Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Warm and Fed, but Still Waking Up

Gavin has already changed so much in the short 4 months he's been around. Just a few months ago he was a floppy little critter who barely opened his eyes. Now he's an alert, "talkative", scooting and rolling little person! It seems that there are still fairly major milestones each week - rolling over, tolerating longer and longer periods of tummy time, laughing, and now this week... he is eating cereal! We picked up some organic brown rice cereal to try since we thought he might be ready to try "solid food".
He had consistently been sleeping through the night (8-9 hours) for about 2 months, beginning in January. Then, about two to three weeks ago, he started waking up during the night. He had a couple of colds, so we thought maybe those were the reason he was waking. After his 4 month well baby visit with Rita, we decided he was ready (or perhaps we were ready for him) to try cereal. We thought he might just be waking up because he is hungry. Now that he has grown so much and is so active, the milk he drinks before bed just might not be quite enough to get him through the night. So, we tried a bit of the cereal on Monday night before bed. Gavin didn't hate it. He also didn't exactly know what to do with it. Much of it just came right back out of his mouth and ended up on his bib, and some of it did make him gag a little, but some of it did actually get swallowed. He probably actually swallowed a total of about a tablespoon and a half of good old rice cereal made with fresh, warm, momma's milk. What better treat for a little guy?? It went okay. He didn't love it. We didn't push it. After trying the cereal, he had some milk and went to bed.
The next night, we tried again. Huge success! We ended up with more cereal on the bib, but he also ate more cereal than on Monday and seemed to like it. He sort of opened his mouth when the spoon got close and he actually seemed to be learning what to do with it once it was in his mouth. He happily ate somewhere between 2 and 3 tablespoons of cereal. He had also just nursed about an hour earlier and nursed again after the cereal. He still woke up during the night. The cereal though, went really well. We sort of have a system now. Daddy holds Gavin while Momma feeds him. We'll see how tonight goes.
We were on a mission last night to try everything to get Gavin to sleep through the night again. He was very well fed, his diaper was clean, and he was dressed warm. Each night when he wakes up, I notice that his hands feel like little ice cubes, so I thought maybe he was waking up because he was cold. Our room isn't cold at all, but I figure we're sleeping under a sheet, a down comforter, and a bedspread and we have eachother to keep us warm. Gavin doesn't sleep with covers and he sleeps all by himself, so I was sure that if we just dressed him warmer, he'd sleep through the night. No dice. We had him in a soft, short sleeved onesie, a lighter-weight fuzzy sleeper, AND then in a thick, warm, sleep sack. After all that eating, I laid him in his bed and he soothed himself to sleep. He was completely content in there, talking to himself and sucking on his sleeves. He was out like a lamb by 9:30... and then up at 12:30am like the morning sun! That was actually perfect timing, because after feeding him it was the perfect time to call and check to be sure my sister made it home safely from our house in the snow. She had just pulled in her driveway when I called! Thankfully she made it home without falling asleep while driving or sliding into a ditch on the slippery roads. She did have a good amount of snow at home though and didn't make it all the way up her driveway. After checking in with her and getting back to bed, Gavin was up again at 5:00am. So much for the idea that he just wasn't warm enough! Even after all he ate before bed, he still acted like a baby bird when he woke up. You would have thought he hadn't eaten in days, although, I wonder if some of that isn't actual hunger, but rather the expectation that I'm going to feed him since that's what I do when he wakes up during the night. So, if he's eating a good amount before bed, he's burping, his diaper isn't too wet, and he's warm enough, what's waking him up and keeping him from go back to sleep again until I feed him? Any other ideas?


Dreams and Designs said...

Oh no, I feel for you! I was really struggling there for awhile but all of a sudden Millie has turned the corner and is sleeping for us! We started cereal about 2 weeks ago and she is up to a whole jar of oatmeal right before bed and I feel like that is really helping. We tried the kind that you just add milk to but she really seems to gobble down the jarred oatmeal so we are doing that more now instead.

We do also keep a fan in her room for some white noise. Don't know if that helps or not? And is he getting enough sleep during the day? I know they say overtired babies actually sleep worse?

Kristin said...

I ♥ those pictures!! He looks so big! I don't know any advice... I think it sounds like you're doing everything right. In the words of Tim's friend, Boo, "Just because I gave birth to it doesn't mean I know what to do with it." :)