I thought we needed to drop a feeding, but in fact it looks like we needed to drop a nap… and the feedings would take care of themselves. Ayo was happily sleeping four naps daily when all the sudden, at the end of last week, he started to grow restless at night. Not sleeping deeply meant that when falling in and out of sleep cycles, Ayo would roll around and get stuck on his little tummy, unable to roll back, screaming for help at the most obscene hours of the night. One night I counted twelve nighttime tummy rescues. You can imagine how many coffees that required the following morning. And you can imagine how the following night went after so many coffees.
It was time to break the cycle of restless nights. Five days ago, we dropped the last of Ayo’s four day-time naps by stretching his wake times. Quite naturally, we fell into a pattern of about five feedings at 7 – 11 – 3p – 6p – 7.30p or thereabouts, with three daytime naps (2 x 1.5 and 1 x 45 mins). Used to gorging on daytime sleep, it’s a struggle to keep Ayo up for two hours at a time, but immediately he started to sleep 10-11 hours uninterrupted at night again. That felt really nice.
Alongside dropping a nap, now that he is six months old, we’re supplementing three of his liquid feedings with solid foods to transition to breakfast-lunch-dinner solids down the road. After three weeks of playing with different food textures, he seems ready for this. So far, our journey of solids has been totally fun – apart from the offensive poop (sometimes I think I might as well be working on a geriatric ward). I also love having so many fresh fruits and veggies in our home. Ayo merrily chomps down most foods we have given him so far (and also any non food items that happen to be in his wake) and beats his hands on the booster chair for more.. quick! .. more! Plums and sweet potatoes are huge winners. Broccoli and banana are “requested” whole. Celery is the preferred teething toy. Mama’s fav’, beets, are roasting in the oven as I write. What – it’s already 9am!
The adventure of solids has also been fairly time-consuming between meal prep., the act of eating, more baths, laundry, cleaning floors and munchkin plates and cutlery. Although it has surely contributed to improving sleep for the whole family, I see why some mamas may choose to introduce solid foods consistently a little later on. Between longer awake times, Ayo no longer loving being left alone on his blanket (ehem), and the extra time that solid foods requires, I am rapidly seeing my productivity dwindle. This all seemed to happen within four to five days of Ayo’s half birthday. In exchange though, I get chin kisses, shoulder-blade hickeys, dive-bomb hugs and inescapably contagious giggles. So that has got to count for something.