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Thread: Parenting Megathread

  1. Top | #61
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    That is a terribly exhausting strain everyone is dealing with. I hope you can get the support from outside that is needed, to apparently just hold things together. Wish things would improve.

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    Senior Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Daughter 18 and son 16 ride the same SPED van to their out of district school. Because of the history involved we insisted they they could only ride together if there was a bus monitor. But the kids claim the monitor can't hear and sleeps through the ride.

    Last friday daughter claims son was pounding his pud in the seat in back and that she got a peek which grossed her out. She told people at her school about it and that the monitor was sleeping. She says it happened again this week while the monitor was sleeping. She also told her theraputic mentor all about it.

    She says her school reported it to the school district and her theraputic mentor told us today that because she's a mandated reported she has filed a 51A abuse and neglect report with DCF against the bus monitor.

    Our trouble is how to avoid this whole thing not traumatizing both kids. And while 16 year old boys will pound their puds, it has to be in private!

    And of course daughter and son are both ripshit mad at each other.

  3. Top | #63
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    So one of the things I hear over and over again from peers is the problem of sleep deprivation when they're raising newborns and infants. Wondering, what things have people done to mitigate that problem? Or do you just need to power through it?

  4. Top | #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So one of the things I hear over and over again from peers is the problem of sleep deprivation when they're raising newborns and infants. Wondering, what things have people done to mitigate that problem? Or do you just need to power through it?
    In general, you march through it. Needs to be done, so it gets done.

    Men, this is a good argument for breast feeding, it could save you waking up to feed the infant if there isn't pre-pumped milk.
    Women, this is a good argument for using just formula. Kick the husband in the shins and tell him it is his turn to feed the baby.

  5. Top | #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So one of the things I hear over and over again from peers is the problem of sleep deprivation when they're raising newborns and infants. Wondering, what things have people done to mitigate that problem? Or do you just need to power through it?
    It's so variable and depends very much on the baby you have and your own sleep habits.

    Some of my kids were good sleepers from the beginning. As in: sleeping through the night by 6-8 weeks. I made a real point of up at night was just to feed, change diapers, soothe back to sleep. I know that I don't do well when I am sleep deprived and so it was important for everybody that baby slept decently well. One of the kids was not a good sleeper and did not nap until he was nearly 3 years old. By 'didn't nap' I mean: he slept while I was pushing him in the stroller home from dropping off his sibling at nursery school but the moment the stroller stopped he was awake and unhappy. And nope, pushing the stroller back and forth to sooth him did not help. This coincided with my husband being extremely overwhelmed with his work obligations. So, the first year was rough and then it did get progressively better/more predictable as time went on. But this was the kid who also got repeated ear infections as a toddler, had teething issues and basically, any upset to his schedule was an upset in his sleeping. Yes, I was sleep deprived. Husband was sleep deprived the first year after which his work situation changed and hours were basically much more normal. That kid had colic which is terrible and the pediatricians were not terribly helpful with the issue. Partly because he was truly a beautiful baby: plump and rosy and gorgeous, gained weight like a champ and slept beatifically at the doctor's appointments so they just thought I was exaggerating, I think. I ended up doing what I was sure I never would do and gave him a pacifier. It saved the lives of everyone in the family. Yes, he held onto it much longer than I thought was ideal but we survived and he is a happy, healthy, productive adult and nobody died. And we had other kids after so there's that.

    My kids were breastfed, with supplements from formula (first one--I worked long hours). The deal was that unless he was sick or extra tired, husband brought baby to me to feed at night and I put the baby back to bed.

    Here's the thing: my husband likes babies. I mean: he really likes babies. I saw right away that some of our male friends looked horrified or scared at the idea of even touching a young baby. The first time my husband held our firstborn, I remember thinking it was like watching a child at Christmas/allthebestbirthdays rolled into one--my husband, that is. Baby was sleeping. But hubby was in love and that love did not wane as we got into the mundane diapers/diaper rash/feeding/cleaning oatmeal off of the floor (DO NOT LET IT STAND more than ONE SECOND--It turns to CEMENT and I am not even kidding), teething. When we went out, he always wanted to be the one pushing the stroller, or carrying the baby or whatever. When we were grocery shopping in our poor student days and looking continually grubby and scruffy, I would pop down another aisle to get something quick and come back to see some random woman practically drooling over my husband who was obviously having the time of his life, pushing a baby in a grocery cart, picking out apples or cereal or whatever. I'm not even kidding.

    That he loved babies and young children was not a surprise. I knew that before we were even dating seriously. In fact, it was a requirement on my part that I didn't even realize I had until I saw him with someone's toddler brother and realized he wasn't kidding: he likes kids and is a natural with them. Anyway, he really enjoyed playing with kids and was a hit at every single birthday party. He still does play with other people's kids and babies and enjoys it thoroughly.

    We saw child rearing as a group activity: aside from breastfeeding, it was as much his job as mine, although by the time the second one came along, I wasn't being paid for work. But when he was home, he was the parent and he was no stranger to laundry or changing diapers or dishes or cooking. It was not 'my job' any more than it was 'his job' except when he was at work.

