Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nine Months or "Sleepie Beepie"

I missed posting for his nine-month birthday earlier this week, though I thought about it.

Anyway, it works. Hallelujah, it works.

I wish that I had known it was okay to be a little bit arbitrary in choosing naptimes. I was too concerned with finding the exactly right sleepy times according to Limelet's circadian cycle, and too concerned with never ever letting him be sleepy for fear of the Dreaded Overtired. I guess maybe it's a common thing that parents keep their babies awake too much, too long--and then can't get them to sleep at night. Turns out I actually had the opposite problem!

Once I decided that we were going to have two naps, darnit--sleepy afternoon or not--things have gone much better. Instead of several half-hour naps and cumulative hours of daylight spent trying to facilitate that sleep, he now sleeps twice a day. It only took a few days to get him into the schedule, too.

I kept his 9:00 a.m. naptime, and then took the average (more or less) of his sleepy times in the afternoon for a 1:30 naptime. The length of his naps has increased and become more stable, and he is actually starting to fall asleep at bedtime now instead of requiring several hours of coaxing to sleep many nights. Thank heavens!

The other thing that has helped a whole lot is the addition of a "calmness" break after Limelet's evening bath. It seemed that bathtime was so exciting that it was actually getting him all riled up each night, no matter how sleepy he was to begin with. So I made bathtime a little earlier, and then once he's bathed and dressed there's a half hour break (with reading and possibly a healthful but complex-carbohydrate-ridden snack, like potatoes) before I actually put him to sleep. This seems to work a whole lot better--he usually falls asleep.

He often still needs a few top-ups for the first few hours, but still that's loads easier than spending the entire four hours (or whatever) trying to get him to sleep in the first place. Part of that is also probably a matter of consolidation of his sleep cycle (maturation-related). He's sleeping much better, at any rate.

Lucky, too, because the disruptive teething is back. Or continuing. But it seems less disruptive to his sleep now--more disruptive to his daytimes. When he's like that, he wants the distraction of 1: being carried constantly and 2: grabbing all interesting objects, or else.

I carried him around so much yesterday that I ended up straining my back when I bent down to pick him up just once more. (Now Daddy has to carry him around all day for a couple days.) The grabbiness made the grocery trip extremely difficult, since everything in the store was apparently highly desirable. At home he mostly wants stuff he can't have, such as the antenna on my phone, raw onions, the hot teakettle, and cleansers. Many times he'll look away while grabbing at something forbidden, as though we can't see it if he can't. So funny.

In other news, we finally realized that Limelet now signs to get his wet nappy changed. It took a while because he makes the sign a lot like he makes the "gimme ride" sign (though more slappy). But now that we realized he's doing it, it's hard to miss. So funny! He also signs for food. It can be easy to miss his signs, because he doesn't usually make eye contact while doing them. He just sort of looks around the room and casually drops a sign out there. But he gets really excited if we respond correctly.

Limelet's nine-month check-up went well, although I can't help worrying because he's now dropped to the 30th percentile for weight. I forgot to ask if that's based on all babies or breastfed ones. However, he is eating a lot of solid foods now (3 to 5 small meals/snacks a day), so I assume that will become somewhat less of a factor. I think a lot of the weight thing's hereditary, rather than a lack of nutrition. I certainly try to feed him all the time, both milk and solid food.

Limelet also seems more interested in crawling these days--he's finally starting to try to get up. It was only a few weeks ago that he started sitting up reliably! I bet it won't be long before he's crawling. He seems to enter developmental stages suddenly instead of gradually.

I'm not looking forward to the transition and to not being around him all the time (let alone pumping milk), although I am looking forward to the internship itself.


Post a Comment

<< Home