Linking hand-eye coordination & self-soothing
So interestingly regarding this 17-week sleep regression, because I am dreading it, but I’ve noticed at night, I think one of the other reasons I’m starting to get those longer stretches is because I’ve actually noticed he wakes earlier, but he’ll then put his hand in his mouth. And I notice this the first night because he woke and I thought, okay, I’ll go wash my hands and get ready and I’ll go through to him. And by the time I’d finished washing my hands and come back to get my dressing gown on, he had actually put hand in his mouth and he’d falling asleep again. And he then went on to do another two and a half hours. So thank goodness I hadn’t gone through, but I’ve noticed at night he is actually self-soothing almost with his hands. And it seems to be stretching out those longer stretches. Now that he’s found his hands, he knows he can put them in, and I don’t know if that is what’s happening, but that’s what it looks like. – Cass
That was, Cass one of our regular moms on the podcast who shares the week that she’s had with 10-week-old baby Max. We talk about the practical changes to their bedtime routine and the importance of a daytime sleep routine in order to get Max into longer stretches of sleep at night. Max has also discovered his hands and we talk about the milestone and why it’s so important for long term development, and in the short term, how helping your little one to find their hands is a useful self-soothing strategy to teach your baby. Keep listening for more about the highs and lows of parenting through the eyes of Cass and Max.- Meg
Welcome to Sense by Meg Faure, the podcast that’s brought to you by Parent Sense, the app that takes guesswork out of parenting. If you’re a new parent, then you are a good company. Your host Meg Faure is a well-known OT infant specialist and the author of eight parenting books. Each week, we’re going to spend time with new moms and dads, just like you to chat about the week’s wins, the challenges and the questions of the moment. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Parent Sense App and catch Meg here every week to make the most of that first year of your little one’s life. And now meet your host.
Meg: Welcome back everyone, I am Meg Faure. I’m an occupational therapist, I’m an infant specialist and I am just absolutely passionate about little babies and their moms and helping their journey to be a little easier. And each week we meet up with our friend Cass and her little one, Max and Cass, we’ve been following her journey all the way through from the day that Max was born. And so each week we are hearing a little bit more about what Max is up to and the challenges and the joys of that week’s parenting journey. So Cass, how was your week?
Cass: Well, Meg, let me just refer to my notes because baby brain is definitely a thing. I now through the week of having to write notes because I get to each week and then it comes to the end of the podcast, I think. ‘Oh no, I didn’t mention that key thing that they needed to know about.’
Cass: So now the week has been, well, I think last time we chatted, we were having a bit of a nightmare at bedtime. He was sort of entering into this screaming at bedtime where he just was not, I turned him over to Alex and then he just loose the plot. What was interesting is that when I was going up and taking over, he was fine. So, and there was one evening I took over and I’m not joking, he lay in my arms beautifully drinking the milk while staring at Alex.
Meg: He was like, this is my territory.
Cass: Yeah. It was like, he was sort of thinking, ha, ha. So, it was at that point we decided, okay, no, we’re not, I’m not going to come up again. And actually what we started doing was Alex started doing the bath because I’d been doing bath time and then handing over to Alex and we sort of thought bath time’s fun and lovely. And then he’s going over to Alex. Now I have no idea if a 10-week-old is able to have that level of, “no, I don’t want to, daddy does the boring bit. I don’t want this.” But we did change it to Alex doing the bath. So he did it all the way through, but also I think what we realized was that first night that he started screaming, I actually think he had a cold. The next day I used the, I don’t know what it’s called, but when you really beautifully suck this,
Meg: It’s a called a nasal aspirator.
Cass: Okay, that’s much, much more pleasant than what I was going to say…
Meg: A snot sucker.
Cass: Yeah, exactly. But we used that the next day and I actually got quite a lot out. So I think he actually had a cold the night before.
Meg: I actually wondered about that because it was so untypical of the way that he normally is.
Cass: Absolutely. So, but then what was really interesting and it all we’ve discussed before, how they feed off our energy. But then the next night when he started fussing again, Alex was then tensing up because he’d had this screaming session. And so when we discussed it one evening after we put him down, Alex realized he was actually really tense doing bedtime then. So what happened was the first night was because of a cold, but then Alex was really tense. So then Max was really tense at night. So the reason when I took over Max was okay was because I was going in relaxed, not sort of tense in the arms and that sort of thing. So, you know, just, I keep sort of being reminded that about that, that how much they feed off us and how once you sort of take three deep breaths sometimes and go back, you can have a completely different experience.
