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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bubs 2, Sleeping Patterns and Self Soothing

Bubs 2 shows his neck strength
Bubs 2 is about one week away from his four-month benchmark. This kid gave me a run-for-my-money (horse racing reference) when he was first born. I thought I was the expert baby whisperer, due to my vast experience with one child (sarcasm). I believe there is a past blog on here somewhere that described a couple nights where I sat on the couch and hoped to nap for ten-minute intervals while the Bubs 2 rested between his protests.

He's sort of mellowed in his old age. I stress "sort of." We still wrap him in the Miracle Blanket and play static on the radio to knock him out during naps and nights. He sleeps through the night unless he's got a bad case of teething. He smiles all of the time during his waking hours. This is the good part.

I talk with him and we get into some serious discussions. He matches me sound for sound and Bubs 2 will even growl (most times) if I do first. He also loves to chat with his older bro, Bubs 1. Bubs 1 imitates Bubs 2's chatter and also updates him on the adventures of Lightening McQueen and Holly Shiftwell.

Bubs 2 gets a closer look
However, not all the talk is fun. The magic of parenting isn't all bliss. Sometimes Bubs 1, his mom and I all get frustrated when Bubs 2 cries.

Bubs 1 makes positive attempts, but typically ends up losing it when consoling his brother. It'll always being with a pleasant, "Don't cry (Bubs 2), it's ok," but always ends up with him yelling, "It's ok (Bubs 2)! Stop crying! Eaaaa!" Sometimes I have the two of them crying (in the car) in stereo and this makes me crazy. If I can quiet Bubs1, it will still not quiet Bubs2. But, if I can quiet Bubs 2, then it will quiet Bubs 1. The problem is that I can't quiet a baby as easily as a toddler. Confusing? Only to the non-parent.

Although, it is getting better. Bubs 1 has learned to take deep breaths when his little brother is crying uncontrollably (thanks to his mom teaching him). This works most times, but not all. But like I said, things are getting better. For example, Bubs 2 has patterns developing.

Some of the patterns that seem to guarantee (almost guarantee) a way to sooth Bubs 2 (in addition to the blanket wrap and static), include: Loading him into the Ergo baby carrier, which I wear and offers the unwritten guarantee of putting him to sleep. What else? Oh, I can also place him in the baby swing, wrapped up with the static playing. So many choices. That latter is good for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes of peace and quiet.  Of course, there's always the car ride that'll put Bubs 2 into a long sleep.
Mom and Bubs 2 today

However, there has been times (especially recent times) when Bubs 2 has just refused to follow his patterns of falling to sleep at night. Lately, he's been showing signs of more protesting. Just last night, he kept crying and crying. His mom and I picked him up a couple of times, but then realized that we were to stick to our understanding that Bubs 2 is at the point when he needs to learn how to sooth himself. So we keep to his bedtime routine so that he recognizes what is to follow - sleep. This takes a dimly lit room and a closed door and at least 20 yards of "buffer zone" between him and his mom and me.

A little bit of experience helps and we have Bubs 1 to thank for that.

Bubs 2 does his Houdini "escape" trick
Bubs 1 had us sleeping out in the living room, back in our Los Angeles apartment. Bubs 1 had our room all to himself. I think mom and I are smarter this time around. Bubs 2 isn't getting our bedroom all to himself. We gave him mom's office - with static.

Maybe he can field some of her emails while he's down there.

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