Ep. 52: Stump the New Mom!
July 1, 2019
Shanna and Laura battle it out in another exciting round of “Stump the New Mom,” in which they quiz each other with pregnancy- and baby-related trivia questions! Also, Laura talks about going to a new “Mommy and Me” class, and Shanna discusses the dreaded moment that her baby rolled over in her Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 24 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 20 weeks old.
- Anna the anaconda got pregnant all by herself — by ‘virgin birth’ eek!
- Eleven Days Without Sleep: The Haunting Effects Of A Record-Breaking Stunt Amazing recount from a great podcast, Hidden Brain.
- Taggies Little Leaf Elephant Character Blanket* If your baby is suddenly into tags, this is the toy for you! *affiliate link
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Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode, we have our weekly check-ins. We have an exciting round of Stump the New Mom, where we battle it out with pregnancy and baby-related trivia and we wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. Hi, Laura.
Laura Birek: Hi, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Hi. How are you doing? Give us your check-in.
Laura Birek: My baby’s 20 weeks old now. Yes, let’s see. What did we do this week? We actually went to a new Mommy and Me class on Tuesday.
Shanna Micko: You ditched the old one, huh?
Laura Birek: Well, I went to that too. I would never ditch that one.
Shanna Micko: Doubling down on Mommy and Me’s.
Laura Birek: I’m not working yet, so I need to do stuff with my week and someone in my Monday Mommy and Me class, which is the same group of people every week, she mentioned that on Tuesdays she goes to this Mommy and Me class that’s held at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena and I can actually see Huntington Hospital from my front porch. I was like, how did I not know about this? She said it was really fun and then it’s mostly songs. So I decided my baby loves me singing to him and I thought we would take a trip. We actually walked there and it was much more of a drop in thing. It was a much bigger group. I want to say there were maybe 20 people there. Really big room. It was I want to say 90% songs and they just kept coming. There wasn’t a lot of break, so it was mostly songs and then at the end they do bubbles and then they also played with a parachute. You know one of those big parachutes, which my baby was a little iffy.
Shanna Micko: Oh, fun.
Laura Birek: He’s a little little for it still.
Shanna Micko: Were there toddlers in there as well?
Laura Birek: It’s two to nine months. So he was a little skeptical. He liked when it was in front of him, but not when I laid him down and put it above his head. He didn’t like that. That’s fine. It’s learning. He loves bubbles, but the thing that’s interesting about this class is it turned into a sneaky exercise class and they did not warn me about this.
Shanna Micko: For the moms?
Laura Birek: Yes, we were doing our songs and doing Wheels on the Bus where you’re rotating their legs and stuff to all the different things the parts of the bus do and then they’re like, “Okay, mommies lie on your back and put your baby over your head.” So you’re basically doing chest presses and they’re like, literally “Just keep pressing that baby,” and they’re looking around and everyone’s like, “This is hard.” Then they do songs in a circle where they do a very long Ants Go Marching and for every time the Ants Go Marching one by one, two by two, three by three, they were having us do different things like lunges or kicks and then you march down to the ground. So you’re basically doing lunges and Shanna, I pulled my glute during fucking Ants Go Marching.
Shanna Micko: Oh, no. Well, it doesn’t sound like they warmed you up properly.
Laura Birek: I was not aware. It does say on the thing to wear layers, because the room can get warm. I didn’t wear layers.
Shanna Micko: Exactly what you need for physical activity.
Laura Birek: I think that that was a code for stuff you can strip off, because you’re going to work up a sweat. So I was limping for a little bit from my Mommy and Me class.
Shanna Micko: Have you gone back?
Laura Birek: I’m actually thinking about going next week. The thing is I need to make sure it works with our schedule. It’s at 10:00 am and that’s a whole other story what time the baby’s waking up. But it just depends on if his nap falls right in the middle of it, so we’ll see. But it’s so easy and you can sign up online right before if you need to. It was kind of fun.
Shanna Micko: That sounds fun.
