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Tra la la

Hey, I haven't done an entirely random post in what, three days? Time to remedy that!

- Mia had her 6 month check-up yesterday and she weighs (drumroll, please) 19 pounds 12 ounces. Perfect size, for a nine month old. The pediatrician says she is on track to be 6'6".

- On Sunday, I had brunch with Liz from MysteryMommy and her charming son. (He told me the entire story of Jack in the Beanstalk complete with lots of detail and all relevant plot points and without the yammering and rambling that you usually get from young children and he isn't quite 4. I thought it was pretty impressive.) Liz was lovely and didn't even bite me and kindly did not mention that my shirt was stained with baby puke and my jeans were covered in mashed banana and I didn't talk about basements or the weather so all in all I think it was a smashing success. Also, nothing awful has happened in the last few days, so I think I have officially broken the curse of meeting bloggers coinciding with deep personal tragedy. So, you know, bonus.

- Since really a lot of you have asked, my $40 vacuum is a Dirt Devil Power Stick. I am not advocating you all run out and buy one, I'm just saying. It works pretty well for what I need, but I am vacuuming at least once a day, so it isn't exactly heavy-duty work here. Anyway, since there appears to be a surprising amount of interest - here's my take. Pros: good suction, even got up the matted cat hair from the spot under the crib where Pixel likes to sleep; very lightweight; small enough to get all the way under the crib; light and small enough to do stairs; decent-sized dust cup (I can do my entire upstairs without emptying it, but my upstairs is small and like I said I vacuum every day); about as loud as a regular vacuum, meaning not so loud I can't hear the baby cry but loud enough I can pretend that I can't; it was 40 bucks. Cons: the cord is easy to pull out of the socket, so if you get too far away you can unplug yourself with very little effort; filter is hard to clean (but no harder than my other, far more expensive vacuum; no beater (I hardly knew her, ha!) brush, so does not get all those pesky cat hairs that get tangled up in the carpet; cord is a bit short.

- There, since I have given you all my sage advice about vacuums, I hereby solicit your opinions on the best small food processor for making baby food. Extra points if it is cheap.

- I just realized that since I quit my job in October I have bought a flat screen monitor, a DVD burner/VCR, a cordless phone, a vacuum cleaner, a food processor (to be returned pending responses to the above), a new baby monitor, and a clock radio that sets itself. Apparently I have a small appliance fetish, and also apparently I do not understand the concept of a budget.

- And finally, can you all recommend some books on getting Mia to sleep better? I already have The No Cry Sleep Solution (like the attitude but have a hard time putting it into practice) and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (read 5 pages and threw it across the room because it pissed me off). I will not Babywise or Ferberize her and want to do the best we can with as little crying as possible (ideally none, but I am thinking that might not be a realistic goal). If you have any sources that might be helpful, I would appreciate it (and if you think my violent reluctance to let my child cry makes me stupid or a wimp I cordially invite you to keep that to yourself and just be secure in your moral superiority).

Comments (60)

I cannot believe there are no comments yet! You have some very good questions which I also need the answers to and yet... silence! I'm sorry to say I don't have any answers for you either.

My unsoclicited advice re:crying
Love her, nurse her, love her...nurse can talk to her..she might be frustrated (put words to her complaints."I know Mia you're tired...frustrated..over stimutated..etc" (you probably already so all those things..)Above all remember it isnt permantant..In 6 more months she will be happily tearing your house (and probably fighting you for control of the cool vaccumm..)
Good luck ! (in no time she'll be rolling her eyes at you while you happily dance around the kitchen..)

Have you read Vicki Iovine's "Girlfriend's Guide" books? I think the one you'd want is "The First Year of Motherhood" or something like that. She might not have the perfect suggestion for your situation, but she'll at least make you feel a lot better about it! :)

Oh, also -- the Baby Whisperer woman is the Devil Incarnate. I couldn't finish her book either.

i dont know if you are giving Mia anything besides breastmilk...or if she will take a bottle yet, but have you considered chamomile tea? I give it and other herbal teas to my baby and they work very nicely.

If Mia wont take a bottle you can drink lots of chamomile and she'll get it through your milk.

ha, I second the "But I don't WANT to let my baby cry, now Back Off!" sentiment.

