Piper turned 16 weeks on Thursday 14th September, making 14th September to 20th September her 17th week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.
What we did: after moving house on Tuesday, we spent the first few days unpacking, hanging curtains and assembling flat pack furniture. Piper was great at amusing herself on her playgym as we got on with sorting things out.
Sunday we went to my in-laws for lunch, along with my sister-in-law and her family, two of her friends and my brother-in-law. John stayed for lunch but then had to go to work. Piper grabbed some sleep in the arms of my sister-in-law’s husband, but otherwise was awake and playful. She especially enjoyed our walk to the South Bank in my arms (I had forgotten the sling).
On Monday I had to go into work for a training session. My mum came to look after Tom, but I hadn’t had enough time to pump for all the feeds we’d be missing so I had to take Piper with me. She did amazing. Slept in the sling for the first session and then alternated between dozing and chatting for the second. My colleagues were very impressed!
Tuesday we spent the morning back at the old flat. John took Piper with him and Tom to get a haircut (they got a haircut, not Piper) so I could concentrate on cleaning. She napped briefly in her buggy and then in the car seat while I finished up cleaning.
Wednesday she accompanied Tom and I to Tom’s new nursery for his first day of settling. I tried to fit it into her awake time but she did fall asleep in the sling on the way back. Then my sister-in-law came round in the evening to see the new flat and have dinner. Piper treated her to a few smiles before obligingly going to bed a bit early.
Feeding: another good week. She missed a few days of having her bottle whilst we were sorting the flat but returned to it with no issues.
Sleeping: never smooth is it! I had gotten complacent because Piper seemed to be doing OK settling in the new flat. Then it all went wrong! Thursday night she screamed for almost an hour at bedtime. I tried everything: checked nappy, burped, removed blankets, jiggled, patted, picked up, put down… Nothing worked. Finally I just stroked her hair (because I really wanted someone to be doing that for me at that moment) and she suddenly spit up a bit of milk and fell asleep. John wasn’t home so I had this to deal with on my own. A big glass of wine was needed after I finally got out of the room at 20.30! Fortunately she then slept until 4.15 and went back down after her feed with the dummy.
I had a few issues settling her for naps Friday afternoon and even resorted to the dummy for the cat nap as I was short on time to get her down and Tom bathed before she needed to be up again. Friday bedtime was another shocker – I was in the middle of settling her when Tom started crying. Rushed to him to find he had broken a music box he has and there was glass everywhere. So I had to put Piper on the bed and go clear up. By the time I got back to her she was very upset so I shh patted in my arms and then jiggled her down in the cot. She was asleep by 19.45 so a big improvement on Thursday night.
Saturday night she again wouldn’t settle, despite my attempts to shh pat and jiggle her down. Finally she fell asleep at 20.30 after an hour and a half of trying. She just didn’t seem very sleepy.
I had originally thought that she was struggling with the move, but, as it had lasted several days, I began to think she might need a longer awake time at this time of day, since she seemed to be extending her wake times generally. The next four days we were away from home and off schedule anyway, but I decided to try making both the third and fourth naps catnaps and therefore extending the final awake time to two hours. I’m trying to preserve our current bedtime as it fits with Tom, otherwise I’d have dropped the fourth nap altogether and moved bedtime earlier. The days we were out and she missed naps she went down fine which supported my theory that she was simply not tired enough.
Several nights this week she woke up because she’d managed to get her arms out of the swaddle and then struggled to get back to sleep even after I reswaddled her. I searched the Internet for solutions and decided to try this “secret swaddling” technique. I used a receiving blanket and our love to dream swaddle and so far it is working well.
Working on: she’s getting better and better at self soothing with her hands during awake time and often finds her thumb. She seemed a little less interested in trying to roll back to front this week because she was so busy with her hands. Now we have more space we have her playgym permanently out and she is loving exploring the different toys. She still loves nappy off time and is at her most active during it.
Other things: She’s up to size 3 when she wears disposable nappies.
She has suddenly extended her awake times and can now manage an hour and a half for most, though it depends how well she has napped.
I have started putting her down in the room she will share with Tom for her first nap, so they can both get used to her sleeping in there. The first time I tried it he woke her up twice! Now I am trying to keep him out of there so she can sleep well.
I’m introducing her to a muzy comforter in the hope that she will eventually adopt it as a transitional object. So far she just has it at story time and I am sleeping with it so it picks up my scent. Soon I plan to move onto having her hold it during feeds, especially at bedtime, so she associates it with comfort.
Schedule: since her awake times have extended her schedule changed again this week. Since we were out and about so much it wasn’t actually like this any day but in theory it is now as follows:
6.00 – awake and feed
7.30 – nap 1 (this and next nap interrupted at 45 minutes and extended with dummy)
9.30 – feed
11.00 – nap 2
13.00 – feed
14.30 – nap 3
15.15 – feed
16.45 – nap 4
17.30 – feed
18.00 – nappy free play
18.30 – bath and pjs
18.45 – stories
19.00 – feed
19.15 – cuddles
19.30 – bed
Once swaddle issues were resolved, one feed sometime between 2.00 and 4.45. Occasional early morning wake up around 5.30 but back to dozing with dummy.