Wolf slept poorly again last night. He woke up every 20 minutes and at one point, took an hour to settle down to sleep again. He kept howling on his hands and kneews, and couldn’t go back to sleep. It sounds like it might be teething. He seems to find his upper lip itchy. I was so exhausted by 4am but finally managed to sleep.
It has been alleged that most 9 month olds sleep through the night, but there are so many more factors to consider when compiling that data. What are they eating? Are the babies still breastfed? Do they co-sleep with their parents? Are they cared for by their mother or another caregiver during the day? All these factors can cause a child to wake repeatedly at night.
Is it a bad? I’ve never felt more comforted by having Wolf sleep beside me – it’s easy to nurse him and we both sleep better. But when he was in his crib, I’d walk over and check if he was still breathing several times a night – my mother did that too when I was a kid. With him next to me, I can just put my hand gently on him and know he is okay.
For me, I’ve given up on when he is going to sleep through the night. I take it a day at a time and take my mother’s advice: just enjoy your baby.
Sleeping Through The Night:
Sleeping Through The Night by Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC
Sleeping through the Night by Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.
Slumber’s Unexplored Landscape by Bruce Bower
Bedtime Story: Co-sleeping Research by James J. McKenna, Ph.D.
Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to Your Child at Night by Jan Hunt, B.A. Psychology (Magna cum Laude), M.Sc. Counseling Psychology
Need vs. Habit by Tine Thevenin
Statement on sleeping locations and sudden death in infants by Abraham B. Bergman, MD, Director of Pediatrics, Harborview Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Richard Harruff, MD, PhD, Medical Examiner of King County, Clinical Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Washington, MaryAnn O’Hara, MD, Robert Wood Johnson, Clinical Scholar, University of Washington
Lately my niece Kaitlyn has been very jealous of Wolf. My Mom had been caring for Wolf in the afternoons while I work and while Kaitlyn was never very accepting of the arrangement, she’s been very overt about her disdain for the baby and my Mom for carrying him or spending time with him.
I wonder how parents manage sibling rivalry. Every story I hear has anecdotes about how the older child always beats, slaps, whacks, or in extreme cases, tries to get rid of the baby. It would certainly be a trial dealing with a jealous elder child and coping with a newborn.
A friend of mine passed me several books on parenthood when I was 9 months pregnant. One of them is called Loving Without Spoiling, and whose author I do not recall. It’s with someone who has a toddler now and I hope it has been helpful for her.
There is so much to learn about parenting. So far, I have been taking one month at a time. Each child is different and I have made learning about Wolf my priority. Perhaps when we come to that crossroads, I will cross it. For now, I’ll just enjoy the moment.
There are a lot of concerns about co-sleeping. And they are valid ones. Baby suffocating under blankets or under a parent are terrible things and they have happened before.
For a breastfeeding mother, I was adamant Wolf slept in his crib. But that meant nursing him sitting up for an hour at bedtime while he lay on the MyBrestFriend cushion while I either zoned out, napped with my mouth open, read a magazine or book, played games or surfed on my mobile phone (usually the first two). And then lifting him up gently (wake alert!), removing the cushion, getting up (wake alert!) and going to the crib (wake alert!), and breaking my back to put him down (wake alert!) very gently, removing my arm which would be under his neck (wake alert!), and then removing my other hand which would be on his chest.
That process I mastered and perfected over the first 4 months and gleefully congratulated myself when Wolf slept through the night from 4, 5, 6, 7 hours and once even 9 hours! Alas, his 4th month sleep regression unwound everything and I was back to square one.
Sure, we tried some co-sleeping when he was born. Him in a tiny sleeper beside me. But now, he was a big boy and the doctor said okay. Since, it’s been reassuring and I love waking up next to him and seeing his sweet sleeping face beside me when I turn in.
I’ve been having insomnia lately and to avoid waking him, go outside the bedroom to read or surf. He wakes up almost every 20 minutes to 2 hours and it’s been fairly disrupting to my attempts to achieve flow.
Last night I crashed to bed early and we both slept almost through the night, waking only once when his Dad woke up for work. I think co-sleeping babies do know when their mothers leave the bed and if they’re sleeping alone. We both slept well till he woke up and started climbing all over me.
If you do wish to co-sleep, please read up very carefully on co-sleeping and safety.
I’m back from an hour trying to get Wolf back to bed. It’s been so tiring that I can’t sleep although I am really tired. Sometimes I just need to unwind.
Someone’s been burning something near my home and the smoke’s been lingering in the rooms, even the bedroom. Poor Wolf woke up crying repeatedly, refusing to be soothed even by boob. Till I think finally out of exhaustion, and maybe the OSIM air purifier finally kicking in.
Even Boy and Tux were howling some. I don’t know if it was because of the smoke, or because Wolf was crying so plaintively. They started only when he cried so it is possible it is most likely the latter. I would hate for them to be suffering from smoke inhalation.
