Saturday 31 January 2009

4 months, 4 weeks, 4 days

Weight: 12 lb to go (as of Tuesday/4 days ago) 

Exciting news today. Callum did it! He actually slept through the night!!!!

Lets go through the whole week though. It has been an emotional one for me. Monday didn't start too bad (was quite good considering the weekend). However, I had a dentist appointment (scary in itself but was just a quick check up so not too bad) and, just typical, Callum had decided he wanted a longer nap than his usual 45 minutes. I was taking him over the road so Lou could babysit for me while I was at my appointment. I left it until the last minute but still had to wake him up. I tried to take him over asleep so he could continue to sleep over the road but it didn't work. Little did I know at the time, that that would be the only long sleep he would go for. I can't help but wonder whether me waking him up caused the shorter naps for the rest of the week!

So, every day after that, he only did 30-45 minute naps each time and would wake up still tired and grumpy afterwards. Nothing I did could get him to go back off to sleep. I found myself counting the time down until bath then bedtime, which I hate. But it is so hard to deal with constant crying and clingyness. I think, what made matters worse, was when I was at a friends house on Thursday, he didn't want to go to sleep at all, being a new house and lots to take in. I ended up having to rock him in his car seat to go to sleep and then it was only for 30 minutes. By Friday, it was horrible. He wouldn't do any longer than 30 minutes and it was the 4th day of him being grumpy. For his luncthime nap, after he woke up after 30 minutes again, I ended up holding him in the rocking chair to get him off to sleep again before putting him down in his cot. Really bad but I just couldn't take another 2 hours of him crying and not wanting to play with anything. It was a short respite though as he had another 30 minutes for his next nap and woke up from that, just as grumpy as before. At least I only had an hour of it though before it was bathtime.

In addition to not sleeping for long, by Friday, he also wouldn't go down to sleep very easily and, on one occasion, it took me 30 minutes to get him to sleep and fell asleep through exhaustion rather than anything else.

So, daytime naps have been bad! However, on a positive side, bath and bedtime has been lots better. I give him his bath, then massage, and then I feed him his bottle, read a story or two then, if there is milk left, I offer it to him again. Then he goes in his cot, lullaby/lightshow on, light off, and that's it. He goes to sleep without another peep.

We decided during the week that we were going to try stopping the dreamfeed. I looked back at a couple months after he was born, before we started doing the dreamfeed, and he actually started going longer between feeds in the night. He would sometimes do up to 6 hours. Whereas now, he only did, on average 4 hours, sometimes 5 but often 3 hours. Also, it was the first sleep after we went to bed that he was starting to stretch out, where as we were disturbing this time and topping him up with milk. I can see how it works for others and definitely think, for some, it is worth doing, but it just wasn't working for us.

The first night of trying this, he woke up just before 12, then 4 and then 7, so not much better, then it was sometime before 10pm, then 3 then 7. Then he did from 6.30pm until 2.50am, so that was an 8 hour stretch!! Then last night, he had his milk at 6.30, going to bed at 7pm and then didn't wake until 7.10am :oD. I'm not expecting miracles at this point and fully expect it might be a one off but, at least now I know he can do it so I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Night times are getting sorted, just need to work on the daytimes now. But, this has given me renewed energy (easy to say when Stuart is home rather than being on my own) and has spurred me on.

A couple of days ago, I thought we were a long way off this and still felt like it might never happen, so, for those of you out there that still feel like this, it will happen, hang in there!

Wednesday 28 January 2009

4 months, 3 weeks, 1 day

Weight: 13lb to go

Well, after my week of hardly going out to work out Callum's daytime sleeping pattern, I ended the week completely none the wiser. If he has a long nap (1.5-2 hours) it could be at any point during the day. The other naps still vary between 30 and 45 minutes. It is rare that he will have more than one long nap in a day (it is still occasional that he has one!). 

We had one of the worst nights since Callum was born last week. I think he was under the weather. He had a bit of a temperature but it wasn't clear what was wrong. The next day, I saw a lot of wax around his ear as if he had water in his ear that had come out and when I went to wipe it he cried out so I wonder whether he had water trapped that was hurting him.

