soothe them in the middle of the night. Good luck!!

Our son does sleep 12-hours a night and the key for us was getting him into his own room. It went against everything I imagined a baby to need (i.e., me to snuggle with), but the kid just needed some personal space without his noisy parents waking him. Good luck! It's so terribly hard going without sleep.

Alex is the same age and the last three nights have been REALLY hard. Lots of waking, much crying and ohmigosh! Temper. He doesn't want comfort touches, which worked for a while instead of nursing. Now he pushes my hands away and screeches. He was a dream for months. I've been assured by friends who've been there that this passes quickly. Let us hope so.

Camilla is growing so quickly! She's a beautiful girl!

Glad to hear from you again Arwen. I always love reading your blogs! The pictures of Camilla are adorable!! What a pretty little girl! Congratulations to Camilla on the crawling. I am sure she is getting into everything, and loving it!
As for the sleeping thing... one thing that worked and still works for us, is having my husband get up with them, instead of me. Of course, he can't nurse them, so this only works when they are not nursing, or you are trying to cut down the number of nursings during the night. But for some reason, the kids always seem to do a bit better with getting back to sleep if their Papa is the one with them. Occasionally, when even he can't help them, they may just need a little reassurance from me, but usually they do best with him at night. Of course, my kids are two and a half and one and half, and do not nurse anymore. But when they were nursing, and around Camilla's age, we started to encourage one to two nursings a night, by having Peter get up with them the other times. Eventually, this encouraged them to begin sleeping through the night.
I completely agree with the idea that working on earlier bed times and naps, helps babies sleep better at night. Very true for my babies!
We also did use the "self sooth" method bit. Never did we make them cry it out cold turkey, but we'd allow them some time before responding immediately, and it really worked. We also learned our children's cries. As long as they are not sick, we try to listen to see if their cry is more of a fuss, or really a cry. With a fuss, we found if we gave them just a few minutes, they would settle themselves, but of course, more than a fuss would need some papa or mama intervention! I think our methods have really helped our children become better sleepers over all.
Another little tip: when we moved our children into the same bedroom (before that, our younger child was still in our room), it worked wonders. Within a week, they were both sleeping wonderfully!

Ditto to those who said "get daddy involved". At that age with my son we divided the night so that if my son got up before x time, he got daddy. After that he got mommy and all the nursing he wanted. After a couple of nights my son started to sleep through "daddy" time and give us around 5 hrs or so before he woke the first time. There were regressions but we would go back to "daddy" time and so would my son.

Don't get me wrong, my son was not very excited to get daddy instead of mommy, but this way he was still comforted and both my husband and I got some much needed consecutive sleep. And if he ever completely lost it like he was starving, daddy called me in.

Also when he was older (18mo or so), I started trying to hold and rock him while lying down instead of nursing at each nightwaking. Try it at the first waking b/4 she's all the way up, and you might be surprised.

Now I won't fool you... my son still wakes up once a night about 75% of the time now and he's 30mo! Sometimes my 3mo sleeps longer than he does. He's just not a good sleeper and never has been. I think it comes pre-wired since I did mostly the same stuff with my daughter and she sleeps well.

Camilla is definitely a camera ham! What a sweet baby. Hope she gets better at the sleep thing. That's tough. Great family photo too...looks a lot like the crazy bunch that I call family!

I have to agree with those that talked about making sure that quality naps were happening, and also being really consistent about when bedtime happens and how. Once I figured that out, things went a lot more smoothly. It just took some time to recognize the sleepy messages. I got part of that from "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child", and while my son didn't sleep through until he was 11 months (but has done so ever since), it cut down his night nursing to once a night from about three months on. I could handle our 2:30 rendezvous even when I went back to work full time; it was the 2:30. 4:00 and 5:00 meetings that would have made it impossible to function at my job.

There were hiccups when he was sick or hit a developmental milestone, but they usually calmed down within a week or so. If she is in her own room or bed, letting her fuss a little won't hurt. Really. I'm not a fan of CIO, and simply don't have the heart for it. However, once I learned to keep my butt in bed and let him try to work through it for 10 minutes or so (if it escalated beyond a fuss, I would go to him), he figured out how to fall back asleep by himself. He's almost two now, and he still will lay and talk to himself or his animals before he goes to sleep, and when he wakes up. He's OK being by himself, since he's confidant that if anything REALLY is wrong, someone will be there.

She's still the cutest lizard girl ever!

hey, arwen,

i always feel rather like a stalker when i read your posts and don't comment. especially since we live so close and i feel like i really should be talking about these things with you in person. so i'm posting with the proviso that i'm going to call you soon so we can sit down and talk through book 7.

for right now, i just wanted to tell you that i recently discovered orson scott card and was pretty thrilled that he wrote the HP review. i love when beloved authors, like dear friends, meet each other!

good luck with the sleep struggles; i've got to grab my kid before she screams herself sick in her crib (jk, jk).

