Piper – 11 weeks old

Piper turned 11 weeks on Thursday 10th August, making 10th-16th August her 12th week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.

Where we were: Another busy week! Piper and I spent Thursday at the new flat – she napped in her Moses basket in the bathroom whilst I painted and stripped wallpaper. Then on Friday we headed up to my in-laws in Suffolk for a friend’s wedding. You can read more about that here. Back in London, we spent Monday and Tuesday working on the flat then headed to my parents’ house on Wednesday in preparation for going to Somerset for the weekend for my cousin’s wedding.

Feeding: Nursing is still going well. She takes about 15 minutes per feed, including burping. Bottles are another matter though. Continuing on from our struggles last week, I gave her a bottle of thawed frozen breastmilk on Thursday for her five o’clock feed and she really didn’t want to drink it. She ended up getting so worked up that she was actually falling asleep in my arms from tiredness, so I put her down for her cat nap and then tried again before bath time. It took some persuasion but she did then drink 4 ounces. We realised that she prefers it a bit cooler – room temperature rather than body temperature – which is why she would accept it once the bottle was cooler.

I had pumped milk ready to take to our friend’s wedding but ended up leaving it in our fridge in London. Since it takes me a few pumping sessions to get a full feed currently, we   weren’t sure that I’d be able to pump enough to take to the wedding so actually did buy some ready mixed formula to see if she would drink that. She did drink a couple of ounces on Friday evening, but it took me about an hour to persuade her to have that much. Fortunately, I was able to pump enough to take to the wedding with us (I massively upped my water intake which helped a lot), and she drank that bottle fairly happily. We’ve continued to offer a bottle of fresh milk at room temperature every other day and she is drinking it ok, though does usually need to be bounced or walked around a bit to get her started.

As planned, I have added a pump session every evening. The amount I get is slowly growing, but is currently only at around 2.5 ounces and she will drink at least 4, so I’m only getting a full feed every two days. If we give her a bottle any time except 5 pm, I pump to replace the feed and sometimes I can also pump after her first morning feed, as she doesn’t always have both sides, so I am getting enough to give a daily bottle, but not to build up a freezer stash. Hopefully this will improve as my body gets more used to the pump and to providing a ‘feed’ at 9 pm every evening.

Sleep: We had a couple of good long naps this week but most of the time she is still waking at the 45 minute transition mark and needing the dummy to go back down for the rest of the nap. She surprised me by sleeping relatively well in her Moses basket at the new flat – still waking at 45 minutes but going back down with the dummy and needing to be woken for feeds. Considering we were ripping up a floor in the next door room, this was very impressive! We had to put her in the bathroom since we have no curtains currently, so it is the only room we can make dark.

For the first half of the week,  nighttime sleep was good. She was still waking once a night (hasn’t slept through again for ages now) but often not until 4 or 4.30 am, so we were both getting a nice long bit of sleep. However, she hit the 12 week Wonder Week on Monday and since then night sleep has suffered. She’s waking up earlier, more frequently, and taking much longer to go down after a feed. Usually I can feed her, put her straight back in the cot and she’ll give a few little grunts and then go to sleep. The last few nights though she has cried after being put down and I’ve had to give her the dummy. Even then it is taking her a while to drop back off and I often have to reinsert it. Hopefully this will get better again once the Wonder Week is passed. Can’t wait for her to be reliably self-soothing with her hands so we can drop the dummy and swaddle and hopefully get her sleeping through consistently!

Working on: she’s still working mainly on her hands but there has been a noticeable improvement in how smooth her movements are. She’s now batting at toys with a fair degree of accuracy and is starting to try to grasp things. She still hasn’t quite worked out how to suck her fingers, but will use one hand to hold the other one to her mouth and lick her fingers, so I think this won’t be far off. 

She’s still cooing a lot and we’ve noticed that she starts chatting more when she is getting sleepy (which will be something to look forward to once she can talk….) She is also getting better at following movement and can smoothly track a toy or a person as it travels across her field of vision.

Other things from this week: Piper was a real hit at the wedding and did well being passed from person to person. She didn’t really sleep, but still stayed fairly happy and smiley.

She has started laughing, especially in the bath.

On Monday she started her third Wonder Week. I suspected she might be in one because she was slightly cranky (Piper only ever cried when she is tired so cranky for her just means slightly fussy and not wanting to play alone as much), and was suddenly using her hands much more accurately. Sure enough I checked the app on Tuesday and she was in the 12 week Wonder Week, which lasts 7 days. It’s mainly affecting her nighttime sleep but she is also wanting more attention during awake times.

Schedule: Wake times were really variable this week. A lot of the time she seemed to be extending them and was able to stay happily awake for an hour and ten minutes, but there was the odd time where she would start fussing after just 45 minutes and want to go back down. Loosely speaking we are still following the same broad pattern as last week.


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