Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Daddy K prays for sleep but has promises to keep

To be honest I'm not really that afraid much when it comes to arrival of Baby B. Everyone keeps telling us our lives will change forever, it's a life-changing event, life as you've known it is over, etc. (sometimes positioned in a positive light, and other times not so – as in your life is over).

I'm not buying the negative hype, though. Sure it's life-changing, and I have no idea what to expect other than what I've been told, but we wouldn't be here 7+ months pregnant otherwise. Our lives changed when we agreed to have a child. Our lives changed when we agreed to be married. Our lives changed when we agreed to live together (okay, for those of you keeping score at home, pretend we married first). Our lives changed when after hesitating for a few seconds, almost not completing the meeting of our love to be, we did start talking on the beach when we met, October 11, 1997 – then fast forward to 7+ months pregnant.

We have no idea, do we...sigh.

At this moment, the thing I'm worried about most is sleep. Or lack thereof. Bring on the vomit and the poop and the pee, but God please give us some sleep. Obviously the first few months are going to sketchy based on what I've read and heard from other parents, but God please give us some sleep and put B on the fast train to the all-night express.

I found a great piece titled Will I Ever Sleep Again? Suggestions for New Dads to Help Babies Sleep from Mike Farrell at, for

  1. Breastfeeding mothers need help. That's right, don't assume that because your wife is breastfeeding that you are "off the hook." If your wife is breastfeeding she will treasure you for taking the time to get up and bring your baby to her. It seems insignificant now. But at 3 a.m. in the morning it's a beautiful gesture.

  2. Take shifts with your wife. Agree before you go to bed at night which of you will get up with the baby first. It might help to simply pick even and odd hours. For example, if the baby wakes up during the 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am hours then you wake up with him or her. If it's during the 12am, 2am, 4am, 6am hours then your wife will wake up with the baby. The point is having a plan before you go to sleep at night. This will eliminate the anger and frustration of the moment when neither one of you wants to get up.

  3. Learn the different ways your baby likes to be held. Some like to be held chest to chest. Others like to be cradled. And still others like to be seated facing away from you. Find the position that your baby feels most comfortable in try soothing them in that position.

  4. Don't be too proud or embarrassed to sing softly and even talk to your baby. The sound of your voice is very reassuring to your baby and it is part of the bonding process. Your baby will quickly learn to associate your voice with safety and security.

  5. Gentle bouncing works sometimes. But be careful not to bounce baby too much or you may upset your baby's tummy.

  6. Pacifiers work too. Some babies find comfort in a pacifier. Others refuse to accept it especially if your wife is breastfeeding.

  7. Rocking, either in a chair or in the bassinet, can also be helpful means of helping ease your baby back to sleep.

  8. Pacing the floor was very soothing to my daughter. In fact she would transition from a "deathly scream" to silence if I put her chest to chest with her head on my shoulder and simply started pacing the room. While pacing the room you'll discover little nooks and crannies that you had never noticed before.

  9. Placing a warm heating pad in your babies cradle before bed time can ease the transition when laying baby down for the first time at night. NOTE: The heating pad should never be left in the cradle when it is occupied.

  10. A warm bath in a baby tub can also be a great way to soothe your baby before bedtime. It's important that you have a towel to wrap your baby in right away after the bath. This will eliminate him from getting cold.

Wow, that was like counting sheep.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


  1. What worked for us:

    Attachment parenting (read anything by Dr. Sears).

    How to soothe a crying baby? - Dr. Harvey Karp's "The Happiest Baby on the Block" (especially the "5 s's" section)

    "Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!)" by Maria Goodavage and Jay Gordon.

    We wholeheartedly adopted cosleeping, nursing, attachment parenting and DID NOT go the route of "sleep training" (Healthy sleep habits, happy child/ Babywise, Ferber method, etc).

    Once I learned to breastfeed lying down the sleep battle was basically a non-issue.

    La Leche League has meetings all over the place and is a great resource for borrowing books too.

    I think you'd dig "Mothering" magazine as well.

    Hugs from Nor Cal :)
    Cousin Dori

  2. Thanks, Dori! Your experience and insight are appreciated. Mothering magazine is a great resource as well.

  3. I never bought into the negativity of the "change your life" aspect of having kids. The last 20 months have been fantastic, and I can't imagine life without Caleb with Adriana and I. That said - sleep is precious the first few months, get what you can, always take advantage of the down time, and help mom out everywhere you can. Nothing is better than a well rested mom and baby.

  4. Thanks, Scott. It always saddens me when the negativity is focused on, especially when it comes to something as sacred as this. Your comments are appreciated!

  5. Tips from the Nelsons...
    1.Troy and I took shifts and that was so helpful.
    2.Sean slept in a swing for 4 months. He refused to sleep flat on his back!
    3.We used to have him sleep with the bathroom fan on (white noise). That would help him sleep longer.
    4. The Sleep Book by Dr. Sears was my bible!!
    5. Sean also slept with us for 4 months. Either on the swing or on our bed.
    6. We did not believe in the cry it out method.
    7. Gentle bouncing worked like a charm. Hold Baby B and gently bounce while sitting on an excercise ball.

    Good Luck!!!

  6. Thanks, Mariza! We're getting some great suggestions. I just passed out...sigh. Someone bounce me.