2 Years & 3 months: Negotiation and Patience

I think a lot of us would agree that babies/toddlers, understand a lot more than they can verbalize articulately. Much like Lolo’s waking’s in the middle of the night (conversation: Mummy: ‘why do you get up in the middle of the night to mummy and daddy’s room?’ Lolo: ‘Because I like you; mummy, daddy and AJ’. Translation: ‘I’m lonely.’) It’s the craziest thing that she feels such a strong emotion because mummy, daddy and AJ are sleeping in the same room since AJ was born 9 weeks ago and that she feels like she’s missing out all alone in her room. So what was our plan? Negotiation and bribery.

Step 1: Understanding her situation and making her feel safe. We told her that we loved her and that we had not put her in a different room as a punishment. That we had AJ in our room because he kept waking in the middle of the night and we wanted to make sure that Lolo could get some sleep. And the reason she needed to stay in her room is to help mummy and daddy get as much sleep as possible.

Step 2: Negotiation & Bribery: She would get either Frozen stickers or Minion stickers if she could sleep through the night and not come into mummy or daddy’s room for 3 nights in a row. When she could get up was indicated by the ‘sun coming up’ on her Groclock. And IF she came in on the next night after having successfully slept 2 nights for example, we would reset and start back at zero. She needed to sleep 3 consecutive nights to get her into the habit of staying in her room again. The choice between the stickers in itself I think is a kind of prize, she gets to make a choice as up til now we have been mandating the terms.

Step 3: Patience. Personally I think it’s crazy to think that a child can understand the concept of sleeping 3 nights in a row otherwise everything starts from the beginning again. I also think it’s amazing that she was patient enough to wait 3 days! The first morning of course she bounded in proudly and said ‘Sun up! Please can I have my stickers’. My heart melted and I almost gave in but we repeated that this was 1 of 3 nights and she still had 2 left. There was no conviction in my words but I still said them. I even gave her the stickers to hold so she could really imagine her prize. And this morning after 3 successful nights it was such a cute thing to watch her evaluate with consideration which prize she really wanted. After a minute of holding both, she handed back the minions to daddy to put away and kept the frozen stickers. Genuinely impressed she did not run away and tear open both sets! The Minions are now set for 4 night’s time, and so we begin again.

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Happy 2 month birthday

Happy Birthday for yesterday. weighing in at 5.5kg, at last reaching the 50th percentile. 75th percentile for height. AJ seems to be hitting his stride. Well done my little monkey, pumpkin, sausage.

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The first 8 weeks of Number 2

This aims to capture a few developments and thoughts around these first 8 weeks of AJ’s life. Lolo’s been doing brilliantly with him so far. So proud of her, kissing AJ and being super gentle with him. She sat on him today by accident (all is well) but other than that no real incidents.

I have to admit the first week is like a hole – still. You go in, its dark, unexpected, daunting and you don’t know when you’ll get out. The one thing that is really helpful is, having been through this before, it’s familiar territory. You recognize the constant guessing at what your baby needs. The gut wrenching fear that if you put them down now they might wake up or if you rock them another 5 mins they’ll definitely be asleep – dear God whatever happens pls don’t let them wake up again. I decided not to be as precious about giving him a bottle of formula during the day if I was not feeling comfortable enough to breastfeed whilst we were out and about.  It’s all still a roller coaster, but this time you know there is an end to it. Things change constantly but you know what you’re end goal looks like and that this is all part of the course. This is a big comfort in the middle of the night.

I’d say day 3 AJ started showing signs of differentiating night from day, sleeping at last from about 11-3 and then again til 6. We concentrated on getting most of his calories during the day and allowing him that one crucial nap around 4-5pm. We were good at putting him in the moses basket at nap times to start with but slowly he started resisting in a big way. Once his morrow reflex woke him up, if he was in the moses basket that was it. He’d be up and he’d be cranky. Where he starved pretty much the first 3 days I feel bad and so although I have tried to let him cry it out, my heart literally bleeds and after a few 2 hour crying sessions I’m going to wait a little longer before enforcing naps. Currently his nap routine is roughly 9am, 12 and 4pm. And I hold my hands up, he sleeps on me. I’d rather a baby who is well rested than someone who screams all day because he is over tired. So I use a mix of methods, prams, car seat and I allow him to sleep on me, especially for the 4-5pm slot. I don’t intend to have any more kids, so to be honest – I’m enjoying my new born hugs. And this is the thing, again, this will all change soon. For example only 4 months til he starts solids. Genuinely crazy how fast time has flown.

