We let buddy cry for two more nights here at my folks’ house (so, a total of 10? or 11?). They were beside themselves. My mom, especially, could hardly bear it. And my poor dad teared up, I think, when I checked on him and reported back that he was asleep sitting straight up, head bobbing.
So we gave it up. 11 nights of screaming for an hour, followed by hours of stubborn sitting-sleeping. Agh! It was too much for us to collectively bear.
For three or four nights (how long have we been here? time stands still at my parents’ house, and the zunzun and I are chilling here for another week while A is out east teaching for 10 days, so who knows what kind of time warp we’re in!) my dad put him to bed. He is the baby whisperer. The first night, he tried to put him down fully asleep, buddy popped up as soon as he was in the crib, and my dad sat for two hours next to the crib saying, “no — lay down” and laying him back down every time he popped up. (World’s most patient baby whisperer.) The next few nights, little sir was so run ragged by the time he got to bed (Christmas festivities) that he was out like a light within a minute or two, and was successfully transferred to the crib in a deep sleep (A did one of those nights).
But, of course, the last few nights don’t tackle the ultimate issue, which is teaching him to fall asleep on his own (and stay asleep through the night, preferably). So tonight I took him on again.
I nursed and rocked him til he was drowsy (5-10 min?), then unlatched him and stood up with him (instantly wide awake), walked him and hummed until he relaxed again (5 min?), then laid him down in the crib. He squawked and squirmed, but didn’t try to get up, and I didn’t move away. I gradually moved from standing over the crib holding his hand to sitting next to the crib with my hand on his chest (he intermittently held on). I kept humming until his eyes got fluttery, then sat quietly until he was asleep. That last part (in the crib) took 16 minutes. It was 30 minutes from start to finish.
Not too shabby, though, I think! 30 min, no tears, and a lying-down baby. Easier on everyone’s psyche.He’s also quite suddenly very enthusiastically clinging to the rabbit that has been his lovey for months, but as of late was only nominally so. Probably for the last two months he’s had decreasing interest in him, to the point that I actually asked A whether or not she thought we should pack him for this trip. Good thing she said yes, because the zunzun is hauling him around by the neck/ears/arms all over the place, and is gripping him in the night.We’ll see if we can continue on this trajectory. I think the disruption to routine (i.e. my dad putting him to sleep those nights) helped sort of reset his expectations.
In holiday news, the zunzun has been loved up and down for the last week. He is mad about his grandparents, about my sisters and brothers-in-law, and head-over-heels for his cousin, who is 14 months older than him. Their love makes my heart go pitter patter. She can hardly believe he’s real (“WHAT!?!” she says, when she sees him). He grins like a fool when she plays with him/kisses him/hugs him. And he wrestles her (because he’s got a 6 lb advantage). She says he is a baby, though, even though he’s big, “Because he walks like a kitty.” It’s true — he’s gotten more adventurous in cousin play, but staunchly refuses solo steps still.
Despite a slew of very nice gifts of his own, including a train table my dad built, his favorite Christmas gift was given to his cousin, and is a $1 plastic microphone toy from the party favor section at T.arget. He’s obsessed. I will have to take a video. The best news is that this microphone doesn’t amplify anything, and instead makes sounds quiet (but sort of modulated by some spring thing). Needless to say, I popped over and got him one of his own today.
He always has an amazing time here, and is revealing all kinds of things he’s been pretending not to know (or refusing to perform) at home — he is locating noses, his lovey, the angel hanging on the wall above my parents’ bed, babydolls, moms; he is trying to bark like the dogs (he can’t “woof” and instead kind of “bbbffff”s but whatevs), he sometimes says “mama,” “baby,” “oh boy!”, “uh oh,” and (so says my mom) “hello” (only into the microphone); he waves when someone says hello or goodbye or when they walk into a room; he is eating tons of food, of all sorts (dozens of new foods), including meat, and is suddenly doing just fine at taking bites and chewing bigger chunks.
I fear he’ll be so bored again when we go home. What am I saying — I know he will be. He always is. I think we need to make a better effort to get him playing with other kids more. He loves it, and I think he learns a lot from it. And it’s such a joy to watch him to be so intrigued by other little people.
I’ll post photos soon. There are some cuties in the bunch!