He’s getting our attention

Nathaniel is continuing the craziness that started up a few weeks ago and hasn’t let up since: frequent crying spells, particularly in the middle of the night, waking sometimes just 15 minutes after being put down for a nap (or for the night!), and the signs that usually indicate he’s hungry–but now it’s all the time.  He is getting up something like half-a-dozen times a night, which is making me long for the three or four times that was his norm before.  I’m swaddling him tightly so that he doesn’t roll over in his sleep, since I am often awakened at night by exploratory fingers in my eyes or around my nose as he uses me to stand up in bed.  Sydney and I are zombies and I am beginning to wonder about this whole breastfeeding thing: I’ve never been so sore!

We’ve just started giving Nathaniel a taste or two of our food, but we’re trying to be really careful not to give Katherine ideas, since she is all too ready to put things in his mouth.  Yesterday she gave Nathaniel her (tiny) carrot and grabbed the big one I’d given him to try out, and she did the same thing with the apple I gave both of them a bit earlier.  She seems to think that little babies get little things, and it’s really hard to break her of that notion!

So we’re extra tired and extra vigilant.


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4 Responses to He’s getting our attention

  1. Kris says:

    I have ideas… You can take them or leave them and I won’t be offended. 🙂

    It sounds like he is not hungry a lot of the time. He’s big enough now and healthy enough to start making him wait for every 3 hours or so. For sleeping, have you ever let him lay on his stomach? Again, he’s big enough and healthy enough now that he should be just fine. I always thought my babies actually slept better on there stomachs (once they are used to it). I strongly suggest letting him cry. He really should be able to sleep through the night with maybe one feeding in the early morning. The way I liked to do it is have a little routine of a hug and then laying them down and covering them with a special blanket (try to keep with the same every time). Then let them lay there and go check on them every 10-15 minutes just to make sure that they are still fine and don’t have a foot stuck somewhere or something. And when you go check, don’t pick them up and try not to even look in their eyes, but reposition them and recover them and walk out. I would do that same thing if they wake up too early or too often. Just go resettle them without picking them up or looking in there eyes and then go back every 10-15 minutes.

    Anyway, that really worked for us. It can take a few days, but eventually they learn to put themselves back to sleep when they awaken. There’s a book by Jodi Mindell (I believe that’s her name) that advocates this system and has tons of research to back it up. It’s a really helpful read.

    I wish you the best. Living without enough sleep is not really living…for you or your baby! I know…

    • Erin says:

      Thanks, Kris! I know you’ve probably seen it all by now. Congrats, by the way, on the new baby! We’ll be eager to “meet” the new one, even if it’s only through blog pictures.

      Our only problem with N on his stomach is that getting onto his stomach means he’s also up on all fours and trying to climb the nearest object. Katherine did the same thing at this age. It’s a rather desperate, instinctive need to climb! So we’re swaddling away and trying to get him to stick to his side or back, just so we can keep him horizontal long enough to get him asleep.

      We’re going to take shifts with him starting tonight, and see if we can either distract him or get him to work it out himself, rather than feed him each time. We might have tried this earlier, but I am a bit of a zombie in the night, and managing anything other than feeding and returning to sleep seemed beyond me before I had time to recover in Iowa. I’m still tired, but maybe at least by now I can do more than stare stupidly at Nathaniel and think, “What now?”

      He’s also teething like crazy (we think), so we’re hoping that that won’t throw a wrench in our work 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    I forgot to mention: we’ve considered letting him cry, but there are a few problems: 1) we can’t put him out of Katherine’s hearing, and we have enough trouble helping her get the sleep she needs without waking her up with his cries 2) we now have neighbors who get to share in our agony. So we’re not sure about that option at the moment. But we’ll see!


  3. Kris says:

    Sounds tough! You know your child and your situation the best so trust yourself. You and your child were given each other for a reason. 🙂 You can do it!

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