I thought that by the time Landon was this age (11 months, 1 week) I would feel like I had him somewhat figured out. At 6 months when he still didn't sleep, I told myself that surely by the summer this would all be a distant memory and he'd sleep and eat like he was supposed to. Yesterday I almost wrote a desperate post asking for help as to why it is still so difficult for him to fall asleep, why does he not want to eat more than three bites of anything, why does he absolutely despise it when you put milk in his cup when he loves drinking water from it, how are we going to switch off the bottle at 12 months, and again why is sleeping such a battle?
But then I put him down for his afternoon nap with little fuss- no rocking or singing, just put him down and closed the door. He cried for maybe 10 minutes and then fell asleep, just like he's supposed to. Last night we had some friends over for a cookout. We were sitting outside on the patio when we put him down and purposefully didn't bring out the monitor. I knew we needed to let him cry for a little bit and even though I believe in the theory I've been very surprised to find I just can't do it in practice. So we sat outside and ate delicious grilled peaches for dessert and talked and laughed with our friends. About every 10 minutes one of us would go up to reassure Landon he hadn't been abandoned but didn't pick him up and pretty much just let him cry. 90 minutes later he fell asleep and woke up happy at 6:51 (that's sleeping in). I could not have handled that hour and a half in the apartment or even downstairs in our house, but outside on a beautiful night I could ignore him. I feel terrible writing that, but I also know he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own. With the investigation, ear infections, surgeries, teething, moving, and everything else we've just never been able to teach him to do that. I can't send him to daycare or have people babysit when his bedtime relaxation routine is still so long and involved. I know this, but thinking about him sobbing up in his room makes my insides twist up. I hope tonight goes better, but given his age and general stubbornness I don't really think one night is going to do the trick. And I keep worrying that his teeth are hurting him (I think he's getting his 1 year molars) and can we just let him cry when he's actually hurting? We're trying not to give him any pain medicine because we realized we'd been doing that almost nightly forever (teething was really awful for him) and that doesn't seem good.
So I have questions for all you moms out there. How do your babies/toddlers go to sleep at night? Is there really hope that one day we can do bath time, read a book, and just lay him down? When did your toddler switch to 1 nap a day? Part of me wonders if he's getting too much sleep during the day and just isn't as tired at night. And what does your 11 or 12 month old eat? We give him pieces of food at our meal time (he won't eat the baby food or cereal anymore and only wants pieces he can pick up himself) but even if he really likes something he seems to have an internal 3 bite limit. I think he's eating less now than he did 2 months ago and he's so much more active. He still loves his bottle and I'm worried when we switch off of it he won't get enough calories.
In general things are good and I know there's no such thing as a textbook baby. He doesn't get up in the middle of the night anymore and he likes to pick up pieces of food and eat them, it just seems like they're more of a little bonus than anything resembling a meal. He's so close to walking and is crawling like a little speed demon- how can he not be hungry and tired? I get tired just watching him. Most of me believes that if he was really hungry, he'd eat and we're all just figuring this out together. But I also believe that parental nudges are important and I want to know if we should be nudging more with the sleep and the food. I mean the kid would crawl head first off the deck and stick his tongue in electrical sockets if we'd let him, so I'm not sure he should be completely in charge of anything regarding his care.
I'm going to start the first of four lectures I'm supposed to listen to today (our party yesterday got me more behind, but it was worth it). I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences!