Another classic moment in parenting: googling “why is my child purposely banging his head”
Month: January 2016
Just had to get up because Lewis was awake. When I walked into his room, he started clapping.
It was almost like he was mockingly saying, “took you long enough!”
A Round of Applause
On days when work is stressful and hard, I sometimes take a minute to just look at some pictures of Lewis. Today I looked at a picture of him sleeping.
That, my friends, is the meaning of life – My sleeping, perfect baby. Not missed deadlines, messed up projects, or angry clients. My sleeping, perfect baby is everything that is right in this world.
Why you no worry?
Our pediatrician recently added online access to medical records, and I love it. No more packets of paper when you leave the office, and if you ever need to look back at something, it’s all right there!
But it also means that I can go and look at his growth charts whenever I want. And those are an endless source of anxiety for me, despite all the medical professionals’ advice that everything is fine.
My memory told me that at one point Lewis had been in the 96th percentile for weight. I checked his charts this morning, and it turns out that that was his height percentile. His weight for the first 4 months of his life was actually between the 80th and 86th percentiles. Very consistent.
Well… with his clothes on at his appointment on Tuesday, he was down another half pound since his appointment the prior week where they weighed him with his clothes OFF. You’d think with clothes on, he’d weigh more. But no. He is now down into the lower 50′s for his weight percentile.
Obviously, he isn’t “underweight”. And I don’t care what percentile he is in, as long as it is healthy for him. If he’d been in the 50′s all along, I wouldn’t have a concern in the world. But he hasn’t. I’m not comparing him to other kids, I’m comparing him to himself, and he isn’t keeping up with his own personal patterns.
I know that the doctors all say this is okay. He has seen three different pediatricians in the clinic who all say the same thing. But his percentile has fallen off over 30% since he was 4 months old. How that isn’t concerning is baffling to me.
Since my child has started daycare, he has stopped eating enough, and he has been sick every single day. You can see it on the growth chart, almost to the day when he started at daycare.
I have faith in the people who care for him at daycare. I know they’re doing a great job – It isn’t their fault that he gets sick, and it isn’t their fault that he won’t eat. But I don’t want him there (or at any daycare) anymore. If I could just take care of my own baby, he’d be fine. Instead, I have to pay other people to do my job. I’m shelling out money to pay for my baby to be in an environment where he doesn’t thrive. Paying for a service I don’t even want, and shouldn’t even need. Mothers should be able to take care of their own babies if they want to! It feels so wrong.
And I can’t do a damn thing about it.
To make it worse, I feel very lonely in my concern. I’m the only one who thinks there is a problem. I don’t want to be “the crazy mom”, but why doesn’t anyone care that my child isn’t gaining weight but me?
Sick baby has now had 3 doses of antibiotics. They’re already messing with his tummy. But it’s worth it because the fever is a thing of the past, and he is clearly already feeling loads better.
I am really becoming a believer in the “your baby doesn’t sleep cuz he’s sick” theory. Again, pulling Lewis out of daycare would sure help. But since that isn’t an option, let’s hear it for antibiotics. He slept way better last night after his first dose, and he went down easy tonight. TBD how the rest of the night goes, but a 20 minute bedtime instead of an hour or more is a nice improvement even if the rest of the night us bad.
And what am I doing with my extra time before I go to sleep? Well, husband is at the auto show with his dad, so I did a few chores, and then I did about 5 minutes of butt-toning exercises, and now I plan to read a book.
Yes! For the first time in probably a year, I’m reading a book! My whole life I’ve been such an avid reader. But I’ve had a string of books I didn’t like kind of stop me in my tracks. I don’t like to start a book and not finish it, so when I dislike a book, I just don’t pick it up, but don’t let myself admit that I’m not going to read to the end.
In the past couple years I’ve started to allow myself the freedom to hate a book and put it down permanently. No more denial, pretending I’ll finish it.
But each time I’ve let myself quit a book, I’ve picked up another that I hated and gotten stuck on. Not to mention the busy-ness and the baby…. So after nearly a year off, I’m trying again. And it feels good. I love to read, and this book is starting off okay. So maybe I’ll make it through!
Sweet, sick boy. Another ear infection. Sleep as long as you’d like, angel. Work can wait.
Oh. Lewis has an ear infection.
He got sent home from daycare with a fever, and because the doctor said to call if he gets a fever while still recovering from bronchiolitis, we ended up going to the doctor to get checked.
