“She works hard for the money… So hard for it honey.”

Working-Moms

“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease”. ~Lisa Alther

Ok, so at the end of the school year I decided to say goodbye and adios to all the wonderful people that I spent the past few years working with. I decided that I really wanted to make a career change and the best time to start would be while I was home with my bambino. Well… the clock started ticking and next thing you know Baby A is 4 months. (I promise you that there are very few tasks as hard as job hunting while having a 4 month old). For the first 3 months, babies are adjusting to life outside of the womb. New moms may experience day/night confusion, evening colic… or what I like to refer to as “The Witching Hour.” Dr. Harvey Karp considers the first 3 months as the Fourth Trimester and he’s got really great suggestions on tackling this crazy period for baby and parents.Your baby will also go through a few growth spurts and then, next thing you know you’ve made it through the first 3 months. Hooray! A lot of moms finish their maternity leave around now and are off to work. Your wonderful baby may even start sleeping through the night. AND have some predictable naps.  AND then you can start bragging to your friends that you’ve started to get the hang of “this here parenting thing.”

Then WHAM! 4 months approaches and your baby stops sleeping through the night. In fact, your cute, cuddly, little angel seems to have forgotten how to nap and starts waking up every 10…20… 30… minutes. Bedtimes used to provide you with a reasonable stretch but now you’re waking up EVERY FREAKING HOUR.

and then it passes 🙂

Chamomile… My saving grace.

Anyway, I’ve been sending out resumes, tailoring cover letters, and doing phone interviews between naps. I’ve gone to a couple physical interviews and it’s been really nice getting out of the house and having a commute to somewhere. ANYWHERE. lol There are times where I feel like I’m dating again. “I really hope that guy from HR that I spoke to yesterday calls and doesn’t blow me off.” However, mostly it’s nice to remember my worth and how much I really do bring to the table.

I also started drinking chamomile tea and I mean really throwing that stuff back! Atfirst it tasted a lot like liquified flowers, but my grandma gave it to since I can’t have caffeine or hot chocolate. Not only am I calmer but baby A seems calmer. I decided to look up the effects of chamomile on babies and apparently women have been giving .05-1oz to their babies to ease colic and/or teething. While, I’m not ready to start Baby A on “solids” or anything other than milk for right now, this could be a solution for now. In fact, he slept the longest stretch he’s ever slept in months! Could this be wishful thinking? maybe. But a new mom’s gotta cling to something.

I am The Keeper of the Naps

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Our favorite Babysitter

 

So, night time sleep has gotten much better. Apparently naps are a big deal. I learned about max wake times, and maximizing sleep from babycenter… I’ve been reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and my personal favorite, The Wonder Weeks. We track his night sleep on babybix.com. Am I an expert? Hell, no. But do I have realistic expectations for sleep? Absolutely. I feel like Gollum and naps are “my precious.” It’s kind of ridiculous. What else is ridiculous? How loud my neighbors apparently are. Please stop yelling at everyone across the street. How thin my windows are! I can hear my neighbors shoveling the walk. Needless to say, I get a little paranoid when I hear a noise outside or adjacent to baby A’s bedroom. So, we bought a white noise machine and loop airplane sounds on an mp3 player.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Sleeping through the night (STTN) really only means that your baby can sleep a stretch of 5 hours.
  2. Breastfed babies wake more frequently than formula fed (sometimes every 1-2 hours).
  3. Babies wake more frequently when they are going through growth spurts or developmental leaps.
  4. Wonder weeks are mental leaps that are age-linked and predictable. Right before baby learns a new skill like rolling over or recognizing patterns, they tend to get clingy, cranky, and cry more often. (Right now Baby A is going through wonder week 19 (mental leap 4 – The World of Events).
  5. Most babies younger than 4 months need about 11 hours of night sleep and 15.5 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period.
  6. Overtiredness is a bitch and may be the reason your kid naps for 20 minutes or seems wired and alert at 1am!
  7. Sometimes, babies fight you when you try to put them down because they might be ready to put themselves down. (That is my child. He fights me and then I put him down and he talks himself to sleep).
  8. Apparently, I am an awful parent because the internet suggest putting your baby down, swaddled, and without rocking from day one so that they LOVE sleeping in their crib.
  9. Pacifiers, boobs, swings, swaddles, whitenoise, etc. are all sleep crutches.
  10. Finally… parents will do whatever the heck they need to do give the house a good night’s sleep.