I'd hate to stand between you and a fancy Cuisinart, if that's what you're jonesing for, but the truth is that all you need to make baby food is a blender (and a cheap one, at that). I did it for years. (Bonus unsolicited assvice: that freezing in ice cube trays thing is a really good idea, even once the baby is eating more. Once the cubes are frozen you can pop 'em out and put them in a freezer ziploc, and just grab a few cubes when you need them.)

Forget the babyfood processor, buy Gerber. Kids really don't eat "baby" food that long and it's not just a matter of taking adult food and processing it into mush--to make "baby" food you won't want all of the spices, etc., then you have to package it into freezable containers . . .blah blah blah. It's just easier to buy Gerber for the few months that they actually need baby food.

I like my Cuisinart food processor. It cost about $100, but I used it regularly pre-babies and still use it for many recipes.

Sleep issues: "Ask Moxie" did an entire sleep week with lots of good advice and comments.

Oh, and I disagree with Nancy above. My kids have eaten spices from the beginning. It's typically just the United States culture that says babies can't eat spicy foods. As long as the garlic or onion or curry doesn't disagree with them, there's no reason that babies can't eat whatever you're eating. I loved My Fresh Baby for food ideas.

I love the 'Wonder Weeks' book ( No, it's not about sleeping, but maybe she's going through one of the fussy periods they mention?

First off, your daughter is adorable!

Regarding the sleeping issue....with out knowing all the details...

What worked for my two kids was to stick them in their cribs then I would sit in the rocking chair across the room with a book and a reading light. They seemed to settle down once they realized I wasn't "leaving" them and I could even say a soothing word or two if need be. But essentially, I was still having them put themselves to sleep - no rocking or pacing. I would just sit and read my book until they were asleep; which took less and less time as we went on. Then eventually I was able to just lay them down and leave. Classical music playing softly helps as well. My son didn't like the music much but my daughter (who is 3 1/2) still requests that I turn it on for her at bedtime.

Oh, yeah - the music idea is a great one. My boys both have had music to go to sleep since they were babies. We just bought small CD players to put in their rooms.

I "hear" you on the Ferberizing - even though I did it with my oldest - it was hard - I had to wear earplugs. But it only took 3 nights.

I don't have a baby, so I'm not sure that this really works for babys, but you might try bath wash (if Mia's bathtime is at night) or lotion with a lavender scent. I use Lavender Vanilla from Bath and Body works. It SERIOUSLY does wonders. Pre Bath and Body works, I used Johnson and Johnson's Bedtime Cream (for babies), and I found it relaxed me.

My theory on this is that if JNJ's Bedtime Creame could relax a then-uptight, overly upset, exceptionally stressed out female over the age of twenty, it's got to be able to work WONDERS on a happy baby who has very little to be upset about. (Except cutting teeth. That's legit.)

Hey Beth - here is my two cents.
1)Skip the processor. Use the blender like Mir suggested or just mash up what you need to. My first loved baby food (from a jar, I'm lazy) and my second wouldn't touch any kind of puree, jarred or homemade, and went right to finely diced finger foods that she COULD!FEED!HERSELF!. (My kids are a little willful ;) ) You'll have to see what Mia will tolerate.

2) I'm not exactly the sleep guru - my 5 year old still sneaks into our bed every night. However my 3 year old sleeps through in her own bed and refuses to get in ours even when invited. My point mostly is that there is only so much control you have over your kids' sleeping habits - this took me a long time to figure out and accept, instead I beat myself up for years.

With my baby (she's 3 mos) I let her fuss if she is trying to soothe herself, but when she actually cries, I pick her up. It's working - she sleeps through as often as not and when she doesn't, she generally only gets up once.

Because Mia is a big girl, she may not be ready to sleep through the night without some sort of food to get her through. My first two were huge girls and needed to eat in the night for some time.

But, don't be afraid to let her fuss (and I really don't mean cry because I can't stand that either) - you can always stand next to her while she does it and pat her back or butt.