Anyway, I was out for a meal with a couple of friends and, while I was gone, he had pretty much been fine. He woke for feeding around 10pm and then Stuart tried to dreamfeed him about 11.30pm. After his dreamfeed, though, he wouldn't settle back down. He just kept crying. Sometimes he would dose off, so I would get into bed, then 5 minutes later he was crying again. We tried giving him Calpol but he threw up everywhere so I then needed to change the bed cover and all his clothes. I tried feeding him again at 1am but he hardly had 1/2 oz. This continued until about 3.30am when I was soooo tired, I had to try and get some sleep so I took Callum into the spare room to try to get him to sleep with me. I did eventually, with him asleep in my arms. He would wake up and cry if I moved my arm from underneath him so I had to leave it there, which meant I didn't get much sleep myself. Plus he continued to wake up every 30 mins or so (I don't know exact times as I didn't have a clock). I tried feeding him again around 4am but, again, he only took 1/2 oz.  He then woke about 6.40am where I tried to feed him again and he took about 2-3oz. I then managed to get him back to sleep, despite him really wanting to get up, and we both had our best sleep until 9am. 

The next day, I think we were both feeling sorry for ourselves. I don't want another night like that in a hurry. I did try Calpol again at some point during the day the next day and, again, he threw it up along with the bottle of milk he had just eaten. Lesson learned - don't give Calpol after milk!

After that night/day he started to become harder to settle to sleep again. After getting him to go in his cot awake and get himself off to sleep, it felt like a big step backwards and was worse this time because he now refuses his dummy and his muslin didn't seem to be doing anything to comfort him. After taking 30 minutes (which compared to stories I've heard from other mothers, isn't much time in the grand scheme of things and he was still asleep by 7.15pm) I was really frustrated and upset as I could see us going back to rocking him/cuddling him to sleep. Thankfully, the next day was fine, and he went down really easily. I think it was just a blip. I think I just need to make sure he is tired and I'm not putting him down too early - which could be why he took so long to get to sleep when he took 30 minutes that night.

We went swimming with Callum for the second time on Saturday. The first time we only got to stay in the water for about 10 minutes as the pool wasn't supposed to be open (it was closed for lessons). We were in the water for about 30 minutes this time. I really expected him to like the water more and I was expecting him to be like he is in the bath but he seemed really non-plussed by the whole thing! I do want to keep taking him. They do a Waterbabies class at the Leisure Centre for children to gain confidence with being in the water. I want to try to go to that next week.

Callum is still trying to roll. He did have a break from trying for about a week but he has been trying quite hard again for the last couple of days. He is also trying hard to catch his feet. It is quite sweet to watch. He has grabbed them a couple of times but can't quite reach comfortably. Hard to believe he'll be putting his feet in his mouth before long!!

Not sure if I've mentioned this but we have been thinking about when we come to wean Callum. He is showing no interest in food at the moment and none of the signs that he is ready to be weaned so we are going to wait until the recommended 6 months. Then we want to try Baby-Led Weaning. This is where, rather than giving your baby purées and weaning slowly with one spoon of one type of fruit or veg for three days, then another for another three days, you actually give your baby finger food, usually at the same time you eat. So battons of carrot, sticks of brocolli, toast soldiers. They then feed themselves and get to eating proper meals a lot quicker. I've heard reports of people taking their 7 month child to a restaurant and him feeding himself. Apparently, it is very messy, but lots of fun! We shall see! The main risk to this type of weaning is if you have food allergies in your family, which neither of us do. 

The weaning guidelines used to be to wean from 4 months (3 months not long before that). You had to start on puréed food and then by 6 months you should be on to proper solids. Now, the guidelines recommend weaning from 6 months as the child is more likely to be able to sit unaided or comfortably with their head up in a high chair and can find their mouth, but they haven't updated the guidelines for the puréed food. However, the do say to introduce lumps and solids as soon as possible after 6 months.  

Anyway, I'm going to give it a go. You don't know until you try do you? I just have this romantic notion of preparing food and giving Callum bits of what I'm cooking and letting him munch away on them and munching on soldiers of toast and marmite.

I'm meeting someone I've met on the forum I chat on today who lives in the same area as me, which is quite exciting. Sounds silly saying I've met someone on the Internet, but it isn't like I've gone out to purposely meet someone and it would be silly to find someone in the same area to you with a baby at a similar age and not to meet for a coffee/tea. I'll let you know how it goes but she sounds lovely on the forum.

