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Sooo Sleepy- 10 Ideas

Millions of parents have survived babies who don't sleep. You can too.
Here are 10 ideas to help you cope:

  1.     Adjust your attitude about nighttime parenting. Babies sleep differently from adults because their brain is growing at a tremendous rate. Sleep happens best when you and your baby are relaxed and comfortable.
  2.     Decide where you, your baby and partner sleep best. There is no right or wrong place for families to sleep. Wherever you sleep the best is the right place for you and your baby. In a recent survey about where their baby sleeps, most parents said: "The crib." When asked where the baby wakes up, most parents said: "My bed." Try a mattress on the floor or a sidecar with your crib. Be flexible, you might need a few different combinations.
  3.     Try soothing techniques besides nursing to get your baby back to sleep. Sometimes nurse her off to sleep, sometimes rock her off to sleep, sometimes sing her off to sleep, and sometimes use tape recordings; and switch off with your partner getting her to sleep. Some babies will refuse this and that's OK, too.
  4.     Dads part in nighttime parenting. It's important for dads and babies to have their own relationship. In dad's arms, babies learn about safety and protection and this helps mothers get more sleep. If nighttime doesn't work, early morning or evening might.
  5.     A peaceful daytime carries over into a restful night. The more you hold your baby and are calm during the day, the more likely this peace is to carry through into the night. If your baby has a restless night, slow things down the following day.
  6.     Create the right bedroom atmosphere. Make bedrooms sanctuaries of sleep. No phones, TV or media. If you have outside noise, use a white noise machine to mask it or a bubbling fish tank, a loudly ticking clock, recordings of womb or whale sounds. (These can all be put on a CD or iPod and repeated.)
  7.     Sensitive Skin. Some babies are not comfortable in synthetic sleepwear like polyester sleepers. Try 100% cotton, bamboo or wool clothing.  Some  babies are also sensitive to new clothing, detergents, perfumes and fabric softeners. They may be unsettled, restless or have a skin rash.
  8.     Be boring. Repetitive, monotonous sounds, humming while rocking and lullabies in a soft tone can all ease babies to sleep. Recordings of lullabies on continuous-play can help you remember the words or inspire you to sing.
  9.     Skin to skin nursing. Dress your baby only in a diaper and sleep on your bed together. Curl up around your baby, face-to-face, tummy-to-tummy, and let the baby nurse. Most babies love the combination of warm milk, your breathing and heartbeat, along with gentle strokes from your fingers and will relax.
  10.     Think about physical causes of nightwaking. If you've tried a lot of different techniques, he might be hungry or there may be an underlying medical problem contributing to your baby's nightwaking.

In short, moms wonder "Why everyone else's babies sleep and mine doesn't". My personal opinion is that a few babies are good sleepers, their parents brag excessively and the rest of us are jealous as hell!

I offer the following for your consideration. Most moms are paying attention to their babies--which is good--that's what babies need. Babies are supposed to have short, light, sleep cycles until they are about 9 months old. It is because their brain is growing and developing so much. It allows them to wake easily if their breathing stops. It is also a way to eat more and grow.

While it is true you can 'sleep train' some babies, it is not necessarily good for them nor does it guarantee they will be good sleepers as children. If you are paying attention to your baby, then you are going to notice that they need to eat frequently and they need you to hold, love and reassure them constantly. All babies need this, even when it is nighttime.

Target Nurse-In Follow Up

What a week! It started when I was interviewed by Time magazine online who gave me a generous quote.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was trying to get the insurance settled for the mall. That went right up until the beginning of the Target Nurse-In.

On Tuesday, I had just gotten out of the shower when my home phone rang. It's ABC News wanting to interview me. (Of course, my phone battery is dying!)

I got everything together, picked up Liz Pickett, from MISN and a friend, (She was the catalyst for this event!!) and went to Kingston.

When Liz and I arrived, there was no table, no chairs. I called. I went to the office. It was locked. I called and left a message. Liz went a little later and said they wanted to talk to me about the insurance. People from Healthy Start, The Institute for Family Health and filmmaker Heather MacLean were already there. Beth Croughan, the reporter from YNN was on her way for an interview.

The mall manager was brusque, said I had misrepresented the event, I didn't have the insurance needed, and they were denying the application. There would be no event. I told him "OK, this conversation is over." He told me I had to leave the mall premises and if I didn't leave, I would be removed. I went back to the group, got my stuff and started taking it back to my car. Liz talked to Mark, the manager of Target. He offered that we could meet in the snack bar.

Beth Croughan had permission to film in the parking  lot, so we went out. I put all the handouts and table displays in my car. Beth got her camera and interviewed me. (She also interviewed Heather MacLean and Katy Weber.)

