Archive for November, 2006

The Plan Keeps Coming Up Again

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Urban Planning PJ and I have been trying a scheduling system with the kid that we think is working really well. It is from the (unfortunately named) “Baby Whisperer” book by Tracey Hogg and is called E.A.S.Y which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and “You Time” and involves rolling through all four of these steps in order all day.

A lot of the stuff in the book is too totalitarian for me, and I have this image of a really stern woman like the woman at the Ayn Rand School for Tots on The Simpsons:

Teacher: “Do you know what a baby is saying when she reaches for a bottle?”
Marge: “Ba-ba?”
Teacher: “She’s saying, ‘I am a leech’! Our aim here is to develop the ‘bottle within’.”

…but the schema for keeping a kid on a decent schedule is sound. Basically the way it works is to have your newborn on a regular feeling routine and napping plan, and while the kid is nappping you get to be a grown up.

It pretty much boiled down like this:

7:00 AM – Feed 5 oz.
7:45 – Diaper Change and Playing
8:15 – Nap
8:30 – Parents Nap
10:00 – Feed 5 oz.
10:45 – Diaper Change & Activity
11:15 – Nap
11:30 – Get shit done
1:00 PM – Feed 5 oz.
1:45 – Diaper & Activity
2:15 – Nap
2:30 – Parents Relax
4:00 – Feed 5 oz.
4:45 – Diaper & Activity
5:15 – Nap
5:30 – Parents Relax
6:00 – “Cluster Feed #1″ 5 oz.
7:00 – Bath/Story/Change into pajamas if necessary
7:30 – Catnap
7:30 – Parents Dinner
8:00 – “Cluster Feed #2″ 5 oz.
8:30 – Baby Sleeps
10:00/11:00 – “Dream Feed” 6 oz.

The “Cluster Feed” idea just means that you feed the kid at intervals closer together to “tank him up” for overnight.

The “Dream Feed” is done in the dark in a quiet place with the baby still asleep if possible, and we always gave him an extra ounce to try to keep him loaded up overnight.

He still needed to eat overnight as a newborn (twice overnight when he was really little and once a night now that he is almost 3 months old), and we would just let him wake us up for those overnight feedings.

Like I said, we are not marking these off on a clipboard or anything, and if he ends up sleeping an extra half-hour, we let him snooze, but for the most part he crashes out at the same times during the day and wakes himself up to eat when it is time.

The “changing diapers four times a day” concept is a joke (our kid is a whiz machine) and changing a kid from a sleeper into pajamas at night is sort of retarded, but we really like the fact that we have a sliver of an idea as to when he is going to be awake and when we can get some of our own stuff done.

I am Zac Johnson and I approve this message.

- Zac

Awesome-Larious Post on Junkiness

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

This was posted on our half-sister website Junkiness:

Baby No NoAn Ohio woman, apparently not content with her life of Midwestern boredom and non-child murdering, was arrested yesterday after police investigators determined she may have placed her infant daughter in the family microwave.

This follows news of a Canadian man who will stand trial for placing his girlfriend’s feverish 10-month-old daughter in the freezer.

Folks, since you’re obviously not getting the message, the Junkiness Foundation is happy to provide this definitive baby-placing guide for parents.

Safe locations for your baby:

  • Crib
  • Child safety seat
  • Floating on a lily pad
  • Nuzzling at the bosom of capitalism
  • Uncle Elmer’s lap—no really, it’s totally cool, he just loves kids
  • An expensive Montessori school, preferably one which serves food made from poorer children
  • On top of John Goodman’s car

Unsafe locations for your baby:

  • Microwave oven
  • Toaster oven
  • Convection oven
  • An oven of any kind, is basically what we’re saying
  • Neverland
  • The deteriorating American public schools
  • A Joyce Carol Oates novel
  • Abu Ghraib (The gift shop is OK, though)
  • Britney Spears’ car, house, or womb
  • “Tom & Katie’s Dianetikids® Day Camp & Indoctrination Center”
  • On Dick Cheney’s plate, drenched in butter and savory herbs
  • Within 1000 feet of Andy Dick
  • Church
  • Thunderdome
  • New Jersey

This community-service message brought to you by The Junkiness Foundation: A Dedication to Health, Hope, and Heroin.

