Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall and Fighting Naps

Fall is my favorite season.  The weather is just right for wearing fuzzy sweaters and jeans (although I'm not quite fitting into these things yet and the weather has been unseasonably warm lately) and the leaves on the trees turn to such pretty colors.

And this October my baby turned 3 months old.  But I think I read too many books telling me that things got easier at 3 months.  Granted, he's only been 3 months for a few days but he's seemed unusually grumpy and his grumpiness seems to stem from frustration.  At least as far as I can tell, he wants to go places and be able to do things that he can't do yet.  But of course, he hates tummy time which is designed to strengthen his muscles so he can learn to sit up and crawl eventually.  Even when we go outside and go for a walk in the pretty fall weather he only lasts for so long before he seems frustrated that he can't get out and play in it.  It all leads me to the conclusion that I am going to have my hands completely full when he does start crawling.

Therefore, he MUST start taking regular naps or else I'm not going to have time to use the bathroom once he starts crawling, let alone do anything else like get dinner ready.  But as always, we are constantly having nap problems.  For one thing, he doesn't seem to like his crib.  For right now it's okay because I can put him in the pack and play bassinet next to our bed for naps.  But he's so friggin long that pretty soon he's going to outgrow the pack and play bassinet and then he'll have to sleep in his crib because there will be nowhere else.  Plus, once he does start crawling, I will need that pack and play downstairs so I can put him in it while I make dinner.

For another thing, he can now roll over so I can't swaddle him anymore.  This is causing even nighttime sleep to be problematic because when he wakes up, it's like pulling teeth to get him to settle back down.  He doesn't start crying or want to be picked up, but he's constantly wiggling and making little grunty noises and trying to flip over, thus preventing his mommy from ignoring it and going back to sleep.

Finally, he's still only taking 30-45 minute naps at a time, which means I can't get anything done while he's napping.  I finally got a handle on the getting him to sleep problem by holding him until he's dead asleep, but now he can't seem to settle himself back down and go back to sleep if he wakes up even a little while he's napping.  And it doesn't help when Nickel starts randomly barking, although I have decided now that the dog will go down in the basement while Elijah is napping to prevent Nickel making startling noises, causing the baby to wake up and me to want to take a frying pan to his doggy head.

On the positive side, Elijah is much more efficient at eating now and we've completely eliminated the use of the breast shields.  That has helped greatly in removing him from my breast when he falls asleep.  When I was using the shields, there was always milk left in the shield that would drip when I pulled him away from the breast.  Now there's no dripping.

Another positive is that he seems somewhat more interested in toys.  I don't think it will be much longer before he's able to grasp and play with toys, which will make our days more interesting and fun.  If he was a older, I'd rake up leaves and let him jump in the piles, but obviously we can't do that right now.  Maybe next year.  This year all we were able to do is make him a spider costume and take him to the Cider Mill.  Of course he slept most of the time because he didn't take a good morning nap.  And I couldn't really get a good picture of him in his costume, but there's always next week.  I'll dress him in his costume again for Halloween Day and hopefully we can get a decent picture before he conks out on me again.

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