When we came back in,  we had several mothers from New Baby New Paltz, representatives from Kingston Hospital, Family Institute for Health, WIC, and Journalists Anne Pyburn, Rob Walters. Rob interviewed me in the snack bar, took pictures, made audio and video clips. It is thanks to him that we had such a nice story. Because of that story, we got a lot of publicity.

The Nurse-In? It was really mellow! In total we had 12 moms, their babies and children sitting in the snack bar doing what they always do--tending to the needs of their children and chatting.  OK... it was a little more excitement than usual, but nothing abnormal!

Thank You to the Target manager, Mark, for his helpfulness and kind words. I know several of you got to talk with him.

A BIG Thank You to the participants:

Moms with babies/children: (please let me know if I didn't get your name right)
Evon Valentine
Kathy Puffer
Kristin Koffman
Kelly Burns
Katy Weber
Kim McArdle
Antonia Kannengeiser
Nancy Hoose
Rachel Loshak
Nicole Aulicino
Erin Bertholf

Professionals from the Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County (BIUC)

Laurie Smith, Community Heart Health (?)
Matt Maher, Institute Family Health
Liz Pickett, Maternal Infant Services Network
Gabriela Franze, Institute Family Health
Donna Bruschi, New Baby New Paltz
Laurie Mozian, Kingston Hospital
Amy, WIC
Natasha Grant, Institute Family Health(?)

And a big thank you to the Media, for their accurate and pro-breastfeeding slant on all their stories!

Time Online
YNN Channel 6, Beth Croughan
ABC News
Times Herald Record
Daily Freeman http://dailyfreeman.com/articles/2011/12/28/news/doc4efb70760eeff759336853.txt
Mid-Hudson News http://midhudsonnews.com/News/2011/December/28/Breastfeeding-28Dec11.htm
NPR
Anne Pyburn, journalist
Rob Walters, journalist
Heather MacLean, Filmmaker

I think all our publicity is posted on the New Baby New Paltz Facebook page. You don't need to be on Facebook to read it--it's public.

I also want to thank all of you who were there in spirit. If babies weren't babies, I know a lot more of you would have been there. It's hard to coordinate an event and hope your baby isn't sleeping, sick, or vacationing. I'd like to also acknowledge all of you employed moms, who were paying the bills so your families can be comfortable. In reality, you are working two jobs and I give you props for all your sacrifices.

Target Nurse-In

I am hosting a Nurse-In standing in solidarity with Michelle Hickman, a Houston mom who was harassed at Target. She is organizing a series of “nurse-ins” at Target stores across the country on December 28th at 10:00am to raise awareness about a baby’s right to be fed in public.

Wednesday, December 28, 10-11 am Target, Hudson Valley Mall, Kingston.

I invite you to be present, nursing or not. I am going to speak with the manager at Target-Kingston, today. First to interview them with our Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County questionnaire and then to let them know what we have planned. I am hoping for an educational table and moms nursing either in a group or all through the store (if we have enough to make a real presence). It would be great if they hosted us!

After I meet with Target, I will send out more details. The event is happening even if they don't want to host us!

Please share this with your friends!

I need help with contacts: The Ulster Department of Health, The Kingston Hospital, and WIC are all agencies in support of breastfeeding. It would be great if any or all of them had a public presence at the event.

Does anyone have a contact at The Daily Freeman? How about the local TV stations?

Love,
Donna

845-750-4402

Here is the story if you want to read more:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/target-nurse-in_n_1158595.html
 
http://www.care2.com/causes/target-employees-harass-and-humiliate-breastfeeding-mom.html#ixzz1hASecj7R

Target is in hot water again after employees at a Houston Target store harassed a breastfeeding mother, in contravention of their own corporate breastfeeding policy. Michelle Hickman was Christmas shopping on the evening of November 29, 2011 and had a basket full of planned purchases when her baby woke up and needed to be fed. Hickman found a quiet space to nurse her baby  and was harassed and humiliated by Target staff for doing so. When she complained to Target guest relations about the incident, she was further harassed by the woman on the phone and accused of “flaunting it” and was then dismissed by that woman’s supervisor too.

Hickman told her story to the Best for Babes Foundation, an organization that works to beat the “booby traps” that prevent moms from meeting their own breastfeeding goals. Describing the scenario in the store, Hickman wrote about what happened after she sat down and started nursing her baby, using a nursing cover that completely covered him:

"Two female employees came and verbally asked me to move. The 2nd one told me that Target employees had been told/trained to interrupt nursing and to redirect mothers to the fitting rooms. Even after I informed the 2nd employee of my legal right to nurse in public she still suggested me moving closer to the jean display, turning to face another direction, and also turn my basket a certain way which would have put me practically underneath the jean display and totally barricaded me in. Employee #2 even hinted in a threatening way “you can get a ticket and be reported for indecent exposure” when nothing was being exposed and there was more boob showing from low cut shirts several shoppers were wearing that night."