Feel free to email me if you aren't sick of my inherent bossiness yet ;)

Making baby food is surprisingly one of the easiest things I have done. I use a Black and Decker 3 cup chopper that was maybe $15-$20. It's the perfect size for making one ice cube tray full of a veggie or fruit and easier to wield around than a full sized food processor. I also use the website for recipes/ideas/tips.
No tips on sleep, my 6 month old still won't sleep through the night. With my first child, I did Ferber and it worked but I won't go through the horrors again for anything. If you get any good ideas, post please!

Making baby food is surprisingly one of the easiest things I have done. I use a Black and Decker 3 cup chopper that was maybe $15-$20. It's the perfect size for making one ice cube tray full of a veggie or fruit and easier to wield around than a full sized food processor. I also use the website for recipes/ideas/tips.
No tips on sleep, my 6 month old still won't sleep through the night. With my first child, I did Ferber and it worked but I won't go through the horrors again for anything. If you get any good ideas, post please!

On the food thing: The times I did make homeade baby food, I too, used a blender. It sounds like Mia might be like my daughter, not really into the food thing. It might be because it's new, but she might be so independant she just won't let you feed her. Kyra (now 20 months) was like that and it worried the shit out of me because she wasn't eating as much as the "typical child" who lets the parent do the feeding. You might want to experiment with your blender and wait until you know for sure how Mia is going to take to the whole pureed food thing. She may want to skip it all together and go straight to table/finger foods. Just a thought.

On sleeping: I'm sure you have a routine, but I have to share something that worked wonders for Kyra. After we finished the weaning process, sleeping was a nightmare. Kyra ALWAYS fell asleep by breastfeeding. What we did was brush teeth, read three books and sing the same some everynight (board book version of Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long). The first day we sung the song, she didn't cry when we put her down in her crib. We've been singing it ever since and it works every night. I love that song! Also, we use a CD of ocean waves as white noise so she sleeps longer and doesn't hear us moving around the house.

Hope this helps. By the way, Mia is adorable!

I went through the 'teach the baby to sleep' thing too. Twice. The first time our lives were changed utterly by the reading of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". The second time we went through this I couldn't find my copy, and so I bought another one. Rather than pay full price twice for the same book, just do for a few bucks. It's an excellent book that will tell you a lot about sleep in general. Which sounds boring, Iknow, but really, it's good. And you're making baby food with an appliance? Oh my gosh, you are an Angel Mom, and I am a KMart mom, buying the stuff in jars on aisle 9. Go for it. OH! AND you vacuum EVERYDAY. OH. MY. Totally an Angel Mommy.

Wow, if it's one thing that your readers know about, it's making some homemade baby food. I am impressed!

Thanks for sharing about the vacumn cleaner. Ours seems to think that pushing the dog hair around is the same as sucking the dog hair UP and so I may need to replace it. It nearly drove me to tears the other day!

Let's see, I read EVERY book available concerning children and sleep. I then gave up, and just went with the flow. I refused to let him just cry (even though everyone told me that's what I SHOULD do), and nothing else worked. Eventually he outgrew the sleeplessness, and now at the age of 4 I have to drag him out of bed in the morning.

I made my own babyfood by grinding up chow in my blender, and later by mashing it with a fork. Then I'd freeze it in portions in an ice cube tray. Take THAT, Gerber!

I used my food processor *once* because it was such a pain in the hiney to clean. Don't make more work for Mom than you absolutely have to... unless the food processor is oodles of fun.

1. Vacuum... might go get one.

2. Food processors: I have a mini Cuisinart which also was excellent for garlic and onions, and yes, give her spices.

3. I love small appliance especially those iPod shaped ones. Love love my iPod.

4. Sleep: Nicholas still climbs into bed with us. I couldn't Ferber... Jeff and I would fight over it. And when we tried it, it didn't work. I know it's hard with Mia being so little but cut yourself some slack, do what cames naturally. (And if it's sleeping through the night, you could try giving her cereal or solid food right before bed. She might sleep longer.)

Good luck,

I was reading a review on the Babywise book the other day...if someone tries to give you one, you would be "wise" to throw garlic at them and run...and whilst you are running turn around and shoot them with a silver bullet! A scary, dangerous book in my opinion.

I haven't had to worry about sleep issues for 7 years (not sure why I was reading the review then...oh yes, work avoidance) and when I was first parenting 14 years ago there weren't many books on the market...none especially tailored to our "Ass-clown Parenting" style.

