Motherhood

Holy Tantrums! ….

Someone should warn you when your child is around 12 months old that the ‘terrible two’ stage doesn’t mean that it starts when your child is two. My daughter is now 17 months and for last few weeks I’ve noticed a change in her tantrum outbursts.

Before she would get upset for reasonable things….stumble…I left the room… sleepy….etc. But now she will have a complete meltdown for apparently no reason at all. She wants a fork instead of the spoon. She doesn’t want to eat what I gave her. She wants to play with another toy. She can’t see the plane in the sky anymore. I’m left like “whoa child…. it’s not that deep”. I haven’t given into her demands (I don’t think sometimes I try to get her to pay attention to something else instead of the catastrophic event that just occurred to her). Sometimes I wonder if giving her even that kind of attention to distract her is feeding into her need for attention. I’m actually still unsure how I want to handle these tantrums. I want to be consistent in what I do but I wasn’t prepared to start thinking about this so soon! I thought I had a few more months!

I’ve read a lot into the subject and nothing has quite felt like how I would want to deal with it. My mom tells me to lightly ‘pop’ her to get her attention but I feel that doing so 1. teaches her to hit to get the response she wants 2. she’s already upset so I’m not sure how that will help. 3. I’m not quite comfortable with that. I know I was never really spanked as a kid but I know my mom gave my brother and I a few little poppings; and I turned out alright. lol

A lot of articles say to explain to the child what happened and the desired outcome I would like. UM that’s perfect in theory but have you ever tried to calmly explain anything to an upset 17 month old? Not realistic at this stage in her development. I do talk to her but I do it more because I talk to her and explain to her everything that is going on in her environment- I explain why we are getting dressed; what I’m cooking for lunch; etc.

I’ve also read about using a ‘time out’ for tantrums. Again, I can see how that could work for a child a little older but I don’t think my child is ready for that concept fully. I guess I have been up to this point doing a version of time out. When she starts to throw a fit where she flings her arms and legs (oh and the head banging… really child? so unnecessary; she has a flair for the dramatic flair) I will lay her down on the floor where she can’t get into anything or hurt herself then I’ll step back a bit and let her just have it out. I will watch her but I won’t give her the attention to feed into the tantrum. Eventually after a couple of minutes she will get up and come over to get in my lap. If she is still trying to throw a fit I put her back into the spot. Only if she comes to me calmer will I pick her up and hold her; and then talk to her.

Meal times are also becoming a lot more frustrating over the past several weeks. Sometimes I even find myself dreading it. She has been feeding herself with a spoon and fork for a while now which is great….sometimes. But now I can’t feed her without a fit and sometimes it would be easier, quicker, and not to mention CLEANER if I could just feed her so we can get on with going somewhere or if we are on a time crunch. I hate when she starts to throw a fit while eating because I don’t want her to choke on any food. I try to feed her what I cook for my husband and I but she is so finicky about new things that sometimes I don’t know if I should just give her that or if she doesn’t seem to like it give her something that I know she will like. I don’t want to create a habit of making essentially two meals but I also don’t want to force her to eat something she doesn’t like. Can we just go back to when she was drinking formula and that was all that required… lol! kidding! Well maybe a little serious.

I haven’t gotten to the point of pure frustration with her because I have been able to remind myself that this is a normal stage, she is still a baby even though she thinks she is so independent, and this is her way of communicating some of her feelings. So I know this is all a stage and it too will pass but I feel a little unprepared for it and I don’t want to be inconsistent in my actions with her so I’m hoping we find a groove soon. Granted I know that’s when she will start a whole new phase!

Until next time…. props to all the moms (and dads) out there going through similar situations! Parenting by far is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!

Motherhood

It’s the little things!

I just noticed I have not written about such a huge day in my daughters development. I definitely want to remember these memories. On Tuesday I was eating my dinner and had her sitting in her bumbo chair in front of me. I noticed she was sticking her tongue out; which is one of her favorite things to do. It’s hilarious! I hope she keeps this fun personality as she gets older. Anyways, she was sticking out her tongue a little differently this time (ha, who knew there were so many ways to stick out ones’ tongue). It almost looked like she was struggling so I was watching carefully and all of a sudden she blew a raspberry. It was the funniest and cutest thing I had seen so far. I watched her figure out how to make the noise come out. I was so proud and glad that I got to witness her figure something out.

