Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Enter Sandman

Exit light | Enter night
Take my hand |We’re off to never-never land

Dreaded Sleep. Everyone I live with is terrible at it. She may be cute as a peach, but Maisie is the worst at night, and daytime naps are a gamble. Wesley has “a scary imagination,” in his own words, which keeps him from resting peacefully. Some nights he’s up for two hours trying to settle himself into slumber. Steven is the lightest sleeper you’ve ever known, startling at any noise (ahem, my snores) and tossing around.

Every night I pray for stamina and endurance and to not get annoyed. I’ve adapted enough that either I 1) drift off quickly (and have one ear open) or 2) function enough on adrenaline to get by. But lately I feel like my life is spent trying to get these three people to sleep, and I’ve tried SO MANY PRODUCTS to survive aid us.

BOOKS
The Natural Baby Sleep Solution (fascinating and pretty accurate)
The Wonder Weeks (just as helpful as with Wesley!)

IN THE BED
Angel Dear lovies (Wes named his “Didi” and so naturally that’s what Maisie will call hers)
Cloud B Twilight Turtle (Wes still sleeps with it at night)
Weighted blanket (A perfect Christmas present! Seems to work well!)
Nested Bean Zen Classic weighted swaddle
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit (it’s helping, a little)

BED ACCESSORIES
DreamTents bed tent (makes him feel cozy and safe)
Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother (seems to be more distracting than soothing)
Marpac Dohm sound machine (hands down the best)

SLEEP AIDS
RMO Counting Sheep essential oil roller (if nothing else, he smells good)
Lavender essential oil in a difuser
Nuby Soothing teething tablets
Melatonin (so far, this has helped Wes tremendously, but I am cautious about its regular use)

This list looks crazy long. While some things work for a time, the one thing that works every time is, well, time. And proximity. That is, every family member sleeps if they’re physically touching me.

We’re trying a secondary self-soothing technique for Maisie, since I can’t handle another night of crying-it-out. (Steven wins all the awards for his stubbornness. It’s because of ME that we’re even in this mess!) It involves fading – staying right by her side as she falls asleep and slowly moving further away each night. I haven’t yet made it past the crib because she loves holding my hand and trying to grab the hair that falls as I lean into her crib.

My aching back and nearly-numb limbs get a good stretch as I make my way back to our bedroom throughout the night – sometimes as many as four times.

And then there’s sweet Wesley, who hates to be alone, fears the dark and works himself up over strange outside noises. Steven helps get him ready for bed, and I’ll pop in to say goodnight after Maisie’s stable. Some nights it’s thirty minutes before I can calm her down, and I’ll later find Wes with a book and a flashlight.

“Mama, can you stay with me?”

He prefers that I crawl into his bed tent with his comforting lights and weighted blanket and stuffed animal friends and pray and talk until he gets drowsy. Some of the best conversations happen under that tent! I used to get so upset over his dependence; I now (usually) cherish this time.

After I’ve comforted the two kids, there’s hardly an evening left for me to enjoy. Many nights I don’t have the right attitude and grumble over the sacrifice. I sigh and complain and throw the bedcovers to the side. I pray with desperation and plead, “PLEEEEEEASE let us sleep tonight!”

Instead my focus should be praying for discernment. I recently heard a speaker share a few best practices for mothers. Turn my worries into prayers. “What do I do now?” becomes “Show me how to _____ “

This season will pass. Someday. My kids will likely never know how their concerned mother worried over their sleeping habits. I hope they only know how well we loved them.

[With wisdom and understanding] 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. -Proverbs 3:24

Posted: February 27th, 2019
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Favorite Things: Wes Edition

Few words but many smiles

I still haven’t taken his Month 8 photos, so instead, here’s a list of The Favorite Things of Wes.

