The Baby is crawling. She's not a speed demon yet but she is very sneaky and can be quick. The increased mobility means less time for writing and a good deal of time learning what's dangerous in my house.
Our house has been fully childproofed. Poisons, pans, sharp objects and glassware is locked away, wires have been tucked aside (as best as they can), doors closed, corners softened and all other baby proofing opportunities have been taken care of. Nonetheless baby Manni - like all babies - will find any and all possible dangers quickly and with no thought to her own safety. Fully baby proofing a home is impossible but I'm fairly confident that the precautions we have taken should suffice for the time being until she learns how to climb or pick locks (possibly July?).
A vast majority of Manya's free roaming time is spent tormenting Cojack the dog.
The dog likes people but when he's hot he likes to rest. During the summer the dog lies on the cold floor for hours at a time enjoying being lazy. The new love the baby gives him has thrown him for a loop. Adults and children give rubs and pats. They tickle behind ears and whisper sweet nothings. Baby Manni offers full body presses, ear pulling and little finger massages (he likes those). After a few minutes it become a game of chase as Cojack runs away from the baby and she follows him unrelentlessly.
I have been playing with the idea of Baby Jail.
In order to keep baby Manni from wondering unsupervised and/or tormenting the old dog, I'm considering confining the baby for short amount of times in an octagon fenced in playpen. I hate the idea of the baby jail but it may come in handy. Part of me believes its a pathetic cop out to purchase a pen for a baby but part of me likes the idea that I know exactly where she is and what she's doing when I'm trying to do work. I'm weighing my options.
Switching gears, getting a baby to sleep is a full time job. A job that, like the stock market, is constantly changing, adapting, and working with all its might to destroy you. Once you think you've gotten a hold of it and are master of your domain, nothing works anymore and you have to start anew.
We are always working on getting Baby Manni a good nights sleep and several solid naps each day. We've discussed it in sleep posts, and sleep regression posts. Recently we tackled the CIO method. CIO stands of Cry It Out. There are many, many parents who swear by this approach and it works great for their children. There are also many people who believe it is the cold and heartless approach to getting a baby to sleep.
I believe the CIO approach is one in which, similar to Spider Man III, everyone cries. The babies cry, the mommies collapse in front of the door in a heap of maternal guilt and cry, Kristen Dunst with her snagged tooth and Spider Man cry. Even the bad guy Sandman cries. (I thought SpiderMan 3 was ridiculous)
Bottom line. Everyone is miserable and after the baby can no longer cry for her parents love she collapses in a heap of sweat, tears and abandonment. The parents are unnerved and can not function properly or relax even after the baby is crying due to the stress of the ordeal. The meaning behind this torture for all involved is that the child will learn to put themselves to sleep on their own and eventually not cry to exhaustion.
So we put ourselves through this torture for somewhere around 9 or 10 nights. First it was an hour minutes of hell. Then 50, then 45, then 31, then 29, then 26 (Oh look a pattern!) but then Manni said Fuck You! and we went to 39, 48, and then the one night of real devilish fun, 16 minutes of hysterics, followed by 2 minutes of quiet into 15 minutes of crying and 2 minutes of silence (repeat 4 more times) and then back to half an hour of crying until ENOUGH!!!!!
Cry It Out is not for us. Not because it doesn't work - I'm sure it works wonders for numerous parents - but because Manya defeated it despite our best efforts. Because she's stubborn. Because listening to a baby scream to the point of losing her voice (she still has a strained voice) for 30-45 minutes for a week and a half is horrible. Because we can get our baby to sleep without having her cry it out. And because if we can't get her to sleep by other methods (due to teething, sickness, or pure stubbornness) we don't mind co-sleeping from time to time.
The only downside to co-sleeping is the midnight attacks from Baby Manni. Manni is a HOG of the bed! For such a little baby she loves to take up the whole bed! She kicks, she chops, she punches both of us to make as much room for herself as possible. She also has to be touching both Sarah and myself at all times which makes things very interesting.
The following image taken from Fail Blog perfectly explains the challenges of co-sleeping and one of the reasons its nice to have your baby sleep in her crib most of the time.
Manni does sleep in her crib most of the time but when she is taking over the bed she performs a violent combination of "The Roundhouse", "Snow Angels", "H is for Hell" and "Jazz Hands". Three nights ago I was awoken to three swift karate chops to the back of the neck only to find baby and mommy cuddling in "The Dog House" position silently. I'm 95% sure I didn't dream it.
Of course to get Manni to go to bed we have several different tricks. Our most successful baby calming technique is the Yoga Ball. We've used the bouncing technique to calm Manya down since she was very very young and I touched upon it in a long time ago in this post. Manya hates bouncy seats, rockers and lying in cribs. Her true passion is the fart ball/yoga ball.
Most homes have a giant yoga ball taking up space but rarely being used. We use that yoga ball as our bouncing ball to rock/bounce our baby to sleep. While holding the baby in our lap with her either sitting or lying down we slowly bounce on the ball. The rhythm of the bouncing puts Manni out within minutes. A side effect of the yoga ball rhythmic bouncing is that the ball also unexpectedly releases any and all gas stored inside your body. The plastic ball reverberates the sound of said gas tenfold and distorts it into either an unusual duck quack or a sticky wet balloon.
Note to readers: If attempting the yoga ball method for the first time do so without company in the room. Know you limitations.
For the record I love the yoga ball. Not only does it put the baby to bed but it provides hours of entertainment. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Now for some pictures:
I kinda like the blurry drool.
She likes swing.
That is not my voice.
Twitter : @babymanni