Daddee Yah!

A working Daddee learning to cope in a big big world

So I had mentioned before that I was a little concerned about Caleb sleeping on his tummy when he was only at such a young age. Of course then the assurance that it was all ok by other mothers was, well, reassuring.

So he’s been sleeping on his front this whole time.

With his little stunt of falling off the bed recently, it’s obvious then that he’s already developed the super human power of rolling. And just in the last week, he’s moved on to doing that in his sleep as well now.

Not that there’s any real concern about this, only that, as with all super powers, one has to practise to perfect it. In our little man’s case, he still gets his arm stuck behind his back when he (tries but obviously can’t go all the way) rolls onto his back.

I am only aware of this because he starts crying, waking Hot Mummee and I up. While I could go reach for my camera to capture this grimace (Caleb’s, not wife’s) and his “missing” arm, I don’t think Hot Mummee would appreciate the delay in rectifying this discomfort (wife’s, Not Caleb’s) pronto.

So then, here’s a shot of the little man, in the few times he’s successfully managed to roll over onto his back in his sleep. It’s okay, this was during sane hours, so I was still awake.

These shots were taken in almost dark surrounds; shutter set to 15 seconds. Notice the barricades around him these days??

On a totally unrelated note, I took Caitlin swimming this morning; again, the first time in a while, due to either her coughing or busy weekend schedules.

This is the second time we are using this hooded towel with her. Should have got this long time ago rather than using normal towels and wrapping her up like a Japanese handroll worrying about her getting cold…


For the past few nights; enough nights to make me forget exactly how many, my two kids wake in the middle of the night, a few times.

One cries, the other cries out; sometimes one starts the other going.

One would be because he’s sleeping on his arm. Or he is due for a change. Or he is due for his milkies. Or just because. I can’t say it is because he had bad dreams- what would 7 month old babies dream about? Maybe they do dream about whatever they did during that day. In Caleb’s case, it could be Yuck, my toes don’t taste as good as they look, or do they? Lemme try again. My toes don’t taste as good as they look, or do they? Lemme try again…; Daddee’s screen savor seems to catch my eye all the time that I can’t seem to look away; Daddee’s going *peekaboo* making me giggle- I don’t know why I giggle at something so silly; Mummee’s baby talk making absolutely no sense..

But he’s started crying in the middle of the night way before he turned 7 months old.

The other would cry out audible exclamations. Last night it particular, it was “NO NO NO NO NO NO…….” as if to exclaim no that can’t be it isn’t true, or please don’t take it away type of exclamation. The other night she was just crying. For no reason. She looked like she was semi-awake, sobbing with a defiant hint of I don’t want. It took a while to calm her down. Or, she’d wake me with “Daddee, I need to go shee-shee (pee)”- (Daddee is diligent with washing her- the whole works of taking her pj-pants off, carrying her to the tap, toweling her off, etc. But then realised recently that he’s not exactly done an excellent job at it)

I also just realised / remembered something recently. Caitlin likes being comforted by being patted on her chest (less these days since toddlerhood), Caleb- patted on his back. Which also means that both kids slept differently: One on the back, the other on the tummy.

But where’s all this going?

Daddee is still lacking sleep….

Just sharing an old photo of Caitlin, with cleavage that would make Hot Mummee jealous!

Caitlin's cleavage!

It’s not too surprising that Asian parents let their children sleep in the same room as them; with the cot or the small toddler-sized bed in the room. Not surprising cos we all do it :)

Since Caleb’s arrival, and since we are unsure about our medium-term plans, we have not invested in re-arrangements of rooms and sleeping plans; or even continued looking for places to buy – Caleb had simply taken over Caitlin’s bed turned (back) into a cot, and Caitlin started sleeping in our bed with us- between us! We have a super-king-sized bed so it’s actually not that crowded.

Obviously this isn’t the ideal nor near-term solution, so we had to do the hard thing of starting Caitlin to sleep by herself in the other room (harder for me!)- there is another double bed there from my previous life :)

The other main reason is also that our room is air-conditioned. We’ve found that it is that that’s causing Caitlin’s recurring and persistent coughs; and if you’ve been reading here lots, you’d know that when she gets into a coughing fit, puking is usually “followed through”. It’s never a friendly household when there’s puke on our super king sized bed.

And honestly, since she’s started sleeping there, her coughs are few and far between.

So, being so attached to me has its big downside. It’s been just over a month now that Caitlin’s been sleeping there at nights. Most nights she’s been waking in the middle of the night asking for me, on the real pretext of needing to pee. Sometimes she’d also wake from screaming, requiring some Daddee comforts to go back to sleep. When there happen it’s somewhat laborious- we insist she locks her room, and we lock ours too (we have the key to her room). So she’d have to knock and wake us when she does this.

“Good nights” are when she is dead tired from the days’ activities; either we were out doing something physically active, and/or that she’d missed her daytime naps and just knocks off into deep sleep quickly.

Lately, we’ve been coaching her to make her own toilet breaks. A main “obstacle” from before was that she wasn’t tall enough to reach the toilet light switch. This week I’d noted that she is just tall enough now, with the aid of a step-stool. I made a positive hoo-ha about it, and so far she seemed quite proud of that ability.

From a personal Daddee perspective, this is a bittersweet milestone. Hot Mummee is keen for them to quickly be independent, whilst I am one to indulge in their natural stages of growth. I don’t/didn’t look forward to Caitlin’s flailing limbs smacking me/us in the middle of my sleep, but I sought comfort from her being next to me, from a parent’s perspective as well as knowing she is okay, safe, and that she feels the same too.

Yes, Caleb is now sleeping in the cot in our room. So far, as far as I can tell, there is no jealousy from his jie-jie. We’ve been advocating that this is a grown(ing) up thing to go through.

