Tag Archives: crawling

Sam at 6 months

A delicious 6-month birthday cake baked by our sweet friend Lizzie!

A delicious 6-month birthday cake baked by our sweet friend Lizzie!

Wow… I came to write a post and found this sitting here waiting for editing. It has to be 6 weeks old! It is funny reading it and realizing how much Sam has changed in that time, and how out of date it is. Oh well, I will post it anyway – better late than never, eh?

Sam at 6 months

Sam at 6 months

And our little man – who as you will see below has turned out not to be so little – has turned 6 months. We took him to his pediatrician and Sam is now 18 lbs 10 and 27″. He has come a long way from his 6 lb 15 oz, 20″ self. More impressively, he is moving up and up on the growth-for-age curve. At birth, his height and weight were in the low 30th percentile. By 2 months he was hovering around the 50th percetile mark, and now he is up in the 75th percentile for both height and weight.

It's not polite to ask a boy his weight you know...

It’s not polite to ask a boy his weight you know…

Notably, his head remains a stubbornly pin-headed 16th percentile. Oh well. Any extra brains would only get bashed out as he rises the UFC ranks and becomes world MMA champion ๐Ÿ™‚

27 inches of gorgeous

27 inches of gorgeous

We had his vaccinations and Sam cried for all of 3 seconds. I cried way more. The first one is never too bad, for neither me nor Sam. It is the next two, which both he and I knowing that they are going to hurt him. I find it funny that our pediatrician seems genuinely glad to leave the room for the shots, and says that he ‘hates the mean part’.

Snoopy plasters (band-aids) don't make it any kinder...

Snoopy plasters (band-aids) don’t make it any kinder…

I am so glad we have a pediatrician who we can trust and who works well with us. He is very knowledgeable and up to date on current statistics and treatments, but more than that, it is just a good personality mix. He is good humored, and laid back. Willing to work with us on what we want, yet seems to know when to put his foot down (gently). I am sure this is in no way unique to Dr. Injac, but he also really seems to just love Sam and being a pediatrician. He also looks after me too, and I will always be grateful to him for that. So we discussed Sam, and his many milestones achieved over the last 2 months.

Crawling at just shy of 5 months and 3 weeks

Crawling at just shy of 5 months and 3 weeks

Movement: Yay! Sam is crawling. He started crawling a week before he turned 6 months. Having spent weeks on all fours rocking but going no where, or almost accidentally slithering along the wooden floors at home, Sam has debuted his army-style low crawl while a Houston airport, with maximum audience potential. This quickly gave way to real crawling, and for just 3 days there was an adorable stage where he would unsteadily reach his hands out, fingers splayed and wobble along. But now that is gone, and he fires around the house willy nilly and at great speed. Or he would if we had not bought him a cage to contain the madness (starting the octagon training already).

Baby prison

Baby prison

And he is a great sitter now, and will sit himself up from either his front or his back, but prefers tummy time and crawling. He will also stand at his new table and play for ages, sliding down to the side quite gracefully when he is tired.

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Talking: So, when we proudly told our pediatrician Sam was crawling already, he smiled and said ‘does he babble’. Er…. well…. Let’s just say yes, OK? I mean he can… he just chooses not too. We nodded and hurriedly moved on. Letting the side down Sam!

Little war wounds

Little war wounds

Sleep: Yay! Still sleeping through the night. He goes down at 7 pm now, usually quite awake. He’ll fuss if I am in the room, but as soon as I leave he rolls over onto his front and activates the electric fish tank on the side of his crib, which plays music and has soft blue lights. Sometimes he will turn it on and off a few times, but mostly he just switches it on and watches it until he falls asleep. The fish tank was a gift from my friend Alanna – I would have never considered getting one, but it has turned out to be a godsend. Sam just loves it. We feed him at ~10.30 and then he sleeps until around 7.15, give or take 15 minutes. I am grateful that Dr. Injac got us to sleep train, I know that it is not for everyone (and believe me, I don’t give a fig how / when / if you sleep train your child), but for me it has served two purposes: one, I don’t worry about it. Good quality sleep is an extremely important health behavior to me, and I would have worried about getting Sam into a sleeping pattern – for his own good as much as anything. Now that load is off my mind, I am more relaxed.

