Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category
Well, it looks like we’re actually on the path to a nice natural slow baby-led weaning.
6 months or so ago Little Prince was still breastfeeding/taking milk at daycare a good 8-10 times a day. I’d say 3 months ago it was still 6-8 times a day. Now we seem to be down to about 5 times a day. He’s also eating more, which is probably partially just growing up and partially getting in his molars with canines not that far behind (oh our night times are fun these days!).
About six months ago Darius and I encouraged a bit of night weaning using the Jay Gordon Method (modified). Instead of picking a middle of the night 7 hour stretch, we picked from when he fell asleep (usually around 8:30-9) until 2am to be the time that “milk was asleep.” It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes, like when he’s sick or teething, we add a few more sessions back in. But most of the time this gives Darius and I a bit of evening time to ourselves and at least a few hours for me of uninterrupted sleep (before we started this, Little Prince was waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse… the joys of reverse-cycling). Sometime around the holidays I noticed that sometimes 2am was more like 3am, occasionally even 4am. But there would be a long long feed or three before it was time to get up for the day. Just recently I realized that the number of feeds overnight has seemed to drop to a 2 or 3am feed and then a 5 or 6 am feed. We’ve generally dropped a night session. I was going to start encouraging this in April (after the March craziness died down), but it looks like LP is starting to do this on his own.
Back in late January or early February, Little Prince’s awesome daycare teacher informed me that he was not drinking all the milk I was sending with him each day; he was starting to ask for water instead. So I started sending about 6oz instead of 8oz. Yesterday I found out that he’s not even drinking all of that. So now I’m going to start sending about 4-5oz. It was funny because she seemed so remorseful when she told me, but I was super excited that he was making this choice on his own. I think next month I’m going to ask them to always offer him water first instead of milk, because I plan on stopping pumping at work around LP’s second birthday. While we still have some freezer stash left, it’s not what it once was and I’m definitely pumping less milk than I was three months ago.
A few weeks ago I noticed that over the weekend (when Little Prince use to nurse about five times from when he woke up until when I put him to sleep), he had dropped the mid-morning and mid-afternoon nurse.
Ever since I started work, when Little Prince was 11 weeks old, we (almost) always had a reconnecting nursing session when we saw each other again. When he was a little, little one, this was a 45-60min nurse-nap session. As he’s gotten older, it’s been more like 10-15 minutes. In the past few months it’s been “Couch, mommy, more milk…more milk, other side.” He says it “meelk” which is super cute. But in the past week or so he mostly hasn’t asked for milk when I’ve gotten home. It’s kind of bittersweet for me, because I liked that reconnecting moment. That time where I could put aside my work day, relax, and become mommy again. But I’ve been getting a huge hug from him instead, so it isn’t all sad.
Of course I still breastfeed him when he gets hurt or surprise-hurt. Sometimes he even says “hurt, ouch, milk” through his tears. I guess I’m doing (mostly) don’t offer, (mostly) don’t refuse. I still offer at bedtime and weekend nap time. And sometimes I’ll try distraction/other food/water push off to see if he’s more interested in that.
As for going to bed at night, I still offer every night and he still nurses in bed, but sometimes he doesn’t fall asleep from it. Lately he’ll alternate asking for milk and for water. Sometimes I think water is a distraction/I don’t want to go to bed technique. And the whole daylight savings time thing really threw us off. Still, I guess it’s time to start figuring out how to get him to fall asleep on his bed and without milk, other than walking him, which always works but I really don’t want that to be the only way he’ll ever fall asleep.
Our Little Prince turned eighteen months old last week. That’s a year and a half of this awesome little person being in our life. We had our 18 month check-up and while the pediatrician said he looks like he is “filling out,” he’s still a tiny guy: height 30¼”, weight 19lbs 12oz. So in six months he’s grown about 2 inches and put on almost 1.5lbs. Somehow it seems more reassuring that he is growing when I look at it like that.
Here’s a bullet list of 18 things about LP at 18 month, interspersed with a whole bunch of pictures and videos.
