In the blink of an eye, BabyDumpling’s two-month birthday has passed, and she is now 10.5 weeks old!
She is now a lot more aware of her surroundings, and also recognizes who is holding her. With that, comes fussiness. She is almost always fussy when PapaDumpling holds her, because he holds her the least. She is the least fussy when GrandmaDumpling holds her, who holds her the most. And I am somewhere in-between. I wish I was the one she wanted the most, but it’s not easy. During the day, I have to pump, run errands, and try to get a nap in, since I do all the night feedings. So while I do spend a lot of hours with her, those hours are mostly when she’s sleeping. If I spend an hour holding her during the day, that’s one less hour for me to do something else. We’ve just bought a house, so there are a lot of errands to run in preparation for the closing. Sometimes, I want to make dinner, or go buy some groceries, or just have an hour to myself and watch Game of Throne re-runs. So I’ve accepted that I will take advantage of the time while GrandmaDumpling is with us to do all those other things, and she can spend more time with BabyDumpling during the day.
BabyDumpling’s also gotten more fussy ever since we tried the Cry It Out sleep training method. Long story short, we failed. Instead of progressively crying for less and less time each day, she ended up crying for longer every day. We only lasted three days before we called it off, primarily because, after the one-hour mark, everybody was ready to bust down the door and pick her up. The problem with doing the CIO method now is that I’m not sure what we are really trying to achieve with it. Supposedly, the goal is for her to learn to soothe herself to sleep – in other words, being less dependent on us to fall asleep. But there are two problems.
- She is still swaddled in a Halo sleepsack at night – we keep her arms down because she often moves her hands around and wakes herself up and/or scratches her own face, sometimes clawing at her eyes even. When we tried the CIO without the swaddle, she scratched her face until it was bleeding. So the next night, we swaddled her before putting her down and letting her cry. Which led to the second problem…
- Without access to her hands, how can she self-soothe? She usually sucks on a pacifier, but she can also suck on her hands to soothe herself. Without that option, she’s not learning to self-soothe to sleep, she’s just crying until she’s utterly spent and passing out. But even when she stops crying from exhaustion, she’ll sleep for only a few minutes before regaining the energy to cry again. She didn’t really fall asleep.
The third night, after she’d been screaming for well over an hour, we decided to stop doing the CIO method and wait until she’s a little older to continue sleep training. When I went to go pick her up, she immediately stopped crying and broke into a wide grin. GrandmaDumpling says that it was because she knew she had won. We gave in to her crying, so she won. In the battle between us and her, it was 1:0 BabyDumpling.
After we stopped the CIO method, she seemed to be traumatized by it. She used to lie happily in her crib while I told her a bedtime story (part of the bedtime routine we were trying to establish). Now, as soon as we’re anywhere near the crib, she starts crying. It’s like she knows/is afraid that we are going to leave her. Even when I stay by her side, and try to tell her a bedtime story, she’s screaming through the whole thing. Not exactly the routine we are gong for. Moreover, she was sleeping fine through most of the night before we did this, and now she wakes up many times and I have to feed her more often than before. It’s not a growth spurt because she’s not eating more overall, she just seems to be waking more at night. I think the whole thing has just made her more insecure and clingy, which is – ironically – the exact thing we were trying to avoid when we decided to try CIO.
Other than the failed sleep training bit, she’s been growing very nicely. She’s much more fun to play with when she’s awake because she actually responds to your movements and sounds.
At her two-month visit, she was 12.45 lbs (5.65 kgs), which puts her in the 75th percentile by weight. Her head is now in the 95th percentile, once again confirming that she is a big-headed baby. Our doctor said we needed to do more tummy time because when she’s on her tummy she can barely lift her head. Well, of course, with such a big head, who wouldn’t have a problem?
For my birthday a couple weekends ago, we went for a getaway in Connecticut. We rented a house and brought the whole family, even DoggyDumpling. Several of my friends came over too; it was the first time I’d seen them or really socialized since I gave birth and it was also their first time meeting BabyDumpling. It was also our first overnight trip with BabyDumpling and right before the trip, we bought a big 7-seater SUV, because, just like I predicted, BabyDumpling had a lot of stuff. We weren’t even going camping, it was only two nights in a house, but it felt like we were moving our entire house over there. We had to bring sooo many diapers because we weren’t sure how much we’d need. We had to bring all of her bottles, her bottle cleaner, and tons of ready-made formula in case we took her outside the house with us. We didn’t even bring a Pack n’ Play (portable crib), we just brought the Dockatot for her to sleep in. But her stroller and DoggyDumpling’s cage are huge and both take up a lot of room. In two weeks, we are going to spend two weeks in Toronto at my parents’ and I know the car will be packed to the brim.
The Connecticut weekend was a good test drive for taking overnight trips with BabyDumpling. She behaved pretty well. She didn’t refuse to sleep in a “strange” place, although she did have some trouble sleeping because the house was not soundproof at all and we had nine adults, two babies, and three dogs, so there was inevitably a lot of noise. We went out to a restaurant for my birthday dinner, and this was another first for BabyDumpling. We brought the stroller into the restaurant with us, but she wasn’t asleep (she usually sleeps if the stroller is moving) so she ended up spending the whole time out of the stroller. It’s hard to eat properly with BabyDumpling around, but at least she didn’t cry too much in the restaurant.
On this trip to Toronto, we are planning to spend two nights in Montreal first, and I’ve already made several restaurant reservations. BabyDumpling behaved pretty well the last two times we took her out to eat so hopefully she won’t fuss too much in Montreal, although it’ll be the first time she’ll be out for pretty much the whole day (because we obviously won’t be couped up in the hotel the entire time). Traveling – not even traveling but just leaving the house – with a baby is so much more work than it seems. We’ll see how it goes!