Laura Birek: That was part of our big outing this week and then the other big news is that we turned weaning mode back on the SNOO.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Both of his arms are out of the swaddle.
Shanna Micko: Making progress.
Laura Birek: We’ll see how that goes.
Shanna Micko: So the SNOO is no longer rocking. Still he’s not swaddled.
Laura Birek: Yes, that’s what weaning mode means.
On the SNOO on its normal mode, it sort of gently rocks all night long. When you turn on weaning mode, it only rocks when the baby cries and kicks it up basically whenever it’s responding and soothing.
Shanna Micko: That’s right. I forgot about that.
Laura Birek: It’s been so long. It’s just still until he cries and it only has been kicking on a couple times a night with the weaning mode. So it’s starting to look like he’s doing great. He’s doing great in it. I will say ever since the four month regression he’s been waking up like two or three times a night, not to eat. He wakes up once to eat, but two more times he’ll wake up and just fuss and I need to drape my freaking hand. I sleep half the time with my hand draped into the SNOO. It’s a problem.
Shanna Micko: It seems like the least you could do. You know what I mean? It could be so much more involved. Putting your hand into the crib at least is pretty minimal effort. So that’s good.
Laura Birek: That’s one of the great things about the SNOO, right?
Shanna Micko: It’ll replace your night nurse.
Laura Birek: I will replace his pinky and then it’ll shimmy and the other thing he’s doing a lot is that whale tail thing where the SNOO keeps them on their back, because they’re strapped in.
So he’s slamming his legs down on the SNOO a lot. That’s fun for us in the middle of the night. It doesn’t seem to wake him up. I think it might be gas. I don’t know. Anyway, that’s what’s going on with our sleep. We’re inching towards independent sleep, but he’s still nursing to sleep every night, because I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried putting him down awake and it doesn’t seem to work.
Shanna Micko: He’s still so young. We think about these babies have only been on this planet for a grand total of four months, five months.
Laura Birek: I know.
Shanna Micko: There’s so much to adjust to and true, we are being patient with them. So I think you’re doing great.
Laura Birek: Thanks, Shanna. That’s what’s been going on with me this week. How about you?
Shanna Micko: Okay. CeCe is 24 weeks old and she has been sleeping in the Merlin Sleepsack, which is that big puffy snowsuit looking thing.
Laura Birek: Like sleep suit, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, it’s a transition out of swaddle basically and I just love that thing. I’m so reliant on it and she’s been sleeping great, sleeping through the night. It’s been awesome and we went out of town last weekend for the first time and brought the baby and I was so nervous about just everything, like I have to bring a pack and play for her to sleep in and she’s been in the crib and it’s a new room. Is there going to be blackout curtains?
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.
Shanna Micko: Just all of these worries in my mind and then the morning we are about to leave for our trip, she rolls over in the Merlin.
Laura Birek: Which you’re not supposed to do.
Shanna Micko: That’s the kiss of death for the Merlin. As soon as they can roll over in it, you have to ditch it and I was like, what? Today? I’m literally going out of town today and that was the one comfort you were going to have. What am I going to do? So my whole plan just went to shit and I was very anxious about this and I was like, I don’t even know what’s going to be warm enough, because we were going up to a mountain town, which was much colder than Los Angeles and actually was snowing there and raining. So it was freezing.
Laura Birek: We had a crazy spring. It isn’t cold and overcast and we got May gray. We got June gloom. We got weird rainstorms. It’s been a weird time in Southern California.
Shanna Micko: Totally weird. My mom literally took a picture of the car with snow on it at 2:00 am on this trip. My plan was just to layer her in pajamas, just put on one pajama suit and another pajama suit and I was digging through hand- me-downs from Elle to find these, because I haven’t really been using pajamas. I was just trying to pull out all the stops and prepare for this trip. So didn’t bring the Merlin, brought the pack and play and put her into pajamas and just hoped for the best. It was a long and stressful night mostly because of my own damn anxiety and insomnia.
Laura Birek: No.