- Lately he’s been putting words together with alarming regularity. We have “cold outside”, “school bus”, “Ernie eat”, “That’s a kitty”, and my favorite, “Mommy made apple pie.” He’s also hitting the “my/mine” stage full on.
- At daycare they’ve started sitting him on the toilet twice a day. So we got a little potty and LP really loves to “sit on the potty.” Hasn’t “used” it yet, but we’re getting the idea.
- He loves to help around the house. He’ll stir stuff in a pot, wash dishes, and sweep the floor.
- There were a ton of leaves in our front yard so I raked them into a pile and we played in the leaf pile for a while. Yes, he’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ll take my 100° summers to have 80° in December.
- He loves books, Star Wars/R2D2, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie. He also went nuts when we showed him some of the Aristocats because he could identify the animals and had to tell us about them.
- We are working on being the very best nerd-parents/totally messing LP up forever. He can say “die” and “dice” which is cute in general, but when he turns to me and says “mommy, die” it’s a little weird out of context. Although when he said “tante, die” while we were Facetiming with my sister it totally made my night!
- We’ve also taught him to clench his fists and yell “Khaaaaaaan” which is just super adorably cute. (Still working on getting video of that one).
- He’s still nursing a ton, although the “milk is asleep” from when he falls asleep until 2am is working out pretty well. Sometimes when he wakes up before 2am and I tell him that “milk is asleep” and he gives me this “No” wail that reminds me of Luke being told that Vader is his father.
- He’s also eating more. I try not to be worried when he’s not interested in food at dinner time, but it can’t always be helped. Then I remember that he eats well at daycare and he has a snack on the way home from daycare and also breastfeeds for a bit when we first get home.
- He still loves apples more than just about anything. He also likes sweet potato fries, sweet potato puffs, crackers, turkey (but not chicken as much), pasta, blueberries, and strawberries.
- LP can go up and down stairs. When he says “up the stairs” it kind of sounds like “apple juice.”
- On that note, he had a big tumble down the stairs the other day. I thought he was at the bottom of the stairs, I turned around, turned back and he was half way up them. Then he turned around to see me, and lost his footing. He rolled down about four stairs sideways before I got to him. Picked him up and assured him he was fine. Breastfeed him for a bit, and then we went down and up the stairs again to make sure he wasn’t afraid of them.
- He currently has four top teeth, two bottom teeth, and a third bottom tooth is part way in.
- He loves slides. At the playgrounds he’s figured out how to go up the stairs, over to the slide, and go down it.
- Like his father, he’s a “reaction junkie.” If I react to something he does and he finds my reaction funny, he’ll do it over and over again to try to get the same reaction. He loves to blow raspberries on my tummy. The other day he tickled my knee and when I squealed (I’m super ticklish) he did it again and again all night.
- His favorite game to play with us is “boo/hi.” He’ll hide behind something, such as the couch or a wall, and then jump out and say “hi” or “boo.” It’s so cute!
- We’re trying out All-in-Ones/Pocket diapers again because a. I’m tired of using disposables when we go out and b. he doesn’t need to be changed as often as when he was 3 months old and will tolerate a wet diaper more. So far so good. We’ve purchased a couple of the very nerdy diapers over on Seams Geeky, because who can resist Final Fantasy and glow-in-the-dark Tron diapers?
- I currently have four baby carriers in the house, but one I don’t use any more (the Moby) and one I’m borrowing from Austin Babywearers. There’s another one I’m lusting over. I may have a small problem. But he likes to be worn and I still like to wear him.
In closing, in case you are thinking about getting him anything for this holiday season, here’s his Amazon wishlist. Clothing is also always appreciated. He’s at that stage where he’s in between the 12 and 18 month sizes.
Well, I guess I can’t think of my Little Prince as an infant anymore. He is 100% a toddler.