Cass: And so ever since Alex changed and he was like, I’m not going to be so tense and I’m going to do birth time. He’s been a dream and we’ve had some of our best night. He’s done eight hours one night.
Meg: Oh mark my word! Good thing we caught that that is wonderful. My gosh, you really are coming through. So now, how it’s working, it sounds like is Alex is doing bath and bed all the way through to putting him down and he’s just feeding him expressed breast milk.
Cass: We’re actually doing—that one before bed’s formula.
Meg: Okay. All right, excellent. And that now is taking through from seven until—?
Cass: So, I mean, it does change, but it’s around seven till, 2 o’clock it’s probably the average time, but he did a 3:30 or something outrageous. But what he’s also started doing, which I’m, so, because he’s going so long that first stretch he’s then doing a really good feed in the middle of the night and now we’re actually doing a longer stretch. So I’m only doing that one, and then he wakes up at 6, 6:30.
Meg: Brilliant. And you know, I mean, for other moms who are listening, this is really very typical of the stuff that we see. And towards 10 weeks, they really do start to do these lovely long stretches. One of the things that you have not done, which I think is also part of what has worked is, you’ve never done a dream feed that I know of. Have you?
Cass: No, I never have.
Meg: And you know, I want to talk a little bit about dream feeds because it’s something that a lot of moms do. There’s advice out there that says, wake your baby at 10 o’clock in the evening, and then you’ll get this wonderful eight hour stretch from 10 in the evening, till six in the morning. So in other words, you get a full night’s sleep. And you know, it’s something that I have always discouraged. I’ve always said, don’t do it. And there’s two reasons why I don’t believe in dream feeds. The one is that babies often don’t feed very well in a dream feed because they’ve kind of had a full feed at six in the evening or seven in the evening, they then get woken up at 10 and they’re drowsy, you don’t know which state you are rousing them in, if they’re in the deep state of sleep often in the light state of sleep. And if they’re in a deep state of sleep, they’ll often just with a comfort of sucking fall back of sleep and actually not have a good feed.
So first of all, it’s often a very ineffective feed, but second of all, this thing that you’re experiencing of him going through for good eight hours until that time, it actually disrupts that. So what happens is when you stop waking them for that 10:00pm dream feed, they continue doing it because their brains are kind of wired for that. And so it is one of the things that I encourage people not to do. And so while you have had the pain of a 12 and 1 o’clock feed, and now you’ve got the pain of a two or three o’clock feed, the reality is you’re getting a really long stretch and he is developing good, healthy, sleeping habits.
Cass: Yeah, and actually it’s really interesting because one of my friends does do a dream feed and she has that long, basically sleeps through the night. And so, especially I think it was week six, we discussed where I was trying to sort of change things to fit Max into doing that. But the reason I never tried that is because I thought, and genuinely it was because I didn’t understand when I would stop the dream feed. And I thought, I don’t know how to stop that, so I don’t want to start it.
Meg: Yeah, exactly.
Cass: And that was the only thing that stopped me, but it was a case of, I didn’t understand it well enough. And maybe if, you know, I’d have done my old classic over researched it, I would’ve found how out how to and start doing it, but I just never did, never got round to it. And so I just, but it was purely a case of if I start waking him at 10, I’m going to have to, and sometimes I’m really tired and I’d like to go to bed at 8: 30 or something like that. So it suddenly didn’t give that flexibility of a slightly later night or an earlier night.
Cass: And next week, Alex and I going out for our first meal out, just the two of us.
Cass: And it means, you know, if he was used to waking at 10, we might be thinking we’ve got to get back or, you know, something like that. So I’m really pleased we didn’t, but I’ve heard a lot of people talking about it as well. Yeah.
Meg: Yeah, absolutely. That’s amazing that he’s doing this wonderful long stretch.
