Good god, how did the time pass so quickly? Have I really not updated in a month?
G has been changing like crazy. Every day is something new. My husband was noticing things that he doesn’t do anymore… He doesn’t smack his lips when he’s hungry anymore. He used to smack them together and that was kind of my cue to feed him. He doesn’t bobblehead toward your shoulder when he’s hungry anymore either. Now I pretty much just offer every three hours or so. Sometimes I miscalculate and … he bites me. No teeth, but damn it’s f’ing painful. Shit. And he no longer bobs his head around when you’re carrying him. He has such good neck control.
We went to a consignment sale recently and got a few things for the next 6 months or so. We got a new vibrating chair for the kitchen, where he sits while we eat. It’s much nicer than the old one (which I now keep in the bathroom so I can poop without someone in my lap). We also got a bunch of 9 month and 12 month clothes. We got a high chair that we haven’t put out yet. I think we’ll likely start baby-led weaning around 6 months old. Some of the babies I know who were born around the same time as G are already starting solids – mashed banana, pureed peaches, stuff like that. I’m pretty sure we’re going to start him on avocado and scrambled eggs and basically anything he can get in his own mouth and gum around. No purees, unless I send them to daycare in a few months.
Speaking of, he starts daycare next Monday. I’m equal parts excited (I might not be working yet, but even if I’m not, I’ll drop him off and come home and sleeeeeeep since we have to pay the lady anyway!) and nervous (I honestly don’t trust her to take care of him the way I want him to be cared for.) I’m worried she’ll sabotage my breastfeeding relationship with him by not pacing his feeds or by demanding I bring more milk than he needs, or that she’ll expect him to hold his own bottle. I’m worried she won’t help him nap, since he needs a quiet place for that and she’s watching a few other kids. I’m worried she’ll just try to stick a pacifier in his mouth over and over again until he’s addicted to it, since she said we should not let him suck his fingers (sorry lady, but the kid likes sucking his fingers and I’m not about to take away his ability to comfort himself to sleep in the middle of the night). I’m worried she won’t take his milk/soy protein intolerance seriously or that she’ll give him food without our permission (she keeps talking about buying formula and snacks for him since she’s on a subsidized food program for her daycare kids). I’m worried about so much stupid stuff.
I’m sure he’ll be fine… but I just don’t really trust this lady to do things the way I want them done. I don’t think she gets that yes, she’s a professional childminder, but I am the mom here and parenting decisions are mine, not hers. I think I might try looking for another place just in case G doesn’t do well there or we end up clashing.
* G has started mimicking! He did it for the first time the other day, when my husband clicked his tongue at him (like when you’re making the tick tock noise of a clock or whatever?) and G did it back! And then kept just clicking back and forth at each other. Now G will just randomly do it sometimes. It’s adorable.
* We found out that his feet are ticklish. :)
* He’s already starting to get too long for his 9 month sleepers. They still fit, but they’re starting to tug at the crotch and squish his toes a bit. I estimate he has another 2-3 weeks before they’re too short for him. My little string bean.
* He can now get his pacifier out of his mouth on his own, but hasn’t quite figured out how to get it back in. He pops it out, and tries to put it in but always gets it sideways instead.
* He chews his Sophie toy all the time. One of the best investments we’ve made. We also got him a Nuby teething ring that he loves. He especially likes the fabric bits… loves putting fabric in his mouth to chew and pull on and suck on. Weirdo.
* He likes when I fake sneeze. I will loudly say “Kaaa CHOO!” and he smiles and wiggles around. It’s hilarious.
* 4 month sleep regression has hit. Otherwise known as the 4 month wakeful. He’s suddenly so interested in everything going on around him that he barely eats. He went from sleeping all night long (8ish hours in a row) to waking up every 1-2 hours some nights. It’s awful. And when he eats, he no longer eats for 10+ minutes, draining a side. He eats for 4 minutes, hitting me the whole time because he’s impatient for a letdown, and as soon as he’s not absolutely starving anymore, he’ll pop off to look at things. Sometimes he will pop off to look at stuff, then turn around and pop back on, then pop back off to look, over and over. It’s annoying.