As this was happening, another three or four employees were standing around watching, shaking their heads, and “making a spectacle” or her nursing. Hickman notes that no one other than store employees even saw her nursing. The next day, Hickman contacted the Target corporate office and spoke to a guest relations officer. She wanted to notify them of the situation and suggest that they inform their employees of a woman’s legal right to nurse in public. She describes what happened on that phone call:

"The lady (I wish I would have gotten her name) told me that she and Target were aware of our legal rights as nursing mothers, but that Target has different policies because they are a family friendly public place. I can’t think of a more family friendly act than breastfeeding and providing the irrefutably proven healthiest diet to my baby. She continued to inform me repeatedly that Target’s policies were different than the law and even went as far to say several times that just because it is a woman’s right to nurse in public even without a nursing cover like I was using, doesn’t mean women should walk around “flaunting it” and was extremely rude."

Hickman asked to speak to the woman’s supervisor but didn’t get any further with the supervisor either.
 
This isn’t the first time that breastfeeding moms have been harassed at Target. It happened in 2006 in Minneapolis and in 2009 in Michigan. Despite these incidents, Target insists that it supports breastfeeding in its stores. In a 2006 statement on its corporate policy, Target wrote:

"Target has a long-standing practice that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We apologize for any inconvenience the guest experienced and will take this opportunity to reaffirm this commitment with our team members. For guests in our stores, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms. In addition, guests who choose to breastfeed discreetly in more public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable."

A series of “nurse-ins” are being planned at Target stores across the country on December 28th at 10:00am to raise awareness about a baby’s right to be fed in public.

The Myth of Sleeping Through The Night

Waking every hour or two to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG. Ugh. Whether you do it for a few days because your baby is teething or have been doing it for months or years, it takes a toll on you.

Sick of it? Probably.
Cranky? Yes.
Tired? Definitely.

First, I'd like to address some common misconceptions:

Myth # 1 Formula fed babies sleep through the night. Some do, some don't. Formula is harder to digest so babies do stay fuller longer. Formula fed babies have completely different sleep cycles from their parents. That's why experts recommend that parents who formula feed do not share a bed with their baby.

Myth #2 Sleeping through the night is a desired outcome. You really don't want your baby sleeping all night until they are 9 months or older because their brains are not fully developed. Some babies go to sleep, forget to breathe and can't wake themselves to breathe. This is SIDS and it's different from suffocation or overlaying. Things that help the baby wake to breathe are breastfeeding, sleeping with the parents in the same bed (if breastfeeding) or room (if not).

Myth #3 "Everyone else is sleeping through the night." In 14 years of counseling mothers, I have met a number of babies who slept well from birth until 3-4-5 months when they started teething. I have met a only handful of babies who are good sleepers even through that period. Many babies settle down to predictable naps and 4-5 hour stretches at night by 9-12 months with occasional interruptions for growth spurts, teething, or overstimulation.


Some babies are not good sleepers. What I have found these babies have in common is one or more of the following:

    Parents who are not good sleepers
    Disharmony in family relationships
    Stress from moving, unemployment, siblings, etc.
    Mom working
    Lack of nursing limits

I'll just cover the last two for now. If Mom is working, many babies catch up on their "mom time" at night. Being connected is essential for babies to survive. It's not just something nice to have. It is essential. It's hard to accept and usually something has to give. Either go to bed earlier, get some domestic help, let things go or work less. This really is important to do for the first year or so.

When your baby is about a year and eating a good amount of complementary food, you can start setting nursing limits. If you plan on weaning around a year, this will come naturally because you are clear that you want to end the breastfeeding relationship. You understand your baby may fuss and find ways to deal with it.

If you would like to have Baby-Led Weaning, you may find yourself in conflict because babies usually don't agree with you refusing to nurse. Up to this point you have probably nursed whenever and wherever. You can give yourself permission to set some limits on nursing. When you start with little requests, you keep the balance in your nursing relationship. Up until now, you have given and given. Your baby can learn basic principles of human relations in a gentle way.

Here are some things to try:

Substitution:  Nursing is a fast way to get calories. Limiting nursing will mean a hungry baby if you don't keep them fed and watered.
Distraction: A howling fire engine racing by wins hands down over nursing. Keep a supply of novel, or huggy distractions at hand.
More Love: Make a point of snuggling, smootching, holding, and wearing your toddler without nursing.
Not here, Not Now. When your toddler can understand, you can insist on, "No nursing in the store." "No nursing in the dark." "You can have milk now and nursing next time." "You can nurse until the count of 10 or the ABC song." "You must keep my shirt on."

This is an important skill to learn. It helps your baby feel secure and it helps you feel good as a mom.

My Love to you and your family,
Donna
(845) 750-4402

Tis The Season for Mastitis

What do Push-up Bras, Holiday Festivities, Exhaustion, Babysitters and too many desserts all have in common?

...Mastitis!

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