Crowded Co-Sleeping

I’m a fan of co-sleeping…most of the time. But our oldest son pretty much got kicked out of the bed when we found out I was pregnant with our second son.  He wasn’t happy about it, but I couldn’t figure out how everybody could sleep safely on the bed.  We ran into two problems:

1. Joe II isn’t very respectful of his little brother’s space or need to breathe.

2. Joe II falls off the bed.

I couldn’t put Joe II near the edge of the bed or near Benjamin. So into his own bed he went.  Still, the little guy gets lonely about 5am in the morning and sometimes he crawls in with us (or just finds his favorite Netflix cartoon, but that’s a different story).  I wouldn’t mind so much, but he has a thing for my hair. He wants to sleep with his fingers tangled up in it which is far from comfortable. Benjamin has his own set of idiosyncrasies–namely, the desire to sleep perpendicular to everyone else.  The whole set up makes even our king sized bed feel too small and overcrowded.

Any tips for co-sleeping with more than one child? I’d love to hear what works for your family!

“What the heck, let’s just sleep ON mommy!”

Half Fast Elimination Communication

EC is not as daunting as you might think. There’s only reason we (yes, really, we. Hubby does it too. Even grandma.) practice EC is because it works.  If I had to change my basic day to day habits to accommodate this weird and unheard of method of dealing with poop and pee, I wouldn’t do it.  If it wasn’t working for us, I’d stop in a heartbeat. I don’t have any type of philosophical or religious reason for ECing. It just makes the most sense to me. But I’m not “all in”with EC.  This means I don’t try to pee my baby in the middle of the night and he doesn’t go without a diaper all the time. This is how we EC:

1. Put baby in prefold and diaper cover, or pre-fold loosely attached to baby with a diaper belt.

2.When baby get’s squirmy, put him on the potty.

3. Put him back in the diaper.

Actually, that’s the ideal. Sometimes it I’m busy and miss the potty squirm. In that case, I have to change the diaper, which is often messy and takes more time that it would have to put him on the potty.

Although some ECers pee their baby at night, I’ve tried it and it just pisses off my kid. Let me rephrase that: he gets mad and tense and WON’T pee because he’s sleepy and he liked the nice, warm bed in the dark room.

The main reason I try to EC at all is because it makes sense. I could always tell when my first son was going to poop (still can, as a matter of fact) but it never occurred to me just to hold him over the toilet. I sigh thinking of all the diaper explosions I could have avoided. EC for us is just a simpler, cleaner form of hygiene.  If you’re on the fence, give EC a try.  I guarantee after one week of ECing, you’ll feel weird changing a poopy diaper.  You might even start to wonder how the whole “diaper” thing caught on. Don’t worry if you don’t catch on quick. Half fast EC is still better than no EC.

Benjamin is two months old today!

After spending nine months pregnant and the earth shaking miracle of childbirth, it’s hard to believe it’s already been two months of having Benjamin with us.  Wow–having one baby to tend to seems like a piece of cake compared to the two. I was sitting in a restaurant at lunch with friends the other day and realized I was trying to do five things: keep an eye on Ben, help Joe II eat, eat myself, make polite conversation, and answer a text message from my hubby.  Multitasking mama, oh yeah.

Now for the news: Benjamin is awesome on two fronts, weight gain and pottying. He’s a whopping 13.4 pounds now (he started out at 7.4 pounds). He’s got great head control and a smiles at us all the time and he pushes hard with his little legs every time we stand him upright.  Ben has also started gnawing on things–teeth coming?

Yes, I did say pottying.  We’ve been practicing elimination communication (also known as infant pottying or diaper free baby) for at least two weeks now.  He’s a champ at it. We got through an entire morning with only one wet pre-fold diaper, and that’s because I couldn’t get him to the potty right after his nap because we were in Panera Bread there was a line at the bathroom.  He prefers doing big ole poos on the potty and he makes a racket until I get him there.  That’s why it’s called elimination communication: if I listen, Ben will tell me when he needs to go.

Joe II is a terrific big brother and he’s very fond of Ben.  When Benjamin starts crying, Joe rushes over with a pacificer or a blanket and does his best to make Ben happy. Joe likes to hold Ben, stroke his head and say “What a sweet Benjamin.”  He also told me today that Benjamin would like it if we read Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. On occasion, Joe gets tired and wants some attention. That’s when he usually says, “Please put Benjamin down and hold me.”  But I don’t.  I hold both of them.

Part time elimination communication

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A few months ago, I mentioned how much I hate changing diapers and I still do.  With Joe II not quite potty trained, I yearn even more for a diaper free life, and Benjamin and I are striving for just that. About three weeks ago, I started elimination communication, or infant potty training, with my youngest son.

