Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 59: A shift in attitude

Mari is seven months old today. Already. I can't believe it. In honour of that milestone, here are a couple of pictures taken in the last week or so.

Lately Mari has been working on some new skills. Today she waved bye-bye to Jon for the first time. Before today, a few times I have thought she was trying to wave because she would open her hand and  flop her wrist, but I wasn't sure if she was just doing that randomly and it happened to be at the appropriate time. However, today she very distinctly waved, with her whole arm going up and down, as we were saying bye-bye. It was so exciting.

She also somehow managed to get off her changing pad, which was on the floor, in the brief minute or two I was out of the room. I'm not sure if she rolled over the ridge or crept backwards and then spun on her belly, but she was beside the changing pad and a foot or two over when I caught her. She still hasn't crept forwards, only backwards. She's a champion roller, but I've yet to see her roll over anything, so who knows?

She seems really close to being able to pull up from sitting. She can stand up if I just pull her arms up without my getting her bum off the floor. She was trying to pull up on the coffee table today too but couldn't manage it. She is also trying to sit up from lying down, but though she can do "crunches" from a flat position and can sit up from a reclined position, she can't yet do a full sit-up. I can't blame her -- sit up are hard for me too! (I am admittedly in awful shape, probably the worst of my life.)

She's getting good at standing. If I stand her up hanging onto something at chest to shoulder height, she can stand without me holding onto her for a little while, though I have to stay within arms' reach because she'll let go and topple without warning. Also, she can now stand up for a little while holding onto only one of my hands.

We've just come off a few poor nap days. Today was a little better than the two previous days, but she has still been having short morning naps, sometimes waking up in the middle of her afternoon nap and refusing a late-afternoon nap despite obvious fatigue. However, she's still sleeping well enough at night, so I've made the momentous decision to... (drumroll please) not worry too much about it. Yes, it's a big step for me. But I've been much happier since I've made that decision. If she wakes up from a too-short nap and still seems really tired, I do try to put her back to sleep. But if she doesn't fall back asleep again quickly, I let her stay up until the next naptime or until she's really obviously tired. Seems to be working.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 57: Still as unpredictable as ever

Yesterday Mari had a great day. She put herself to sleep for two lengthy naps with no more than five minutes of mild fussing, and to sleep at night after 10 minutes of mild fussing. But today everything seemed off. It took her half an hour to fall asleep for her morning nap, though she seemed tired enough, and slept for only half an hour. I let her stay up because she seemed wide awake.

Though she fell asleep more quickly for her afternoon nap, she woke up again after only half an hour, despite having put herself to sleep without me in the room, obviously still tired. So I had to rock her back to sleep. I don't want to encourage her to think she has to be rocked back to sleep, but I didn't know what else to do. She was obviously exhausted but after having already slept for half an hour, I doubted she'd be able to put herself back to sleep on her own. Maybe I had too little faith in her, but I didn't want to risk her upsetting herself, not being able to get back to sleep and getting overtired.

In the late afternoon, she again seemed tired, but she refused to fall asleep and because it was getting late, I let her get up after half an hour in her crib. I don't know what I did wrong today, if anything.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 56: Maybe I'm not going to need to Ferberize after all!

I've been reading Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber. However, I've been slack and am not done the book yet, and I wasn't planning to really implement anything in the book until I was done it.

However, the one thing I have changed in the last few days is that I have started putting Mari down drowsy but fully awake for naps, kissing her goodnight and leaving the room. Until recently, I was putting her down only once she started closing her eyes, though before she fell fully asleep. About half the time she opened her eyes again when I put her down, but if she managed to fall asleep again she did so with me still in the room. I had huge problems with her waking up after only a short nap, still cranky and needing to be put back down right away.

Since I started following Ferber's advice to leave the room, let her fuss for awhile and if need be, re-enter the room, soothe her and go out of the room again quickly, before she falls asleep, Mari has started to nap much better. I think it's because she isn't falling asleep with me in the room and then waking up wondering where I am. Because she's in the same environment if she lightly wakes up as when she fell asleep, she can put herself back to sleep.

I haven't formally Ferberized. I have not left Mari to cry for increasing increments of time. I've just let her fuss for what I thought was a reasonable period of time. I haven't let her full-out cry. And yet I already see a huge difference. Mari is usually staying asleep for naps of about an hour and a half (give or take) for the morning and afternoon naps, though the late-afternoon nap, if taken (less often these days) is only about half an hour. She's still sleeping pretty well through the night, though still waking up typically once to feed at about 3-4 a.m.

I'm so much happier and better-rested and so is Mari. I will post about this again if this is still working in a few days, or when I decide if I'm going to formally implement a Ferber-type program. But I hope I don't have to.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 53: Daylight Savings Whine

Daylight savings time started today, which meant Mari woke up an hour later than usual, which would be great for her to keep up. But she napped so late both in the morning and afternoon, by the time she was tired again, it was too late to let her have a third nap, so I ended up putting her to bed a little earlier than I would have normally, which means it would have been VERY early before the time change. So I may have screwed myself out of a chance to have a baby who sleeps until 8 AM. We'll see what happens.

Mari has actually been napping only twice more and more, though she had three naps yesterday, when she was more or less back on what I used to think of as her normal schedule. I'd really like to have her on a predictable schedule, but I think I'll be loose with it for a few more days to see what happens with the time change.