Monday, February 19, 2007

Baby trip


We spent the weekend visiting a good friend of mine from college, who has a son 5 weeks younger than Ant. It was really great to see her again, and to meet B. What a difference in personality between the two kids though! B is much more mellow and chilled out; Ant is constantly moving and shaking. It is really easy to make Ant smile and laugh; you really had to work at it with B. All my friend had to do was to look at Ant and say "hi", and he would laugh! That hasn't happened with anyone else, I don't know why he thought she was so amusing. They also had a jumper which Ant loved :-)

I've been annoyed with some of the books I've ready about child-raising. Healthy Sleep Habits for example, says "your child will naturally develop an earlier bedtime". But never really said what to do if they didn't! I feel like a lot of these books have good theories, but are very short on how to actually put the theory into practice. But I did really get to see this weekend what a difference some of the things I picked up from HSHHC make. That book says that babies shouldn't be awake for more than two hours at a time, that's all they can manage before needing a nap. And we have definitely found with Ant (until recently, as he approaches the 6 month mark) that he would start getting fussy at right around 2 hours of awake time. So we basically would put him down for a nap as soon as he'd start fussing, and he'd sleep for anywhere from 40 minutes to a couple of hours. And then he's a really pleasant baby when he's awake.

Poor B, though, would be up for 3-4 hours at a time - and he'd start whining and fussing and being miserable at right around 2 hours, and they wouldn't put him down! What a nightmare. Hours on end of the poor kid going "Wah".."Wah"..."Wah". M and I tried to suggest naps without seeming overly pushy. I mentioned HSHHC and the two hour thing; I said once "That's how Ant is when he's tired", once or twice I said "awww, look at his droopy eyes!". But it's so hard to tell another parent what to do. I just felt bad for the poor little guy, it was clear to me that he was totally overtired! I guess HSHHC has at least some worth.

(And Ant is finally getting to this "naturally" earlier bedtime. He's going from 4 naps down to 3, awake for longer than two hours in the evening, which means that he's tired for the night closer to nine rather than ten. I guess I would have liked HSHHC to tell me that some kids would do this earlier bedtime thing sooner than others, and that I shouldn't worry, it would happen eventually.)

8 comments:

Eva said...

Nico -- what a great photo!

Thanks for your sleep description. We also have that book (haven't tried "let them cry" yet though) and have been doing the no more than 2 hours thing. It really helped us, too, to recognize their sleepy signals and not get overtired. I was wondering why they still do 4 naps a day but good to hear that Ant is still at 4 a day, too. I'm ready for 3 longer ones than the catnaps they take but I guess it takes time (and maybe longer for my preemies). I wish my kiddos had the SAME bedtime as each other though!

It is funny wanting to help other parents but not really being able to tell them things, huh? Not much you can do, I guess...

S. said...

K only makes it about 2 hours as well. I find that going by that time frame as a rule of thumb helps us "plan" the day, too.

Lori said...

The best part about that book was the 2 hour bit. It totally opened my eyes and helped me clue into their patterns. Poor B, you'd think his parents would be thrilled to get the nap thing down.

Erin said...

Hmm, guess I got "spring cleaned" away...sorry I didn't have time to comment often enough for you! Enjoy Ant, he's beautiful.

Bon said...

lol about how HSC had lots of nice ideas and not a lot of practical strategy...we found the same thing, and it irritated me no end. i actually used the Baby Whisperer more, in terms of putting 'sleep ideals' into practice, but now that O is just about ten months and starting to wake up god-awful early (see my most recent lamentation at the crib) i think i may be ready to head back to HSC for advice. :)

and yeh, it's awful to see a child who's exhausted and not getting a chance to nap...but i'm too chicken to say anything more direct than you did. at least Ant was modelling nice, rested behaviour!

Jennifer said...

The baby whisperer by Traci Hogg.
Had everything I needed.

Suz said...

I loved the 2 hour bit in HSH as it helped ensure that we had happy babies. However, I also believe that our little ones are just good sleepers. They've had their issues, but overall, they do really well.

And you're so nice with the other parents....I probably would have just blundered in and ended up hurting someone's feelings! Good for you!

Karen said...

The 2-hour sleep tip was the best thing I took out of HHSHC, too. I read it when Jack was about two months old and realized the poor kid was exhausted; I'd been letting him stay up way too long. Once we started putting him down before he got overtired he was much happier.

Adorable picture!