Tuesday, July 23, 2013

54 Minutes

***This post is mostly for my memories, and to share with Archer someday when he is a daddy and dealing with his child's sleep training!***

We started our sleep training journey with Archer tonight. He is 7 months now and we felt it was time. Past time, really. We have been co-sleeping (or "attachment parenting" for those hip, well-read parents) since he was born. It was more a survival technique than a choice. Around the time of his birth, we had a lot happen in our family that was emotionally and physically exhausting. We had some serious health issues with some family members just prior to his birth, then two days after his birth, Cole's mom and step-dad were in a near fatal car accident. Then Christmas. Then Ava started school shortly after the new year. Things were just chaotic and life was in a bit of an upheaval. So we let him co-sleep and nurse on demand. And nursing became his sleep prop. For those who aren't down with the lingo, a "sleep prop" is exactly what it sounds like- something they need to sleep. So needless to say, the past 7 months (and really, before that, too, since I was huge and pregnant) have not been the best for sleep.

Archer is a sweet happy baby. Unless he is not getting his way. And let me tell you, being in his crib is NOT his way! The boy hates his crib! But we just decided that was tough. He was going to have to learn to sleep there. We had been researching several sleep methods. I had read a few books when Ava was a baby but never really "followed" any one method. She turned out to be my easy baby! We talked to friends, polled facebook, read reviews...

In the end, there are really two main types of sleep training- Cry It Out (CIO) and Limited Cry ("No Cry"). The difference is obvious. One involves a lot of tears, the other not as many. There are a lot of parents who SWEAR by one method or another. Me? I think each child is different and therefore there probably isn't one method that works for every kid. I think you just have to know your child well enough to know what will work for them. When it came to Archer, we decided that a CIO method would work best. After polling facebook, a friend turned me onto Sleep Sense. It was the most concise and logical I have come across- after all, when you haven't had a full night's sleep in over 7 months, who has the energy to read a big fat book!?!?! Sleep Sense, much like nearly ALL sleep training methods, advocates a calming, quiet bedtime routine. Since Archer HATES bath time with a passion, our bedtime routine for him is this: diaper change, massage with lavender baby lotion, pjs, reading time, nursing/rocking, laying down while still awake but drowsy.

CIO just seemed to be the right fit for Archer, for several reasons:

1. His Age: At 7 months, Archer is in the prime age range for CIO according to sleep sense. His separation anxiety isn't in full swing yet, and he is old enough to self-soothe and learn to be content in his crib.

2. His Size: At over 20lbs, Archer is plenty big enough to sleep through the night without jeopardizing his health.

3. His Personality: Archer is stubborn. I mean STUBBORN. It is bad. And I have no idea where he gets it (wink wink). Because of this, I knew that any method that had a parent attempting to sit with the baby or rub backs, etc. would only make him angry. I know that with Archer (unlike Ava), the band aid is best being ripped off. Ava likes things slow. She liked to know that mommy was there and had me rub her back or shush her back to sleep. Archer- that kind of thing just makes him "dog slobberin' mad." So I knew that the Sleep Sense method of a good bedtime routine then CIO would be the best fit.

And so far, so good. It took him 54 minutes. He cried almost solid for 54 minutes before falling asleep. The average for the program is 45 minutes on the first night, so we didn't do too badly. My money was on 1 hour 35 minutes. So he did a LOT better than I expected!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Archer is 7 Months Old!!!

***I am now a monthly blogger on Defying Disabilities, so I am writing about Ava there now mostly. Check it out! It is a great blog!!!  My sweet boy is now 7 months. Well, technically, 7 months and one day! HAHA! Yesterday was a little bit of a busy day, and I honestly didn't even realize that it was his monthly birthday. Time flies when you are having fun. Or sleep deprived. Time flies then, too.

Archer, here is a snapshot of you at 7 months old...

If I had to guess, I would say you are about 20-22 lbs. We haven't had a doctor or nutrition appointment since your last month birthday, and you were almost 19lbs then. And now you are really scarfing down solids, and rolls are really starting to show!


At your last doctors appointment (6 month checkup) you were 29", which put you in the 99% for length! You continue to get longer and longer, and I have a feeling you are going to be a tall boy!
I don't know how tall you are, but your walker and bouncer are both on the tallest settings!