Kids had only just gone back to school after a really really long year-end break.

Being the rather laid back parents that we are; okay maybe “lazy” is the better description, we had only left it to the kids to entertain themselves with repeated playing of their favourite DVD’s.

One in particular this season was/is Ice Age 3 (as opposed to last season, being Bee Movie). If you don’t know the franchise, the main characters are a couple of mammoths, a sabre tooth tiger, a sloth, and two brothers of possums. In a previous installment these have banded together as a herd, sharing with us viewers their adventures. I wouldn’t call them “adorable”; maybe because it has been repeatedly played-to-death so often that it has definitely lost its appeal.

They say kids and people dream about what they thought of or saw the most of during the day. Yup, you guessed it: Caitlin dreamt about these characters. Two nights in a row, in fact.

She shared this with me over a few “sessions”, first being during our car ride to Grandma’s in the morning before going to work, and then continued when she saw me afterwards.

She dreamt of Manny and Elly, the mammoth couple.

I asked if I was there. No. I asked if they were big. She said not really. I corrected her that mammoths used to be huge like a big car or bus (I try to watch Discovery channel as much as I can; will explain “try” another time!) I wanted to ask if they were friendly, but she quickly offered that they were, ‘cos they and the herd were travelling together with her; except Diego the sabre tooth lion. I guess Caitlin doesn’t quite fancy him all that much.

Later at home when she was relating her dreams during her later sessions, we overheard Hot Mummee exclaiming how she’s got a headache. Caitlin whispers to me “Maybe Mummee didn’t have nice dreams like I did; please don’t tell her I said that, okay?”

I like when she shares stuff with me. I hope she keeps this up forever through the ages, for obvious reasons.

This is the scene when peace isn’t much longer now…

For those who found this page thinking I have some clever tip on how to stop my baby(ies) from waking at nights, you kinda found the right place.

I say kinda because Caitlin, our first one, more or less “just decided” to sleep through the night when she was probably around 4 months old. Yes she was (and in lots of way, is) an easy baby. Our second one, Caleb, however, was already in his 13th month and still woke wanting milk; much to Hot Mummee and my dismay.

About a month ago, Caleb was down with a pretty bad fever and flu. The point here isn’t the flu but the lethargy that came with it. I recall there was a one particular day where he was seriously dead-tired. So worn was he that that night was the first in a long time where he just slept all the way through. I won’t even be surprised if he didn’t even shift in his sleep; though he’d likely have otherwise he’d have a serious dead arm (read somewhere that human brain automatically gets the body to move/shift in sleep, so as to, well, shift and re-orientate the body around).

Glad to say that since that night, he’s not woken anymore, almost. I say almost because he would still wake waaa waaaaaa but HM and I (more so HM while I pretend to still be asleep) would quickly lull him back to sleep before he gets too awake and starts making demands.

However now he does wake and make serious demands earlier in the morning than before. When we were feeding him at 3am-ish, by the morning when it was time to bring the whole posse to Grandma’s (and Caitlin off to school) the little man would still be asleep. These days he wakes around the same time as Caitlin, which is at around sunrise, 6:30-7:00.

So what’s the tip to making babies sleep through the night? Get them sick with flu!

Otherwise, try what we were planning on trying initially: To feed his last feed for the night later than before.

I reckon I can start getting good sleep now and wake early for work outs. Yay for Daddee! Cos it’s around the same time Caleb starts waking anyway, and HM can be the one handling him! YAY DADDEE!

It’s hard not to compare your kids when you have more than one.

Especially with Caitlin already not needing overnight feeds early in her life / early in our new parenting roles; I think it was even around 6 months that she started sleeping through the night. The other things would also be when she started walking, and when she was toilet trained.

Little Man Caleb still wakes (with a wail, no less) in the middle of the night, with each parent pretending not to hear it waiting for the other to get outta bed, or dreading that it is our turn to feed….

So us parents, and to an extent Caitlin (yes she still sleeps with us due to space constraints) are usually panda-eyed, dozing off at work and in school…. where opportunities for sleep is cherished and which means a trade-off for any other (nocturnal??) activities… such as regular exercise – a topic which deserves a whole different series of posts.

HM (Hot Mummee or of late, Her Majesty!) suggested recently that when Caleb does wake and cries, to lull him back to sleep quickly, before he “fully” wakes wide-eyed.

This is, of course, depended on him being “more tired / tired enough” than his actual (presumed reason for waking) hunger. We OH SO SINCERELY hope that this will work, and work enough times for him to get used to not feeding at nights, eventually leading to him getting used to not waking anymore.

We have tried this two nights in a row, with my turn being only last night / this morning.

He woke wa-waa-WAAAA and HM was almost-violently shaking my leg. I got up, mumbled something, and picked him up to immediately cuddle him. In the dark I could see (through my squinty lack of sleep eyes) that his eyes weren’t squinty. The little terror was looking around.

Assuming my usual stance, I was bouncing and swaying him (think golf-swing hip-movements) for quite a while. I almost gave up seeing as he was wriggling a little; a sign that he really isn’t all that sleepy. And I was actually working up a sweat already.

Lucky for me (him?) that he did eventually knock off. Put him back in the cot and he started stirring and actually propped himself looking up. Fearing the worst (!) I managed to pat him back to sleep though- did this a few times.

This morning I got out of the shower to find HM feeding him. She had prepared his milk already, presumably he was wa-waa-ing when I was in the shower. She remarked that his cot is a little wet with pee….

So what’s the take-away with this exercise?

That this may actually work, but at the same time we have to decide whether to check and change his diapers, risking fully-waking him in the process of washing / changing him.

Hope this is a workable tip shared here.