When LP and I walked into daycare on Tuesday, the director looked up and said, “LP’s mom.” At first I was worried something was wrong, but then she told me that he’s progressing so well that they wanted to start transitioning him from Infant C to Toddler 1 (the 18-24 month room). She wanted to make sure that I was okay with it. I asked if she thought that he was developmentally ready and she said that he was. So I said Ok. I brought him into the Toddler 1 class and he immediately seemed comfortable there. He’s been in class with some of those children before so it’s not all new to him.
I had two thoughts going through my head the whole time:
1. My little baby is growing up so fast!
2. Aww yeah, my kid is developmentally ahead of the other kids in his age range. My kid’s so smart ~does the Cabbage Patch arm thing~
Apparently he loves being in the Toddler room. He didn’t even want to go into Infant C at first this morning. They work on things like drinking from open cups and standing diaper changes and even some potty training (if the child is ready for it). And he’ll even be getting some Spanish. I’m so super excited for him.
Of course on the flip side, we also got the 18 month sleep regression early; joy of joys.
Also over the weekend we went to a local church that had a large number of pumpkins. We picked out a large pumpkin (and two small ones).
I have this problem when blogging where I feel like I “ought” to blog something or I’ll want to write about a specific topic or I’ll feel like I need to complete X before I can get to the post. And then the moment passes, but I still feel like I “owe” people/readers/the blog the post I haven’t done yet, so I don’t post because until I can post what I “owe” I shouldn’t post anything else. Well, I’ve decided that that’s dumb and I should just blog what I want when I want. So there.
To that end, here’s a catch-up on a whole bunch of stuff that’s happened since my last post in July.
- Darius and I bought a house in the suburbs. It’s huge and we love it. LP loves it too as do the cats. We’re very happy here (even if we’re still not unpacked)
- I had to take a business trip away from LP and Darius for several days. Everyone survived. I came home with over 70oz of pumped milk.
- To that end, we’ve been working on a slight bit of gentle night weaning, based on Jay Gordon’s method. This really deserves it’s own post, but in case I never get to it, it’s going okay… most nights.
- LP is still on the super tiny side of things (at his 15 month checkup he was 9% for height and 2% for weight)
- He has 6 teeth (4 top and 2 bottom)
- He’s becoming a bit of a picky eater, especially at home
- He has more words than I can count, still signs, and is picking up more every day
- He’s really into any word that has a hard K sound at the end: snack, sock, clock, milk, book, and duck are favorites.
Overall I’m really really enjoying this age. He’s moving much better (almost running), climbing all over everything, loves to giggle and laugh and play. He talks a ton and babbles even more. Sometimes he says the word babble. He also just picks up new things so quickly. The other day I taught him to do the Tarzan beat chest and go “ahhhhh.” It’s hilarious.
And life in the suburbs has fallen into a routine of come home, nurse, make/eat dinner and then go outside and play with the neighbourhood kids, then bath and bed. We even got him his own scooter-bike to play on.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t problems. He still doesn’t eat a ton, especially at home. I think it’s partly because he doesn’t always get the healthiest food at daycare and partly because he always wants to nurse when we get home and dinner isn’t too far after that and then he’d rather nurse than eat most of the time on the weekend. I’m trying to not freak out about it. I know he’s growing and healthy and hitting all of his milestones (surpassing many) and since he doesn’t have molars yet it’s not like it’s super easy for him to eat everything, but I still worry. And of course, like all toddlers he is very fond of the word “no” and will occasionally “have big emotions.”
But overall he’s a total joy and makes his mommy and daddy very happy.
I usually try to blog (when I get the chance) about the good stuff going on. But I want to record about the past two night.
A bit of background:
From about 3 months until about 11.5 months, LP’s sleep habits were 1-2 naps at daycare, then a 30-60 minute nurse-nap in my arms when I got home from work. Somewhere around 11.5 months he started to transition to one longer nap during the day at daycare, a short nurse with me when I got home (no nap), and a bedtime of about 7:30pm (although he still wakes every two hours or so to nurse). For a long time I was okay with this, but I’ve started to think about trying to get more sleep. So I’ve been reading and slowly implementing some of the ideas in The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I really like this book as it talks about everything being a process, reminding the parents to give it time, and offering a bunch of different ideas to slowly implement as it may work for their family (or not).
