Tag Archives: motherhood

If Sleep is for the Weak…

… then I would like to be very weak.

Ask any new parent or parent of babies/toddlers if life has changed for them after the arrival of their little one, and the unanimous answer would be, “I wish I could sleep through the night!”, “I wish I could get more sleep!” or, if speaking to a couple expecting a baby, “You should get all the sleep you can now.”

To be honest, Noah is a relatively easy baby who DOES take naps and sleeps for more than four hours at a stretch at night. But there are days when he just refuses to nap and I am exhausted trying to find ways to keep him entertained. I read to him, sing a couple of songs, talk to him and think that a lot of time has passed but nooooo… If I’m lucky, I would have managed to spend a grand total of fifteen minutes doing all that. It’s bad enough that he won’t nap, but usually, these bouts of ‘I refuse to nap’ come hand-in-hand with crankiness. I keep telling C how difficult it is to keep the baby entertained during the day, but as Murphy’s Law would have it, Noah only goes into wide awake and cranky mode when I’m alone with him. When C works from home, or when my mum takes a day off work to spend time with him, Noah is the perfect angel who naps in the day and smiles happily at them when he wakes up.

These days, Noah only sleeps at about 11plus or midnight, which is REALLY late for a 3-month-old. He begins his ‘tanking up’ at about 7plus or 8, takes a break in between at about 9plus or 10, and spends the next hour or two trying to chat with us or just sits/lies around sucking on his fists. I’ve tried to give him more milk or walked around with him in the Manduca to try and get him to sleep, but he just refuses to do so. After he’s had enough fun, he will start fussing and the ‘tanking up’ process continues until he falls asleep. The only good thing is that his late bedtime is our usual bedtime, and he will wake up for milk again only at about 5-6plus, before going back to sleep for a few more hours.

People always talk about having schedules and before I gave birth, I was determined to implement one. I read all about how we should have fixed daily routines, spoke to people about the Crying It Out (CIO) method and resolved to sleep train the baby. But now, I’ve realised that I can’t force Noah to drink milk or sleep when he doesn’t want to, and my dream of getting him to sleep on his own has remained a dream, as the main way I get the babe to fall asleep is to nurse him. He pretty much runs the show and just when I think I’ve gotten into some sort of a routine, he changes it again, just to keep me on my toes.

For my own sanity, I do bring him out during the day, for lunch appointments or just to do a little shopping, but having dinner out is tough as Noah gets much fussier and sleep becomes more elusive. I don’t know how long this phase will last but I just keep telling myself that ‘this too, shall pass’. For now, I shall enjoy my baby and wait patiently for the day, or rather, the night, that I can get my full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

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The Third Month

I can’t believe that our baby is three months old already! I do this ‘Photo a Day’ thing on Facebook with him after I got the idea from my friend, and when I look through his earlier photos, I’m so amazed by how much he’s grown. He’s still much smaller than the other babies around his age but I’m just glad that he’s growing pretty well. I’ve also had people telling me now that they thought he was super scrawny at birth and that his legs looked like chicken legs, but they just didn’t dare to say it at that time. Now that he’s put on some weight, his limbs no longer look that scary. Phew!

Noah’s neck is a lot more stable now and we no longer have to really support his neck when we carry him. This makes things so much easier! I can just pop him over my shoulder and he ‘sits’ quite comfortably on my arm while I walk around the house, instead of having to put him in the cradle position that we used previously. He enjoys being in the Manduca carrier too and can sleep for hours when he’s in it. I’ve gone out on my own with him in it and didn’t even need to nurse him during the four hours that I was out, because he was sleeping so soundly. The Manduca carrier is also the only way we can calm him down when he gets colicky at night, and I think it’s really worth every cent we paid. C remarked that it is money so well spent that our Bugaboo has become redundant, as Noah doesn’t sleep when we put him in the stroller and can get quite cranky if we leave him in it for too long.

We’ve also started putting him in the Bumbo a few days ago, after we visited the PD. Dr Ellen noted that Noah’s back is straighter now and so we figured we can try getting him to sit up more. He still needs to be closely monitored if we put him in the Bumbo, as his neck isn’t very strong and he bobs forward now and then. Noah seems to enjoy being in his bouncer too, so we use the bouncer more at the moment. I’m looking forward to letting him use the exersaucer but Dr Ellen suggested that we wait till he’s about four months old to try it.

