Since our cute little Miss P has started pulling up on everything, I thought it might be fun to get her a walker. All of our floors are either hardwood or tile, so it is the perfect setup for something on wheels.
They day we got the walker and I poured the contents of the box on to the floor, she immediately crawled over and began to pat the frame. She just KNEW it was for her.
I put it together, put her in it and she promptly started crying. I tried to show her how to work it, but she couldn’t seem to get the hang of it so I took her out and dried her tears, hoping the next day would be better.
For the next two days after that I repeatedly put her in the walker. She would manage to back herself up against a wall or a piece of furniture. She would wail in frustration. I would pull the walker back out, she would back up again and then start crying.
I was beginning to think this was a bad idea.
By day 4, she finally had the hang of moving forward. By day 6 she was moving throughout the house with ease.
I finally had the situation I had dreamed of: she’s safe, she’s mobile, and she can follow me around if she wants. Perfect, right?
All except for the small detail that this walker is a toe-eating, ankle-smashing piece of equipment. Mine, not hers.
I put her in the walker while I’m cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. She follows me around, trying to trap my toes under the plastic bumper on the walker. I spend my time duck-walking with my toes curled upwards. When I’m doing dishes or standing at the stove she comes up behind me and rams the same bumper into the backs of my heels.
She’s happy, though. That’s what counts. Right?
At Miss P’s 6-month appointment (the one that happened when she was almost 7 months old – insurance issues), the nurse and doctor both asked “What’s she doing now?” and among the things I listed: she’s crawling. They were impressed because she’s on the very early end of the scale to be crawling. She’d been crawling for a little over 2 weeks at that point.
Having an open floor plan in the new place is nice, because I could put her down on the floor, she could crawl all over the place, and I could mostly see her. She did a lot of exploring and I wasn’t too worried about her because it’s hard to fall off the floor, right?
Well, she’s changed the game again. Now she’s pulling up on things and standing.
It doesn’t matter what the item is: a trash can, laundry basket, moving box, rocking recliner, exersaucer, whatever. If it’s higher than her knees, she’s going to try to stand up using it. This often results in whatever it is tipping over, or her losing her balance and falling.
She’s had a couple of black eyes, a small goose egg on her forehead and a bump on her eyebrow. Luckily, the few times she has fallen backwards she’s been on the wonderful ABC foam mat we bought for the livingroom.
Of course, this means I can’t just put her down and let her go anymore. The house is still in enough disarray that she could do some major damage to herself when no one is watching.
Then the other night she really surprised me. I was sitting next to her while she played on the floor and she pulled up on the couch cushion closest to her play pen. She moved from couch to play pen by gripping the mesh in her hands, then she stretched up, grabbed the top bar of the side of the play pen and pulled herself up. She actually lifted her feet off the floor.
We’re in big trouble now.
The beginning of March found us moving into a new house. This meant that daddy wasn’t around much (still moving stuff over), bedtime routine changed and then the time change happened. It’s a lot for an infant to process.
On top of that, I think she’s teething. Ugh.
She stopped sleeping through the night. This is torture for me because I really need my sleep, and having a child who slept through the night as early as she did was wonderful.
Maybe she’d go to bed at the usual time. Then she’d be up at 1 am, and it would be a battle until 5:30 or 6 am trying to get her back to sleep. Then she would sleep for another couple of hours, maybe.
Or maybe she wouldn’t want to go to sleep and we’d be battling until 1 or 2 am to get her to sleep. (And by “we” I mean “me”.) Then she’d be up earlier than usual.
I was exhausted. I AM exhausted. I learned a couple of tricks during that time:
1. Give her Tylenol as soon as she wakes up. I’d wait until after changing her, but for the most part she was up because she was in pain from teething.
2. Let her play a bit. Trying to immediately get her back to sleep only prolonged the process.
3. Rocking helped.
4. Singing lullabies helped. This song is one we learned at infant story time at the library. So much better than Rock-A-Bye Baby.
