Archive for January, 2007

7 1/2 Months Old (plus a few days)

Sleep. Oh sleep. I dearly miss you.

Daniel’s night-waking when he sleeps in his own bed is unacceptable. I have been so pooped out lately. Dan and I have been discussing what we should do about Daniel’s sleep habits, including whether or not I should night-wean, or whether he should sleep in our bed again.

I tried soothing Daniel with cuddling, rocking, patting, singing, massaging, etc. for a few days, but that was AWEFUL! Daniel knew what he wanted (milk) and he wasn’t going to let me get away with not giving it to him. Since I don’t believe in the “cry-it-out” method, and this appeared to be where we were headed with the night-weaning, I gave that up real quick.

“Cry-it-out” seems convenient for parents in the long run, but it sure doesn’t seem right for baby. Instead of trusting that when he cries, mom or dad responds, he learns that even when he’s screaming his head off, mom and dad don’t respond, so he might as well give up on them. Infants require mom and dad to do everything for them–feed them, bathe them, change them, and even help them to sleep. It’s silly to think that a 7-month-old baby is ready to do any of these things completely on his own. Imagine if a parent put baby in his high chair with food in front of him and let him scream because he was so hungry, expecting him to finally figure out how to get the food from the tray to his mouth. Or imagine if a parent sat baby on the toilet and forced him to stay there until he peed or pooed regardless of how much squirming and crying he was doing. Those things sound ridiculous. And they are. But so is forcing baby to fall asleep on his own if he clearly isn’t ready to do it.

So, that said, we quickly chose a different approach. We put Daniel in our bed. When he was first born, he slept in our bed. Then, after several weeks, we put him in a co-sleeper (basically, a bassinet with one low side that attached to our bed). But Daniel outgrew the co-sleeper, which is partially what prompted the move to his own bed in the first place. So with no co-sleeper as an option, we put Daniel right in the middle of our bed.

The first night was hard. Daniel was used to having to cry to rouse me from the other room, so he quickly went from sleeping to crying. The next night, there was less of that, but I was kept awake by Dan’s snoring, so my sleep was even more interrupted than usual. The third night was fantastic. Daniel only woke up twice. He woke up gently, and I only had to nurse him for a few minutes before he fell back to sleep since he didn’t have to wake all the way up crying to get my attention. The next night, I tried putting Daniel on the other side of me, next to a guard rail, but I felt trapped and was so hot being between two warm bodies, so I didn’t get good sleep. But last night, he went back into the middle of the bed, and I got plenty of sleep… well, “plenty” in this case is relative.

Now I’m lobbying for a bigger bed. Dan sleeps fairly well with Daniel between us, but he’s not able to sleep very deeply because he’s so conscious of Daniel’s presence (a very good thing for a co-sleeping parent, but still difficult to deal with). We’ve been wanting a king bed for a while, but it’s always been something for our future. We’ve been happy enough in our queen bed, and even prefer it in some cases. This is not one of them. But mattresses are expensive. And because we are currently sleeping on an expensive mattress, we’re not willing to downgrade. So it might be a few months before we get up the courage to spring for a new bed, but it will certainly be sooner rather than later.

Now, if only there were a solution for the snoring…

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Still 7 Months Old

Chiropractors are awesome! Everyone should have one. I’ve already had two adjustments and the difference in my body is amazing. It turns out that most of the tension is in my lower back. The pain in my neck is from my poor posture because of the intense tension in my back. The chiropractor thinks the tension has been there for a long time and the pain just showed up with the added strain of carrying by darling–huge–baby around.

That darling baby is still not sleeping very well at night. Every couple of nights I attempt to try to get him back to sleep without nursing him, but even if I can get him to relax and get to sleep, he wakes back up within 5 minutes looking for his milk. Maybe he’s going through yet another growth spurt and is actually waking up for hunger more than for comfort. He’s eating solid food three times per day and still nursing every 2-3 hours all day long. He’s always hungry.

I realized I never “ranted” about our pediatrician. And today I have yet another thing to add to my list. It’s not that she’s bad. She’s actually a good pediatrician for those who do things “by the book”. But when we see her, I always leave with the feeling that she’d rather not be our doctor. She’s open to our views and never pushes anything–even the vaccinations, which she strongly believes we should do–but she does give me that look that says, “I disapprove”. The thing that made me the most frustrated that was the source of the comment about her in my last blog was that she asked me why I would make my own baby cereal for Daniel rather than use the freeze-dried kind that you reconstitute with water from the store. Fresh is always better than processed! I told her if the iron supplementation was a concern (the box kind is fortified with iron), I would consider giving Daniel iron drops. She said that was a bad idea because too much iron could be poisonous for a baby. To me that sounds like, “I don’t trust you to measure the supplements correctly for your child, you might poison him.”

And lastly, when we went to get Daniel’s birth certificate yesterday they couldn’t process it because the pediatrician didn’t sign the form! To be fair, that’s not entirely her fault. The form didn’t expressly say, “Sign this form”. It did say, “Examined By” but I suppose that could have been interpreted as, “What is your name?” Nevermind that it’s an offical form needed for obtaining a birth certificate and anyone could just write anyone’s name in the blank and she’s a doctor who has to fill out official forms all the time. I’d give her some slack if we liked her more… but we don’t, so she gets to take most of the blame on this one.

We have another appointment tomorrow to try to get Daniel’s birth certificate. Hopefully this time we’ll come home successful.

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7 Months Old

The blogs are getting further and further apart. This is partly due to the holidays taking up much of my time, but also because the milestones are spaced a little further apart the older he gets.

The exciting news this month is that he has started to use sign language to communicate! We’ve only been using three signs–one of which is not the actual ASL sign, but our own adaptation. Daniel can sign “potty”, “milk”, and “all done”. He’s not totally consistent with using them, and therefore I don’t see all the signs he’s actually using. Sometimes he’ll sign “potty” and then refuse to let me take him to the toilet by arching his back, kicking and fussing. Today he signed “all done” while on the potty, then when I started to remove him from the toilet, he started peeing. I think he’s still practicing with them and experimenting with what happens when he uses them. Next we’ll be working on “bye bye” and “eat”.

Daniel is still in his own bed, but his night waking has gotten unacceptably frequent. He’s waking every 2-3 hours to nurse on a regular basis. It’s wearing me out. I think it’s time to start weaning him from night-time nursing–at least from frequent night-time nursing. If I can just get him to only need to nurse once at night, I’ll feel successful.

We are finally going to apply for Daniel’s birth certificate tomorrow. I’ve been putting it off for no good reason. But Dan’s grandmother gave Daniel some money for Christmas and I can’t open him a bank account until he has a birth certificate and a social security card. All I needed was a little kick in the butt.

My neck has been hurting me for several months now. I went to the chiropractor today to see if he could help at all. He took X-rays and thermal scans and did a series of tests on me. Tomorrow I’ll go back so he can tell me what’s he’s found and what he might be able to do about it. He did show me that my spine curves slightly to the left and that my thermal scan showed extreme asymmetry. I’m really looking forward to getting on with my adjustments. Hopefully I’ll be better able to carry Daniel for longer periods of time.

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