The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Teething. Teeeeething I’m sooooo tired please get that second tooth already.
Ahem. We had a rough night last night.
Actually, I think it was teething combined with spite. We went to the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital yesterday, and met with the famous Dr. Ferber. I’d made the appointment 3 months ago when Tucker was on the 25-minute-nap plan, and I figured it was still worth going since our schedule has been, shall we say, less than ideal recently.
After talking through his typical day with a researcher, she went and consulted with the Dr. and then Ferber himself came in to talk to us. And you guys, I am seriously, seriously in disagreement with what he told us. He said that a baby Tucker’s age (7.5 months old) only needs 12-12.5 hours of sleep throughout a 24-hour period, so since Tucker was sleeping 11 hours at night, his first nap of the day was plenty and then he was strung out by bedtime because he was going too long without a nap. He suggested pushing his bedtime to 9 p.m.
I can’t. I don’t agree. I know he’s an uber-expert, but when I came home and looked up the sleep charts in Weissbluth he says the BOTTOM ten percent get about 12 hours per day, and the average is closer to 13.5. Which would be 11 hours at night plus 2 ok naps. Which would be fine.
I am finally going to push the naps back further from wake-up time. I’ve been strictly getting him down two hours after waking up, which meant that once his morning inched earlier to 6 a.m., he was napping at 8 and then the whole day was a mess. Today he slept until 6:45 (after spending a portion of the really terrible night awake), napped at 9:30, and now is down for a second nap around at 3. (He spent about half an hour making his displeasure known before falling asleep. Crying, growling, throwing things out of the crib...)
We’ll see. It was amazing how strongly I reacted to the late-bedtime advice. It seems crazy to go with my gut against the advice of a world-famous expert, but he didn’t even LOOK at Tucker and I just didn’t feel right about his recommendation.
In less stressful news, let’s talk high chairs.
At the moment we feed Tucker in the kitchen, but eventually we want him to sit with us at the table. I had my eye on the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair, which claims to be an infinitely adjustable chair that goes from infant highchair all the way through to a stool for an adult.
The good folk at Stokke were kind enough to send me a sample to try out and see how I liked it, and so far my experience has been really great. It came flat (which means it can store flat if you do need to put it away for a while) and it only took about 15 minutes to assemble. We got the black painted finish, which is not too shiny or too matte, and seems to wipe clean really well. The “baby set,” a plastic back and front rail to make the seat more secure for younger children, clicked into place easily and also wipes clean. We skipped the cushions (which are adorable but seem like a bit of overkill/extra laundry to me).
In Europe, Stokke now has a “newborn set,” a bucket-seat (complete with a wand for hanging a toy) that attaches to the top of the seat and lets babies who are too young to sit up join the family at table height. I love that idea, because when Tucker was much younger and was awake during our dinner he hated being in a seat or swing on the floor when all the action was up where we were! It’s not available in the US yet, but I hope by the time we have another baby we can add it.
Tucker is hilarious in the chair. We had to move the footrest down a slot immediately because he’s so tall, and he is fascinated by sitting like a grownup with his feet hanging down--up till now he’s mostly sat with his legs out, except in the Bumbo. He leans over to touch his knees, and he spends a lot of time thumping his feet on the foot platform. The chair sits a bit higher than the booster seat we were using before, so it’s also easier on our backs to feed him. The only tricky thing is getting him in and out of the baby set--his giant thighs get caught when I try to lift him up, or he’ll straighten his legs and it’s hard to wiggle him out. I don’t think we’ll use that part for long now that he’s sitting up so well on his own; it seems to be mostly for babies might slump over a bit. Once that is removed the chair will snug right up to the table, which is great.
Excellent sale note: I have ADORED my JJ Cole Arctic BundleMe for keeping Tucker toasty in his stroller all winter. We were out in the worst weather almost every day and he stayed cozy without a snowsuit; it was wonderful. The infant size Arctic version (warmest/most waterproof) is normally about $90; it’s on sale at Amazon right now for $39.95. Definitely worth getting if you’ll have an infant next winter! I’m going to buy the toddler size, for sure.
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.