Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tips for getting housework done

I need help. Pearl never was very good at sleeping by herself, but now she refuses to even sleep in the swing. Naps must be done while in someone's arms, and woe betide anyone who dares move her while she is sleeping. The nap will then end within 5 minutes, regardless of how long you wait before setting her as-gently-as-possible down. She has also decided that there are only two options for what to do when she is awake: nurse her or give her 100% of my attention by talking to her, playing games with her, or singing to her. Anything where I'm not looking her directly in the eyes is cause for crying. And my Moby wrap is hit or miss - although usually miss these days. The laundry and cooking are accomplished with a screaming baby in the background, only because I know these have to be done.

I didn't mind so much for the first 3 months bacause I figured the first 3 months are crazy anyway. And for a while it seemed that things were going to get better - she did take one nap in her bassinet. But she has regressed, and I'm not willing to let this state of affairs become the new normal. So does anyone have any strokes of brilliance for how I'm going to get the house back in order?

(I have had two wonderful people offer to come hold Pearl while I clean house, and that's definitely an option... but it's not a long-term solution, is it?)

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9 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Alan

    Try a gradual approach. Think of some small incremental steps toward independent entertainment. For example, maybe use a toy that she enjoys playing with while you are holding her. Put her in a chair very close to you, and let her play with the toy -- for short training sessions But don't let her have the toy while you are holding her. Then gradually (over a period of hours / days) increase the length of time and/or how far you go away.

    Maybe that won't work. But it's the best I can come up with right now.

  • Laura

    I'm so sorry... I know the Professor has had many days where he made dinner to the sound of Savannah's crying. I rarely had to because the Prof is always home by the time I'm cooking dinner. My main coping solution at that age was to do all my chores when the Prof is home. I know that won't work for everyone, so I don't know what to say.

    Like you, I also expected a huge improvement at 3 months. Turned out that things only improved in the nursing department. :-\

    Savannah is still the same way about being put down for naps (awake within 5-10 minutes of being put down if she doesn't wake up immediately). Around 6 months old she started being content playing on the floor near me. Now she'll crawl off or try to grab dirty dishes from the dishwasher or start messing with the outlet protectors. So I can get things done, but only in short bursts while she's behaving. Never during naps, at any point in her life. She's happy in the mei tai in a front carry, but I can't get anything done with her reaching for things.

    *Sigh* This too shall pass?

  • Laura

    I should add that Daddy's suggestion is exactly the same philosophy as "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" calls for -- gradually teaching the baby to use X instead of Y to fall asleep. Daddy's idea just changes "fall asleep" to "be happy." :-)

  • Sherry

    I don't know. Both of you took naps in the crib, even if only for 30 minutes. That's 30 minutes I could get lots done. And the swing worked for 15 minutes at a time & then I had to rewind. My Mom propped Kebbie up in the corner of the crib & she "talked" to the kid on the cereal box. Then again, maybe that solution was for an older, 6 mo. child. Ah, to be able to be a grandmother who lives close by & could help more often. *Sigh*.

  • Rachel

    Sorry Pearl is demanding all of your attention. It should get better as she gets more mobile. Do you have any videos for kids? J likes Leap Frog Letter Factory. Do you have a playmat? My sister has this one Baby Einstein Seek and Discover Activity Gym. It has a star on it that blinks and plays music. The twins loved it.

  • Smockity Frocks

    I know (boy do I know) that it can be tough to deal with an unhappy baby.

    The only wisdom(?) I can offer is that sometimes babies cry for no apparent reason. I know it is nerve wracking to listen to and tugs on the heart strings, but I have been know to sing loudly and vigorously to drown out the crying as I load the dishwasher or switch the laundry or prepare dinner.

    My philosophy has been that if the baby is going to cry no matter what I do, she may as well cry in her bed while I get a few things done.

  • Smockity Frocks

    Also wanted to say one of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask, "Why is she crying?"

    Ummmmmm... because she's a BABY and sometimes babies cry, hence the term "crybaby". If I knew wouldn't I do something to solve it?

  • CappuccinoLife

    Do you have a baby carrier or any sort? Will she tolerate it?

    Being able to carry mine on my back was a lifesaver for me

  • JunkMale

    We do have a baby carrier (Moby wrap and a podaegi which she might be a bit too young for) but her tolerance for that is variable. Harmony can't carry her in that for that long before she starts aching :p I, on the other hand, can carry her for quite a while, so when I need to get housework done while holding her, I get her in.