Tag Archives: happy child

The Juggernaut vs. Joy

So, I have some weird hang-ups about Disney, “princess culture,” the sexualization of girls and the general over-gendering that American childhood culture does to to kids, even really young kids. And for 3.5 years, that was a pretty easy path to walk — Daddy-o and I have tight control over the media Boopsie is exposed to, and we haven’t introduced Barbies or Disney Princesses or any TV with commercials.

However, since we decided to take Boopsie to her first movie, and it was Frozen, which has been crazily successful for picture of a package of Frozen undiesDisney, this has been challenged. Case in point: Yesterday I took Boopsie to our nearby Target. We needed a few first aid supplies and she wanted to pick out some Band-Aids, so she picked out the Disney Princess variety. This was a first and it was a little unsettling, but I just let it ride.

Later, we were hitting up the baby/toddler section and she spotted character undies featuring the characters from Frozen. And I let myself be talked into buying them despite serious misgivings. First of all, I dislike how aggressively every movie tie-in is marketed to kids. Secondly, she didn’t even really need undies. Finally, I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a damn slippery slope. Yes, Frozen has a lot of good messages about sisterhood and being brave and strong, but it’s still a Disney movie and there’s still some weird sexuality stuff happening with Elsa. But I folded, and quickly, and you know what? My kid is overjoyed about those undies. She told the cashier. She told friends we saw for dinner. She changed them this morning and came bursting out of her room to show Daddy-o and I the “Olaf” pair she had put on. She. Loves. Those. Undies.

The Disney juggernaut, and their product tie-ins, have brought her JOY. I’m still mixed about the whole Frozen craze, and Disney and I definitely am not a fan of the other “princesses.” But with this experience, I’m going to try and walk this line, and to help her enjoy some aspects of what this part of our culture has to offer.

Once again, it’s likely I’m putting way too much thought into this. But my goodness, she is adorable when she’s talking about those undies…


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Filed under adventures, firsts, lessons, mom guilt

Proof That I Have Lost My Ever-Loving Mind

Proof, Yo:

Tambourine and Tone Block

I have lost my mind. I plan to give these to Boopsie next week on Valentine’s Day. Damn you, Target Dollar Spot. (But what can I say? She LOVES music and has recently begun to use markers as drumsticks… I should channel that energy, right? Right?)


Filed under Fun

Weighty Issues


Took Boopsie to the Doctor today for the big weigh-in. All week I’d been checking her out, trying to gauge if she’d gained any (or enough) weight. Her thighs looked a little more substantial to me, but she had also learned to crawl and pull up in the last four weeks. Constant motion. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. And happy Daddy-o could also attend the appointment.

We went. We stripped her down. And…. (drum roll please)

17 pounds, 2 ounces

Yeah, Baby!

17 pounds, 2 ounces. That’s a weight gain of 18 ounces in four weeks.

Failure to thrive, my ass.*




*Though technically we’re still waiting for Dr. P to issue her opinion on the matter. In my humble opinion, +18 ounces when she also began moving around a LOT more is pretty darn good. And I guess, on the flipside, this means I was indeed giving her the wrong mix of foods to support her weight gain. Whoops. Live and learn?? 


Filed under feeding, mom guilt

Who needs a life?

Apparently, I do. Outside of work. This type of stuff is taking a LOT of my attention. Daddy-o came to wake me from a nap yesterday and found me covered in a pile of books. These books:

Books on Bed

I need a life. Stat.

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Filed under books, feeding, sleep

Sleep Story: Ursula, David and Anton

Family: Ursula, David and Anton (8 months)

Approach: Cry-it-out

The Background: We really reached the end of our rope about a month ago. Anton was going to sleep between 6 and 7 p.m., then often up crying at 11, 1, 4, etc. He would nurse and go back to sleep, but it didn’t really seem like he *needed* to nurse so many times! I tried nursing him before I went to bed, but it didn’t make any difference. We tried keeping him up a little later, but he would just run out of steam by 7 p.m. We were exhausted!



