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We have a weaner!
Jamie used another two-word phrase the other day: “Mama, more.” He’s very cooperative when we’re trying to get him to verbalize some of his signs. “More” comes out sounding like “moahhhh.” Too cute.
Oh – so this was kinda crazy. We were at Wendy’s for dinner the other night (don’t judge) and Doc was holding Jamieson as we waited in line to order. Right next to us was a signboard advertising some sort of apple chicken almond salad or something of that nature. Jamieson leaned over, touched the word “apple” and said, plain as day, “apple.” There were no picture of apples on the board. Some of his storybooks have the word apple in them, associated with a picture, so I guess that he recognized the shape of the word. I was quite amazed by this. I’m not operating under the illusion that our baby can read, but he’s definitely beginning to remember and recognize words he’s seen before.
In other news, we began weaning him from his night feedings on Sunday. As an aside, I hate the word “wean.” It sounds like cold and moist and just icky. Wean. Wean. Weeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaan.
Anyway. We decided to take this plan in stages. His normal routine is to wake around 11 p.m. for Feeding #1, and around 3 a.m. for Feeding #2. We are beginning by cutting out Feeding #1.
Many people like and employ the Ferber method, commonly known as cry-it-out. We are not fans of this technique. I know that it is fast and effective for a lot of people, but we are not comfortable leaving Jamie alone and frightened to cry himself back to sleep. So we came up with our own modified plan. We will not feed him when he wakes the first time, but we will stay with him, comfort him, and hold him if necessary until he calms down and goes back to sleep (which, hopefully, he will do). If he wakes again after 3 a.m., this counts as Feeding #2 and he can have milk at that point.
The first night was rather brutal. Doc went in at 10:45 when Jamie woke up for Feeding #1 (or should I say, Nonfeeding #1), and rather than handing him a bottle of soymilk like usual, he just gave him back the binky. Fury ensued, the binky was violently spit out and “ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi” style wailing began. Fury continued, broken by short periods of nearly-asleepedness, for somewhat close to two hours before Jamie finally fell back asleep soundly enough for Doc to leave the room. Two hours of Jamie fury is pretty intense, especially because his fury level would intensify whenever Doc tried to sit in the rocking chair with him. So, two hours of standing. Not good times.
He woke again around 2:15. I steeled myself and entered the war zone, armed with a bottle of soymilk, fully expecting him to be furious about what had happened earlier. He took the bottle, drank 3/4 of it, and rolled over and went right back to sleep. I guess he was too worn out to be angry.
Night #2 was different. He slept through Nonfeeding #1, woke at 3:15 for Feeding #2, and it went quickly and easily.
Night #3 was different yet again. He woke for Nonfeeding #1, and cried angrily for about 15 minutes when I didn’t produce a bottle. I kept trying to give him his binky but he’d slap it out of my hands and sob. I laid quietly next to his bed with my arm up over the side so he knew I was there. After the furious crying subsided, he half-heartedly fussed for another 10 minutes or so, in sort of a “Hey, I’m crying here! Anyone? Helloooo?” manner. Then he quieted down, fidgeted around in his bed for about 30-40 minutes, and fell asleep. He stayed in bed the entire time and didn’t ask to be picked up.
Night #4 (last night) went smoothly, with a strange twist at the end. Nonfeeding #1 only took about 10 minutes for Doc, and didn’t involve much crying at all. Feeding #2 happened at about 5 a.m. when I heard him quietly sigh on the baby monitor. He wasn’t moving much so I thought I could sneak in there for a “pre-emptive strike,” since it’s always touch and go after about 4:30 a.m. as far as how awake he’s going to be. If he didn’t wake up much, he might go back to sleep easily. Unfortunately, he decided that he was wide awake after he drank his milk. I was like, uh-uh, mommy don’t play that 5 a.m. game anymore. I laid quietly by his crib hoping he’d drift back off to sleep, but after about 40 minutes of him tossing around in bed, babbling, and thumping his legs against the crib slats, it was clear to me that it wasn’t going to happen. And then he suddenly got very very quiet.
I cracked open my eyes and looked up to find him standing RIGHT OVER ME staring at me. EEEEEK! Freaked me out. He was so silent getting out of bed! How long had he been staring at me?! Anyway, as soon as he saw me open my eyes, he smiled and put his head down on my arm and snuggled up tight next to me. That was heartbreakingly cute but it lasted for all of about 10 seconds before he got up again and made a move for his toy shelf.
By this time I had to pee really bad, so I decided that rather than take him with me to the bathroom, which would basically guarantee that we were both up for the day, I would put him back in bed, shut his door, use the bathroom, and then come back and try to drift into half-sleep on his floor while he played with his toys for a while. So I laid him back down in bed and left the room. As you might imagine, this was not well-received. He began to cry, but not quite as loudly as I was expecting. I took care of my business, all the while watching him on the video baby monitor. By the time I was ready to head back to his room, he had stopped crying, laid down in bed, and wasn’t moving anymore. So I went back to my own bed, watched the monitor for a bit, and then went back to sleep!
He didn’t wake up again until 7:45 when we woke him up so I could see him before I left for work.
Crazy times. I wonder what tonight will bring.