* He’s back to sleeping exclusively in the crib. I figured that he wouldn’t be sleeping in a swing at daycare, so having him take short crappy naps in the swing was doing us both a disservice. Now he will usually go down for a nap about an hour after he wakes up in the morning, and sleep for 1.5 hours or so. Then a shorter nap around lunchtime, and another longer one in the afternoon. He’s doing better at soothing himself when he wakes up, too… because
We’re officially sleep training. I have something like 7 different “how to teach your baby to sleep” books in my house. It’s ridiculous, too, because they all badmouth each other. The No-Cry Sleep Solution talks about how awful it is, psychologically damaging and callous, the suggestions put forth by those “cry it out guys” (she means Weissbluth and Ferber) while Weissbluth talks about how a certain “no cry sleep solution book” (note, he doesn’t capitalize the title so he’s just talking about no cry sleep solution books in general, I guess) makes awful suggestions that border on child abuse and a certain baby whisperer suggests crudely waking your child from a calm, deep sleep to force feed him in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, the Baby Whisperer suggests dream feeds can help babies sleep more soundly, for longer periods of time, but leaving a baby to cry alone even for a short period of time will break their trust in you as a caregiver and you’ll do incredible damage to your relationship. There’s so much cattiness it’s incredible.
Anyway. I’m using a combination of the Baby Whisperer (BW) methods and the Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child or HSHHC) extinction method. The BW was annoying to read because she goes full-on British with the “luv”s all over the place and stupid anecdotes that I honestly did not have time to read. But her methods worked to get G to sleep. He doesn’t stay asleep with her methods, though, so I started reading HSHHC. I think HSHHC might have to wait until G is a bit older for me to go full force, but I no longer go into his room as soon as I hear him fuss. I give him some time to sort himself out, just in case, even against the BW recommendations, and it’s working. I never let him scream himself sick or anything, but I do let him cry for a few minutes alone if he needs to… and he has never acted like I broke trust with him.
Things are getting better. I’ll write a better post about it soon. I have time now, because he naps.
* He’s back to rolling from back-to-side but not back-to-tummy yet. He has a new habit of always pulling his little legs up. He’s starting to grab at his feet, too. I was wondering when that would finally happen! It seemed he always wanted to lay flat, and then all of a sudden one day he pulled his legs up and now he’s always curled up like a little pill bug.
* G is also using more of his voice. He started “voice practice” during our sleep routine to keep himself awake. When we reached the “sitting” part of the BW’s 4 S winddown, he usually cries and cries, but sometimes he’ll calm himself down and then, to prevent himself fro falling asleep, will start hooting. Ooh, ooh, oooh, oh, hoh, hoohh, etc. Well, at first the sounds were all breathy and sweet. Now? He puts his voice into it. He’ll growl and yell and shriek and crow. It’s both hilarious and annoying.
* He drools like crazy lately. He’s not teething, as far as I can tell, but he puts everything in his mouth and drools all over it. He will drip drool when he’s having tummy time and his fingers are always wet because he constantly puts them in his mouth. It’s gross.
I finally love him all the time. I know that should be a given, but for a long time it wasn’t that way. I had a hard time loving him when I was so exhausted I wanted to die or when G woke up early from a nap and wouldn’t be comforted, despite my trying and trying to comfort him. One day, I was so exhausted and frustrated that when he wouldn’t stop screaming, I screamed too. Now, that did break his trust in me and I had to work to repair it for the next few hours. It was awful, and I was ashamed of myself until another mom told me she’d done the same thing multiple times with her babies. One evening when he wouldn’t sleep and wouldn’t stop screaming, I had to give him to my husband and leave the house and I screamed so hard in the car that I wet myself a little and my voice was hoarse for days. Last Monday, I was so tired that I was actually, legitimately suicidal and my husband slept on the nursery floor that night so I could get some sleep, since he usually sleeps through the baby crying otherwise and it was always up to me to take care of him.
I wish I had unlimited resources, so that I could pay for a baby nurse to help during the night so I could be well rested and be the best mommy possible. I feel like if I’d been getting good sleep for the past four months, I would have bonded with him better and would have been a better mommy. I wonder if everyone goes through this, but no one talks about it. For a long time, there was a measure of regret for having had a kid in the first place. Even now, it’s staggering sometimes to think about how everything has changed forever. I will be a mom for the rest of my life.
But the past several days, we’ve both been sleeping better. And we’ve been having fun together. And I feel like I love him and maybe even like him, if not all the time, at least most of the time. And when I’m in a better frame of mind, I know I’m a good mommy. Even when I’m tired. Even though I screamed. Even on days when I can’t do much more than make sure he’s fed and clean and he has to entertain himself most of the day because I’m just too tired to play. I’m still a good mommy and I still love him.