Monday, April 29, 2013

Just as Long on the Outside as on the Inside

As of yesterday at 4:45am Baby Jett has spent just as much time on the outside as he spent on the inside.

38 weeks 2 days.

And coincidentally to commemorate this milestone...we're in the midst of a Wonder Week.

Or at least that's what I'm pretending because sleep has SUCKED this week.  And it's easier for me to have an excuse like "it's a wonder week!" than to think he might start sleeping shitty all the time again.

We haven't regressed so far that we're back at waking every 3 hours but for the past few nights he's been waking up 2 hours after going down SCREAMING HIS FACE OFF.  I've ended up nursing him even though it's before my 3 hour mark because he's just been SOOOO upset.  Luckily this hasn't ruined all the sleep training as he'll then sleep for 4-6 week, it's just a wonder week!!!

Anyway, it's pretty crazy amazeballs how much these little people change in such a short period of time.  

Before having my own baby it sure didn't seem like that big of a deal that they go from little blobs to walking babbling little PEOPLE in less than a year...but now I get it.  I GET IT!  And OMG TIME IS GOING SO FAST!

But more importantly can you believe I could have theoretically incubated another person already?

I'm not sure which is more impressive, how much the baby has changed on the outside in 9 months or the fact that a person develops from a sperm and an egg in 9 months.

Doesn't matter because ALL OF IT IS AMAZING.

In other news, I'm going to have to write a breastfeeding post soon because when I signed on for this breastfeeding for a year thing I didn't realize that my 9 month old would be almost walking and able to nurse while standing, grab my boobs out of my shirt whenever the urge strikes him, or that he would start playing with my nipple, studying and inspecting it and pinching it!...I reserved these actions for toddlers and I WAS NEVER GOING TO BE NURSING A TODDLER!  I was always going to be nursing for at least a year but less than 2 years...which is still the goal.  But clearly I underestimated what exactly that entails.

I feel like I'm nursing a toddler already and I don't foresee this ending anytime soon.  How exactly does one stop nursing anyway?  I use my boob ALL THE TIME.  Seriously this kid rarely goes more than an hour or two without at least a quick nurse and I thought I would be weaning near the one year mark???

So many things about parenthood leave me feeling like I was SUCH AN IDIOT.  

I thought I would cosleep for a year and it would just work by my sheer force of will.  Or BECAUSE COSLEEPING IS NATURAL and all mammals do it.  I've changed my mind rather drastically on this one and no longer promote cosleeping for longer than 6 months.

I thought you could teach your kid to nap with noise by always having it noisy when they nap. Baby Jett gets woken up VERY easily these days and he's been napping on the go since he was born, which means he can fall asleep with lots of noise, but after he's been asleep for 20-30 minutes a horn honking will wake him up...your kid can either sleep with noise or they can't...just like adults.  You can't teach them this skill.

I thought babyproofing was stupid and you should just teach your child to stay away from dangerous things...I underestimated how their mobility and their cognitive abilities to understand DANGER do not go hand in hand...we've definitely had to babyproof.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Amusingly I'm assuming none of the skills and knowledge I've acquired as a parent will help me at all with Baby #2 because EVERY BABY IS SO DAMN DIFFERENT.

But I've regressed from wherever I started this post...

Oh yes, congratulations Baby Jett you've made it to your Wombiversary!  And you know Congrats to me for keeping him alive this long!

Monday, April 22, 2013

That Whole Sleep Thing

As I mentioned in my last post...Baby Jett has started sleeping better.

We didn't change anything, we didn't do anything different, we just kept doing what we had been doing since we started this whole sleep training business and one day it just clicked.

He stubbornly refused to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time for almost 2 months.  I had completely given up on him ever sleeping for longer than 3 hours, passed sleep training off as a big fat fail for Baby Jett and just decided to make the best of it ie. quit obsessing.

Our method went like this, if baby slept for longer than 3 hours then I would go in and nurse, if it had been less than 3 hours, one of us went in to soothe him with some shushing and patting, no nursing.