You now wear all 9-12 month clothes now, although there are a few 6 month things that are big enough for you still. It is getting harder and harder to keep you in clothes! You have been wearing hats and sunglasses too, since we are spending more time outside (which you love!). Your socks are 12-18 month socks- you have HUGE feet! We have stopped using footed PJs for you because your feet are just too big for them! Thankfully I have been able to find some two piece PJs for you, although most nights you are happy to just wear a onesie to bed.


Arch, Bub, Bubs, Bubba, Brother, Chubs, Chunky Monkey, BuddaBall, Chubbers, Archie-Boy (I am the only one who is allowed to call him that...he will NOT be called "Archie" if I can help it!)
I have heard several family members call him "Archie" lately...that must stop.


You are now eating "solids" 3 times a day! But you still nurse about 6-8 times a day, too. Or take a bottle. You are getting better at taking a bottle (just not from me) and we have had to give you formula a few times because you just don't leave much milk for me to pump! You love pretty much everything we have given you~ squash, carrots, banana, sweet potato, pear, apple, green beans... You are still not too hot on avocado or asparagus. But that will change! We are still working on those and I am determined that you will at least like avocado! It is so good for you!!! We have also started working on sippy cups. But I am not sure you are really ready. You mostly chew on them. I did find one that is more like a bottle nipple so we are trying it out. We just give you water in it right now, but I think when you start taking juice from them, you might be a little more motivated to work at it. I don't think you are a big fan of water- something else we will work on!


We are struggling with sleep right now. You refuse to sleep in your own bed and you don't fall asleep on your own. You have to be rocked to sleep, usually while nursing. You also all but refuse a paci at night and fight sleep so hard! We have been working on it and I would like to have you sleeping through the night in your own bed by 9 months. Thankfully, your crying doesn't seem to bother Ava as she sleeps in the next room, so we are able to let you cry it out some.

Fun Stuff- some are the same from months 1-6!

* You smile and laugh a lot! Especially in the mornings! That seems to be your happiest time of the day.

* You are so ready to be on the move so you can explore! I can just *see* you wanting to get into everything!

* We moved you to your convertible car seat, and you like it better once you are in it, but the process of putting you in your carseat is still a fight.

* You  have decided that you hate bathtime. You also hate swimming. Bummer.

* You still love to be naked! You just smile and smile when you are stripped down!

 * Your fussy times come and go throughout the day, but are now connected with something obvious- being tired, wanting to be held, etc. So that is nice because I know how to help you or I know that you are just crying because you didn't get your way.

* You love to sit but you would much rather be standing up! You can pull up to a stand on your toys and sometimes the couch.

* You are SOOOO CLOSE to crawling! Any day now you will figure it out! You can still spin and roll all over the place. I also think you are a bit of a "scooter" when sitting!

* You  chew on your paci more than suck, but that is because you are teething! You have one tooth already and another one quickly coming!
* You are very tolerant of your sister, and have really started watching and smiling at her. I think the two of you are going to be very close! Although you do love to pull her hair!!!
* You still prefer mommy, but are starting to really like that daddy guy, too!
* You can now put things in your mouth with ease, and I think when it is time for finger food, you will have no problems at all!
* You give kisses now!
* You have started waving!!! You love to wave and especially at women! You love the ladies- you are a ladies man!!!!
* You can clap!!! You just started doing it one day! You will clap when we say "yay Archer!" It is really cute! But you also clap sometimes during a temper tantrum, which is also funny!  
* Everything you do, you prefer to do with your left hand! I think you are going to be a south paw!
* You are babbling so much now! You are saying mamamama and dadadada, as well as lots of other fun sounds! It is so funny!
* You have really taken an interest in Hugo and Wesley, and just laugh and squeal when you spot them! It is the highlight of your day if you get to touch one of them! When you are upset, they can make you happy when no one else- even mommy- can! You are going to be an animal lover, and I love that!

Archer- happy 7 month birthday!!! You are getting to be such a big, happy, fun, and outgoing boy! We love you so much and you have brought so much joy and happiness to our lives! We love you, and we thank the Lord each day for you! I pray that your daddy and I can honor God and raise you into the man He wants you to be!

~Mommy, Daddy, and Sister (Ava)