Confessions of a Kid-aholic

I do some pretty crazy things in the face of the obsession I feel for my child. Anyone who knows me may be shocked by my confessions, mainly because pre-child I was one of the most cynical people — not believing how much having a baby utterly changes the way you love.

But it does transform you immeasurably, and so I felt it was important to share some of the ridiculous things I’ve done just because I adore Emma so much (and if she ever ends up in therapy she can bring this list to help explain herself).

My confessions:

1) I didn’t drop her crib to the lowest level for an inappropriate amount of time because I was sad I couldn’t lean over and kiss her head once she’d fallen asleep. I still do it, but I have to kiss my hand and place it on her head. It’s just not the same, but at least she’s safe.

2) Nights when I get home late I may do the above in a loud manner and plant the hand kiss extra firm. I know the rule about never waking a sleeping baby, but sometimes I just really miss her!

2) I pretend to be sick with a “case of the kisses”. I cough and carry on and tell her the only cure is to kiss her a million times. She thinks this is hilarious and it allows me to plant tons and tons of kisses without her running away.

3) I cried when she grew out of the Snap and Go stroller because when I went for walks we could no longer stare at each other.

4) I think her head is the best smelling thing in the world. The other day she said, “’Why does mommy sniff me?” I swear I didn’t even realize my nose was embedded in her hair.

5) We record a “happy birthday video” of her on the same day every month (at precisely the time she was born). I have no idea why, and quite frankly remembering to do it causes more angst than it’s probably worth.

Enough said. So please moms and dads, tell me some crazy things you do in tribute to your munchkins in the comments below.

Sleeping baby

3 Sleep Training Books You Can’t Live Without

Unlike many teachers you’ve had before, I will admit my faults. The first one you should know is that I am a total control freak. Nothing can make your world spiral out of control more than sleep deprivation.

So here are some bibles–I mean books–on sleep training that were invaluable to me along with my key takeaways from each one.

1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child


Get it on Amazon

Key lesson: Look for the sleepy signs and follow a routine.

We had to learn Emma’s sleep patterns by watching carefully for signs that she was getting tired (rubbing her eyes, yawning, etc.). The moment we noticed a sleepy sign, we began her sleep routine: carrying her up to her room and rocking her for 5 minutes while singing “My Favorite Things” (oh, yes, I can sing it with various accents and even like a rap song). The trick is to repeat the same steps, in the same order, every single time without fail.

After doing this for a few days we noticed a pattern develop. Emma’s sleepy signs would show up around the same times each day, so we were able to get on a schedule, which made planning our days much easier. She was sleeping through the night by 6 weeks!

Thanks Dr. Weissbluth!

(Footnote: one of the absolute best things about this book is that it’s broken down by age, so you can read chunks at a time. We found ourselves referring back to HSHHC multiple times as Emma grew and changed.)

2. The Baby Whisperer


Get it on Amazon

Key Lesson: Independence is not neglect.

Anything that takes away a bit of the mom-guilt is great advice to me! But this one really resonated. Meet your baby’s needs and give her comfort, but once her needs are met, allow her to fall asleep on her own. Yes, it was very hard not to get up at every whimper and cry, but I firmly believe, much like you and I, babies go through cycles of sleep throughout the night. They stir, they wake (and may cry) but need to learn to fall back to sleep without constant comfort. This one is definitely in the category of thinking with your head (because my heart most certainly would have picked her up every time :-)).

3. Happiest Baby on the Block


Get it on Amazon

Key lesson: Use the 5 S’s.

The three I remember–because they worked–are to rhythmically repeat “shhhh” (it mimics the sound they hear in the womb) and sway (easy to do with the perfect glider) and swaddle (think baby burrito).

The other two S’s are suck and side-stomach, which we didn’t personally use, but might work for you.


Keep a daily activity sheet to log sleep. We wrote down every nap and of course bed time and waking. This was so critical in helping us understand what was working and if Emma’s sleep patterns were changing.

Here’s to sleep!

Image credit (cc):

Babies by the book

My Baby Curriculum

It seems as though we spend our whole lives studying—for quizzes and tests, to graduate, to get into college, to go to grad school. Then, once in the workplace we spend time in training to learn the job, learn new technologies, and in some cases even to learn how to get along with others!

So in prepping for motherhood, I was shocked to find there was no curriculum. I panicked! What do I need to know? What books do I have to read to understand perhaps the most important “subject” of my life? Are there continuing ed classes I can take as the subject evolves over the years?  I knew for sure there would be tests and I was terrified that I wouldn’t pass.

Now, after having passed a grade or two in the subject of parenthood, I’ve decided to write my own curriculum.

You can be like most students I know and dive in head first, diligently complete your homework, and cram for every possible test, or you can leisurely listen, stealing lessons here and there. Sometimes I’ll suggest reading materials (like in my very next post). Sometimes I’ll assign homework. And of course there will be field trips (e.g., when your child is teething, call baby sitter, head to nearest bar and drink; repeat as needed until tooth arrives).

I am sure you will all pass with flying colors and, if not, much like college, you will at least have fun joining my “sorority” of moms.