The only time we cheated and soothed him back to sleep with nursing was if he had woken up inside the 3 hour window and stayed awake crying for an hour and a half even with us going in and out of there at intervals to soothe...and yes that happened several times.  After an hour and a half at 3 in the morning all bets are off and you do what you gotta do to get everyone some sleep, so I would nurse him back to sleep.

We kept on like this for 2 months, with him never going longer than 3 hours and most nights waking up at least one "extra" time within a 3 hour range.  That means we were up nursing 3-4x a night every. single. night. and many nights up one more time not nursing but shushing/patting him back to sleep.

This sounds miserable but once I quit obsessing about it, quit trying to change it and just sort of accepted it as the way things were, that this was just how my kid was, I felt better about it. More relaxed if not better rested.

Then one night without warning he slept 7 hours, then again the next night and the next...for 3 nights he slept for 7 hours...I was in shock, but just like everything with babies I assumed it was just a phase.

Then he promptly went back to every 3 hours.  But it was enough for me to have hope.  Hope that one day this could be the norm.

Just a week or two later...he slept for 7 hours straight...again.

And since then he does it almost every night.

The new norm is for him to sleep 6-8 hours, nurse once at 2:00-3:00am followed by another 3-4 hour stretch of sleep and then up for the day around 6:30-7:00am.

It is now the rare night that I'm in there at 10:30pm and even if that happens he'll sleep for 5-6 hours after I nurse him at 10:30pm (almost better that way as I can actually get to bed and sleep for that 5-6 hours!)

Only downside to this new sleeping pattern is that he's a bit of an early riser now.  6-6:30 is the normal wake up time and 7:00 or 7:30 is sleeping in =)

I have no idea what changed.

But obviously Baby Jett was not ready to sleep in long stretches when we first started sleep training...and now he is.  I think it's that simple.

They say you can't force your child to eat, sleep or true.

You can't force them to sleep longer if they're not ready. 

As to the naps, I had completely given up on nap training because sleep training had been so hard and honestly hadn't worked very well.  I was basically laying down with him twice a day for naps, not the end of the world as I wasn't getting great sleep at night and it helped me at least have some down time and the baby would sleep longer if I was with him (boob in mouth!)

But one day while we were both sick and the hubs was traveling I NEEDED to lay down when his morning nap was supposed to be and he was refusing to lay down with me.  So I sang a little song, read a little story and I put him in his crib, awake.  Then I went to go lie down assuming I'd be in there at 5 min, 10 min, etc etc but at least I could lay down while he screamed and refused to nap.

To my utter shock, he cried for a minute or two AND THEN WENT TO SLEEP.  He slept for an hour, woke up briefly to cry a bit more AND THEN PUT HIMSELF BACK TO SLEEP for another 40 minutes.

What, what?!

With absolutely zero nap training Baby Jett started napping better.

Every morning he has a nap in his crib now, some days it's still only 30 minutes, some days it's an hour and 15 minutes, sometimes he wakes up and puts himself back to sleep, sometimes he doesn't.  

But we've quit fighting at the beginning of the nap which was what I was struggling with.  I found it so unbelievably demoralizing when you'd fight to get the baby to sleep for an hour and then he'd only sleep for 30 minutes.  HUGE WASTE OF TIME FOR EVERYONE.

Now if he only sleeps for 30 minutes it doesn't really matter as I wasted no time to get him to sleep.  We sing a little song, read a little story, nurse for 5 minutes and baby goes in the crib.  SO SIMPLE.

Afternoon naps I still like to lay down with him, but that's my choice and something I still really enjoy and it works for us.  The day it quits working I'll try putting him in the crib in the afternoons as well and see what happens.

So for all you mamas struggling out there with baby sleep problems, IT DOES GET BETTER!  Even the shittiest of sleepers start sleeping more at some point.

Motherhood is nothing if not a giant lesson in patience.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Baby Jett - 8 Months

I seem to have fallen off of the edge of blogging planet...I guess I've run out of things to talk about as of late!

