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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
I asked here a few weeks ago about migraines and several people suggested trying nerve blocks. For those who had it, did your insurance cover it? And if not, how much did it cost?
I ave done both nerve blocks and botox (I preferred the nerve blocks) and my insurance covered both options. It’s not great insurance, but not terrible, either. For the botox my doctor’s office had to figure out which diagnosis code would lead to it being covered – not sure if they had the same issue with the nerve blocks.
I have done both nerve blocks and botox (I preferred the nerve blocks) and my insurance covered both options. It’s not great insurance, but not terrible, either. For the botox my doctor’s office had to figure out which diagnosis code would lead to it being covered – not sure if they had the same issue with the nerve blocks.
My insurance covered a few of the injection sites, but not all of them. My neurologist knew that some insurance companies only cover some of the injection sites, and gave a steep discount for the self-pay portion (I think I only paid $100 total for the non-covered sites). I tried fighting with my insurance company about it but they wouldn’t budge. I’ve stopped getting them now (only got them while I was pregnant because I couldn’t take medication) but they were a lifesaver while I was getting them!
Closet Redux says
Anyone have experience with pumping during your car commute? I have a 40 minute car commute and am considering this but having a hard time picturing it, specifically the order of operations. I would think you would put on a hands-free bra and cones before leaving the house, plug in before driving off, turn the pump on/off during the commute, detach upon arrival… What do you wear and how do you change when you get to work? What else do I need to consider? I’m hoping this could cut down the number of times I need to pump at work from 3 to 2.
lucy stone says
I don’t do this on the way to work because I have a short commute, but if we’re out and about on the weekends I’ve done it, or when travelling. I try to wear a tank top and loose open cardigan sweater to avoid being completely naked, and then the sweater can function as my coverup. I put everything on in the driveway, then plug in and drive away. I don’t need to change at work, just pull off my flanges and take off the hands free bra, then pull my regular bra and shirt back into place. I don’t mind pumping and driving at all and used to do it with a stick shift, so it’s definitely doable!
To really break it down:
1. Get in car, pull down tank, put on hands free bra.
2. Put on seatbelt
3. Put on flanges and bottles
4. Plug in backflow preventers
5. Turn on car
6. Turn on pump, check to make sure everything’s good.
7. Drape sweater over flanges.
If it’s too hot to wear a sweater, I just throw a swaddle blanket over the whole operation.
Yep! +1 to what Lucy Stone said. I am a HUGE proponent of driving while pumping — saves so much time! I’d have a towel or cloth nearby in case of drips/spills.
And a spare blouse
Yes, I pumped during my 35-40 commute into work. It’s awkward, but it works and I recommend it.
I used the Freemie with my PumpInStyle and it’s car adapter. I suggest something “stronger” because the suction was weak (PIS’ fault, not Freemie’s).
Order of operations: get self entirely ready, pack everything for baby, load the car, insert Freemie cups, wake up baby and get her ready and in the car seat, sit in car, adjust Freemie if necessary, plug everything in, drive and pump, turn off, remove, drop baby at daycare, go to work/kitchen.
Notes: I found nursing bras worked best, but they have to have stretch to accomodate the Freemie cups. If you get in a car accident and the airbags go off, it will likely hurt badly. If you have ample supply, you may have to peek periodically to ensure you’re not going to overflow the cups. I suggest a discreet carrier to bring the cups into the office kitchen (I usually removed the cups in the car rather than walking into work). A large cardigan or coat might help you feel more discreet.
I loved the Freemie and preferred to use it at work for pumping, too.
Closet Redux says
aaaccckkk at the thought of air bags. OUCH.
Use flanges that are easily detachable from the flange/connector in case you need to put the bottles in the cupholder. This way you don’t have to unscrew the flanges/connectors, just pull them off the flanges. Get a car adapter so you don’t have to worry about batteries. And keep that part in your car.
Always use completely empty bottles so you don’t have to switch. Also position the pump so you can easily turn it off while driving. Keep the cooler open so you can plunk the bottles right in when you get a chance (though breastmilk will not spoil during your drive, so it’s okay to wait and drive safely!) And finally, listen to relaxing music, not something that could be agitating (politics), since driving is agitating enough.
Good luck! It saved me oodles of time.
Edna Mazur says
I’ve done it and agree with the advice above. Only thing I would add is that I prefer to cover up with a nursing cover rather than sweater or blanket. Stays in place completely hands free, and provides a good level of coverage in the work parking lot.
My first potty-training post! For the past week or two, Toddler (22 months) has been telling us he’s about to poop before he poops. He has also asked to poop in the potty twice, but he didn’t go either time and then pooped in his diaper a few minutes later. Several other adults–grandparents, babysitter–have said that this is a sign that Toddler is ready to start potty training. DH and I are not in a rush, had no intention of potty training soon, haven’t read a book or anything, haven’t bought a potty or little seat. Also, Toddler has shown zero signs of being aware of having to pee or even being wet.
So, should we (a) continue doing nothing about potty training, (b) buy a little seat and/or small potty, let him sit on it if he asks, and praise him for his efforts if he actually goes, but otherwise do little about potty training, or (c) actually start working on this?