Benjamin is turning out to be a very interesting little guy.  He’s one of those babies that can’t stand a dirty or wet diaper. He makes a terrible fuss about it.  When he was six weeks old, I started putting him on the potty whenever he started to fuss. Using a cue of “psss” to encourage a little pottying action, Benjamin took to it right away.  He readily uses the toilet over a diaper whenever I offer, and even seems to “hold it” while I’m getting him to the bathroom.  On two or three occasions, his diaper has even been dry after a nap and he’s only released after being held over the toilet and cued.  He’s a genius!

From what I’ve read, babies who have participated in elimination communication with their parents are fully potty trained by seven to nine months of age. When I say “potty trained” I just mean they have mature bladder control, communicate their need consistently with an attentive parent, and don’t need to wear a diaper. I have happy hopes of this being my boast by the end of the year.

Maybe I’ll never change a nasty diaper again. Or go through this potty training nonsense. You just try arguing the matter out with a two year old who can clearly say, “I am not going to use the potty for poo-poo, Mommy. It’s just for pee-pee.”

Joe II breaks his collar bone

We made our first trip to the emergency room. Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, Joe II awoke from a nightmare and fell out of his bed, a distance of about 24 inches. With most falls, scrapes, bonks over the head and other mishaps, he cries two minutes, tops. After falling out of the bed he cried for a half hour, favoring his right shoulder and repeatedly saying it was “Very very ouchy.”

Around 12:30 we left for the emergency room, suspecting his shoulder was fractured or completely broken. X-Rays were taken. The doctor initially said the X-rays didn’t show anything obviously wrong. After we explained where Joe II said it hurt, and insisted there was indeed a problem, the Doc brought out the X-Rays and agreed there was a fracture. We thought it was pretty darn obvious from looking at the picture, and we can count our encounters with X-Rays on one hand.

Joe II was given an arm sling and set home with Motrin and a specialist referral.

The next day, the specialist did not have to be told where the fracture was on the X-Rays and he said that a sling was useless. Joe was fitted to a figure 8 brace which he has to wear for a month.

So far, Joe II doesn’t seem to be very bothered. It’s been a week now and he’s running around like normal, scaring his mother to death and trying to break every other bone in his body.

Benjamin is one month old!

My darling second son is five weeks old–one month old this past Monday. As you can see from the picture, he’s still getting used to us. Bejamin has been busy: he has gained 3.8 pounds (a whopping 50% of his birth weight), grown an inch an a half  and developed excellent head control. He’s got a great big smile that he whips out for us when he’s happy and full.

Lots of folks have asked: how does Benjamin compare to Joe II? Well, Ben doesn’t care for loud noises–Joe II thinks it’s his job to make loud noises. Ben doesn’t like to be thrown up and down–Joe II thrived off the thrill of a free fall.  Benjamin sleeps a lot and usually through the night. Joe II still doesn’t like sleeping, typically wakes up once to crawl in the bed with us, and fights every nap he takes.

Despite personality differences, I think both boys are going to be bruisers.  Joe II gained weight just like Benjamin is doing now and he’s the size of a kindergartener at the ripe old age of two.

The Light Bulb Incident

Once upon a time, Joe II was supposed to be taking a nap.  His mother, being a tired person and prone to falling asleep herself, read him a story and then told him to lay down and go to sleep without laying down with him.  After some hollaring, Joe II did in fact quiet down and when his mother checked on him, he was asleep.

That evening, when Joe II’s mommy put him to bed for the evening, she reached to turn on the light beside the bed.  It was a  five bulb lamp with open shades and adjustable necks which could be pulled down, one might believe, if a toddler were to stand on the bed and reach up on his tippy toes.  She clicked the switch–nothing happened. She checked to see if it was plugged in and it was.  She clicked it again, still nothing. Looking inside the lamp shades, she noticed that ALL OF THE BULBS WERE GONE.  Well, Joe II’s mother thought this was very odd and attributed it to Joe II’s father. But then she noticed something odd–Joe II was grinning a knowing grin.

“Joe II,” she said, “Do you know where the bulbs are?”

“Oh, the bubs?” Joe II said. “These bubs?” He pulled open the nightstand drawer and there were five bulbs, carefully laid down. Not a break in a single filament, not a crack in a single bulb.

And that is when Joe’s mommy realized that there was no way to anticipate what Joe II might do next and the best thing to do was…well, she’s taking suggestions. Because she doesn’t know what to do with a kid that will take all the bulbs out without even breaking one and know that was he did was amazing and totally inappropriate all at the same time.