Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Big Week

It has been a big week at our house.  Here are the highlights:

(1) Sunday: HP decided to take a pacifier.  He doesn't always take it, but he has put himself to sleep with it at nap time on more than one occasion.  (We don't offer it to him unless he is napping.)

(2) All week: HP is mastering sucking his thumb/fingers.  These first two are big because it means that he can soothe himself to sleep instead of nursing to sleep.  Amazing.

(3) Tuesday: HP slept through the night.  We put him down around 7pm and we had to wake him at 5:40 so we could catch the bus for me to go to the dentist.  I couldn't believe that the time he decides to sleep through the night is the morning we have to wake him up.  Lame!  Since then he's just been waking up once a night.  Hopefully he'll permanently drop that last feeding in the next month or so.  For now I'm just glad to know that it is possible.

(4) Friday: HP took a bottle (!!!).  I have mentioned in the past that he has refused to take a bottle.  To be fair to him, we haven't been pushing the issue very hard.  Most of the information I read suggested that someone besides the mother offer the bottle, so we had mostly been trying when Henry was home.  Since Henry leaves for work the same time HP wakes up and then doesn't get home until 1-2 hours before HP's bedtime when he is semi-fussy, there were few opportunities during the week to give the bottle a good try.  I would try myself during the week, but honestly, I found it frustrating to pump milk, try and feed it to him, have him refuse, and then clean the pump/bottles.

On Friday I decided that we needed to be making more of an effort.  I want to get out of the house without HP sometimes, and if I want to make that happen, I need to commit to working on the bottle.  He had taken two long naps in the morning and was in a good mood.  I pumped an ounce, tried to feed it to him, and instead of just mouthing the bottle and letting the milk dribble down his face like usual, he latched right on!  Amazing!  Then I pumped two more ounces and he took that no problem as well.  I pumped a little more so Henry could feed him when he got home, and he downed it once again.

Yesterday morning I pumped a full bottle and left to grocery shopping solo while Henry watched him for a couple of hours.  The weather was cool and perfect for a bike ride to the newly opened package-free grocery store.  It was glorious.  HP was fighting his nap when I got home, but he had taken the full bottle.  Success!  Now I need to think about what I will do with my newfound freedom.  Perhaps take a yoga class once a week?

(5) All week: HP's been sleeping in his own room.  We made the switch on Friday the 7th and haven't looked back since.  Henry and I love having our room back.  I don't regret co-sleeping for the first two and a half months of HP's life, but I am happy for him to be in his own room now.  I think we all sleep better because we're not waking each other up in the middle of the night.  For further evidence of that point, please refer to point number three.

(6) Monday, Friday, and Saturday: HP took three long naps this week: one for 3.5 hours on Monday morning, 2.5 hours on Friday morning, and 2 hours on Saturday afternoon.  I'm sure there are many children for whom this is the norm, but HP has had a lot of trouble sleeping for long periods of time.  He has been taking several (usual 4-5) short naps instead of fewer, longer naps.  The long naps are great for him because he is so much better rested and great for me because I can accomplish a lot when I have a large chunk of time.  Before I felt like my whole day was spent trying to get him to go to sleep, starting a project, then abandoning it a few minutes later when he woke up, which was no fun for either of us.  Here's to hoping those naps become more regular as time goes on.

I thought it would be easier to get HP on a regular napping schedule, but it's been a real challenge.  I stopped worrying about it after HP's two-month well-check when our pediatrician said that it's complete normal for his sleeping to be erratic during the day at this point.  She said that he should fall into a consistent pattern around four months, and not to worry as long as he seems happy.  Hearing that relieved a lot of stress for me.  I was starting to feel like a bit of a failure when he wasn't napping well during the day, despite my best efforts.

All in all, it's been a great week with lots of big accomplishments.  We're very proud of you, HP!

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