Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The New Adventures of Old(er) Clara

Clara is now 13 months old. No, she still isn’t walking but she is definitely finding her legs. Her not walking doesn’t surprise me at all. She was quite a late crawler- waiting until she was just over 10 months old to do that. I think she’ll be closer to 15 months when she finally ventures off the furniture and steps out on her own.

We have finally decided to let go and try and get Clara to put herself to sleep. I waited too long to do this with her. I should have started when she was about 7 or 8 months old. It wouldn’t be so hard right now if I had. Anyway, since I cannot do straight CIO (despite my best efforts to do so otherwise) I have taken a sort of modified CIO approach which I found in a parenting magazine recently. AND it seems to be working (well last night was only night 2 of this new routine for her). The first night she screamed bloody murder for 25 minutes until she finally exhausted herself. When she finally settled down to go to sleep she still had some pitiful sobs which broke my heart but, she did eventually fall asleep and stayed asleep through the night (score!). So last night we did it again. Ray and I made an agreement. I would give her a bath, put her in her jammies, give her the medication for her VUR and read her a story and he would actually stay with her while she wailed and finally fell asleep. BUT what happened stunned me. Not only did she not cry she barely fussed at all when he put her in the crib (I listened over the monitor). He was tapping her, singing and saying encouraging things. It still took her 20 minutes to go to sleep (and she woke up 45 minutes later but went down again easily) but she didn’t cry or fuss before hand and she managed to once again sleep through the night. Tonight is our last night with the patting and encouraging words. Tomorrow night we are supposed to move to the middle of the room and just talk to her until she goes to sleep on her own, no patting. Not sure how it will go (but I’ll be sure to let you all know).

Additionally, Clara has been a signing fool lately. She has picked up and uses consistently the signs for “more”, “milk”, “all done”, “eat” and “please” (she even uses them together- “More milk, please”). I am in the process of teaching her other signs like “duck”, “bath”, “water”, “wet”, “pain” and “diaper change” (if she just gets ½ of that sign it would be good)- I am fairly sure she knows what the signs for “don’t touch” and “no” are, even though she doesn’t use them (why would she, only mommy and daddy have to say “don’t touch” and “no”-lol). Her level of understanding and cognition has exploded lately and I am amazed by her daily. When she was younger it was much harder to tell if she really understood us but now I know she does understand and watching her communicate is so cool. She has been saying mama and dada for a little bit but now she says “du” for duck. Every time I bring her duckies out I say “who is this” and she says “du” so she is trying to talk to but I am surprised she doesn’t have more words.

We have an appointment with the ped at the end of the month for her MMR and chicken pox shot. I think I might ask Dr. DeVoe whether I should be concerned about her not having more words. She’s a great mimic but for some reason she doesn’t want to say real words. Either that or I am not noticing them. I know I probably have nothing to worry about since she clearly understands language and she signs very well.

Well, that’s all from here, for now. I’ll be updating on how her sleep routine is going. Hopefully in a few days she’ll be able to just get in the crib and go to sleep without any help from either of us.


Trish J said...

Some kids are just content and don't feel the need to prattle or babble at all. I'm sure you're especially attentive, so her need to vocalize is probably minimal. So long as she's holding eye contact and responding to your words, I wouldn't worry. She'll be a chatterbox soon enough!

Ann M. said...

It is possible that because Clara knows the signs for things, she may just be more comfortable with them right now. She is communicating, and that's fantastic, so just keep doing what you're doing: adding signs and saying the words as you do them, she'll pick it up in no time (says the parent whose kid won't do either).

I sleep-trained the Captain when Greg was gone, so she was the same age Clara is now. I think they get the hang of it pretty quick and it is probably harder for us than it is for them. Keep your chin up. Know that it will only be difficult for a little while, and everyone is going to benefit in the long run.

I miss being in the same state as you, too.

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R said...

E's almost 15 months old (will be tomorrow!!) and doesn't sign (our fault!) and the only words she says are "mom, momma, ball, uh oh, hi" and sometimes she'll say "da dee" everything else is her own language... her 15month checkup is the 20th and I'll be asking her Dr. if we're doing okay... maybe we don't give her enough opportunity to talk? or maybe we're not talking enough with her? I'm having a little anxiety now that I think about it... yikes!!

also - E didn't really crawl (she scooted most of the time) and didn't do much walking until she was about 13.5 months - now, she's pretty much running... and unstoppable... and into everything :) good luck!!

sleep training... ugh. we should do that soon... get E back out of our bed, and back into her own... our problem is that she'll sleep fine in her pack & play, but not her crib... she also sleeps great on actual beds... trying to decide the next course of action - she can't sleep in her pack & play forever... right?? (or can she?) ;)