Sunday, September 8, 2013

Goodbye Soother, Hello Solids

I am in pacifier purgatory.

So, here's the deal. My baby sleeps through the night. That is, he usually sleeps through the night. Lately, he has not done so. He has been waking up for his soother.

So, he's five months old now and I still swaddle him and have been giving him the soother and that seemed to be all he needed in life. He'd conk out, look like an angel for 11 hours and life was pretty sweet for everybody.

But he's been busting out of the swaddle, pulling out his soother and then flipping onto his stomach, a position he hates and can't get out of, and then he cries. Nothing illustrates to me how little a baby is capable of thinking about the future than this. He's totally in the now.

"Hmm, my arms are pinned down. I think I'll try and move them. Oh, they're out! Well, what do we have here? There's something in my mouth and I think I can grab it. Oh, there we go! Hey, I was sucking on that! I can't put it back in! Where did it go? Now I'm really awake... Maybe I should babble. Blah blarhg blah! Groo brah blah! My other hand is pinned. I think I'll try and move it. Hey, it's out! I can roll over now. I'm going to roll over. I did it! Now I'm on my tummy. I hate this. I'm stuck. I don't like this. Why is this happening to me?! WAHHHH!"

Tonight I was done with it. Last night and the one before he was waking me for this nonsense. No more soother. It's time for Soother Shutdown.

The Dude and I took turns going down to Jack to calm him down when his cries got too intense. We'd make calming noises and put our hands on his chest and he'd simmer down. Then he'd start bouncing and blowing raspberries and we knew it was time to get out of there.

It wasn't until about 9:30 that he finally fell asleep for good. And when I say "for good," I mean as of right now. He was put down in bed at 6:30. I'm really hoping tomorrow will be better. I'm nervous, though. I can't very well give him a soother at nap time now. It may well be a very hard day.

But after the soother is out of our lives, I'm going to try and wean him off the swaddle, maybe just into a sleep sack.

The thing with babies, as I'm discovering more and more, is there is no one way to do things. You find something that works, with the understanding that it's temporary. Eventually you'll have to do some weaning, or, if you're lucky, the baby will just move on. Things are always changing.

Today was a big day, generally, though. He started solids. Yes, I fed him some rice cereal that looks awful and he thought it was awesome. His eyes lit up after the first bite, like I was feeding him a culinary revelation.

Now his poop is gonna get gross. But giving him solids is something new I can do with him, which is pleasing. It may seem strange if you don't have a baby to think that this would be a fun activity. But consider that you can do very little with your baby, whom you love dearly, and any new interaction that brings him pleasure is a way to feel closer to him.

It's hard to know how much to give him. When they tell you babies don't come with handbooks, it's not exactly true. When you give birth you are inundated with pamphlets and booklets about all the shit you should do and when, and none of them are consistent. They all say different things. Or they're too detailed to the point you feel like if you make other choices you're doing it wrong. Then online there's various guides. And your doctor tells you one thing and other moms tell you another, including what their doctors had to say.

So what do you do? Well, like everything else in caring for a baby, you fly by the seat of your pants and you take a guess. I've already wasted formula and cereal. But it's a process.

Prerequisite sloppy meal face.


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