sleep issues

Naptime Blues Wilt Under Extreme Heat

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Hey look, my parents think I'm a popsicle!

If you’ve been following Maddie’s madcap adventures for the past 3 weeks, you know that naptime has been a bust. A harrowing series of scant 30-minute naps per day have worn out the baby and pushed her parents to the brink.

It seems that all of that is behind us now due to one simple discovery. The baby has not been warm enough during naptime.

Three weeks ago, when we peeled Maddie off of her dad and into the crib, her sleep duration went to the dogs. I originally thought that the loss of my smiling grill and sparkling personality killed the baby’s ability to nap. But amazingly, it was something else altogether. It turns out that the only thing Maddie was missing was Daddy’s torch-like body heat!

So how did the NASA scientists in Maddie’s household make this landmark discovery???

Yesterday, Maddie and her Dad were making a lightning-fast run to Starbucks. By the time they got home, Maddie was hanging limply from the Bjorn sound asleep. Dad rushed inside and gently laid her in the crib. He unzipped her winter gear, but didn’t risk taking off the whole thing.

TWO HOURS LATER the little munchkin was still sawing wood! Sleeping like the angel she is. Eureka! Maddie was struggling with lousy naps because her parents haven’t been bundling her up before naptime. We have never been able to use blankets because Maddie just kicks them off or pulls them over her head.

Thankfully, we have a nifty little invention that we use at night called a Sleep-Sack. It keeps her warm and stops her from munching on or playing with her toes (no seriously!) The problem is that we weren’t using the sack for her naps.

Today we put on the SACK for naptime and once again she slept like a champ during every session. Maddie is taking naps again – Let Freedom Ring!

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Baby Grapples With Sore Gums

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I think I'll pass on this teething thing

After a vaccination-fueled weekend of interrupted sleep, it’s been our pleasure to welcome in Maddie’s sore gums. That’s right, out with the shots and in with the teeth.

Maddie’s gums are giving her the dickens and she is letting everybody know about it. This morning’s early morning nap was almost over before it began, lasting only 30 minutes. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.

Maddie was out of sorts and only could only be soothed in short stints. Even one of our short walks (usually a Maddie favorite) only seemed to make matters worse.

The baby has started drooling like a rabid wolf now and is looking for relief in all the wrong places. She wants to chew anything and everything, but nothing we have tried seems to provide any relief.

From what I understand, we had better get settled in because the teething process is only going to get more difficult. The telltale sign that things were really changing was at dinnertime.

In recent weeks, the solid food dinner has really become a fan favorite. This is the meal Maddie really looks forward to. So after the baby endured such a difficult day, I made it a point to pick out some sweet potatoes, one of Maddie’s favorites.

I got her all prepped and spooned out some of that orange goodness only to be stopped at the gate. I couldn’t even get her to execute her favorite trick – the spoon grab! Maddie just wasn’t interested. I tried all the food tricks, the ones that help her to eat the non-favorites, but her heart just wasn’t into it.

We have all been blessed because Maddie feels so good and happy so often. But these gum issues have left her in a rather contemplative state. She realizes something is different and uncomfortable, but is still trying to piece together the origin of the problem.

After dinner, Maddie was far from enthusiastic with prospect of being put to bed. Even though several attempts ended badly, we are hopeful that the baby is able to work out some of these issues and get some much needed rest.

If anyone has any great advice or guidance for helping Maddie get through these tough times, we are all ears!

Toy Bear Breaks Down Sleep Barriers for the Baby

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You ... Complete me!

Many of the sleep issues we have struggled with in the past month have been severely agitated by the development of Maddie’s hand-eye coordination and her subsequent struggles with the pacifier. Once the baby learned that you could grab what you see – the pacifier became a real sleep liability.

Since Maddie has initiated the practice of taking the pacifier in and out of her mouth, it’s gone from a useful tool to a toy. (NOT GOOD) She is most proficient at taking the blasted thing out of her mouth, but putting it in properly is still a work in progress. Now when she sticks the pacifier into her mouth backwards or at the wrong angle, her mood breaks down in a big hurry.