Food – This kid eats a lot. Well, I guess I don’t really know for certain, but he seems to eat more than the other kids his age. This isn’t saying much because the 2 little people his age that we see most often are teeny tiny girls somewhere between the 15-25th percentiles. A typical day includes: 8 oz bottle for breakfast, smaller bottle mid-morning, with a few snacks in between. 4-6 oz of solid, pureed food for lunch, followed by another bottle. Then a late afternoon or evening bottle comes before a dinner of another 4-6 oz of pureed food.

I really like making his food. I’ll order specific veggies and fruits from our Green B.E.A.N. home delivery service and plan out my Sunday afternoon of food-making. I skip making apple sauce and just buy a huge jar of natural stuff at the store, but man, I love scooping out the tender flesh and juices of squash and sweet potatoes, steaming greens, pears and coming up with interesting combinations. He’ll pretty much eat it all – given it’s got some sweetness to it.

  • Bananas – STELLAR
  • Apple sauce – Love it, like whoa
  • Pears – It’s sweet, so therefore, he’ll eat it.
  • Green beans – Yes.
  • Broccoli – Amazingly, positive.
  • Squash – Meh. Only good when “hidden” within others.

I use a Ninja food processor and loooooove it. It’s fast, easy to clean and only has one button (on the top!). We make smoothies with it, and I’ve also been treating myself to “ice cream” (frozen banana + peanut butter + cocoa) on these unseasonably warm nights.

Then, I freeze the food in one-ounze cube silicone trays, pop them out into freezer bags the next day and store them in my deep freeze, all labeled and ready to go. It’s super fun to pick out the menu for the day.

Baby Mum-Mum – We recently rediscovered these rice husk crackers. Meaning, I had bought them and Wes wasn’t ready for them and it was a waste of his time, but now he squeals at the sight of the bag. They’re great. Fast-dissolving, I don’t worry about him choking on these things, and he loves to grasp it. I usually have to fight off the dogs when he’s eating one, however. And I love hearing that sweet little noise of cracker scraping against his bottom teeth. He feels like hot stuff when he eats one of these babies.

Vtech Baby’s Learning Laptop – This was a Christmas present from Pa & Nana. If he sees it across the room, he grunts until you bring it to him. With the lights, sounds and music, who could resist pounding it?

Ambi Twin Rattle – Another Christmas present, but from Grandma and Grandpa. I find myself playing with this addictive & captivating gear toy.

OBall – Easily picked up and thrown by little hands, Wes can’t get enough of this ball. We can spend 10 or more minutes rolling it back and forth. You can see the excitement he feels as his arms and legs spread wide and his hands open and close quickly. Can’t go wrong with an Oball or two!

Taggie Blanket – This small blanket is quickly becoming Wes’ lovie. He instantly relaxes and sports sleepy eye when he grabs it. The little silky tags around the sides find their way into his mouth, in his grasp and over his face. It’s a perfect size, and it probably should be washed.

Homedics Soundspa Projector – Once all snuggled in his jammies, tucked into his crib with his lovie, Wes enjoys a light show on the ceiling as he falls asleep. I did a lot of research on baby projectors, and this one seems to be the best in most categories: price, timer, movement and interchangeability. He cranes his neck to see the display even before he’s lying in his crib, so I know he likes watching the jumping sheep fly across his ceiling. We’ll be taking this with us when we travel this summer.

My kid has good taste.

Posted: March 27th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

Favorite Things

I like raindrops & roses, but I hate it when “Favorite Things” plays during Christmastime. Brown paper packages tied up with string does NOT constitute a Christmas song. Whatev. In honor of the first month with a baby, I thought I’d critique a just a few of the massive number of baby items we’ve achieved for The Kid.

BOPPY PILLOW

I know everyone registers for one of these anyway, but seriously, this thing is awesome. I can easily feed Wes while I’m typing away on this blog post. I can set him down next to me on the couch if he just needs a little “him” time. I can take adorable photos of him. And I know it will be useful when he starts to really use his neck muscles.

BOUNCER CHAIR

Doesn’t matter what brand or design you use. I love having one because I can tote him around the house if I’m going to be in any certain room for any length of time (example: taking a shower). We don’t always snap the toy bar in place, but I will say that it’s a great dog-detterant.

