We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where did the time go?

My little Munchkin is 6 months old today! Hooray for the happiest, most patient, most wonderful little boy a mother could ever wish for! It is really amazing watching him grow. He seems so much more aware than Wombat did at this age. Maybe it's just me who is more aware and observing more closely lol :D

He has started 'talking' in a big way and it is just the cutest thing you can imagine... I know I am overloading on the superlatives here, so I'll show you instead.

I love the purposeful way Munchkin goes after what he wants. (That's Wombat rolling around saying "Roly oly pumpkin numpkin" at the head of the bed - and his foot at the end of the video.)

We went for a walk today and I used the chinese carrier - Munchkin is growing to like it now his neck is getting strong enough to support his heavy head. He still prefers the sling, but this is easier on me, especially if I wear it on my back (which I want to start trying more often).

It had been raining, and I had to point out the shining droplets clustered along the she-oak needles to Wombat - he was more interested in stomping on the ant nests lol. A few minutes later I had stopped near another wet she-oak when Munchkin started reaching out for it. I moved closer and he spent a good 10 minutes studying the droplets, touching them and sucking the rainwater off his fist. He was an observant baby from the moment he was born and his fascination with his surroundings is awesome to watch, especially as he becomes more able to interact with the world.

And now for something (almost) completely different. There was an exciting message in my inbox today! Elizabeth Pantley, the author of the 'No Cry' parenting books, is offering a chance to win two sets of her books if you mention her latest book - the “The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems” - on your blog or website.

I have subscribed to her emails for a while now, but have been unable to find her books at our local (sadly understocked) library, and my book buying budget at the moment is stretched to the limit keeping up with my wishlist for the boys' reading. Hence my excitement :)

There are five books in the set:

  1. The No-Cry Nap Solution *NEW*
  2. The No-Cry Sleep Solution
  3. The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers
  4. The No-Cry Potty Training Solution
  5. The No-Cry Discipline Solution

We generally do ok with sleeping at night, since we co-sleep. We have pushed our queen bed and Wombat's king-single together to make one big bed (Wombat's is slightly lower, so he still feels he has his own space) and this is really working well for us. Potty training is also pretty much under control. Wombat is totally nappy free, and my only difficulty is convincing him that he needs to go in the toilet and not out on the grass - but since we don't have any close neighbours, that's really not so much of a problem. He knows where he is supposed to go. He just likes to experiment lol.

We have the most interesting comments as his awareness of bodily functions and feelings develops. The other morning I asked if he wanted to come to the toilet with me (I find this works better than asking if he wants to go...) He said "no". A few minutes later he appeared at the door of the loo saying "I didn't know what my weewee was telling me!" He sat down, did his business and then said "My weewee has stopped talking to me now." ROFL. This morning the conversation was about the "tank" behind his weewee which needed to be emptied because it was all full of the water he had been drinking. He came up with the metaphor himself and I think it's a pretty good one! Not hard to tell he's a country boy lol :D

None of which is to say that I wouldn't read the sleep and potty books with avid interest as there is always more to learn. I have started sitting Munchkin on the potty already, and he is getting the idea as well. I want to do some more reading on elimination communication when I get the chance, just so I can interpret his commands more clearly. At the moment, nappy free time is resulting in a lot of cleaning for me, especially now he has started solids.

The books I REALLY want to read are the Nap Solution and Discipline ones. I need as many different tactics in the discipline area as I can get because each day brings new challenges that I often struggle to meet - and as for naps...................

Wombat decided he didn't need to nap anymore about 5 months ago. At first I started to fight him over it, then I read Maria Montessori's comment about treating our kids like slaves and forcing them to sleep, which made me feel guilty, so I just let him go. That resulted in total chaos, so I tried enforcing a head-on-pillow time ("You don't have to sleep but you do have to lie quietly until the music ends.") Now when I put music on during the day he panics because he thinks it means I will make him lie down lol. I am REALLY looking forward to some new ideas in this area, because the following excerpt from Pantley's book is all too familiar:

As the day progresses, and the sleep pressure builds, a child becomes fussier, whinier, and less flexible. He has more crying spells, more tantrums, and less patience. He loses concentration and the ability to learn and retain new information. The scientific term for this process is “homeostatic sleep pressure” or “homeostatic sleep drive” . . . I call it The Volcano Effect. ... The Volcano Effect is not something reserved only for children! This biological process affects adults as well. Understanding this can help you interpret what is really going on in your home at the end of a long day, when children are fussy and parents are grumpy – resulting in a whole mountain range of volcanoes.