Our pediatrician advised us to start giving Sam a toy in bed in each night, to help him feel comfortable after developing object permanance

Our pediatrician advised us to start giving Sam a toy in bed in each night, to help him feel comfortable after developing object permanance

Two: It has made me realize how ridiculous the Mummy-wars are. Seriously. The crap I read about cry-it-out and its effects, you’d think that practicing it was tantamount to child abuse. I get that it is not for everyone, but we were left with a very happy, well-adjusted child who still cries for his Mum (or Dad, or bottle, or toy) sometimes in the day and fully expects his cries to be answered, and who often just chills in his crib giggling and playing with his hands / soft toy / fish tank. So when I read articles or blog posts which have the tone of ‘this is one of the worst things you can do to your child’ I laugh, and remember how ridiculous that is, and take that feeling forward to other articles with similar scare stories about other parenting techniques (what? You allow your kid to watch TV? He has his own room? You let him hold his own bottle? His life is ruined, ruined I tell you).

Our damaged child

Our damaged child

I guess I am grateful because it has made me chill out about parenting so much. As I have said before: with so many things: breast vs formula; co-sleep vs crib; baby wearing vs. stroller; CIO vs. not; baby led weaning vs. purees – the differences in terms of child development, if there are any, are teeny tiny (with the exception of infections / illness and breast feeding I think, but oh well…). I like asking people how they raise their children, and I like taking advice, but really, with 2 Psychology degrees, an early Years teaching degree, 2 years special needs teaching, several years nannying and a whole lotta love for my wee one: I trust myself not to super damage my child too much psychologically and to get him to where he needs to be.

Momma-love

Momma-love

In the interests of honesty, Sam is not a perfect sleeper (which I choose to find reassuring, as Ferberizing didn’t turn him into an automaton). Occasionally, he will really yell. If I think he is genuinely not tired I will cuddle him for a while, whipping him back in his crib if he is looking very sleepy. I’ll also always offer him food just in case he is hungry. But 85% of the time he goes down with no more than 2 minutes fuss, and 95% of the time he sleeps through the night. Sweet!

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Food: He is munching his way through sweet potato sticks, pear, scrambled eggs, bread and banana. A more varied diet is definitely on our ‘must do’ list. We are trying to find out if he is allergic to dairy. He has developed heinous eczema, which our pediatrician prescribed a steroid cream for. While I have utterly failed at being a hippie alternative mother, I am not keen on drugs if they can be avoided. I aksed our pediatrician if we could consider dietary causes, and he readily agreed. He said that in about 50% of cases, it was a food allergy and so we are swapping his formula for a non-dairy formula and seeing that helps – our pediatrician gave us 2 weeks worth of free samples – SCORE!

Sweet freebies!

Sweet freebies!

[Edit & Update: The dairy-free formula worked! His eczema cleared up, and a challenge test bought it back. So that’s that then.]

Love my boy!

Love my boy!

That’s it! Sam is fun. He is a lively, sweet natured boy, who loves to play bu himself, but wants cuddles as well. This seems to be a beautiful time in our parenting journey. Everything seems to have returned to pre-pregnancy levels: my body, my job, my mind in general. I feel I am able to be the old Lekki again, and have Lekki’s life back, but with a wonderful addition ๐Ÿ™‚ I am no longer freaked out or guilt tripped by proclamations of what I must and mustn’t do to raise Sam. I have figured out he is pretty good at letting me know when he is displeased with his up bringing. Bring on the next 6 months!!

I'm not the only one who loves Sam) and HE loves the attention, clearly).

I’m not the only one who loves Sam (and HE loves the attention, clearly).

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Sam at 4 (and a bit) months

Sam at 4 Months

Sam at 4 Months

Happy 4 months Sam ๐Ÿ™‚ You have turned out to be one of the happiest, most rambunctious, noisy, roly poly, grinning little wriggler. Luckily for Mum, you are still quite the snuggler too.

Snuggles, but with Dad.

Snuggles, but with Dad.

Well, we are back from our 4 month check-up, somewhat chastened. Last time we visited the pediatrician, he told us that we should not be rocking Sam to sleep in our arms / feeding him to sleep, but establishing a bedtime routine where we comforted him, soothed him, got him sleepy and then put him in crib sleepy, but awake. Dr. Injac said that we could pat him and sit with him while he was in his crib, but he should learn to recognize sleep time cues, so that he could soothe himself to sleep in his crib, with us nearby. Then at 4 months, it would be easier to just put him down and leave him. A sort of step-by-step approach.

