In last month’s post I wrote about Elijah teething, little did I know, dribbling would only be the start of a process which can spread across several weeks and in some instances months! In case you hadn’t guessed, he’s still teething, only now I can actually see a couple of teeth beginning to push through and sore gums equals restless baby. His sleeping patterns at night have become erratic as a consequence and the routine we had carefully been using no longer seems to work. I know the teething process won’t last forever and before long he’ll fall back into a routine, but for now, it’s back to nights of broken sleep.
One thing that’s been noticeable over the last few weeks is how much his coordination has improved. He now reaches for anything he can grab hold of and put in his mouth. Up until this point we haven’t had to worry about leaving a packet of wipes or tub of Sudocrem near him, but that has all changed. He’s not even mobile yet and still we have to make sure he’s not up to any mischief the moment our backs are turned! I guess it’s good preparation for when he’s crawling around the place. Come to think of it, I might start baby proofing the house now, just in case.
Last week, I discovered a fool proof way to make him laugh. It seems any word that contains ‘boo’ will at the very least raise a smile and at best a full on giggle attack. At the moment ‘Booty’ is his word of choice and if he hears it, his face lights up. I thought I had struck gold, until we were out one afternoon and he was being a bit grumpy. A couple of friends were meeting him for the first time and they commented on him looking a bit down. To impress them and to get him to smile I decided to use my secret weapon…“booty”. He clearly knew exactly what I was trying to do though and refused to cooperate. The moment we left of course, he was laughing away as if someone had pumped him full of nitrous oxide! He’s too clever for his own good. I’m going to have to keep my eye on this one!
Elijah is a very sociable baby and likes nothing more than being the centre of attention when surrounded by a large group of people (I have no idea where he gets that from!) This is great for us, as it means we can go out for dinner now and again and he’s more than happy to sit quietly in his buggy absorbing everything that’s going on around him. There is only one small problem with having a baby like this, they don’t particularly like being on their own. If he has toys to play with or is in his door bouncer, there’s no issue, but when we want to put him down for a nap during the day things become a lot harder. If he doesn’t have three daytime naps he becomes overtired and this makes it difficult for him to sleep at night. The only way we’ve been able to get him to sleep during the day is by rocking him, holding him or driving him in the car. We’re aware these are not good habits to get him into, but when needs must, you just have to do it. In the last few weeks though we’ve finally found a way he can nap in his cot without us having to rock him to sleep first. I believe it’s called ‘controlled soothing’ and there are different ways to do it, but this is what has been working for us.
We put him down for a nap at 9am, 12pm and 4pm and he will sleep for as little as fifteen minutes or as long as ninety minutes. It’s easy to know when he’s had enough because he’s wide awake and smiley. We draw the curtains in his room and put him into his cot. We tell him it’s nap time and then leave the room and shut the door. He’ll be a bit grisly and unsettled at first, but we don’t go back in unless he cries continuously for about a minute. When in the room, we avoid picking him up or talking to him, just gently soothe him with ‘ssshhh’ sounds or lullaby tunes until he’s calmed down, then leave the room again. If he cries this time, we let him do it for a bit longer, two minutes or so. We then return to the room and pick him up to soothe him until he’s calmed down. Then he is put back in his cot. You may have to do this several times, but it should eventually work. The maximum number of times we’ve had to go in so far is four, but it seems to change from day to day. The other day he went to sleep first time and I thought I’d cracked it…I hadn’t. Where is the consistency? Baby or not, I just want a bit of consistency please!
Over the coming weeks, we are going to start weaning Elijah onto his first solid foods. I have no idea how easy or difficult this is going to be, but if he has his father’s appetite it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll let you know what happens in next month’s blog post.
Enjoy the sun whilst it lasts and remember, whenever you’re feeling a bit down, picture me with a comedy high voice shouting “BOOTS” in the middle of a busy shop to an unimpressed five month old. That should cheer you up!