Cass: Yeah, I have to say though; I will caveat it with the start of this week. I was lying or not lying, I was sitting feeding him, he went through a stage of waking every two hours just before he started doing this. So we had the screaming, the screaming stopped. And then he had really unsettled nights for a couple of nights. And I would sit there breastfeeding him, planning how I was going to try and concisely tell you what was going on and find answers because I was desperate.
Cass: And I nearly actually sort of said, Meg, I can’t wait till the podcast, what earth do I do? I can’t. He was doing really well, and now he’s not. And then actually what happened was one day he did a few short sleeps just because of the way the day was, he was only doing 45 minutes sleeps. He didn’t have a massive sleep in the day. And that night he slept for eight hours. And I suddenly thought, do you know what if he does a few short sleeps in the day, then he is sleeping better at night. I think he sleeps better at night. So I’ve started trying to do that where, it’s not always possible, but where I don’t give, I sort of move him into a different location rather than not wanting to touch or move him at all in case he wakes up and I’ve worked out that if he does two hours, then that’s it; he’s impossible to wake up. But if I catch him sort of, and I move him before that two hours, then he’ll wake up and he doesn’t sort of settle into a huge four to five hour sleep in the middle of the day.
Meg: Very interesting. Yeah, it’s incredible how sleep works. It really is those 45 minute sleep cycles are what they do at this age. And sometimes some of them link one of those sleep cycles together. So they have an hour and a half, but that’s pretty typical at this age.
Cass: And it, yeah, it makes such a difference. He’s so much more in the rhythm and he’s because they’re regular short sleeps. He’s great when he is waking up, he’s laughing and he’s got so much expression now, he’s found his hands, he stares at his hands.
Meg: Very important milestone that.
Cass: Yeah, he can’t, I know we’ve got these—I was about to show you, but it’s a podcast, so that’s not—we’ve got these little rattles that you strap onto the wrist. They’ve got little elephant heads on them, and sometimes you catch him and he’s just laughing at his wrist, it’s fascinating to watch him discover his hands.
Meg: Yeah. It’s such an important milestone. So first of all, the way that body image actually develops. So first of all, they get fascinated by their hands at this age. It’s absolutely classic, and in a few weeks’ time, he’ll get fascinated by his feet and his knees as well. So he’ll start to touch his knees and his feet as well. But for now it’s his hands and what they actually do is first of all, they start to notice them, so they’re start to develop this eye-hand coordination, these connection between actually understanding that the hands are there and then very soon, and he might have started already, but very soon, he’ll start to put his hands in his mouth a lot.
Cass: He does do that. And he actually is almost getting to the point where sometimes if he’s getting a bit restless and I go to put the dummy in and he shoves the dummy and puts his hand in his mouth.
Meg: Yeah. So what’s quite interesting about the hands going into the mouth is that parents often start to think the minute they discover that, the parents start to think either they’re teething. So they must be teething because their hands are in their mouth or they’re hungry because they’re always got their hands in their mouth. And in actual fact it is neither of those things. So first of all, on the teething front, only 10% of babies teeth their first tooth before six months of age. So it’s highly unusual. So in actual fact he might, but it’s very unusual. Most babies, 90% of babies will teeth their first tooth between six months and a year and a very small percentage before six months and a very small percentage after a year. So it’s not teething. It’s also probably not hunger. Although a lot of parents will think it’s hunger because it often coincides with when this, with coming towards a 17 week sleep progression where they start to wake up at night, put their hands in their mouth and mums thinks it must be that they’re hungry.
So that’s option two, but the actual reason why babies are putting their hands in their mouth is that that is the way that they develop their body schema. So the brain is an incredible thing. There is a part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, which actually holds our body schema, our image of our body. So we have, and it’s actually called a homunculus, which is a representation of a little man because it denotes the amount of real estate in terms of brain cells that are allocated to each part of our body. And what’s really interesting is that the more sensory receptors we have in that part of our body, the more real estate it gets in the brain in this little homunculus space. And so for instance, the lips and the neck have a huge amount of real estate in the brain because we need our lips in our neck to turn our head, to speak and to eat.