Shanna Micko: She did okay. I couldn’t believe it. It was freezing in our room. It was the only room in the house where the heater didn’t work, so it was like 63 degrees in there. I was like, oh my God, I hope her jammies are warm enough and she stirred of course and I was sleeping in the same room as her.
Laura Birek: Which you haven’t done in a little while, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, because she’s been in her own room. I heard her stirring and that woke me up and she woke up for the day around 5:00 am, which is not ideal.
Laura Birek: No one likes that.
Shanna Micko: I was proud of her for being such a good sport and really she could have protested so much more about her new jammie situation. All in all I was proud of her.
Laura Birek: Was the trip fun otherwise?
Shanna Micko: Yes, it was really great. It was nice to see my family and I love it up there. We went to Lake Arrowhead, which is an hour and a half from LA. Perfect amount of drive up in the mountains.
Laura Birek: I’ve never been there.
Shanna Micko: What? Really?
Laura Birek: Yeah, never been there. Never been to Big Bear.
Shanna Micko: Aww, it’s such a cute little town and there’s great Airbnbs around there and it’s a really nice, easy, fast weekend getaway just like you went to Ojai. Super close. You should check it out. So that was that. That was good and she did great on the car ride and everything and the other thing I wanted to mention this week is so cute. I love this part of a baby’s development. I remember it with Elle. Cece’s going through her fifth leap. If you remember, we’ve talked about the Wonder Weeks and leaps.
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: One of the things they mention is that the babies have more attention to detail during this leap once they’ve kind of mastered this developmental change and so they become interested in tags, like tags on toys and clothes and stuff. So she’ll be playing with her little stuffed toys and it’s clockwork. She hits the sleep and she has started just only wanting to play with the tags on her little WabbaNub and her little stuffed animals. So she’s sucking on the tag and inspecting it.
Laura Birek: Interesting.
Shanna Micko: I thought that was really cute. She’s just into those little things.
Laura Birek: Is that something they actually say in the Wonder Weeks App that babies would be interested in tags specifically?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, they make a product. It’s like a little stuffed buddy with a little blanket body covered in tags and they call him Taggie.
Laura Birek: That’s hilarious. Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: So I think it’s definitely a known thing that babies go through. For some reason, they get interested in little tags. I’m curious to see if your little guy will go through the tag phase as well.
Laura Birek: That’s so cute. Now I’ll be on alert for it.
Shanna Micko: That’s pretty much what’s up with us this week.
Laura Birek: Cool.
Shanna Micko: Should we move on to our special segment?
Laura Birek: I’m excited for it. Let’s do it.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome back to the show. This week’s special segment is Stump the New Mom where Shanna and I try to stump each other with pregnancy and baby-related trivia. We’ve been keeping track and we’ve done this three times. Shanna won the first Stump the Preggo.
Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo!
Laura Birek: I won the second Stump the Preggo and we tied on our first ever Stump the New Mom edition, so we are tied. This is a deciding game I should say.
Shanna Micko: Indeed.
Laura Birek: Do you want to ask me the first question?
Shanna Micko: Okay. Which of the following is true about newborn babies: a) They have taste buds on their tonsils, b) Their toenails grow faster than their fingernails, c) They do not sweat?
Laura Birek: I know they have like a billion taste buds. That’s a thing. I’m going to say from personal experience, their toenails do not grow faster than their fingernails. I feel like the sweat thing I’ve heard that, but I’m not sure if it’s a myth. You know what? I’m going to go for the weirdest one, which is the taste buds on their tonsils.
Shanna Micko: Yay! You got it right.
Laura Birek: Yay!
Shanna Micko: Taste buds and newborns can be found on the tonsils and the back of the throat as well as the tongue. I don’t know why. I guess they got big old nipples in their mouth and the milk shooting back, they’ve got to be able to taste it and want it maybe.
