Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hello, Relationships Wonder Week

As I type, I'm listening to the muffled cries coming from our bedroom where Asher lays in his co-sleeper bassinet, refusing to sleep. He's been a finicky with sleep this week; he's more difficult to put down, waking at midnight then again at 4am to eat. I had chalked it up to a growth spurt or maybe the solids he's been eating twice a day. Now it's getting worse and when he wakes, he is happy, very alert, full of energy, and taking in all the sights and sounds around him while trying to touch and rub anything in sight. I think it may be something more.

(FYI: It's not teething, because he is perfectly happy once picked up. No signs of pain, redness, or teeth under the gums yet. Still on "Tooth Watch" not "Tooth Alert".)

According to the wonder weeks, at 23 weeks, Asher has just entered the 'Relationships' leap. One of the signs is sleeping less or worse - this must be be what is going on.

{ Now the cries have turned to squeals and coos. A quick check confirmed - he's smiling, kicking, and pulling his arm out of his pajamas. It's going to be another long night. }

The 'Relationships' leap is the time period in which your baby develops the perception of relationships such as distance and placement of objects and people - on top of, underneath, beside, in-between. Separation anxiety may be soon to follow. They'll also start to understand cause and effect. There are LOTS of skills that they will have developed after this leap. Asher hasn't started to show any of those skills yet, so we are just now in the beginning phase and have - eek! - 26 days left of this "stormy period". Lucky for us so far, Asher is only "stormy" when it's bedtime or nap time. Throughout the rest of the day he is a relatively happy and calm baby. Knock on wood, will ya?

The SIGNS of the fifth leap, the "Relationships" leap, include:

  • Cries more often and for longer (check)
  • Asks for more attention (check)
  • Sleeps less or worse (check)
  • Eats less (check - during the day)
  • Has mood swings (check)
  • Is not pleased with many things (no)

Asher has been initiating games of peek-a-boo, which is a skill that usually coincides with this leap. He does it when he is on his tummy, tucking down his head and then popping it up with a smile. He keeps going if I say, "Peek-a-boo!"

His coos and shrieks of happiness have gotten much louder and more frequent within the past 2-3 days.

He's not demonstrating any protest to diaper or clothing changes yet. He does try to roll over when getting changed.

A few of the new skills he'll have developed AFTER this leap include:

  • Lifts things to see if there's anything underneath
  • Throws things (Today he threw Suki's toy - she loved it!)
  • Puts food in others' mouths
  • Blows air
  • Makes connections between words and actions
  • Protests when mom or dad leaves
  • Pulls himself to an upward/standing position

{ Pause for a check - needed a diaper change, made "milk" sign, or so I thought, but when I offered he just wanted to pet Suki. Back to bed. Cue the cries...  }

So we are in for a few more weeks of difficulty with sleep and fussiness. Hopefully it won't get worse, but I have a feeling it will. He started this leap on the early side, so we have a long way to go.

Some of the recommended activities to do with babies during this leap to help them develop and master their new skills are peek-a-boo and putting things inside a box and then tipping it over. I think I need to break down and buy the book to see what other activities are suggested.

{ Went ahead and brought sleepless Asher out here with me. He's sitting in his Rock & Play while I rock it with my foot. He just started tickling my toe with a smile on his face. I melt. }

Dr. Frans, the author of the Wonder Weeks, says his belief is that you should never let your baby "cry it out". He says that you can not spoil a baby with attention in the first year of life. On nights such as this one, I usually give it about 5 minutes and if the cries have not started to taper off, I will go ahead and get Asher. I have 2 sleep books I bought when Asher was only a few weeks old that most likely suggest otherwise. I haven't had much need to read them yet. I spilled water all over them and they're all crinkly.

While I'm not looking forward to losing more sleep over the next month or so, I am excited for all of the changes that are taking place with baby Asher (BIG baby Asher). It's amazing to watch their minds develop, to see them suddenly understand something that they didn't before. It's priceless, one of those parts of parenting that is indescribable. Bring it on, wonder week, bring it on.

In other news, I made - read: MADE - these delicious Panera Bread-esque orange scones yesterday. And they were amazing. Here's the recipe. Yum!

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