Interestingly, our hands obviously also have quite a bit of real estate. And in fact, quite interestingly with evolution, the way that human beings are developing and the way that we use our thumbs to now text, we’re actually getting more real estate in our brains for our thumbs because they really are having to become even more dexterous than they’ve ever been in the history of the world, because the way we use cell phones. But what happens is that in order to develop this amazing body schema, this little homunculus, we need to be able to explore our body. And eventually he’ll use his hands to explore things, but initially they actually use their mouths. And so he is now completely exploring his hands, both visually, which adds to the homunculus, but also on a tactile level by using his mouth. So he gets a real sense of this incredible dexterity and this amazing unique, in life there’s no other species that uses their hands in the same way as humans do. And so he’s building up that body schema.
What’s amazing from that body schema is that once we’ve got this really robust homunculus developed in our brain or civil representation of where our bodies is in space, we can then actually start to use our body. And so this is the foundation for what we call motor planning, which is the foundation for all coordination. So one day when Max is playing soccer for Liverpool, of course.
Meg: When he is really, really dexterous with his feet or with his hands as an artist or players the piano it’s because of what he’s doing right now, he’s discovered his hands, he’s focused in on them and he’s getting them to his mouth as well. So he’s doing exactly what he should be doing to wire his brain.
Cass: Oh good, because actually it’s interesting you talk about the 17 week sleep regression at which I’m dreading, I’ve noticed at night, I’ve also, I think one of the other reason I’m starting to get those longer stretches is because I’ve actually noticed he wakes earlier, but he’ll then put his hand in his mouth, and I noticed this the first night because he woke and I thought, okay, I’ll go wash my hands and get ready and I’ll go through to him. And by the time I’d finished washing my hands and come back to get my dressing gown on, he had actually put his hand in his mouth and he’d falling asleep again. And he then went on to do another two and a half hours. So thank goodness I hadn’t gone through, but I’ve noticed at night he is actually self-soothing almost with his hands, and it seems to be stretching out those longer stretches. Now that he’s found his hands, he knows he can put them in, and I don’t know if that is what’s happening, but that’s what it looks like.
This episode is brought to us by Parent Sense, the all-in-one baby and parenting app that help you make the most of your baby’s first year. Don’t you wish someone would just tell you everything you need to know about caring for your baby, when to feed them, how to wean them, and why they won’t sleep? Parent Sense App is like having a baby expert on your phone, guiding you to parent with confidence, get a flexible routine, daily tips, and advice personalized for you and your little one. Download Parent Senses App now from your app store and take the guesswork out of parenting.
Meg: Spot on exactly what’s happening. So, and I’ll mention this again in a later podcast when we do get to that stage. But there’s a brilliant researcher called Thomas Anders and he’s really studied sleep quite extensively. And one of the things that he found is that if babies start to self-soothe, somewhere between 17 weeks and 6 months of age, so 17 to 24 weeks, and they become self-soothers, they will classically be good sleepers. They’ll have a hiccup and sleep because they might have a bit of separation anxiety at nine months or a little bit of teething at six months or a developmental spurt at 10 months when they start to crawl, those things will cause hiccups, but they will never be classically bad sleepers. Classically bad sleepers are babies who haven’t learned to self-soothe. So the big question that sits in every parent’s mind is okay, so if they’ve got to learn to self soothe, how do I teach them to self soothe without letting them cry out and just ignoring them? Because we’re not going to do that either. And it is actually having just tiny increments of allowing them to settle themselves. The real secret is actually having little stretches where they are allowed to have the space to self-sooth. So that doesn’t mean letting them cry it out, but it does mean leaving them a little bit. So what I will encourage parents to do from roundabout this age from 12 weeks usually, but you can definitely start to do it now because he’s doing it is to listen before you react at night and just listen, just even if it’s a minute or two and you know, and it can be even more than just him making a noise, but maybe he kind of does a little bit of a cry, but he’s not totally distressed, but using a little bit of a cry, just leave him. And I think what a lot of parents do and I certainly did it, and I imagine that a lot of parents do it is as they hear the first squawk, they think if I get in there quickly and I quickly pop in the dummy, or if I quickly turn them onto their side, or if I quickly do something, I won’t have a long stretch of awake time. And so they’ll settle much quicker.