Go with your what you're comfortable with.

...and thanks to the person who mentioned reading a book in the same room as the baby. Where the hell were you all those years ago?! Now I'll have to save that wisdom for when I'm a Grandma.

I used a full-size Cuisinart to make baby food for my son. I had it anyway, and I never could get the blender to do a good job. I bought the biggest bags of frozen peas, beans, broccoli, mangoes, blueberries, you get the idea, and made huge batches of the stuff. He definitely preferred it to the jarred stuff, even the organic. I tried the ice cube trays for a while, and I found that 4 ounce gladware worked SO MUCH BETTER. My freezer was constantly full of little containers. My son ate like a horse, and the gladware containers held more than ice cubes, were easier to defrost (put the whole thing into the microwave), and he ate the whole amount, so I could feed him directly from the container. My long, rambling advice, for what it's worth...

I used a full-size Cuisinart to make baby food for my son. I had it anyway, and I never could get the blender to do a good job. I bought the biggest bags of frozen peas, beans, broccoli, mangoes, blueberries, you get the idea, and made huge batches of the stuff. He definitely preferred it to the jarred stuff, even the organic. I tried the ice cube trays for a while, and I found that 4 ounce gladware worked SO MUCH BETTER. My freezer was constantly full of little containers. My son ate like a horse, and the gladware containers held more than ice cubes, were easier to defrost (put the whole thing into the microwave), and he ate the whole amount, so I could feed him directly from the container. My long, rambling advice, for what it's worth...

I didn't let Maggie cry either. It's really best not to. Once they get settled into a routine, they are more relaxed about being in their cribs / bassinette when they know you are a only a holler away.
Wait until she is tired, but not too tired. It's a fine line. first sign of rubbing eyes and start the routine, and keep it the same every night (specific lullabye music, stories, say ni-nite to the goldfish, whatever, as long as they know it's the bedtime routine). That's really all the advice I have. Oh, White noise helps too. A warm mist vaporizer etc.. helped us.

Patience is the only thing that works. Letting them cry doesn't, nor will anything you read in a book. She'll sleep when she sleeps, and it will be soon. I promise. You'll be surprised how quick it seems when it is over. Now that she's on solids, it will improve. They all sleep by kindergarten. Just keep reminding yourself of that!

Read " The Happiest Baby on the Block" and then let me know if you like it, that way I can decide whether to read mine or pitch it.

Try the bearnstein bears

Or the books like "the cat in the hat", my mother read those to me when I was little.

I have the perfect little outfit that is Pooh that I was going to send you for Mia, since you love the Pooh stuff, but it only goes up to 17 lbs. Bummer. I guess my little one will have to make good use of it.

Don't have any children so really can't help you with the sleeping issue but I am from Australia and own a Breville Mini Chooper and they are great. They are along the same lines as the Cuisinart but cheaper....good luck and let us know how you go so I can test it out on my little bub who is due in July!

Well you certainly peaked everyones interest....
The baby food, do what you have time for. If you're not getting any sleep-you dont have time make homemade baby food. AND-the only thing that worked for my kids was letting them wait it out. I tried and tried to get a routine down but no matter what I always was the one suffering. So I let them fall asleep on their own here on the couch. I know that by the time they are in college we wont have any issues!
Good luck!

I second the Breville Mini Chopper. My Dad turns Parliament question time on the tv when babysitting, the kids are all out cold inside 5 secs.

I did the same as Shannon with my youngest, let them fall asleep, they form their own routine. I battled with the rest & drove myself crazy.

about sleeping: ditto the above comments, plus a white noise machine can help, too. my son wouldn't sleep through the night until i stopped nursing him at night. i gave him a bottle of water if he woke up, which pissed him off mightily, but it only took 3 days for him to figure it out.

I did a version of Ferber with my oldest- basically read the book and did what I could stand. That is what you should do with any of these books- take what works for you and throw the rest away.

Plus I have 4 kids, 14, 11, 8 and 3. I did various things right and numerous things wrong with all of them regarding sleep. Every one of them got something different I think. They all sleep through the night now. And other than remembering how much not sleeping through the night sucked, I hardly remember it all, and at one time I thought it would never end. It will be a distant memory for you too, probably sooner than you think.

