Happy 5 week birthday to our little man! People assure me that things vastly improve after 6 weeks, so here’s hoping that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Since talking with you last week, things have already improved a bit. Our bad days are getting better, our good days are much appreciated, and our good nights are cherished blessings. Unfortunately, it’s all a bit inconsistent, despite my best efforts to instill some sort of routine in our day.
Getting this child to take a nap is like a fight to the death and is quickly becoming the bane of my existence. And what works one day will totally backfire the next day. However, we’re becoming more successful at naptime, even if I have to cheat and call in reinforcements in the way of long walks in the stroller or a morning spent in an infant swing.
A far cry from the ‘my baby will only sleep in his crib from day 1’ philosophy that I started out with. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And y’all, I am TIRED. I keep searching this kid for a snooze button, but there is none to be found. Just 9 more minutes, Forest! 9 more measly minutes of sleep would make a world of difference and make me such a better mommy to you! When I complain to Jonathan about Forest’s refusal to nap, he tries to comfort me by saying, ‘Maybe he just doesn’t need as much sleep as other babies.’. Maybe not, but I need as much sleep as other mommas.
Though it’s true what they say, you do get used to functioning on no sleep. If I can cobble together 5 hours in a day, I can get by. I usually reach my ‘desperately need to sleep’ limit around 4 pm. Fortunately, this has been his most consistent naptime (God bless the 3:30 PM winter sunset in Scotland!) so I can usually squeeze in 45 minutes or so.
Nightime sleep is totally erratic. One day he’ll sleep a solid 5 hours and the next, I can barely squeeze 2 ½ out of him. 8 weeks is when they supposedly have the ability to sleep through the night, and that just seems impossibly far away at this point. But I know that we’ll get there eventually.
The more I read the more I discover that most people don’t start hard-core sleep training until 8 weeks anyway (probably because their newborns are effortlessly good nappers…BITE ME!!). As he gets older, he’ll have more capability of falling asleep on his own without me having to re-settle him every 20 minutes or so. He’s already getting better at this so I’m hopeful that he’ll continue the trend.
But most importantly I realized this week that I have to survive. And if surviving means breaking his routine to take an hour long walk through the woods with the BOB stroller, well then that’s what I have to do. If it means putting him in his infant swing so that I can have 30 minutes to take a shower and eat some breakfast, well, one nap a day in a swing will not ruin him for life.
One thing that is going super well is bottle feeding. Jonathan gives him one bottle of pumped milk a day and then puts him to bed. This gives me a good break in my evening and gives Jonathan some time to bond with the little man. I have tentative plans to go to book club tonight and possibly mahjong on Friday morning since Jonathan has the day off. I’m thankful that my supply is good enough to be able to provide enough bottles for me to get away from time to time. Again, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…or maybe I’m just finally starting to adapt to what life means with a little one in tow.
Another positive is that he seems to be less grouchy in general. He has occasional periods of fussiness, but his inconsolable moments are getting fewer and farther between. We were really worried he might have the dreaded ‘c’ word, but it’s been almost a week since his last ‘cry for 5 hours non-stop’ episode, so fingers crossed we have his tummy issues under control.
Also, little man loves bath time. At this age, they don’t really need to be bathed every day, but we do it most days just because he enjoys it so much. Look at that sort-of smile!
I do love him, oh so much. More and more every day.
You want to see some video footage of the sweet babe? It might be hard to get him to sleep, but once he gets there, it's mighty hard to wake him up. Here he is after a stroller ride:
And here he is splish-splash, takin' a bath.
Here are his 5 week photos:
And some bonus pictures from his 5th week of life:
|Working on his reaching skills.|