Monthly Archives: January 2010

Ba-ba-ba!/Increase in Blogging

So Parker has ‘officially’ started using consonant sounds when ‘talking’, most notably ‘ba’.

It doesn’t sound like much, but using consonants is a key development stage in language development, where the child is actually forming his mouth to make certain sounds, especially in imitation to things being said to him.

That said, I think I’m going to start posting a little more frequently on here, probably something like three times a week. I feel like the site can drag sometimes without regular posts (even though readership is way up), so be looking for more frequent posts!

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Another (Final?) Swaddling Update

He did it!

Parker is now sleeping with both of his arms out (we just wrap the blanket around his body). We just decided to switch to it one night, and he slept throught he night. He wakes up very occasionally because he’ll roll over and get frustrated, but it’s been incredibly.

Really, if you told me at Christmas that in one-month, Parker would be out of his swaddle, sleeping through the night, I would have laughed at you. He’s done so extremely well.

He’s growing more every day, and in the past few days, he’s started ‘smiling’. He’s been smiling for a long time now, but now he actually will do a cheesy grin every so often, as if he’s smiling on purpose for a camera and it’s pretty much the most adorable thing in the world. As soon as we get a photo of it, I’m sure we’ll post it.

That’s all for this update!

Thoughts on the little guy

Ever since my wife has started her new job, I usually end up watching Parker by myself a couple nights a week.

She has watched Parker, well, for at least 8 hours by herself for just about every day since he’s been born (given, four of those hours usually consist of nap time–which, as a parent, let me just say is the reason people are willing to have more than one child). ‘Single’ parenting is tough, especially with an infant.

We have a good system when we’re both home, as if/when he gets fussy, generally a trip into the other parent’s arms are enough to pacify him (this, of course, being after all forms of his own personal entertainment have been exhausted). But when you’re at home by yourself with a five month-old that 1) can’t explain to you what he wants and 2) gets frustrated by his failures at independence, it can surely be trying.

But beyond all that, the moments of pure joy that come with bonding with your child are worth every bit. Tonight, Parker and I had one of those moments.

He was sitting on my stomach while I was laying on the couch. I was holding him by the hips so that he wouldn’t suddenly fling himself onto the floor (and thereby ending ‘Daddy nights’). We’re practicing language development right now with Parker, specifically using consonant sounds when communicating (so a lot of da, ba, etc.). I had my head laying flat on the couch, and would pop it up on occasion and shout ‘Ba!’ at Parker. Soon, he started laughing. I decided to up the ante, by doing it while he was laughing. Let me tell you, I’ve never heard something laugh that hard and that deep.

And the end of the game, I just pulled him down and hugged him. It was so simple–a baby’s laugh–but knowing that he found our game so amusing that he had to laugh that hard just moved me beyond words. He laid on my chest, trying to catch his breath from his guffawing. And that was it. It was barely a minute, but it’s a moment that carried me through the rest of the evening.

He’s in bed now, but I look to his room and hope he’s thinking about how much fun he had tonight with his dad. And even if he isn’t, that that moment carried him for the rest of the night.

Prop 8 Trial

As many of you may already know, Proposition 8 (the California gay marriage ban) is being debated right now in federal court. Ted Olson and David Boies (opposing lawyers in 2000’s Bush v. Gore) have brought a lawsuit on behalf of gay couples against Proposition 8.

The Supreme Court has barred cameras from the courtroom, but in our technically-savy age, we have both liveblogs and Twitter. Feel free to follow along at http://prop8trialtracker.com and/or http://twitter.com/NCLRights!

Five Months Old/Swaddling Update

Today, Parker turns five-months old! It’s hard to believe that it’s been this long since he came into the world, and even harder to believe how much he’s grown in those five months. He’s sitting up unassisted now, eating baby food like a pro, giving hugs and kisses…

An update on the swaddling, too. We started swaddling Parker with one arm out beginning last week, and his transition to it has been incredibly smooth. The first night, he woke up twice and went back to sleep quickly. The second night, he only woke up once. And now, he’s sleeping through the night once again. Plus he looks even more adorable doing it, since his arm typically is up over his head when he’s asleep. We’re going to make sure he is comfortable with this before transitioning to the second arm out, but we really did not expect it to go this well.

Happy Five Months, Parker!

Transition from Swaddling

Infant care has changed a lot since even we were children.

Instead of the tummy, we’re encouraged ‘back-to-sleep’. Instead of pretty crib blankets and bumpers, the crib should be basically a mattress and fitted sheet. To keep our children warm in this environment, many baby experts encourage ‘swaddling’, which is, essentially, wrapping them up in blankets like a burrito like so:

Swaddling serves a number of purposes, the primary being warmth and preventing the baby from startling him or herself awake. As you can imagine, after a while, the baby 1) gains enough strength to unswaddle and 2) begins to dislike being so constricted while sleeping. As I’ve mentioned, Parker has been sleeping through the night for some time now, and we had decided we would continue to swaddle him until that no longer worked.

In the past week or so, he’s been waking up 4-5 times a night (at minimum, 2) and breaking the swaddle. So yesterday, we decided it was time. Cold turkey rarely works with a baby (especially sleeping habits), so we came up with a plan to transition Parker from swaddling to unswaddling. The first step was to swaddle him, but leave his right arm out of the swaddle (as that’s the one he usually breaks from the swaddle first). We’ll try this for a couple weeks and then move to the second arm, before finally completely unswaddling him.

So last night, we laid Parker down to bed with one arm out (he’s a pro at putting himself to sleep), and after about 10 minutes, he was asleep. After about an hour or so, Parker woke up crying. At that point, we were pretty sure we were in for a long night. We got him back to sleep and waited.

Amazingly, he didn’t wake up until 2 am! After letting him cry, a quick reswaddle and he was back to sleep, and slept the rest of the night. I woke up very impressed by my little guy and definitely think this was a step in the right direction. There may definitely be some sleepless nights in our future, but that he was ABLE to do it was definitely a positive for us.

I will, of course, continue to update on our transition.