|Big boy! No blanket booster :)|
|Signing, "I love you" and doing "the sprinkler" in his sleep!|
When David got home, I had dinner prepped and ready to cook. We stuck it in the fridge and went to a nearby park for a run. We plan on running another 5k in a couple of weeks so we need to start training. The best part? I actually wanted to work out. I think I am slowly coming back to life!
We couldn't have timed it more perfectly. Ayden was getting sleepy as we were getting ready. I lathered him up with sunscreen and grabbed his sun hat and we were off. We drove to the park and he fell asleep in the stroller just a few minutes into our run. It was so peaceful! It was a little hot, but the wind was blowing. I'd be lying if I said it felt good, because I am very out of shape, but I pushed myself and made it the whole way without stopping. Go me!
Since Ayden is 6 months old now, it's time for solids! We are choosing Baby Led Weaning so Ayden got a stick of avocado and a stick of mango for his first meal.
Ayden has actually been "ready" to start eating solids for a few weeks now. He's been sitting up on his own, has great hand/mouth coordination, etc. but I still felt the need to wait until the 6 month mark. He went to work on his food like he'd been eating solids for his whole little life. I will write a whole post dedicated to Baby Led Weaning (BLW) at a future date (you can read about another blogger's take on it here and here) but I will go ahead and mention just a couple of things about BLW today. If you don't have a history of food allergies, you do not have to be quite as careful about introducing just one food at a time. Obviously still watch for any reactions but the reality is that food allergies typically run in families. We will hold off on things like nuts and honey, but for fruits and vegetables there won't be too much of a concern. Also, while doing BLW, you must realize the difference between gagging and choking. Gagging is a natural and necessary reflex that prevents food from going too far. If your child is gagging, their body is doing it's job. Typically a baby will only trigger the gag reflex a few times before they learn how far is too far and just don't do it anymore. There is so much more to BLW but as I said before, that is for another day. If you are interested in reading the book on it, you can purchase it here. It is so fun to witness this new chapter of Ayden's life! David and I truely enjoy wholesome, delicious food and can't wait to share that love with Ayden.
On another note, I have been doing some soul searching today. If you've been readng this blog, you may know that we've experienced our fair share of sleep "problems" over the past 6 months. Night time sleep has actually become pretty consistent now with 3-4 hour stretches (after which he eats a full feeding so I don't feel bad waking that often). Our current issue lies with naps being too short, typically only 30 minutes at a time (except for today's but I was sleeping with him). I have been reading The Baby Whisperer's books and trying out some of her techniques but to be honest, everything is much easier said than done. Ayden usually wakes from his naps in a great mood and ready to play so it is next to impossible to get him to go back to sleep in order to lengthen his naps. I would waste half my day attempting to get him to go back to sleep which would inevitably result in my feeling frustrated with poor Ayden and disapointed in myself. While I was pregnant, I read Attachment Parenting by Dr Sears and our parenting style definitlely leans toward the attachment parenting (AP) end of the spectrum. Of the "7 B's" of AP:
- Birth Bonding
- Bedding close by
- Belief of the language value of your baby's cry
- Beware of baby trainiers
we do 5. All of them except for bedding close by and beware of baby trainers. Balance comes and goes, but that's pretty natural. We do strive for it though, and that's what's important. So what I've been soul searching about is why we haven't adopted all 7 since it is obvious that AP seems to be what works for us and the way our "comtemporary cruncy" selves naturally tend to lean.
As for bedding close by, Dr. Sears says that the best sleeping arrangment is the one that gets everyone the most sleep. I actually do not sleep very comfortably with Ayden in the bed with me. He likes to pacify on me which wakes me often and I don't move much, which results in my waking up stiff and with sore hips. We could keep him in a co-sleeper or side car his crib but that doesn't work for us because then David's sleep would be inturrupted. David has to go to work everyday and doesn't have the opportunity to nap like I do so he needs to be well rested. It is a big responsibility to be the sole breadwinner of a family and he needs to be able to perform the best he can while at work. That is why having Ayden in his own room is the best option for our family. I have a video monitor and have it set low enough to where it wakes me but not David and that is the sleeping arrangement that works best for us.
The other of the B's that we haven't been following, beware of baby trainers, is the one I've been reflecting about. If you were to choose a baby trainer, The Baby Whisperer is the most... "humane" (for lack of a better word) of them all, in my opinion. I think that her methods are sound and do not leave a baby to "cry it out" which would never be something I could do. When I read her books, everything she says seems to make sense and it motivates me to get to work. On the other hand, on the days that I do read her books and actually try to impliment her methods, we have what I would call a "bad day" by the end of it. The kind of days that leave me exhausted and frustrated by the time David gets home. Ayden does a lot of fussing/crying, I feel defeated and like a failure of a mother. These are not good thoughts or feelings to have, especially when being a mommy has been my dream and this is IT. It is happening right now and I want to love every second of it, not feel like I'm a complete failure. I have read a couple of things recently that made me second guess my "need" to ignore this B. First, I read this article by Dr. Sears on "8 Infant Sleep Facts Everyone Should Know." The second I read it, tension left my body and it just felt good to "hear" a professional say things like:
Babies need to be parented to sleep, not just put to sleep. Some babies can be put down while drowsy yet still awake and drift, others need parental help by being rocked or nursed to sleep. -sourceand
Some babies need help getting back to sleep. Some "resettlers" or "self-soothers" can go through this vulnerable period without completely awakening, and if they do wake up, they can ease themselves back into a deep sleep. Other babies need a helping hand, voice, or breast to resettle back into deep sleep. From these unique differences in sleep cycle design, we learn that one of the goals of nighttime parenting is to create a sleeping environment that helps baby go through this vulnerable period of nightwaking and reenter deep sleep without waking up. - source
These things make me feel better because this is what has been working for us. I have tried and tried to get Ayden to sleep independently, and maybe what we did early on set us on this path, but reading this makes me feel accopmlished and right and wonderful. I'm pretty sure that 5 or even 1 year from now I will not be looking back at Ayden's first year or two and wishing I had held him or rocked him less. There are times every now and then where having to help him get to sleep is "inconvinient" but that is just when life is getting in the way of what truely matters.
After all of this soul searching and talking it all out with David, we have decided to keep doing exactly what we are currently doing. We like having Ayden on a routine because we feel all people thrive on predictability and we still want to work toward having him nap on his own in his own bed but we are okay with letting that be on his time. Once we talked this out and I said all of my thoughts out loud it felt wonderful and right.
It also seemed interesting to read this today on my Baby Center App:
My favorite part was where it said, "keep in mind that your baby's temperment and natural bodily rhythms will help determine how and when he or she naps..." Thank you, baby center, for reminding/reassuring me that my baby is still "normal" even if he doesn't take long naps.
I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that there are tons of professionals, methods, and opinons out there and you have to take in what you can, apply what you want, and do what you need to do to feel great at the end of the day. I'm pretty sure I've said something along these lines before, but I aparantly need to be reminded every now and then. Follow your heart and enjoy every second because it really does go by too fast. I followed my heart today instead of a baby trainer. Ayden hardly fussed and was either happy or sleeping; and I felt wonderful about myself, Ayden and even our messy house from start to finish. There can't be anything wrong with that.