Piper – 13 weeks old 

Piper turned 13 weeks on Thursday 24th August, making 24th-30th August her 14th week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.

Where we were: by this point I think it’s pretty guaranteed I’m going to say it was a busy week… We started Thursday morning by driving up to my in-laws place in Suffolk as John’s grandmother’s funeral was taking place up there on Friday. We stayed in Suffolk until Sunday lunch and saw A LOT of extended family who were in town for the funeral. Although it was sad to see them under those circumstances, it was also great to catch up since many of them hadn’t met Tom yet, never mind Piper.

We spent Monday at home, then Tuesday working on the new flat. Wednesday was a quiet day at home, which by then felt very necessary.

Feeding: after several days of bottle drama, it was nursing that went really wrong this week. It all went bad when we arrived in Suffolk on Thursday. We had an awful night on Wednesday (more to come) so Piper was pretty tired. She obviously found the new environment a bit overwhelming so I had to move to a quiet place to feed her when we first arrived. She fussed a bit but did drink. Then she flat out refused to nap. I think she managed 20 minutes total in 2 hours and that was with me holding her legs because they kept jerking and waking her up. I gave up and tried to feed her and she was not having any of it. I tried on and off for an hour and a half and all she did was scream the moment I got her into the nursing position.

I finally gave up and tried to put her down for a nap again. Nope, not happening. So we gave up on that too and went to have our own lunch, just passing her around the table so everyone had a chance to eat. After lunch I took her for a walk in the sling and got her to sleep for half an hour, then managed to get her to feed on one side by walking her around with my boob in her mouth. She was fussy for the next few feeds – only drank one side and then only after I walked with her (which was EXHAUSTING). Things did improve after a better night sleep and are now back to normal.

Not going to lie, I found her refusal to nurse incredibly stressful. I know it isn’t personal but it felt like she was rejecting me, not just my milk. Bad sleep I can cope with but struggles with nursing plus bad sleep was just too much. I’m glad it’s now back to normal and the bottles are now going well too. Fingers crossed we can have a week where everything works!

Sleeping: this has been a terrible week for sleep and I’m not really sure why. After a good few days Piper simply would not settle on Wednesday night. She was dropping off then waking 10 minutes later. John was home and we spent most of the evening taking it in turns trying to settle her, but nothing worked for longer than 10 minutes. I fed her at 9pm… and she woke up 10 minutes after I put her down. Eventually John went to sleep on the sofa bed so that one of us would be rested for the drive the next day, and I lay down with my hand on her stomach and just tried to snatch as much sleep as I could. I fed her again at 11pm and she eventually settled at around 12.30, then woke at 3 for another feed, then went back down until 6am.

The next day she did not nap at all. I was a complete mess. I even said to John that I wanted to go home, but that wasn’t really an option with the funeral the next day. That evening everyone else went to have a drink at the church in honour of John’s grandmother and I stayed behind to do bedtime for the kids. I was dreading it, sure that she was going to be a mess to settle. But she went down really easily and didn’t wake until she wanted feeding at 1am.

Since then she has had only one day with good naps and has been waking regularly at night, not really going back down after 4am, and wanting to start the day at 5.30am. Essentially she has regressed to her newborn waking pattern. I’m not sure whether this is the 4 month sleep regression starting early (it is due next week) or whether her schedule needs adjusting, but it has been pretty rough. I want my good sleeper back and for more than 4 nights please!

Working on: still those hands. She’s gotten very good at getting them to stay at her mouth and occasionally manages to get the angle right to suck on her thumb. She has also started to push her hips up and twist when doing nappy off time, so looks to be starting to work on rolling. She can use her feet to push herself slowly along the floor. but usually only gets a few inches.

Other things: I tried leaving one hand out of the swaddle for one nap and it was a disaster. She took so long to settle that Tom gave up waiting for me to put him down for his nap and just took himself to bed. She did eventually go down and used her thumb to do it… but then woke 15 minutes later, presumably because she had bashed herself in the face. She couldn’t go back down so I fully swaddled her and gave her the dummy so she would sleep for the rest of the nap. I’ll try again once we’ve moved and I have more time to work on it with her.

She was really happy and smiley when we got home from Suffolk on Sunday and I really think she recognises this as her home. Which is a shame since we are about to move.

Since she is now awake when Tom goes to bed she is joining in with story time when John is on an evening shift (which is most nights). I have to work a bit to keep her from crying towards then end but otherwise it seems to be going ok.

She is finally sometimes going into the cot without crying, so I think she is getting used to it. This has taken longer than it should as we’ve been travelling so much.

She still has nappy rash. I’ve been giving her daily nappy off play and she is very happy during it, even though it is at a time of day where babies are typically fussy.

Schedule: Same as the end of last week, but I have written it out as I didn’t last week. I think she may need longer awake times now so will work on extending these next week.

6.00 – wake and feed (woken if not awake already)

7.00 – nap 1 (using dummy for all naps when waking after 45 mins)

9.00 – wake and feed

10.00 – nap 2

12.00 – wake and feed

13.00 – nap 3

15.00 -wake and feed

16.00 – nap 4

18.00 – wake and feed, then nappy off play

18.30 – bath and pjs

18.45 – stories with Tom

19.00 – top up feed

19.15 – cuddles

19.30 – bedtime

Waking this week usually at 1 and 4, with occasional fussiness between 21.00 and 23.00 (not requiring intervention). Needs dummy in order to sleep after 4 and wanting to start day at 5.30.

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