Monday, June 30, 2008

Updates, Part 3

  • Clock! Within the last week, Gavin has started making a "tock" noise with his mouth (like immitating a chicken clucking) when he sees the clock in his room. Chad says he also does it with digital clocks (!!), but I haven't seen it. Today, when we weren't near any clocks at all, I asked him if he could make the clock noise and he did. Wow! In the last few weeks I have been constantly floored at just how much he is able to understand.
  • Dancing! Gavin likes to dance. Dancing, for him, really means something akin to bouncing, but he definitely associates it with music! He dances when he presses the button on the toy frog that sings the ABC song. He dances when there's music on the stereo (and he's paying attention). He dances when he's nursing before bed and wants me to sing to him. He dances when his Grandma's cell phone rings (it plays a song).
  • Sleeping (or, previously, the lack thereof)! We went on vacation to Hawaii at the end of May, and when we returned, Gavin began having (more) trouble with sleeping. Sleeping has always been a bit of a chore for him, and he often cries when we put him down in his crib before he goes to sleep, sometimes much longer than others. After Hawaii, I was trying to help him get on a 2-nap-a-day schedule. In general, he woke up in the morning around 7-8am and went to bed around 8 or 8:30pm. I was generally trying 3 hours between waking up and the first nap and 4 hours between the first and second nap. It absolutely wasn't working. Gavin was exhausted when I put him down, but he would scream for 30 minutes before both naps and then only nap for 30 minutes. Bedtime was better - he would often cry for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep. During the night, he would usually wake up once to nurse and immediately fall back asleep, sometime between 3am and 5am. My brother- and sister-in-law were trying to figure out how to get their little girl to sleep through the night and read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. They said it worked great for their daughter, so I thought I'd give it a try. The basic idea is that babies' (around Gavin's age) biological clocks are such that they need a relatively early bedtime (between 6pm and 8pm), will wake up in the morning between 6am and 8am, and generally should take naps around 9am (or, 1-2 hours after waking up) and 1pm, but definitely as soon as they show signs of being tired. After about 3 weeks of trial and error, I think we have almost figured out a schedule that works. The main problem we had at first was that we tried a too-early bedtime (6:30pm), because Gavin would wake up every day sometime between 5am and 5:30am and absolutely not go back to sleep (NOT good for mama, especially while working and not getting enough sleep). We've shifted a little later (around 7pm) and will probably aim for 7:30pm, and he is actually getting up a little later. (The book said that the earlier a child goes to bed, the later they sleep, within reason, but going to bed later means they'll get up earlier because they're too tired to get good sleep - no so with Gavin! I guess he was already getting the right amount of sleep at night for him - about 11 hours). Changing the nap time schedule, though, has helped tremendously. We put Gavin down for a nap about 2 hours after he wakes up (currently, between 7:30 and 8am) and then again when he seems to be getting tired (although this is pretty hard to judge sometimes) around 12:30pm or 1pm. Sometimes he doesn't cry at all, and sometimes he just complains and babbles for a while (this is way better than half an hour of screaming!). We've also started more of a routine for nap times, in addition to bedtime, to help him calm down and get ready to sleep. His naps are still pretty short - usually 45 minutes, but maybe half of the time one or the other will be 1.5 hours - but he seems to be getting the right amount of sleep at the right times. He also has been sleeping all the way through the night without us having to really do anything special (other than not go pick him up [within reason] if he wakes up mildly complaining - he usually goes back to sleep in a few minutes). This isn't always the case, but I haven't wanted to force him since he's been teething and the last few days have been so hot that he might just need a drink in the middle of the night. But in general, I think we are almost to a sleeping schedule that works for everyone. Hooray!

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