Archive for the ‘baby sleep’ Category

I’ve had a busy day, so I didn’t get around to putting together my next Christmas gift idea post (art supplies, coming up!). But I will answer a question posted in the comments recently from Cristina:

I keep wanting to ask you this. How do you dress your babies in winter?….I have not really found any helpful info on this. A_____ is sleeping in her crib with a onesie and a pajama sleeper but she feels a little cold and I wish she would just sleep in bed with us and then I wouldnt worry.

I have dressed babies for bed in winter in many different settings: new suburban house with efficient gas furnace, old urban bungalow with old furnace and terrible ducting (cold! expensive!), country 70s split entry (long and skinny house) with new high efficiency fireplace insert installed, etc. etc. etc. These four babies have been a combo of girls and boys, crib sleepers and co-sleepers, skinny and fat. The point is that I feel like an expert in this small area of parenting! (Kidding about the expert thing. But I have gathered some wisdom.)

  • For warmer houses with co-sleeping babies, they can wear something as light as a summer onesie to bed. With your combined body heat and your warm room, plus whatever your blanket situation is, your baby will be nice and cozy.
  • For colder houses with co-sleeping babies, dress baby nice and warm. Also consider your blanket situation – many co-sleeping guides recommend against using blankets with your baby, but I personally have always used blankets. (I have a way of wrapping them just right so they baby is never covered over his head, and I’m a very aware sleeper.) If you use warm blankets, your baby can wear just a onesie and a light cotton sleeper and will probably even be sweaty in the morning – babies sleep hot, and with your heat nearby, it gets nice and toasty. My current baby sleeps in lightweight cotton clothes and no socks, right next to me, and he’s often sweating if I keep him covered with all of our blankets.  If you don’t share blankets with your baby, then you’ll want to dress your baby as if he’s in a crib (see below).
  • For warmer houses with crib-sleeping babies, the baby can wear the same number of layers as you do. Since babies sleeping alone shouldn’t be using blankets for safety reasons, you may want to invest in one of those sleep sacks (or make your own from wool and/or cotton) so that baby stays warm. If your house is quite warm, stick with cotton. I try to avoid sleepers and sleep sacks treated with chemical flame retardants, so I would make my own sleep sack.
  • For colder houses with crib-sleeping babies, here’s how the layers have gone for us: cloth diaper, wool diaper cover, wool longies, cotton sleeper/long johns, cotton sweatshirt, socks, and BabyLegs. (Seriously. This is what Asher wore to bed the last two winters. He was a heavy wetter, too, so his diaper was enormous. The kid couldn’t hardly waddle.) The keys here are layers and natural fibers. Even disposable diaper-wearing babies can benefit from a pair of wool pants; there are a million tutorials on how to make your own from wool sweaters, including some on my blog that I’ve linked to. I use the BabyLegs to keep the socks on, as well as prevent the gaps that always occur between the pants and socks. (Since we avoid chemically treated sleepers, our babies often sleep in cotton sweatsuits or long johns, which leave the gap between them and the sock as the wiggly baby sleeps.)

How’s that for a detailed answer, Cristina? 😉 Let me know if I should clarify something for you. I do use lightweight cotton blankets on my crib-sleeping babies after eight or nine months.

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Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Homeschooling and caring for four kids nearly eight (!!!) and under takes all of my time. I’m happy to keep up with homeschooling and a modicum of housework – dishes most days, home cooked meals most days, clean children most days, and a shower 2-3 times/week for me. Beyond that, I’m pretty busy.

I want to write a post about how being a stay-at-home-mom is completely different to being a homeschooling mom. The two are compatible, but they are not the same! I also have dozens of other posts floating around in my brain: 2010 garden review, natural baby food/baby-led weaning, thermos oatmeal update, funny Asher-isms, plans for turkeys and bees, struggles with allergies and asthma….maybe I can get myself to do NaBloPoMo this year? We’ll see. (Those of you who know me well are not holding your breath. But hey, that makes it all the more challenging – the thought of surprising you all.)

As I alluded to above, my eldest baby is going be eight this week! Eight! As in, two years from 10. Half of 16. A third of 24. Five years from being a teen (eeps). She turns eight three days after I turn 31. Yes, folks, I am now firmly planted in my thirties. 31 is making me a think a lot more. I’ve always looked forward to turning 30. It’s always sounded so…established. Grown-up. With a strong sense of self, only still young and fresh. Young enough to see things with  new eyes, yet mature enough to lend wisdom and experience. You know. And turning 30 did feel like all that. But 31? Makes me, surprisingly, walk on toward 40 with a new sense of heaviness. Like, I suddenly realize I’m getting old. Yes, yes, yes, 31 is still very young. Some of you are 31 and don’t even have children. (And maybe that’s where it’s at? That having children makes me feel older, younger? They are a visible marker of time marching on. A year can whiz by when you’re a childless adult, and you might not feel much changed from the previous year. Yet, when your baby goes from an eight pound lump of sugar to a lusty, vibrant, walking toddler in the period of a year, quadrupling his birth weight and becoming his own person, with words and opinions and assertions and such, a year does not go by unnoticed! And when your eldest, who was a five pound preemie only a ruler-and-a-half long, grows into a tall, leggy, glasses-wearing, novel-writing, thoughtful, intelligent, helpful eight-year-old, you simply can’t ignore that you are now 31 instead of 23. Perhaps 31 and 23 are not so starkly different when you don’t have kids?) It just seems like 31 is much, much older than 30, and I will keep adding numbers to my age until there will be no escaping the face that I am, indeed, old.