I would go with (b) if he doesn’t show signs of readiness with regard to pee. Many people report that poop training is more difficult than pee training, so if he’s ready and interested in that aspect of potty training then I’d capitalize on the opportunity to make at least some progress.
I bet he is potty-trainable now, if you want to. We potty trained my son when he was 26 months, but he would have been ready at 22 months, I think. (It’s just that the rest of us weren’t, because I was busy having another baby then….). He acted like your son. I followed the Oh Cr*p book to the letter, and he was mostly potty trained within 3 days, and like 95% accident-free within a week. I know everyone has different experiences, but my perspective is: (1) don’t let his young age deter you, and (2) if you decide now is the time, commit whole heartedly and don’t second-guess yourself (at least for a week or so…). That said, you probably won’t ruin him for life if you decide to wait until later…
I would go with option b. I trained my youngest right at 2 and 6 months later, she still has accidents sometimes during the day. I waited a little longer with my oldest – until she was about 2 yrs and 8 months, and it was completely easy. I know kids are different, but I think 22 months is pretty young. Also – you should talk to daycare, because many daycares do not want to take kids that young to the potty (if he goes to daycare, that is).
+1 to this, whatever you do, make sure you are on the same page with daycare ahead of time.
dc mom anon says
We had a similar situation with my 23 month old and went with option B. I thought that potty training was going to An Event and had planned to use the Oh Cr*p method, boot camp style. But, it sort of happened more naturally on its own without a big deal. I got a potty ring and a stool and praised kiddo every time she went or told us she had to go.
Sleeping in swings says
My two month old has a bad case of colic. She gets overtired from prolonged fussiness/screaming and can’t settle to sleep, even with lots of bouncing and rocking. We finally found that she will calm and sleep in the swing, but I’m worried about setting up bad habits. At this point she will only sleep in the swing–she wakes up after 10-15 minutes of sleeping in the bassinet. Does anyone have experience with transitioning from the swing? Will I be doomed if I continue this swing habit for the next month or so, until the colic eases? I was planning to sleep train around 4 months anyway, and thought I would transition to crib then. But my babysitter and others are horrified that I am setting up bad habits.
I think with colic, you just get through however you can. Especially if you are going to sleep train anyway — you basically already have a plan of breaking her of whatever bad habits you might be encouraging now. So I would agree with you that it’s better to help her get sleep now (sleep is so important for her development and your sanity!) and then sleep train once the colic eases.
+ a million
Colic is no joke. Manage as best you can.
Try very tight swaddling. If kiddo is in good health otherwise, try sleeping on stomach (I know!).
Sleeping in swings says
Tell me more about sleeping on stomach. I’m willing to try it (please don’t judge; this colic has been brutal). Baby doesn’t particularly like tummy time though, so I’m wondering if it will help? Do I unswaddle and then rock to sleep?
Oooh, if he doesn’t like tummy time it may not help. But basically some of the things I’ve read about WHY back sleeping prevents SIDS is that kids sleep more lightly on their back. You would ABSOLUTELY NOT swaddle while on tummy (it’s why swaddling fell out of favor in America — tummy sleeping was thought to prevent SIDS). My mom always just nursed us to sleep, then put us down on our tummies in our cribs, she said sometimes she would rub our backs for a few minutes.
I have one friend who did occasional naps on tummy and I put kiddo down for naps on a soft indented pillow. We both felt the risks were relatively small as long as we were awake and baby was in the same room as us.
I spent my son’s first four months extremely worried about bad habits. I didn’t get any sleep. Neither did he. He still had bad sleeping habits. I still cringe internally a bit when I think about how much precious time I lost worrying about bad habits. He loved to sleep on me, and would have slept in a carrier for hours. Rather than sitting on the couch snuggling and watching TV, I spent those hours picking up/putting down in a crib, and obsessively reading tips on the Internet. We still had to sleep train b/c he still had bad habits (btw, he’s now 6, and he STILL loves to sleep on me). With my second, I vowed not to worry at that young age about it, and I just didn’t. She slept in my arms, in my carrier, in the swing, in the carseat, etc. She transitioned FINE, and I enjoyed her early months SO MUCH MORE.
Also, this might not be the case, but I interviewed a nanny who was appalled that we let her sleep in a swing. As the interview progressed, it became kind of clear that she disagreed with practices that made her life a little harder (i.e., I combo fed but didn’t mix formula and B re a s t milk, and she balked at that too because you have to prep two bottles). We did not hire her, and I’m thankful for it.
Get sleep however you can! I don’t believe in bad habits at this age. Precious Little Sleep has a guide on transitioning from the swing that you can take a look at, but that seems focused on kids that are sleeping through the night in the swing much later than your baby. Baby sleep changes every week or two so I wouldn’t worry now and re-assess at 4-6 months. I feel like I wasted a lot of time worrying about sleep habits when my baby was a newborn, and in retrospect it passes so quickly and she’s now sleeping 12 hours a night in her crib like an angel.
