Day with a Fussy Five Month Old

I love my daughter! She is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen… funny how most people think that about their own babies… and she has personality. She is serious and observant, often surprised, smiley to others (when I am holding her) and feisty.

Paige is quite particular about what she doesn’t want. The problem with this is that she can’t tell me what she does want; I suspect she doesn’t know most of the time anyway however. Today was one of those days where the only thing that would/could keep her happy was change – about every 2 minutes, or less. This entailed playing on my lap with a toy, then fussing. Looking out the window, then fussing. Looking at a book, then fussing. I should also mention that her “fussing” usually entails throwing said object and/or arching her back in exasperation. Then repeat. All day. I even used her beloved Jolly Jumper for almost an hour, during which time I caught up on some laundry and did a quick email check. I tried putting a movie (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland) on and when that WORKED I felt like a bad mom and turned it off.

I think the heart of the matter is sleep, or lack thereof. Paige is not a great napper and her night sleeping is suboptimal, but relatively normal for a co-sleeping, breastfed 5 month old. She doesn’t wake fully during the night, just enough to notify me that she is hungry, at which point I help her latch, and away we both go, fully back to sleep. Unfortunately this still occurs every 3 or so hours; sometimes I get a 5 hour stretch at which point I wake up with the front of my shirt soaking wet.

And she will “sleep” this way for 10-11 hours. Not too shabby, I think. The real issue is that she now has a tendency to nap for very brief periods, about 1/2 hour intervals. And half of that time I spend with her to help her fall asleep completely. It wouldn’t be a big deal if she stayed happy after a cat nap, but she flies through her contentedness in about the same amount of time and won’t go back for a nap! This is a big change from crib napping for over 2 hours at a time. The good news is, she will likely grow out of this stage, as I think she is going through a growth spurt.

In the mean time, I am slowly making my way through the No-Cry Sleep Solution.  I have already read the No-Cry Nap Solution; both written by Elizabeth Pantley. I like this alternative to any cry-it-out methods. The solutions require preparation in the form of sleep logs to correctly identify the sleep issues you and your baby/toddler seem to have. Then you chose from a variety of gentle solutions to work into your newly formed routine and schedule. I have not started on our sleep logs yet…

Tonight I went through the bedtime routine we are slowly forming. Starting with a bath at 7 pm, some quiet-ish playtime, rocking in the chair then nursing to sleep (we skipped book reading as she seemed so tired). This all went well. Then Paige woke up and I started crying. I desperately wanted to eat supper, and relax, and I wanted a sleeping baby. Then my husband took over and decided she was too awake now to sleep, so we brought her to the kitchen at 8 and let her talk to herself for the next hour, as that’s what she wanted to do, evidently. Oh, did I mention my brother was over? And things were “happening” in the kitchen. Paige refuses to miss out on anything.

At 9 pm I walked around with her a bit, said G’night to Daddy and G’bye to Uncle Cory, then rocked and fed her, and since 9:15 or so, she has been perfectly asleep in our bed, as usual. Moral of my day – you can’t make a baby sleep if she’s not ready.

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5 Comments

March 30, 2011 · 22:35

5 responses to “Day with a Fussy Five Month Old

  1. Meghan Hughes

    Hahaha, oh Thea, your voice in these makes me laugh. These silly babies we have. Too bad we can’t just make them do whatever we want. They just had to be there own little people.

  2. Babies all seem to operate on their own mysterious schedules and plans. That said, one of our big surprises (especially as he’s #3) is that Baby MoFo starting sleeping really well when we moved his bedtime back TWO hours, from about 8:30 to 6:30 pm. Oddly, this is what got him into a great sleep pattern–it even improved his daytime naps.

    As an on-demand breastfeeder, I understand why you have a co-sleeper. But I found that when I moved the babies out of my room (between 3-5 months, depending on baby), they slept better and needed to eat far less at night. I think when the boob is right there, they smell it and wake up for it. When it’s not right there, they actually sleep better and longer and are far less fussy the next day. That was DEFINITELY my experience, three times over. The idea of moving each baby out was hard, because my first thought was that I couldn’t just sleep through the night-time feeds, but since the night-time feeds were drastically reduced very quickly, I was highly rewarded!

    Best with Baby Paige!
    – PP

    • Thanks! We are in the process of moving P’s bedtime up as that is what the book recommends too. And, I’ve been wondering about moving her out of our bed… we’ll see how soon I try that!

  3. Alex

    You are right, she IS the cutest baby ever!!

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