Thursday, July 19, 2012

Still learning

It seems that parenting is - in essence - a course in perpetual continuing education. Whether you're constantly adapting to the needs of your growing child, or (re)taking a math class so that you can help with homework, it's some serious on-the-job training.

Get your bearings. I dare you.
I'm still struggling with the idea of slowing down - even moreso since Genevieve outgrew her infant carseat. That's right, my sweet DangerMouse is a DangerMoose! I love that she is robust and thriving, but the blasted booster seat doesn't clip in and out like the infant carseat did.

For those of you playing the home game, this means that if she falls asleep in the car, I have to WAKE HER UP in order to get her out of the car. The first rule of babies is NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY. (We learned this the hard way.)

You see the problem, right?

[Side note: If you have a solution, I would LOVE to hear it. Seriously. Please.)

It's not all bad, really. For years and years and years, I have run myself ragged, making long lists, overfilling my days with errands, work, and social activities. Hooray for being hyper-productive!

Tired cheeks.

But. Genevieve *desperately* needs her long afternoon nap, and we discovered that she sleeps soundly (flat, not being worn), if someone is sitting next to her. We have tried swaddling, white noise, and a number of other tricks to try to let her nap solo, but ultimately, none of it has worked as well as just sitting next to her. To save my back, this is totally do-able.

Fortunately, I can read (or spin) while she sleeps in the carrier, which is how I've been so productive during the Tour de Fleece. It's all the other stuff- laundry, cooking, errands - that I occasionally stress out that I'm *not* doing.

[SIDE NOTE: Who would have ever thought there could ever be any kind of contest between doing housework and snuggling a baby? Pfft.]

Like I said before, parenting is all about continuing education, and me personally? I'm still learning how to slow down.


  1. I know what you are going through...but there will come a time when moving your baby from her carseat to the crib or anywhere won't wake her up. And that day will be glorious and sometimes you will still fail and wake her up but the sweet victory of the successful transfer from carseat to crib will make you want to wake her up with your shouts of joy! :)

    I don't have any real suggestions. Once they grow out of that sweet bucket seat that you can move her just becomes tricky! But I find that it's easier to do the transfer within 15 mins of her going to sleep than later. For some reason, after that 15 min mark...if she wakes's ALL over and it will take HOURS to get her back to bed.

    Good luck!! Continuing education is wonderful.

  2. I know this isn't what you probably want to hear. When our little ones would fall asleep in the carseat that didn't snap in and out, we would drive around until it was time to wake up. We learned all about little side roads and stuff in a several mile radius. It isn't environmentally friendly, nor it is it ideal if you need to get stuff done, but sometimes you do what you have to do to get that nap in!

  3. Our solution? We make all sorts of crazy noises so the kid doesn't fall asleep in the car. ;-)

  4. I can't move my four year old with out waking her. Period. We have ruined many a nap trying. So here is a page out of my book. Let her sleep in car and count it as bonus knitting time. Park in a shady spot and open the windows and enjoy the afternoon why bebe dozes.

    Bebegirls also has to have some one sit with her since with her while she naps unless she is sleeping in her room. She rouses her self periodically and looks around if some one is there she goes back to sleep. If she wakes without full nap then cranky pants time. So again bonus knitting time or reading time quiet relaxation time.

  5. How timely! After the latest podcast, I was gearing myself up to ask an unsolicited listener question. Namely, you strike me as a productive person, and while Andrew seems to be an understanding and helpful dad/breadwinner, I wondered how you were coping with the fact that when you spend hours tiptoeing around naps, housework doesn't get done. I struggled mightily with this with my first baby, and with two kids and almost 6 years into the stay-at-home gig, I'm starting to feel like I can do it all...but just barely, and guilt still sneaks up on me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matte!

    During the sleep in the car phase, I would leave baby in the car. Either parked in the shady garage with the windows open, or sitting with them in the driveway until they woke...and yes, sometimes just driving around with them in a terribly gas-guzzling way.

    Psst, I really REALLY hope she's not in a booster seat of any sort. I expect what you've got now is a *convertible*. I know, pedantic, but you don't want anyone reading to go get their big infant a belt-positioning booster, LOL! You want the Sharkbean rear facing at least until age two, preferably until the rear facing limits of the convertible car seat are exceeded (depending on the seat, this can be well past age 3).

  6. I know it has been a long time since I had a little one, but mine grew up to be pretty fantastic people. Let her sleep in the car seat. I would continue to check on the sleeping little one. If you have a garage, that is great. I learned ways to do the necessary house work around the kids. I had a fantastic husband who even after getting up at 5:30 am and working all day, returning home at 6 pm, would help clean the house or take care of the children in the evening. Your priorities change. ALSO REMEMBER this isn't forever. If you get her on a schedule and keep her on it. My children always took naps. 2 a day and then eventually one long one in the afternoon. Don't let a child tell you they don't want or need a nap. They need it and you need the time alone. I hope this isn't to long or to preachy, but I have seen to many parents who become slaves to their children, to the detriment of both parties.