??? Do what works. Let her sleep in the swing. Both my twins napped in their swing until they were almost a year. At age 2, they sleep great at daycare on their little cots now. Not sure why you’re planning to sleep train so far in advance when it may not even be necessary. Take things one day at a time.
My kid napped in the swing basically every day until he went to daycare at 14 weeks. I just let them deal with that transition for crib naps, figuring that he was going to have to learn to sleep there anyways with other people in the room. Even at home for the few months after he started, I let him nap in the swing on the weekends. I figured that sleep begets sleep so I wanted to promote sleep if possible. 2 months is still so little; I would just focus on surviving the colic until she gets a little older.
+1 to AwayEmily. Do what you need to do for everyone to get some sleep right now. It is way easier to break bad habits than internet/book advice makes it seem. It is also way more difficult to rebound from prolonged sleep deprivation than anyone tells you. You are doing a great job and your babysitter/others don’t get to make parenting decisions for you. You’ve got this!
This this this. I wish someone would have told me how HARD it is to recover from sleep deprivation, esp when you work all day. My oldest is 4 and I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep (other than a few vacations) since I was pregnant with her. Lack of sleep is no joke.
Honestly, who the F cares about bad habits in the first year. You do what is best for you and the kid, and worry about habits later. No kid goes to college still sleeping in a swing (or in their parents bed, or wearing a diaper). You have 18 years to work on bad habits. Right now the focus is getting sleep so you can be a calm and focused parent who actually has energy to give, rather than just sleep walks through the day.
+1 – if nothing else, your child will eventually outgrow the swing, and you can worry about it then. Seriously, do not worry about bad habits until the colic passes. Watch the happiest baby on the block video and go forth and cultivate whatever bad habits work.
Every child will have some sort of habit you have to eventually break to get them to sleep, be it nursing, taking a bottle, a paci, a noise maker, rocking, a song, a night light, etc. etc. Don’t worry too much about creating a safe bad habit when it comes to her (and your) sleep! She won’t be colicky forever…though it will feel like it!
Sleeping in swings says
Thanks so much everyone. I appreciate the advice and reassurance. I didn’t believe in bad habits in the first few months either, but SO many people have warned me against over reliance on the swing that I started to get worried. I’m starting a brand new job in a week and a half, so definitely need as much sleep as possible.
Those people clearly haven’t had a colicky child. I agree with the person above where sleep begets sleep. My little guy would get SO overtired if people were over or our routine changed a smidgen and the only thing that worked was the rock ‘n play with the vibration on. I recall a helpful family member asking if she could rock and sing him to sleep and I tried so hard to be nice as I explained the LAST thing he needed was more interaction. I think she thought I was the devil as I shut her out of the room to put a screaming baby into a device that I knew would work its magic in about ten minutes.
Agree! With colic, you do what you have to do. I’m actually jealous a bit. My child never slept anywhere by on me for the first 8 weeks. No swing. No bassinet. No mamaroo, no sling, nothing. I had to hold her. I thought I would die. If the swing had worked I would have used it so hard.
This was my biggest lesson from my first child – things will change no matter what you do or do not do, so you might as well do whatever’s working now. Seriously, sleep will reorganize itself around 4 months anyway (not necessarily for the better), so DO NOT WORRY about it right now. Just get through it, whatever that looks like for you.
First kid also had colic, so yeah – whatever happens in the future, it’s not going to be as bad as what you are dealing with now.
I want to preface this by saying that I am definitely on team “there are no bad habits before age 1” (and even after that with my own I’m not terribly worried about most “habits”). But, I also wanted to throw out there that I don’t the worry with swings is that it’s a bad habit, but that it increases the risk of SIDS because prolonged sitting while sleeping can cause difficulties breathing. But, shorter naps, especially if they are supervised during that time should be okay. But, seriously, disregard feeling bad in response to the sitter or other people for them just thinking you are setting your kid up for failure b/c of bad habits. That has not been the case with my own for several things!
Legally Brunette says
Ladies, looking for suggestions on how to help DH with his snoring. He’s always snored, and I’ve worn ear plugs for the last several years and that has helped immensely. The main issue is that if we go to bed at the same time, he falls asleep within a minute and starts snoring, whereas it often takes me 15 minutes to fall asleep. So I still hear him. And sometimes I am awakened in the middle of the night by his snoring. He’s not super loud, but he does it and I’m also a light sleeper.
What has worked for you or your partners? Certain pillows? Nose strips? Something else?
I go through this with DH too. Sadly, no helpful advice. We’ve purchased pillows, nose contraptions, mouth guards from his dentist, etc. Going from 2 pillows to 1 and losing a little weight have both helped a little. But if he’s very tired or sick, he snores LOUDLY. Sadly, one of us usually retreats to the couch for the night.
I have the same problem. Nose stickers have no effect. Antihistamines help a little, but during the height of allergy season it is still really bad. The snoring only went away when he lost about 20 pounds, but sadly those pounds are back. And he hates sleeping apart because it makes him feel rejected.
