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the eric update - day 179: The Four Bees!

i know i'm begging for trouble whenever i bring the up topic of odin's sleep habits, but i'm going to tempt the fates again. odin has been doing a fantastic job going to bed at night and staying asleep until his next feeding time. i know every child is different and there's lots of theories about what works and what doesn't and i suspect that which strategy works depends a lot on your own child's temperament. in any case, we've become big fans of having a very consistent bedtime regime that we call "The Four Bees".

there's no set time to begin "The Four Bees" process; in fact, odin tells us when to start and that's often the trickiest part. usually in the late afternoon or early evening, he'll get a "glassy" look in his eyes and start to look off in the distance. at that point, he's usually not fussy or even yawning, but he's definately telling us that he's ready for the bedtime ritual. from what i've read the "glassy" look is a common sign that many parents miss and it's far too easy to try and finish whatever your doing; but be warned(!), if you don't start the bedtime process at precisely the right moment you'll find yourself with a fussy, overtired baby instead of a sleepy, happy baby.

tonight, odin got the "glassy" at 6:50 p.m. which is 40 minutes earlier than normal, but rather than finish dinner it was time to start the The Four Bees.

the First Bee is a bath. he doesn't get a full bath every night, but the process of running the water and the smell of a hint of lavender that gets dropped in the water ( you can see the bottle of lavender in the lower right corner of the picture ) lets him know that sleepy time is fast approaching.

as you can see by the time we start The First Bee, he's already yawning, so it's important to keep quiet and keep the talking to a minimum. only humming is allowed during The Four Bees!

so, if The First Bee is a bath and The Fourth Bee is a bed - what are The Second and Third Bees?

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12/30/2004 09:09:00 PM 4 comments


My guess is a a book and a bottle. |

obviously i made this test far too easy :-)

for the record, The Second Bee is breastfeeding ( or a bottle ) and The Third Bee is a book.

Odin is a beautiful child. |

thanks! we like to think he's a cutie pie and it's nice to see that others think so too.

By Blogger e3, at 12:34 AM  

what, no singing of lullabyes in the four bees? I suppose there is no word for singing that starts with a B... Berceuse? It's definitely good to have a routine at bedtime - we don't always do a bath but we do a little quiet play, some books and stories or songs with the light out. But, as grandma snowdeal found out, it doesn't take much to get them to go to sleep. If they're tired, they're snoozing nearly as soon as you turn the light off. Now if only there were a four bees type routine for morning that would result in a more gradual and reasonable wake-up time, we'd be set!

Glad Odin is sleeping so well. (hey we just watched Anchorman last night and there was a reference to Odin as Will Farrell exclaims "Great Odin's Raven!" or something like that)

By Blogger Candy, at 8:09 AM  

Hello and Happy New Year! We are fellow micropreemie parents, also in MI, with a similar story X 2. Our twin girls Holland and Eden were born at 24 weeks and 3 days on July 31st. So that makes tonight, New Years Eve, their 5 month birthday! Their adjusted age is just over 6 weeks. We have spent the past few days reading through your blog and have enjoyed getting to know Odin. It is really great hearing from other parents with similar stories! You can read about our girls on their site We are really having a time now trying out feeding and sleeping schedules. I'd be interested in hearing more about how Kris and Odin have navigated and managed the breastfeeding issue. We are currently alternating breast and bottle feeds. Sometimes it goes well, and at other times the girls won't take to breastfeeding at all and it is very frustrating! Ultimately I would like to be able to breastfeed full time, but so far the Peds doc wants us to continue fortifying bottles... Thanks for your site. Odin is a BIG cutie pie!
Billie and John

By Blogger Billie, at 11:40 PM  

hi billie and john,

happy new year and happy birthdays! what cuties your girls are!

we occasionally take care of odin's cousin and it makes us wonder how parents of multiple manage sleeping and feeding schedules!

i wish i had an easy answer about nursing. we feel very lucky that odin nurses fulltime, which you're probably aware is very unusual for a micropreemie. he was always a good occasional nurser ( and a nipple shield really helped in the beginning), but it took a lot of patience and persistence to get him to nurse fulltime. it's an understatement to say that it could be quite frustrating at times. i've heard from many micropreemie moms whose babies never got the hang of nursing full time and others who did but only after months and months of hard work. i can't imagine going through the "getting the hang of nursing" process with twins. of course, as you point out, even if they do get the hang of nursing, it's important to keep them growing and more often than not, that means staying on fortifier and bottles. so i guess i don't have any real words of wisdom beyond what you probably already know :-)

have a great new year!

By Blogger e3, at 2:08 PM  

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

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