Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Sleep Time’ Category


In the wee hours of the morning, when it’s still dark out and Borys and I would rather be catching some Zzzs, than propping our eyelids open with toothpicks and accompanying our two year old to breakfast, we will do almost anything to remain wrapped in the comfort of our warm sheets. On a regular day, Niko will wake anywhere from 5:15 to 7am. 7am? That’s actually OK, and I would even consider that sleeping in, in I’m-a-parent-of-a-toddler land. But anything that starts with 5 or even early in the 6s is just way too early!

Here are some strategies we use to keep our little soldier quiet for just a bit longer, while we try to prolong our slumber. After we hear the first quiet beckoning that ultimately gets progressively louder and more insistent as time passes,

“Daddy! Daddy! Daaa-deeee….” etc.,

our strategic planning ensues.

1) Change his diaper.

2) Bring him into our bed.

3) Turn on the TV – quietly.

4) Give him a drink.

5) Give him Cheerios.

And then this weekend a new strategy to add to the list.

6) Supply him with about 100 stickers for dozens of minutes of extended shut-eye for mama and daaa-deee.

This is how it all went down. After duly beckoning and then receiving steps 1 through 5, Niko was uncharacteristically quiet on Sunday morning. I just drowsed the minutes away, enjoying this quiet reprieve, occasionally and only half-consciously taking a piece of broken sticker-surround from his passing hand. The happy chirps of his chatter a far off sound in my sleepy state. When I finally did fully awaken at 7:20 (hip hip!), it was to the site of one happy toddler with a left hand completely covered in stickers.

To be honest, the site of it was a touch disturbing and before I fully clued into what covered his hand alarm bells sounded in my head, but those minutes of extra sleep were all worth it!

Video Clip (36 sec.): Sticker Hand

Note the tell-tale signs of sleepy-daddy-hair in the top left corner of the first picture below.


My baby girl’s keeping me up all night and she’s not even born yet! I know there’s a lack of sleep involved with newborns, and for this I am mentally prepared. But what book, friend or millionth piece of advice out there, forewarns expectant mothers that the sleepless nights may come even before the baby is born. Don’t get me wrong, at this stage in the game, when my little babe is at a gestational age of only 32 weeks and 2 days, I would rather be having sleepless nights while she’s still nestled in my belly, than while she’s born prematurely and living in an incubator at the NICU. But still, I just wasn’t prepared to be up all night with my unborn baby. They just don’t warn you about these things.

So the other night around 2 AM I started having labour pains. What else to do but monitor myself for 20 minutes or so, waiting to see if they would subside or if indeed these pains would mean a trip to the hospital? After about 20 minutes of me timing contractions, listening to my husband’s sleeping-breathing and growing increasingly anxious, I figured it was time to wake him and get this “birth plan” into action. But what “birth plan” really? I mean, it was too early – AGAIN! And I wasn’t exactly hospital ready. But what else can you do when baby starts knocking on the entrance to the world? Little Niko was of course unaware and seeing as we couldn’t get a hold of my father-in-law I called on my friends Traci and Paul to come over and Niko-sit. Ironically, I had just asked them that night if they could be our emergency back-up babysitters if I ever went into labour in the middle of the night.

Anyway, Traci came over. Borys and I rushed to the hospital and I was hooked up to many monitors – not to mention poked, prodded and tested in various ways to see what in fact was going on. Thankfully after a few hours of contractions – and yes they were real contractions, painful and clearly documented on said monitor, they subsided. Turns out baby girl was knocking, but not quite ready to open the door! Phewf!

And after that, I didn’t get a bit of sleep. All I could hear was the beating of my unborn baby’s heart, projected from one of the monitors. In a way, it was nice to hear, the constant and strong beating of that little heart inside me. But some shut-eye for mama to be would have been nice too. Borys on the other hand, had no problem falling asleep. So really it was the beating of her heart intermingled with the quiet breathing of my husband that created the perfect recipe for a sleepless night. I blame them both!



As 15 of us (including two large and “immaculately” behaved pooches) make the best of my parents’ three bedroom resort cottage, Edelweiss has been playing on repeat. What I mean is that in such cozy quarters a crying Niko doesn’t sit that well with me at 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 am. Not that he wakes up every hour, but when he does cry, I feel a slight panic that he’s going to wake my sleeping bro who’s on the pullout, or my sleeping sis and her hubbie who are just one thin wall away. You get the idea. Perhaps it is the new environment, or maybe he’s teething but he’s been waking up at least once in the wee hours followed by a 5, 6 or 7am final wake up. 6 or 7 is actually OK. But 5am? Come on!

The first day this happened I took him out to the dock and made the best of this Mommy and baby time by practicing with my SLR. I actually got some nice pics of the steam rising off the lake in the early morning grayness. Anyway, pics (and *sniff sniff* blog entries) will have to be posted later, once I am back the real world and have a better internet connection, or just a connection that is available at my fingertips. (I am currently at a public library.)

And where does the Edelweiss fit in? He’s got this musical bunny that dangles off his crib or pack n play, whatever the sleeping arrangements of the day may be, and it works wonders. This little bunny works to soothe him and he usually puts him to sleep. So now, it’s my sis, bro, et al, not only waking to the “wah, wah, wah” of Baby N, but also with an intermingling of bunny magic. But is crying mixed with Edelweiss an overall better scenario? At 3am it sure seems like it.