Laura Birek: The reason I went with that is because since we’ve started solid foods, recently, I was reading about this and I was told that when you taste a plain butternut squash puree, it may not taste very good to you. But to babies who have way more taste buds than you, it tastes way more interesting. So that’s why we don’t have to add salt, sugar and everything to our baby purees, because they’re more interesting to them than they are to us.
Shanna Micko: Wow. Now that’s a quality that I envy. I would love to have that quality.
Laura Birek: Apparently, it just keeps going downhill for us. My Mommy and Me teacher said that that’s why the older you get, the more salt you want in your food, because you just can’t taste it.
Shanna Micko: Man, that’s so sad. The sweat thing I did want to mention, babies are born with all their sweat glands, but their forehead is the only one that works for the first few days, which I thought was kind of interesting. I didn’t know that. So they do sweat, but only in that one area when they’re very first born. So the things you know.
Laura Birek: The more you know.
Shanna Micko: That one. Okay. I’m ready. I’m nervous. Yes, here we go.
Laura Birek: What is the meaning of the word parthenogenesis?
Shanna Micko: What the fuck?
Laura Birek: I will spell it, P-A-R-T-H-E-N-O-G-E-N-E-S-I-S. Parthenogenesis.
Shanna Micko: All right. You get spelling bean here.
Laura Birek: Is it a) reproduction from an egg without fertilization, AKA a virgin birth, B) the bodily process of creating a placenta inside the womb, or C) the splitting of a fertilized ovum to create identical twins?
Shanna Micko: Parthenogenesis.
Laura Birek: Correct.
Shanna Micko: Parth means I have no idea. Genesis means the beginning of something, I think. So either a virgin birth, creating a placenta in the womb as opposed to outside of the womb.
Laura Birek: Yes, it’s the bodily process of creating a placenta inside the womb.
Shanna Micko: That’s like the normal thing we all do.
Laura Birek: You did it twice. I did it one time.
Shanna Micko: Making a placenta, making a twin. What was the first one again?
Laura Birek: The virgin birth.
Shanna Micko: I’m going to go with making a twin, because it happens right at the beginning.
Laura Birek: Wack.
Shanna Micko: No, shit.
Laura Birek: Pathogenesis is reproduction from an ovum without fertilization, especially if it’s a normal process in some invertebrates and lower plants. It comes from the Greek parthenos for virgin and genesis for creation and sure, you were on the right track there and I made them tricky on purpose, because I wanted to make them all seem plausible.
Shanna Micko: I have to say I was thinking humans. So I did get tricked by the plant life, because humans cannot do this.
Laura Birek: So it happens in invertebrates I guess fairly often. I saw this article from May 23rd that said, “Baby anacondas born at New England aquarium without any male snakes involved.” So they’re a pen full of female snakes and then they got baby snakes and I guess that’s some parthenogenesis. Interesting other fact; anacondas don’t lay eggs. They birth babies.
Shanna Micko: Wait, what? Really?
Laura Birek: Yeah, there’s this biologist, Tori Batson, takes care of all kinds of animals and she said things got especially interesting one late afternoon. I was cleaning up my tanks, getting everyone fed for the end of the day and then she heard something weird. One of the event staff walked by the tank and noticed that there were a bunch of little babies in the exhibit, baby snakes I should say. There were little human baby snakes around.
Shanna Micko: That would be terrifying.
Laura Birek: Batson went to check it out and sure enough, there they were. Unlike most snake species, anacondas don’t lay eggs. They have live births. So it looks pretty much like you would imagine Batson said tiny baby snake coming out of a bigger one. There were 18 babies coming out of a 30 pound, 10 foot long anaconda named Anna.
Shanna Micko: Wow. Good for you, Anna. You take charge of your fertility, Anna.
Laura Birek: So she’s just like, I don’t need no man. That’s what she said.
Shanna Micko: I’m going to do my thing. Damn!
Laura Birek: She said, I got 10 feet long. I’m just going to have 18 babies by myself and raise them by myself. That’s what she did.
Shanna Micko: All right.
Laura Birek: That is parthenogenesis.
Shanna Micko: Inspiring.