in haste,

Hi there - the pictures are sooo cute - Camilla is absolutely adorable! :-) Just thought I'd toss out a different perspective. My kids were never good sleepers, well through toddlerhood. Part of it was I just never could let them "cry it out", and part of it is that they just don't need as much sleep as "normal" kids do (even now, when they're older). I never slept well as a kid, either, so I think it's just genetic. I assure you, though, my youngest is now almost 5, and other than illness or bad dreams, I haven't had to wake up at night in over 2 years! The near-constant nightwaking you describe definitely sounds like a developmental thing to me - whenever my babies were reaching towards a new milestone, they got TONS more restless at night. It might not even be a physical milestone, though the time prior to walking is always the worst, IME. Also, though, stuff like talking, and even more abstract thought like mathmatical stuff/building/counting (yes, I have seen that in my 9 month olds!) can make a baby restless at night. Also, my experience with naps was the opposite of what everyone else said. My kids always slept worse at night when they were in the transition period between how many naps they need. If it's hard to put them to sleep at night *and* they wake up a lot at night, you might need to start cutting back on her nap times, IME. Finally, just to reassure you - all my kids got *significantly* better about the nightwaking once the major physical milestones were past (especially walking), and even better than that once the verbal skills settled down. Trust me, by age 3 you'll hardly remember this night-waking stage, it will be all over. I promise - it really does end! The hardest thing about your oldest child is you really lack perspective. When you have your subsequent kids, it is SO much easier, because you know that everything changes and comes to an end. It's much easier to think, "In 6 months this stage will be over" instead of "Oh my goodness will this ever end???" like you do with your first!
Blessings to you and yours!

Camilla is the right age to be teething, and teething pain can go on for weeks at a time. Try a little baby tylenol or ibuprofin at bedtime, or give it to her if she wakes up. Peek in her mouth to see if there are any swollen places. Another thing to watch out for is ear infections. A baby with ear infections will can be fairly content during the day, and then very fussy at night. If she has had a cold recently, you might be suspicious of ear infection. You might even want to take her in for a quick check with your doc, if the change in sleep patterns has been particularly dramatic. Staying awake from 3 AM to 6 AM sounds like it warrants a doctor visit to me.

My observation is that a baby's sleep style sticks with them for life. If Camilla was a fitful or light sleeper as a newborn, she will be when she is an older child, too--although she won't need as much help from Mom and Dad. Even though you don't want "cry it out" solutions, I'd encourage you to read the Ferber book. Just read it, before you dismiss it. It is not all about crying it out, and the method is a lot gentler than you think. I was just like you, and did not get desperate enough to try Ferber until my son was 2.5. When I did, I kicked myself for years (ouch, I just did it again) for not trying it sooner. Even if you end up not trying the method, it has a lot of scientific info about how sleep works that you can adapt to your own preferences.

so fun to see a picture of your family all together and grown up. Camilla is so cute! and I love that"cutie" onesie!

Zoe's the same age as Camilla, and we also just went through a couple of weeks of really bad sleep (though not as bad as the horrible sleep deprivation at 7 months). Last night she only woke up once, so I'm hoping that means it was just a phase. I'll also echo the early to bed, and good consistent nap suggestions. I've definitely noticed that it's harder to get Z down when she's overly tired, and she's more likely to wake up multiple times at night. We've also started to pay closer attention to her cries, and if she's just angry or fussing, we take our time in responding, and she's often back asleep in a minute or two (but those are really long minutes). I'm still trying to figure it all out. Tonight she nursed for 20 minutes, and then didn't seem to want to nurse anymore, so I put her in the crib and tried letting her get herself to sleep. It didn't work at all. But last night, she woke twice and fussed a bit and went back to sleep on her own, so I don't know. I don't think I have much in the way of advice, just wanted to let you know we're in the same boat, and share your hope that it's just a phase.

Your pictures are great by the way. Zoe has the same "Cutie" onesie. I like to have my baby clearly labeled.

Aw, so cute! I have a picture of my dad being a mattress for me when I was about Milla's size, and it makes me smile whenever I see it.

Glad you finished your Harry marathon. I was less dedicated and only re-read the Half-Blood Prince before embarking on book 7, much to the delight of my family who insisted on having me round for dinner for the sole purpose of having me recount the entire plot. Some people are just so lazy!

My daughter did the exact same thing at 8-10 months, she woke up every 45-60 minutes all night long. It was beyond dreadful; I actually thought I was going to go insane. I could understand why people lose it with small babies and shake them when slee deprived. It did get better, but even at 33 months she was still waking 4 times a night. And then...I stopped nursing her. That night she slept for 12 hours, and has done so ever since. I have no idea if I should have stopped nursing much earlier, or given her a pacifier at night, becasue she needed to suck on something (me) to fall back asleep.I also read Th No-Cry Sleep Solution adn believe she is onto something good, but I was always so tired and strung out I was unable to follow her directions with any consistancy. But it does get better!

Hi Arwen,

I just stumbled onto your blog. Beautiful! My wife and I are in the midst of a tremendous struggle with infertility (4 years married, 4 years of infertility). We'd love the prayers if you ever think of it. It's so good to see the joy that flows from your writing, and the blessing of LIFE that runs through your blog. Hoping and watching for the same for us soon.

Peace (and as a fellow Tolkien nerd, Namarie!)


She's a cutie, that's for sure...

Everything OK over there? Not so many posts lately...miss your totally hilarious and VERY THOUGHTFUL posts. Seriously. You are so eloquent. Is your guest blogger sister still in tha howze? Log on, little sis!


Say, Arwen, are you going to post about HP7? I'm curious about your response to some of the moral elements, particularly (please edit if you think this is spoiler-y, but I'm trying to be careful) the expanded use of Unforgivable Curses and the story behind Dumbledore's death.

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