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6 months stats ... and a little sleep help, please!

Posted Nov 07 2009 10:02pm
With the girls' half birthday came a complimentary doctors appointment and a bucketful of shots. After I'd been calling the clinic repeatedly about the H1N1 shot availability and never got a straight answer, imagine my pleasant surprise when we learned at the doctors office that they had just gotten another shipment of both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccination ... even the mercury-free kind! I hadn't been too wild about giving the girls' the H1N1 vax, but I did have to agree with our pedi who said that in our case, the alternative would be the potential of two very, very sick babies ... and we didn't want to take the chance. So ... we all get them, along with a couple of regular vaccines for the girls. Take that, swine flu!
Aside from that, the babes are little for their age (no surprises here) but doing very well overall. Amaya continues to be on the growth chart for her actual age ... at 2% this time (up from 1% last time). Wohoo! She weighed 12lbs 7oz. Little bean Liana weighed 11 lbz 1oz. She's only in the 10th percentile for her ADJUSTED age (and obviously not on the scale for actual), and we'd all like her to gain a little more weight ... but overall, the pedi was happy with her development - and so are we.

We're a lot less enthused with the recent sleep developments in the Dixon house. It was as if the girls took the time change last weekend as an excuse to revert to newborn sleeping habits at night. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that we've been sleeping in intervals of 10 minutes to 1.5 hrs max all week. Last night, I found Bjorn sleeping in the hallway to the girls' room because he was too exhausted to keep making the trip back and forth. They are basically fussing / talking / shrieking / crying from midnight until we break down and feed them early (usually between 2 and 3 am), not because they're hungry but because we're at our wit's end. Then they'll sleep for another hour or two and start the whole process over at 6am.

If any of you have any good ideas to share on how to deal with these night wakings, I'd love to hear them. I am really not at all excited about having to use the CIO ("crying it out") technique on them - for a number of reasons. For one, it goes against much of my attachment parenting tainted heart, but there are also a number of medical implications for Liana that make me feel it would not be wise at this point (her reflux, for example). I've dabbled a bit with what I call FIO - "fussing it out", where I basically let them fuss / talk / shriek for a while without going in and intervening. I just don't let them cry. It works about half of the time (especially well at bed time), and at other times (especially at night), they move from the fussing to the full-on screaming phase very quickly and I do need to intervene. My dilemma is that I do recognize the fact that they are now getting old enough where they can realize that if they cry or fuss long enough, mom will come ... and it can turn into a game of sorts for them. I also firmly believe that healthy sleep habits are a skill that need to be learned, and I want them to learn that they can go (back) to sleep without me, by themselves. It's just how to get there that's the big question. Let me just say, too, however, that I do not have one ounce of judgment for those that have chosen to use CIO with their children. I realize that there are times when the family's need for sleep paramounts many other considerations, and judging from this week, I wouldn't at all be surprised if we ended up having to revert to it at some point, too. I just want to make sure I've tried everything else first.

For tonight, we moved Amaya into our bed room, to break the never ending cycle of the two waking each other with their fussing and crying. I'm kind of sad about it, it's the first time they're ever sleeping alone (or Liana is anyways), and hardly ever have they slept without their sister :( Keep your fingers crossed, though, that it will bring us some improvement. This week has reminded me of the peak of the girls' fussiness and colic in terms of exhaustion and all-around depression ... and I do not want to go back there!
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