CIO night…yeah, we’re not doing that anymore

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!

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So far sleep training is the worst part of parenting

Night 9.

Except today we travelled (7hours in the car bc of weather), and then buddy went down suuuuuuper late bc he was wired from being overtired and antsy from being tied down for so long, so we let him stay up a bit to get some playtime with his grandparents.

So, we brought this on ourselves. Tonight we’re (well, A is) doing checks, since it’s a different sleep environment and we want him to know we’re here.

But through last night, it was still 45-60 min of crying, followed by sleeping sitting up. (Sometimes literally sitting staight up, not even leaning his head. it’s soul-crushing to see.) the good part is that four of the nights, he’s slept trough to 6-7am. The last two nights he eventually (hours later) laid himself down.

He’s a stubborn baby. Must get that from the donor’s side 😉

But in actuality, this process blows hardcore. Not getting him to sleep on his own before this is my one real regret so far.

CIO night 4

So last night’s post at 13 minutes was unfortch just the first quarter of the match. He cried for 58 minutes, and was crumpled tortilla-style when I checked him.

Tonight he cried for an hour and 7 minutes. Tortilla.

At some point the idea is that he won’t just cry until he’s so exhausted he passes out, right?

Right?

The internet has led me to believe that this is the “12 month sleep regression.” Brought on by a compendium of developmental leaps and bounds. So a little comfort in knowing this is normal, and that regardless he’ll grow out of some of it.

We travel on Thursday. Somehow, I doubt this will be resolved by then. I guess this is maybe what happens if you wait until your baby is almost 13 months old before you do any kind of sleep training…?

ETA:
He repositioned himself lying down, which seemed promising, but then he woke up about 45 min ago and squawked for a few minutes. When we just checked on him, on our way to bed, he was back in a seated position, sitting sentry and stubborn. So very stubborn.

Crying it out

Buddy is on night three of crying it out. No checks, because it enrages him to see help and not be offered it.

He’d left us no choice, really. What we were doing worked until it didn’t, and three nights ago I rocked and nursed him to sleep three times over an hour an ten minutes, but he would not be put down in his crib. He was furious when I kissed him, told him I love him and it was time to sleep, and walked out.

Night 1, he cried for 40 minutes and fell asleep sitting, slumped over (“like a torilla,” A said). It was awful for all of us. I texted with my sister, who reminded me that he would forgive us by morning. He stayed that way until we went to bed, when I went in and laid him down proper. He woke up at 1am, and we brought him to our bed.

Last night the babysitter put him to bed. Same deal resisting the crib, but he cried for an hour for her and fell asleep in similar tortilla position. He stayed sleeping in his crib, though, til 6am, then came in with us for a couple more hours.

Tonight A is out, and I’m wearing headphones and watching Downton Abbey to try to not hear him. He is much less sad/upset/sobbing and much more angry/protesting/yelling. It’s only been 13 minutes so far, but he takes breaks between yells.

We were dreading sleep training, and have had a million excuses not to, but he pushed it til we broke. Hopefully the bad part is brief. Unfortunately, we start our holiday travels on Thursday, which will very likely undo whatever we accomplish. We do want him to learn to get to sleep on his own. It’s just hard to listen to him cry…

I have to believe

that at some point in the near future — perhaps when we are more than 2 days out from the stomach flu — that the zunzun will start eating solid food again. Probably we won’t have an EBF toddler, right?

The zunzun at 1 year

Let’s keep it organized, shall we?

Size:

Little buddy continues to be a pretty big buddy. As previously posted, at his 12 month Well Baby, he weighed in at 26 lbs 13 oz and 31.5 inches. His head continues to be medium-sized, which really just makes him look proportional like a grown up. He wears clothes that range anywhere from 18 mo-2T, depending on the brand. Shirts, typically larger, as he continues to be very long-torsoed. Pants we often have to roll, as he also continues to not be a long-legged baby.

Teeth:

5. Two bottom front, two top front and one right next to that on the right. The left side is not far behind.

Food:

He is still nursing AVIDLY. And, in fact, consumes more breastmilk than anything else. He now no longer really takes milk from a bottle — if I’m not around, he’ll happily wait or snack on other things until I come back. He sometimes lets us spoon-feed him (mostly yogurt, but sometimes other things), but still prefers finger foods. He would happily live on beans (black or red, pref), peas, cheese and apples. We do diversify, but when all else fails… He’s increasingly toddler-ish about eating, and actively rejects lots of things that are our idea to present him with, though he’s happy to rummage around in our bowls/plates and select at will. He also loves water — passionately. We are encouraging it as a habit neither of his moms possess.

Sleep:

I’m going to do a whole other post on sleep. Suffice it to say for now that he goes down in his crib usually around 7-7:30, and sometimes sleeps for 1 hour and sometimes sleeps for 10 hours from that initial put-down. He stays in his crib until the first night-waking after we’re in bed, and then comes in with us. It works for now, and we all get up between 7-7:30 most mornings. Naps are a challenge right now, as he’s been resisting his afternoon nap, but also resisting moving the morning nap later, leaving us with loooooong and wakeful afternoons (no breaks for mama, crabby baby). We try for a second nap, but if it doesn’t work, he goes down ultra-early for the night (6:30ish).

Stuff he can do:

More and more stuff! It seems he picks up new things every day. He isn’t walking yet, but he does plenty of cruising, and will walk along with push toys. He crawls and climbs. He claps and — as of yesterday — waves (when he feels like it!). He dances (hilarz). Sometimes he will do an approximation of a spider when we sing “La Itsi Bitsi Araña.” He nods and shakes his head (sometimes for fun, sometimes to say yes or no) — and as of today, nods for both “yes” and “sí” (yessssss). He knows he’s not supposed to do certain things (bite), and will shake his head no — sometimes as he’s doing it, sometimes as he mimes doing it. So cute, so funny, so trying hard not to laugh. He doesn’t have any consistent words, but he calls both of us “mamamamama” or sometimes, in distress, “mom!” He has said “yeah” a number of times appropriately, but not consistently enough to count it as a word. He chases the cats and is getting better about being “suave” with them. He gives kisses (when he feels like it!) and touches forehead to forehead (almost always). He will sit back down in the tub when he’s told (usually). He shares food (sometimes for real, sometimes for pretend). He will play independently for increasingly long periods of time, including the recent revelation that he will happily entertain himself long enough for me to drink a cup of coffee in the morning.

Social life:

Young sir continues to not have stranger anxiety, but persists in his desire not to be left by his moms. Depending on how rested he is, he sometimes will play in the living room, within eyesight of us in the kitchen. Sometimes, walking out of the living room will freak him the fuck out. He loves his babysitter, J, who is over about twice a week so I can write, but wails heartily when she takes him from me. He’s fine within a few minutes, but it means I have to hide from him the whole time she’s here. We have a babysitting swap that gives him playtime usually twice a week with his friend O, who is a couple of months older than him. They mostly parallel play, but spend more and more time following one another around, stealing toys and fighting over sippy cups of water.

Favorites:

He still likes to crawl with small balls in one or both hands. He loves peekaboo in any form. He sleeps with his bunny, but I think at this point he’s not usually very attached to him. He loves to play the drums. There is a pink block he favors above the other blocks. He just learned how to drop balls down one of those multi-colored ball-drop-slide things, and he’s been doing that a LOT. He looooooves bubbles. He wants to be constantly unloading the refrigerator door and the tupperware cabinet. He can stand and look out the windows for a long time, especially if a cat will climb up there, too. He’s recently very into books, and wants to turn pages, and will look at them on his own for a little while.