WITH his arms pressed into the mattress, his upper back and neck arched skywards, and his legs pushing firmly down, the Little Mister is feeling frustrated. He pivots on his tummy 90 degrees and changes tack. This time it’s downward dog. His bum goes straight up in the air, his heels are flat on the mattress. He still doesn’t move forward. He collapses, tired, rests his head, and cries. He should be asleep.
Thanks to our video monitor Hal, I can watch this process in action. And I’ve been watching it for the last two days. The Little Mister still can’t crawl and it’s driving him crazy. He’s using up a lot of energy trying though, which means no-one is getting as much sleep as they should.
Apparently, time in his cot is the perfect time to try and make progress on the crawling front. For months now he has slept on his side. But now, when I put him down, he rolls onto his tummy. I’ve got tired of going in and helping him back onto his back – I can’t do it all night. So instead, for the last two nights when he’s been really tired, he has fallen asleep on his tummy. Exhausted from trying to move out of the position, he’s given up, rested his head on one side, and finally closed his eyes. When he wakes for a feed though, the screaming is something else. Not only is he (apparently) starving, but he’s stuck in tummy time hell.
During the day, the Little Mister is generally good when it comes to sleeps. He usually has two sleeps, around an hour and a half each. If the second one is shorter, which sometimes happens, I get him out in the buggy late afternoon and squeeze in a third short nap. But learning to crawl is causing havoc with the routine. Instead of going to sleep, he’s rolling over and trying to go places. Except he can’t. And then he gets angry, and upset, and so it goes on.
I wonder how much of this trying to crawl business is conscious. Why would you chose to do it when you should be sleeping? Is it because there’s nothing else to do in the cot, but when you’re up and playing you forget? Or is it a natural inclination to push boundaries and learn new skills – that just happens to take hold when you’re relaxed and not busy doing something else.
Poor Little Mister. He’ll get there soon, they all do. And hopefully when he does, his cot will once again be a place where he sleeps.