And it is an ear infection. That explains why he slept better after Tylenol last night.
He just can’t catch a break. My poor baby.
The Search Continues
You may be wondering (but probably not) how my soul-searching is going. Remember when I said that I was trying to figure out what my soul wants?
Well, so far all I’ve figured out is that I still love Lewis, I’d like to go shopping and freshen up my wardrobe, and I’d really like to tone up my legs.
My soul is really not leading me in a clear direction. Maybe it is too tired.
But even if I don’t have any answers yet, I have been poking around at some things to put me on a better path. It’s just that nothing I’ve poked has turned out to be the life-changer I’m looking for. And I’m not going to shake things up just for the thrill of shaking. It has to be right. Otherwise…what’s the point? If it isn’t right, then I’ll just start poking around for something new again before you know it.
What could the answer be? A new hobby? A new job? A trip? A week off of work? A new daycare solution I haven’t thought of yet? A simple schedule tweak? A miraculous way to find time and energy to exercise? Taking a class? What do I need?! I don’t know!
So things are staying as they are for now. But that could change in an instant, if my soul starts to speak more clearly.
It isn’t the answer to all of my life’s questions, but I guess In the meantime I’ll listen to the things my soul has told me and I’ll snuggle my kid every moment I can, I’ll try Stitch Fix to (hopefully) find something new to wear, and I’ll do some squats while I brush my teeth. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.
How did it go?
Well, the first night of new sleep strategies is in the books. I’d say we’ve got mixed results. But ultimately, I got an okay night of sleep. So… good job? Here’s how each item went:
- Reduce nursing at night: This went alright because he only woke up once… haha. I did actually get him to go back to sleep when he woke up without nursing him, but when I put him down, he lost his mind. Turns out that was because he was in pain… but I didn’t know that until about an hour later. So I just nursed him to see if that would work (nope).
- Only go in when he is actually awake: Nailed it. The one time he woke up, he woke up immediately screaming bloody murder. So I went in. The other times he stirred, cooed, coughed, or otherwise sounded awake, I let it be. I’m good at this. I see through his “crying wolf” routine!
- Pat and shush instead of picking him up: Did not nail this. He was inconsolable. He couldn’t hear my shushing, and I couldn’t pat him because he was rolling around and flailing. I imagine this strategy will work better when he isn’t screaming and (apparently) in pain. After 1 hr and 15 minutes of being awake and screaming, I tried Tylenol and he was out like a light the rest of the night.
- Put him down drowsy: Half nailed this. He didn’t fall asleep at his bedtime feeding, so I tried this twice and he screamed and flailed, resulting in starting bedtime over two times. I was very frustrated, and it took a very long time. But when he woke up later, I tried this again after the Tylenol. It took a few minutes of patting and shushing and lullaby-ing, but it worked! I guess if he isn’t in pain, this strategy will see more success. Imagine that.
- Pull him out of daycare: Nope. Haven’t done that. But he did nap at daycare yesterday, which was a nice surprise. Still didn’t hardly eat. So… it was good and bad. And this morning he was very sad and chasing after me when I left him. I think we’ll both miss each other today.
When it comes to a wide awake, playing baby like last night, I have no clue what the right strategy is.
But with a baby who is clearly sleepy, but keeps screaming, Tylenol is king. Amen. Hallelujah. Tylenol is my savior.
Sleep strategy status: failure on all accounts.
Kiddo keeps coughing and then screaming. Maybe he really is too sick for any success to happen.
Oops x 2
Oops #1: I was so tired this morning that I forgot to brush my teeth. I realized this at work, and in an effort to “freshen up”, I ate some York peppermint patties I found in my desk drawer. That’s the same thing as brushing your teeth, right?
Oops #2: I was so tired this evening that I forgot to do laundry and now I have no clean nursing tanks. I guess I’ll have to whip out a nursing bra for tomorrow, which means my belly will be exposed every time I pump or feed Lewis. Brrrr!
In the midst of all the sleep-deprivation, sickness, and eating concerns, I have stopped reporting milestones! Oops!
