Friday, August 7, 2009

The Picture of Perfect Parenting

The easiest way to screw up your baby's awesome sleep habits is to talk about how awesome they are.

At the beginning of July, we were visiting with friends who asked about how well Olivia sleeps. Doesn't everyone? "Is she a good sleeper?" "Does she sleep through the night?" Because they want to know if your baby is good or bad.

If your baby sleeps through the night, it = Good Baby.
If your baby does not, it = Asshole.
Or that's how people kind of act about it, anyway.

In July? Olivia was clocking 12 solid hours of sleep per night. Not a peep for 12 hours.

I know what you're thinking! I do! Smug, smug Jennepper. Someone should really hit you in the face. Preferably with a fist. You are right, and nobody did, but I still have dark circles under my eyes because the very night I bragged to my friends about my TWELVE! GLORIOUS! HOURS! of sleep? The very same night? It turned into more like TWO GLORIOUS HOURS and maybe THREE if I'm feeling generous!

Bwahahahahaha! (That is you. Evil laughing. At me. Because I'm an idiot.)

And so we decided that this absolutely had to stop, and so we were going to let her cry a little bit. Especially because her bedtime routine consisted of 45 minutes of us feeding her and rocking her and shushing her and losing our damn minds while she alternated crying and smiling in our faces after we picked her up out of the crib.

Nothing more infuriating than a baby smiling at you, right?

The first night, I fed her, told her good night, and put her in the crib with a blankie. I left the room and she screamed her bloody head off. I intended to go back to her in 5 minutes, but she fell asleep after 4 and didn't wake up for 4 hours.

So we've been letting her "cry" which usually means about 2 or 3 minutes of whining, followed by 2 or 3 minutes of panting like a dog while she plays with her feet, followed by 5 or 6 hours of consecutive sleep. Her naps have even been really easy with the whole blankie and laying alone crap.

I'm sure I totally screwed myself just now.

Anyway, yesterday morning, Olivia was doing a little whiny, pouty cry that usually means that she will go back to sleep. And OF COURSE I ignored her because SLEEP TRAINING! GAHD! And she did fall back asleep.

An hour and a half later, when we had to leave to go to the babysitter, I went in to find Olivia sleeping peacefully like this:

Titled: Crib of Doom: Good Luck Living Through the Night, Olivia.

And so I did what any good mom would do.
I got the camera. Because, Blog.

I have labeled the photo for you, lest you miss any of the horrible, awful, really bad, no good, murderous things that I subject Olivia to every night.

A: Bumper. Because it's easier than holding a pillow over her face?*

B: The skirt that I accidentally tucked into the mattress pad like, I don't know, a month ago? And I stare at it every single time I feed Olivia and I think that it looks like shit but I HATE taking the mattress out of the crib and so I just stare at it and get mad because that sort of thing seems rational at 4 in the morning.

C: Blanket! Blanket! * dangles baby off of balcony *

D: Baybee Thigh. NOM.

E: Other leg, dangerously close to going through the slat. But we are sleep training so Just Deal With It Olivia, GOD, you freaking baby, what could you possibly be crying about now?

F: Bumper of death, not even tied. You know why? Because I found her playing with it the other day and I thought, "Oh hahahahaha! That is hilarious!" and so I left it undone because I am a really, really responsible person. And, you know, because giving her a toy would be almost too much work for me.

Not labeled: Belly Sleeping. The Devil. Wait - I think CPS is knocking on my door.

*OK, I don't know if that was too awful to type. But seriously? What is the big danger with bumpers? Especially once your preshus can move all around and, I don't know, stick her legs out of the slats of the crib?

Olivia slept TWELVE GLORIOUS HOURS last night. But I went in to check on her FOUR HUNDRED NOT GLORIOUS TIMES to make sure that she and all of her limbs were actually inside her crib.

Because if they weren't? I'd need to get a picture of it.


This weekend, I'm going to make a new food for Olivia to try and I will take pictures and write a post for all you sooper nice people who asked.
Also? I think you should know that Olivia ate an entire tablespoon of green beans yesterday and seemed to love them. We should have named her Sybil.

And for all you wiley Internetters who find me on FB...I love new FB friends - they make me feel pretty and popular! But can you give me a heads up when you add me? Like, hey, I hate your blog and now I want to hate you on FB, too? Just so I know you're not a random weirdo who wants to spam me with ads for breast enhancement products (because clearly I do not need them).


Amy said...

Ava is 28 months and still sleeps with the bumper in the crib (no toddler bed for us until she forces the issue at say, age 17). If she didn't, the egg beater sleeping she does would keep us all awake as she ricochets off the slats all night.

Can't tell you how many nights I look at the baby camera and see the same thing that you did. So far she's lived, bumper and all, so I'm not too worried about it (except I did buy a night vision nursery cam so I can obsessively check anyway).

