This is a summary for the babies’ 31st week – they were 30 weeks old. This week they turned 7 months old.
Last week I mentioned that Sam’s biting was really getting out of hand. I got a couple of good suggestions about how to handle it. I tried a few things (flicking the nose, stopping nursing as soon as he bit) but what ultimately ended up working was a LOUD, firm “NO!”
I was nursing him separately one afternoon when he bit me, providing the perfect opportunity to strongly react without risk of scaring (or scarring) Mercy. When he bit me, I pulled him off, looked right into his eyes and loudly told him NO. It wasn’t quite a yell, but it was loud enough to jolt him a bit. His little lip started quivering and he broke out into the saddest cry ever – it was like I actually hurt his feelings. I felt terrible! But… it’s been four days and no biting, so it worked.
It did get me thinking about babies and how much we can expect them to learn and understand. Many people would say (possibly even me) that it is impossible to teach obedience to a 7 month old – they aren’t old enough to understand commands and expectations. But in this situation I said NO and regardless of whether or not he can comprehend what “no” means, he clearly learned the lesson – that it is not okay for him to bite me. If this is possible in a 7 month old, it would seem reasonable that within a few months he can (and should) learn to obey in other areas – like not touching off-limit items, not throwing food off the high chair, etc.
Oh! The other change in nursing this week was that I stopped using my nursing pillow! I continued to use it about half of the time up until this point because it allowed for completely hands-free nursing, but I realized last week that it was contributing to my newly developed back pain. Because the pillow isn’t thick enough, I had to hunch over in order to nurse with it. Sitting in that posture for 10 minutes 7-8 times a day was just more than my back could handle.
When I nurse them without the pillow, I have to lay back a little bit. It’s not fully “laid-back nursing” but I definitely have to be slightly reclined. This is much better for my back and I am seeing much improvement in pain level since making this change. Goodbye to My Brest Friend!
Naps are excellent. The morning nap is usually right about 2 hours and the afternoon nap is between 2.5-3.5 hours. I often have to wake them from the afternoon nap.
Incidentally, ALL of my kids have been taking excellent afternoon naps lately. I think it’s the time change and the weather. It’s darker and cooler in our house so they can’t help but cozy into bed for a little snoozer.
Nights are great. There was one night Mercy woke up in the night cold, but I put a space heater in the room and it hasn’t happened since. They are sleeping in a onsie, a footie pajama, and a fleece sleep sack. I set the space heater on it’s lowest setting so it only clicks on if the room gets super cold.
Otherwise they slept great. No night wakings. Mercy is usually sleeping when I go in to nurse at 7am but Sam is always awake. I have no idea what time he wakes up in the morning because he doesn’t make any noise.
Our schedule was the same as last week:
7:00am Wake, Nurse
8:40am Nurse, then down for Nap 1
10:30-11:00am Wake, Nurse (if they are awake, I get them up at 10:30, if they are asleep I let them sleep until 11am and then wake them)
1:00pm Nurse, then down for Nap 2
3:30-4:30pm Wake, Nurse (if they are awake, I get them up at 3:30, if they are asleep I let them sleep until 4:30pm and wake them).
6:45pm Nurse, then bedtime
No MOTN feedings or wakings
Solid food is going well. They are now pretty much eating whatever I give the other two. I just cut it up super small. Sam can chew food (or gum it I guess) but Mercy has not acquired that skill yet so I keep that in mind when deciding what to feed them. Sam can handle some foods that Mercy cannot.
My sister went to Ikea this week and picked me up some trays for their high chairs so I hope to start working on getting them to feed themselves next week.
We went to see Santa this week. They did great on Santa’s lap but by the time we got out and tried to take some family pictures, they were pretty over it.
Christmas just gets more and more fun each year.