Week 38 – getting sleepy

So far, Reindeer has been a pretty good sleeper. He’s not usually prone to periods of wakeyness at night, for example. That said, it is no longer as easy as it used to be to get him to sleep of an evening.

I recently purchased a blackout blind for his room, which I think has helped prevent the first-light-of-dawn waking which we had a couple of times last week, but I’m not sure it’s helping much with the evenings.

At present we follow a routine of dinner, play, story, bath, lotion and feed, at the end of which it can go one of two ways; either he will fall asleep on his feed or he will be awake at the end and require 5-25 minute session of singing and cuddling to finally drop off.

On one level I don’t mind either ending – I’m quite happy to have the extra cuddles and singing time. That said though, at 11kg, it isn’t as easy to carry him as it used to be!

During the cuddles-and-singing time I’ve noticed that Reindeer has started to do a lizard impression – sticking his tongue out and sometimes licking my arm/his hand/any other bit he can reach without effort.

All the advice for newborn parents is that hungry babies will stick out their tongues and make sucking noises, therefore you should feed them if they do this. Although Reindeer is doing this some eight months later, he isn’t really hungry. He certainly doesn’t want a feed.

This has left me slightly puzzled as to why he’s doing it and whether I should be doing something to help him. I’ve noticed that if the Cot Transfer fails, and I spot it quickly enough, I can lay my arm on the cot where he can cuddle into it. He’ll then lick it for a little while as he falls back to sleep.

Reindeer has never had a pacifier, doesn’t suck his thumb and has never really shown any interest in either, so I’ve not really considered that he might need something else. As I write this I’m thinking he needs something comforting, perhaps a soft toy? We’ve avoided putting soft toys in the cot because I’ve been (probably unnecessarily) worried about the smother risk, but maybe it is time to change that; especially as he’s now proficient at rolling and can get himself to sitting or standing position in the cot with no effort.

Despite my concerns he still seems to be sleeping just fine overall. This afternoon I went into his room as he woke from his nap. He was really happy and smiley. Since he clearly wanted a feed I sat down with him and he just began laughing at something I said – we spent the next five minutes making silly noises at each other and laughing until he decided that he really did need to have some milk after all.

I have no idea why that happened, but it was great and I loved it. There’s something very special about those times, possibly the way they occur without warning or pattern, which makes them so easy to enjoy and so important to remember.

Re-reading this before posting I realise that it is rather rambly and not necessarily logical, but I’m going to post it anyway because it is a great example of how my mind meanders around a topic before landing in a totally different destination from the one I intended. Perhaps I’m just getting sleepy too?

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