baby milestones

June 12, 2007

I stayed home today because Diego woke up with a fever. Together we caught up on some PBS programming. I saw part of a show called “A Home of Our Own,” where a group of ladies talk about pressing mommy issues. The topic today was getting a baby to sleep through the night.

It got me thinking about how well Diego sleeps. He usually knocks out between 7 or 8 p.m. and gets up by 6:30 a.m. On rare days he’ll sleep until 7. That’s a good 11 hours, plus his late morning or early afternoon nap. That’s pretty early to be up on a weekend, but getting those extra hours alone at night really makes a difference. It feels like we’re so blessed now, that it’s hard to forget it took almost a year to get him into that sleep routine. Before that, Diego had us up at least once or twice a night wanting to breast feed.  In the early months I’d go to his crib every two or three hours. That’s also when his crib was in the bedroom with us.

One of the joys of moving to Walla Walla was getting Diego his own room. The first few weeks in the house, though, he’d start in his own crib and then end up in our bed. Eventually we got used to keeping him in his crib, but we’d still have to drag ourselves across the house to soothe him when he woke up. Once I stopped nursing him in the middle of the night everything else got easier, but not without a few rough days. What helped us was sticking to our routine and rules. Carlos gives him his bath and usually lays him down. Then I’m the one to get Diego in the mornings. I help with some of the bed-time routine: Diego only really lets me brush and floss his teeth, and I really enjoy going through a few books with him before bed. Then Diego says good-night to us and his toys and gets in his crib, where a blue blanket and some stuffed animals keep him company.

The show today emphasized having a routine and sticking to it, as well as letting the baby have some sort of soothing object to take to bed for comfort. The ladies also said how important it was that babies go to bed while still awake (but sleepy) so they learn to fall alseep on their own. At first Diego would wimper or cry out, and our rule became to wait at least five minutes before going back in. If he happened to wake up in the middle of the night, we’d hug him, then lay him back down without picking him up. Carlos did this task for a while because it was too tempting for me to go since I was no longer breast feeding.

I can’t even remember now how long it took him to get in the good habit, but it was a lot quicker than I expected. And now we’re all that much happier for it. I can’t believe I made it a year without sleeping through the night.

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5 Responses to “baby milestones”

  1. BONGO MIRROR said

    On the one hand, I’d like to say that you are indeed having a golden time. On the other, I’d like to warn that there still will be difficult nights. My youngest came down with a fever and was up during the night last night. The week before, my oldest had a fever and was throwing up in the middle of the night — on the positive side though all of it ended up in the toilet.

    Another of the things (and this takes a little while) that makes life better is allowing your child to ‘help’ with things. At first, it is more work having them ‘help’ put away groceries than it is to do yourself. But, that changes. By age four, the ‘help’ becomes help with no scare quotes.

  2. mipilar said

    thanks for the warning! we have had a few time when he’s sick that the baby wakes up a lot earlier, or won’t want to be put in the crib. he has had to sleep with us a few times. but compared to before, it’s a dream.
    i’m just now starting to enjoy the pleasure of having Diego “help” around the house. he likes to put things in the trash can, or to wipe things clean with a rag. and it’s so cute to watch him. groceries will probably take some time.
    how many kids do you have? we might be trying to another one soon…

  3. BONGO MIRROR said

    We have two. Sometimes I feel like they’re too close together and sometimes I wish they were a little closer.

    Sometimes they ask for more (though having cousins seems to have satisfied them). The most amusing case of asking was when my younger one asked for a little sister and then announced, “I’m sleeping in your bed with you tonight.”

  4. mipilar said

    we’re bracing ourselves for another one. if I have another boy, i might have to call it quits.

  5. BONGO MIRROR said

    I think two is a wonderful number. I have a bit of fear about being outnumbered. However, that fear is clearly nuts. I’ve seen people with more than two and they manage to herd them. I’ve also seen the older ones taking care of the younger ones. And, even more, the way we’ve organized our lives, we’re usually outnumbered. My sweetie and I both work but we work at different times of day so that the kids always have a parent looking after them. On the downside, we (my sweetie and I) rarely see each other.

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