BrandiH2007 said...

I too subject my daughter to all those murderous things every night. I checked on her constantly at first, but I'm confident she's fine now. And I find it extremely funny that Olivia is good at getting under the bumper to get her legs out!

Courtney said...

I have a ton of pics like this one of my sons and you know what they are 3 and 4 now. Good luck and i hope you did not curse yourself again!

Angie said...

Long time lurker, first time poster:


The picture is AMAZING!!!

I know that I have one of those in my future. And it's freakin' hilarious!

Amy said...

Bumper of Death!

I wish I would have told that to my pediatrician's resident, when at 6 months she told me bumpers and blankets were ok but apparently at 9 months, not so much.

(It's been in since day 1, because, you know, I'm a rebel.)

And, for the love of God, why would anyone tie a bumper in?! It's just way more work when you HAVE to change those damn crib sheets (always at 2 am!).

areyoukiddingme said...

I know they say the crib bumpers are dangerous for smothering because the baby can get trapped and suffocate. However, I didn't find them to be dangerous until my girl started pulling herself up and using them as a step stool to free fall (she never actually did go over the side, but she tried a couple times). That's when I took them out! Hurray for the putting herself to sleep! Actually, they have sleep issues every time they're about to do something like grow, push out some teeth, learn to crawl, etc. Expect more of the occasional 3 hours of sleep nights.

ALin said...

I almost sprayed boiling hot coffee out of my nose when I read this. It would have been totally worth it.

Anonymous said...

love your blog...think you are hilarious (and pretty). i would think you'd have more readers commenting. maybe they are just lazy, like me.

btw, i have 3 kids...all 3 have/had bumper pads, blankies, and sleep/slept on their stomachs...and they are still here to tell about it.

Kansas said...

I just laughed my azz off. Literally. that pic is priceless.

Jo said...

I wish I could use a bumper; my husband is hyper safety man and whatever the ped says, we do. I found Dane's legs stuck in the slates a few times, but the cries were screams. Now he's 8 months old and can pull him limbs back in place, thankfully. Also the Babysense monitor has been a blessing, I always know he's breathing so I never check on him unless he's crying. :) Love your blog!

Dreamer4agift said...

oh my goodness,when will I learn not to read ur posts while I am holding my rarely-asleep baby? lol, u crack me up. My crib has the bumper, so I, too, am a rebel. My lil B will also only sleep on his belly. His ped said not to overstress too much about it bc some kids are just plain gonna sleep that way.

Malloryn said...

Classic picture, and I love the labeling too! Yay for twelve glorious, non-limb-threatening hours last night... and I look forward to seeing pictures of the new food experiment :)

Amy said...

Let's see...Lexi has bumper pads...and a blankie...and a monitor receiver in her crib as her mommy is too lazy to go out and buy a table to put next to her crib. She also has her wormie (stuffed worm) and sleeps on her belly. Jeez...I guess I'm just as bad!!

Meghan said...

HA!!! Love the picture. We're also blankie, belly sleeping rebels. I say whatever works. I just had to make the switch to the breathable, collapsible bumper b/c Sweetness liked to use it to propel herself head first out of the crib...and I wasn't cool with that.

uncomplicateme said...

Here's my idea: let's trade babies for like, um, a week or so? So that when you're already up checking on a baby (albeit not your OWN baby for this hypothetical week) B will be up to greet you with his giant crabby head from his super mean tooth that's coming (and he also has two NOM NOM thighs for you). And Olivia and I will sleep for twelve glorious hours! :) Sound like a plan?

I'm glad her sleeping is getting back on track. Even being up 10 minutes a night seems to ruin the entire night of sleeping it seems. I iz exhausted.

Alyssa said...

Heads up! I just added you as a friend on Facebook! Please add me back. Kthxbye.

Lauren.Furrer said...

So dang funny. Mine is 18 months, and I still bounce and shhh him to sleep. I am, by far, a worse parent than you.

Parsing Nonsense said...

That picture is incredible! What's sad is that I totally would have snapped a picture before helping her too. We bloggers have mastered the art of mining our lives for content.

Welcome back to the world of the rested, Jen.

Rotten said...

I have stopped telling people how Cailin sleeps for this very reason! Why jinx myself. :)

Beautiful Mess said...

Oh I can one up ya on taking picture while your child is in a compromising situation. Nae was about a year old, went to get into her toy box and fell IN it. But her belly was too big for her to actually fall IN the toy box so she was teetering half in half out of it. I ran to get the camera before I rescued her. She lived through the whole ordeal and is totally fine. On the honor roll all last year! So Olivia will be a smart kid because of this ;o)

calliope said...

my laughing woke the baby. you owe me a nap!

Aunt Becky said...

You learned the Cardinal Rule of Parenting, I see. Okay, it's not so much a rule, just like, you know, kids are constantly changing the rules.

