Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The end of an age...

It happens with every baby.

They get bigger.

They make us open up the rise on their diaper covers.  Strangely, having to open up the waistband three notches didn't bother me a bit, but two days ago when I realized I needed to open the rise a notch, I got all sniffy and nostalgic and "my baby's not quite so itty bitty anymore!"

They start to sit up and roll over and fight like crazy to stay on their feet.

He was sitting up in my lap, flopped over, and wiggled until he was comfy. 

They start to be able to go longer between naps.  A few days ago we decided to give up the 90 minute wake period, since it absolutely WAS NOT working anymore.  The first day was insanity incarnate, the second... eh, moderate fussiness but he took longer naps, and today?  Well, today has been pretty darned easy so far.

Shhhhh, you're gonna jinx it.

Hush up, you.  The secret to my sanity thus far has been taking joy in small victories.  :P

So JJ seems to be settling into a two hour wake period.  It's still a matter of watching the clock very carefully and anticipating his tiredness by about 10-15 minutes, but he's fighting me less and less for each nap, and we've gotten 3 nights in a row of 12 hours of night-time sleep.  Even when semi-wakings for nursing are taken into account.

We've also been forced to abandon swaddling quite abruptly.  *sniff* *tear*  We're getting to that time anyway, since JJ is working so very hard at turning back to tummy, and he's had tummy to back for a good two weeks.  A few mornings back I was awakened very early by an extremely MAD baby, and turned over to find that his diaper had leaked, and his SwaddleMe and sheet were both completely soaked.

Well, since we only have one SwaddleMe, and he can easily wiggle out of a swaddled blanket these days (even the big ones, plus it's too hot now anyway), we just brought him into the bed for the rest of the night.  There wasn't much "night" left, and he slept for several more hours, giving me the chance to grab this bit of Ultimate Cuteness.

"Baby ni-night", as captioned by a friend's little boy when posted to Facebook.

The loss of the swaddle also contributed to the short naps, confused activities, and general crankiness of baby's last three days, as he has been swaddled for virtually every sleep period for the last three months and twenty-six days.  (That's right, I'm counting.  *eyetwitch*)

The first day, as I mentioned, was nightmarish.  The first nap lasted for a grand total of five minutes, ending when I attempted to put JJ into his cosleeper without any kind of wrapping.  Those eyes popped wide open again and that grin appeared.  You know, the one that tells you any prayer you had of baby actually taking a nap just went up in smoke. 

As we closed on two hours later, I decided to try the "nursing nap" that had given me some success in month two. Got us both settled on the bed and just let the kid nurse to sleep, already lying down, and I just stayed put and took the nap with him, still no swaddle. Thirty-seven minutes.

Next round, we tried the baby-wearing approach.  Too hot for the Moby, so I improvised a sling out of one of his swaddle blankets.

Yay for repurposing!

This netted us... wait for it...

Thirty-EIGHT minutes.

I can hear the snickers in the peanut gallery.  Oh, yes, I can.  I had sharp hearing to begin with, being a Mom has only made it keener.  *glares balefully in the direction of all who dare giggle.*

Nap number four, he actually made it into the cosleeper, still without any wrapping, but at that point I was happy just to have him out of my arms for the forty-four minutes that he slept.  Hey, progress is progress, folks.

Needless to say we had a VERY CRANKY BEAR when Daddy got home.  But despite that, he only made me do one round of "I don't WANT to sleep!", and one early-evening wake cycle, before giving us a total of eleven and a half hours of night sleep.  No, it wasn't continuous, but neither did he wake up all the way to eat.  Just fussed enough to get my attention, get nip in his mouth, and voila, happy baby.

Yesterday was significantly better, I think largely because in desperation I came up with what has been dubbed the TOS.

No, fellow Trek Nerds, I do not refer to some futuristic swaddling innovation in Captains' Gold.

It stands for Transitional Open Swaddle.

And yes, I'm aware that he looks like Charlton Heston
a la "The Ten Commandments"
 had an unfortunate encounter with a trussed turkey.

It works, that's all I'm gonna say.  Plenty of fussing still, but yesterday he took three relatively easy-down naps, went to bed at 6:40, only gave me one post-bedtime wakeup, and exclusive of nursing wakeups, slept for almost twelve hours.  We haven't had that (aside from the occasional miracle) in weeks.

Today has been better still.  Aside from the fact that I'm tired from being woken up to nurse 2-3 times a night (which I'm not used to, he didn't used to do that), he hasn't fought the naps hardly at all, and isn't making me wait until he's crying-tired to successfully get him down.

The other thing that has helped is we've gone back to mostly bedsharing.  Once he has that first wake cycle and is asleep again, I've just called it a night and snuggled down with him.  This cuts down on how much I have to wake up in order to get him fed, and once he's outgrown the need for any type of swaddling at all, will hopefully lead to his being able to nurse at will without needing to wake me up.

I hope.

And yes, I hear the chuckles, BTDT mommies, with your experiential cynicism.  :P

Please not to be hating on teh new momma's naiveté.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I, too, created my own swaddle solution! We're still going back and forth between one arm out, two arms in, and occasionally both arms out....