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.