Like any mom I grabbed my phone to get it on video to share with my husband and my parents. And….. very typical her she just wanted to look at herself in the phone and wouldn’t do make the noise again. Eventually after making the noise myself about a million times she did it…. and I got it on camera! SCORE!!!! I could now delete the 30 videos of just me making the noise and her looking at me like I’ve lost my mind (which is still up for debate).

After I ate I took her into our bedroom to play on our bed, she likes to look in the mirror and watch the ceiling fan spin around. She was blowing raspberries non stop… (of course no camera filming her to distract her). I facetime my mom and she continued to blow raspberries. My mom and I were in tears laughing at her because she was really pushing to get that face out. I’ve seen faces like these before but for VERY different and stinky reasons. I loved this moment and I wish it could have lasted forever.

All of sudden just when I thought the new milestones were through for the day she turned over from laying on her back to her stomach. Up to this point she could only roll over from stomach to back (which makes me nervous still because she still hasn’t grasped her arm cannot be directly out to the side of the direction she is trying to roll over; I’m so nervous she will hurt herself). It was special that my mom got to witness it as she doesn’t live near. I yelled for joy and she could tell I was happy because she was just smiling and happy as a clam.

Oh what a beautiful day and a memory I hope I never forget!

I saw a picture online today that reminded me of it: “Sometimes the littlest things take up the most room on our hearts”. Oh this couldn’t be more true if you are talking about a baby. This is just another reminder that I made the best decision to be at home to see her grow.

Proud mommy!!

It's not what you think.... just blowing raspberries!!!
It’s not what you think…. just blowing raspberries!!!
Motherhood

The importance of consistency

I haven’t written anything in a few days not because I haven’t had anything on my mind or things I wanted to write about; but because I’ve had a very long and exhausting week and a half.

After bragging and going on about how well my daughter was sleeping at night and seemingly sleeping longer and longer each week she did a complete 180 on me. (All the moms out there are probably laughing because you know how it goes). Once your child gets on a schedule they change it.

My daughter was sleeping from 900pm-500am and did so for about a month. I thought at 3 months old my child is amazing because my fellow mom frienda have scared me thinking that she wouldn’t sleep all night until she was a year or two. I remember thinking that wasn’t so bad and now we can get settled in. Well then September 6th happened! It was a normal day… A good day. I put her to bed as I always have. She woke up screaming at the top of her lungs a couple hours later. Boy does that girl have a set of pipes. She screamed for hours. When I finally got her back to sleep I laid back down and boom she as back up. This went on all night… Every night… for almost 2 weeks.

Of course it was hard. It was hard for many reasons.
1. Hearing your child cry so helplessly is heartbreaking. Incredibly heartbreaking.
2. Not sleeping for more than a couple hours at a time makes a person more like a zombie. I didn’t clean my house, showering was even a second thought. All I did was nap when she napped because I never knew when the next time I could sleep would happen.
3. It was hard to ignoring my husband but even my relationship is strong and wonderful when you’re tired beyond tired you find that things that never bugged or annoyed you now bugs and annoys the crap out of you. I think he understood but it doesn’t make it fun.

Last Sunday I was able to take a step back and get back to the basics. I read a lot about baby sleep schedules and helpful tips. I used all the information as a guideline while I worked to get my daughter back on a regular schedule. As of Tuesday night she has slept from 830pm-700am. She woke up briefly each night but I gave her a pacifier and she fell back to sleep in a couple minutes. Wahoooooo I have slept both nights and actually feel like a human. I know this won’t last too long so I’m appreciating it for now.

Basically here is what I did:
1. Bumped up her bed time to 8-830. I think I was keeping her up too long. I read that a baby will generally get sleepy between 730-830. She took to this change immediately so I believe that to be true.
2. I make sure we do the exact same thing for maps and bedtime routines. For maps when she starts to get sleepy I take her to her room rock her or away with her while playing a lullaby. At bedtime she gets a bath, massage, quiet time, bottle, rocked to lullaby and then put down. Each time I put her down I make sure she is still awake a little bit.
3. Gave her an ounce more at each feeding. She gets approx. 28-30 oz a day.
4. Stuck strictly to a nap schedule. If she woke up early I left her in her crib for quiet time.
5. At night I have to just let her cry it out. Fortunately it only has taken her a few minutes to fall back to sleep!

Now I think it’s important to note I did these things all before but when she started sleeping better I got a little lax with her schedule. Lesson I learned is that she needs to keep her schedule very consistent.

Speaking of consistency it’s time her to get up from her nap!! Till next time….