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: Detour. You want to ask me a question?
Shanna Micko: Now, I feel like you’re probably going to know this one, but I’m going to ask it anyway. A couple has the potential of producing how many different combinations of traits in a child: 1800, 2.5 million, 64 trillion?
Laura Birek: What is a trait? You know what I mean? This is where I wonder what exactly is considered a trait. Is it just eye color? So what are the numbers again? Give them to me one more time.
Shanna Micko: 1800, 2.5 million, 64 trillion.
Laura Birek: Can you repeat the question?
Shanna Micko: A couple has a potential of producing how many different combinations of traits in a child?
Laura Birek: Okay. Different combinations of traits in a child. There’s four for every trait.
I’m just going with the biggest number.
Shanna Micko: 64 trillion?
Laura Birek: That seems like a really big number.
Shanna Micko: Are you sure you want to go with that?
Laura Birek: I do. Actually, I don’t want to go with the pace.
Shanna Micko: Are you sure? Yes, it is 64 trillion.
Shanna Micko: Experts believe that one human has around 100,000 genes in their 46 chromosomes and you can fact check me on that, because I know your mom’s a geneticist and I don’t know. I just know what I read. But this means that when two individuals get together, they have the potential of producing 64 trillion babies with different combinations of traits.
Laura Birek: Sure. Because I was thinking, let’s just assume that they’re calling a gene a trait. So if it’s the trait for whether you can roll your tongue, that’s a good example as a dominant gene. Anyway, the point is there’s four combinations just for that one trait. So then you’re exponentially taking that out. That’s why I was like, it’s got to be the biggest number.
Shanna Micko: Exactly.
Laura Birek: It exponentially grows really fast.
Shanna Micko: Because you could have a kid that can roll their tongue and have brown hair, a kid that can roll their tongue and have blonde hair, et cetera. This article also was saying that there’s variations. There’s something in your genes that can tell you how blonde your hair is. Side note, the reason I was looking this up is because I Googled something along the lines of can dark hair turn blonde, because I have a dark hair baby, but I’m blonde and my first daughter is more strawberry blonde. So I was curious. Is she going to stay dark? What I kind of learned is that there can be different variations of red or different variations of the amount of melanin in your skin. So that gets like a different variation of skin tone. All of these things taken together you could have 64 trillion children, Laura.
Laura Birek: I probably should have started a little earlier than 37 then. I guess I was still 36 when I had the baby.
Shanna Micko: If only I could pop out 18 at a time like that anaconda you just said.
Laura Birek: Sorry. What? Yes, should I ask you another question?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Okay. Speaking of sleep, which we all like to talk about a lot. What is the longest duration anyone has stayed awake consecutively without going to sleep? Is it 7 days, 11 days or 15 days?
Shanna Micko: Wow. I feel like you would just die at a certain point and I am curious what happened to this person after this amount of time. Let’s see. I’m going to go with the extreme 15 just because that sounds bonkers.
Laura Birek: That does sound bonkers, because it is not correct. It was 11 days, which is still bonkers. Randy Gardner set the record for the longest a human has gone without sleep. In 1964, Gardner, a high school student in San Diego stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes, which is 264.4 hours.
Shanna Micko: Why?
Laura Birek: I think I heard a podcast about this a while back. I think to do it basically.
Shanna Micko: Man, you got to be in high school to pull that shit.
Laura Birek: Right.
Shanna Micko: Can you imagine a grown adult being like this is the Guinness record I want to tackle?
Laura Birek: You know what? It was Hidden Brain. Have you ever listened to that podcast with Shankar Vedantam?
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. That guy’s so good.
Laura Birek: We’ll link to it. I love that podcast. They did an episode called eyes wide open and they interviewed him and it was really interesting, because he talks about how his brain was shutting down and just how awful it was. You could not give me $5 million to make me stay up more than a day at this point. No, sleep is too important. Maybe $5 million for a day. 11 days, no way.
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I might go for 11 days for $5 million. How quickly I change my tune when money is involved.