And in actual fact, it’s that over responding at night that actually causes the problems or that they’re going to wake somebody or, you know whatever it is. So, you know, it is worth leaving them a bit. It is also one of the reasons why babies who do sleep in their own rooms. And I know Max’s nursery is literally a one meter away bedroom from your room, so it’s very close. But it is another reason why babies who sleep in their own rooms as they get a little older, do sleep better as well. Because if he was right next to you and he made that squawk, you would’ve hopped out of bed, you would’ve gone and turned on the bathroom light, washed your hands; it would’ve then given him a signal that actually in his light state of sleep, he should wake up and feed. And so by being in a slightly separate room and by leaving him for one minute, while you washed your hands, you actually did give him the opportunity to self soothe. And that’s the secret now that we want to reinforce.
Cass: Well now, yeah. And actually now, because I’ve seen he’s done it once, I do find myself staring at the monitor, when he wakes up being like, come on, you can do it, go back to sleep, let’s do it again. And again, he did this morning, it was about 20 past four and I saw him staring and then I thought, oh, and I was so tired. I sort of, I must have been in a deep state as he sort of roused and I literally, I thought, well, please just, I’m just going to close my eyes, and if I hear you really loudly, and the next thing I knew was opening my eyes and it was a quarter to six and he’d gone back to sleep. So I think you’re absolutely right, by default I’ve ended up giving him that. But I’m learning very quickly that actually it gives me those longer stretches that I’ve been craving.
Meg: Yeah, moving in the right direction. And, you know, second and third babies also do better because moms don’t over respond. It’s classically moms of first time babies that have bigger sleep problems because they over respond. So that certainly is something that happens. And, and so it is worth just letting them just settle themselves a little bit. And, you know, right now the night feeds are still essential. So we know that a 10 weeks, one to two night feeds is still age appropriate. So you’re not going to try and discourage him from waking altogether. But certainly as he goes towards six months, if he does keep waking up at three o’clock in the morning, we will start to do things where you don’t actually go in and feed. Maybe you just put your hands on him, or you just can just use your voice, or you just turn him into a new position to start to try and encourage him to actually skip those feeds.
Cass: Yeah. I mean, I’m encouraged greatly, as I said, at the beginning of the week, I was in a very head space and it does just show how it changes so quickly. And you just have to have that faith that each one is a phase, unfortunately, even the good ones. But one thing he has started doing, and I first noticed it at night, but it doesn’t happen so much at night, actually it’s more in the day. If I’m winding him most of the time, especially in the day, I’ll wind him on my knee rather than on my shoulder. At night, it tends to be more on my shoulder because otherwise he’s so slumped at night.
Cass: But also when I’m carrying him, he sort of does this thing. And I think I’ve seen lots of babies do it, but I just wondered what it was and why they were doing it, is where he’s leaning, he’s very upright, and he starts like throwing his body around almost like, I feel the only way to describe it is after a snake has been charmed up and they sort of sway a bit, he’s doing that. But sometimes what happens is, and we have had a bit of a horrid moment, is he’ll then end up head butting a collarbone or something and Alex has a metal collarbone
Cass: And so he like had this like little lump just on his nose that I suddenly noticed because he’d head butt in this sort of moment where he was, he’s happy with it. But he’s basically bobbing; he then ended up head butting Alex’s metal collar bone.
Meg: Yeah. So that’s totally normal. I mean, that’s not normal that he was head butt’s collarbone, but it is totally normal that they do this head bobbing thing and it’s, you know, he’s really activating his muscles really, really, you know, really intensely in those moments. So, that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. And he’s working on his head control and he’s working on his upper body strength at the moment in preparation for sitting, which will come, you know, towards six months.
Cass: Okay, great. Yeah, because when he’s doing it, you sort of think, God, are you okay? Like, I mean, another hysterical thing that’s happened this week is he’s discovered wind because we suddenly realized I was walking him and I had him in the carrier and he started making this really strange face and blowing bubbles. His tongue was coming out and he was kind of looked like he was something awful was happening. And I completely freaked out when we were walking. I pulled him out of the carrier and go, Alex, oh my gosh, what’s going on? And then I realized it was when he turned into the wind because I walked him again the next day, and when there was a bit of a breeze and I said to Alex, of course he’s never experienced wind before, that must be the most alien crazy thing. And so I started gently blowing on his face in this day, mainly because I found the faces really funny. But also he actually now loves it and he starts laughing.
Meg: Yeah, he’s got used to it.