Recently, as I mentioned in my last post, Lewis started himself on a one-nap-per-day routine. This is both awesome and totally inconvenient. It is awesome because it is predictable and long. It is inconvenient because it is usually from about lunch time to about 3pm – AKA prime errands-running time. And I am stuck in the house. But mostly, it is a positive thing! If only it would work at daycare…
I also posted the video of him clicking his tongue. This is a pretty adorable new skill. And he does it on demand! If you click your tongue at him, he’ll do it back. It almost feels like we’re having our first conversation where he logically responds to something we do. I love it!
I think I also posted a video of him letting go of support with both hands and trying to stand. Amazing. He hasn’t succeeded in staying standing yet, but he is letting go with increasing frequency. And sometimes he even tries to go from sitting straight to standing without support. It always ends in a dramatic *SPLAT!*, but someday he’ll get it!
Lewis’ 4th tooth has finally come through the gums. I think we’re on day 5 of no Tylenol after dealing with teething since Christmas for the two top teeth. Phew!
Lewis has also developed an “attitude” – meaning that if you take away something he likes, prevent him from doing something he would like to be doing, or try to make him do something he doesn’t want to do, he gets angry. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distract him from those feelings, because he remembers long enough now that you can’t fool him. While this has resulted in more meltdowns, it is also a pretty cool milestone. It is a marked change in his mental development, and I find it fascinating to watch him learn and watch his brain wire itself.
I’m looking forward to seeing where his preferences start to fall, and I can also see that this is leading towards a new milestone, where he understands rules and expectations. So I have started saying “no” to him, and redirecting him when he is doing things that he shouldn’t do. Kyle and I are also both praising him for doing appropriate things. I feel like we’re on the cusp of him starting to understand what our reactions mean in regards to how he should behave. Very cool. You can almost see his brain working.
Lewis’ pincer grip is getting better! He has almost fed himself cheerios a couple times. He just hasn’t quite figured out how to let go of the cheerio once it gets to his mouth. Or… well… he does let go, but he misses his mouth. Again, I can see him making the connections each time he tries and fails. It is absolutely fascinating. Watching your baby learn is really very rewarding!
Mama Milestone: I’m 1.5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight! Woo! A little behind “schedule”, but still pretty darn great!
After Lewis’ epic middle-of-the-night 3+ hour party last night, I have made some plans for trying to change this sleep situation.
While Lewis was partying in his crib and I was hoping with my whole soul that he’d fall asleep instead of jump up and down and yell, I researched. Nothing says “classic parenthood” like googling “why is my 9 month old who used to sleep through the night not sleeping anymore?”
Well, Dr. Google has lots to say about this. The general message I got is that a lot of babies stop sleeping well between 8 and 10 months (hi, that’s Lewis), and it lasts anywhere from 3-6 weeks or more (Lewis is definitely in the “or more” category).
Cool. So this is normal. That helps right off the bat. But what do I DOOOOOO about it?
Well let’s look at the proposed “causes” and “solutions”
- Cause #1: Day sleep is disrupting night sleep. Potentially sleeping too much during the day? Last nap too close to bedtime? Not sleeping enough during the day and getting over-tired? Solution #1: figure out nap time. Make a routine. Why this isn’t our problem: Lewis recently settled into routine of one 2-3 hour nap per day (when he is home. daycare is another story entirely). It ends around 3pm, and he has enough energy to get through to bedtime without meltdowns, but ends up tired by bedtime.
- Cause #2: Your baby is just getting over an illness. Solution #2: Suck it up, mama. This too shall pass. Why I want to give this advice the finger: Lewis is constantly sick. This too shall NOT pass. But I refuse to accept that that means he can’t sleep well. Actual, real solution: Pull Lewis out of daycare. He will not get sick so much.
- Cause #3: Baby is not getting enough nutrition during the day and is hungry. Solution #3: make sure baby eats enough during the day so he’s not waking for calories at night. Why this one makes me angry: Lewis doesn’t get enough calories during the day when he is at daycare. This is a legitimate concern. But he also wakes like a crazy person when he’s been home with me and feeding like a champ (example: last night).
- Cause #3.5: You’ve convinced your baby that nighttime is a time for eating. Solution #3.5: There is no “nutritional need” for a baby this age to eat at night. So stop it. Why Lewis has a nutritional need: HE DOESN’T EAT AT DAYCARE.