Laura Birek: All right.
Shanna Micko: I think you’ve got this one in the back.
Laura Birek: I think I might, but we should still play.
Shanna Micko: Okay. This might be the trickiest one at all. Who was the first person rumored to be born by C-section: A) Cesar Chavez, B) Julius Caesar, C) Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer?
Laura Birek: Shanna, come on. You know I know this answer to this question, but I have to applaud you for the choices, because Cesar Millan would be an amazing choice.
Shanna Micko: In 1972 or whatever he was born.
Laura Birek: I do know. I actually looked into this, because I was looking into everything when I was about to have my C-section and it is Julius Caesar.
Shanna Micko: Although it is not true. I don’t think.
Laura Birek: Exactly.
Shanna Micko: It is rumored to be true.
Laura Birek: Actually, I think I read that it even predates Julius Caesar, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I think it does and the way I was thinking about cesarean sections is the mother surviving, but duh, back in those days it was done when a woman didn’t survive and they wanted to cut out the baby and save the baby, basically. That’s what a cesarean section was back then.
Laura Birek: Moms were not walking out of that C-section.
Shanna Micko: I think that’s part of the proof of why Cesar actually was not born that way, because his mother was still alive and so it’s like women didn’t survive those back then.
Laura Birek: Leave it to a white man to take credit for a thing that he didn’t invent.
Shanna Micko: So there you have it, people.
Laura Birek: Wait, I have another question for you.
Shanna Micko: I was just like, I lost this game. I cut my losses and getting out of here.
Laura Birek: Let’s see. You can get this one. Ready? Which president was the father of the first presidential first baby that was born in the white house? So which president was in the white house and had a baby, like the first one?
Shanna Micko: The baby was born while the dad was president?
Laura Birek: In the white house, yeah.
Shanna Micko: Or literally born in the white house?
Laura Birek: This actually is true, but that might give away the answer.
Shanna Micko: I don’t know.
Laura Birek: Here are the options: John Tyler, Grover Cleveland or John F. Kennedy.
Shanna Micko: Oh, geez. My knowledge of presidential history is nil, so this is a guess in the wild and I really just hope I’m not way off bat here, but I’m going to go with Kennedy.
Laura Birek: That would be a great guess, but it is actually wrong and the reason it’s a great guess is because when he moved into the white house, he had a one-year-old.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Yeah.
Laura Birek: It’s very close. But actually it’s Grover Cleveland.
Shanna Micko: Oh, Groves.
Laura Birek: Who I don’t really know much about, but here’s what I know. The first baby born to an uppercase first lady in the white house was Esther Cleveland, second daughter of Grover in Francis Cleveland in 1893. Another fun fact is that Francis Cleveland was 21 when she married the 49-year-old president and they had six children total. The reason I threw John Tyler in there is because he is the president who has the most confirmed children.
Shanna Micko: How many?
Laura Birek: He had 15 children between the years of 1815 and 1860 with two different wives I should say.
Shanna Micko: Whoa!
Laura Birek: I think one of his wives died.
Shanna Micko: Oh, man.
Laura Birek: I say confirmed because we don’t know what that Thomas Jefferson was up to.
Shanna Micko: No, Tyler.
Laura Birek: Tyler might have been up to more things, but I’m saying like, he’s the one with the most official children, but Jefferson definitely had some children that were off the books.
Shanna Micko: Tyler could have two. Who knows?
Laura Birek: They probably all did.
Shanna Micko: Probably all related to John Tyler and Thomas Jefferson.
Laura Birek: I really love Hamilton the Musical and Jefferson is the villain in that, so I’m always like Jefferson. Even though he’s a founding father, it’s fine. Anyway, that was fun mostly, because I won.
Shanna Micko: Yay! Congratulations. You’ve pulled ahead.
Laura Birek: I’ve pulled ahead. We will keep battling, see if my lead maintains or if you can catch up on a later episode, but should we go take a little break? You want to lick your wounds and then come back and do our BFPs and BFNs?
