I Never Thought I Would Say This ….

I’m an advocate for crying it out.

Shoot me now. When I was pregnant, I could not fathom the idea of letting our kid cry in a room with the door shut. Not going to the rescue with hugs and cuddles. Kim and I very much disagreed on this. She wanted the ‘self-soothe’ method and I did not.

When we brought Peyton home 10 months ago, she was a great sleeper, as all newborns are. She slept anywhere and all the time. The first month of Peyton’s life was a piece of cake. I could curl her up in my lap, feed her a bottle and sleep while I did it. When she got bigger, she was not as comfortable to get up in the middle of the night and be poked in the eye with a bottle as Mommy fell asleep.

Our night routine back then was put Peyton to bed as late as possible, so she will sleep as late as possible. Except, no matter what time we put her down, she was up again every four hours. When she was teething, she was up every hour. At the time, she slept in our room. We spent a lot of time fighting with her to even go to sleep at the start of bedtime.

We rocked her and patted her butt. We would stand over the play yard and take turns patting her butt for hours until she was asleep. Only, when we stopped, she woke up! It was a battle we just couldn’t win. When she would finally go to sleep and we could tiptoe out, she was up again at the slightest noise, so getting into bed for us was a Mission Impossible maneuver most nights. This only escalated when she turned 4 months old, during the ‘sleep regression’ phase of her life. That was a nightmare.

I don’t really remember how old Peyton was when we moved her to her own room. We moved her play yard into the second bedroom. I believe she was about 7 or 8 months old. It feels like much longer though. Anyway, from day one, Kim and I made a plan. I was so not ready for this plan. Up until that night, we had tried the ‘cry-it-out’ method and Kim literally had to hold me down so that I wouldn’t go in there and comfort her. I admit, eventually, Peyton went to sleep. No harm done.

However, when we moved her into her own room, I felt compelled again, to check on her. So, we decided that when we shut the door at night, we were not to open it again until the morning. That first night, broke my heart. She could stand up in her play yard by then, so she is screaming and I am picturing her standing up, holding on to the sides of the play yard just tears streaming down her little cheeks.

Its been a long time since that first night and things are so much better. We were blessed with a baby who was so easy to sleep train. I am thankful for this, because frankly, its the hardest part of being a mom that I have had to endure so far. I am sure we will go through this again when she is a toddler and can get out of the bed.

However, now, we have all gotten into a nice routine at night and she knows what it is. It has evolved into something we do all the time and works perfectly for us. Like I mentioned before, the easiest way to teach a baby is repetition and to do everything exactly the same way each time.

So, at 8PM we all climb into her mommies’ bed and play peek-a-boo in the curtains and tickle and read a book and do all the fun things that Mommy Time is reserved for. Then at 8:30AM we make a bottle, give goodnight kisses, put on a clean diaper and lay her in the play yard.

I make her a full 9 oz bottle and that is what she gets through the night. I lay her in the play yard, cover her up, give her kisses and turn on her music box. I hand her the bottle and say “Goodnight, baby. I love you. Sweet Dreams.” I turn off the light and shut the door. From that moment on, we don’t open the door until I get up in the morning.

I might go in long enough to make sure she is covered up before I go to sleep or isn’t tangled up in her blankets, but for the most part, we have done this same routine for the last 2 months and it works. Now, she goes down, for the most part, without much fuss. This includes naps, from what I hear (I work during the day, so Kim takes that role).

So – after all that rambling, the simple point is this. Crying it out worked for us. Its hard and I feel like a terrible Mommy letting her stay in there in cry. But, sometimes, its best for the whole family. We sleep better at night and so does she. Our pediatrician already said she doesn’t NEED those calories at night because she’s already well above average for her age in height and weight. Its simply a habit that needed breaking.

For those of you wondering if crying it out is right for you, its a personal decision and one I still struggle with. Yes, it works. I know it works. I have seen it work. But every baby is different. Every family is different. I am simply an advocate because it worked so well for us.

Take Care ❤

A Day In The Life of Peyton

Kim and I have a loose agreement on how to deal with late night feedings and daytime care when it comes to Peyton. Kim is a stay at home Mama and I am a working Mommy. This means she stays home with Peyton and takes care of daytime, I come home from work and take care of evening and overnight care of Peyton. I decided to give you a little glimpse into the life of Peyton.

***I apologize in advance for the non-edited pictures. I wanted to feature exactly what it looks like in the world of Peyton Shea.*** Also, please don’t assume that if there is a large gap between times that the last picture is all she did for that time frame. We didn’t take pictures of diaper changes and monotonous things.

Starting with my shift: Which actually starts when I get off work, but we will start it at 12AM, so we can get a good idea of what 24 hours looks like.

12:00 AM – Peyton went to sleep at around 9pm. I thought I might be slick and slip into bed around midnight without her noticing. It didn’t happen. She woke up just as my head hit the pillow. Then decided it was time to eat. She’s getting better at holding her own bottle.

At 3:50 am, Peyton thought it was time to get up yet again. She ate a full 6 oz. bottle and after a quick diaper change, she thought she might play with my blankets. This is her way of trying to stay awake. Mommy is just too blurry-eyed for that. Off to bed she goes again.