- Cause #4: You make it too exciting when you come in at night, so baby wants you to come in so he can play with you. Solution #4: Don’t talk to baby, don’t turn on the lights, don’t change diapers unless absolutely necessary, don’t pick up your baby. Just go in, pat baby’s back, and shush them back to sleep. Why I have mixed feelings about this one: The only one of those things I do is pick Lewis up. And then I rock him and shush him and sing lullabies softly and feed him. I do not make it exciting. I don’t even make eye contact with him, lest that jazz him up too much! So I’m not following this advice to a T, but I’m certainly not showing him that it is play time!
- Cause #5: You have fostered an expectation that you will show up every time your child wakes. He loves you. This makes waking up appealing. Solution #5: Stop going in to your child. Let them fuss and cry. They’ll figure it out. Why I can’t get 100% on board with that: If Lewis is screaming, I will go in to him. Cry-it-out does not work for me. But it isn’t cut and dry… if he isn’t screaming, I can give him some time alone to try to sort through it.
- Cause #6: Babies just wake up at night. They make noise when they do so. You are going in too soon and they probably would have fallen back asleep on their own if you hadn’t jumped the gun. Solution #6: Don’t jump the gun. Let your kid do their normal waking routine, and let them also do their normal fall back asleep routine. They do not need your intervention, even if they’re good at convincing you they do. Why this one seems logical: Duh. I wake up too. And then I fall back asleep. But if something were to interrupt me, I’d have trouble falling back asleep too. Come on, Carolyn. You weren’t smart enough to figure this one out on your own?
- Cause #7: Your baby can’t fall asleep without you. When they wake up, you are their crutch. Solution #7: Never, ever put your baby down asleep. Always put them down drowsy, and let them fall asleep themselves. Why I can’t do this one: Lewis falls asleep nursing. I can’t stop him from doing that. He has his last meal of the day at bedtime, and falls asleep during it.
So there is a bunch of boo-hocky and a handful of useful things I’ve taken away from my research. Here is my plan:
- Reduce nursing at night. He still gets his last meal before bed. And I will feed him up to one more time during the night. I won’t eliminate night feedings entirely at this point, since he doesn’t get enough nutrition during the day when he is at daycare. But reducing them may be a good idea?
- Only go in when he is actually awake. I will stop jumping the gun. If he isn’t screaming, let it go. If he fully wakes up and I can hear him partying, or if he is screaming, go in.
- Pat and shush when he wakes up, instead of picking him up (unless it is a night feed exception).
- Put him down drowsy if he doesn’t fall asleep after his feedings. Then pat and shush. If he does fall asleep and I put him down asleep, feel no guilt. I am a good mom.
- Pull him out of daycare. I can’t actually do this. But I think it would help. He wouldn’t be constantly sick, he wouldn’t be skipping naps and then sleeping on the way home from daycare at 5pm in the car (too close to bed time!), and he’d be getting enough nutrition during the day to actually gain some weight, and hopefully to stop needing to eat at night. Wishful thinking. Will never happen.
So that’s where I’m starting. Hopefully something will work. I can’t be bawling in the middle of the night with my child laughing at my suffering anymore. That’s just ridiculous.
Lewis has been awake for 3 hours. It is 1:20 am. I have had 1 hr of sleep. Have sung you are my sunshine 9 million times. Have “shushed” Lewis 9 billion times. Have had Kyle try. Have fed Lewis.
And now I have been violently sobbing while trying to rock him to sleep after a failed attempt at letting him lay in his crib and “self soothe”. I am aware of the irony in the fact that I am currently bawling while my child literally laughs at me. He thinks this is very funny.
Also, “self soothing” is very fun for Lewis. He loves it. “Self soothing” consists of jumping in his crib, clicking his tongue, a few raspberries, chatting, and other general merriment. Of course, until he doesn’t enjoy it anymore and screams bloody murder.
Tomorrow morning I quit my job. Because I’m too tired to live anymore. I can’t do it. Being a mom is more than enough, thank you very much.
Yesterday I relocated a bookshelf to our mudroom and decided it would make a lovely shoe shelf. I was right!
Lewis sounds like a purring cat when he breathes.
He let go for a half second and stood on his own! Help!
Coughing until he vomits is back. In the middle if the night, of course. Poor little angel. He doesn’t love this. Such a sad baby. And I flinch every time he coughs. You never know how it will end.
Also, he keeps rubbing his bottom teeth against his top tooth. I hope he stops soon. That’s a bad habit and will not do good things for his teeth. It sounds truly terrible.
Anyway, I’m on my second set of jammies for the night. Lewis is on his third. Let’s hope that’s it for the wardrobe changes!
