We’re trying out a few things differently in the Turia household.
First- for ages I’ve been giving E. a ‘dream’ feed when I go to bed at 10 or 10:15, where I try NOT to wake him up as he feeds. It’s always been a mixed bag as to what happens, but recently I started noticing a distinct pattern- if he stayed asleep, he wouldn’t wake up for a proper feed until 3 am, but if he woke up, I’d see him again at 12.30. More often than not he was waking up. I decided the dream feed definitely wasn’t helping, and was possibly even disrupting his sleep. While we were away over Thanksgiving I didn’t even attempt it as we were out late most nights so E. wasn’t even getting to bed before 9.30 or 10. So when we got back here I just didn’t start it up again.
The results have been quite interesting- E. is still waking for his two feeds a night, but the timings are completely all over the place. He’s been asleep by 6:45 to 7:15 every night, but here are his wakings: 4 and 6.30; 11:20 and 2; 10:15 and 5; 2:20 and 5:40; 11:20 and 4:30; 12:40 and 3:40. (I have these precisely recorded because I’ve been tracking his days while not eating dairy/soy to see if that is making a difference. I’m not normally this crazy with the documentation.) I remember reading somewhere that wakeups at the same time every night were habits, but random ones were hunger. Seems pretty clear that E. is indeed hungry twice a night, and since most nights there is a 5 or 6 hour stretch in there somewhere, I can’t really complain.
The other big change is today I took away the swaddle and started putting him down for naps in his sleepsack. The swaddle was getting too small to contain him, and he had to be put down dead asleep or he would wake up and bust out and get distracted. I was hesitant to get rid of it once he started doing those nice long morning naps, but since he hasn’t napped for longer than 40 minutes in a week (le sigh), I decided to get on with it.
It went ok. I was fully expecting to have at least one or two days, if not more, where E. didn’t nap at all, but he’s gone down three times today- twice for 35 minutes or so, and he’s been down now for about twenty. Short naps, yes, but no shorter than what he’s been doing all week. And it did take longer to get him down each time, but not outrageously so. He did have to go into the crib asleep, and it was obvious that until he stuck his thumb in his mouth and fell asleep having his hands out was a distraction, as he pulled on my hair, the pillow, my face, the strings on my sweatshirt, etc. But I knew there would be some adjusting to go through, and we can work on the ‘going into the crib awake’ once we’ve got him used to sleeping with his hands out. (This has never been a problem at night.)
I am really starting to think that E. has an intolerance for soy and (possibly) dairy- I’ve been mostly off both for a good few weeks now, and it is making a difference- he is hugely less gassy- I can’t remember the last time he was up fussing and in pain at 5 am, and he almost never cries and fusses now when he has to poo. I’m going to stay off of both until the end of October and then re-introduce them, just to confirm that this is indeed the problem, and it isn’t that his gut has magically matured. And if that is the case, I might then have to go see a nutritionist, as taking dairy and soy out of my diet is a HUGE change for me.
I’m actually glad I’ve got a follow-up appointment at the breast-feeding clinic this week as either E. is going through the hugest growth spurt ever, or my milk supply has tanked. He isn’t up more at night, but he’s gone from 3 hour (or longer) stretches between feeds during the day to 2 hours, and he’s taking more breasts, and finishing the feed crying and sucking on his fingers (but is then happy enough for another couple of hours, so he can’t be starving). The result of all of this feeding is I am out-eating Q. at every meal, am continually starving, and yet have lost the last few pounds of my pregnancy weight, so all my pants fit again (although the pair of jeans that fit really well when I was this weight and running fit are probably a touch tighter than I would like them to be). I actually disgust myself with how much I eat right now, but I am SO HUNGRY, I can’t not do it. And I’m craving loads of meat, which given I was a vegetarian for more than a decade, and still only eat red meat if it comes from a local, entirely pasture-raised and finished, source, is more than a bit bizarre.
E’s had a big weekend. He spent most of it rolling constantly from tummy to back to tummy to back, occasionally getting stuck one way or the other and then getting angry and frustrated. And he’s mastered sitting propped up on his hands. We went to visit friends yesterday who have a two month old daughter (their third child) and Q. and I just marvelled at the thought that E. was that small (although most certainly NOT that laidback) not so long ago. I got to thinking- at the two month mark, E. was still only napping in carriers while I paced around the house, and needed four naps a day. And he wasn’t going to sleep before 10 pm, so I had to go to bed when he did. No wonder I thought I was going crazy. He can be difficult right now because he wants to do SO many things but can’t yet manage them (like crawling and sitting up), and he gets fussy and irritable at the end of the day if he’s taken short naps (three 40 minute ones is the norm, but if we are very unlucky we have two 30 minute naps and then everyone suffers), but honestly? He is SO much easier to cope with than he was even a couple of months ago.
They just change so so so fast.