As for the garden. There’s much to be said. It was the Year of the Baby (he is screaming in Jason’s arms right now, to remind me of this fact, I’m sure), and the garden was often ignored. Yet despite that, we have much to eat and much to be proud of. I canned 40+ quarts and 15-ish pints of tomato sauce and tomatoes, as well as some salsa and applesauce. I dried some summer squash, and we had a successful garlic harvest. The onions were okay, but are nearly gone, as we didn’t grow enough.

The potatoes are finally in today, and did remarkably well  for how much we ignored them. (We planted 10 lbs. of Purple Viking, 5 lbs. of Red Gold, 5 lbs. of Kennebec, and 5 lbs. of Yellow Finn, all from Ronniger Potato Farm). Initially, the potatoes didn’t do well. Ronniger was a new source for us, and I was disappointed that about 30% of what we planted didn’t sprout. Even with that, though, we have a lot of potatoes to eat. We estimate anywhere from 110 – 130 lbs of potatoes were harvested this year. Not bad. We wanted more, but are happy with this bounty (and from a largely ignored garden, at that!). Our favorite Purple Vikings didn’t germinate (do potatoes germinate?) well, but what did grow provided us with nice spuds. We have a really nice harvest of Kennebecs, good-sized, with few blemishes and bug holes. The Yellow Finns are small but tasty, and the Red Golds were so good that they’re all gone. I think we’ll definitely be ordering from Moose Tubers (Fedco’s tuber catalog) again next year instead of Ronniger, as we did better with our potatoes last year. We’re going to continue trying to grow more potatoes, as they are relatively easy, do well in our sandy soil, and provide the most calories per acre of any crop you can grow.

Sweet potatoes flopped this year. They didn’t grow well, and then we didn’t keep up with weeding, so what did grow was small and pitiful. We planted 50 slips, just like last year, only got a meager half of a card table full of sweet potatoes. Scarcely a meal or two. After how well we did last year, I’m disappointed. We’ll try again. We used Sandhill Preservation both years, and part of the difficulty is how late they ship. They are in Iowa, so they can’t send as early as growers from down south. This year, I got my order in earlier than last year, and was higher up on the list (based on order number), but I still got them later than before. I love what they do, and want to support them, but we simply must plant our slips earlier next year. I’m not sure if we’ll order from them again.

The chickens are getting big. We lost four early on after a cold night, but switched coops around, and have only lost one more (but not due to cold). One morning recently, I went to let the motherless chicks out, and there were only 14 instead of 15. Weird. I have no idea what happened to that little brown chick, but I hope his death was swift and painless. We have 30 chicks from our August batch, and of those, about five are girls who will become layers. They other 25 or so will be in our freezer by early December. The June batch (three pullets, two cockerels) are huge and should be laying soon. Those two big cockerels are due to be eaten; they fight too  much and cause too much trouble to be kept around. (Teenagers.) Our adult layers are not laying well. A combination of molting and something else (I don’t know what) has us down to 1-3 eggs a day, from eight potential layers. (The other hen is our mama, still taking care of her 16 chicks.) I hope we figure it out soon, because we like to eat more eggs than this. I will have to post chick pictures soon, because the meat birds (males of dual purpose breeds) are so pretty. I don’t know which breed they all are, but I hope someone else can tell me, because I’d like to know. I have some guesses.

My little Cal is beckoning me. He is nine months old! Can you believe it? I hardly can. He just started crawling, and he says Mama and Hi. His hair is as bleach blond as it ever was, and his eyes as blue as the sky. We look nothing alike, not one little bit, and I will need to post pictures to prove it. I love that little guy. He doesn’t sleep well, but most babies don’t, and at this point, a baby who slept well would surprise the socks right off me.

I wouldn’t mind being sockless, that’s for sure.

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The kids and I moved into the house with Jason yesterday. After three weeks of camping (two sleeping on the ground!), J was ready to sleep on our natural latex mattress. After four weeks of having sole responsibility of the children and two weeks of living without my husband, I was ready to have us all back together again!

Asher testified to the greatness of the situation by waking up ONLY ONE TIME last night. I’m not even kidding. Bedtime was still horrendous, and I left him crying in Jason’s arms at 9:30 p.m. so I could run out and buy a fan (after trying to get him to sleep for an hour!), but still…once he fell asleep, he didn’t wake up until 4 a.m. AND! AND! He slept until 8 O’ CLOCK!! I’m kinda sorry for all the exclamation points and shouting, but you must realize what a miracle this is. Asher went from having two teeth to eight teeth over the past four weeks, plus traveling all over and sleeping in all kinds of strange places, so he hasn’t woken up less than three times a night for a month.

We’re exhausted, happy, and surrounded by a sea of boxes on a beautiful pine plank floor. Stay tuned.

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Ellery has slept all night for two nights in a row.

I’m so afraid to jinx it that I’m typing this very, very small.

ETA: The third night, she slept straight through until 5 a.m., waking up twice more before 7:30. We’re praying for a trend to develop!

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