Mental Leap 1

Normally I reserve Saturdays for the Mann Clan update…but this week, it pretty much has revolved around Ollie.

We started the week on Sunday with an epic day. Both boys slept in until 7:15. Then O went down for his morning nap with no fuss and slept for 2 hours. Then we went to the park where he Ergo napped while L played and Jack caught frisbees. The whole family having fun together = happy mama. We got home to have some lunch and both boys went down at 1 for nap. O slept for 2.5 hours in the crib and L slept for 3.5. Mommy and Daddy got to decompress. I was rockin it.

Then Sunday night came and we have been all over the place all week.

He slept a few stretches just fine until about 3-4 and then woke up like every 20 minutes unless he was being fed. Torture. Not a growth spurt because he would nibble to eat and then refuse. Monday night? Same. Then his usual morning nap turned to chaos. By Friday, trying to get him down for nap was almost impossible. If he did go down, he tossed and turned for 20 minutes before crying and then starting over. I decided it was better for my mental health to just leave and not get so frustrated with crib napping (or non napping). He wouldn’t even fall asleep nursing…which he was being very lazy about. (Pro: I have pumped a ton this week). Basically, this week went to hell in a handbasket and I had no reasoning.

He has spent hours a day strapped to my chest and bouncing. It is pretty much the only guaranteed way he will sleep without hours of trying. Needless to say, I am fucking exhausted. Nighttime sleep has been all over the place but thankfully Kevin is taking on a good bit of that duty so I can get some recovery time from going all day. Praise again to that Saint.

So with all this craziness, I, of course, start looking for causes. While having lunch with Laura on Friday, she pointed out she was the same. We are engineers. There is cause and effect. This is how we work. But babies are just babies. There isn’t always a correlation but we try to find it anyway. So I have revisited the reflux issue, looked to see if his clothes are too hot, swaddled with arms out…anything. But it wasn’t until I was googling around that I landed on the book (and blogs talking about it)  The Wonder Weeks.

Basic concept, there are weeks in your child’s life that are going to suck ass. They are going to be fussy, clingy, defiant and just plain frustrating. And? There is shit you can do about it. Just hang on for dear life and bear it. This week? Mental Leap 1. Here is the little blurb about it:

“New sensations bombard your baby inside and out, and he is usually bewildered by them. Some of these new things have to do with the development of his internal organs and his metabolism. Others are a result of his increased alertness—his senses are more sensitive than they were immediately after birth. So it is not so much the sensations themselves that are changing, but rather the baby’s perceptions of them.” – Mental Leap 1

On a blog I found the possible “symptoms” of such a week and it was like reading my thoughts:

Signs to be on the look out for:

  • Highly Upset
  • Need Closeness with you
  • if breastfeed, they may nurse around the clock
  • difficulty sleeping

Common Concerns Parents Experience:

  • worry that something is wrong with him (colic or ill)
  • worry that your milk supply is low (if breastfeed)

How can you help?

  • increase skin-to-skin contact and cuddle/ hold more often
  • rocking motion, walking with baby, patting
  • talking & singing to baby
  • wear baby in a sling

Then I went on to read about what to do with them to help the development along cuz the shitty part is, well, shitty. I was shocked at how I had already been thinking about this. “Give them objects and patterns to stare at. They enjoy looking at faces.” I had landed on showing Landon photos of black and white drawings as a baby. I talked about it here. I had been thinking I needed to revisit that site and print them off again for O. I didn’t have time to print yesterday but I just held the images up on the iPad and O lit up. Smiles, excited arms and just plain staring. WIN! So now I need to actually print them and have them around for him to focus.

Oliver turned 6 weeks Friday…so I am hoping we are coming out of the woods now. Next up? Week 8. Hold me.

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