Jesse Blue / 8 months & a sleep update.
It's incredible how much can change in the time span of just one short month and now I read back over Blue's last update, I can't believe how different things are, though alot of it is just due to an attitude adjustment (I'm talking about sleep, of course). He's on the move now too! *hides quite literally everything*
18Ibs-ish, I think? We've never been concerned about his weight as he follows his percentile well and still feeds through the night. He's a perfectly-formed little squidge who will be heading into 9-12month clothes during the Summer months.
I've been meaning to write a post in more detail around our sleep issues with Blue and I've started a few times only to entirely scrap the post altogether because I'm struggling to get across our thoughts on the subject without sounding a little preachy which is the opposite of what I want. Sleep is such a huge thing for parents, especially the new ones, and I remember all too well how I searched high & low for an answer to our sleep deprivation problems with A, and what I just didn't know back then is there really is no answer. All of our little people are entirely different to one another; some sleep well, some don't, some start off sleeping well only to deteriorate further along. All we can do is discover what's best for us as a family, so without further ado, this is where we are now with sleep.
Jesse still continues to wake often throughout the night, usually every 2 hours, but gradually we're seeing up to a 3.5 hour stretch, usually at the beginning of the night which is perfect for us as we're still getting our evenings to have a little break from the kids (I've always hugely valued me time in the evenings). After reading a great book called The Gentle Sleep Book, I've completely dropped sleep training (for the most part), because it was causing us both alot of distress and wasn't helping our situation at all; the wakings still continued and it meant bedtimes were stressful too. Rather than begrudgingly accepting I'd have to bed-share and nurse to sleep, I now willingly do those things, and we are all getting so much more sleep. →
I will nurse Blue to sleep at around 7pm; if he's really tired (we're still working on regulating naps), he'll drop off quickly and I move him to the co-sleeper. Occasionally, he won't want to feed to sleep and I'll sing and gently rock him until he falls asleep, before putting him down. He'll usually wake when I move him once or twice but once he's tired enough, he'll toss & turn before finding a comfortable position and going back off. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes (depending on how tired he is) and is very relaxing for us both to have a cuddle and quiet down for the evening (I won't go into the nights where Mr J isn't home to put Archie to bed; those are a little more manic).
After bedtime, Blue will usually wake 2-3.5 hours later, usually when I'm heading to bed anyway, so I'll nurse him for 5-10 minutes and he goes back into his co-sleeper. After this, I barely know how often he wakes because throughout the night I will either quickly pull him to me to nurse him if he wakes, where he'll quickly fall back to sleep next to me, or if I'm uncomfortable, I'll lift him back into his co-sleeper for a while. The last few nights, he's actually slept cuddled right into me and I've noticed he doesn't need to nurse to sleep. If he's right next to me through the night, I've noticed he'll wake and turn to nurse, but once he realises I'm there, he turns his head back the other way and goes back to sleep; this is huge for us as I was so sure he was using the breast as a dummy, and since I've given in to letting him sleep where he wants, the waking appears to be reducing quite drastically. Last night could've only been around 2-3 wakes, compared to around 5+ normally.
Mr J sleeps all night because (in the nicest way possible), his help isn't needed. Jesse sleeps the other side inbetween me and his co-sleeper and will happily wake to either have a quick nurse for 5 minutes or notices I'm close and rolls over to fall back to sleep on his own. I know this may be controversial for the 'experts', but I honestly believe he does settle himself well, and for now, we are happy for him to be close-by. For naps, I gently rock him to sleep and he actually sleeps in his cot in his own room; mostly so I know it's safe to leave him and to gradually get him used to feeling comforted in his own space, because I'm confident one day he will move there!
He's still eating solids well most of the time. Occasionally he'll have an off-day or two where he doesn't eat all three meals or fancy solids at all, but it usually coincides with teething or feeling a bit off. Most of the time, he will quite happily demolish a bowl of porridge for breakfast, a meal and yoghurt for lunch and a whole meal and pudding for dinner. He enjoys finger foods and devours strawberries & oranges (though I've had to stop because they seem to give him a sicky belly?).
THINGS I DON'T WANT TO FORGET
I don't want to forget the expression on your face when you make baby sounds; the way you turn to me in the night only to turn back and go to sleep once you know I'm right there; the way you're so excited to see us all each morning; the way you are so happy to observe your surroundings when we're out, I almost forget you're there when your brother's getting up to his antics.
He's on the move! By 8 months, Archie was sitting unaided, crawling and pulling himself to stand and I thought Jesse would be later as he wasn't showing much interest. At 7 months, he was sitting but still needed a cushion incase he fell down but only a few weeks later he's also doing all of the above. He doesn't quite crawl properly, choosing to drag one leg, or bum-shuffle, but he gets where he needs to be. He has pulled himself to stand in his snuz, and tries to on our TV unit but still struggles a little on his wobbly legs.
He says Dada! I'm not entirely sure he knows he's saying Dada, or if he does, he may think Dada is Mama but he's definitely practicing with different sounds.