I realize it's been a whole month since I posted anything but lately Baby Jett's been sleeping better and apparently I don't have anything to write about when sleeping isn't an issue.

So let's do Baby Jett's 8 month update.

He's still skinny, with all his clothes on at the pediatrician's office he weighs 17 lbs. 11 oz.  That's the 25th percentile...with his clothes on.  Not sure what to do about that as we're eating solids 3x a day now.

As to the solids he's eating like a champ and he's got the poop to prove it!  Ugh, I hate the new poop! Cloth diapers with solid food poop = yuck!

He will still try anything that you put in front of him but he definitely has some preferences.  He loves pears, strawberries, asparagus and carrots and he's not a huge fan of meat or eggs.  Who really needs protein?  Oh right, the baby does!  I've been giving him almond butter to try to get some protein and healthy fats into him.

We've tried most of the most common food allergens and so far so good, no allergies as of know other than the milk protein thing, which I STILL have not tested.  I just can't bring myself to do it, I don't want my baby's belly to hurt!

His personality is really coming through, he is...ahem...determined.  Some might say stubborn, we're putting a positive spin on it and using words like determined and persistent.  But holy shit this kid is PERSISTENT.

When he wants something he NEEDS it and puts in A LOT of effort to get it.  He's actually becoming quite the accomplished climber this way.

I put stools and laundry baskets and whatever else is in the room in the walkway in front of the cat food to keep him away from it but NO OBSTACLE WILL KEEP HIM FROM THE CAT FOOD.  He goes up, over, around or just pushes the damn thing out of the way to get there.  I am both proud and annoyed that he JUST WON'T GIVE UP.

He has 2 very stubborn parents...I see many fights in the future for all of us...sigh.

He "talks" to the cats.  One day I noticed he seemed to be whimpering a lot, I thought he was FINALLY going to cut a tooth as he was just generally really fussy, a few days later he wasn't fussy anymore but he was still whimpering.  Then I noticed WHEN he was whimpering...when the cats are around!  He whimpers at the cats, he's mimicking their meows!  CUTEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN.


Sleeping is getting better!

Sometime in the last month he just started sleeping more.  I think he just wasn't ready before and now he is.  He's done 7 hour stretches several times and when he doesn't do 7 he still does 5 or 6 most nights.  It's not perfect and there are still nights where he's up every 3 hours, BUT IT'S GETTING BETTER.   We're down to only doing 2 feeds at night MAXIMUM, which means that some nights we only have one middle of the night feeding and that I've actually slept for longer than 3 hours in a row!

Truth be told I don't necessarily feel more rested.  Sleeping in longer stretches is overrated.


He's also started napping better.  Again, it's like he just wasn't ready before and now he is.  I've put him down awake in the crib for morning naps and he puts himself to sleep for an hour or more.  IT'S CRAZY AWESOME.

He got his first cold this week.  He made it 8 months without being sick and luckily even this was pretty mild, with just a slight fever and a runny nose, but he gave it to me!  First time I've been sick since he was born too!

And then there's the standing.  Standing, standing and more standing.  His favorite thing in the world is to pull himself up, find something to pick up, bend down pick it up, stand back up then bend down and set it back down and stand back up and REPEAT SEVEN MILLION TIMES with different objects.

He's also a huge fan of pulling everything he can reach off the pantry shelves, just so it's on the ground and he can bend down and pick things up and put them down again.

He also does this with the tupperware shelf.

Ok, he does it with ANY shelf he can reach.

He also opens and closes drawers and cupboards and anything with a handle!

And last but not least he STILL HAS NO TEETH.

I'll leave you with these piccies.

 Right after taking this picture I turned to set the camera down and he basically dove head first off the chair.  Luckily I was there to catch him, but this kid is fearless!

 Enjoying a plum in the park.  I brought cut up pears for him to eat, the plum was for me but once I took a bite he wanted it for himself and he basically devoured the whole plum!

 First time in the swing!

Watchin some Baby Mozart.

 Just grabbing a cold beer out of the fridge after a long hard day of standing...and squatting...and standing some more.