Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Gets Easier

I've noticed that get fairly frequent hits for "highly active infant" and I wanted to let those souls know that it does get easier, at least in my house.

As Charlie has gotten older we've learned more tricks to nip melt-downs in the bud and the lead-up to them is getting longer. Charlie's 2 big things are food and sleep. If he's having a hard time, first offer him a snack and then try to figure out how to get him to a quiet activity or, even better, to sleep.

On the issue of sleep, we now take a nice ride in the car everyday around 1:00. The big thing with the highly active infant as a toddler is getting him to hold still long enough to actually fall asleep. Since he is too large to swaddle and rocking for 30-45 minutes is out of the question with an infant in tow, strapping him into his car seat is the best solution we've found. At night, we've discovered that he needs wind-down time and he's finally old enough and has been consistently responded to long enough, that he will bounce around, sing, kick, and otherwise amuse himself in his crib. Periodically he'll give a holler and one of us will go up to fix his blanket and pat his back for a minute. After anywhere from 2 minutes to 1.5 hours, he will drift off. From what I can tell, there seems to be a trend among those tots that agree with Charlie on his views that sleep is a communist plot to be thwarted at every turn. The trend being that around 2, things start to fall in place and your child will suddenly start to sleep, if not through the night, then, at least, significantly more than they ever have before. Until then, when people say, "But you're getting some 6 hour stretches, right?" you can simply respond, "Sleep is for the weak." This isn't to say that 2 years of 2-8 wakings a night doesn't completely suck, it does, it REALLY does but, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Charlie is sleeping more now, than I think he's ever slept before.

The real treat is that that highly active infant, who couldn't turn off to save his life, took it all in. Charlie is a delightful toddler. He is inquisitive and highly verbal. The same drive that made him want to socialize at 2am also drives him to learn to talk. Charlie is easily 6 months ahead in his language development. That high socialization drive also means that he is sweet and relatively socially advanced- he has the rudiments of sharing and comments about how other feel. That incredible will that drove refusals to be molded into acceptance of naps and being put in the bouncy so I can pee for God's sake! is now focused on learning how the world works. The beginning was hellish but now I get to reap the rewards.

It gets better. It really does. Stick it out and there will come a day with sleep and speech and a smiling face.

1 comment:

Joseph Habshey said...

Hey - an additional blog for me to read!