Abigail’s Sleep Progress- Day Two

(If you haven’t read my previous post, I suggest you do so you know what I’m on about)

Our Plan

Has slightly changed, time between sleeps is the same and we’re sticking to our bedtime routine but she has progressed so much in one day we felt she was able to cope with more changes.   I am now putting her into her cot, giving her a bottle and walking straight out, no stroking during bottle, just humming the lullaby.  As I walk out she will grizzle slightly but then stay quiet doing gosh knows what till she cries a little more seriously, then I’ll go in, give her more of her bottle and walk out again. Repeat until asleep.

Nap One

Began at 9.30, had to go back in three times,  she fell asleep half an hour later and slept for an hour

Nap Two

Began at 1.10pm,  had to go back in three times, she fell asleep after 20 minutes and slept for an hour

Nap Three

Began at 4.50pm, I had to go back in about 10 minutes later but then she fell asleep and I didn’t hear a peep for an hour and fifty minutes.  This is the best attempt so far.

Bed Time

Abigail was put down at 8.50pm, I had to back in twice and she fell asleep in half an hour.  Although it took longer than the last time, I was still very happy because she only cried out for me twice.   I don’t know how things are going to go tonight, I’ll play it by ear and decide whether she can come into bed or not when she starts her waking up again.

Conclusion

I feel semi-sane already, I am not as exhausted or fed up as I have been lately and I am beginning to feel positive about the whole sleep situation.  Although I keep wishing I had done this sooner, I don’t feel that I was ready for this.  I know that seems selfish but  I constantly fight anxious thoughts about losing or ‘damaging’ Abigail in some way.  I don’t think I could explain it, anyone who has lost a child would know how I feel, nothing else can compare.

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Digital Photography For Children

I had bought Em one of those ‘kid friendly’ cameras last year but found the resolution was so poor and the shutter so slow that it rarely managed to get any decent shot in the hands of an unsteady toddler.  Rummaging through my drawers I found an old point and shoot camera that I haven’t used in years and with nothing to lose I gave it to Em.  You can pick up a decent enough point and shoot camera for around the $50 mark, the same as any kid camera.  Em dropped mine once but hey, it survived.

After a basic lesson covering fingers off the lens, taking photos from close up as well as far away and only photographing something ONCE (otherwise you will end up with 50 shots of the same stick,(trust me, I speak from experience,) we started on a ‘photography walk.’

Usually Em runs around without taking notice of anything, this time she was carefully looking for things that she found beautiful and took great pride in carrying round the ‘grown up camera’ and then viewing her shots on the computer (which included a fabulous amount of ‘self portraits.’)  Now she feels super special that she has the same hobby as her mummy and we have something special to share between us.

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Abigail’s Sleep Progress- Day One

As you may know, I am working on the transition from co-sleeping to cot with my 10 month old daughter Abigail.  We have eliminated underlying medical issues and we are currently doing what we feel is right our daughter. We have taken bits and pieces from several different sleep techniques and implemented them into a plan that fits for us. I am not going to take on something I know I won’t be able to stick to.

Our Plan

Allow two, to two and half hours of playtime,  give her solids  half an hour after she wakes up. Watch for tired cues (for Abigail this is hair pulling and her eyebrows turn red) then begin sleep routine.  Place lamby blanket on my shoulder, pick up Abigail, give her a dummy and carry her into her bedroom.  Close blinds, turn on cot mobile then place her in the cot on her side and give her a bottle while stroking her back and humming a lullaby (we have always hummed her to sleep with the same lullaby).  Eventually I would like to break the milk association but for now I am going  to continue so it isn’t such a harsh jump for her.  If she tries to stand up or starts crying or grizzling I walk out  and try again in a minute or so, if she starts hysterically crying I stay by her side and just talk to her.  If I walk out and she is quiet, regardless of whether she is playing or laying down I stay away.