Wait, I think I gave them all Nyquil. Yeah, that is the ticket... medicate her.

Are you beginning to get the scary feeling that no one book is ever going to help??

My son slept through the night at six weeks. My daughter, pah. She was almost a year old. She still (15 months) needs to fuss a little in her crib to get to sleep - she won't sit still to rock to sleep, won't tolerate music, and (apparently) thinks the humidifier is something horrendously badbadbad coming to get her.
Good luck - I swear, Mia will sleep sometime!!

I have two kids, now 3 & 4. Never understood needing a book about raising children (yet anyway). I have to agree with the routine thing. Bath, book, rock, bed, or whatever. I tried the crying thing with my 1st, b/c my husband insisted that was the way to do it b/c so and so had done it and it worked for them. I couldn't handle listening to my baby crying and having her think I didn't love her. So I did what what any new mom with no self control would do. Rocked her to sleep. My pedi told me to put her in bed right before she totally fell asleep so when she woke up she would remember she fell asleep in her bed not with me holding her. Worked perfectly. We also used music and one of those fish things with different bubble sounds and music that hangs on their crib. Both my kids loved it. Just go with your instinct. Good luck!

i've heard that the magic bullet (as seen on tv!) is the bomb for baby food. we just mash up whatever we're eating with a fork and give it to our 8 month old- she only eats about a teaspoon or three at each sitting, so why bother making more than that?

as for the sleep thing, i refuse to let my baby cry, either, which means that she sleeps between my hubby and i all night, every night. i like dr. sears, and i hear he has a sleep book- worth looking into? he is, like, the antithesis of ferber.

I had this big comment posted and it was eaten! Oh well...
My daughter would never eat the food I made; she loved the Earth's Best Baby stuff.
I'm happy you are against CIO -- can't stand the mentality behind most of the ideas, although, at 12 months we let Lucy fuss (not cry) for up to 3 minutes. (Naptime is a different beast altogether!) The routine at bedtime has really helped us (bath with California Baby Wash, massage, music) and she started sleeping with a doll and her stuffed gorilla. She's really good and putting herself to sleep at night, but not always the middle of the night. We've discovered that she has asthma, though and could be getting her 2-year molars. We loved the "Happiest Baby" book. She still wakes up to nurse some nights (at 20 months) and we are okay with this. Sometimes my husband gets up to rock her, but she always goes back to sleep after we tend to her for 5-10 minutes which is great.
I saw a review of a great food processor on Blogging Baby. It was info-mercial style, but got rave reviews. Lucy doesn't eat mashed stuff anymore and for "on the road" adventures, I love the Gerber green beans and fruit dices. At home we do fresh, but this stuff is a live saver when we're out. The bonus is that Lucy now asks for "meen-meens" (green beans) and that's just cute.
Mia will be there before you know it! Thanks for the great posts -- I love the random ones...

P.S. since you are really into small appliances... We've discovered a new favorite. I know you are vegetarian (right?) but you could do "meat" patties an veggies on the George Foreman grill. We cook chicken and fish for Lucy on the small, $18 version and it works great. If you'll feed Mia meat, but don't want to touch the stuff raw, I recommend freezing it first. That's how I get by. :)

I did not read the comments so I may be repeating. For the sleep thing, I found routine works best. Bath Book Bed. But at this early stage it may be hunger that wakes her. I use to add rice cereal to the kids nighttime bottle to fill him up.

As far as making baby food, My wife made it and put it into Ice cube trays to freeze and then you could pop out a cube or two at dinner. We made batched and batches.

Dust Devil Stick, eh? I'm still in mourning over the loss of The Shark. Now THAT was a good vacuum. Alas, even though it ate cat hair like a charm it was a wimp. Duly noted on the DD Stick.

Baby food. I don't have any experience in that department, however, a regular old fashioned hand cranked food mill is always a good thing to smash, mash, puree, and goosh just about anything.

As far as mechanical things, I really like my CuisineArt Mini-Prep. It's fast, and does a great job on the previously mentioned mashing/pureeing etc. The blade is SHARP, and you will cut yourself at least once. My only gripe is that the bowl is a little small, but it'd probably work okay for baby food.

