Caleb’s 8 Month Update, Sleep Training, Food and More

Guys, I don’t know. I try to be a blogger but it’s clear my life is just not allowing that to happen right now. And I think that’s OK. I think I am finally starting to level with the fact my life is 97% toddler and baby and the other 3% of my time is whatever other necessities I have to fit in like house chores, cooking, and watching 45 mins of Netflix with my husband at the end of a long day.

As you may know, Julian’s in preschool a couple days a week for a few hours and while it’s a big adjustment for all of us, I am liking the open window of time that he’s off learning and having fun and growing as a little person while I get to spend some 1 on 1 time with Caleb. This is currently one of those times. Caleb is down for a nap so I made myself some oatmeal and coffee and sat down to write.

Part of me hopes this is the start of having a little extra solo time in my week but the other part of me is trying to not get excited since I’ve been struggling hardcore with Caleb’s naps and sleeping for what’s now been months. After doing a lot of research and reading and becoming pretty desperate I decided I had to let him cry it out for naps and bedtimes so he could learn to self soothe and hopefully stay asleep longer than 20-30 minutes at a time.

Cry it out is no stranger to us in this house. I used it with Julian after trying loads of gentler methods with absolutely 0 success and it greatly improved his ability to sleep and his moods during the daytime. I won’t say it was a cure all as we constantly were training and re training him. His naps never got regular until he was 18-19 months old and on one nap a day, however it helped a lot. It broke my heart and gave me extreme panic attacks where I just wanted to crawl out of my skin but when we made it through the worst and began to see improvements I felt so much better.

I was really hoping with Caleb that I could just breeze right by the sleep struggles and skip cry it out all together with him since he was such an amazing sleeper as a tiny newborn. Unfortunately, once he turned 3 months and started to roll over in his sleep and we cut the swaddle all bets were off. I started having to regularly nurse him to sleep which meant we formed a sleep crutch and eventually he would only make it through one sleep cycle for every nap and was waking a ton at night due to being overtired. Of course I would just nurse him back to sleep for all those night wakings too cuz it was the easiest thing.

A few weeks ago we started with cry it out after visiting the pediatrician and learning his issues were likely not due to his reflux as I suspected but more because he was older now and used me as his sleep aide. I would change his diaper, get him cozy, nurse him and then put him down and leave the room, to which he would inevitably start crying. Eventually though, he did put himself to sleep, or more like gave in and collapsed out of exhaustion. Same, you know…

I also joined this amazing group on Facebook called Respectful Sleep Training/Learning and its the real deal. There is so much great info sharing happening there and after doing some reading up I increased Caleb’s wake times to 3 hours and *usually* this allows him to take 2 decent naps as long as nothing gets in the way. Preschool drop off and pick up is kind of a bitch, as is my weekly yoga class, but I actually think we’re getting into a routine. He wakes up between 6-7 and goes down for morning nap between 9-10. 3 hours after he wakes up is when I am aiming to get him to go back down for afternoon nap. He’s still waking up up a lot at night, last night he was up twice. I try to not go to him before midnight and my goal is to only feed him once overnight even though right now its more like 2.

Since we’re talking so much about Caleb and he turned 8 months (!!!) on the 1st, I’ll go ahead and talk about what we’re doing with food.

Homeboy LOVES himself some carbs. I’ve been feeding him in the bumbo seat with tray in the middle of our table since he has issues sitting up in the old school highchair we have here. The other night at dinner I put him in the seat in front of a plate of bread. I ran to the fridge to grab salad dressing quickly and when I came back he had half a slice of bread in his mouth and was so happy. He definitely prefers being the one to put food in his mouth vs me spoon feeding him so finger foods and pouches are way more successful than me sitting in front of him with a spoon and bowl full of purees, which is the opposite of what I did with Julian lol. He also loves teething crackers but he is not a huge fan of the puffs right now since he has trouble getting them into his mouth. He loves water and gulps it down from his soft spout sippy cup.

As for nursing, he is still 100% nursed and won’t take a bottle. He hasn’t taken a bottle since he was 3 months old and decided one day that he was not about that life anymore. It’s sad to me because I truly believe flexibilty to go back and forth between breast and bottle is ideal yet neither of my kids would do it. I nurse him on demand and before naps and bed so it works out to be 6-8 times a day including overnights. About half those are typically super short snacks while the ones before nap and bed are more substantial. As of right now I have no plans to wean him anytime soon unless he magically wants to stop nursing and take a bottle. I nursed Julian for 17 months (!!) because it’s just what worked for us at the time so I guess I am assuming I’ll do something similar with Caleb. It will be nice to get past the nursing phase but I am trying to not wish it away because it is so cozy and special. It’d just be nice to not be the only option for him!

Personality wise, Caleb is a funny happy little guy. He is 100% obsessed with me and follows me everywhere around the house. When he gets to me he tries to crawl up my legs if I don’t immediately pick him up. He is quick to smile and laugh and is easily amused. He LOVES his brother and his entire face lights up in a special way whenever he sees him after one of them is up from a nap or they’ve been apart for any amount of time. Its the sweetest thing. He’s happy as long as he’s in my arms and if he isn’t he looks around to make sure I am close by.

I can’t believe Caleb is crawling and fully pulling himself to stand on everything he possibly can. Julian walked at 10 months and the way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if Caleb was another early walker. No rest for this mama!

There’s so much more going on in our lives right now. Maybe Thursday Cay will do another great morning nap and I can check back in. He’s been down about an hour and at the 30 minute mark he woke up and tossed and turned so I of course had a panic attack it’d be another crap nap day but he amazingly settled himself back to sleep. I can’t get my hopes up but I would LOVE if he turned into a napper. Night sleep would be nice too but let me not get crazy.

Xoxo

Liz

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