Cass: And I thought that’s good because he then can get used to it. But it was fascinating to see this reaction; sort of this live reaction of him experiencing something that he would just never, you don’t think about it, but when
Meg: The first time is his life.
Cass: Yeah, .so that’s been really fun as well this week, their being really aware of these different sensations that they’re feeling.
Meg: Yeah, absolutely, and taking note of them, amazing.
Cass: As I said, I made notes.
Meg: I love that you’re bringing these all. They’re so interesting. And they’re such interesting observations, you know, one of the moms who was listening to the podcast just was loving it because she said, now she knows she can prepare for the week ahead because she knows what’s coming through Max’s eyes because what babies go through week on week is just so typical.
Cass: Yeah, absolutely. No. I mean he is starting, you mentioned about finding his feet, he was sitting on my lap today and I was sitting opposite a mirror so I could see what he was doing. And I actually saw him looking down at his feet, and I didn’t know if it was, but it almost looked like when he moved his feet he was watching.
Meg: What’s that?
Cass: Is that me? Am I? So it’s really interesting watching that.
Meg: Yeah. No, I mean, it’s an amazing—. I think you probably know that my specialty is sensory integration that’s the course that I went over to American did many, many years ago. Sensory integration’s fascinating because there’s an area of the brain, which is like the relay station where all of the senses, except for the sense of smell, but all of the others actually go through there first, before they go to consciousness and it’s in that area of the brain that they have to get integrated. Another two senses that he is actually trying to integrate there are the sense of vision and the sense of prep-reception or kinesthesia where it’s actually that body sensation. So his toes are giving him a sensation that something’s going on, that there’s movement and his eyes now are seeing it, and so he’s trying to line this up that, hold on, like when I move my toes, it feels like this and I can see it happen. So yeah, they’re working hard on sensory integration right now, that’s what they’re doing.
Cass: Yeah. And I actually think it’s a really lovely thing if you can’t have them, because of course, when they’re sitting on your lap you can’t see really what’s going on. And that time sitting across from a mirror so that I could actually watch him doing all of that was really, was really cool. I really enjoyed that.
Meg: And it’s also actually great. If you start to show him himself in the mirror, he’s not quite ready to start recognizing himself yet, but at some point he’s going to get really interested that there is actually another baby in there and that, that other baby, you know, kind of communicates with him and responds to him as well. So, that’s lovely that he’s having some merry time.
Cass: He does really enjoy the—suddenly his face will go really wide and he’ll, oh my gosh, is that—? He’s got so much expression going on on his face now. It’s great. But one of the other things that I just wondered sometimes when I put him on his play mat and this can be two and a half hours, even after he’s fed. So it’s not soon after a feed, I’ll go to pick him up and he will actually, the back of his hair will be wet because he’s been sick while playing and then it’s—bless him—gone onto the mat, which sounds awful. But why, is it because I’m not winding him completely after a feed? But it is so long after the feed. I didn’t know if it was to do that or is that just reflux and he doesn’t react, so I don’t know it’s happening.
Cass: I just sort of get to him in his wet.
Meg: Yeah. So he’s a happy puker, that’s what we call them. So it can happen. It can happen all the way up to the next feed. It’s unusual because, you know, the longer away from the feed the more should have gone down, but they do actually just sometimes have a little bit of milk that comes up all the way up to the next feed. You know, is he, is he feeding about three hourly now?
Cass: Yeah, three hourly. I’ve actually—what’s great is we’ve started developing a day routine, so he tends to wake up about six and I do that feed and then I’m feeding him between 9:00 and 9:30, 12:00 and 12:30, 3:00 and 3:30. And then he gets his nighttime feed at 6:30.
Meg: Super. So are you following the app? Is the app guiding you on that as well?
Cass: Well, it, I knew that we we’ve discussed the three hours and I still haven’t gone back to tracking yet because things are going quite well.
Meg: Don’t need to.
