Well I wanted to write about each quarter from my first year with Lennon. But as you may have gathered from posts one and two…. I have had my hands full. So here’s a quick recap of the last half of Lennon’s first year:
I’m A Big Boy Now
Lennon’s first 6 months of life I felt like he was reaching milestones and developing slower than his sister. It don’t concern me at all, she always seemed a little ahead of the curve. Well, his last 6 months I felt quite differently.
With a big sister to look up to, Lennon was always motivated to get moving: crawling, climbing and walking. He excelled at all these things at a younger age than Lucille, leaving me totally shocked and unprepared. We always joked about Lucille being part monkey the way she climbed. Lennon has proven to be even more skilled at climbing.
Besides exploring at a young age, Lennon wants to interact and play at an advanced level. For months he has copied everything his sister has done. He wants to play with every toy his sister has. He’s her little shadow.
And how is Lucille reacting to all this? Quite well, actually. 95% of the time she graciously shares her toys with Lennon and finds joy in the fact that he is copying her every move. Once in awhile he will try to play with the wrong toy and she’ll get angry, but it really is quite rare.
However, thought she’s very happy to play with her brother, she still does not fully grasp the fact that he is younger than her and she continues to encourage him to play in ways that are not safe for a baby. This just means I have to keep a very close eye on them at all times.
How are those nights?
The sleep situation seemed to get worse before it got better. Because I was too afraid of Lennon’s crying waking Lucille up Lennon was sleeping in our bed all night, every night. By 6 months when he should have been waking up less, he was waking up more. He wanted to be fed back to sleep probably 10 times throughout the night. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and he certainly wasn’t getting enough sleep because he wasn’t going to bed until I was ready to go bed and would wake up as soon as his sister did in the morning. This usually meant 8 hours, factor in the frequent nursing sessions and I’m sure it was more like 4.
Eventually, we couldn’t take it any more. One night Lucille spent the night with Peter’s Mom and we decided to put Lennon in his crib and let him cry. He didn’t cry nearly as long as I thought he would. Maybe 15 minutes? (Though my heart was breaking and it felt longer.) And after we let him cry for 2 or 3 nights, he understood that this was what happens at night and would go to sleep with little or no tears. And Lucille, having missed night number one with the most tears didn’t seem to mind the other nights as he got used to putting himself to sleep.
He still wakes up throughout the night. For a couple months he wouldn’t go back in his crib after the first time he woke up. But I continued to walk him back to his crib and place him in it after every feeding thinking eventually he’ll lay down and accept that he needs to stay there. Finally, one night, he just let it happen. And now he goes back to his crib after almost every feeding with no whining.
He sleeps in his crib until about 5 or 6 am, waking up usually 2 or 3 times throughout the night still. (He goes down between 8:30 and 9.) And as for day time naps, he still needs to be held. I think I’ve successfully transferred him from his naps twice in his life. So… we still have work to do. But, it’s progress.
I don’t know if Lucille is old enough to understand that Lennon isn’t hurt when he’s crying at night, or if the novelty of Lennon has worn off and she doesn’t care. Or if she’s too tired at bedtime to care. It’s likely the last one because if I try to transfer him for a nap and he cries, it still makes her cry for her brother. Certainly she’s part of the reason sleep has been such a struggle with Lennon.
Working from home, I made breastfeeding a very high priority for Lennon. I think when Lennon was born I was still feeling guilty that Lucille was only breastfed for 8 months, and many of those 8 months we supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding him the first 6 months provided many challenges. Some because of the time and attention that was being taken away from Lucille. Others just normal latch and supply issues.
Lennon wanted to breastfeed constantly the first 6 months. Very often I felt like my title was milk machine rather than Mom. He seemed to enjoy eating so much I worried about him starting solids. I was afraid he would eat too much and get to be a chunk. But I was also excited for solids since at least it would mean I could breastfeed a little less frequently. Everything I thought was wrong.
As it turns out Lennon loves breast milk but hates everything else: purees, finger foods, everything. I have been trying to be consistent with attempting to feed him every time I feed Lucille but 9/10 times it just results in food everywhere. Meanwhile, he is breastfeeding even more than he used to because, obviously, he’s older now and needs even more nutrients throughout the day.
The good thing is Lucille is now more understanding of me taking the time to breastfeed Lennon. She no longer climbs me like a jungle gym while I’m feeding her brother. In fact, sometimes when Lennon wants to be fed and I have not yet tended to his desire Lucille will tell me “Momma, Lennon boo-boo milk!”
While pregnant my go to response when people told me how full my hands would be was “I just need to get through the first year, that’ll be the toughest!” So is it true? I’ll post an update soon. Wish me luck!