Monday, October 25, 2010

My big boy...sleeping issues...

Patrick is now about two and a half months old!! It's hard to believe how fast time rolls by. We are having a lot of fun together, and it's true that babies change constantly. Just when I think I've got things figured out, he throws a curve ball at me. He definitely keeps me on my toes, which is a good thing. Lately we've been working on sleep patterns. I have to admit that although I've been following doctor's orders by putting Patrick into his bed content yet awake at night so that he can get himself to sleep, I've been letting him take all of his daily naps in my arms. Honestly, it's something I've loved doing, first because I love holding him, and second, because many of those naps are for both of us. I will fall asleep sitting up on the couch as I'm holding him. Not the best thing to do, I know but it's the truth. So lately I've been wondering if Patrick sleeps too much during the day, as he will often fall asleep in his car seat while we're out, and the same goes for if he's in his stroller. Last week I devoted a few days to just staying home to see what his natural rhythms were, and it seemed to go as follows: eat, be awake/play for about 45-60 minutes, sleep for 45-60 minutes, then start all over again. So, I know I've got to start planning my day around his natural schedule. I'm just not sure how. I mean, it would make sense to let him sleep at home during his natural nap time, then pack him up for errands during his awake time. Thus, he'll be getting quality sleep at home, in a quiet space, as part of a nap time routine. My fear is that if I do that, he'll sleep during his nap time, then end up falling asleep MORE when we're out, as the movement of the car and stroller seem to lull him back to sleep. I don't want him to sleep TOO much during the day, because I'm afraid it will affect how much and how well he sleeps at night. This being a mom stuff is hard!! Any advice? We're also working on transitioning nap time from mommy's arms to Patrick's bed. I'm glad we're working on it now, because after one day of it, I think it's going to be kind of difficult. He falls asleep SO much faster in my arms than in his bed during the day, which is nice, but I don't want to have a 10 month old who still needs me to hold him for his day time naps. I figure, the longer we keep going with him napping in my arms, the harder it will be to break the habit. Tomorrow and Wednesday are also going to be spent solely at home so I can continue to work on this. The last thing I'm trying to do is to skip his late afternoon/early evening nap (which happens about 6 or 7ish each day) and instead start a bed time routine with a bath, diaper change, book reading, nursing, then an earlier bed time. Otherwise, sometimes it's almost 10 pm before he gets to sleep since he's wired from his evening nap. Tonight's the first night of trying this, and he's currently (fingers crossed!) asleep. We'll see how long he stays down for before his next feeding, and if the nights go smoother this way. Wish us luck!
The pictures are all pretty recent. I love the one in his bouncy seat. I haven't used it in a while because he pretty much hated it when he was younger. He loves being outside, though, and I decided to put him in it outside so he could check out his surroundings. Instead, it was obvious that he was seeing the little hanging animals on the bouncy seat for the first time, and he just stared at them and giggled. It was wonderful!
We're working on tummy time, which neither of us like. Patrick doesn't like it because, well, it's probably just not comfortable, so he whines and fusses. I don't like it because he doesn't like it. But, we're determined to strengthen that neck and arms, so we continue to do it.
Things Patrick is doing these days:
Laughing, cooing, "talking" and squealing with delight when he's awake and happy.
Noticing hanging toys and objects more
Many nights he'll sleep for one stretch of up to 4-5 hours, which is wonderful for mommy!
Spending more time awake
Practicing holding his head up during tummy time
That's all this sleep deprived brain can think of for now!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two month check up

I can't believe my little guy is already two months old!! I was part dreading, part looking forward to this appointment. I was looking forward to it because I couldn't wait to see how much he'd grown, and because I knew he'd be getting immunizations, which makes me feel that much better having him out in public. (I know, I'm a germaphobe!) Of course, I was dreading it because of the immunization shots he'd have to get. :( I didn't know what to expect as far as how Patrick would be feeling or acting after the shots, and I was very glad that DH came with me!!
The appointment went well. Our little man weighs 10 pounds, 14 ounces. His birth weight was 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and the doctor seemed very happy with his progress. He hasn't grown in length a whole lot- he's now 21 and three quarter inches, up from 18 and a half. All of his measurements put him right in the 45th percentile, pretty much in the middle range, which is fine with us.
Then came the shots....there were three of them, and the nurse asked me to hold down his little arms so they wouldn't flail so much. I felt horrible having to do it, but I did.
Let me tell you, my guy has a set of lungs on him! He screamed and screamed..after the nurse was gone, getting him out the door, all the way to the car. I finally started nursing him and he calmed down a bit, with the occasional pitiful whimper while he nursed. It was a heart breaker! He slept a good bit the rest of the night and was a pill the following day, but I am so grateful for infant Tylenol. It is a life saver for my little crank!
The doctor also reminded us to try putting him down to bed (especially at night) when he's awake and letting him get himself to sleep. She said that by doing that, he'll sleep for longer periods instead of shorter periods when I let him sleep in my arms and then try to transfer him to his bed. I was a little skeptical and nervous about this, but I tried it last night. I waited until he had nursed and was showing some sleepy signs (yawns, eye rubbing) and set him in his bed. Each time I would walk away for a minute or two (by each time I mean after each feeding throughout the night) to use the restroom and come back. Most of the time when I returned, he was already asleep!! Hallelujah!! I do think he slept better last night, but we'll see if our success continues when we try the same method tonight. He did fuss one time, and I followed the doc's orders by picking him up, burping him and soothing him a little, then putting him back in his bed.
Things Patrick is doing these days:
Holding his head up a good bit
Staring at any and all lights and ceiling fans
Smiling (!!!) and cooing, especially when you talk to him in a "baby voice"
Using his lower lip to pout when he's not happy
Using his crying to communicate what he's feeling
Tracking moving objects that move past his line of vision
Batting at toys on his activity mat
Kicking the musical foot keyboard at the end of his activity mat
Squealing when he's happy on his activity mat
Grabbing mommy's hair and shirt
Things we do together:
A daily walk (okay, he sleeps, but we do it together!)
Lots of singing
Reading books
Giving him baths (working on eliminating cradle cap!)
Dancing around to various songs
Travel all over Columbia- to the library, Target, Wal-Mart for groceries, etc.
Attend Bible study with lots of other nice moms and their kids each week
I hope to add baby story time to this list soon! I'm just not sure he's old enough yet. I'm pretty sure he'd sleep through the whole thing!!