Okay, you honestly want to get her to sleep? Are you ready for 2-3 nights of next to no sleep? Keep reading: I promise this works wonders. First, establish a routine. With my children it's bath, drink, chill out time (about 20 min or so) and bed. Secondly, once you put her in her crib, leave her there. Do not, under any circumstances, take her out of her crib. This advice came from my pediatrician and she's the best in the are...she's also the head of the hospital's review board and has a few children of her own. Third, when you put Mia down, rub her back or pat her butt for a few minutes, and if you don't have one, run out and get the Ocean Wonders Aquarium... works wonders, I swear! Then, set a timer for yourself. If she's crying, wait one minute, then go in, pat her butt, tell her quickly that it's night time, cover her back up and leave. Then wait 2 minutes, go in, repeat the process. Then 3 minutes...ect. Keep lengthening the amount of time you're away, but don't go any longer then 10 minutes between going in. This way you're still actively doing something, and she'll know you're their. I swear to you (money back didn't give me any money) that if you try this for 2 to 3 nights (it never took us longer then 2 nights) and stick with it religiously, (which means NO taking her out of her crib after she's in) she'll be sleeping wonderfully on her own.

I have no help to offer because I'm not a parent quite yet and I don't own a food processor. My friends recommend a Cuisinart but those aren't exactly cheap. And I'm currently reading "happiest baby on the block" but I think that's less for sleeping and more for keeping them from crying/screaming.
Sorry I'm not more help. (And wow, when you ask for help your readers really respond! NICE!)

I'm with the blender people. No attatchment needed!!

yup, sleep is an issue.

but it does pass quickly.
I know you're just in the 'wind tunnel' right now and can't see that.

no great advice. sorry. We started out differently with ours and never had a crying issue, although we did have a sleep issue. so, now that you're at 6 months...well I don't know what to say.
I'm no expert.
I think I'm just a lucky lucky mom that they turned out ok.

I enjoy reading you though.

I used the blender with my first son. I've been doing more jarred foods this time (because I'm lazy!) but I've used my Black & Decker miniprocessor ($10 Walmart) to make some things. It works pretty well but things aren't completely pureed like they would be if using a blender.

To get her to sleep better, I'm still at the rocking till he's dozing stage and mine's 6 mths too. Sometimes he'll go to sleep on his own by me turning on the little fish tank or I put one of the lighted gyms over top of him and he watches it till he falls asleep. HTH's some.

When Mia gets older and starts making messes, invest in a Bissel Green Machine too. They are AWESOME for juice, pee, marker etc on carpet.

my 2 cents worth....routine, routine, routine, and ear plugs. JUST takes awhile to get a baby to sleep through the night. I dont know how some people say their baby was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks old. My baby (almost 2) still will cry in the middle of the night, my other baby (almost 3.5) slept through the night consistently around 15 months. I think unless you just let them cry it out, which I could never do, it takes time to get them to be able to put themselves to sleep. Its something learned, and a 6 month old baby just isnt capable of that yet.

i have no answers about the crying as i am one of those annoying childless ones ;) i just hang out for the cute mia pics.

*delurking* I made baby food for my daughter and used a hand blender (black and decker I think). It was really easy to use and clean.

As for the sleep issue, the routine is the most important part (as everyone has said.) But I also liked the Happiest Baby book as well as the Dr. Sears book.

Good Luck!

run, don't walk and get yourself the magic bullet. i use mine every day. yes, it's a little on the pricey side as far as small blender contraptions go... but it comes with a large cup and a small cup and 4 party mugs! party mugs! one for 4 different people and 4 different drinks! and it chops and mushes and blends wonderfully. do you get those coupons for 20% off a single item at linens-n-things or bed, bath and beyond? make the magic bullet that item!

(this was an unpaid endorsement, i do not work for nor know anyone associated with the magic bullet and its affiliates)

OH, sleeping baby books... have you tried the Pantley book? i forget the name of it. and i have that video from that doctor, i forget his name, that was good too. either way, i can send them both to you if you're interested.