It all sounded absolutely fabulous…

….in the safe confines of the Doctor’s office.

At home it was a different story. It sort of worked until Sam figured out that the boppy was a sleep cue – whereupon he went ballistic when he saw it. Then he figured out that ‘lights out’ meant crib time was coming, and went equally as spare. He would wail, and we would soothe him, then as we put him down he would wail again. This would continue until he would fall asleep in my arms during one of the soothing times, and boom – objective not achieved.

In Mummy's arms only, please

In Mummy’s arms only, please

I guess I should at least be pleased he’s smart / streetwise?

Honestly, it eventually slid to me (or Wes, but I like to do the bedtime when I have been working) just cuddling him to sleep, and then laying him oh-so-gently down. Periodically I would ask Wes if we should be stronger with Sam, but he wasn’t keen and asserted that he was too young. Although not entirely comfortable, I would give in. I asked some Moms and got a mixed bag of answers. Although my head wanted a better routine… my heart was not quite in it. Without Wes pushing as well, I would put it off. ย 

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Today at the pediatrician’s we saw a student first. She asked us about sleeping, and we said he was going down at 7 and then being fed at 10.30, 1.30, 3.30, 5.30. She asked if he was eating much at those times, and when we said “Not really”, she said “Because we expect formula fed babies (oh the guilt!) to sleep for 8 hours by four months”. Right. I confessed that we had forgotten the baby monitor twice – but Sam’s room is next to ours so we’d hear wails, if not grumbles – and she said that she was not surprised.

She asked how he was going down and we were honest. We asked what to do – what should we do about him crying at bedtime? What should we do with the night waking? And she said that she didn’t know (!) but would get Dr. Injac. Well… at least she was honest.

So… Dr. Injac came in with a twinkle in his eye and said “so… I hear you are a softie…”. [Me??]. He laid it on the line: the kid should he sleeping through the night. He said that our job as parents was to love Sam, and to protect him, but to help him manage the stresses of life – and sleeping well, on his own, was a stress we had to help him negotiate. Unless, of course, (in his words): we wanted those thighs to continue into childhood (another pitfall of formula I guess). So, he said to leave him when he cried at night, if it was fussing, not if it was unhappy wailing.

I hesitantly confessed that we had forgotten the baby monitor twice. Before I could qualify with an urgent and embarrassed ‘But we’d hear if he wailed!” Dr. Injac said “Good”. Dumbfounded I stared at him. He grinned and said “The vast majority of babies across the world do fine without monitors…”. I admitted that when he had forgotten the monitor, we had woken at ~ 5 to a sleeping Sam. At ~ 6 Sam had woken up, not cried, seemed very happy and not seemed starving – he had eaten a good breakfast, but not until he had woken up a bit.

“So…” said Dr. Injac

*pregnant meaningful pause in which he looked optimistically at me, and I looked desperately blank pretending not to know what was coming*

“… turn the baby monitor off”. ย  I then asked what to do about bedtime. With some amusement Dr. Injac said “what I told you last time. Let him cry. For 5 minutes. Go in… soothe him… reassure him… pat him. Then go. Go back after 10… then 15…. up to 40 minutes”.”Forty??”.
“Forty.”
*glaring from me*
” It won’t get there.”
*cuddling of Sam from me*
“If you’re a softie – sit with him. Just leave him in his crib.”.

He grinned and said “And if you’re going to tell me that this is your special time with Sam, just you and him, and your favorite time of being with him… that’s just fine. I am sure he will learn to sleep on his own in college”.

Ouch.

