Posted by: emjb | February 26, 2006

A milestone and a setback

Good: He rolled over this week! I couldn’t have been prouder if he’d won the Nobel Prize. It’s so funny to see his little instincts kick in…it’s not like I’ve been teaching him to try rolling over. But he works at it doggedly, first pulling up his fists to slobber on, then curling up his legs. Then in a sort of slow wiggle, he gradually works himself onto his side and then over.

Now if he could just figure out what to do once he gets there; I have to rescue him every time because he ends up face-planting and can’t breathe. He hasn’t got the arms-supporting-him physics figured out.

Bad: we’re back to square one on the sleep thing. Still wakes up every two hours, sometimes more, even when he naps. He can get to sleep, but something always makes him wake up, flailing his limbs and making pitiful moans and whines. I don’t think it’s outside stimuli usually…just some sudden twitch of his own, even when it’s dead quiet and he’s dry, fed, and, as far as I can tell, comfortable. Sleeping in our bed seemed to help for a while, but now it’s doing bupkis. So tonight I’ve been swaddling him again (if I really work it, the swaddle blanket still fits) to cut down on the flailing and make sure he stays warm, because he kicks off all covers even when it’s freezing. And putting him back in his crib. He’s woken up twice in the last hour, and I’ve fed him a little, let him go back to sleep, and put him back in the crib. Don’t know if it’ll work to help him stay asleep, but at least he can flail his legs without kicking me in the ribs. I keep thinking I will find the magic rhythm, the magic combination of feeding/snuggling/letting him fuss a little that sends him off to lala land. Some part of me seems to think it exists, and can be found before he turns 10.

The thing is, he doesn’t wake up all the way. He cries, but without opening his eyes. He WANTS to sleep, but something’s making him fight it. Like someone’s been putting caffeine in his formula. I’d suspect a food allergy or gas, but he doesn’t seem to be in any pain and doesn’t cry at all when he’s awake…in fact, he’s in excellent spirits except at bedtime. An utter mystery.

It really doesn’t seem like a good idea, evolution-wise, to have infants that deprive their parents of sleep and make a lot of noise in the process. Wouldn’t this have attracked all the sabre-tooth tigers in the area, and the sleep-deprived cave people would have been too tired to fight them off effectively? Or maybe the tigers couldn’t take the wailing either. Maybe it’s actually a defense mechanism. At any rate, get-your-kid-to-sleep books remain a growth industry, at least among people unwilling to spike the formula with Nyquil. Not that I’ve ever considered that while I rocked a wailing child at 4 am after days of 4 hours sleep a night. Oh no. Not me.



  1. “A growth industry.” Heh. Baby sleep books are like magic weight-loss schemes: the sheer number of them proves their uselessness. If they worked, everyone would be svelte and well-rested.

  2. Sometimes, when babies are going through something, and trying to learn something new, their sleep pattern is interupted. It happened with of my boys. As soon as he masters the rolling and propping, I’d wager his sleep patterns go back to normal. I could always tell when they were about to do something new, because they slept horibbley.

  3. Yeffie, I hope you are right. And some of his waking does seem to be from trying to practice turning over in his sleep….I don’t dare hope, though.

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