If this sounds like it’s not a big deal, think again. These poor pacifier practices rob the family of approximately 6 hours of sleep per WEEK!!

Just when all hope seemed lost and we were ready to concede defeat, a nameless hero appeared from the ashes. It was a bear, no more than 18 inches long with a smart bow affixed to his collar. He doesn’t speak much, but he offered his paw in friendship to Maddie.

Maddie was reluctant at first, but quickly realized that this bear was someone who was also looking for a friend to comfort. Suddenly, the nasty pacifier lost its hypnotic hold over the baby. She was free to spit it out and take out any sleep-deprived frustrations on the bear with no name.

I don’t know how long this bear will be in Maddie’s good graces, but I hope he’s in for the long haul. I’ve offered him a 10-month contract with bonus potential for each additional hour of sleep we get each week. His agent has assured that we are good to go, now it’s all up to Maddie.

Baby Crushes Sleep in Super Bowl Romp

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Go ahead and watch my Super Bowl Shuffle!

As we work on getting the baby into her crib and amending her napping schedule, decent sleep in our household is hard to come by. Maddie’s parents find themselves backed up on a 4th and long with only seconds on the clock. The ultimate goal is to get Maddie sleeping comfortably in the end zone, but that’s much easier said than done.

Any questions we might have had about Maddie’s tenacity have been swept away without any shadow of a doubt. Even at the tender age of six-months-old, she has a will and determination that is cast in iron.
There is no overlooking the fact that her parents are crazy “Type A” individuals – but Maddie is looking to up the ante and elevate things to a stratospheric level. Forget the dog with a bone analogy – Maddie has proven yet again that she is a force of nature.

As long as she is being laid down in the crib, Maddie is refusing to sleep. She is ignoring the mounting fatigue, the drowsiness and standing up to her parents on this one. Her dogged determination is certainly impressive, but it also more than a little intimidating. Our current sleep issues are far from being resolved, but it appears that Maddie might be digging in.

Improving the quality and duration of Maddie’s sleep is for her own good. It would certainly be much easier to let her sleep where she wants. The only real question is how much of a beating her parents will have to take in the process.

Even with her limited sleep schedule this weekend, Maddie was absolutely her charming self. But how long our luck will last remains to be seen.

Daughter Knocks Out Naptime, Demands Title Bout

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Maddie training in the early days!

When there’s one thing you can count on with your baby, it’s very easy to get used to. For months now, our morning naps have been a non-negotiable fact of life. Sure there’s some hemming and hawing going on from time to time, but it’s never more than a five-minute process. That is until today.

This morning nap time ritual was shattered by a series of high profile temper tantrums that came straight out of left field. Maddie had a calm and restful full night of sleep, so there was no reason to suspect that anything was out of the ordinary.

Like every morning, the baby was beginning to wind down. She was in her favorite jumper, but the jumping had stopped. Maddie signaled me by rubbing her eyes and voicing a few gentle complaints that play time was over and she was ready for sleep. However, what Maddie really meant is that she was ready for her title shot!

I scooped her up and headed to the bedroom for some serious snoozing. Maddie snuggled up and closed her eyes for about five seconds before she lost it. She was really angry about something and ready to throw down. As far as I could tell, there was no gas, hunger or diaper issues so I tried again. She relaxed for another five seconds and then plummeted off the deep end again.

If she didn’t want to nap, there was no rush, but she didn’t want to do anything else either. So what do you do with a cranky little girl who doesn’t want to do anything? No matter what I tried, it was the wrong thing to do. This is when I decided to turn her over to our visiting housekeeper.

She speaks almost no English, but is more than happy to converse with the baby in Spanish. This occupied my little brawler for about 30 minutes before she was once again swinging for the fences and tilting at windmills. By the time 10am hit, Maddie and I were like two punch drunk fighters willing the other one to fall.

Finally at 10:15, my angry little Klitschko called a truce and slipped into unconsciousness. She was out cold while I was left to ponder what had happened to our mutual morning nap détente.

