Goodnight. Sleep Tight…

024sozo024Both girls started sitting up in their beds this week.  Somehow Sophia has figured out how to do it with her sling on (and all of our special adaptations to keep her secure).  She’ll even cry sitting up.  Zoe can’t really sit up on her own yet, but can use the slats in both of her cribs to pull herself up.  She can also now use the sides of her plastic bathtub to pull herself to sitting.

We’ve been working on sleep issues all week. We decided that it didn’t make sense to have Zoe take her last nap (4th or 5th) because she was rarely sleeping.  Of course, with any of these transitions, she still sometimes needs it.  She went down for one once this week and then was up way past her bed time.  I got home from the grocery store, and she was sitting next to her Papa grinning, watching a movie on the computer.  She loves doing that (and of course we think it is so cute that we let her).  She didn’t love it, however, when we were sitting on each side of her with a plate of food and weren’t sharing.  She was grunting, crying, and grabbing; she wants her food!

We also decided Sophia was feeling well enough that we needed to wean her from our pattern of rocking her to sleep at night or holding her until she was nearly asleep and completely calm.  I knew this would be a bad habit, but thought the sleep was so important when she was sick and during the holidays and all (and of course the evening is so much more pleasant when she isn’t yelling for hours).  She really took it hard this time.  In the past, she’s always just hollered for the most part.  This time she wailed.  It was so hard to let her cry, but going in to comfort her seemed to delay things more.  I read about a little guy about her age that had been babied because of special needs and threw a tantrum when his parents tried to stop doing all the things they did at bed time.  This is sort of what it was like for Sophia.  It sounded like her “in pain” cry, but everything was fine prior to bed time, so we were pretty convinced she was ok.  One night it only took her 20 minutes to fall asleep, but the others ranged from 45-60…until her sister moved in!  What a relief…I was convinced I was developing an ulcer (and John was convinced I was being overly dramatic).

We also decided that this long weekend would be a good time to try having the girls sleep in the same room again.  Friday night actually went better for Sophia; I guess hearing her sister cry puts her to sleep.  She had already been crying for a half an hour before we brought Zoe in, but really calmed down after that.  She really seems to like having her sister there.  She even tolerated letting us be in the room with Zoe without getting upset.  You could tell she was awake because she would start her soother or scratch the wall or make little sighs, but she never got upset.  The last time we tried putting them in the same room she got really jealous if we were in with Zoe, but this time she has been so great!

Zoe, however, who normally never cries at bedtime, was very unhappy about the move.  She often sleeps in there for morning naps, so it shouldn’t have been the room.  We didn’t know if it was the change in nighttime routine or her being overtired from not having her last afternoon nap, but she was very upset.  We finally had to go in and get her because she was crying so hard.  As it turns out, our timing wasn’t the greatest.  We discovered the next morning that her first tooth is starting to appear!  She really hasn’t seemed to be that bothered by it, but I’m sure it contributed to her all-around discontent.  All told, it took almost 3 hours to get her settled. She’d be calm (or probably even asleep in my arms) and I’d lay her down and she’d wail.  I finally tried to just calm her in the crib, so I wouldn’t be moving her so much.  That worked only briefly. In the end, she finally cradled up and went to sleep (waking a couple hours later to eat; I’m sure all the fussing was exhausting and dehydrating).  They both slept through a lot more noises than I would have expected.  Neither one woke when Sophia’s pump alarmed unexpectedly.   Zoe didn’t wake when I went in to change Sophia’s diaper after she woke briefly.  Zoe also slept through most of Sophia’s chatting in the morning, but eventually woke up and then there was no going back to sleep for either of them.  Thankfully, they both napped well to compensate!

Nights 2 and 3 were progressively better; Zoe and Sophia each cried a lot less and didn’t wake as much.  John says we are sticking with it this time no matter what, so I’m glad it is going well.  We are now putting them to bed at the same time.  It is easier with Zoe not taking that last nap because she can go to bed earlier, and it seems to be working to stretch Sophia’s bedtime later now that she has her sister to help her calm to sleep.  I’m sure there will be nights where this won’t work, but hopefully the norm will be them going to bed at the same time.  Moving Sophia’s bedtime later also means I get to spend more time with them together in the evenings.