OOP-C! BURP RAG/BIB

It’s kind of an extravagant purchase, but thanks to my cousins, I own this cute burp rag that can also serve as a bib when Wes is a little bigger. I guess I like it mostly because of its size and terrycloth texture. I find myself running to get this item more than any old receiving blanket or other spit-up cleaner-upper.

SOOTHIE PACIFIER

Yep, the glorious one given to us in the hospital is still his favorite! We’ve tried a few other brands, but he seems to like this one best – and he can keep it in his mouth for the longest period of time. The only downside is that this model isn’t compatible with the paci holder clip things, but we manage anyway.

HUGGIES LITTLE SNUGGLERS DIAPERS

Until he regulates his diaper changing schedule, we’re using up the many disposable diapers we received. From there, we’ll start introducing cloth diapers into the mix. Compared to Pampers, Luvs and even other types of Huggies diapers, we like the Little Snugglers version best. He’s a massive eater, which means it all comes out in one swoop – these seem to cause the least amount of clothes changes and use of wipes.

MEDELA LANOLIN

Lansinoh has a version of their own lanolin, but I like the Medela brand’s lanolin much better. The consistency is much easier to handle and apply when you’re sore. Enough of that.

TUMMY TUB

Another extravagant purchase (thankfully, a Twitter friend is letting me borrow hers!), this infant-to-toddler bath is unique in that the baby sits in a bucket-like tub resembling utero. I think I’ll like this even more when Wes can hold up his head on his own.

THE WONDER WEEKS – Van de Rijt, Plooij

I know there’s a million books out there about how to raise a kid, but this book has been helpful in looking ahead at when I should be prepared for certain fussy periods. I haven’t yet read BabyWise or Happiest Baby on the Block, so I can’t comment on how it compares.

MILK-SAVER

Fantastic way to save additional milk as you’re nursing on one side.

ANGELCARE MONITOR

Saves us the trouble of knowing that yes, indeed, he’s breathing while he’s sleeping. I’m sure I sleep better at night knowing this!

OTHER THINGS:

  • Kindle – easier to read one-handed while multitasking.
  • Amazon Prime – stuff comes within 2 days, but we’ve received most orders the next day. Awesome!
  • Netflix – you gotta get it if you don’t have it yet. Forget about the soaring prices. All you need is the streaming version, anyway.
  • Ninja – good for making smoothies now (nursing health) and great for making baby food later.
  • Baby Bunny Book Bag – Marion County Library’s grab bag of books for infants 0-24 months. No due date, no fees, bag of age-appropriate books with a surprise factor!
  • GreenBEAN Delivery – Saves me a trip to the store.
  • Newdaynewdeals.com – Updated daily; gives coupon codes and highlights of all the daily deal sites geared for families.
  • Babydealsdujour.com – Similar to above.

NOT SO CRAZY ABOUT:

  • The First Years Breastflow Bottles – good concept (tries to mimic nursing for less confusion), but you can tell how annoyed Wes gets when using them. I finally just took out the inner nipple, which defeats the purpose.
  • Baby Trend car seat – I love the lightness of the seat, the design and the compactness, but the straps are ridiculously hard to adjust. When you have a growing baby that needs adjusting EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PUT HIM IN THE SEAT, you get mad at said car seat.
  • Swaddling blankets & sleepers – I think it’s just too hot for our warmblooded baby. He sweats right through them.
  • Infantino Easy Rider baby carrier – Bought at a yard sale, and it’s an old design. Can’t figure out how to adjust it, and I’m terrified I’ll drop the baby.
  • Sleepers with snaps – No comment needed.

I’m sure I’ll be trying more things as he gets older and his development allows us to use more toys and gadgets. If you have any must try items for recommendation, I’d love to hear them!

Posted: August 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.


© 2019 | The Shattucks | Leah Shattuck | Steven Shattuck | Indianapolis, IN