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Shanna Micko: We’re back. I’ve licked my wounds. I’m feeling better about my loss and I’m ready for our BFPs and BFNs. Laura, why don’t you get us started this week? What do you got?
Laura Birek: I have a BFN.
Shanna Micko: Ooh, whoa. This must be a big one.
Laura Birek: It’s such a conundrum. It’s irregular naps. My baby sucks at napping, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: He’s pretty good at night, but I can’t get him to sleep more than 35 minutes unless I’m holding him and he has a nipple in his mouth.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, you can’t get anything done.
Laura Birek: I have no time without the baby. We try to put him down for his first nap in the crib. We’re practicing sleeping in the crib, because eventually we’re going to get there and there was a period of time I think I talked about it. It was my BFP once where I was able to string two nap cycles together and he slept for an hour and 20 minutes. That has gone far away.
Shanna Micko: Shit.
Laura Birek: We’ll put him down and now if we put him down in the crib he maybe sleeps 25 minutes. So I’m starting to revert to getting naps in any way I can, which is usually nursing to sleep and then holding him, because otherwise he wouldn’t sleep. We actually had a babysitter. As I mentioned, we started having some babysitters come over so I can get a little bit of help and I had a babysitter come over for six hours last week so I could go to the dentist actually and he didn’t nap at all with her.
Shanna Micko: What? In a six hour period? Holy smoke.
Laura Birek: He was a freaking wreck, but he wouldn’t fall asleep and I don’t blame her, because she doesn’t know the tricks. She doesn’t have a boob she can stick in his mouth. So something’s got to change. I follow the Taking Cara Babies method I have since he was a newborn and she just keeps saying that their naps don’t consolidate till five months, so I’m just kind of stuck in this holding pattern right now.
Shanna Micko: What is he? Four and a half ish?
Laura Birek: Yeah, four and change. He’s coming up to five months. I’m just really hoping something will change, because this idea of naps or when you have you time and I think you talked in your update about how work was going and you’re like, I try to cram as much in during the nap. It’s like, I don’t have that time at all.
Shanna Micko: No, you can’t.
Laura Birek: I thankfully have AirPods so I can watch my Apple TV while I’m holding him for a nap sometimes.
Shanna Micko: That’s good.
Laura Birek: But it’s pretty frustrating and it’s hard to just not have any downtime where a baby’s not on me. I’ll put him down for an independent play, but it only lasts so long and usually during that time he’s wanting me pretty shortly thereafter. So it’s not like I could get any work done. I keep having clients being like, “When are you coming back to work?” I’m like, “I just literally can’t unless I get a nanny and rent an office space right now,” because I don’t have anywhere to work and I can’t be in the room when the baby is being watched, because he just wants me and he doesn’t nap. I don’t know what to do. It’s very frustrating.
Shanna Micko: It’s so interesting that he sleeps so well at night though.
Laura Birek: I know.
Shanna Micko: He’s clearly fine on his own. Do you swaddle him for naps?
Laura Birek: I used to try to swaddle him, but he just didn’t really like it and now he’s rolling over. So you’re not supposed to swaddle them when they’re rolling. He napped better when he was swaddled and I tried the Merlin suit, did not work. He really wanted to get his hands in his mouth and he was really frustrated that he couldn’t really do it in the Merlin suit.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: So that was a loss. I don’t know what to do and I keep reading up on the Taking Cara Babies blog and she just keeps being like, first you conquer night sleep, then you can conquer naps and it uses a different part of the brain and it seems to be true, because he’s a great night sleeper more or less. Since the regression he’s been a little off, but in general he’s been a fine night sleeper for a newborn. But the naps are shit naps.
Shanna Micko: It does. It sounds like shit. I’m so sorry. I hope you come over that soon. I hope Cara’s giving you some true hope there.
Laura Birek: She really is giving me hope. I’m just like, okay. When can we do naps, because I would love to have just a sliver of time to feed myself?
