correlation to causality
Sorry it's been a little while since the last post, but it feels like a little like cheating to be posting at a Dad blog when my kid is nowhere to be found. So what's a Dad-blogger to do? Some might say, "start by going to find your kid," but I do know where he is (really). Start-Up Mom and Kaden have been down in North Carolina since last Thursday. I had to stay in Boston a few extra days to attend some meetings (there's that whole starting a company and starting children conflicting again) but will join them today.
I could talk about how things are going here, but it is just much more interesting to contemplate the causality of certain behaviors of a newborn than it is to gab about Battlestar Gallactica and Chinese food.
So, let me present on ongoing conundrum for a curiously analytical parent.. so much is constantly changing it's incredibly difficult to pin down whether A behavior caused B effect. To put in economic terms, it's easy to find correlation and near impossible to prove causality.
Case in point: Kaden has previously been a very good sleeper, and up until recently woke only once a night. But he has now become nighttime Cujo (or perhaps the Sleep Nazi would be more appropriate). What started as a low "drip, drip" of slight wakings turned into a gush of "no sleep for you!" over the course of a week.
Simultaneously, Kaden has recently figured out how to nap during the day (finally) which is great. So it's logical to think that his longer day naps were enough to mess up his night sleep patterns. Except, we don't know if it was the napping. While true that he started to nap longer at the same time his night sleep screwed up, there are plenty of other possible causes.
- He has started drooling like crazy. Seriously, we could use a mouth diaper.
- We installed an air conditioner the same week
- He started sucking his pacifier a lot more, which could mean waking up a lot and wanting it
- Kaden is stronger and getting out of his swaddling
- He has just learned to roll on his side, which is cute. Unfortunately previous to this the only times he was on his side is to breastfeed.. which means his life experience has tied the two together. So now he rolls on his side in the middle of the night and then assumes that because he is there, a nipple should be presented soon.
While I try and hammer away at what the cause is, it's pretty clear that the solution is just to help teach Kaden to be able to soothe himself back to sleep. If he can take care of himself then the problem goes away (well, technically he still wakes up so I guess it just becomes his problem and not ours). While in DC they apparently have Brazilian families to help with this sort of thing, we're on our own. So I have begun putting him in the crib after his eyes are closed, but just before he's really asleep.
It's interesting, before I had Kaden I thought of parenting in very distinct stages. The first 15-18 years was about looking out for your child, showing up at soccer practice, and so on. Next you'd start trying to teach them how to live on their own and be self-reliant, somewhere around late high-school/early college. But it would seem that from the very first day of trying to get him to put himself back to sleep, it's all just a continuum of teaching how to be independent.