Mama Monday: Sleeping with an almost 11 month old and three year old!

I don’t think I have had a decent night’s sleep in close to four years. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but probably not. My girls are only two and half years apart. I had about six months in-between pregnancy/breastfeeding and getting pregnant again. We planned this so I knew it was happening but the funny thing about kids is that even when you plan you have no idea what you are getting yourself into!

Here is my current situation and I happily solicit any and all recommendations. The baby is still nursing throughout the night! Ok, before you judge, let me give you some background: My girls share a room and it is a lot easier to have one baby up in the middle of the night than two. So we have not tested the “cry it out” method as we did with my first daughter because of the baby possibly waking up the three year old. However, mama has just about reached her limit and if I don’t get some sleep I don’t know how I am going to continue to function. This is how a typical night goes….

Dinner/bath/bed – sounding pretty familiar I am sure.  My husband (when he is not traveling for work) usually takes the three year old for teeth/hair brushing, story and bed. Most nights she goes to sleep but sometimes I will have to lay down with her for “one minute” after I get the baby down. As my husband gets the three year old down, the baby and I lay on my bed and I nurse her to sleep. Wondering where the problem is? It starts anywhere from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am. The baby wakes up and starts crying. I drag myself down to their bedroom and retrieve her so she won’t wake her sister. I have tried to nurse her quickly and lay her back down but she always wakes up and starts crying as soon as I put her down. So now I just bring her back to bed with me…. Yes, I can hear the tongues clicking at this. I nurse her back to sleep in our bed and she falls asleep….For like, 15 minutes and then it starts again. And again. And again… This continues until the alarm goes off or our three year old comes in to wake us up.

Obviously, my quick fix solution isn’t working for anyone. I am not sleeping, the baby is not sleeping and my husband may be pretending to sleep but probably isn’t. How do I get this baby to sleep in her crib through the night?

Proof that she does sleep….

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

What’s for dinner Wednesday: Chicken & Mushrooms (kinda)

Before children it could be said that I rarely if ever went to the grocery store. And cooking a meal? Practically unheard of! Then marriage with a baby happened and I found myself reaching for the Betty Crocker cookbook my Grandmother had given me that was 50 years old and falling apart. I’ve made huge strides since, but every once in a while I am reminded of my humble beginnings, especially when we have dinners like we did the other night – harrumph!

I had a craving for chicken and mushrooms! We’d just recently purchased a cast iron pot and it is awesome for cooking any kind of meat and/or veggies in with a touch of olive oil. (As a side note, my husband and I have a running joke that the proper way to care for a cast iron pot includes no scrubbing or dish soap…. I just looked it up on Wikipedia; click here if you want to read more about it!) The plan was to brown three chicken breasts (both sides) on high heat and then bring it down and add the mushrooms. The problem was that the chicken breasts were too large… they browned but were going to take forever to cook! Finally, and this is my favorite part, I just started cutting at the chicken (yes, in the pan)… You should have seen the look on my husband’s face when he came into the kitchen to check on me. As I was sawing away at our dinner, I added the mushrooms and a bit more olive oil and figured I’d let the pan do its thing!

As you may have guessed, it didn’t turn out quite the way I was hoping. All the moisture was gone from the chicken. Fortunately, I’d also made a Trader Joe’s instant risotto so we had chicken and rice bowls for dinner. Actually, I added the chicken and mushrooms to a salad and the husband threw it all into a bowl and added some of the juice from the bottom of the pan. Bless his heart – he claimed that it was delicious. The three year old ate two bites of rice and claimed she was full. I actually did enjoy the chicken on my salad but anything is good with feta cheese and champagne dressing. ;)

Sometimes, it is more about the journey then where you are going.

Have a better chicken and mushroom recipe? I would love to have it!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Traveling Families pt. 1: Researching Family-Friendly Destinations

Most would agree that traveling is one of the great luxuries in life, and also one of the most educational and inspiring activities you can do. It makes perfect sense that you would want to travel and bring your children along for the adventure. Of course, traveling has always been considered more of an adult activity, and many destinations simply aren’t very child-friendly. What is the family with wanderlust to do?

Continue reading

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Flying with Children

For those parents out there who are getting ready for a flight, Bebe au Lait offers our list of considerations and tips for a low-stress trip.

Well Before the Flight:
Visit your airline’s web page, and read about their policies for traveling with young children. Be sure you know what to expect from the airline and the flight staff before showing up at the terminal.

Read and tell stories to your kids about traveling by air. Also, tell them about the destination, and what makes it special and unique.

Plan For Comfort:

Flying causes a lot of anxiety for children who have little (or no) idea what is going on. In order to soothe some of this anxiety, smart parents bring along plenty of toys, goodies, food, drinks, activities, etc. to get the kid’s mind off the flight, and onto something less stressful. In the case of babies, think comfort. Physical contact, rocking, bouncing, breastfeeding, and shiny objects will all calm the little one down making your life much easier.

Airports:

Airports are very stressful places. Children (adults too!) are highly anxious in this environment.

First, cut out the stress of time. Leave for the airport allowing plenty of time for bad traffic, parking, checking bags, waiting in line, etc. Absolutely nothing is worse than feeling rushed at an airport. The tension is thick, and kids pick up on that from you, then broadcast it to everyone else at the airport.

Even taking time and stress into account, it’s likely that your child will still feel nervous, and make it known. Be prepared to smile at a lot of dirty looks from strangers.
Checking In:

When it comes time for you to check in, ask if the flight is full. If not, see if you can get an empty seat next to you.

If you’re traveling with really young children, you’re often allowed to board before everyone else. Ask about this when you check in. When you board, get ready to stash one bag at your feet, and the other in the overhead compartment. Have a seat, and relax as quickly as possible.

Diaper Changing:

Be sure you pack an in-flight changing kit. Put some diapers, multi-purpose burp cloths, baby wipes, diaper cream, baby powder, and hand sanitizer in a small pouch.

When you board, ask the flight attendant where the best place to change the baby is. In some planes, there will be one larger bathroom on board with a changing table.

Eating and Feeding:

Bring your own food. It’s better to be prepared with food that the child likes rather than chancing it with airplane food (or lack of it!)

If you’re with a really young child, be ready for them to make a mess. Bring at least one bib that will help keep their clothes clean, and be ready with those all-important wipes!

If your child is breastfeeding (or you’re pumping), bring a nursing cover for privacy. They are also great for creating a “cocoon” while the baby is sleeping.

If you’re bottle feeding, be sure you have plenty of milk for the child ready to go. If you need the bottle warmed up, let a flight attendant know, but also understand that it takes time, so get your bottles heated up before you actually need them.

Keeping Children Entertained:

Flights are generally pretty boring. Even sophisticated adults feel stir crazy after just a few hours on a plane. Imagine that sensation times 10, and minus certain social boundaries, and you’ve got a good idea of what is going on inside your child’s head! As you can imagine, boredom is the root of many in-flight irritants.

There are many things you can bring, but focus on the few items that are likely to distract the child for the longest time. Load up your iPods or iPhones with good programming like Sesame Street. You could also bring a laptop or portable DVD player. Some other ideas include coloring books, stories and puzzle books.

Sleeping on Board:

Bring a comfortable blanket or nursing cover. Airplane blankets tend to be scratchy and icky.

Good luck, and enjoy the trip!

Here are some fantastic resources where you can learn more:
www.flyingwithkids.com.
There is also this short pamphlet published by the FAA.
Speaking of the FAA, they also have this great resource for travelers.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

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