Monday, July 27, 2009

Sam at seven months. What can I say? He's a dream baby, the baby I always hoped I would get after Charlotte, to help balance out the things that made her babyhood stressful. In a word: sleep.

Sam sleeps well. And I cannot tell you what a huge difference that has made. I look back on some of the things I wrote when Charlotte was this age, and remember what it was like--the nightly stress of not knowing when she'd finally fall asleep, and then for how long. In addition to that stresser was the fact that Charlotte had to be fully, complete conked out asleep before we could lay her down in her crib and tiptoe ever-so-quietly out of her room. The bedtime routine for Charlotte was so long and involved that frequently it would take well over an hour to get her to sleep. And that routine would have to be repeated if she woke up, of course.
I now realize that the difficulty we had with Charlotte was likely only partially her own tendency to sleep poorly, and was probably compounded by the fact that we really didn't know what we were doing. We did things very differently with Sam, and it's helped--coupled with the fact that I think he's just, by nature, a better sleeper.

Sam naps twice a day, usually at least an hour-and-a-half each time. On occasion he's take a nap of less than an hour, but then the second nap of the day will be a long one, more like two or three hours. Sam sleeps through the night, and has been doing so for the last couple of weeks. We've had a night or two when he's woken up (once after he got his shots) and needed nursing to get back to sleep, but that's been the exception.

But the big HUGE thing is that Sam can be put down in his crib WIDE AWAKE and will go to sleep ALL BY HIMSELF. He'll usually make a little noise for some time (more than once it's taken him a half-hour to settle down) but that noise is generally not unpleasant...never full-out crying. This noise, however, will invariably stress me out, so that I typically have to go outside and check on my garden or something while he works himself to sleep. We put Sam to sleep usually between 6:30 and 7 p.m., and he sleeps until 5:30 or 6 a.m. (oh, what I wouldn't give for another half-hour on that morning end...but I'm not complaining!).

It's wonderful. I am a different woman than I was when Charlotte was this age. I am more relaxed, less high-strung, better rested. I can enjoy my time with the kids during the day, and get genuine work done in the evenings, because I know I can rely on my kids' schedules.

When Sam's not sleeping, he's so much fun to be around. He's started sitting unsupported for longer stretches of time, and only occasionally pitches forward onto his face, which I consider major progress. This weekend he really started rolling from back to front, to the point where if I put him down on his back, if he's not distracted by his delectable toes, he'll immediately flip onto his stomach. He's been rolling from front to back for a few weeks now, but hasn't really figured out yet that he could string the two motions together to get someplace.

Speaking of mobility, I noticed from Charlotte's baby book that she was crawling at this age--only backwards, but still. Sam hasn't yet made that move. He seems uninterested in getting onto his knees when he's in the stomach-down position. I know that frequently kids skip crawling altogether, and I wouldn't be surprised if Sam's one of those. Because he seems more interested in standing--he spends a lot of time in his exersaucer, kicking his fat little legs, and often likes to be held in a standing-up position.

He likes to make noise, particularly certain noises: high-pitched shrieks, coos, raspberries, "ah-boo" and "ah-mah" sounds. He has a throaty, gutteral laugh that is contagious, and he's ticklish under his arms, so it's easy to call the laugh forth.

He's taken to solid food like an absolute champ. He eats three times a day, and hasn't diminished his milk intake by much, so I'm sure his thighs and cheeks will hang around for a while. We've tried: sweet potatoes, winter squash, green beans, pears, applesauce, blueberry/apple, apricot/raspberry, banana, oatmeal, rice, and prunes, all with success. I'll be trying carrots and peas this week. It's fun to feed him, because he's almost always (unless he's overly tired) really excited to eat. He leans forward, opening his mouth eagerly like a little bird, lunging at the spoon.

I don't have updated height/weight info as we don't have an official doctor's appointment until he's nine months, but he's almost too big for most of the twelve months size clothing we have for him. In the above picture, he's wearing an eighteen-month t-shirt (one I bought thinking he'd wear it next spring and summer). I'm trying not to worry about all the twelve-to-eighteen month size clothing I bought him to wear in the fall and winter.

I will risk sounding cheesy and say that I am so happy to have this family. I love my kids, my husband, I love the dynamic we have when we're all together. I love that Charlotte draws pictures of us and has stories about our family already. I can't wait to do all sorts of fantastic things with these cool people.


Miz Jean said...

Jana, I must say that I feel like I could have written much of this about MY kids! Reagan was so colicky and our nightly routine was PAINFULLY long! She basically screamed for 4-6 hours. When she went 15 minutes without screaming, I knew I could put her in bed. Even then we tiptoed like goofy people. Madison is a completely different child. I put her in her crib today to fold a few pieces of laundry and she fussed for 10 minutes and then went to sleep. Its just unreal how different she is! Wow!! It is wonderful and it does a world of good for my piece of mind! I have a much better attitude this time around and it sound like you do as well. So glad you've got a better rhythm this time around!

momdadtig said...

....and it just keeps getting better and better........ (mom t.)

Amy Tracy said...

Love this! It is a great feeling to adore your family, and the way it should be!