Bedtime had become such a battle that I dreaded it, where I used to love it. Four, five, six hours of working to get her to sleep was wearing me down. I had no free time to myself in the evenings because as soon as I got her down I would just fall into bed, then she would be up at the crack of dawn.
I was miserable. In fact, yesterday I spent more time trying not to cry than just about anything else I did all day.
So when her dad got home last night we discussed it. I told him how I was feeling and we tried to come up with a solution.
One thing we both thought was that perhaps her room was too dark. The night before we cracked her bedroom door and left the hall bathroom light on all night. I was thinking about getting her a glow worm, but then I remembered I have a white noise machine that also has projections for the ceiling. It was set up in her room but we never used it.
I turned the projection on and it lit up the room nicely without making it seem lit up.
The other thing we did? Kept her up longer.
Conventional wisdom says when your kid has trouble getting to sleep, dial back bedtime (put them to bed a bit earlier). I thought about this but if I was spending, on average, 4 hours a night trying to get her to bed, if we dialed bedtime back an hour, then I’d be spending 5 hours trying to get her to bed.
This was not my idea of a solution. This was my idea of a nightmare. (And I should note that I’m saying “I” because she’s going through a mommycentric phase right now where only I can put her to bed and only I can comfort her when she wakes up. If Daddy tries, she screams like she’s being murdered.)
So after dinner, Daddy got down on the play mat with her and played with her for about an hour. They both enjoyed it (he was still talking about how much fun it was this morning) and she got out some of her excess energy.
An hour after her “usual” bedtime, we started her routine: bath, massage, bottle. She went down without much of a fight and was in bed within an hour. She did wake up a half hour later, but I nursed her for about 30 minutes (to make sure she was truly asleep) and she went back down and slept through the night.
When you read about what your child should be doing at their current age, the websites always say “your child may be different”. If conventional wisdom isn’t working for you, stop making yourselves crazy and try something else. It just might work.
We recently moved from a two story house with some awful, steep stairs, to a one story house with an open concept. I LOVE the open kitchen/living room/dining area because it allows me to see what my family are up to while I’m in the kitchen (separated from them only by a partial bar/cabinet area), and it allows Miss P to see me while she plays in her exersaucer in the living room. She’s going through separation anxiety with me right now so this is such a gift.
Yesterday my husband was out on the driveway working out some storage issues. I was back and forth between the laundry room (in a separate building just outside the back door) and the kitchen. I had put Miss P on the floor in the living room with all of her musical toys, and she was playing happily.
I ducked out to the laundry room, leaving the back door standing open since it was nice out. I pulled the clothes from the dryer, hung up the ones that needed it and came back into the house. I looked in the living room – no baby. Toys were silent. Dining room was empty as I rushed through it to check behind the recliner in the living room.
I started calling out to her, though she doesn’t answer yet. My heart was in my throat, and suddenly the world was silent. Two thoughts went racing through my head:
1. She was trapped under something, unable to cry out because she wasn’t breathing.
2. She was taken by someone who managed to get in the back door, and take her past me (in the laundry room) and my husband (in the driveway).
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t make a sound. I whirled around frantically, and there she was.
She had crawled from the living room into the dining room and was up near the bar cabinet playing with the broom I had left there. I had walked past her playing quietly and walked into my own personal nightmare. I have never felt such panic in all my life.
I ordered a few things online on Saturday, and one of them is a walker. Our floors are all hard wood and I think she would enjoy the freedom of being able to “walk” around and follow me wherever I go. I’ll also be able to see and hear her coming.
My heart started pounding just recounting this story!
We found out in early February that we were going to have to move unexpectedly, at least by the time our lease was up in March. That immediately threw us into the stressful frenzy of finding a new house, arranging movers, etc.
Our prior landlord did offer us incentive to be out before the lease was up (he wanted to move into his house since he was moving back from Florida) and our new landlord allowed us to move in a bit early, so it all worked out.
We’re officially into the new place and starting to get settled in. We’ve been here a week now and baby is finally starting to understand.
New posts coming soon.
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