Tomorrow morning, Callum and I are going with some of the other post-natal mums to Mumbaba which is a singing/music group. Not really sure what to expect, but it might be fun...he he.

Think that about brings us up to date :o)

Tuesday 13 January 2009

19 weeks

1 stone to go until pre-pregnancy weight (on 2 Jan when I started diet, I had 1st 6lb to go)

Well, we are still all over the place with sleep.

It still seems a bit adhoc whether Callum only wakes once in the night or wakes 2-3 times. I've thought of everything I am doing and whether I am doing anything different but I can't find a reason. Unfortunately, the waking before dreamfeed, then 2am, then between 5 and 6am seems to be the more common routine. 

It is so frustrating.

Tonight, rather than feeding Callum half his milk before his bath and then the other half after, I might just give it all to him after in the hope he wont wake up before his dreamfeed. I think this should work today, but not sure what I will do when he is crying with hunger just before bath time. 

Regarding sleeping in the day, I've dedicated this week to tackling it. I'm only going out if I have to (such as pilates today).  So far, so good. 

Monday, Callum slept for 1 hour then grizzled half asleep for 3o mins in the morning, then slept for 1.5 hours after lunch, and then had a 30 minute sleep in the afternoon. 

Today, he slept for 1.5 hours and woke up really happy. He didn't cry when he woke up, he was just talking to himself and jumped when I went up to get him. I then had to go to Pilates before his next nap, which was due while I was there. He went to sleep in his car seat right on cue and is stil asleep now 1.5 hours later. Would also like to add, he was very, very good while at Pilates, happy watching and playing and only starting to get grizzly when it got to sleep time. Even then, it was more like one groan, then he was asleep. 

Not sure what is going on with Callum's digestive system today...I've had to change 4 pooey nappies in a row, the last resulting in an outfit change! Oh my life is so glamourous!

Wednesday 7 January 2009

18 weeks, 1 day old

Someone keeps moving the goal posts!!!!!

Whenever you feel like you are making progress, something else pops up to leave you frustrated and not knowing what to do!

Now, I know I said I wouldn't read another book or listen to another 'expert', so please don't shoot me, but...I have been reading 'Secrets of the Baby Whisperer' by Tracy Hogg (with Melinda Blau). I just thought I would get some 'advice' or ideas on daytime sleeping as it was getting infuriating with Callum not sleeping more than 40-45 minutes during the day at any one time. Tracy advised that a baby Callum's age should be having two 2-3 hour sleeps during the day. I, therefore, thought about trying to get Callum to do a longer sleep in the morning for his first daytime sleep.

Well, low and behold, without even trying (despite being poised outside his door after 40 minutes ready to plug him back in with the dummy), as if he knew what I had been reading, he slept for 1.5 hours. Hooray! I was then out an hour later and he slept for another 1.5 hours and then he had another two 45 minute sleeps during the day before bedtime. He then slept as normal through the night (i.e. had a dreamfeed at 11, woke up at 3.20am then about 6.45am for feeds). The next day, he did 2 hours in the morning then a mix of sleeps during the rest of the day. And today he slept for 1 hour, woke, then got himself back off to sleep again for another hour. He then had two short sleeps in the afternoon. So great - we have made progress even if we haven't quite got the rest of the afternoon sleeps in any kind of routine. I need to be home for a few whole days to do that and that's just not possible this week!

BUT....something seems to be going wrong at night. The night before last he woke at 10.45, just before his dreamfeed. He then woke up at 2am and then 5.30am to be fed. Then last night he woke up at 9.50pm and then woke up at 2 then 5.30 again. Then, tonight, he has just woken up at 9.15pm for food. After his bath and the second half of his feed which he has between 6.30 and 7pm, he normally doesn't wake up again, right up until his dreamfeed at 11. 

What's going on????

I keep reading more about this 4 month blip and it does sound like people with babies of the same age are having the same problem - in fact they have coined the phrase 'four monthlies' for it. They say it is just a phase that lasts a couple of days to a week. I really hope so! 

On putting Callum down to bed awake and him going to sleep, I do think we have conquered that one, so another Hooray! there too.

I have to remember the progress rather than focusing on the set backs!!!