bevanddara

Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for March 2015

I Have Skills . . . And Guts

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Do you remember when I proclaimed I was an “Orchid Whisperer” in June of last year? (here is the post if you forget) . . . well, I continue to be.  My orchids are all about/are blooming for the THIRD time.  They were all given to me around the time Julian was born . . . so that means every 6 months they bloom again (he will be 18 months on the 4/7).  Pretty awesome, right?

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And as far as guts?  I’m sure you can remember when we sleep trained Julian, when he was 10 weeks old.  Well, our pediatrician’s process for that was in the New York Times yesterday (article here and below).

Sleep Training at 8 Weeks: ‘Do You Have the Guts?’

“She could be sleeping 12 hours a night,” she said. “It’s time to think about sleep training.”

Sleep training? An 8-week-old?

Our doctor coached us on the recommended technique. Place all 12 hungry, needy pounds of our daughter in her crib at 7 p.m. Close the door and return at 7 a.m. No checking, no consoling and definitely no feeding. She would cry — for hours, possibly — but in about three nights she’d get the picture that nobody was coming to her rescue and would begin to sleep through the night.

The promise that she (and we) could sleep longer was certainly alluring, and I’m no stranger to the idea of allowing your child to cry-it-out in order to learn to sleep. But I was surprised to hear it suggested at 8 weeks. Was it really O.K. to try cry-it-out on such a tiny, hungry, helpless little creature?

The man behind this idea is Dr. Michel Cohen, who founded Tribeca Pediatrics in 1994. His practice now sees nearly 32,000 patients at offices in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. “It comes down to this,” Dr. Cohen told me when I called to ask about this approach. “Do you have the guts to do what I’m suggesting? If so, you’ll see it works.” And if not? “Then I expect to see you back at six months, exhausted, asking why your kid is still getting up a few times a night.”

Dr. Cohen, who was born in France and is known for pushing the envelope on conventional parenting wisdom (cow’s milk is fine at 8 months, hold off on antibiotic use for ear infections) did not arrive arbitrarily at the idea of sleep training at 8 weeks. For about a decade, he — and the dozens of doctors he employs — suggested sleep training at 4 months. But over time, Dr. Cohen began to pay attention to the number of patients whose children were naturally sleeping through the night at a few weeks of age, leading him to question his own advice. If a child could sleep through the night without eating at 4 months, why not 3? When people reported that sleep training at 3 months had worked, then why not try 2? “I then began to suggest sleep training at one month, but found that to be too early,” he said. “Parents were too emotional. Nobody was quite ready.”

According to some professional sleep trainers (yes, those exist), the idea of sleep training at 8 weeks is beginning to gain momentum among other pediatricians, and it’s not difficult to find families willing to sing its praises.

“My wife’s maternity leave was almost over. I was already back to work. We needed our sleep,” said Marques Tracy, who decided with his wife, Roopa, to follow the Tribeca Pediatrics approach soon after their son Aidan turned 2 months old. On the first night, Aidan cried for about three hours on and off. The second night he cried for 45 minutes, and the third, maybe 20 minutes. Aidan has largely slept through the night ever since. “I’d say it worked like a charm,” Marques said.

But it certainly isn’t for everyone, nor does it always go as smoothly. “When our pediatrician gave us the green light to sleep train at 8 weeks, I was surprised, because he was so young. But we decided to try it,” said another mom, Manali, who was reluctant to allow me to use her last name because she fears that her actions sound harsh. Her son is now 7 months old. On the first night, he cried for two and a half hours. On the second, more than five. “At four in the morning, I gave up and went to get him. I held him and cried my eyes out, wondering if I had traumatized him.”

The popular on-the-Internet claim that prolonged crying can cause a host of problems — from attachment issues to brain damage — is not supported by research, and as Janet Krone Kennedy writes in her new book The Good Sleeper, top sleep researchers in the United States say that cry-it-out is proven to be safe and effective. But science and logic may not always be enough to reassure parents trying to endure the agony of listening to their baby cry for several hours in the middle of the night.

“I can see why people struggle with the idea of doing this, because it’s a very hard thing to do,” Mr. Tracy said. “When we first told our in-laws what we were doing, and the approach we were taking, they thought we were monsters. Now they think we’re geniuses.”

As for my husband and me? We, in the end, did not have the guts. And as we prepare for our daughter’s next appointment, chances are we’ll show up, probably exhausted, asking how to get her to sleep through the night.

 

After hearing from countless (and the best) parents I knew that sleep training Julian the way his pediatrician suggested made the most sense for us.  It definitely took some guts (and sleeping pills for Mike) but you really can’t argue with the fact that it worked – and has in no way harmed him.  In fact, I believe it has helped him.  He’s one of the happiest, healthiest and sweetest little boys I’ve ever met.

(I may be biased, but he’s also one of the cutest. :))

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Have a great weekend!!!

Written by bevanddara

March 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Birds at Bev’s

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I am thrilled  to show you the family of sandhill cranes that wander around the neighborhood.  I think I’m fascinated by them because they are 6 feet tall.  Thats a lot of bird!
DSCN3799Kitty would like these birds…cause they have red heads.  Sandhill cranes mate for life. DSCN3800There have been some interesting birds visiting the lake in front of our house.  Who knew pelicans came in white?
DSCN3821These are the  pelicans flying away.  Those completely white birds have black feathers that appear when they fly.
DSCN3823You didn’t think I could blog about nature without finding a way to include flowers, did you?  These beauties are blooming at my front door.DSCN3824Gorgeous, aren’t they?DSCN3825

Written by bevanddara

March 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Bev, Bev's Tid Bits, Flowers

10 reasons I haven’t blogged lately

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10. I have had nothing interesting to say.

9. I was tired of this season of Project Runway’s  “make a beautiful dress in a day” format.

8. My camera (which isn’t very old) is really slowing down when I try to take a picture.

7. I love my new tablet for reading books, but have difficulty using it for email and blogging.

6.  Speaking of books, it has been a long time since I read a good one.

5.  I have had a really hard time putting in writing that my dogs 2-Putt and Eagle are no longer with us.

4.  No reason really excuses my getting out of the habit.  I would  be devastated if our blog ended, Dara, I apologize for my lack of effort.

I’m out of reasons, but will be posting soon because I DID actually finish a good book, the review will be here tomorrow.

Written by bevanddara

March 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Bev