Maddie Gaming the System Like an Old Pro

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Like taking candy from an adult!

After sleeping straight through three nights in a row, Maddie had led her parents into uncharted territory. Maddie’s mom had a 5am flight out of Newark and was hoping for another good night’s sleep. However, the baby flipped the schedule right around 10:30pm.

She was sounding off and making it clear that taking sleep for granted is always a fruitless proposition. Maddie knows from personal experience that during the nighttime hours, sleeping in her crib is mandatory.

The only exception is when her Mom has to get up very early the next morning. DING-DING-DING! I have still yet to discover how Maddie knew that this was one of those evenings. I even had the house swept for listening devices, but nothing turned up.

As you might have guessed, when Maddie went off the rails, I had to hustle her upstairs so that her mom could get some sleep. Once we were upstairs, all the commotion suddenly died down. I knew my little girl was gaming me.

She was thinking, does he have the guts to take me back downstairs? Is he ready to take a shot at the title? I knew it was a setup – you could smell it a mile away. But I had to try. At this point, Maddie was snuggled in deeply sleeping in my arms, no chance that she might wake up. But with this little girl, there’s always the chance that she’s playing possum.

I made it down to the sixth step with her when I must have hit a trip wire, because I triggered Maddie’s sonic scream alarm. She was crying and howling like a wounded cat. I scampered back upstairs and it was like I threw a switch. All sins were forgiven and forgotten. Maddie was safe and warm in her father’s arms and that evil crib might as well have been set up in Kinshasa.

So yes, I folded – the baby spent the night sleeping on me. But the joke is really on her. Sleeping on me might not be good for household discipline and I may be exhausted the next morning, but watching her sleep will always be one of my favorite activities. Besides, Maddie figured out that her father was an easy mark a long time ago.

Paranormal Activity Teams Up with Baby for Sleep Shenanigans

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Rise and shine Daddy!

Some type of unholy alliance was forged at our condo during the early morning hours. Everyone was blissfully asleep when the screenplay for Paranormal Activity played itself out just before 3am. A sharp and distinct clattering sound jarred both the parents and baby from their much needed slumber.

With an over aggressive fight instinct, I popped out of ready for God-only-knows-what. My wife started to follow me when I snapped, “Stay here!” I silently quick-stepped into the hall, all senses straining to pick up any foreign sounds around the house. I slipped into the bathroom quickly checking behind the shower curtain – Empty!

No one was in the kitchen so I stopped in the hall again, straining to hear anything out of the ordinary – Nothing. Now I’m scanning the living room in the darkness looking for things out of place. I look over towards the stairwell and see a slat from the window lying on the floor. Mystery solved, the wood on wood clatter noise came from some faulty glue that had come undone in the middle of the night.

I still complete a quick search to make sure nothing else is amiss and head back the to the bedroom to tell my wife that all is well in Mudville. The only problem is that with all that adrenaline coursing through my system, I’m starving to death. English muffin time!

I stick one in the toaster and smoke comes pouring out of the infernal device. With a terribly over-sensitive smoke detector, I have about 30 seconds before the smoke alarm goes off and wakes up not only my family, but everyone else in the building as well.

I scrambled over to that stupid window that caused this entire ruckus in the first place and threw it open. Then I dashed into the bedroom to grab a fan. I fired the fan directly at the smoke detector praying that I was quick enough to head off the ensuing high-pitched scream of the alarm.

Seconds tick by, the smell of smoke still permeates the air, but the alarm is silent and Maddie is still sleeping peacefully.

My adrenaline is completely spent now and I head off to bed for some well-deserved rest. I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. The sleep washed over me for a full ten minutes before Maddie announced her presence with authority. Now that the house had settled down, the baby was losing it!

As I prepared her bottle, it slowly dawned on me that the evil house had obviously made some anti-parental sleep pact with the baby. Maybe tonight I will be treated to a plague of locusts topped off with a few scorpion bites – Hey, you never know!