Day One

Our first attempt involved a lot of crying, it only took 20 minutes before she fell asleep to me patting her but she did cry the entire time.  She slept for an hour and twenty minutes and woke up and started playing which is a total change to her usual crying when she wakes up. She was unusually happy for the entire time she was awake after this nap, a good sign that she was well rested.

Nap two took us fifty minutes, although it was longer she didn’t cry as much and I didn’t spend as much time in the room with her.  I did record the whole thing but the file is so huge it is STILL uploading, I need to re-install my video program so I can convert it to a different file type and speed it up.  This time she fell asleep just holding my hand, I stopped stroking her as I could see she was falling asleep.  She might have taken longer than last time but at least she is learning to calm herself down.

As she woke up very late in the morning, her third nap was her bedtime sleep.  An hour and a half this time but majority of it was with me out of the room, I am assuming that she was a bit overtired as she didn’t have three day naps which would explain why it took so long.  The big achievement with this sleep was that she took herself to sleep, I had walked out because she was just laying on her back staring at her mobile and after 5 minutes or so I went back in to check on her and she was fast asleep.  When she woke up a few hours later for her feed I decided to bring her back into bed with me, she had fallen asleep where it mattered and it’s baby steps for the two of us!  It was actually a good thing I did because she managed to leak through her nappy again (huggies are really failing for me at the moment) and we had to have a 3am change of clothes.

Conclusion

Although some may see her coming back into bed with me as a fail, I count yesterday as a total win.  We have never managed to have an entire day of her sleeping in the cot and we have already seen a big difference in not only her self soothing but her behavior and length of sleep. Let’s just hope today goes as well!

 I am more than welcoming to any hints, tips or related links.

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Miscarriage and Stillbirth

I’ve added a few links to helpful websites for anyone who has lost a child.  After losing my beloved Katie I scoured the internet for something to ease the pain and cam across some wonderful sites and businesses.  My heart goes out to anybody who needs to use these links.

My Tangible Peace: Creates one of a kind life sized gestational sculptures and miniature newborn sculptures.

Perfect Memorials: Sell beautiful memorial and cremation jewelry

Stillbirth Foundation Australia: I fund raise for this organisation for the month leading up to Katie’s birthday.  They are a fantastic organisation with great resources to anyone who has lost a child.  They also sell a great book on Pregnancy Loss with all profits going directly into the work they do.

Pregnancy Loss Australia: (Formerly The Teddy Love Club) A support program for families who suffer the loss of a baby or babies through miscarriage, stillbirth, termination for feotal abnormality and neo natal loss. They provide a range of services including counselling, support meetings, bear giving program and more. You can join them on face book here.

Blaire Bears: Founded by a mother who sadly lost her daughter four weeks before her first birthday and wanted to provide bereaved parents with a less confronting, and nicer alternative to traditional urns for their children..  Her charity provide handmade, personalized teddy bear that will fit an urn inside.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: I only wish I knew about this foundation when Katie died.  They have a carefully selected team of photographers trained to take beautiful photographs of your child, they believe the images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring their child’s legacy. Their facebook page can be found here.

Heartfelt: “Heartfelt is a volunteer organisation of professional photographers from all over Australia who have come together to form an organisation dedicated to giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as children with serious and terminal illnesses. ”  Their work is amazing and they are extremely professional.

If you have another helpful link or resource please comment or email me and I can add it to the list.

Posted in Child Loss | 1 Comment

Cupcake Decorating

She might not win any prizes for presentation but she is having a great time.

image

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Children and Toy Guns

After seeing a post on Diary Of a SAHM‘s facebook page, my husband and I got  on the topic of where we stand on our children having toy guns.  Although we only have girls, we do have guns in the house (highly secured and well out of sight, our girls don’t even know about them yet), my husband is a recreational shooter and is ex-military, so we are aware that eventually the girls will become curious about guns.