The only way I can get any sleep on a snoring night is to leave for the couch or send him to the guest room right away. If I try to stick it out, I will drift off and then be awakened by the snoring several times, then eventually be unable to fall asleep again because I know that if I do I’ll just be awakened again. If things get to that point, I’m up all night even after I leave the room.
Depending on the type of snoring, your husband might want to ask his doctor about a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.
My husband does that Neil Med sinus rinse every day, since his snoring seems to be at least somewhat related to some kind of physiological thing. It quiets things down quite a bit so I don’t wake up (I’m a light sleeper too). I hate when he falls asleep first!
Magic bullet was getting a sleep study and resulting CPAP machine. Blessed, golden silence. Bliss.
Isn’t the CPAP loud though?
Legally Brunette says
Thanks for the feedback so far! I should have mentioned that he did a sleep study a while back and sleep apnea was ruled out. Good point on the Neil Med rinse — it helps a lot but I think he needs to do it more regularly (i.e. every day).
Was it a successful sleep study (e.g., was he able to fall into a deep enough sleep)? I know a lot of people have trouble at hospital sleep labs. They do make very user-friendly at-home tests now, so it may be worth trying that route, especially if it’s been a while.
Legally Brunette says
Good point. I don’t know, it was years ago. Will ask him, thanks!
My husband has sleep apnea, is super loud and I am a very light sleeper. Fantastic combination. Thankfully he has a CPAP, which has made a huge difference. “World’s Finest Ear Plug” are the best ear plugs I have used. They are pricey but worth it. The other suggestion would be to increase the level of ambient noise in your room. Do you have a soundmaker in your room that can help drown out the sound of the snoring?
I just shove DH and make him turn over to his side, sometimes several times a night if I’m having trouble sleeping. Sorry, no advice, just commiseration.
My husband was a terrible snorer as well. About six years ago when we were living in Chicago, he did a sleep study, was diagnosed sleep apnea, then had a CPAP, and after a month of the CPAP, had a surgery where his tonsils were removed and some stints were put in the back of his throat, I believe. It did require an overnight hospital stay, but no more snoring unless he is sick!
Going to sleep at different times definitely makes a difference for me – is it hard to plan to go to bed before him most nights? I use earplugs and middle of the night elbowing to roll on his side too.
If nasal congestion is an issue would elevating his head more help?
My husband snored louder tHan a freight train for the longest time. I usually woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep because of it. I finally started using his Bose noise cancelling headphones, which helped a great deal. He ultimately did a sleep study and discovered that he had moderate sleep apnea and would stop breathing for up to 2 minutes at a time (which was horrifying to learn). He now uses a CPAP machine, and both of us sleep so much better.
Sleep help again says
Tried to post this yesterday but I think my comment somehow ended up in commenting purgatory twice.
Need sleep help with my 15 month old. She generally goes to sleep w/o any issue. But she has trouble actually staying asleep. If we bring her to our bed, she’s fine and will sleep through the night. We wouldn’t actually mind if this were happening when we were all sleeping, but it’s basically now happening at dinner time or at 9 pm when we’re trying to unwind with a TV show, etc., and it’s exhausting going in, trying to get her to go back to sleep several times every evening. I think it’s time to wean her off this behavior but I am not sure how, especially since at some point when we’re all asleep, it’s so much easier to just cave because then we all sleep great till morning. Thoughts and ideas?
Is she potentially overtired? That can be a cause of frequent wake-ups (my current struggle is trying to get my 15 month old in bed earlier so that she stops waking up between 4:30-5:30 – half an hour earlier makes a big difference when I can manage it).
Are you comfortable with doing some form of sleep training? I would start responding more and more slowly. If you let her cry for 5 minutes, will she go back to sleep or get more wound up?
Sleep help again says
She goes to bed fairly early and sleeps about 12-13 hours on average, plus a 1-1.5 hr. nap during the day. I don’t think it’s an overtiredness issue.
We’re not opposed to sleep training but not sure how to go about it, I guess. Do you go in initially and then not go in? Wait 5 minutes before going in at all? Her M.O. is to wake up, stand up, and then cry until someone either picks her up or plops her down. Sometimes a plop down is all she needs and other times she just gets right back up.
Gosh I could have written all this word-for-word with my 15 month old. I recently learned I am pregnant again, so I am suddenly very worried about breaking the cosleeping habit we’ve fallen into when he wakes up. Will be watching this thread!
I have found that getting my daughter to bed at 6:30 instead of 7 makes a huge difference – and she naps 1.5-2 hours at daycare as well. It’s hard to get her to bed by then between daycare pickup, dinner, and bath but when it works it’s great.
For middle of the night sleep training (as opposed to going to bed sleep training) I usually wait a few minutes before going in – when it’s early in the night she often settles on her own. When I go in usually it’s like you say – give her back her pacifier and plop her back down. If she’s really worked up I will pick her up and rock her until she’s calm. Sometimes I just need to walk away for 10 minutes though and she’ll scream for a little and gradually calm down and then suddenly conk out. It works better early in the night than after 4/5 AM.