Butthead kids.

Mie said...

This is so funny. My son didn't sleep more than 1.5 hours at a time until he was about 20 months. My "glorious" posts were the occasional days I'd get 4 or 5 at a time...even 3 was nice. So I would have been one to punch you in the face. No...just kidding. That's just the way my son is/was...even at 3 he takes 4 hours to fall asleep at night and its such a "glorious" process. I tried everything and now have resigned to life as it is.

In any case...I have learned my lesson about the bragging when my son has done well (read: 3-4 hours at a time), because, inevitably, it would end as soon as I said something, posted, etc. Eventually I got to the point where I tried REALLY hard not to even think about it lest I jinx it.

Hehe...congrats on making progress. It does get better...but I won't tell you that :)

courtney said...

I love the honesty. And the idea to take a picture was great. She kind of looks like she's sneaking out of the crib. It seems better to find your child this way now, as opposed to being a 16 year old climbing out of the window, right?

battynurse said...

Very funny post with a great picture. I'm also laughing at Calliope's comment.

Stephanie said...

That picture is hilarious and the thigh is very nom-worthy, of course. And if bumpers were so bad, why do they sell every crib set with them?!! My baby is much younger, so she's still swaddled at night, but I bet she'll be going through those slats in no time! I may have to just find you on FB now... ;-)

Agi Graham said...

um, yeah.

Jaci said...

Ack! Why is it that as soon as you're like, "Okay, the hell with this, girlfriend needs to learn to CRY IT OUT!" you walk in the next morning to find the baby's leg stuck? I think all babies really are Stewie Griffin, laying in the cribs going, "Oh, so that's how you want to play it Mom? Yeah? Well watch this! Ahhhh! My leg!"

KandiB said...

One more...she's on her BELLY!

How DO you keep them on their backs once they can roll over? I know nothing (1st baby only 7 weeks) except that I paid a LOT of money for my crib bumpers (almost as much as the IVF) and I'm gonna use them, dammit.

Ms. J said...

You're fabulous ... so much so that I hate you! I hate that you are funnier than me, have wittier thoughts, and that your baby is providing such fabulous photo ops! (In my defense, mine is mobile, and thus the constant motion makes it difficult to capture things sometimes).

"Heart" you ;o)

Sweetart32 said...

Two words...Video Monitor. My daughter still doesn't sleep regularly through the night at 19 months. I'm so damn tired and pregnant to. I don't always get up with her, but I watch her constantly. I've used bumpers and blankies from day 1, and she started tummy sleeping early on...helped with reflux issues.

Buford Betty said...

Just found your blog and love it! We're going through IUI cycles right now - it's always good to find people with a sense of humor about this crap. You're hilarious!

KimboSue said...

Wrote a similar post about this myself today! And I am also a super awesome AKA WORST.ON.THE.PLANET parent because I do A, D, E, and Belly sleeping!

Kristin Sollars said...

HA! Totally just found your blog and I am laughing out loud! I've got a 2 1/2 year old and 8 week old... I can totally relate. And I'm totally a tree hugging baby food maker, love running into another one. Isn't it weird how people think you are Martha Stewart for making baby food, really it's easier than cooking for any adult. Just cook the food way too long, make it a mushy mess, slam it into a blender and make it a mushier mess, don't season or flavor it and.... shabam!!!! Gourmet baby food! Kristin

momofonefornow said...

My bean got his leg stuck in the slats one time. I mean stuck. I buttered him up like a Thanksgiving turkey and slipped him back though. I was sad after the fact because I didn't think to take a photo. You did the right thing. Hahaha

Lights! Camera! Diapers! said...

K - first ACTUAL LOL for me on a blog. Lots of emms, uh-huh, nodding with the 'oh totally' look on my face. But LOL? Well done, well done.

Thanks for the giggle that had to be stifled a bit during naptime.

CKHB said...


Been there, done that. Highly recommend the video monitor so that you can check to make sure the baby's limbs are in the crib WITHOUT risking waking her up by actually entering the room.

vee said...

Directed over here by Cali (who I see has been swearing at you) for a laugh after stressing over similar issues. When clearly what I should have been doing is reaching for the camera. Oh, wait....

I feel better now - thank you. And thank Olivia.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Oh, this is hilarious. Seriously, it's friggin funny. Good for you for taking the picture, blog before safety and all that. ;) My daughter did a lot of these things, still does. She's fine. 2-1/2 now and all is well!

roztime said...

Okay, so I just stumbled upon your blog after falling into Wonderland (you know, where you're suddenly somewhere on the intertubes and you think, whoa, how'd i get HERE??) and then ending up at this happy place. And I thought you should know you are now responsible for the puddle on my floor - that would be me, melted by laughter. That I think also woke the baby up. Can I blame that on you too? :D
's a great blog!