In my last entry, I wrote that I probably won’t write again for several weeks, but the wife has been nagging to keep this blog updated. We have been strategizing new ways to minimize Haruka’s crying spells during the evening hours so we can regain our composure and our sanity, and although it has only been a few days in the running, we have had some degree of success.
My wife was concerned that leaving Haruka to cry uncontrollably could have adverse affects on her in the future (example: silent baby syndrome -where a baby loses confidence in his/her parents and doesn’t cry at all for anything) . Admittedly, there are a lot articles on the web that support this theory. However I argued that picking her up every single time she cries will make her dependant, and will leave very little time for the both of us to do anything (house cleaning, caring for the dogs, dinner, or just relaxing). As it is, the dogs are starting to show signs of neglect and depression, which really saddens me.
So last week, the wife and I sat down and thought of ways we could regain some of our personal and quiet time without neglecting Haruka. One thing we know for a fact is that Haruka will cry between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, no matter where she is, or what we do. This is a constant. And because of this, one of us would have to carry her and try to comfort her as best we can, but usually ends with failure. Also, we found that we would have eat dinner at different times so that one parent could comfort the very tempramental child. This was extremely stressful on all of us, because my wife feels that dinner time communication is very important, and I tend to agree. Additionally, it wasn’t doing Haruka any good either because she cries anyways whether we carried her or not.
My theory was that, with the TV going, the wife making all kinds of noise while cooking, the dogs going nuts in the living room, and me just being irritated by it all, Haruka was being over stimulated and could not sleep. Hence, she did what any baby does when they’re uncomfortable, cry.
So I came up with an idea, and that was to put her in her crib immediately after her 6pm feeding whether she was sleepy or not, and to monitor her with a web camera that I had installed on her crib. For the first couple of days, it seemed that things weren’t working to design. Haruka cried uncontrollably for at least an hour. Since her crib was upstairs in our bedroom, we could barely hear her, but we could hear her none the less. And from the web camera, we could see her waving her arms about, and throwing a wild tantrum.
The first day of the experiment was very difficult for both of us, and at times we were both tempted to take her out of her crib and bring her back downstairs, but I insisted that we do this for at least three days. Three days of this won’t kill her, and it sure won’t make her a silent baby.
On day two of the experiment, she was put to bed at 6pm, and like the day before, she threw a huge fit and cried most of the time. But then we noticed that she would fall asleep at almost precisely 8pm, as if something told her it was time to stop crying.
Day three, same deal. We put her to bed at 6pm, and she would cry off and on until almost precisely 8pm and then abruptly stop. Sometimes she would go to sleep, other times she’d just stare off into space until one of us picked her up at 9pm, her bath time.
Day four, a small change. We put her to bed but this time we used her swaddle blanket and wrapped her tightly. She whined and whimper for about an hour, but didn’t really throw a huge tantrum. Then she fell asleep at about 7:30pm.
Today, she cried on and off until about 7pm, stared at the ceiling for about 15 minutes, then immediately fell asleep. Although not perfect, we are gradually seeing some good results, and everyone is a lot more relaxed.
Moreover, as a postive side effect, Haruka doesn’t fall asleep after her post-bath feeding like she did before, which means she drinks more milk, which in turn let’s her sleep longer, and through the night.
Regarding the Hand
Since last week, Haruka has learned that she has hands. She would sometimes lay in her crib or cradle and just stare at her hands for several minutes. According to the Baby Centre (yes I spelled it right) website This process is called regarding the hand. Its the first step in being able to use her hands effectively and do things like grab objects, instead of the usual anarchic movements.
But with her new found discovery of her hands, came new frustrations. I didn’t think that 3 month old babies had the ability to become frustrated, but Haruka clearly demonstrated that they can.
Haruka tries to immitate what we show her (which is amazing in itself), but when she isn’t able to do what we do, she gets upset and cries. For example, I would repeatedly open and close my hand, and Haruka would watch this very intensely for several seconds. Then she would look at her own hand and try to open and close them. When she is able to do it, she’ll just put her hand back down or look at my hand again. But when she can’t do it, she would show frustration and cry.
At first I thought this was a fluke, but she repeated this behavior several times, and it can be repeated again. So I strongly believe that 3 month old babies do get frustrated when they cannot do something.
Traveling in Style
Since Haruka was born, we have a dire need for a bigger car, or at least something with four doors. So for the last few months I have been looking for something that would satisfy the family’s need for more doors, more space, and adequate trunk space, but at the same time something that’s not boring or under-powered. Personally, I don’t mind driving an SUV but I never wanted to own one; they’re just not my style. So after careful looking, I found an SUV that’s not so SUV’ish. It’s big enough, roomy enough, yet has the power of a Porsche Cayenne, without the pice tag of one.
So last Monday, we took a family excursion to downtown Yokohama and picked up just what we all needed, a Subaru Forester Cross Sports Turbo. Not the most beautiful machine in the world but it does the job, and a pretty descent second car.
Here are some pictures from the last two weeks. The gallery will be updated next week.
Haruka sitting on the floor just before she fell over.
Showing off her big feet
Drying off after a hot bath.
Her most recent photo taken last night
Finally, here is a picture of our new Subaru. Actually its slightly used. We’ll take delivery at the end of the month.