Nuclear Blowout!

Monday, November 27th, 2006

BlowoutSo my kid is blowing out of diapers like it’s the new style. Every time we turn him around, there’s a big wet spot or (God forbid) the dreaded “candy bar left out in the sun” insignia on the back of his pants.

We’ve tried Huggies in size 1 and Pampers Swaddlers in sizes 1 and 2, but nothing seems to work. We’ve had good luck with Pampers in the past few months, but lately they’re acting like a spaghetti strainer.

Hank is 11 weeks old and weighs about 14 pounds. He usually sleeps on his side (which is always where the pee slick appears). We’ve tried cinching up the adhesive tabs on the sides of the diapers as much as they will go (without strangulating the kid) but it doesn’t seem to help.

Any sage advice?

- Zac

Bottle It Up & Go

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Magic WandLo and behold, my request for a soap-dispensing bottle brush may have been answered.

This company called OXO.com is offering a Soap Dispensing Dish Wand that they say “reaches easily into the bottom of tall glassware, baby bottles and containers. Try it for cleaning muffin or cupcake pans too!”

My muffin pans may never be soiled again!

Thanks to the folks at Learning Tees who tracked this down for me.

- Zac

It Came From Ask MetaFilter!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Here’s a round-up of useful junk about parenting and babies that I dug up on Ask MetaFilter. This will probably be a weekly-ish feature.

Save Me From Disney: How to introduce a little kid to grown-up movies.

Best answers: The Princess Bride, Hudsucker Proxy, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Funniest answer: “I think there’s a pared-down version of I Spit On Your Grave. Mostly just people stomping around in the woods, but kids love nature.”

Does having kids actually make people less happy?

Is there such a thing as a website that acts as a Meta Gift Registry, specifically for baby items?

Best answer: TheThingsIWant.com

Help my baby sleep (and us keep our sanity): My 8-month-old son has wildly inconsistent sleep habits. What can we do?

Best and most frequent answer: Consistent and strict routine

International Baby Colours: What colours do other cultures use for babies? Here we have baby blue & pink. Do other cultures also have colours that are used for newborns, or is that specific to Western culture?

- Matt

Sleeping on Bread & Water

Monday, November 20th, 2006

NapDuring the summers when I was in college, I worked on a landscaping crew. I was also involved in the local music scene (as a drinker, not really as a participant). Both of these things meant that I wanted to be at the bar untill 2:00 in the morning but needed to be up for work at 6:00. Needless to say I spent a lot of the time in full-on zombie mode. One way I was able to combat it was that every Thursday I would come home from work, eat dinner right away, and then go to bed for like 13 or 15 hours. I could completely recharge for the weekend and most of the week, and only start dragging ass again around Wednesday.

PJ and I recently tried a similar experiment that failed pretty miserably. Our plan was for me to take care of the kid all night Friday…PJ would get to sleep at around 9:00 down on the pull-out couch with living room doors shut and the air purifier going generating white noise…real bliss. She would sleep in the next morning refreshed, and then we would swap positions on Saturday night.

Well, Friday night was fine for me…he grumped a couple times, I fed him at 10, at 4 and then at 7 the next morning. Saturday my wife woke up groggy and grumpy, a little disoriented and out of it. Saturday night we swapped roles (me anxious to get a restful night’s sleep) and when I woke up Sunday morning I felt more tired than usual. My body was achy, I had a headache and I was in a grey mood all day.

I think the truth of the matter was that our bodies had become accustomed to the sporadic sleep that we have been getting for the past three months, and by getting an uninterrupted night’s rest, our starved bodies remembered what it was like to be fully rested and went all cattywampus on us. It was almost as if you’ve been living on bread and water so long, that introducing a big meal would totally mess you up.

So, sorry. I though we would have some kind of scoop on revolutionizing parenting, but no luck.

- Zac