Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gerber Baby...well, Ferber Baby

The last two weeks have been big here in the Kirk household. Firstly, Cooper has cut his bottom two middle teeth! After about 2 months of frantic teething on everything he could get his mouth on, and buckets of drool later, they finally broke the surface!
Next on the list of significance for us...SLEEP! After weeks of being unable to get Cooper to sleep in his crib for more than a couple hours at a time, we were exhausted. I have been stressed out, worried that Cooper was not getting adequate sleep for his growth and development. I swore I would never "let him cry" but something had to be done. We opened our minds a little to the idea, bought the Ferber book, and decided it was worth a try. After all, we had tried every stinking "no cry" sleep solution out there. Establish a bed time routine...check (since he was 2 months old, thank you). Put in his bed awake...check. Expose him to sunlight in the late afternoon to help set his circadian rhythms...check. Then we tried the "help baby sleep" bath wash, baby massage, and white noise dice.
So Friday night we implemented the Ferber method. This basically lets him cry but with intervals of you going in to soothe him that get progressively longer. The idea is to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, which a near 6 month old is very capable of doing. We were really nervous about doing this, but after talking to several friends with kids whose opinion we hold in very high regard, we knew that this was going to be the right thing.
Friday night was hard. Hearing your baby cry and not responding feels a little unnatural. Cooper resisted being put down in his crib of course. He cried for 20 minutes before he fell asleep. We went in to soothe him after 3 minutes, then 5 minutes, 5 minutes again, then as we prepared ourselves for him to cry for 10 minutes, he fell asleep. He woke up at 1 a.m., cried for 8 minutes and slept. The 3 a.m. waking was the worst. I finally had to concede to nurse him after an hour of crying. He finally fell asleep again and slept until almost 8 a.m. We were nervous for Saturday night, even though we knew it was supposed to be better than the first night. Hallelujah, it was! He went right to sleep at bed time, woke up at 1 a.m. cried only a few minutes, and fell back asleep. He woke up again at 3 a.m., but only fussed a few minutes (no crying, thank goodness) and fell asleep again. He woke up at 6:30 a.m....We are so glad the worst is over and we know that we have given our baby the ability to put himself to sleep.
All of us are going to feel much better! Take this beautiful Sunday morning, for example. Cooper is playing happily, trying out all his newly learned baby babbles. David and I have soaring spirits, drinking our coffee, singing out loud, and talking enthusiastically about what we are going to do with our day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Cooper keeps growing in inches, but not necessarily in weight...He is so long I had to find him new pajamas...some without feet so he will be able to wear them more than a few times!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We celebrated St. Patty's Day a few days early this year...While there isn't a drop of Irish blood in our little family (that I know of, anyway), our friends are Irish and they are a big part of Cooper's life.

The spread...Corned Beef and Cabbage, Soda Bread, Mustard and Pickles, Strawberry Shortcake, and of course, Irish Coffee.
Coop and Uncle Clint
Being Irish for a day is exhausting!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not phased by the long nights...

Cooper no longer wants to sleep at night, and it is taking its toll on his tired parents. He doesn't seem to mind, he wakes up every morning just as fresh as if he had slept through the night!

Monday, March 9, 2009

S is for...


and Sunshine! and Swimming! and Sunglasses!

Lounging by the pool.
As in, sayonara to several baby things. Retired in the last week include the bouncy seat, the bumbo seat, the crib bumper and the swaddle blanket! Our boy is getting so BIG, he no longer needs these things!
Sitting like a big boy!
Ha Ha! Yeah right! Maybe someday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5 Months Old!

Today Cooper is 5 months old! In the last month, we have met some triumphs and some new challenges. Oh this mother stuff is never boring!
In the "Yea Cooper!" category:
  • In the last month, Cooper grew 3/4 of an inch and gained a half pound!
  • He learned to roll over and is constantly doing so!
  • He started eating solid food (rice cereal) and is doing great with it!
  • He occasionally will take a longer nap during the day (all I used to get was 20 minutes at a time).
Yum Yum!  Rice Cereal!
In the "What am I going to do??" category:

We seem to be in some sort of phase where he is now back to waking up 3 and 4 times a is a little hard on me because I had gotten used to only waking up once in the night. He has a lot working against him...he has been teething like crazy, which is what I think wakes him up in the first place, then he realizes that he is alone in his crib, and he doesn't want to be alone in his crib. Two weeks ago, when he was teething very badly and really couldn't sleep, I let him sleep in our bed with us. Now we can't seem to get him OUT of our bed. I have heard countless bits of advice and opinion on that fact, ranging from the light, "oh what does it hurt?" to the dreaded, "let him cry."
While I was torn about what to do, I sort of made my decision last night. The first three times he woke up, I soothed him enough to put him back to bed in his crib. On the fourth awakening, sometime around 4 a.m., I surrendered, mostly because I was afraid I would rock my own exhausted self to sleep in trying to rock Cooper to sleep. SO! I will continue to put him to bed in his crib every night at 9 p.m....and continue to try to get him back down once he wakes up, before 2 a.m. Anytime after 2, he can come sleep with us, b/c frankly I think I can be a better mom if I have a little bit of sleep.
Taking a nap in his favorite place: OUR BED!
I have been a mom long enough to know that a "spoiled" baby isn't the worst thing (if such a thing even exists). I am going to hope that once he gets through this teething episode and starts regularly eating solids, he will sleep better on his own. Maybe he will, and maybe he won't. In the meantime, Cooper will never despair over being left alone.
(Might I add, this is my FIRST child, so I think I can get away with a little "spoiling"...I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune should we ever have another child...)