Thursday, January 7, 2010

10.5 months

snow drifts

poor billy

caught mid-sentence

finally figured out the pacifier, sort of.

our charlie brown tree

hector helping with the wrapping paper

leon is quite the busy baby. every day i'm convinced he's going to start walking, but i think he's taking his time after pulling up to stand at 6.5 months and standing on his own at 9.5 months.

although he doesn't really say specific words, leon carries on conversations with me, matthew, and the cats. sometimes he scolds us, other times he chatters, and more often than not he collapses in a hysteric fit of giggles. mama the pack leader is working non-stop now. if i say 'no,' he pauses, retracts the hand, and proceeds to argue with me. when i say 'no' again, he looks at me, a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth, waiting to see if i'll smile back. if my stern face relaxes just a tiny bit, that sly little hand stretches out again. sigh. my mom was right when she told me i would have my hands full disciplining him.

we started a new 'sleep training' program 5 days before christmas because that's how we like to spend our holidays. for 3 nights it was awful. i would nurse him in bed from 7pm until 11ish, and then refuse to nurse until at least 5am. i still co-sleep, which means i have to figure out other ways to soothe him such as rocking, patting, and shushing. the first night he protest-cried for 2 hours, slept for 1, and then cried again for an hour before falling asleep for 2 more hours. the second night he cried for 1 hour, slept for 2, repeat. by the fourth night, he was not only sleeping 2.5-3 hours between 7 and 11, he also was going right back to sleep between 11 and 5.

it was going well until day 8. ever since then, he goes back to sleep quickly after a few pats, except between 3 and 4. during this hour, he cries a little, lurches about the bed, often knocking his head against my face (ouch), and then flops down across my chest. as soon as i remove him, the whole cycle starts again. sometimes i remain calm and stoic, other times i tell him how much i dislike him.

progress, even at a snail's pace, is good enough for me. i'm relieved that he doesn't cry from distress or fear, only out of indignation. it's also reassuring to know that he can fall asleep relatively easily without nursing. we decided to do this partly because we hope he'll sleep better and for longer periods by nursing less frequently at night. i also wanted him to not rely on night milkfeeds because it was altering my day supply for the worse. leon now nurses more often during the day, every 2-3 hours instead of every 4-5, so i don't have to worry as much about dehydration (he's terrible with the sippy cup and regular cup).

it's also a relief to not obsess about sleep even while working to adjust his sleep patterns. even though he's still high-energy during the day, i don't fret about it as much because i'm feeling ok about the sleep issue. although he doesn't clap, he now hits objects together, which is almost the same thing i suppose. he's obsessed with putting things into containers. ever since he started playing with his montessori box, he spends most of his time trying to put objects into baskets, cups, anything. leon is also getting steady enough that he can bob up and down to music while standing, and he's becoming quite adept at crawling onto and off from the couch.

climbing off of the couch from erica kim on Vimeo.

my favorite new leon thing is his propensity to share. just a few weeks ago he began offering things for us to bite, usually right after he's had a good nibble on them. he can also pet the cats without yanking their fur, and he loves giving them (and us) bear hugs. as gratifying as that first smile was, i'm even more enamoured with leon's affectionate overtures.


melissa k w said...

great news about the sleep training! a couple of friends used the ferber method with varying luck. we are close to trying it, but the method you used looks interesting, too.

leon looks like a real little boy now! it's hard for me to believe that little hugh will be mobile like that one of these days.

so glad you guys are doing well.

JuliaG said...

Just want to give you hope on the co-sleeping, nurse-all-night baby front (came to you through Stella). My first was a terrible sleeper for the first two he is a confident little 3.5 year old that sleeps on his own in his toddler bed. I read to him and sing him a song and then as I head down the stairs we blow kisses to each other and he sleeps all night long with no anxiety or fears...I really believe he benefited from our gentle sleep methods (there was some bribery and prodding at various points of course, but not until he was old enough to participate in the discussions). Kudos!