Then

with a soft smile he said “Two to three days. That is all. And he’ll sleep. You’ll feel better. He’ll feel better. And… it’s the only way he is going to get a sister”. So, let me say at this point: I felt Dr. Injac was offering his advice on what was best, and not telling us what must happen for the healthy development of a baby. He did not push us, or be mean, and although he was strong in his opinion, he was kind and understanding. I think he made jokes because he knows us well. Personally I think there is no best way to sleep train, and no best time. It depends on the baby, and probably more, on the parents and what they want. I thought I would be an attachment parent-er. I wanted to be. It just didn’t work out. I couldn’t breastfeed…. Sam hated baby wearing until he was old enough to face out (~4 months)… I was at work and so on. And it just didn’t really click for me. I was actually glad we had moved Sam into his own room at 3 weeks – it felt right for Sam, and for us. And although I love to comfort my boy, and love to stop his tears, I had personally been uncomfortable with a completely Sam-led night. Great if it works for you and your family (all methods pretty much end up the same, I figure), it just wasn’t for us. Had it been, when the student asked how he was sleeping, instead of a worried recount, I clearly would have given a breezy “just fine”. So. With deep breaths and hardened hearts (and cheery wheat beer and Malbed wine, and pecan butter ice cream) Wes and I tried it tonight. Settled Sam in his crib, and turned the baby monitor sound off. Our monitor has video, and a little sound bar, so that even when the sound is off, you can see if there is noise in the room.

There was noise. On and off in bursts. Grumbles and wails. Usually at the first sound of wails I go up, but Wes reminded me that we were giving it 5 minutes. Deep breath. On the DOT of 5 minutes I RAN upstairs and softly said “Sam” and went in his room. I got there just in time to see him find his thumb and fall into a deep sleep. We have not had a peep since.

 

If,ย IF, it sticks, I think we were lucky enough to hit it at the right time: the time when Sam was old enough to self-soothe, but young enough not to form memories about what was happening – that happens at about 6 months, and at around 7 months you get object permanence and all the vagaries of the accompanying attachment anxiety. So, hopefully we lucked out. We’ll see. Would we have gone for a 40 min cry session? I doubt it. I don’t know. A child who goes to bed easily, and independently is very important to me… I just don’t know how important until tested I guess.

Finding his length

Finding his length

The rest of a the visit was a breeze. Despite looking chunky

Chunky monkey :)

Chunky monkey ๐Ÿ™‚

Sam is 60th %ile for weight (16 lbs, 4 oz), and 56th %ile for height (25.5″) – still basically an average Joe. His head is only 26th %ile though – pin head! I have a pin headed baby! So, maybe his little head makes his body look chunky!

Not such a chunker as we thought.

Not such a chunker as we thought.

The Doctor mentioned solids, but I am not interested in introducing them yet. If Sam was breastmilk fed, I would definitely wait until 6 months. As he is not, I will *think* about it at around 5 months. 5.5 – 6 is a rough target, unless I happen to think he is extremely hungry before that. Dr. Injac mentioned rice cereal and bless my awesome husband, he knows how important nutrition is to me and said “we were hoping to avoid grains for a while; are fruits and vegetables OK instead?”. Dr. Injac said that that was fine – it wasn’t his view, but he said rice cereal was mainly used because it was convenient (he did say not to put it in a bottle), and that the French blamed America’s obesity problem on early grains, and not enough vegetables early on. He said whatever worked for us was fine, the main thing was to get Sam used to different tastes and textures. Seems to me that, like with sleeping, advice changes and waxes and wanes, and ultimately, you need happy comfortable parents doing something they believe in. So, any time between 4 and 6 months for food is fine – depending on your instinct. Mine is later… some say earlier. Dr. Injac did say to get messy and have fun with it – now that was advice we could go with.

War wounds.

War wounds.

Then vaccinations. Boo. Sam didn’t flinch for the first one, wailed at the second, but I managed not to cry (I did eat cake after though ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Other than that, Sam has been having a wail of a time.

He loves his bumbo:

Bumbo tray viking

And hanging around in his new bouncer:

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He *almost* crawls. He moves forward across the floor to his toys, but only as a kind of belly shuffle, using the surface as friction (not his muscles). If he is on a slippery floor he can’t slither forward and yells in frustration.

A successful slither

A successful slither

No sitting yet – he makes a rubbish weeble, he wobbles, but he also falls down:

He is great at reaching for, and grasping his toys. He can even grab his big rattle in tummy time, upend it, do a little push up, and negotiate it to his mouth for a good ol’ chomp. Vocalizing – yes, a lot. But not babbling yet, he is just grunting and wailing. I can’t wait for his first proper pre-speech sounds!

Although, Sam did recently discover how to screech, in joy.

For 20 minutes.

In the car.

Until he completely lost his voice.

 

 

Joy ๐Ÿ™‚

He is just a happy, happy baby.

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Anyone got any sleep training advice or experiences to share?