This is my attempt to take pictures in the COMPLETE DARKNESS of my bedroom.

6:53 am, Peyton makes a noise in her sleep. A tiny little noise really. I learned that no matter how deaf I was before I had a child, I hear every noise now that I am a Mommy. Guess who stayed asleep and who was awake? I’ll give you a minute to guess.


7:20 am, I checked my Facebook on my phone and then thought it might be a good idea to try and go back to sleep. Just a few seconds after shutting my eyes, the little princess made yet another noise and I was awake to check.

Sound asleep right? Back into the bed I went.

7:24 am, Nope, she was playing opossum. She was awake and ready to eat again. So I climbed out of my bed and this is how I found her. Silly girl.

Peyton usually grabs onto the bottle like she is starving to death. She also has tiny monkey toes. She likes to wrap her legs around my arm when she eats.

I thought, since she was still rubbing her eyes and almost falling asleep on her bottle, that she might go back to sleep.

7:40 am – No such luck. This is what she thought of that idea. I laid her down and she squealed a little, made a little yawning noise and looked at me like I was the craziest Mommy in the world for thinking she might possibly be ready to go back to sleep.

See .. here she is laughing at me. Good try Mommy. I’m ready to get up now. Thanks.

7:42 am – I picked her up and brought her in the living room so her squealing (which she loves the sound of) wouldn’t disturb her Mama. She laid on her mat to watch her cartoons. She sure does love “Super Readers” and “Dinosaur Train.”

 8:50 am – Its time for Mommy to get ready for work, so just a little check in on the Princess. She’s comfortably watching “Dinosaur Train.” She gives me a look, like, Nothing to See Here! I quickly walk away, as to not disturb The Tiny Ruler Of The Universe.

 9:30AM – Right before Mommy walks out the door for work, Peyton is playing with Henrietta, her stuffed Hippo. She likes to suck on Henrietta’s face and ears. Peyton started to get a little restless right about this time – but she had been up for approximately 2 hours. That means, its almost naptime. Too bad she couldn’t have been ready for bed before I had to wake up her Mama.

Apparently, according to Mama, (who didn’t start taking pictures until later, because I didn’t tell her about this little project until later) She and Peyton went back to sleep when I went to work and then woke up later, which is where we will begin our pictures again.

11:21 AM – After napping, she played with her pig on the play mat. I am sure it was making all sorts of fun noises. That look on her face, is clearly saying “We are awake, Mama. Now what?”

11:24 AM – Barney. That’s what is next. Mama and Peyton watched Barney until it was time to eat again. Usually, Peyton eats as soon as she gets up, but she must not have been hungry quite yet. I hear, from Mama, that Barney is a must see show in our house.

11:41 AM – Its a busy day for Peyton. As always, its Sleep, Play, Eat (Repeat). For the most part, she doesn’t stray from this pattern, though admittedly, she does things longer one day and shorter the next. Its whatever she wants to do, really. She might be spoiled, but I like to say she just knows what she wants.

11:44 AM – After her mid-morning meal, Peyton is enjoying a book. She is a fan of Dr. Seuss. This particular book is “The Nose Book”. Though you will notice in our weekly pictures that her favorite book is “Fox in Socks”. However, Peyton really will listen to just about any book you read to her, so long as she can turn the pages for you.

11:45 AM – After the book is read, it is a tradition during story time to allow her to hold the book. To feel it and of course … to taste it. Apparently board books taste delicious. It produces lots of saliva from her tiny teething mouth. So, she is either trying to eat the book or she wants to learn the words through osmosis.

11:49 AM – Peyton calls Grammy on the phone. Now, she is only 5 months old (on Wednesday) so technically, Mama dialed the number and Peyton inspected her Grammy’s voice coming out of the box. Mama tells me that Peyton hung up on Grammy several times during this particular call. She’s not quite gotten a handle on keeping the phone open and not pushing buttons.

12:07 PM – Talking to Grammy is so exhausting that it is nap time again. Peyton goes to sleep in approximately 15 minutes or so. Which may seem like a long time while you are standing over her crib, patting her butt and rocking the bed. According to Mama, it felt more like 45 minutes.

12:51 PM – This picture is a little blurry, but you get the gist. “Just kidding, Mama.” She took a total of maybe 40 minutes of nap. She just wanted to talk to her Mama, I am sure. Her mouth is generally always opened and emitting some very strange growling, squealing, or delightful laughter or screeching sounds.

12:59 PM – Peyton loves green beans. We learned this pretty much the first day she ate them. She has been eating them consistently for the third day today. The first day, she struggled with swallowing, but obviously wanted to eat them. On the second day, she was getting better at swallowing and Mama says, today, the third day, she ate like the big girl she is! She finished the rest of her green beans and swallowed without any problems.

1:06 PM – After eating lunch, Peyton needed a snack. The appropriate snack would be her saucer toys. She promptly sticks them in her mouth and make sure at least one or two fingers are in the way too. 

Surely large amounts of drool ensued here. 