The Change:

After some deliberation, we decided we had to try something, but we weren’t patient enough for a more gradual/soothing approach. We’ve been reading the “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” book, which talked about different ways to try to change the patterns, including letting them cry for an indefinite amount of time. So we tried it! It was torture! But it only lasted about two nights! And then he slept right through the 10/11 p.m. and 1/2 a.m. times.

It wasn’t possible for either of us to sleep through the crying. Listening to Anton cry for 30-45 min the first night and 20-30 min the second night was hard, and David and I were definitely grumpy with each other about it. The frustrating thing was knowing that if we just got up and nursed, it would all be over in 20 min or so. But once we decided we’d really give it a try, it made it easier.

Anton he really has been sleeping much better since then. I think this coincided with his developmental changes and crawling (he’s been scooting/rolling/proto-crawling for at least a month), so he is tuckered out after a lot of moving a LOT each day. But, I’d still say for us, it was worth doing. Now Anton pretty reliably sleeps from about 7 p.m. until 4 or 5 a.m., often 6 a.m. Some nights he wakes up around 2, but usually not.

To be honest, I don’t really see us as being “crying it out” people. From the outside, it feels sometimes like this label means a certain kind of coldness, or some ability to let your child suffer. For me, it felt more like helping Anton do something on his own (learn how to go back to sleep by himself), despite my own suffering at hearing him cry!, and also an approach that might keep my own, and my partner’s, limited sanity intact. We were entirely unsure it would work, or that it would be something we could even get through. When we did it, I think both of us felt like we were experimenting, and tried to have an open mind.

So although I still feel a little reluctant to say it, maybe we *are* cry it out people. We did use variations of the cry it out approach with naps, and it’s been working for us for nighttime, too (so far). You think of yourself as a particular kind of parent, but then your baby, your partner, the circumstances, exhaustion and exhilaration all intervene.

Takeaway Tips:

  • It was key that David and I were on the same page about what we were trying to do.
  • I’ve found it’s definitely NOT helpful to try to have conversations about this kind of thing in the middle of the night! Schedule a “sleep summit” or similar conversation for a time when both people are feeling cool and collected!
  • Editor’s Note: Be open to trying “crying it out.” It doesn’t mean you are cold or want your child to suffer

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Filed under sleep

Sleep Book Overview: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

So here we are… another sleep book overview. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is written by Marc Weissbluth, a pediatrician who has a special interest in childrens’ sleep patterns.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is 457 dense pages of information about sleep in children, from birth through adolescence. It covers the physiology of sleep, sleep disorders and how parents can help their children establish healthy sleep habits at every age.

I have some quibbles with this book. The first is that I can’t stand how it’s organized (or not). Topics feel jumbled together and the sleep problems are listed out before the age-by-age information about sleep. The second is that it will freak out any new parent regarding the six-week fussiness peak…Weissbluth makes it sound like the parental apocalypse instead of something to be aware of and flexible about.

The book also contains such helpful and reassuring call-outs as “WARNING If your child does not learn to sleep well, he may become an incurable adult insomniac, chronically disabled from sleepiness and dependent on sleeping pills.” (Note: It’s in boldface in the book.) Seriously!?! If my kid doesn’t sleep through the night she’ll be a drug addict?! I don’t think scare-tactics are very helpful.

Some of Weissbluth’s major points include:

  • A well-rested child (and family) is better for the family and for a child’s health
  • Babies under three months of age need to return to sleep within two hours of waking up to prevent over-tiredness
  • Babies need to learn to soothe themselves to sleep in order to develop healthy life-long sleep habits
  • Crying it out (for healthy babies four months and over) will not harm the baby

Here’s the deal: As much as I don’t want to recommend this book, because it’s frustrating to read and really pushy about using the “extinction” (aka cry-it-out) method of sleep training, I know several people who read it thoroughly and then followed the precepts with their babies to great success. (You can read about Yongling’s experience here.) There’s a lot of information, the book is dense and can be difficult to get through, but apparently it works. Frankly, I also find myself going back to re-read sections… especially since now we might actually have to do some sleep training of our own…oh my.


Filed under sleep