You know what, though? Despite the bouts of “wah wah wah” no one in the fam complains. They just wipe the bags from under their eyes and we continue on the with day as though nothing was amiss in the night. Most of them adamantly tell me not to worry about it, and this helps a lot, but still, not even I like to be woken in the middle of my reveries, and he’s my baby.

Update (Aug. 15): Yikes! We forgot Edelweiss Magic Bunny at the cottage. At first this caused a slight panic on the home front, but Niko doesn’t even seem to mind. I guess the magical sound of my own version of Edelweiss is equally impressive to the young bloke.


Niko’s got a new trick and he usually does it right before he falls asleep. First we go through our usual sleep time routine: bottle, diaper, a round of Edelweiss (thanks to a musical bunny that dangles from his crib), and then he lies down with his “snugglebug” (a soft little toy) and some blankets. It’s when all these steps have been completed that the new trick kicks in, literally.

He basically lifts both of his legs straight up in the air, and then slams his heels down hard. He repeats this a few times in succession and then usually falls asleep. Although sometimes we can still here him kicking away even when we’re downstairs. He’s also taken to doing this when we’re changing his diaper. Which causes some concern because for one, it makes changing his diaper more challenging (hello heels in poop), and for two he risks hitting his heels on the raised ledge at the end of his change table. So far, only the former has proven to be an actual problem.


Little Niko celebrated two of his friends’ first birthdays this weekend. First on the list was Giuliana, and as you can see in the pics below, Niko was the life of the party! At one point during the festivities it was pouring rain, so we took cover under the tent and the little N-bomb fell fast asleep among the hubbub of party goers. What a master party animal we have on our hands.

Sunday was Eli’s first birthday party, and on this particular day Niko wasn’t feeling well. Could it be the four teeth that have pushed their way through his gums over the past week? I don’t know. But he just wasn’t having a good day, so he stayed home with Daddy and I went to the party solo, carrying birthday wishes from home for Baby E.

I found it sort of funny that at both parties the guests of honour didn’t quite know what to make of the birthday cake and candle that was placed in front of them. Stick their hands in? Lick it? They were both a little unsure and kept steeling furtive glances towards their parents for some guidance. But I guess that’s to be expected when you’ve only got twelve months of living under your belt.

Note: As you can see in the second pic below, Niko still has a hankering for his index finger.


Babies sure do go through many ups and downs in their sleeping patterns. I mean just when I think Niko is “sleeping through the night” it won’t be but a few days or maybe weeks (if I’m lucky), that he will start waking in the night again. And you know what? I somewhat came to accept this waking pattern over the last month or so. First he was waking at 1am and 6am, not bad: I would hear him, feed him and put him back to bed. This went on for a few weeks, then within the last couple of weeks he started waking at midnight, 3am, 6am, 8am, and I just sort of went with it, in a waking daze: feeding him and putting him back to bed, that was until last night. Here’s how a conversation went in our house yesterday.

Borys: How’s Niko sleeping these days? Is he still waking up at 1am? (Note: Yes you read that right! Daddy has no idea what goes on in the night! He just doesn’t hear him, partially due to the fact that he knows I’m listening for him. But still! WOW!)

Me: 1am!? He’s now waking up even more! 12, 3, 6, 8…

B: What? Oh my gosh! Are you serious?

Me: Yes! But you know what? When I go back to work (sniff, sniff…), we’re sharing this duty: one night me, one night you…

B: I know, I know…

But this convo. got me thinking. Niko, come on! I mean you’re a grown baby: waking up this often is not a necessity any more. And then I started wondering if I was inadvertently supporting this behaviour by feeding him every time he wakes. Bad Mommy, bad mommy! In talking with one of my friends over the weekend she told me her two year old son wakes up like clockwork five times every night! Yikes! I don’t want that under my repertoire of experience, so last night I made a conscious decision to try to put an end to these night wakings. I vowed that if I heard him, I would just let him fuss it out (he doesn’t actually cry too much when he wakes, which again leads me to believe he is not really hungry, just waking and waiting to go back to sleep) until he hit the zzzs once again.

So, last night went like this: fed him at midnight, but I was still up anyway. Went to bed. Heard him around 3am. Listened to him fuss for about five minutes or so, and then he went back to sleep and I didn’t even get out of bed: just a little long distance and quiet parenting from down the hall. And once he went back to sleep he didn’t wake again ’til 8am! What a good little monkey. This makes me think that if I dont’ go to see him and don’t interrupt him, he is more likely to fall back into a deep sleep and sleep for longer. However, as with most things baby related, time will tell, and it’s bound to change. But I’m trying this technique again tonight, and the next night, and the next night, and the next… I mean really, let’s just get this kid on a good sleeping routine!


When Niko was born he had a full head of dark, almost black hair. He gradually lost most of those first baby hairs, except for a few long wisps that still remain today. In January he was almost completely bald, and has gradually regained a full head of hair. His hair has filled in so much that the other morning he showed off his first bout of bed head: just a few random hairs sticking up all over the place at the back of his head. And no, it was not from his styling gel, a.k.a. food that he mushes all over his face and hair when he eats. This was genuine baby bed head!

Note: Click on the links above to see pics that show what I’m writing about.



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