To put it briefly, Theodore’s waking up A LOT at night (every hour to an hour and a half), very clingy and irritable because he can’t fall back to sleep. Sleep experts claim that babies go through this because they are learning new skills and are going through a growth spurt.
It is MADNESS because Theodore had always been a good sleeper at night but not for the past week or so. It’s very frustrating for me because I feel my brain’s shutting down and I cannot function normally. Daniel helps out even in the middle of the night although he needs to work the next day.
Very often, situations like this are not within our control and I don’t like not being in control (yes, I’m a control freak!). But I’m willing to compromise and do whatever I can to make our
lives sleep better.
If Theodore needs to sleep on us so we get an extra hour of sleep, sure! If he wants to suckle for an hour, sure! If Papa needs to sleep on the sofa so he’s well rested for work, sure! At this point, it’s just pointless to google and do what everyone else does. It is ESSENTIAL to do what works for us so that we can function and be half decent parents.
Theodore is at the stage where he’s learning so much. So much so that I pity his brains and it’s little wonder why he’s irritable at night. Here’s what he’s been busy with in the day.
1. Pushing himself up during tummy time
He enjoys tummy time. While he usually just lay on his tummy and look around, he started lifting both hands in the air while on his tummy. It’s as though he’s trying to push himself off the ground but can’t quite figure it out.
2. Bend knees backwards (towards his bottom) while on tummy
He has never done this before till Saturday. And this was with the bar on! Like I’ve said, it’s as though he’s trying to push himself up but he can’t.
3. Hitting toys on activity gym mat
Before Sunday, Theodore would just stare at the hanging toys. The mirror interest him the most but he got bored very quickly whenever I put him on the mat. I was beginning to think that the mat was far too advanced for him (or he was too slow!!). He never liked being left alone in the mat either.
On Sunday morning, Dan placed Theodore on the mat in the living room so I could catch a few extra minutes of sleep. THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT! Theodore was actually reaching out for the toys, batting them with both his hands! And he was happy to be left on it till the music stopped.
Today (Monday morning), he used his legs to hit the toys hanging on the other side while his hands were playing with toys near him. He’s now capable of entertaining himself for longer period of time (but we still watch him from the dining table).
4. Being an explorer
We still put him in the carrycot when we go out. However he fusses when he’s in it now. He wants to look at the world around him – cars, trams, trees, houses etc. Those images must leave an impression in his mind (hence he goes crazy at night!).
5. Being more precise
When Theodore figured his hands out weeks ago, the entire fist went into his mouth. Lately, he’s learnt (not necessarily a good habit) to only suck on his thumb or one finger. Developing motor skills? I’m still trying to cope with the drools!!!
The little things he has learnt to do (though imperfect) seem so simple to us. However I imagine they can be overwhelming for a baby. If there’s such a thing as “sleep regression”, he might just be trying to cope with all the new things he’s learnt in the day.