First, I want to thank everyone for all the great encouragement following my recent posts. I’ve felt very loved and supported from friends and family near and far, and it’s definitely helped me get through this rough patch. There’s nothing like a few good rants to vent some frustration, and I am definitely feeling better as a result.
So – on to happier news. We took Zeke to the beach! It was definitely a balancing act – trying to show him all the wonders of sand and sea while keeping him clean and fed and protected from the sun and surf, but on the whole I think he really liked it. He always looks very serious when we introduce him to new things, and this was no exception. But he wiggled his little toes in the sand and stared at the waves for a good long time. I think with a few more visits we’ll have him smiling and giggling like he does in the tiny ocean of our bathtub.
Z rolled over the other day! I have to admit I wasn’t being a very attentive mama when it happened. He started crying just as I got out of the shower, so I was half-dressed and trying to comfort him when the phone rang (a call I had to take). So I ever so gently tossed him in the crib on his belly while I juggled the phone and my pants and a toy for Zeke and he just kind of leaned to one side and flipped over. Everything stopped for a second – he and I both were really surprised. And then he started crying again. I suppose I would cry too if my world suddenly flipped 180 degrees. I’ve been trying to get him to do a repeat performance ever since to no avail. But considering how active this kid is, I have no doubt he will be rolling around like a maniac in a matter of weeks.
(Z actually kicked himself right out of his diaper the other night – and pooped all over everything. Perhaps the diaper was not secured as tightly as it should have been, but still, that’s a lot of kicking.)
I’ve been resisting saying that Zeke is teething partly because I’ve heard that lots of moms use teething to explain away standard crankiness (and only later find out what real teething is), and partly because I feel like the kid needs a break. But I was hanging out with a group of more experienced moms the other day and one of them looked over at Zeke drooling like a fiend and gnawing at my hand and basically told me in no uncertain terms that he was teething. I said he was too young. She shook her head. Poor guy.
I suppose that explains some of the formerly inexplicable crying, and now we can at least try to do some things to make him feel better. But it doesn’t bode well for us actually get a full night’s sleep any time soon.
I’m reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, a book that’s been recommended to me by lots of moms. I know enough now to recognize that no book has all the answers, but this one is less about making suggestions and more about research – how much babies need to sleep at what age. It talks a lot about fussy babies, and suggests that if your baby is hard to read at 3-4 months (which Zekey has been), try putting them down for a nap after every two hours of wakefulness.
Z has been napping fairly regularly from 9-10am for a couple weeks now, so I used that as a guideline and have been putting him in his crib (or in the stroller) every 2 hours after that – whether or not he’s acting tired. And it’s kind of working! A few times now, I’ve put him down awake and he’s actually fallen asleep on his own – no crying or fussing. He doesn’t sleep very long – really no more than 45 minutes or an hour on a good day, but its a definite improvement over the nap struggles we’ve been having. According to the book, fighting naps happens when your baby is already overtired, so by putting them down before they’re tired you avoid that trouble. This actually makes a lot of sense to me and fit’s pretty well with Z’s behavior.
I’ll also tentatively say that this more regular napping is helping Z get to sleep better at night. He’s still waking up a lot, but for the past three nights, there’s been a lot less crying as we try to put him to bed the first time. We even had a couple nights where we just kissed him goodnight and left the room while he was still awake, and he fell asleep on his own after awhile without our intervening.