    We had a group of friends who had kids the same age and we all had a lot in common, lived in the same apartments and so there was a lot of comradery and sharing of baby clothes, and recipes, and tips and meals and all of that.

    I won't lie: there were times when I sat with a baby thinking to myself "What was I thinking???? Who thought this was a good idea?????" and at least one 3 day period that baby and I spent in a rocking chair, each of us crying. But hey, let's be real: haven't we all done that sometime as adults, even without a baby???

    Having babies who grow up to be kids is daunting, and exhausting and challenging and the most fun I think it is possible to have with most of your clothes on. I mean: when's the last time you went down a slide at the playground? Played in a sand box? Played with a train or cars? Read Good Night Moon? Blown a dandelion's fluff? Counted piggies? You get to learn fairy tales all over again. You learn new ones. You get to see the world through new eyes and you learn to live in the moment--because it can all go to hell in a handbasket in a New York minute--

    Wait--sorry: you were asking about sleep deprivation. With the first child, it is important to nap whenever the baby does. In the beginning, don't worry about the mess because there will be mess and you will not believe how the tiny tiny baby with all its tiny tiny clothes have taken over your entire home in a matter of seconds it seems, but really, at least 3 days.

    Sleeping is most important for the mother whose body is recovering from pregnancy and childbirth. This cannot be emphasized enough. She needs sleep, she needs to shower, she needs good food and a lot of liquid. Also, if she is breasfeeding (includes pumping), her body is consuming a lot of calories for milk production. Her sleep and nutrition needs must be met in order for her to be able to recover as well and as fully and as quickly as possible and for her to be able to feed the baby.

    Babies are not that rewarding in the beginning. They sleep, eat, mess their diapers and cry. This is the first few weeks. That smile may be a gas bubble but go ahead and believe it is a smile. It will help you.

    Dads need to suck it up and take on more of the household chores such as cooking, dishes, laundry. She may be restricted from driving for a while if she's had a c-section so you get to do the errands and also take baby to its first appointments with mom, too. This passes and you will forget all about it soon enough. But it is much, much, much better if she gets the rest and sleep and showers and nutrition and liquids she needs to recover well and feed baby.

    You can sleep at work. Probably. Honestly, adrenaline does kick in and while you are sleep deprived for a while, it is quickly forgotten.

    Don't be afraid to limit visitors. Stand up for your wife. Period. Even if it's her best friend or her mother or sister or especially your mom or sister. Even if you think she's a little crazy for caring that the baby isn't dressed in the perfect out fit or that she or the house looks a mess or whatever. Suck it up. Your contribution to the creation of this little being took maybe 10 minutes. Hers took the better part of a year. Squirting out some sperm was pleasurable. Pushing out a baby is not. She had it much, much, much harder than you did, no matter how hard she squeezes your hand during the birth or how much she swears at you. There is NO comparison.

    When she's up to walking to the corner store for bread or visiting a friend or whatever: suck it up, stay home with baby and deal.

    Change diapers, even the stinky ones. Without being asked and without expecting applause or even mild recognition. Feed the baby when it's not breastfeeding. Rock, walk, soothe the baby. Bathe the baby. First of all, the mother needs the break. Secondly, this is how you first form your bond with your baby. Don't think of it as stinky yucky mess: think of it as an opportunity to spend time with your kid.

    NEVER tuck a t-shirt into a diaper. All that stuff wicks up. Babies sometimes poop in baths. They spit up. It's not personal. I'm just saying.

    Also: I learned quickly to leave my work clothes by the front door the night before. I left early so I'd feed/change baby and then get ready for work, dressing as the last step before I walked out the door. Because trust me, if you hold the baby while talking to your spouse when you are all dressed up and ready to go, the diaper will leak or the baby will puke or both.

  6. Top | #66
    Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Our firstborn was a happy baby who slept 8 hours per night from the time he was about 2 weeks old. But don't hold it against me. Our second was a fussy, fussy baby who required a great deal of attention at all times of day.

  7. Top | #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    So one of the things I hear over and over again from peers is the problem of sleep deprivation when they're raising newborns and infants. Wondering, what things have people done to mitigate that problem? Or do you just need to power through it?
    In general, you march through it. Needs to be done, so it gets done.

    Men, this is a good argument for breast feeding, it could save you waking up to feed the infant if there isn't pre-pumped milk.
    Women, this is a good argument for using just formula. Kick the husband in the shins and tell him it is his turn to feed the baby.
    The deal is: hubby gets up, changes the diaper and brings the baby to the mother who is still in bed. Mom returns baby to its own bed at some point.

    With practice, this can all be accomplished without turning on too many lights or even opening your eyes fully or being very much awake.

  8. Top | #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    snip
    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    Limiting visitors (and other stuff in there) are great ideas, I get the sense we're going to have to set some firm boundaries with both her and my family.

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