Co-sleeping worked great for us until it suddenly didn’t. I try when I’m desperate but she just wants to pull my hair, jam her pacifier at my face, and climb up the headboard.
How do you feel about sleep training? Because if you’re open to it, you should go for it.
My experience has been that the more I give in to a behavior, the more it “creeps.” So if I bring kiddo into my bed in the morning, she will get up earlier and earlier every morning. If I give in to a request during bedtime, she will make more and more requests to delay bedtime further. I’d love to indulge her a little more (because I love the cuddles too), but I have to be hard line about sleep rules or the exception will swallow the rule.
Also consider the OK to Wake clock. Your kiddo is a little young but it might work – I started at about 2, I think, and probably could have started a few months earlier. Basically, the clock lights up green in the “morning” (which starts at a time of your choice), and kiddo can’t get out of bed or call to you before clock turns green.
My daughter started with the OK to Wake clock when she was ~5 months, so yours is definitely not too young (it’s not that she cognitively understands it — it’s just a learned reaction that “when light goes on, parents come in, and so it’s no use crying until then.”). I really, really love it. But you do have to commit to NOT going in until the light goes on (we started setting it for right around when she woke up anyway, then gradually moved it later and later).
Have you tried advil? Teething on the 2 year old molars can start at this age and can be a real pain.
If you think it might be separation anxiety, you can also try some babywearing while making supper etc so she gets the physical closeness before bed.
My 21 month old does this. I solved it with my eldest when we realized she was cold; we bought fleece pjs and piled on blankets. The weight of the blankets helps keep them asleep, and they don’t lose every blanket. No idea what to do with the baby except to encircle her with pacifiers!
Will she sleep well in your bed if you are not there? Asking bc we had this pop up with naps when my kid was around that age. We transitioned her to a Real Bed vs crib and BAM, she slept like a, well, baby.
Sleep help again says
She will generally but we’re afraid to leave her there in case she gets up and we don’t hear. I think she might do better if we converted crib to toddler bed but I worry if she might be just a little too young still. Also how do you sleep train in a that case? Isn’t the kid just going to get out of bed and potentially hurt themself?
We moved my kid to a big bed at 16-17 months. We did the crib mattress on the floor and that was a flop. So we put a twin mattress on the floor. Problem solved. Around age 2 we added a box spring. Then the bed frame and rails. She’s almost 4 and has asked to keep the bed rails up despite never having fallen out of a bed.
Re: sleep training, we didn’t need to sleep train bc our issue was that she wasn’t super comfy cozy like in our bed. Once cozy, she went back to sleeping like a champ.
(Fwiw my second has been a terrible sleeper since day 3. I’m up now waiting for her random 10:30 scream fest. She’s 10 months.)
Sleep Training for Tension Increasers says
Ideas on how to sleep train a Moxie-style tension increaser? LO will go from drowsy but awake to playing in his crib to attention-seeking to restlessness to wailing to panic to puke. This cycle takes up to 2 hours.
The only ways we can get him to sleep is either nursing or (on lucky evenings) rubbing his 7-months-old back while co-sleeping.
I would nurse to sleep still. I nursed my kids to sleep until they weaned, and then gave them a bottle to sleep, then gave them a bottle/sippy of water to sleep. They didn’t seem to need it for naps.
Sleep Training for Tension Increasers says
That’s what I used to do. However, since moving his crib matress to the lowest setting, he will always wake up again when we transition him into his crib.
layered bob says
we used a floor bed so we can roll out when the kiddo is sleeping. Or just put the baby to sleep in our bed. Something to consider.
Sleep lady shuffle? My youngest is this way, and we did the shuffle with her when she was a bit older. What helped was that we slept in her room for a while to help ease that transition so that she never got to that point of flipping out.
+1. My older is a tension increaser, and the sleep lady shuffle was all that worked on him. Likewise, we couldn’t let him get too riled or everything went out the window. We modified it to make the steps even slower (I don’t think I ever fully moved out of his room). He’s now 6, and still likes for me to sit in his room rocking after he gets in bed for a little bit.
layered bob says
we nursed to sleep until 11/12 months, and still co-sleep. Is there a reason you don’t want to do that? My view was – why deal with the panic/puke when I could nurse the kids to sleep in 20 minutes, no restlessness, no panic, no puke. I think things are so much easier when babies are a little older and you can explain to them what’s happening. We stop nursing to sleep when the baby is old enough to understand the change in routine, which results in grumpiness and mild protest but not really any crying – so much easier.
Sleep Training for Tension Increasers says
Co-sleeping was great until LO started pulling at my hair in his sleep, alas.
Yeah, I would still nurse the 7 month old to sleep and don’t worry about it even though the AAP says to do otherwise. You need to do what works for you. 7 months old is still pretty young. I think Amalah has information on tension increasers.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but my tension-increaser coslept with us until about a year. Then she just decided one night to point to her crib, and from that point on, she slept through the night in her crib. It roughly corresponded with the transition to napping in cots at daycare, so I don’t know if that was somehow related, but it was magical and crazy. Shortly thereafter we bought a twin bed (new baby coming) and kept it in the room. Again, just one day she crawled out of her crib and into the twin, and started sleeping in there.
