Last week I took a break from the “Life With My Baby” posts to talk about letting a baby cry to sleep. I had been a bit hesitant whether I should write that post or not, because it is an issue people have strong opinions about.
Personally, I used to discommend people who would leave their baby cry. Now it’s been more than a week since we started putting Maria down in her bassinet even when she is crying and letting her cry for 10 minutes before we go back to her, and so far I think it has been the right decision for us, albeit a very difficult one.
The first few days, we were very worried that she would be mad at us or that we would harm her by letting her cry. Whenever she was awake, I was fiercely trying to make her laugh – just to reassure myself that she was fine. A week later, I know that even when she cries out loud when we put her down, she will be rested and happy when she wakes up.
That said, I did hope she would get used to this practice in a couple of days, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. While several times, Maria did not cry at all when we put her down, other times (including twice yesterday) she cried inconsolably for 10 minutes or more and did not drift off until we rocked or nursed her to sleep. I strongly believe that putting her down before she gets overtired is key in this whole process, but it by no means a guarantee that things will go smooth.
Something I really enjoyed this last week is the routine we started before she goes off to sleep in the evening. We give her some diaper-off time, a bath, massage and then put her down. Maria seems to enjoy this time very much as well, and I believe it does help her realize it is time to go to sleep.
In unrelated news, it is incredible how fast Maria is growing and developing. The past two weeks she came up with all kinds of new sounds and coos and became much more vocal. When she does not agree with something or isn’t particularly happy, she now shrieks with a high-pitched voice. It really is very loud! Her laugh is developing as well: Once, when Ahmed was playing with her, she gave him a very loud and long laugh. Fortunately, he caught it on video, so I could see it as well.
Maria now also pulls the funniest faces, and she started to like her tummy time a bit more. When she is awake, she loves playing with anything that makes a sound. She still enjoys the dangling toys on her chair and began playing with (i.e. hitting) them.
Last week, we also took her to Plunket for the three-month checkup (a bit early, I know), and while she is growing and gaining weight, the latter slightly plateaued compared to the average among babies her age. So rather than feeding on demand, I now try to feed her more often during the day, like every two hours or so. At night, she often only wakes up once for a feed, which is quite nice I can tell you!
While the nurse did not worry too much about Maria’s weight gain, we will go to Plunket again next week to have it checked. Fingers crossed it will be fine.