  7. Instead of clicking in/out, can you use the car safety belt to secure the seat? And then just remove the belt and take the whole seat out, when your drive is over?
    I don't know if the US baby seats differ from the European, but that's what we do ;)
    I've sat next to a sleeping child often too, usually knitting. It's a wonderful break, if you allow it to be just that. Don't feel sorry for the house work, it won't go anywhere, but you'll be more relaxed if you allow yourself to take that break ;)

  8. When the kids turned 6 months we got to a regular sleep schedule. First there was the morning nap, where I would let the kids sleep for about 30minutes. If they fell asleep in the car during this time, I would stay with them and then we had the lunch-nap which was up to 2 hours. I made sure, that I would be home at that time and I put them into their beds every day at the same time. At first I was sitting next to them but after 2 days they would fall asleep at exactly that time and alone.
    I admit, I woke them up in the morning, so that they had their long nap in the afternoon and I still wake them up after 2 hours since otherwise they don't go to bed in the evening.
    Sounds harsh but I just couldn't carry both of them around ALL THE TIME. Carrying around was for days of teething and beeing ill. I guess with twins there's just so much one can do alone... It worked of me and the kids are mostly o.k. with getting up after 2 hours and I do need that time for me and the house too :)

  9. Why is blogger eating my comments?

  10. Sharkbean has great expressions, I am always smiling reading your post!
    The car seat thing.....Sharkbean will get use to being moved around in time.
    you could try moving her to a stroller from the car seat and pushing the stroller a bit till she falls back to sleep then push the stroller straight into the house
    My youngest lived in her swing for the first year too ;)
    Remember you have all the control.

  11. Take a breath and remember they grow up way too fast. My son had colic and we spent a lot of time in the car - I agree with Paleo - use this as bonus knitting or reading time. By the way, my son just turned 22 and it seems like yesterday he was a little one.

  12. Have you tried a baby swing or bouncy seat? Sometimes movement helps keep them asleep.

  13. You will get the hang of moving her without waking while she sleeps (eventually, hopefully) usually lots of shhhh noises help!
    My third was a pain in the butt for sleeping and always wanted to be held but as a mum of three I didn't always have the time and admittedly by about month 10 I was out of patience too! I found that she would sleep if I sat in her room while she drifted off. So I did that. I started out having to pat her back, then i could just sit beside her so I would keep a small knitting project by her cot and sit there and knit. I was very strict that this wasn't play or talk time, I wouldn't make eye contact with her and once she realised it wasn't going to be any fun, she would go to sleep. It became routine and after a while she would fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. Find something that works for you and stick to it, maybe you have to sit and stroke her back for 10 minutes. Once it becomes routine she will settle easily and hopefully you can have some time to yourself :-)

  14. It is such a learning process. Now I am one who like things that are in order, not totally a control freak but possibly close to one. I was raised that you should live in a house clean enough to healthy and dirty enough to be happy. Here is what I learned. When you put the little one in the car lay a cotton receiving blanket down first, put them on top of it, then seat buckle them in. My little ones didn't like temperature changes while sleeping. So when they would fall asleep in the car seat and it was time to take them out I would just take them out with the receiving blanket around them. Their body temp stayed the same so they didn't wake up. That might help. My youngest one is eight years old and he still likes to read with a foot on my leg, or watch tv snuggled next to me. I love that. He also wanted me near him when he took his naps. So biggest mommy tip ever. Wake up before her and do it then. My kids are older, some are grown-ups and I still do this. Honestly I've come to enjoy this quite time. I get a couple of hours to get done what I want to and then there is no guilt. This is also great when planning to go on a outing and trips. A time to get things together no interruptions. Lists are a moms best friend. Planning ahead for the sit down snuggle nap time is also a good thing. You know it is how she sleeps best plan for it. Make it a time to recharge your batteries as well. Have your mom watch her one day so you can organize things to be more efficient and easier for your life now as a mom. Look at what you would like to accomplish during the day. Look at the whole picture and then think what can you do to make it more efficient. It just like making sure you have knitting and spinning in convenient spots. Make everything else convenient to your life now. It wont be perfect every time but it helps. I have a set day of the week when I deep clean my house. Sometime the day has to change but I know that one day of the week is devoted to that task. Honestly I've been tweaking my list and what works and doesn't that that set deep down clean day doesn't even take the whole day. By the way I don't look at it about being obsessed about having thing perfect just making things easier for me so I can relax and enjoy the cuddle times. You'll find what works for you.

  15. Ella woke up every time I tried moving her from the car seat to the house (we never had an infant seat). I just learned that her schedule was more important than mine -and she was very much a schedule baby, still is. If I wasn't going to be driving long enough for a proper nap before stopping, I rescheduled stuff to fit in her awake time. If she started getting drowsy on the way home, we'd act like crazy people to keep her awake :)

  16. I used to sleep too! Parked the car, fell asleep myself and I dread to think how many people saw us both and thought we were nuts. If I woke up first I knitted. I know all the best places to park up for naps around Durham in the UK. Now Charlie's nearly 5 and I do all I can to make sure he doesn't sleep in the car as he won't go to sleep at night!


If you'd like me to respond, please make sure to put your email address in the field. :)