[This is a copyrighted excerpt from The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, December 2008). ]

Interestingly, the foreword to the Nap Solution book is written by Tim Selden, President of The Montessori Foundation and Chair of the International Montessori Council. I have his book "How to Raise an Amazing Child".

Today, Wombat passed out on the playroom floor while he waited for me to finish an important email. I normally try not to get on the computer while he is awake (I save that for the middle of the night, thus creating more volcanoes and discipline issues due to my own sleep-deprivation lol) but he was really involved in the activity he had chosen (threading beads onto pipecleaners) so I made a deal with him - he would play quietly while I had a cup of tea and finished the email, and then we would walk down to the dam to see the waterlilies we had noticed this morning. (I had Munchkin in the carrier then, so couldn't go 'bush-bashing' to get to where they were). He soon finished his project, came looking for my attention, was reminded of our deal, yawned once and zonk! He only slept for 15 minutes but even that little moment was refreshing for both of us. (His first thought on waking was that he had missed out on the waterlilies lol... that boy LOVES to be outside!)

Munchkin, on the other hand, has a very recognisable sleep window, and if you pop him in the pram with a little rocking and singing, he falls asleep very quickly. He has one longish nap in the morning, and then only a short catnap in the afternoon. Wombat used to sleep a LOT more at this age. He also has a radar that tells him when Wombat goes to sleep during the day, which becomes his cue to wake up instantly and get some one-on-one Mummy time. I think maybe he just can't sleep when it's quiet lol. The biggest problem is that he is outgrowing the bassinet part of the pram pretty quickly. I have already had to rig up an elastic strap to stop him going over the side! I am definitely going to need some "gentle, sensitive, loving solutions" to set up a new routine for him very soon.

He still wakes to feed every 2 or 3 hours at night - if I am not in bed lol... if I am cuddled up with him he generally sleeps through. There may be a message for me in that lol...

You can read more excerpts at Elizabeth Pantley's website. If you are reading this, why don't you blog about the new book too -and if you win, you can give ME the spare set lol! I would be happy to forward you the email with all the entry details and information about the books.


Steff said...

I am sure munchkin says "want to roll over" at the begining of that video - the girls made me watch it 6 times - they love videos :)
I had her "no cry sleep solution" i may have sold it on ebay let me check - cant find it must have sold - sorry - I guess before i sell any more parenting books i should check if you want them - every time i have a problem i run to borders.
I cant say i was very inspired by the book though - i supose because it was more focused on your type of sleep methods - everyone has different things that work

Saints and Spinners said...

Wow, that did happen fast!

We had the No Cry Sleep Solution. It seemed like a good idea in keeping with our values, but it didn't work. We tried all sorts of thing before we read somewhere that a lot of time these sleep books didn't work if the child was sleeping in the same room as the parents. We moved my daughter to my office because no one was getting sleep.

I miss the little toes.

Katherine said...

My daughter kept nursing through the night whether I was in bed with her or not until I started telling her no after she turned 1. I probably should have started weaning her off night nursing sooner, because I am a much more patient mom when I get enough sleep.

She started flirting with giving up her nap when she turned two, and firmly gave it up three months later I think. For a while I was giving her stroller rides and arranging to be driving home during her nap window, but eventually that was hopeless. She doesn't get cranky in the afternoon when she doesn't nap anymore, otherwise I might have kept fighting it... but she was really ready and I had to give up my afternoon 'free time'. They are all different. Now I do the opposite and purposefully don't drive during her nap window, because if she does nap she gets off kilter, doesn't sleep well at night, and I am useless the next day!