Andrewâ€™s Sleep â€“ Hallelujah! This is probably the best update for this year. The beginning of the year started off awfulâ€”the jet lag from Hong Kong combined with Andrewâ€™s general terrible sleep patterns made for a really rough early January. Matt and I were taking turns watching him. One would watch him til 2am and then the other would take over. Heâ€™d be so spastic that I just set myself up in the living room with HBO Go set up on the TV and sit there with him on the boob whenever he fussed. I even dragged the Rock N Play next to me to attempt to get him out of my arms despite my vow to not let him sleep overnight in that. Anyway, one evening, he did a 4 hour stretch (which, believe me, was an amazing stretch at that point). Then, the next night, 5 hours. The second weekend, we had a date night and the sitter not only got him to sleep in the crib but he slept an amazing 8 hours (mark that night â€“ Jan 11th. As far as Iâ€™m concerned, Iâ€™ll consider that his first time â€œsleeping through the nightâ€). From then on, we decided to put him in the crib to sleepâ€”something we hadnâ€™t been successful doing at all prior to 7 months. A lot of other new sleep-related things happened around that time too:
A. Started to put him down â€œdrowsy but awakeâ€. One night during a late night wake up, I was so tired rocking him so I put him down to run to the bathroom. He was clearly awake when I lay him down. When I came back 2 minutes later, he was out. Thatâ€™s when I realized he was capable of putting himself to sleep â€“ something Natalie was never able to do. Weâ€™d always gotten this advice but it never worked with her. I couldnâ€™t believe it was something possible until, well, it worked with him. Ever since, I just rock him briefly (if anything, so I can get my own cuddles) and lay him down. He may fuss briefly but usually lets out a sign, rolls to his side and falls asleep. Uh-mazing.
B. Unswaddled him. We figured we were making so many changes so why not remove the swaddle. He wasnâ€™t really rolling much then so it wasnâ€™t much worry but figured at 7 months, it was time anyway. I borrowed a friendâ€™s â€œMagic Merlin Sleepsuitâ€ as a transition for a few weeks and it was a cinch! I donâ€™t know how much it was the sleepsuit vs him just being ready and fine going unswaddledâ€¦but even after a few weeks in that, we were able to switch to a sleepsack and that was easy as well.
Over the next month from that one 8 hour night, it was touch and go. On average, he woke up twice but would have 4-7 hour stretches in between. His second stretch was often long and he wouldnâ€™t wake until anywhere between 9-11am. It was an odd schedule but we went with it. On occasion, he would sleep straight through the night (10.5 hrs on Jan 21st and almost 13 hrs on Jan 25th) but the twice nightly wakeup was most commonâ€¦â€¦…but by mid-February, those wakeups pretty much became nonexistent, so for the last 1.5 months, his norm is sleeping straight through the night (WOO HOO!!) Sometimes heâ€™ll wake up and cry but will usually self soothe within 10 min. If not, one of us can usually rock him back to sleep pretty quickly. Iâ€™ve only needed to nurse him maybe once in the middle of the night since then.
(a side benefit of him sleeping through the night is that Iâ€™ve been able to get a really substantial early morning pump and rebuild my freezer stash)
So currently, I get him to bed around 8:30pm â€“ 9:00pm (I really should work on getting him down earlier but this time has worked well with our work schedules) and heâ€™ll sleep until about 8-8:30am on average. Itâ€™s awesome. [no jinx no jinx!]
Andrew is on solid foods â€“ I do wonder if this had anything to do with the change in sleep â€“ after we got back from Hong Kong, we introduced solid foods to Andrew. We started off with just dinner. Then a few weeks later, we added lunchâ€¦and by March, we were on 3 solid meals a day. He took to solid foods like a champ (though we stayed with purees as my brief attempts at more chewable foods resulted in scary gagging moments). What surprised us most was HOW MUCH he eats. In the beginning, we gave him 2-4 oz of foodâ€¦but now, he pretty much easily takes down 8-10 oz of food which is A LOT. Thatâ€™s like an entire bowl or two of those baby food pouches. Even then, he can still munch on a Mum Mum afterwards. Thatâ€™s so much more than what Natalie ate at this age.
Heâ€™s still only on purees but Iâ€™m really hoping to work on more solid foods soon. Meanwhile, like with Natalie, I make my own purees for the most part. On weekends, Iâ€™ll usually make sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, corn, carrots, or peas and freeze them in ice cube trays and stick them in gallon storage bags.
Other Andrew developments
- He got 2 teeth sometime between 8-9 months. He is constantly drooling nowadays and always wanting to gnaw on something. We have to put some good waterproof teething bibs on him; otherwise, his chest gets super damp by mid day from all his drooling.
- Around the same time, he finally learned to sit up unassisted! Itâ€™s so awesome because we can now plop him down with a bunch of toys around him and he can just play play play. This has really allowed us to let him be more independent now (whereas before, someone always had to hold him)
- He finally got long enough to really start jumping in the jumperoo. He LOVES it and we frequently put him there.
- Funny noises â€“ he learned to make raspberries and making this click-clack sound with his tongue. Itâ€™s so cute seeing him learn new noises he can make.
- Takes baths in the big bathtub now. He outgrew the Puj tub we were using in the sink. Although he can sit up on his own, I still feel better putting him in either the Eurotub on the inflatable ducky tub. That said, because I have him in that, weâ€™ve been able to have him and Natalie take baths together (even though sheâ€™s squeezed over to the side). Iâ€™m looking forward to putting the two of them in there together. I probably could now but I donâ€™t trust Natalie to not accidentally knock him over!
- Since he can sit up now, we put him in high chairs in restaurants now too. Itâ€™s great to have him be more engaged with the family when we go out now.
Andrew is just the sweetest baby and we are really enjoying this time right now with him. Itâ€™s that honeymoon period where heâ€™s gained more independence but yet hasnâ€™t learned to crawl away. We were a little concerned about his weight gain at his 9 month check up (just 3%!) so Iâ€™ve been sticking lots of butter in his purees and adding breastmilk/formula to his purees too to give him extra calories. I canâ€™t wait to weigh him again but he FEELS heavier and looks bigger to a lot of people that havenâ€™t seen him in awhile. He was only 15lb 6oz at his 9 mo check up. Wonder what he is now. I tried him on my home scale and it said 18 lbs. Is it possible for him to gain that much weight in a few weeks?
Meanwhile, things we are working on: pronouncing consonants (mama, dada, etc.), his pincer grasp, getting him to crawl (tummy time and getting him to reach items) and eating more solid foods.