Monday, January 12, 2009

No Naps, and Also No Sitting, But We're All Still Alive

I am so grateful for the responses I received to my anguish-filled post on the weekend. I guess the rewards of motherhood sometimes come from people other than your child.


It was very irresponsible of me to then not update for two days, perhaps leaving you all to believe that either Gwen or I met with an untimely end. This is not the case - we are both still alive, and in fact, even having some good times together. But for the past two days, I have done absolutely nothing to encourage Gwen to nap. All the fight has gone out of me for the time being. And because I am not spending upwards of three hours a day fighting with her to get her to sleep, we're both in better moods. On the other hand, it also means that she has slept 40 minutes on each of those days, so I haven't had time for things like this blog. Or, say, an entire uninterrupted thought. But whatever.


This afternoon as I was feeding Gwen some lunch in her high chair, she actually started to nod off. It was both hilarious and sad. Sad because I felt sorry for her, to be so damned tired that she was nearly falling asleep in the middle of a meal, in an uncomfortable position. Immediately, I weighed the options. I could let her fall asleep in the high chair and take funny pictures of her to post on my blog. Or I could take her upstairs and put her in the crib so she had a chance of a decent nap.


I took her upstairs. I'm not an uncaring mommy, just a tired one.


Anyway, we figure what is going on with Gwen is that something - teeth? tummy trouble? constipation? - is causing her enough pain that she cannot get to sleep unless she's completely exhausted. This theory is borne out by the fact that she pulled the same falling-asleep-in-the-highchair trick with her dad tonight over dinner. Her usual bedtime - the one we aim for, though she doesn't always play along - is 7pm. Tonight she was in her crib and dead asleep by 6:10pm.


In other news, I took Gwen to the chiropractor today to follow up and make sure the treatments she had in September are still effective post-crawling. Dr. Dave reports that while there is nothing at all wrong with her chiropractically speaking, he is concerned about her failure and/or disinterest in sitting. "Sitting unassisted for brief periods" is a six-month milestone - Gwen is going on nine months and doesn't sit at all, assisted or not.


I have mentioned this to various friends and family members in the past, and the response I usually get is , "Oh well, why would she want to sit, she's got places to go!" Which is true, she is a busy girl. But there's a difference between "cannot sit" and "cannot sit still". The inability to sit does impact her life: for example, she has to use a bath seat in the big tub, which reduces both her freedom to enjoy her bath and my ability to clean her effectively. Furthermore, because she can't or won't sit on my lap to eat finger foods, the only place I can feed her is a high chair - which greatly limits our ability to feed her at places other than our home.


Dr. Dave stressed that I should not freak out about this, and in fact I am not. I am, if anything, pleased that someone believes this is worth following up on, and is pointing me in the right direction of how to do so. Stay tuned for further (equally fascinating) bulletins in this area.
This is Gwen's version of sitting. She's up on her hip, not on her bum.

4 comments:

Amberism said...

Last time I saw you when you said she didn't sit, I figured she was getting to it. You know, one thing at a time, and crawling was on the immediate agenda :).

But now, yeah, I think you should look into it - did he tell you how? Your doctor? Maybe they need to do a MRI (or insert fancy medical term here)? Because if the chiro thing was preventing her from nursing comfortably, maybe there's a whole lower back thing going on?

Clearly, I have no flippin' clue what I'm talking about, just making sh*t up, but it certainly can't hurt to look into it.

And teething? Teething does strange and terrible things to perfect children. All mysterious behaviour in Callum's first year were attributed to teething. Even if it isn't true, it was nice to have a reason!

Kim said...

Maybe it's all Gwens that don't nap :) Over Christmas, my Gwen was awake for 12 - 14 hours per day with only 2 half hour naps. I don't know how it was possible, but she's never needed even approaching as much sleep as the 'experts' claim. We're just now (seven months) getting to the point where she seems to be settling into a nap routine of one 45min nap and one 1-2hour nap, and that's ONLY because I'm watching for her tired signs and trying to get her into bed immediately for her nap. If I miss some signs, she's awake for another hour or two. My advice would be to not push it ... if she's showing her tired signs, try to get her down or at least have some down time (like rocking with you in a dark room or something). She'll sleep when she's tired :)

That's interesting that she's not sitting. I know I sat after I learned to crawl, but it was in the same week. I read another blog who's son just learned to sit, and he's been crawling for around 3 weeks, but he's only 7 months, too. I'd speak to the doctor - it can't hurt!

(Holy long comment, Kim)

Kat said...

If the aversion to sitting is caused by something physical I would guess hips rather than back. Anyone who has a bad hip loathes to be in any kind of seated position and needs to be as straight as possible. Also people with mal-aligned legs and hips can't sit well either.

An MRI won't help any more than an X-ray because it won't show any inflammation or anything as nondescript as that. Worst case is some kind of nerve impingement and an MRI would definitely show that but you will wait six months for an appointment. An x-ray would show if there is something wrong with the way the bones are lining up or forming.

Something else to think about is that maybe her muscles aren't strong enough to allow her to sit up. That's a whole new skill set when you think about it... She could just be behind! Get Chris to show her some Iado.

canzonet said...

Hey, Laura!

Has anyone checked to see how Gwen's tailbone is developing / fusing? If the coccyx is positioned improperly, is rubbing against itself, or is fusing strangely, that could cause some of the reactions you are seeing.

This would cause her discomfort to be in only very specific sitting situations; others will be completely fine. The worst would be transitions as she tries to move from sitting to exploratory positions. Bones/cartilage/tendons could grind in unpleasant ways.

Perhaps that's why she's come up with some clever ideas for how to get around either a bruise or something else which is or was a problem at one time.

Difficulty is, once she's learned to accomodate, she may have to learn to un-accomodate.

And I'm getting ahead of myself... sorry. Just a theory of something to look into.

I just don't think it's the hips because she's so active with the crawling, creeping, climbing, etc. All hip-active energetic activities.

She sounds like she's protecting her bum.

Another option is that she's starting to learn that it sucks to try to have a BM when you're sitting down and just doesn't want to then. Wouldn't be the first child I've seen do that, though this might be early for it!

Though I don't know why she would avoid the sitting position completely... but I thought I'd throw the theory out there!

Good luck, Laura!
You're doing great!

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