Monday, October 13, 2008

9 Weeks, 4 Days - Not Working, Actually

So, the wheels came off the controlled crying thing over the weekend. I am thinking maybe P is too young for this, mostly because he shows no signs of readiness for self-soothing. He can't keep his pacifier in his mouth, nor can he retrieve it when it (inevitably) falls out and messes up his little snooze. He also, try as hard as he may, hasn't mastered getting those fingers in his mouth yet. Maybe when he can do that, things will get easier in terms of his naps.

I won't even go into the weekend except to say that Al and I feel differently about "sleep training" for infants and that results in a lot of discord and stress for both of us, and of course confusion for Matthew. I felt like I was going absolutely BONKERS all weekend long. Now I will admit that probably for another month or so I'm going to feel like I'm going BONKERS no matter what we do, because this age is just a BONKERS age, but this weekend was really seriously madness-inducing.

Today I'm just going back to trying to get through the day finding a calm, peaceful way to get Matthew enough sleep to compliment and aid his nights' rest. The nights, thankfully, are going fine. I read at a parenting site that babies P's age need about 15.5 hours of sleep per day, and with his nice LONG nighttime sleeps, he's managing about 12 to 13 hours there. So daytime sleep, I assume, can add up to 3.5 hours plus or minus and he's not suffering a major deficit. I can easily, well, pretty easily, get him to take a 45 minute nap every 2 hours or so right now, and with 4 of those throughout the day there shouldn't be cause to worry. It's not ideal, probably, because perhaps four 45 minute naps aren't as restful or restorative as 2 or 3 longer naps, but the only way to get a longer nap right now is to allow a LOT of crying before hand and LANDOMERCY I just don't think that's healthy for him and I KNOW it would eventually land me in the looney bin. So (Melissa!) for now, I suppose I'll accept the naps I get out of him even if they aren't optimal length. Time is definitely on my side here as he'll become more and more skilled with his pacifier and/or fingers shortly, and his sleep cycles will continue to lengthen. By 5 months or so, Bean was a champion napper. There was a day or two of controlled crying with her, but it was later than this attempt with Matthew and worked VERY quickly. (I still twitched and hated Al while it was going on, though. But I got over both pretty quickly.)

All of this could, of course, change. I'm just not in a very "courage of my convictions" place right now. I think the only will being "broken" here lately is mine, quite frankly. (Not that I think anyone's will needs breaking now or ever, mind you.)

Matthew is holding his head up very well now when he's on his belly or sitting upright or close to upright on my lap or being held against my shoulder. I actually saw him attempting and almost getting his arms in on the action today as he lay on his belly on the floor. He was trying to get a GOOOD LOOONG look at Bean, who was in front of and above him on the sofa, flopping around. More and more he will go to great lengths to watch her and just today even worked hard to get her attention by cooing and smiling in her direction for several long minutes. I do believe he's figured out that she's another little person and someone with whom he needs to engage and be in league. I see many more laughs and fun in their very near future and I'm excited to watch how this little realization of his will unfold in their relationship.

I had Matthew in the tub taking a bath yesterday and Bean was "helping." She has mentioned that she wanted to get in the tub before when we've been bathing him and this time she asked me, point blank, might she get in. It was later in the day and close to the time she normally puts on her pajamas anyway, so I let her. The water was only about an inch deep in most of the tub, but she didn't care. She climbed in and sat down next to P. He immediately started kicking away and then he just looked up at her for the longest time and across his face spread the biggest, happiest smile. She wasn't looking, unfortunately, or I know she'd have been absolutely tickled to see how happy he was to have her there next to him. It was so sweet and a little moving, even.

He's a strong little kicker, too, and very much more physical and wiggly than Bean was at this age. He's trying pretty hard already to roll from his back to either side, although I haven't seen him attempt to go from front to side or back yet.

With all of the work he's doing during his waking hours trying to get his fingers into his mouth, I don't see him batting at or reaching for objects. He MAY be reaching out for my face occasionally when I'm holding him in my lap after nursing, but then again it could just be more attempts to get his hand to his mouth. He DOES make very lengthy and intentional eye contact now and he'll smile, coo, frown, attempt a laugh (it sounds like a little choking chortle right now) or say one of his "words" like AAAoooo, Aaah, Gooo, or Oooo. He is most likely to have these exchanges with me right now, probably because he's with me more than anyone else, but he initiated a chat or two with Al over the weekend, too.

Still growing! He's mostly wearing 3-6 months clothes and pajamas now. The 0-3 mos size of everything JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuust fit him, rather snugly and sometimes they're a little short in the legs or arms. The 3-6 mos size is very roomie on him but he's quickly filling those up well. I've just realized today I need to call to reschedule his 2 mos check-up because the office called weeks ago to tell me the appointment I'd originally gotten fell at a time his doctor wouldn't be in the office. I promptly forgot all about that phonecall and never rescheduled the appointment, so now I may have to wait awhile before he gets weighed officially again, but I plan to do my non-scientific weight check (me on my scales with him and then without him) today or tomorrow. I'm guessing he's well over 12 pounds by now, maybe even 13. We shall see.

Bean is whimpering away about how I never do ANYTHING with her (eyeroll) so I suppose I should go address her issues in a mature, responsible fashion instead of just saying, "Yeah, right, I don't do anything with you!" She is really trying to hone her manipulation skills lately, which isn't surprising, but that doesn't make her crocodile tears and "You don't love mes" any easier to handle inside myself.


Corey~living and loving said...

hugs! I'm thinking that since I can hardly remember the days you are right now experiencing...this too shall pass, and you'll soon forget how hard it was. :)

much love Megan. I think of you often.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Ohhhh, I remember those days well.

I kept notebooks for both kids that listed what time they slept and for how long and how much they ate each day FOR ONE YEAR...obsesses much?

I still have those notebooks and I just can't bring myself to throw them away.

You will get it all figured out in no time! Hang in there!

(Oh, and the hardest thing for me to learn with Sarah was that she was NOTHING like Peter. They didn't do anything the same way and it really kept me on my toes. I thought I had it all figured out but she showed me!)

Melissa said...

Yes, I'm trying to accept the naps in whatever length they come. (sigh) It's so hard for this predictability addict to have something in my house/life that is SO unpredictable! :o) I love her, though, so...naps or no naps, I think I'll keep her.
We're praying that y'all have a good week!

Peter and Nancy said...

I know of a really good book by a sleep expert -- HA HA Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha!!! As though you have time for reading a book right now! Sorry for the inappropriate humor . . . now for some empathy: I am very sentimental about my kids' infancy now, but it was so hard to get through at the time. You're doing a fantastic job.

And, I've never heard of anyone needing therapy because they were held too much or soothed to sleep -- whatever helps you keep your sanity, as the full-time parent, is the right thing to do at this time! Hang in there.


Elle Charlie said...

Oh, sorry to hear the sleep training is so hard! Hang in there! I'm sure it's heartbreaking to hear all the crying :(

My Lil Family