Apparently she just needs to feel like she made the choice to sleep somewhere, and then she does it. Any kind of attempt at training/forcing ahead of time only makes us all miserable. (I’ve posted before, but around 10 months we actually hired a sleep consultant. She stayed for two weeks, doing a perfect CIO. My kid was STILL screaming/puking two hours in, all night long (it would start again after we cleaned up the puke). The consultant couldn’t believe it wasn’t working, but we decided not to pay for more sessions and just continue co-sleeping.)
I’m reading Queen Bees and Wannabes (the book Mean Girls was inspired by) and it has really good parenting advice for older elementary/teens. I’m only 100 pages in and I can’t stop raving about it.
Recent Mind Blower: When you pick your kid up or walk in the door, don’t launch into the typical list of questions (How was your day? How do you think you did on that test? Did you remember that form because you keep forgetting it and it needs to be turned in!) because it’s super annoying no matter how well meaning. Imagine you’re coming home from work with an armful of groceries after a really stressful day, and as soon as the door swings open your kid is standing there with questions about YOUR day (How was work? Did you clear out all of your emails? Did you return that phone call to that annoying customer or did you avoid him AGAIN?). If it’s annoying to us, it’s annoying to them, and it will shut down all communication.
She advises to let the kid get in the car and just unwind–no questions–and wait for them to open up on their own. Or give it 5 to 10 minutes into the drive to let everyone relax and warm up before asking. It’s seems like such a “Duh” idea but I don’t wait for conversations to happen naturally. I’m in a rush, the kids get in, and I just start in on them! Like they are subordinates or something. It’s kind of awful when I step back and think about it!
If you’re interested in transitioning from Commander Parent to Advisor Parent (as we all will naturally become as our kids get older) I can’t recommend the book enough!
I’ve read Masterminds and Wingmen which is the same concept/author but geared towards boys. It’s really thought provoking.
Interesting! Please post any other mind blowers! I hadn’t planned on reading it until my child was in middle school, but maybe it could help before that.
Anon in NOVA says
Seconding to please post any other mind blowers. I feel like I could apply that to my six year old as well!
I’ve trained myself to only say to them “I missed you all day!” or “It makes me so happy to see your face!”
I got info about their day kind of inadvertently by coming up with a simple mantra in the morning (e.g., I am kind! I am brave! I am [name]!) – we yell it to each other in the car, and then at the end of the day, they have to tell me what they did that was kind and brave. Interestingly, I get WAY more out of them by telling them about my day. I usually go first. They always sort of amazed b/c I think they forget I do stuff when I’m not with them…so it’s kind of fun. I try to tailor my stories so they get it, so a discovery dispute with opposing counsel becomes “I was brave because a friend thought I did something that I forgot to give him something he asked for, and he yelled at me. I didn’t yell back, and I told him with a strong, polite voice that I did give him what he asked for. He did not apologize, but I felt good about standing up for myself.”
I like the mantra idea. I’m going to use this. Every night at dinner, we go around the table and everyone talks about a good part and a bad part of their day. It’s another good opportunity as a parent to get in some extra praise or penance (my good part was that I got to watch you play soccer and I love watching you play, my bad part was that I lost my temper about being late).
Thank you for the suggestion!
I always ask “what was your favourite thing that happened today” and “what was the hardest thing that happened today” – I find those get the best answers that give me insight into what’s happening not just with academics but also with social stuff. (like when the hardest thing was that friend wouldn’t share stickers it opened up a window into this one girl bringing in stickers or other treats and doling them out to preferred kids but only when the teachers weren’t around – in kindergarten! The teachers had no idea about it.)
It starts EARLY which really surprised me. We all think we’re good until about 4th or 5th grade, but it going on before that in simpler ways like your sticker example.
The author interviews kids and scatters their quotes through the book, and one thing that surprised me were how many young girls remembered telling their mom something that was going on in 3rd or 4th grade, and however Mom handled that (told them to toughen up, went straight to the teacher, etc.) stayed stuck in their heads and they reference that when they decide whether to share things with Mom again. It’s scary to think that ONE bad reaction by me could poison how much my daughter communicates with me going forward!
Yep – I read this somewhere else and now try really hard not to pepper them with questions. Same with my husband. I do get hilarious results out of my 2 year old when I ask her kind of a superlatives list (“Who gives the best hugs?” “so and so” “Why made you laugh?” “friend whoever” etc.). It always makes her laugh.
Has anyone gone through the process of being screened or treated for a sensory perception disorder? I’ve had some pretty epic meltdowns in the course of my career, and noticed another one coming on in a meeting recently. I finally realized I was feeling attacked because the man I was working with was talking loudly and we were in a small office with the door closed. Nothing he was saying was objectively attacking me, but it was so loud that the noise felt like physical danger. I’ve been noticing it with my daughter too – at a point, her loud noises and constant touching become physically painful and I need them to stop. I’ve actually snapped a couple times and slapped her hands away from me or put my hand over her mouth (gently) just to get some reprieve.