Cass: So, I’ll start, and because in a couple of months, we’ll start introducing solids and I think I’ll need a bit more guidance then of how to fit in solids and feeds and things like that. But we discussed the 6:00 am start and then three hourly. So that’s what
Meg: Yeah, which is perfect, yeah. And I think your app at the moment would also be saying that as well. So it’ll guide you to, I’m just looking at your app because I keep Max on my app as well so that we do chatting. Yes I do. And right now it’s feeding’s three to four hourly and I’m actually just having a look here. Yep. So that’s perfect. It’s breast milk at 6, 9, 12, 3, and then a 5:15. So if you look at his routine on there, 5:15, which can happen before bath time if he wants it and it’s in brackets on the app because they don’t need to have it. So it actually says 5:15 small feed before bath if needed and then after that a feed at quarter to six.
Cass: Yeah. He hasn’t needed to do that. We’re actually— we’re taking him up for a bath at 6:00. So he’s having that bedtime feed at 6:30,
Cass: And yeah, he doesn’t seem to, sometimes he’s a bit tired, so he falls asleep on the bottle and then we put him down 10 minutes later he wakes up, which sort of is like, oh wait, I didn’t finish, and so then we finish the bottle. But yeah, it’s been, I mean at the moment it’s working, but you know, as I’ve learned the good and the easy and well, the good and the hard way, I don’t know what—it doesn’t stay like that, does it? So, necessarily. So yeah, but no the routine in the day is great. And the other thing that’s great is, I can actually put him down and if I’m pottering around him, he’ll fall asleep himself.
Meg: Amazing. Yeah, so he’s definitely going in the right direction.
Cass: Yeah, and that’s been a real game changer for me because I don’t have to spend time rocking him and getting him to sleep. I do that for his first sleep in the morning, so he wakes at 7:15 properly because he goes back, he turns to fall asleep again after his 6:00am, then he wakes at 7:15 and so eight-ish when I’m taking him up for his morning nap, that’s when I rock him. But all the others I’m either out and about or he just will fall asleep himself. And the first time he did it, I thought, oh my gosh, this is a one off, this is never going to happen again, what a moment. But actually as long as I time it correctly and I listen to his cues, I can put him down, put the dummy in and he’ll go to sleep, but I have to time it at exactly
Meg: Yeah, on his awake times, yeah, very interesting. Sure. Cass, it sounds to me like you’ve had quite a breakthrough week and I think, you know, I mean what’s really amazing is that I think he probably was actually having a growth spurt at the beginning of the week when you were doing two-hour feeds.
Meg: And you know, by following that lead, what often happens is that they wake up very frequently, have a couple of days of real unsettledness and then your milk supply catches up with what they’re demanding. And so you might be producing a little bit extra plus the formula milk in the evening, which is not a bad idea, and suddenly we’ve turned a little corner. So it really is, it’s amazing to watch him grow.
Cass: Yeah. I just hope I can come next week with the same joy.
Meg: Well, as we know with mothering and with parenting, it’s never, ever, you know, as smooth and there’ll be other joys next week.
Meg: And potentially some challenges, but he’s moving in the right direction and that’s what’s important.
Cass: Absolutely. It’s been a really, really great week.
Meg: Yeah, that’s wonderful Cass. Well, enjoy the weekend and we’ll definitely get to chat next week when Max will be, he’ll be 11 weeks next week, how did that happen?
Cass: I know, I know. I’m sort of loving it and hating it all at the same time.
Meg: I know because they grow up so quickly. You kind of want them to stay little, but then at the same time you can’t do the steep deprivation for your whole life.
Cass: Yeah, I know, and also, I’m looking forward to him sort of sitting up and things like that. So, and being able to kind of put toys in front of him when he sits and seeing him discover that and because I think how boring it must be to have spent 10, 11 weeks lying on your back.
Meg: Well, he’s busy honing those skills with his hands that he’s ready to hold onto things and be ready to do it. And in fact, funny enough, the two milestones that you spoke about today, the one of looking at his hands and the other one of that head bob, both are actually preparing him for exactly that sitting and playing because that’s, you know, that’s what he’s working on. So he’s working on all his foundation milestones in preparation.
Cass: Oh good.
Meg: Yeah, clever boy. Thanks Cass, thank you for your time.
Cass: Thanks so much, Meg.
Meg: And we will meet next week for sure.
Cass: Perfect. Thanks Meg.
Meg: Thanks. Bye
Thanks to everyone who joined us. We will see you the same time next week until then download Parent Sense App and take the guesswork out of parenting.