As for why Wolf was temporarily inconsolable, it could be that the smoke upset his nose, hence he couldn’t suck well. But then again, he was drinking fine intermittently. Or perhaps the smoke bothers his eyes. Mine sting.
Is it a tradition for burning on the 7th day of Chinese New Year? I don’t remember. But I do remember groups of people burning stuff in the middle of the night last year. Whether it was for Chinese New Year or hungry ghost festival, I am not certain.
Anyhow, I’ve turned on both fans and opened all the windows. Hopefully the air will clear soon. I’m heading to bed.
It’s sad to hear the older generation criticise us for loving and giving our cats a home, but for the most part, most quietly accept it despite how they feel. When baby makes 8 (5 cats, hubby, and me), gentle and less gentle reminders resurface.
I will go with the evidence. Scientists have been proving for years that children are better off growing up with pets. They’re stronger, more responsible, more compassionate, and have less allergies than children who haven’t.
Nonetheless, as hard as it has been, I have stuck to my guns.
Wolf enjoys supervised playtime with the cats now. He’ll sit next to Tux, eagerly patting him while I guide his hand to be gentle. He understands gentle, just as he understands light, flower, Buffy, and cats. He stays his hand until he gets excited again.
But he will learn. Already he no longer grabs at something. He pats at things he likes: Mommy, Daddy, Boy, Tuxie, Buffy (Sam and Kaku are too shy for now). So he likes the cats. Very much. That just brings a smile to my face.
There is a curious similarity between my two boys Wolf and Tux. They both love to slide open their father’s cupboard door, go through the garbage bin, and even tear open supermarket-sized plastic bags with stuff inside.
Both howl a lot, and demand a lot of their parents’ attention. They both love to eat a lot and just about anything. Tuxie has been known to even tear through candy and chocolate wrappers. Wolf gnaws through anything plastic-wrapped.
Both are big-boned and heavy. In fact they weigh the same: 9kg!
Both have the same naughty look on their faces…
We were just sitting on the bed, me with my magazine and he flipping through Brain Child when I spotted Buffy at the window. His back was facing me when I said, “Hey look, Wolf, it’s Buffy at the window. Say hi to Buffy.” He looked straight at the window and then looked at me squealing in delight. Later, he said “Mama” which thrilled me to no end.
If you ever have any doubt whether your child understands you, try a similar experiment. In our case, the opportunity simply presented itself and I grabbed it. It’s a wonderful revelation but it also means everyone has to watch what they say around Wolf now. I do try to keep things on a positive note and ask that my family does too. Children are the best mimics.
This is a great landmark for Wolf.
Previously at night he’d be calling for me when he woke. Even if his Dad was there, he might well be nothing more than a log beside him, patting and trying to soothe him.
But last night he recognised the sleeping form of his Dad, now immune to his crying. His Dad had found him wide awake, sitting, and patting his back laughing and shrieking in delight. I’d been in the other room online. He had to call me twice before I heard him.
I went in to nurse him and he fell right back asleep. I’m so proud of him. It’s a first step towards independence. All the attachment we have been sharing has paid off.
He’s now happily playing with his Dad, crawling everywhere, the cats wandering here and there around him. He always watches them rapt, intrigued. It’s a lovely Saturday for all of us here.
Wolf was a total angel last night and today. I think it could be that peaceful period from 41-46 weeks according to The Wonder Weeks. He happily played with his Bunny Twins (actually a plush neck rest) in his car seat all the way home without any fuss.
Last night he slept straight through from his 3am wake-up to around 8am I think. I feel so rested today. All morning he was cheery and playful all morning and managed to enjoy his car ride out today for most of the way (he was hungry).
He’s been saying “Baba” a few times today and “Ma” once to my delight! I think he might be done with the motor skills development for a while and is practicing talking. His mouth has been moving like a motor.
From LiveScience.com today:
Warmer temperatures promised by climate change researchers could affect children more than adults in the form of more frequent fevers.
An Australian researcher compared emergency room visits for children under age six to climate data. Higher temperatures outside were related to more visits by children with fevers and gastroenteritis.
‘We showed that maximum daily temperature is strongly associated with emergency presentations of fever and gastroenteritis among young children, with UV index negatively associated with gastroenteritis,” said Lawrence Lam, a pediatrics lecturer at Sydney University.
The possible reason: Children’s bodies can’t cope with extreme changes in temperature as well as adults.
“The results from this study suggest a detrimental effect from climatic changes, particularly in terms of maximum temperature, on children’s health,” Lam said. “As global warming is becoming more apparent, there is an urgent need for more in-depth and thorough investigation of climatic factors on human health, especially in early childhood.”
The study, announced today, is detailed in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research.
Lam found no connection between climate and emergency visits due to respiratory problems. Other researchers have speculated that global warming will fuel increased allergies.
This basically means Wolf should be kept out of the sun (or wear sunblock) and be hydrated while outside.