My daughter never slept either. I told her pediatrician that on a rare good day she slept maybe 10 hours including naps. She told me to Ferberize. (I got a new ped. instead.) I read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and while I didn't make a whole plan like she suggests and still nursed and/or rocked her to sleep, I did get a lot of ideas that worked: A bedtime routine in a low lit bedroom, bedtime music ("Bedtime With the Beatles"), white noise (air purifier), a shirt I had worn in the crib (I rolled it up tight and put it right above her head). If I heard her starting to fuss in the middle of the night I would try Sshhhh-ing her. (You could use whatever you know comforts your baby) I also waited until she was full blown crying to pick her up. Sometimes she would go back to sleep on her own, sometimes not, but I never felt like I was just letting her cry. I also would open the blinds when I could get her to nap so the natural light would help set her internal clock and to make day sleeping different than night sleeping. (Dark = go back to sleep) I also gave her a snack of oatmeal cereal mixed with mashed sweet potatoes before her bath.

I went from getting 4 hours of sleep at night to 6. I gradually made bedtime a little earlier and soon it was 8 hours. She would wake to nurse but not always and she would always go right back to sleep. Her naps got longer and more regular too, although they went through good and bad phases.

I have heard good things about "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and have the "Happpiest Baby on the Block" DVD but I think that's mainly for newborns. I joined the No Cry Sleep Solution Yahoo Groups. I didn't get a lot of help but reading other women's non-sleeping baby stories that were waaaay worse than mine made me feel better. (I know, that's wrong.) Okay, I'm done.

A hand blender (stick blender?) might be good for baby food. I think I did jars for the mushy stuff but made my own chunky and finger foods.

I am awed by how many comments you give when we think you might want some advise from us!

So I shant give you advise... except tell you that finally out of desparation with Hannah (my then yummy-huggy-floppy-honey-bunny-who-I-thought would-die-if-I-made-her-cry-or-at-least-I-thought -she-would-hate-me-if-I-did-first-child) I finally let her cry. She woke up after sleeping very well and was still smiling just as much and still loving me...

Good luck sweetie - these are the things that make us say "But it is ALL worth it!!"

This might sound strange, especially since you were on the topic of vacuum cleaners but to put my little cousin to sleep, his parents had recorded a tape of vacuum noise...the sound apparently put him to sleep...he didnt like maybe any noise will do, but yeah, it worked like a charm for him!

We let Gerber make most of the baby food we used for our Cutlet. As for a food processor, just go to Target and pick one in the $20-$30 range. Just bought a great one, specifically for making salsa. It's a Black and Decker or something; might have to scrape off some dried jalape¤o to make sure.

sorry no babies here. i do work at a daycare but i am not a mom and therefore am not dishing advice. good luck though!

I'm a little late here, so your kid would have starved to death had the deciding factor been my vote. Luckily for you, my vote doesn't count for much. Still, I'm giving it anyway: I second the cheap blender advice. Did it with my daughter, planning on it with my son. Also, the ice cube tray/zip lock bags? Awesome. Cheaper than baby food and strangely satisfying knowing that you did it yourself. No need for a food processor, unless it's something that you just really want to have. In that case? Go cuisinart. It'll last forever.

Ooooh,and how could I leave out my sleeping advice? Since it's solicited and all...

Books never work for me. And I refuse to let my kids cry it out, it tears me apart inside. Not to mention, my nerves can't take it. So, with both kids I've had to use some good old fashioned trial and error to figure them out.

After my daughter was strong enough to roll over at will and hold her head up with no problem, she just naturally started sleeping on her left side and refused any other position. I put her down for naps every day at the same time, bed at same time, and woke her up from everything all at the same times every day. The nazi-schedule worked awesome. She fussed for the first 2 weeks or so for about 5 minutes, but I would just stand there and rub her back and eventually she would pass right out. Also, no feedings during the night and she stopped waking up for a bottle.

My son, same thing except he's on his back.

It takes a couple of weeks of stress and nerves, but it pays off in the end.

The white noise machines and things like that never worked for either of my kids, but I've heard a lot of good things about them from other parents. So, you might want to check one of those out. Also, putting her to bed on a full belly, if you're not already doing that, will help her sleep for longer stretches at a time.

Okay, I'm done spouting out the obvious.

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