At 3 weeks he started sleeping 10pm-6am but then regressed a little doing 10-4 and then through to 6/7. And these last couple of days he’s been going down around 8pm and up at 4, then through to 7am. At this age, sleeping and eating are really the main things. He poops well too. The poop, how could I forget about the poop – eating, sleeping and pooping. From about 4 weeks we’ve been having a load more smiles and semi-laughing. He held his head up from day one (I must do some more exercises with him to help strengthen it). He’s been 25 percentile so far, steady growth although having weighed him today he’s 5.3kg – a 500g increase in one week! All breast with one formula feed in the evening, personally happy with that.

We spent the first 3 weeks growing well but with a touch of baby acne (poor sausage). Weeks 4-6 Lolo lovingly gave him a stinker of a cold, and mummy too. Weeks 6-8 Lolo has been home from the childminder’s (who’s on hols) so I’ve been juggling both of them (serious high fives to all parents who have to wrangle 2 young kids). He’s been to 2 adventure playgrounds, 2 farms, several shopping trips and a castle. If its still raining tomorrow he might even get to meet a Gruffalo

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2 Years 3 months: Mummy’s little helper

It’s a small thing but it’s lovely noting the developmental progress I see in Lolo. She really is more capable than I give her credit for. I just need to remember to give her the opportunity to try and remind myself to ask her, not just with things I know she can do but with all the others she has yet to try. She’s proved this in the local adventure playground. She goes on everything, and I mean everything including things I wouldn’t go on (stairs made of bars with a foot gap in-between each one that goes from vertical to horizontal i.e. she needs to to stand on the edge of one bar , holding on and somehow balance and navigate her foot over to the platform at the end. Truly heart stopping.) She does all these things because she wants to and I guess because I don’t tell her she can’t, or tell her she’s too young – she just tries things out. She keeps asking to be my helper when I’m in the kitchen so I’ve had her helping me chop tomatoes and peel potatoes – with strict supervision of mum of course! Today she wanted to help whilst I did the washing. There wasn’t enough room for the two of us so instead, like a puzzle I got her to put the cutlery away in the drawer. Earlier today she was pairing socks up for me. It really is pretty amazing what a two year old can do.

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2 year old; best quote

mummy, ‘lolo, why have you been waking up and coming into mummy and daddy’s room before the sun is up?’
I.E. when the sun comes up on her groclock to tell her it’s time for her to wake up / leave her room. we’ve had a run of 3am-ers.

Lolo, ‘because I like you’.

Awe

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2 plus more

Our childminder’s on holiday at the moment so the way I’ve found to deal w two little people at home is to..  add more people! for the last two weeks we’ve had my mum, aunt and parents-in-law round. in addition a bunch of friends. My main focus is Lolo, because she is two I know she’d get bored at home w just me and AJ for company especially when I’m sat breastfeeding most of the day. last week included a trip to St Albans on Monday, the local farm on Wed, local adventure park Thursday and the local castle on Friday. this week it was adventure park Monday (yesterday), Danson adventure and splash park today, tomorrow’s undecided, Thursday family birthday and lunch, Friday probably story time at the local castle.

I thought I’d be house bound w two kids but oddly we’ve become super active. all with the help of some extra hands of course. Thank you all!

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#2: 5 weeks & 4 days

AJ starts rolling onto his side’s in earnest. so from flat on his back to either one of his side’s. he’s had a brilliantly strong neck since day one too as well as pushing himself up on his legs. what a clever little boy.

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