How I learned to stop cosleeping and love the crib (an experiment with gentle sleep training)

As I struggled through one final night of being climbed on and kicked while my baby babbled and headbutted for four hours solid, I realized: This isn’t good for him either.

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Just the essentials: binky, lovey, and tiny Jabba the Hutt.

This is a hard post to write. At risk of losing my crunchy mom cred, I’m here to say I just had the best night of sleep I’ve had in months. I feel just a little more alive than I’ve become accustomed to. My eyes opened easily after only one cup of coffee, instead of the usual two or three. I woke up feeling rested and ready to start the day, not ready to curl up in a ball and die hibernate. I woke up at 6:30 to the sound of my baby’s cry — from his crib, where he’d slept since his 11 pm feeding. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus.

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You might be a crunchy mom if…

…there’s an unmarked jar or dish of mystery substance in every room of your house. They’re all coconut oil.

 

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Are you crunchy enough to be my mom?
  • …there’s an unmarked jar or dish of mystery substance in every room of your house. They’re all coconut oil.

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Postpartum essentials

Two or three days after your baby is born, you’re going to wake up in a puddle of milk, with rock hard, uncomfortably swollen, surprisingly massive boobs. The good news is, you’re about to experience the sheer beauty of a milk drunk newborn…

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Oh baby.
If you’re female and use the internet, you’ve probably read some of Chrissy Teigen’s hilarious tweets about pregnancy and motherhood, viewed her extra adorable photos, marveled at her postpartum figure (hey! stop comparing yourself to supermodels. just an idea.), and seethed at the backlash to her daring to go out to lunch or for a walk or whatever. Come on. Let a woman live.

She gave birth about a month after I did. I laughed knowingly to myself when she wrote “no one told me i would be coming home in diapers too.” And then I literally almost cried when she followed it with her “push present” to herself, a perineal rinse bottle. Maybe I was just feeling a little emotional, but seriously. Her doctors and friends truly failed her if they didn’t let her know about the peri bottle.

I’m here to be the friend that Chrissy should’ve had. I am not afraid to tell you the gross and uncomfortable stuff. If you would rather not know, stop reading now! Bellies, blood, vaginas, pee, and boobs ahead…

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Essential mom skills, part 2

I have literally never loved my dog so much as when I see her come running to lick up baby barf that has puddled on the floor. And my arm. And the baby’s arm, and his shirt, and his face. He likes it, I swear.

Well folks, we made it through the first four months. It hasn’t been too bad! It’s actually been pretty great. I always feel like I’m tempting fate when I talk about how well things are going, how easy going my baby is, how well he sleeps used to sleep, and how generally manageable this whole baby/motherhood thing has been so far. But we’ve had our challenges, and I’ve definitely learned a few things since my last collection of Essential Mom Skills.

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Essential mom skills

If you’re drinking lots of water (so you don’t whither into dust while nursing) while also recovering from childbirth… let’s just say your bladder might not make it until naptime.

Since we’re almost three months in to this whole mom thing, I am pretty much an expert. I’d like to share a few favorite essential mom skills with you:
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Twelve weeks

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I’m awake again. My husband is saying to the squirming baby between us: “come on buddy, you’ve been nursing all morning.” It’s true, I realize, remembering like a forgotten dream the last several hours of half-awake contortions, baby talk, and soggy nipples. My entire body feels sucked dry this morning, like every morning, despite the many quart jars of water I down all day. My son is spitting out the pacifier and breathily mouthing whatever he can put his face on: my cheek, my knuckle, my shoulder, my clothed chest, my hip when I sit up in bed.

When I wake for the fourth or fifth time, my husband is dressed and about to leave for work. He is handsome in a button down shirt, grey hair brushed back from his face. I think: they don’t deserve him. I am greedy, and I want him here with us. Someone has to make money though. Today, I am grateful that it’s not me.

My baby is twelve weeks old today.

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