Solids and Sleeptime

My baby started solids a couple weeks ago and is doing great. We started with rice cereal and slowly added Earth’s Best Organic My First Veggies Baby Food Starter Pack, 12 Jars and Earths Best Organic First Food Fruit Starter Kit, 2.5 Ounce(Pack of 12)

I first introduced carrots, followed by sweet potato, and peas. After a couple days, I introduced bananas and apples. I am yet to introduce pears. Meanwhile, we bought some organic brown rice that my mom crushed into fine granules the same consistency as packaged rice cereal. The only problem with this otherwise homemade rice cereal is that it needs to be cooked on the stove top till the rice is soft and well mixed into water/milk before being fed. This can take some time especially if I have an hungry baby screaming for food. The convenience of pre-packaged rice cereal and mashed foods cannot be beat.

Ever since Baby J completed 3 months, we’ve had sleep issues. Previously, even in the midst of his gas/tummy issues, J slept well at night. His tummy issues were only evident during the day (something for which the pediatrician told us to be thankful). As a newborn he woke up every two hours like clockwork, nursed, and went back to sleep. Even well into his first and second month, this was the pattern he followed. Then toward the end of his 2nd month – almost 3 months, he started sleeping 3-4 hours straight and I was really excited that perhaps we had a magical child who just knew that he needed to start sleeping longer before he actually started sleeping through the night. However as soon as he turned 4 months, he started having a very unpredictable sleep pattern. He started waking up within 2 hours of being put to bed despite having started feeding more and formula too. After that he would go to bed again after some picking up and rocking and then wake up again in about an hour and refuse to sleep in his crib. A few nights, out of frustration, I just picked him up and placed him in our midst, right in the middle of Aaron and me and he slept peacefully on like he had never even woken up. The first night, we did this at 4:30 a.m., then at 2:30 a.m., then at 12:30 a.m. frustrating me that more and more he had started waking up refusing to go back to sleep in his crib. The only way he could sleep was if he slept in our midst which would have been fine but I constantly worried that we were giving him bad sleeping habits.

I kept worrying about sleep training, his not sleeping through the night, why his sleep patterns had completely disrupted after 3 months and so on. I did read later that the 4th-month regression was normal but it didn’t pacify me enough.

Soon we just accepted co-sleeping as part of our lives and embraced it. As soon as he woke up a second time, we just picked him up and put him in our midst. At first I thought he need us to be in bed with him to fall asleep (and worried that it meant I would have to start sleeping at 9:45 p.m.) but soon realized that he just wanted to be right there in our midst and it didn’t matter if we slept with him or not. So then we shifted to having him sleep right there in the middle while we went to bed at our usual time.

In the last couple days, I have wondered more and more about sleep training. First, even with solids, Baby J continued his odd sleep pattern of waking up within a couple-three hours of going to bed, refusing to go back to sleep in his crib, and being placed in the middle of our bed. Second, we met a random woman at a restaurant who had 7-month old triplets who said her babies went to bed at 9:00 p.m. and woke up at 8:00 a.m. WOW! She said to feed J solids before going to bed and that, that might help with longer sleep. Even though I had been contemplating that, I hadn’t actually tried it so we decided to try it.

The first night we fed him solids at night, despite some fussiness and minor wakings, J’s first waking up was at 3:30 a.m. for a feed at which point he had slept straight for 5 hours. Last night, after sleeping, waking up, fussing, and nursing at 11:45 p.m., he woke up next at 4:30 p.m. – almost 5 hours again. One problem that continues is that once he wakes up for that first nursing break, he wakes up more frequently, sometimes nursing every hour. He also at times (solids or no solids), wakes up at 5:00 a.m. and starts babbling, pulling my hair, hitting my face, tickling Aaron’s shoulder, and so on. This is all really, really cute but NOT at 5:00 a.m.

So, I decided to try something new. (Poor baby, he is one experiment after another – I guess the first child usually is). Continues in the next post…

Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: Follow me: @thephdmama

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