So now we have a nighttime routine. It starts around 7:15 with a bath (either a “full” bath with hair and body washing or just a “play” bath), then I put him in an overnight diaper, Darius puts him in pajamas, I help him “brush his teeth” and then nurse him until he’s almost totally asleep, but try to pop him off the breast before he’s fully asleep. Generally this works really well and he’s totally out and I can leave the room by 8-8:15. Then the rule is if he wakes before it gets dark out, he’s mine to nurse back to sleep, but any waking once it gets dark until we go to bed is Darius’s turn. Then once we go to bed, he’s mine to put back to sleep with nursing until he wakes up (usually between 6:45 and 7:15am) or I wake him up (by 7:30am).
Last night as we were giving LP his bath, I mentioned to Darius that things were going really well in terms of getting LP to go to sleep easily. Famous last words, right? Last night he did not fall asleep while nursing for about 10-15 minutes. In fact, he did not want to go to sleep at all. It was back like it use to be when he was excited or animated or we missed the “sleep-window” and he got overtired and refused to lie down and go to sleep. And I found myself getting more and more frustrated with LP. Didn’t he know that I had other things to do after he went to bed? That there was stuff in the kitchen to clean, cat things to take care of, and items to prep for the next day? That I wanted, maybe, to spend some alone time with his father? Of course he didn’t know that but as the minutes ticked by I got more and more angry and more and more frustrated. I tried to keep it in. To project calm. I asked Darius to come in and try to walk with him for a while while I calmed down, but LP started screaming “mama” so that wasn’t working. I tried again, but eventually realized that I was so angry I almost wanted to harm my own child. So I called Darius in again and let him know that I needed just five minutes to walk away so I could calm down and not be angry at a little person who was obviously overtired and upset about something. After I was able to calm down, I came back upstairs and got LP into my mei tai. I then spent the next I-don’t-know-how-long walking around the bedroom with him, singing to him, and rubbing his back, while he kicked, flailed, screamed, and tried to get away from me. Eventually he fell asleep. A while later I was able to put him down on the bed, still asleep, and had a bit of time alone with Darius to talk about what happened and why we both reacted the way we did, watch tv, and take care of paperwork before we went to bed. I was worried that LP would wake up super early in the morning cause he went to sleep so late, but he woke around his normal time.
Tonight was also bad. Did the same routine as always. He looked like he was going to nurse to sleep no problem…but all of a sudden it was rolling over and giggling and everything just like last night. This time I sat up with him tight in my arms and held him, rocked him, and sang to him ,while giving him the option to nurse if he wanted to. Eventually he was crying, but starting to be calmer, but then throwing his head back upset again. So I laid him down on the bed and nursed him. Then he rolled away from me with his eyes closed, rolled onto his back, rolled back onto his side and was fully asleep.
I have no idea why there’s been a change in the past two nights. Maybe the pre-bedtime time has been too stimulating? Or it’s very possible that he’s teething and/or hit one of those major cognitive/developmental milestone weeks. Whatever it is, I’m glad that tonight was easier than last night. Here’s hoping tomorrow is even easier.
Next morning update: At 2am last night I woke up and LP was starting to roll around. I put him to my breast like I do. He sucked for maybe a minute the rolled away from me onto his bed. He rolled onto his back and proceeded to vomit straight up into the air so it came right back down onto his face. I sat him up and he threw up twice more before I could get him off the bed. I gently woke up Darius who dealt with LP’s bed (so thankful for waterproof mattress covers!), while I dealt with the mommy and baby clean up. It then took another hour or so for LP and I to fall back asleep, but this time there was no screaming or crying. He’s nursed a few times since and seems to be doing better. It’s going to be a LONG day for me! Also now have random mommy guilt that I was angry with my child who was sick but I didn’t know it.