Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Clapping & Laughing & Talking & Dancing (& Less Sleeping)

The last 2 weeks have been filled with milestones for Baby M. Right around turning 9 months old, she has learned to clap on her own and she has been finding so many things hysterical, which leads her to the most incredibly sounding belly laugh I have ever heard. She has also started putting together some new words (ok sounds - it isn't like she is actually talking yet or understanding what she says) and she loves to dance when music comes on.

Baby M about to tee off on the 12th...or just put all that in her mouth
Now all of these things sound pretty trivial when I write them down here - it isn't like she is directly asking for things, or walking or solving long division problems - but each of these little things warms my heart and makes my eyes tear up when she does them. To watch this little being using her brain harder than she ever has just to get her hands to touch in front of her face is the most amazing thing ever. And when she actually accomplishes it and looks up at me with that beautiful smile - DONE!

For such a long time I felt like Baby M would do none of these things for a long time. She wasn't sitting when all the other babies were, she wasn't grabbing toys or playing with the other kids in our classes, so I thought she wouldn't be doing much of anything until a year old. All of the sudden it is like a switch went off in her brain and here she is ready to party!

And with this new found energy comes a big change in her sleep patterns, which I came to discover is VERY normal around 9 months with babies. Just a few weeks ago Baby M was taking 3 naps - 30 minutes in the morning, about 90 minutes after her second breakfast, and up to 2 hours before her dinner. She would go down around 7:30 - 8 and sleep until 5:30 - 6 the next morning, every night, with little to no fussing. Well about 2 weeks ago exactly she started screaming hysterically when it was time to for bed, waking up multiple times during the night, not wanting to nap at all during the day (2 days we went with 30 minutes worth of nap total and it was not pretty) and not wanting to be put in her crib at all. And add the fact that she is teething (getting in the top ones now I believe) you have a perfect storm.

Baby M on vacation last weekend. Too much fun.
And I forgot to add when I posted this earlier that now she likes to do acrobatics in her crib. When I put her down (on her back) tonight 10 minutes later she ended up with her head at the opposite end of the crib, on her stomach. I just checked the monitor and she is now perpendicular in her crib. Now that she knows how to move around in her crib this also is a contributor to the waking up. 

I started doing the normal mom-online-research and discovered that at 9 months babies go through what they call "sleep regression." At this point in their young lives their bodies and brains are working overtime as they learn to crawl (not in our case...don't think that is ever happening), start to talk, eat a variety of different food, start to pull themselves up, or get on all fours. Because of all this new stimulation, physically and mentally, their sleep habits are affected. For some unfortunate parents this can last months, but if you are lucky it only lasts a few weeks. There really is no "cure" for this behavior, so like all parents affected, we are just riding it out.

Now I must say that putting her down at night has become easier these last few days, but we are still not back to napping regularly as we were before. Which might mean that we are dropping one of the naps too - we will just have to wait and see.

So if your baby is going through all this same stuff, do not fret, you are not alone! Here are some great websites that I found helped tremendously for me during this time:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post! My baby's only 4.5 months, but his sleeping has recently deteriorated and your links had info about a 4 month sleep regression (which I had never heard of) too. Ever since he mastered rolling it's been pretty nightmarish. Although I'm not looking forward to a 9 month sleep regression, it's good to be aware of - and nice to know I'm not alone in the lack of sleep department!