Sophia is all smiles after eating her sweet potatoes! She really enjoyed them!! You can watch her first experience with them in the video below! Sorry about my arm/hand in the view most of the time. That was the first time I used that angle -- didn't work out real well!! At least you can still see her face!
Tuesday I had to work a shift at the Greenwood Meijer Pharmacy, so Nate and I rode down to my parents together, he dropped Sophia and I off, and headed to work in Columbus. When we carpool, it means we have to leave our house by 5:50am so he can get into work at a decent time. When we went into get Sophia to put her in her carseat, this is how she was sleeping!! We both laughed so hard! I had to take a picture of her, and the flash didn't even wake her up! Wonder if she is dreaming about the ocean she has never seen!!! Hummm....
Speaking of sleep, I feel I must blog about our struggles with sleeping at night!! Maybe someone out in blogger land will have the answer.... the silver bullet I am waiting for!!! Throughout Sophia's life, she has been VERY easy to get down for the night... I put her down drowsy/awake, she hardly ever fusses, goes to sleep on her own...but recently she keeps waking up early in the morning (1:30a-3:30ish). Last month she slept 8-11 hour stretches for almost 1.5 weeks straight. I thought we were on the road to a full night of uninterrupted sleep!! Nope -- I was dead wrong!! I feel that at 6 months she should be at least sleeping 8-10 hour stretches, consistently. She doesn't need to eat --- she has proven that many times before!! Also, when she wakes up in the morning for the day, she is always happy and full of smiles.... plays in her crib before she even fusses.
However, I think the game she is playing is this..."I know if I cry when I wake up, mommy will come in and feed me." Well, I am not playing this game b/c I don't want to create a bad habit that will take more time to fix in the future!
We decided it is time to start BABY SLEEP BOOT CAMP! I have read Babywise, Baby Whisperer, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. I really liked the last book the best -- seemed to be the best for the baby and he has done tons of research on pediatric sleep cycles. Dr. Marc Weissbluth's main method is cry-it-out to teach the baby to self-soothe and get back to sleep alone. I know that when I go in there and don't feed her, she gets really mad and cries more. We decided to have Nate go in there (bless his heart, he is willing to get up with me at night!), move her to the center of the crib (usually with all her fussing, she moves herself to the edge of the crib and her head against the wooden slats), and turn on her white noise bear. Last night she cried off and on for almost 3 hours!! (So much for most books saying babies cry it out for 20-30 minutes, then off to sleep! Yeah right, not my little pistol!) I just about died!! I had Nate in there 3-4x adjusting her. She finally gave up and went to sleep at 4:19am!! I know to some reading, this may sound harsh -- but the other methods (which I haven't tried) seem like they all create a crutch to go to sleep -- making me a vital part of Sophia getting herself back to sleep!! That is the last thing I want!
Some are probably thinking -- she probably needs something which is why she cried that long. I just don't think so and here is why.... (1) She wears special cloth diapers (lined with fleece) to bed so she can't really feel herself "wet!" (2) I know she can go without eating b/c she has done it mutiple times in the past! (3) She hardly ever poos at night -- we can smell it when we go into her room if she has! (4) I really think she just wants attention!
Teaching Sophia to sleep has been the most difficult parenting task thus far. I talk to so many of my friends with babies much younger than Sophia and they are consistently doing 8-11 hour stretches. All those her age are doing 9-11 hour stretches -- on their own -- seems like without the parent doing any "sleep training." I have to admit I want to find a magic bullet -- solve the sleep problem in 1 night -- I know that isn't reality -- but it would sure be nice!!
I have a feeling God is just teaching me patience and refining my type A anal character. I am a person that likes to fix a problem in a flash and move-on. I am not used to having to work at something so hard to get a problem fixed. I know the parenting to come (discipline especially) is going to be even harder than this, so I best learn patient, persistence now -- HUH?
Game Plan: I am going to give Dr. Marc Weissbluth's method a shot for the next full week. Hopefully her crying sessions will be shorter each night. Nate is willing to stick with me to do whatever it takes to get her to sleep!! If that doesn't work, I am going to start putting her to sleep on her stomach. She takes naps on her stomach and does (for the most part) and excellent job -- I know this is the cardinal sin.... but I need my sleep and sanity!!
I welcome any advice, techniques, personal experience, encouragement from my blog readers!!!