We are finally starting to get into the groove here at the house. It was a tough transition after all the grandmothers/great aunts/aunt left. I was at high anxiety and with the night wakings, my patience was shot. After a few days of Nolan being a terror to get down for naps, I did some reading and realized he really shouldn’t be up more then 90 minutes. It’s funny how quickly you forget things and I only just went through this all with Nathan less then a year ago!
So this was the resource I used to refresh my memory on infant sleep patterns, needs, etc.
Nolan usually shows signs of sleepiness somewhere around 1 hour after waking. If I catch the right period, he is easy to get down for a nap with minimal to no fussing. If we miss the window it’s tough. Jeremiah gets him down with the patting/rubbing him down into a drowsy state in the bassinet then we’d leave him. We would let him fuss at that point for up to 5-6 minutes, and then reenter and soothe back down, rinse, and repeat. It works fairly well as long as he is not way overtired. We got another little one that rarely falls asleep in your arms. I also don’t believe in nursing to sleep and try not to do it, though I’ve given in a few times over the last few weeks and tried that. It doesn’t do the trick for him anyway, so that is probably a blessing in disguise. Overall, I have noticed his night sleep has gotten better since we’ve let him cry/fuss a bit to sleep during the day. It could just be he is getting older or maybe it does have to do with him learning slowly how to self soothe.
We also moved the bassinet out of our room last week and into Nathan’s “Big Boy Dr. Seuss” room. As long as Nolan can stay in the bassinet (another month), we’ll probably stick with keeping Nathan in the crib/nursery. Most likely after the baptism, it’ll be time to try transitioning Nathan into the other room and a mattress and moving Nolan to the crib.
I’ve had a lot of ppl offer to help/watch Nathan/etc, but the most frustrating part of taking care of the two kids is the mornings- As in first thing in the morning. Having broken sleep, and waking up to hearing crying just makes me mad right away. I simply don’t feel like I can breathe until I’ve brushed my teeth, changed, and coffee. Until those three things happen, I’m basically a very pissed off person. Sometimes these things are easy to do, sometimes it’s an hour or two before I can accomplish what is seemingly a 5 minute total set of things. Kids…
It’s always different so you just never know either. For example, yesterday morning sucked. Nolan was up at 3am and didn’t go back down till 5ish – highly unusual and highly frustrating. After the 4th time I got up, walked to the room to burp and soothe him, came back to bed just for him to start wailing 10 minutes later, I was upset and let out a scream in bed. Jeremiah’s response to calm down and let the child cry it out certainly did little to help. Unfortunately, we see things a bit different in regard to crying it out. I don’t mind letting a baby fuss and cry for a period of time, and generally you can tell the difference between their wails by this point, but I’m never going to be OK with letting them scream bloody murder to a point of panting or getting hysterical, especially so young. However, crying does not hurt them, nor do I think it will make them unable to bond, or turn them into psychopaths later . Nathan was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, so I think Jer thinks Nolan should be as well. Kids are different though and their needs will also differ. Anyway, Nolan finally fell asleep and so did I. Jeremiah was very quiet in the morning so as not to wake anybody and hopefully let me sleep in a bit.
