Thursday, January 8, 2009

Man, I Hope It's Just A Phase

Note: I have a whole bunch of half-finished posts saved as drafts but am hoping that starting a new one will somehow get one finished.

I made the mistake of saying aloud that I feel as though I am fairly comfortable with this whole parenting thing (in fact, there's a half-written post about that topic and how it relates to my job in my drafts folder right now). He must have heard me say that because he has been absolutely impossible all week.

For one, he has been refusing to take naps. The good days, he takes one. The less good days, none, or at least none longer than 20 minutes. And Harry is not a pleasant boy when he gets overtired. He cries and fusses and is generally unpleasant to be around. Thankfully, he is still going down easily at night and is still sleeping through. But getting through the day with an overtired child is hard.

He has also discovered that he can scream. Loudly. When the pediatrician doing rounds first saw him in the hospital, he commented that Harry seemed to like to hear the sound of his own voice. And now I am coming to see how prescient that was. He screams a lot. And not because anything is wrong. Just. Because. He. Can.

Finally, he has gone from being a boy with a lovely disposition who only cries when tired and rarely fussed at all to being one who whines. A lot. He grunts and fusses and heh-heh-hehs all the time. Nothing makes him happy for more than five minutes. Not toys. Not reading. Not listening to music or singing songs. Not the Bumbo. Not the bouncy seat. Not even the Jumperoo. He doesn't seem hungry, but nursing provides a respite from the whining so he has been doing more of it, which makes me feel like a bad parent, attempting to solve my child's non-hunger-related problems with food. And it persists even immediately following a nap, which makes me fear that it's unrelated to the overtired issue.

Of course, he then behaves like a saint when P comes home at night so that I think P thinks I am making it up. I really hope this is a phase. If not, it may make it a bit easier to go back to work in March....


Mommy, Esq. said...

Penny has been doing the same thing - rough getting her to nap and she is fussier than she was just a month ago. I hear there is a 4 month sleep regression so he might be hitting that. Does he still sleep at night? If so you are doing better than me! Oddly Ned has become an angel - but that is so I don't go insane. :)

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

Just wanted to say you shouldn't feel bad for nursing to comfort him. Nursing is about more than nourishment, which is another reason the baby has a great deal of control over how much milk he takes in while nursing. A mother's breast is a vital comfort tool for babies, which is why pacifiers exist, too.

My boy, 9.5 months, goes through phases of easy and not-as-easy, too; you'll be fine;>

Meghan said...

We've been having a bunch of sleep problems lately too. She would much rather smile and play than matter how tired she really is. Hopefully it's a very short phase!

Katie said...

Must be something in the water. . . we're having sleep problems here, too. Thought it was just night problems until he refused to take an afternoon nap today. I got into bed with him and we both got some much needed rest. I'd rather do that than have him get behind on sleep. Like your son, Will is a BEAR when he is overtired.

I do think there is something to be said about the "Wonder Weeks." If you google it, you will see it is a developmental phase that most babies go through. I have noticed that Will is usually a week or two behind, but they say that is normal because he was two weeks early. It actually gives me some sanity, knowing that there is a reason for these trying times.


Nicky said...

We've been living and breathing with "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", and they claim that well-rested babies wake up happy, while over-tired babies wake up fussy. This has absolutely been true for us. So, if Harry's waking up cranky, it probably IS the overtired thing.

Having said that... every baby I know that has suddenly started being fussy like this has actually been teething.

Jen said...

Maybe he is protesting the Patriots not getting into the playoffs?