I’m My Own Person, Really

I played with my old volleyball team yesterday–a group of young, employed, single and childless guys and gals. I felt slightly out of place and realized it’s because I’m usually around other mom friends on mat leave or family members, all of who love to talk about the baby and baby topics.

So, there I was, being asked how things are going by one of the young’uns. I wanted to have an interesting answer, so I quickly recapped my day in my head, then yesterday (which turns out to be pretty much the same), and realized I couldn’t offer anything that wasn’t baby-related! Instead of telling him about this cool baby app I found or Jarvis’s crawling adventures, I quickly turned the question around on him. Phew.
Here’s my plan to make sure I don’t come across as being that mom who only talks about her baby:

  • Stay up-to-date with news and entertainment gossip (Note to self: review who I follow on Twitter)
  • Only have lengthy conversations about babies with other moms or with (some) family members
  • Do at least one thing every day that isn’t baby-related
  • Use this blog as a mommy outlet
  • Ask others questions

I managed to get through pregnancy the same way–only talking about my pregnancy if asked and keeping my answers fairly short.

I love being a mom and all things Jarvis, but I am also my own person; I’m trying not to forget that.

Learning Infant CPR

Today, I attended an Infant CPR workshop that was taught by an Emergency Response Team member. The topics included SIDS, choking, falls, etc.; it was not a “light” class to say the least. On a positive note, I came out of it feeling a bit more prepared should I ever need to perform CPR or deal with choking (although I hope I’ll never be put to the test).

Here are a few points from the class that resonated with me:

On choking:

  • Biggest choking hazard: No, not grapes. Nope, not even hot dogs. It’s the television (or other distractions)!
  • Best way to prevent baby from choking on food: Never leave him unattended.
  • If an infant or child is choking: Do 5 palm blows to the back and 5 abdominal thrusts, and keep repeating. For infants <1 year, use the football hold to hold the baby upside down for blows to the back and then flip onto back for two-finger thrusts.
  • If you’re alone and choking: Call 9-1-1 and because you can’t talk, tap the phone to indicate that you need help. Do self chest compressions against the edge of a your front door (so help can easily get to you).
  • Bandaids are choking hazards. Infants don’t need bandaids; their blood clots fairly quickly.

On CPR:

  • If an infant or child is not breathing: “30 and 2 will get you through.” Do 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths. For infants, use thumbs for chest compressions.
  • If you are alone with an infant or a child who is not breathing, perform five cycles of CPR before calling 9-1-1. The first few minutes are critical to get the child breathing. (If possible, run outside to start CPR and try to get neighbours’ attention for help.)

On allergies:

  • If your baby is allergic to something, only use Benedryl if you are going to Emergency. Taking Benedryl will mask symptoms, so you may not know the severity of the reaction unless you get it checked out.

On SIDS:

  • Do not overdress the baby for bed. Babies are far more likely to suffer from overheating than being cold. The ideal sleeping temperature for the baby is between 16-20 degrees celcius (I know…cold, isn’t it?!).
  • Put your hand down the back of baby’s shirt to feel if he or she is warm/cold. Don’t judge by their hands.

There’s so much more to learning than just reading, so I highly recommend everyone to learn basic skills through a hands-on class. Although it’s scary to think of the worst-case scenario, it’s always best to be prepared.

Sleep Training a 6-Month Old

One week ago, we started sleep training. Prior to that, baby was sleeping in our bed, falling asleep around 10 or 11PM, and waking every 2 hours to be soothed, and I had enough. The breaking point was when baby rejected my breast. Usually, when he woke in the middle of the night, I’d just stick him on me, and he’d be soothed back to sleep. Well he didn’t want any of it one night, and then again the next. I decided the sleeping arrangement was no longer working for any of us.

Days shy of Jarvis turning 6 months old, we started “training”. My main goals were to have him sleep in his crib and for more than 5 hours at a time.

I read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Weissbluth and decided on graduated extinction (aka modified cry it out or Ferber method). This method involves consoling the crying baby at increasing time intervals.

Day 1 was bearable. We put him in his crib at 7PM and with some crying, he fell asleep 20 min later. He slept until 7AM, waking up once.

Day 2 was more difficult. It took 40 minutes of crying to fall asleep, he woke up twice, and was up for the day at 5:45AM. (I heard Day 2 is supposed to be the worst.)

Day 3 was similar to Day 1.

Each day afterward became less of struggle, and after a week, our baby now sleeps 11-12 hours a night, with very little or no crying. The last two nights, we didn’t have to console him at all. And there was no crying when we put him down at bedtime!

We’re all getting much more rest. It’s a win-win.

Tips:

  • Track everything. From feedings to diaper changes, you want to understand the baby’s natural rhythm. I use an Android app called Bubtrac.
  • Keep to the schedule as much as possible. This includes the whole bedtime routine. Ours is bathtime, bottle and storytime. Hubby has it down pat.
  • Stimulate baby during awake time. The baby will nap and sleep better if he’s been exercising/playing/stimulated all day. Jarvis isn’t very mobile yet, so our awake time is in the exersaucer, on the playmat (trying to crawl) and lots of singing and dancing. I try to avoid long car rides outside of his nap time, as they usually make him sleepy.