This didn’t quite work out as planned. Usually Nathaniel wakes up when he hears Jeremiah and Jeremiah has been amazing about taking on all the morning stuff with Nathan since I was pregnant. Monday to Thursday, he generally makes the bottle (sippy cup now – he’s on sippy cups 100% of the time now – yay!), changes him, and makes sure he is happy in the playyard before going to work around 7:15. And makes coffee! -can’t forget that. So this morning Nathan slept in. I opened my eyes around 7:45 wondering what was going on and why the house was so quiet. Immediately I hear Nolan start to cry. I get up to head to get him and hear Nathan in the crib making noises. Ok, I’m thinking maybe Nathan will play in there for 15minutes while I feed the baby. I grab Nolan, stick him on the boob. In that 1 minute, Nathan starts screaming. I’m thinking no problem, he can wait, no big deal. Nathan’s crying starts turning into furious wailing. After about 5 minutes I’m getting upset, so put Nolan down thinking maybe he’s had enough to keep it together 5 minutes and I can grab Nathan. Nolan starts screaming. I race to get milk, grab nathan, and shove him the bottle. He’s so upset by now, he pitches it across the room, and keeps wailing. I’m starting to get at the end of my wits by now with all the screaming in the house, having to pee, feeling overwhelmed, and think I need to move faster. I hold Nathan down to change his diaper and he’d pooped (not usual until midmorning). He’s still bawling and now I’m pissed cleaning him off, still hearing the baby crying in the background. Nathan’s getting so mad he’s grabbing down there and obviously gets a handful of poop. OMG. I about lost it. I changed him, grabbed the sippy cup from the floor, went back to the living room, put Nathan in the playyard, grabbed Nolan and started breastfeeding again. Not even 3 minutes later, Nathan had sucked down all the milk, throws the bottle at me and starts crying his head off again. I start crying. I put Nolan down to him starting up wailing again, grab the sippy cup and get more milk for Nathan. Hand it to him as he’s standing up screaming at me. He flings it and continues crying. I lost it. I screamed. Poor Nathan went silent and that little bottom lip starting trembling and he starting gasping as he attempted to hold in his crys. Lord, did I feel bad. I hopped in the playyard, grabbed the sippy and gave it to him and he starting drinking it while sniffling so sadly. I sat down and started feeding Nolan again. About 10 minutes in, Nathan’s little face peaked up with a massive smile on his face. I smiled back and he started laughing hysterically. SMH The rest of the day was fine and manageable. Nolan can be put in the swing happily after eating and a diaper change so I got it together. I’d been working on Nolan for the last few weeks, getting him used to not being held 24-7. He really is such a good baby. Mrs. Kelly (neighbor) came over around 11am and we easily tag teamed the boys in the afternoon, getting some wallpaper stripped and the poor plants watered finally.
So that was yesterday morning and it sucked, but then we have days like today. I’d woken Nolan up to eat yesterday around 9 and he’d gone right down after a diaper change and burp easy peasy. He slept the entire night! I feel like a new human being now. I woke up at 6am when Nolan woke up. Jeremiah was up and brought him to me so I could nurse him and maybe snooze off a little. Nathan woke up and Jeremiah got him up and ready to go while I changed the little one. Nathan woke up in a whiny and bad mood, but I was able to change, brush my teeth, make the coffee and pump all before 7:30am! Amazing. Nolan’s been going down for naps like a champ today and Nathan’s been in a hysterically good mood after an impromptu catnap this morning. We had our friends Katie and little Garrison over. I can’t believe how funny Nathan thinks Garrison is and spent a good 1/2 hour just laughing his head off when they got here.
Oh yes, and there are plenty of sweet moments that occur even on the worst days. Yesterday, aka, morning of hell, after I’d put Nolan in the swing, Nathan would go over to say hi quite a bit (We’ve been working with him to understand the words ‘easy’ and ‘gentle’, as he has a tendency to want to poke the baby in the eye or bop him on the head really hard). I looked over to tell him to be easy as he went over for the 10th time and I see Nolan break into a massive grin looking straight at his big brother. Too cute.
Then today, I took Nolan into the playyard with Nathan and was lightly burping him when Nathan came and started to try to burp the baby as well. He was being really gentle too. So sweet.
As I think about the last few weeks, it’s been quite hard … and frustrating.
Jeremiah told me yesterday that Nathan was like him, always happy go lucky, while Nolan is like me, a bit sour faced. I was pretty quick to retort back that I’ve always been happy and optimistic if he remember back to before we had kids. As he told me it didn’t seem that way anymore, I again reminded him that 90% of the kid’s care taking is on me and being sleep deprived is not usually conducive to a happy demeanor. How odd though. I would never have ever dreamed I’d be termed as pessimistic or unhappy. Something to thing about anyway.
Mind you, though I couldn’t fall asleep until 12 last night, getting 6 straight hours of sleep has me in a very very VERY good mood today. Nathan slept through the night starting around 6 weeks and i certainly didn’t expect to get so lucky twice around. However, if Nolan can go all night from 9pm to 6am on his own without eating once, he can certainly do it again. I can only hope and maybe we’ll be sleep training a bit earlier then expected since he’s capable.
A day at a time.
How we ended up with so many toys, I’ll never figure out.