As long as it was a week of transitions, we also decided it was time to try to get Sophia to get herself to sleep for her nap (and back to sleep when she wakes up after 30 minutes or so).  We had sort of convinced ourselves that the aiding to sleep wasn’t impacting her other sleeping, but I’m sure it had to have had some negative impact.  So, now we are having her go to sleep on her own for everything.  I’m hoping napping will be much more successful now that her body is in the habit of sleeping at noon.  Our first attempt went well.  She was asleep after 20 minutes and didn’t really cry, just sort of groaned.  She slept for about 35 minutes, which isn’t great, but a start.  I’m sure she was overtired from her night with a roommate and waking up too early, but I’m not sure if that helped or hurt her nap.  Our second attempt went fabulously (I hope I’m not jinxing things by writing this).  She fell asleep in about ten minutes with no crying and hardly any complaining.  She didn’t even wake when her pump accidentally alarmed or when friends came by for a visit.  She slept for about an hour without her normal early wake up.  It was amazing!

The girls continue to learn new things from their books.  Margie (OT) brought a great “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” book from one of their favorite author/illustrators.  Zoe roars like a lion at the book (not yet on the right page) and responds to prompts to “scream.”  Sophia loves  to row and rock, and of course roar and scream.  She has also learned both “top side” (head) and “bottom side” (bottom).  She can point to her head and sort of to her shoulders.  She knows her eyes and ears are on her head somewhere, but seems to prefer to identify other people’s noses than her own.  Keep in mind that she doesn’t know how to point, so if you ever ask her to find your nose you’ll get a whole chubby palm! She has also started to lean over to her Papa for kisses during each page of “Sam Loves Kisses” (although we say Sophia instead of Sam).  Even on the Mama pages, Papa gets the kisses!  One night when I asked her to give her Baby Stella a kiss, I heard a little smack. Somehow she has also learned to blow kisses with both hands.  We don’t know anyone who taught her to do it this way, but it is pretty funny.  Our nanny got the first dramatic airborne kiss when she left on Friday.  We learned, however, that she isn’t always kissing Zoe when she leans her head over her (and hides their faces with her long hair).  One day Zoe really started crying and I assumed she was just tired of her personal space being invaded.  A little while later, I found the imprint of teeth in her cheek–two big front ones and crooked little bottom ones.  Poor thing! I can’t believe all these things that happen when we are right there; they are so sneaky!

I think Zoe is finally learning not to put her fingers in Sophia’s mouth.  She has also started to pinch a bunch of Sophia’s skin when she gets the chance, and so far, Sophia just looks at her sort of crossly.  One thing we really need to watch is her fascination with Sophia’s MIC-KEY button.  Those little fingers are pretty nimble and she has started pulling on it.

Both of the girls love to imitate different sounds.  You can hear Zoe making little grunting sounds after she hears her Papa clearing his throat or coughing, or even when Sophia spits up.  It is really funny to watch Sophia try to figure out how to imitate Zoe’s sneezes.

Sophia had a good day at ECFE.  I guess she cried for about 3 minutes after John left (she didn’t seem to care when I left last week).  Jennifer (Sophia’s special education teacher) felt bad because she was working with her on “ready, set, go” and sent a toy school bus her way.  Unfortunately, Sophia didn’t pick her head up in time to see it, so she got smacked in the head (and of course, cried about it so everyone noticed).  One of the moms said she was glad to know teachers do those things too!

Sophia’s two-handed walking has been amazing this weekend.  She can go all around the dining room and living room twice without stopping.  In fact, she needs to keep going so fast so she doesn’t fall down.  She doesn’t want you to stop (even to re-fill Zoe’s Cheerios); as soon as she sits down, she is ready to go again.  She gets so excited to be moving around.  She also pushed her push cart on her own for about 5 (super fast) steps.  She really hasn’t gone for more than a few little steps before but she really exploded!

Zoe can ocassionally pull to standing from a sitting position and seems like she is on the verge of crawling forward.  She scoots around to get to things indirectly.  She is having lots of fun putting little balls in a laundry jug and in a noisy toy for her OT practice.  Hopefully, her teething won’t be too hard on her sucking thumb.


  1. Cousin Kelly says:

    Sounds like the girls are doing all kinds of fun stuff!!!! And no, teeth do not get in the way of thumb sucking!!! Landon has a whole mouth full and his poor little thumb looks like a dried prune!!!