It's amazing to me when I look at the pictures of Samuel in the hospital and see what he and we went through. God has done great things for us!
Samuel is in the official "hand holding" stage of life. He likes to hold his own hands. :) All of my babies go through this stage and I think at this same time. Maybe a bit earlier. Samuel is catching up though.
Samuel's schedule: For several months he coasted on wake, eat, after 1 1/2 hours go to sleep. I would typically rock him or hold him in the baby carrier until he fell asleep. Then I would lay him down and he would transistion fine. Here are some changes. Now he can stay awake for upwards of 2 to 3 hours after awakening. So here is his schedule/routine. (My goal all along has been to listen to his cues and gently help him to fall into his own routine of sorts. When he starts showing signs of being able to and needing more wake time or whatever it may be, then I make the adjustments. Then I stick to that routine/schedule until something changes. I want his needs to be met, I want falling asleep to be as gentle as it can be, and I want a routine so that I can take care of the rest of my family)
8:00 Wake and eat
9:30 or so, feed again and put down to sleep
12:00 Wake and eat
2:00 eat again
2:15 or so put down to sleep
4:30 or 5:00 Wake and eat
7:00 Feed again
7:30 Put down to sleep
10:00 I get him up and feed him again-no wake time
He has been wakening at about 5:45 to eat and I just put him in bed with me. This hasn't been the best as I haven't been able to fall back asleep because he kicks me constantly while he eats. But at least he is sleeping a long stretch!
To put him to to sleep, like I said, I had been rocking him to sleep. This began to not work as he would fuss and wiggle a whole bunch while I was rocking him. And then he at times would wake when I transferred him to his bed. I tried nursing him to sleep but then he would wake up with burping and spitting up. I realized I needed to give him some time to fuss in his bed. He just needs that time whether he is fussing while I hold him and try to rock him or fussing in his bed. Fussing in his bed works better because once he falls asleep there is no transferring. He needs his sleep and I need his sleep :) So what I do to put him down is rock him for a few minutes, sing to him, then lay him down and cover him. I let him fuss for 2-3 minutes (I've been using these 2-3 minutes to get a load of laundry going or some other quick little clean up project), then I come over and pat him and say shhhhhhh while he continues to fuss. I just sit on a chair by his bassinet and stay with him, patting him on his back, until he nods off to sleep. He isn't crying terribly. Just fussing. Same thing he did when I tried to rock him to sleep. It's just his way of going to sleep.
I don't feel bad at all about letting him fuss for a bit because really the only way to prevent it is to nurse him to sleep and that didn't work at all. He would just wake up from tummy aches. So it is best for him. I have so much more peace with baby number 5. Meaning much more peace and comfortability with things like him crying a wee bit. With my other babies I just couldn't stand for them to cry for a minute! Now I guess I'm more confident in my mothering and I know he is well cared for.
He is certainly well loved by all his brothers. They all love to hold him. I hope I never forget Benjamin's little voice saying, "hold! hold!" and putting out his arms. It is just so adorable.
Samuel is a very laid back baby. Loves to smile. Loves to talk. He seems to be very vocal. One day after I laid him down to go to sleep after fussing for a minute or two he just started cooing and talking. And he literally talked himself to sleep. It was so sweet. I'm very very much enjoying him. I told Steve the other night it feels like life is starting to settle down and we are getting back into a routine. It is wonderful! Change is in store though, but it is good change. More about that later.