This month, he got his first dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine and the poor boy wailed quite a bit as it’s a more painful jab than the 6-in-1 shot. The good thing is that he didn’t develop a fever this time round, for which I was really grateful, as I’ve been down with a sore throat, cough and blocked ducts for more than a week. C has been helping out more because I’ve been so tired and feeling unwell in general. He has been changing Noah’s diapers more frequently (and gotten poop exploding all over his hand while he was cleaning Noah’s bum) and also bathing Noah on a couple of occasions when I was just too exhausted. Noah adores C and I love how he looks at C and smiles.

Noah’s skin is still pretty sensitive and he keeps getting rashes all over his body and face. Dr Ellen says it’s most likely due to the heat and I’ve also noticed that if he’s kept cool, the rash isn’t as pronounced. I’m also trying out some new products on his skin, so hopefully, things will get better. He scratches his head quite a bit and we’ve resorted to making him wear mittens at night, so that he doesn’t end up with horrible wounds in the morning.

I miss being able to sleep through the night and being able to wake up late. As C puts it, Noah is an alarm clock with no snooze button. But when I see that adorable face smiling at me from his cot, or hear him ‘talking’ to his bumper or mobile, I forget how tired I am for a little while, and thank God for this very precious gift. 🙂

Our happy baby

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With all my Love… #4

Dear Noah,

You just had a marathon crying session, from about 830pm to 1015pm, the longest you’ve had so far. I’ve never felt so helpless before, trying desperately to soothe you in whatever ways I could. I think you were overtired and just couldn’t manage to get back to sleep on your own. You tried suckling, which usually manages to make you fall asleep within 15 minutes, but tonight, it didn’t work. I thought you might have needed to burp, so I tried burping you, which also didn’t work. You screamed away, kicking and pushing me wildly, with tears rolling down your cheeks.

To be honest, I’ve always been thankful that you weren’t a screamer and that you were relatively easy to pacify, if your needs were met before you got really upset. The only times you would really scream would be when I’m changing your diaper or trying to put you into a romper. But on those occasions, once I was done, you would calm down and a quick suckle would usually help in getting you to sleep. You also cry a little when I wash your hair but the crying stops when you go into the bathtub for your bath. Every now and then, you’d cry when you have to get out of the bathtub, but the crying usually lasts for half a minute. You really have never cried for such a long period of time before!

Just now, I tried massaging your belly gently, jiggling your butt the way the PD showed us, putting you down on our bed, but nothing worked. I was desperate. I swaddled you as tightly as I could, went ‘shhhhhhhhhhh’ loudly in your ear and tried jiggling you from side to side, the way Dr Krup did in his videos. You stopped crying for a while before wailing at the top of your voice. Finally, I switched off the night light, popped you on my shoulder and patted you frantically while going ‘shhhhhhhhhhh’, praying fervently for God to please PLEASE make you comfortable so that you would stop crying. The wailing finally stopped but your eyes remained open, as you whined and kicked feebly every now and then. It took another half an hour before you finally fell asleep and I dared to put you back into your cot. You’re asleep now and I really hope that this is the first and last time that you’d cry so much. It broke my heart to see you so miserable.

While we’re at it, could you also please stop crying when I change your diapers? You’ve been through the routine often enough for you to know that it’s not a bad thing. I mean, you get a clean diaper! You can’t possibly enjoy lying/sitting in your own poop for hours, right? The same goes for putting on your clothes. I know it seems scary when something is pulled over your head, and I admit that I sometimes don’t manage to get it over your head in one go. But struggling just makes things worse, and so does stiffening your arms so that I can’t pull them through the sleeves. If you cooperate with me, we’d be done much faster with the diaper and outfit changes. Try it and you’ll see.

One last thing. It is not protocol to poop or pee when your diaper is removed. I have no idea who told you that that was the way to go (no pun intended) but I really hate it when you do that. Not cool, son. Not cool at all. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to wipe up all the disgusting poop from the changing mat or had to change your clothes because the huge puddle of poop/pee got to them. Please wait until you are wearing a diaper properly, before you do your business, okay?

I’ve been told that I will miss having you at this stage. I do love looking at your sweet little face and hearing you coo. Even your warning whimpers are adorable, because as your daddy puts it, you have this ‘so poor thing’ look. I love it when you smile at me, or rather, in my general direction, as I suspect you’re probably just smiling at nothing in particular. I love holding you in my arms as you suckle, and having you lie on me as you fall asleep. Please continue to be our little angelic baby and don’t ever cry like that again… mummy can’t handle so much crying!

With all my love,
Mummy

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