our days have had a lot of :
now, i've heard of the terrible twos. but i've never heard of the frightful five-months. [whatever. i couldn't think of a better word that started with f.] i don't know if it was going out of town for christmas and being in a different home/environment [probably didn't help much], but i think he's just hit a new stage in his little life. for the past two weeks, he has been wanting to nurse constantly at night. and at times when he is fussy during the day, every once in a while, though not often, even holding him won't suffice.
i thought we were past teething for the time being. he just cut two teeth on the bottom [nice little sharp ones] and teething was actually quiet pleasant, as long as he could nurse and we had hyland's teething gel on hand. however, this is different. for the most part, he is fine. he is a very happy baby. but lately i'm wondering if he's just plain bored. he's masted getting up on his knees and rocking, even sticking his little butt in the air while balancing on his toes and hands. he's always been a scooter, but i know he'll crawl on his hands and knees any day now.
i've considered starting him on solids, just so he'll sleep during the night. these past two weeks, the longest he's slept is about 2.5 hours. he was waking numerous times at night to nurse, and i was not getting good sleep at all. so last night, we decided to experiment with organic rice cereal to see how it went. he was adorable - of course, not knowing how to eat from a spoon, he would suck it until all the cereal was gone, then he would bounce and reach for the spoon, "begging" for another bite. the child fell asleep at 9:30 and stayed asleep for 5.5 hours. it was wonderful, although, i think i'll stick with nursing him frequently during the night for just one more month, because i don't think he's quiet ready for solids. his tongue-thrusting reflex is still there, and i know the cereal doesn't serve him nutritionally - breastmilk takes care of that, and is all he really needs right now. perhaps if we can get over this nursing-like-a-newborn phase, we can hold off solids until he's nine months, like i wanted to do in the first place.
one night [or, very early morning] i wrote my mom a desperate email: i'd been woken up five times already to nurse, and the last time i couldn't fall back asleep, though river was sleeping peacefully. she wrote back suggesting that since he was at an age when he's mastered using his hands, is almost crawling, and becoming more aware of his surroundings, he's probably getting distracted during the day and isn't getting enough calories, and is making up for it at night when there are less distractions. i'll say this is probably dead-on [also seeing as my mom successfully raised four healthy babies, and knows what she's talking about], and since she told me this, i have realized river does get quite distracted while nursing during the day. he'll nurse for five minutes here and there, and then smile, grab my nose, try to stick his fingers in my mouth, jerk his head back to look at something [ouch], try to sit up, etc.
i believe a growth-spurt is probably contributing to this new, sporadic feeding and eating schedule. he has been taking shorter, fewer naps during the day, and then deciding to take one long nap in the evening - which doesn't help him sleep during the night [and then he's up at six in the morning! which isn't phasing me much, as i can just put him in his crib with some toys, and he's happy to play for a couple hours, and eventually just fall right back to sleep.] right now, river is actually napping, and has been down for an hour and a half. i am quite impressed, and it is very nice to get a break.
but i am absolutely reveling in all of this - this adventure of being a mama. i would be absolutely bored to tears without him. i totally get it now - when my dad tells me how when i was a baby, i was his best friend. i totally get it.