Shanna Micko: Definitely. Does she not suggest doing any kind of sleep training around naps until you’ve done it at night? Because I know that one thing that helps CeCe nap is I let her cry. It’s usually only for like five minutes and then she goes to sleep.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: I don’t ever whisk her up right away. I kind of let her keep crying and see if she’ll put herself back to sleep and most of the time she does.
Laura Birek: See problem is I’m still nursing him to sleep at night, so maybe I’m just totally screwing it up. But even if I nurse him to sleep in a nap and then I try to put him down, his white eyes are wide open. I’ll check back in. We’ll see.
Shanna Micko: I hope it improves soon for you.
Laura Birek: Thank you. Let’s move on to what you’ve got to talk about. What do you have for us: BFP or BFN?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: Good. Let’s talk about something good.
Shanna Micko: I feel very proud of myself, because I discovered a baby feeding hack that has been working really well for us. CeCe is so funny. When I feed her, she just wants the spoon for herself. She opens her mouth wide for the bite and then her hands come out and it’s so hard to navigate around her little hands and then she gets mad of course and so I’m like, okay, just have then spoon. So I let her feed herself messily with it and then she will not give the spoon back. It’s like a tug of war to get the spoon back and so feeding either takes a really long time or it just is a tiny little adorable battle with my baby and so I was like, what if I get a second spoon?
Laura Birek: Whoa.
Shanna Micko: Mind blown. I got a second spoon. So she’s gripping her first spoon with a death grip and I bring the second spoon out and load it up with applesauce and bring it to her mouth and she’s like, oh, new spoon. Opens her mouth. Lets go off the first spoon. I feed her and then I can grab the first spoon and it’s like a little cycle. So she now grasps the second spoon and I can feed her with this one. So it’s like a rotating cycle of spoons. That’s how I get her to let go of this spoon so I can continue to feed her.
Laura Birek: I didn’t know you were having this problem and I feel remiss, because I feel like I could have helped you, because what you have stumbled upon is exactly what my Mommy and Me teacher recommends.
Shanna Micko: That was a genius.
Laura Birek: No, you are, because you came up with it all by yourself. So she recommends actually three spoons. I don’t know why three, because two works fine. But what you’ve described is basically what we do too. So we load up a spoon and hold it out and actually we’re working on him practicing just grabbing it and putting it in his mouth. It’s super freaking messy. Another piece of advice she gave was if you have borderline OCD and you can’t handle it, maybe have someone else do it or breathe through it. It’s going to be messy and it’s going to feel bad and you’re going to want to clean them up, but you don’t want to clean them up until they’re done. Anyway, she recommends that you have let them grab the spoon, they numb on it and then you have the other one ready to go and then you hold it out for them and then they want that one, so then they drop it and you just rotate. So you actually are a genius who came up with this all by yourself.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, I need to write children’s books obviously.
Laura Birek: You do need to write children’s books.
Shanna Micko: Baby parenting books.
Laura Birek: Parenting books.
Laura Birek: The two spoon method.
Shanna Micko: I got a video of it.
Laura Birek: I want to see that. Share it.
Shanna Micko: It’s really cute.
Laura Birek: So cute.
Shanna Micko: There you go. If you’re having battle of the spoons, use mine and only mine.
Laura Birek: No, I think it’s genius and I’m so glad that you figured something out, because baby death grip is still fun.
Shanna Micko: Anyway, that’s all for me and I think maybe that’s all for us this week.
Laura Birek: I think so. We should probably wrap it up so you get to sleep.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Let’s do it. If you guys want to join the conversation, we love hearing from you. You can reach out to us where, Laura.
Laura Birek: We are on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a community group on Facebook. Just search for Big Fat Positive community. Also, if you love Big Fat Positive and you really want to help our show, the best thing you can do for us is leave us a rating and review on your podcast platform of choice. But even better, please tell your friends about the show. If you know anyone who’s newly pregnant or struggling as new mom, tell them to listen to our show and join our Big Fat Positive community.
Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone See. You next week.
Shanna Micko: Bye.