Anon in NYC says
No, but I found this checklist once for a friend and thought it seemed really helpful for identifying behaviors or issues. Perhaps worth taking a look at it. http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
Nope, but it sounds like you should look into that. I’ve worked with some SPD kids before and it’s amazing how very small changes can make huge behavioral differences.
My husband and I have been casually discussing upgrading our home for a few months and have a saved search with our Realtor. A true “white whale” came up this week and we are looking at it tomorrow. I spoke with my friend (who is also a/my financial adviser) regarding buying and selling a home, which I haven’t done before. (We still live in my first home; my husband signed his house over to his exwife in place of alimony and had an apt before moving into my house.) She suggested that it makes you a more attractive buyer if you don’t need to wait to see your house before buying the new one. She and her husband had a short-term loan from his parents when they sold/bought and she asked if that would be a possibility for us. It absolutely would, as my parents are well-off and have helped me out financially in the past with short term and longer term loans. My parents also assisted me in buying my first home (my dad bought it with cash from his personal pension plan and I paid him as I would a mortgage, used going interest rates, etc). My husband does NOT like getting financial help from family. It bothers him that I get (and now, we get) $1,000 from my dad each Christmas. I think my parents like being generous – in fact, my dad has straight up said multiple times that since his parents and my mom’s parents did not have a lot of money and could never help them, it brings him great joy to be able to help my brother and me out now instead of leaving us money when he dies (when we would need it less than when we are growing our careers and families). In my mind, none of this is a handout – it’s a loan, I’d be glad to pay interest, we always pay them back. It seems really silly to do something like a bridge loan and pay crazy interest when my parents could help us out. And my brother has actually offered to lend us money, too, as he knew we would be looking for a larger house after our family got a little bigger this year. What am I rambling about? I guess I’m asking should I be convincing my husband that this is fine? Respecting his wishes even though I think it’s adding undue burden? Risk losing the house of our dreams because we need to sell our current house first and he’s too stubborn to borrow money from my parents? Maybe I just want people to tell me I’m right. Ha.
My parents actually hold the ‘mortgage’ on our current house. We pay the same interest we would pay to a bank, I’d just rather see it go to my parents instead of a bank.
I’d stop referring to it as your parents helping you out and say to your DH that you’d rather pay interest to your parents than a bank and you don’t want to deal with hassles associated with extending/changing the terms with a bank if the house sells faster/slower than anticipated or the deal doesn’t close when you’re also busy with showing the house and packing. I’d focus on the least hassle, keep the money in the family angle.
Unsolicited house hunting advice: don’t just look at what’s on the market. Send letters to houses you are interested in based on size and location. That’s how I found my house. It’s never ever been on the market, original owners built it and then sold it to us via private sale after they found our letter in their mailbox.
We considered a family loan when bridging our home purchase and sale. We ended up working out financing that allowed us to put 5% down and still left us with enough cash to carry both mortgages for awhile. I would chat with your lender about your options and see what flexibility they have. Also get the ball rolling on what it will take to sell your existing house.
We just upgraded our home last summer. It was stressful, for lots of reasons! (But so, so much better now!) We needed the equity from our old house to have the 20% down on the new house to avoid PMI. We put an offer in on one home with a contingency that we sell our home and it was rejected — so we ended up putting an offer in on a different home with just 5% down & no contingency. As it turned out, it was a better house for us and we closed on our old home the same day we got the keys to the new one. We ended up paying one month of PMI, which I don’t care about in the grand scheme of things.
Definitely talk to your lender ASAP about your options. There might be some other ways that you swing this. If you do take the loan from your parents, make it clear that it is just a loan, with interest. That might make it more palatable for your husband if there is a written contract.
Good luck with the house viewing tomorrow!
Thank you, all of you guys! This is really helpful. I think my mind was just whirling because it all was happening so quickly.
And Anonymous, I’m glad you said that! There are two houses in our neighborhood I have always loved and I was considering sending them a letter, but I wondered if that was just too weird. But maybe I should try it!
Piggybacking off the sleep discussion above–I had never heard of the “tension increaser” concept so I ran a quick search, and oh my goodness that is my child exactly. Not so much when she was a baby–she was demanding and clingy and insisted upon being held all the time but didn’t necessarily escalate crying to panic-and-vomit levels–but more since kindergarten. She has a terrible habit of thinking of one thing that slightly upsets her and then letting it snowball into a horrible spiral of negativity resulting in tears and wails of “everybody hates me.” If I ask how her day was, she will mention one tiny slight (like a boy making a face at her) and then start lamenting that her teacher is mean and her coach hates her and everyone else on her team is better than her and on and on and on. Trying to reason with her or put it in perspective doesn’t help–it just makes it worse because now mommy is being mean and unsympathetic. Unfortunately most of the information about tension increasers on the web seems to be focused on infant sleep. I have been meaning to reread “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen”–maybe that will help?
“Trying to reason with her or put it in perspective doesn’t help–it just makes it worse because now mommy is being mean and unsympathetic. ”
It sounds like she’s taking it as though you are minimizing her feelings. Try acknowledging her feelings but adding a reframe with a new fact – “I know that you feel like Coach A hates you because XYZ happened. Coach A told me you were trying really hard. I don’t think Coach A hates you.”