3:09 PM – Peyton played in her saucer until around 2:30 or so and then started to take a nap. She was sleeping when Mommy came home and took this picture on lunchtime.

Sad I didn’t get to play with her, but we all know, if Peyton doesn’t nap, no one in the apartment is very happy.

 4:41 PM – Waking up from her nap. She doesn’t look as cute here as she normally does. I think it might be Mama’s picture taking skills. (Shh. We won’t tell Mama.)

4:46 PM – Peyton has a tiny bottom tooth coming in. I can feel it and its sharp! She chews on everything. I got these rings with different textures at Hyvee for like 20 for $5.00. She loves them. I’m glad. She can hold onto them and chew on them for hours.

5:10 PM – She finished green beans earlier for lunch time. She started on Squash this time. Mama says she couldn’t fill the spoon and get it to her mouth fast enough. Peyton’s mouth just kept opening and closing for more. 

I’m glad she takes after Mama and likes her vegetables. 

5:54 PM – I don’t know what show this is, and Mama is asleep, so I can’t ask her. However, it does look like the camera and picture taking is starting to annoy Peyton. She just looks like she is telling her Mama, Enough is Enough.

6:13 PM –  I got Peyton this play mat at Wild Child for $30. It is Baby Einstein and apparently that makes it expensive. However, the point it, she has loved it ever since. We hang other toys on it, like her pull down pig and her talking bear. Mostly, she likes to hang off the sides and sometimes, if Mama stands her up, she will chew on those side pieces …. just for fun.

6:19 PM – Can’t miss a meal with my little girl. She is hungry and she will let you know about it. There is a certain kind of shrill in her shriek when the hunger pains are afloat. Here she is enjoying another part of her dinner.

6:37 PM – I’m not really sure what she is looking at here. I am willing to bet, this is more of a yawn than an inquisitive moment. Mama says she was getting sleepy, but she didn’t want to put her down for the night, so that Peyton could see me when I got home from work.

7:38 PM – This picture is pretty blurry, and that’s my fault. I got home and took it. She played with her doll on my bed while I got into my PJs. 113 degrees outside makes for a grimy clothes wearing day. Peyton and I spent that time just hanging out.

7:42 PM – I asked her what she did all day and I got this look. “You have been documenting my every move all day, Mom. Really?” Anyway, I discover something new each day, things she likes or doesn’t like. Since I work, I miss a lot of things that happen. I take this time to talk to her and play.  I found out she likes the crinkling sound of the wipes container, so she plays with it a lot.

7:56 PM – Since she loves that wipes container so much, I put it to good use. I moved to the other side of my bed and we had a little scooting practice. I showed her the wipes and she concentrated on it real hard. She is less pissy about being on her belly now. That’s nice. At least she doesn’t look at me with contempt and just fall asleep anymore. Anyway, she got frustrated half way across the bed, but she did make to the wipes. 

8:03 PM – After much practice and play in the bedroom, I decided a cute shot of Peyton and Mommy might be in order. We headed to the living room for more Squash. She looks so excited doesn’t she?

8:06 PM – Into the living room we went. I got her set up on her Bumbo and Mama was trying to show me how to better get the spoon in Peyton’s mouth without making a mess. Instead, Peyton decided to scan the bookshelf. The bookshelf in this particular room is for her mommies, her bookshelf is in the bedroom. I can’t imagine which book caught her attention.

She is kind of distractable.

8:13 PM – She wasn’t really interested in eating much, so we moved on. We haven’t been as consistent with “Your Baby Can Read” as I would like, so I popped it into the DVD player on the computer. She seemed to enjoy it. It is only the second time she has watched it and actually paid attention.

8:19 PM – However, we didn’t get very far into it. Remember she was tired when I got home from work and now its been almost an hour. She started to buck and squirm. She wanted out of her Bumbo. Luckily, her little legs are too chunky to allow her to try and stand on her own. The seat always comes with her when we pull her out of it.

8:22 PM – So we started up the bed time routine. Which is also not very consistent. Sometimes she’s asleep before I get home. However, tonight, she was not. So, off to the bathroom we went for bath time. She squeals and giggles every time we get ready to take a bath. Its adorable.

8:35 PM – All fresh and clean and out of the bath. Mama said we had to cover up her little body if we were taking pictures. Which of course I agree. We got this smile though because the gust of air hit her in the face as the towel was wrapped quickly around her.

8:37 PM – All dressed and ready for bed. She uses Mama’s fingers to walk across the bed to see Mommy for a bed time story. Look how excited she is for story time!

8:38 PM – Reading “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss. It happens to be her favorite story to read. She likes to help Mommy turn the pages. I am pretty sure in this picture I am stumbling over the words. That makes her giggle usually. That book is kind of dangerous to the tongue.

8:43 PM – Its time for one more bottle before bed. She was already sleepy before I got home from work, so getting to bed was a piece of cake. At night, I like to hum and sing to her while she drinks her bottle. It seems to relax her, its like her own little ‘quiet time’.

8:54 PM – It took no time at all to get her to sleep. She was out until around 1 AM, so no more pictures for the night. This concludes her 24 hour picture show.

Take Care