Today Lewis went back to daycare and they almost didn’t let him stay because I didn’t have a doctors note.
I left him there with a promise to send a note asap, and called the doc to get one on my way to the office. Dodged that bullet.
When I picked Lewis up, they informed me that he had only had one ounce of milk all day long. I brought 15 oz of precious, pumped milk. 14 went to waste.
Lewis fell off his growth trajectories at 4 months old. The doctor isn’t worried about it, but it bothers me. I know he is still big and strong and healthy, but when your baby stops gaining weight for months on end, even losing weight at times… you start to worry as a parent.
So I do have to point out that he started daycare at 4 months old as well. It could be a coincidence, or it could be that he doesn’t f@#%ing eat at daycare. Just sayin.
I hate that I have to leave him there. When I take care of him, he thrives on a different level. He eats, he isn’t sick all the time, he naps… all important things for a baby to grow and develop and be strong. When I give him over to strangers, this happens.
Ok. Pity party over.
We’re on the mend. Doc said we’d peak over the next few days, but I think we’re already coming back down the other side.
Today was free from vomiting and fevers, the wheezing and coughing were manageable, and the clinginess and fatigue were noticeably reduced.
So kiddo will return to daycare tomorrow so he can catch the next thing….
He really has had bad luck. If there is something to catch, he seems to get it. Except the flu. Thank goodness for the flu shot, because I’m sure that would have taken him down too if it weren’t for the vaccine!
It can be tough to stay positive when you feel like it is one thing after another. But I try. Just like everything else in my life, I try so hard.
In that spirit: I’m grateful for Lewis’ doctor, for my husband, for Lewis’ tough guy, nothing-can-keep-me-down attitude, for Tylenol, for the ability to work from home with him when he needs me, and for the absence of chronic illness and allergies.
My sweet baby has bronchiolitis. After much coughing, much vomiting (sometimes caused by coughing, sometimes not), much wheezing, a mildly increased temperature, and constant fatigue (even after a 2.5 hr nap), my instincts told me that clingy, sad baby might have something wrong with him.
So I did what any mother would do. I called my mom!
And naturally, my mother told me to call the doctor. She’s so wise. Which is exactly why I called her. 🙂
Doc said to bring kiddo in right away, and she quickly diagnosed him with bronchiolitis. She said it is peaking now and should be at its height for the next couple days, then it should take a few weeks for him to slowly return to normal.
In the meantime, we basically treat it like croup, with the humidifier, suctioning his nose, and general tender love and care. If he has labored breathing or a fever of 100.4 that lasts for more than a couple days, we may be looking at pneumonia. Let’s hope it doesn’t escalate to that.
Oh. And he shouldn’t go to daycare while it is peaking because it is still contagious. So that’s great. My work will be thrilled. Hopefully Kyle can take a day too. So we can split it. Of course, if I wasn’t worried about what work thought, I’d stay home both days. I just want to be with my baby.
Child did eventually go back to sleep. I wiped myself down, got a fresh shirt, and zonked.
I just woke up and I actually do feel somewhat rested. Waiting for kiddo to wake up for the day. I hear him stirring over the monitor, so it won’t be long now. 🙂
Been up for an hour. Barfed on twice. Every time I get Lewis to sleep and put him down in his crib, he wakes up and stands up.
Meanwhile I am still covered in vomit and could really go for a shower. Or at least a clean shirt. And then some more sleep.
This whole coughing until he pukes thing is not my favorite.
I feel dumb for not giving him Tylenol earlier. It is almost 9am and kiddo is still sleeping.
Note to self: if your child is teething so badly that he has a blood blister on his gums and then screams instead of sleeping, he is in pain. Give him the Tylenol the first time he wakes up. Not the 5th.
Poor baby boy has a blood blister in his mouth due to a tooth trying to pop through. I think it must be causing him some significant pain, since he keeps waking up screaming bloody murder.
I am, once again, exhausted. But I just gave him some Tylenol and am attempting to rock him back to sleep. Hopefully now that he’s got some pain killers in him he’ll actually stay asleep for more than an hour.
I hate it when he is uncomfortable or sad in any way. He does seem comforted just being in my arms. So at least that helps both him and my heart.
This one was originally purchased for the office, but it found its proper home above our table. Glad we rethought it and it ended up here! Thanks again to my husband/live-in electrician!