Yes, reframing with a new fact is definitely what I try to do. “Remember when Coach told you that you were really good at that thing? And didn’t Coach just make you a warm-up leader because you have been working so hard? And didn’t she just give you special recognition for being a good teammate? I don’t think she hates you.” I think the part I am skipping is acknowledging her feelings.
Agree with this. My HS/tension increaser (I responded about that CIO was a huge, massive fail for him) doesn’t respond to reframing — just makes him mad. He usually feels negativity so strongly that I have to let him talk it out, and I have to verbalize, verbalize, verbalize what he’s feeling. I sometimes feel ridiculous, but it helps move through it faster. “Man, that really stinks – I would feel x, y, or z if that happened to me.” “It can be so much fun to play on a team, but it can be so hard when you miss a shot. I always feel badly when that happens too.” After a while, he’s ready for a hug, then we can move on to solutions or “next times.” It’s so counter intuitive because you want them to learn how to respond, and you have the benefit of perspective, but I have to remind myself constantly that he has to learn it on his own – I can’t talk him into it.
From the very beginning, he was like this – wouldn’t cry as a toddler if he fell and you said “wow, man! you tripped right over that stick – that looks like it didn’t feel good, are you okay?” But whenever a babysitter said “that doesn’t hurt! you’re fine!” he’d bawl his eyes out. I guess I hate being told what to do (or feel), so I can’t say he is totally a genetic anomaly.
It sounds like she has a classic anxiety disorder (hi! me too!). I’d get her some CBT (me too!) and work on “scripting” with her. Teach her some basics: metacognition is when we use our brain to look at how we think; brains are a part of our body, just like skin and eyes and sometimes they can have problems: sometimes are brains can seem almost like itchy skin where we want to scratch at the same idea all the time — this can be GOOD as it helps us focus and figure things out and it can be bad if we scratch at ideas that hurt us; sometimes brains need help! if things look fuzzy, we wear glasses to make things look clearer and sometimes we need “thought glasses” to make our thoughts clearer. Right now your brain feels itchy about bad things, it keeps thinking that little bad things are actually BIG BAD things. It’s like if a tiny bug was walking by, but your brain sees a GREAT BIG MONSTER. So we need to help your brain see things better with some thought glasses!
CBT should teach her to 1) recognize triggers 2) stop and look at her thoughts / feelings 3) look for the flaw in her thinking 4) to rescript positively. Basically someone teaching her how to do internally what you are doing externally.
Anon in NYC says
My friend just started her kindergartner in art therapy for things like anxiety and developing coping mechanisms. There’s nothing necessarily “wrong” with her daughter, so she and her husband resisted the idea for a year or so, but there were some behavioral issues (toddler-style tantrums when she didn’t get her way, etc.) that finally made them decide to give it a try. They still sort of think she’ll just grow out of the issues, but also hope that maybe she learns some techniques to better manage these out-of-control type feelings.
That is awesome. Good for them for helping their kid find skills she’ll use for the rest of her life.
Good for them!
I know more than a couple of adults who trace their anxiety back to early childhood, so it’s not a bad idea. Mindfulness for kids or kids yoga can be good too!
You also should search for “high sensitive child.” My older son is similar, and not all of the HS traits fit him, but many do. Reading about HS personalities has helped me to better understand how he processes things. That helped me to train myself to be empathetic, full stop. Fixing, reasoning, etc. doesn’t do a lick of good. He’s very rational, so he’ll reason right back with me and it feels like we are arguing. We both get frustrated, and the underlying problem isn’t solved. Usually, I have better luck just acknowledging – yeah, that would make me feel really badly if my friend didn’t want to play with me either. repeat repeat. He’s usually ready to talk about solutions after a little bit, whereas, my reasoning with him NEVER gets to the solution stage.
layered bob says
I think How To Talk so Kids Will Listen will definitely help. My husband and I worked through all the exercises in the book (we’d do it while driving) and it felt very artificial at the time but has really helped how I respond to my kids.
The big takeaway for me was that I hate when someone tries to reason with me or “reframe” – so I should not treat my children’s feeling as less valid or real than my own. So we don’t do any reasoning now, just acknowledgement – “that really sucks.” “You are really upset about that.” “I see that you are very frustrated/angry/scared.” “You are telling me that your teacher doesn’t like you.” “You are getting more upset the more you talk about this. I hear you.”
Like Anonymous, above, sometimes we’ll eventually, later, in a separate conversation get to problem-solving. But sometimes not.
That book is super helpful with adults, too, btw. Highly recommend the book and the approach.
layered bob says
absolutely. I think working through the exercises with my husband was almost as good for our relationship dynamics as our actual marriage counseling.
Wow, thanks for all the great comments. Lots to think about.
I’m intrigued that those boots are still available, too, but I own them and can understand why. They are perfect.
I wear them a lot when I’m with the kids. They are stable enough for chasing a toddler.