I don’t believe that it is the gun itself that is the root of aggression in children, I think it’s the lack of education on the negative aspects of guns.  This morning I asked Emily whether she thought toy guns were good toys or bad toys, her reply was “bad toys because guns hurt people.”  Her innocent four year old mind is still able to understand right from wrong, a child is never too young to have a conversation about the effects of guns in real life, just make it age appropriate.

The fact is there is a lack of evidence supporting either side of whether toy guns increase a likelihood of increased aggression.  There is evidence that a combination of realistic toy guns, realistic televised violence and a violent home life will increase natural aggression.  Boys, aggressive children and children with aggressive parents are more at risk to long term effects from toy gun exposure and short term effects can occur depending on the context of play. It is very important to remember play is play and violence is violence and it is up to us as responsible parents to supervise, communicate and educate. Monitor what your child is watching on television, explain that cartoon violence might be funny on tv but it wouldn’t be funny if someone did that to you in real life,  discuss what would happen if it really did happen and how inflicting pain on someone is a cruel thing to do.

Whether we like it or not children will be able to recreate some sort of toy gun if they really want to, be it a stick, a finger or their imagination.  Imaginary games are good for a child’s development and in my opinion, a game of ‘bang your dead’ is just ‘tag you’re it’ only without the physical contact.  A game of ‘cop vs robber’ can be your child’s way of expressing an understanding of right and wrong, after all, child’s play is a reflection of the world around them and unfortunately we can’t protect our children from exposure to the real world forever.

I support a parents to decision to allow or withhold toy guns from the house, with proper supervision, communication and education your child will grow up with good morals regardless of the path you choose to take.  I’m just thankful that I don’t have to worry about this choice yet, we’re playing with dolls and tea parties in our house.

What is your opinion on toy guns in your household? Feel free to link to any of your related posts!

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Flying With Young Children

In nine days I will be taking my four year old and 10 month old daughters and making the 5 hour flight from Sydney to Perth. I’m not worried about Emily (4yo) so much, she is very well behaved, very understanding and quite good at keeping herself amused.  I am however worried about can’t-keep-still-for-more-than-30-seconds-I-am-queen-of-the-world Abigail.  She tantrums, screams, fusses and complains if she doesn’t get her own way and her way is usually the total opposite of what I’d like her to be doing.  She has done about 20 hours of flying before but she was much younger and slept the whole way, this time I am sure I won’t be so lucky.  We’ve never had a problem with the ear popping, I have a juice ready for the girls, the swallowing really does help with the pressure changes.

Here is my list of things to take with me;

Small Toiletries Bag: I shove this right on top of my carry on bag for easy access.  I include 4 nappies, pocket pack of wipes, 2 large zip lock sandwich bags for dirty nappies, sample tub of nappy cream, bonds wondersuit in case of airplane toilet poopsplosion.

Larger Kids Bag: Small etch-a-sketch for each of the kids. I picked these up from a $2 shop, they are only the size of a 6×4 photo but they keep both the kids amused for quite some time.  Zip lock bag of crackers, biscuits and teething rusks.  An MP3 player loaded with kids e-books and nursery rhymes, THIS IS A LIFE SAVER! I’ll also be taking Ems leap pad and a new toy that they have never seen before and hope that the novelty takes a while to wear off.

Pillow: The familiar feeling and smell of my pillow helped Abigail to go to sleep and stay asleep quite easily.  It was easy to have her on my lap still in a seat belt and comfy without having to try and hold her upright in my arms. I also bring her lamby comforter blanket and Em’s favorite teddy.

Ergo Carrier: I love my Ergo, I can’t rave about this thing enough.  As soon as we land I can just pop Abigail on my back in the Ergo and have two free hands for my bag and holding Em’s hand.  I put Abigail in it while we are waiting to board and then take her out but keep it done up around my waist so I don’t have to fumble around with it when we land.

If you have any questions or suggestions I would love to here them.  Feel free to link any posts you have made on flying with kids.

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