Piper – 17 weeks old

Piper turned 17 weeks on Thursday 21st September, making 21st September to 26th September her 18th week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.

What we did: finally a quieter week! Tom was settling into nursery on Friday so Piper did have to come with me for that. On Wednesday she was booked to have her 16 week jabs so John took her back to our old doctors’ surgery in Walthamstow, only to find that she couldn’t have them then because not enough time had passed since her (delayed) 12 week jabs. Otherwise Piper was mostly at home this week so we had a really good chance to keep to a good schedule for her.

Feeding: still going smoothly (hurray!) I’ve been building our milk reserves back up so she was able to have a bottle every day this week. She drinks 6 ounces. She also seems to be nursing for longer and will always now have both sides.

Sleeping: After some terrible nights last week I was hoping the new schedule would help her settle this week…but not so much. Thursday was the first day we had actually been able to keep her to the new schedule. Naps were ok but she didn’t seem very tired at bedtime. She went down but then woke up again 45 minutes later. Previously when she has done this she has been able to go back to sleep again by herself within 10 minutes, but this time she didn’t and instead started crying pretty hard. I tried to settle her but 30 minutes later she was still crying and I had to pump, so John took over and eventually got her to sleep at around 21.15. Then she woke again at 22.30 so I went ahead and gave her the dummy. That night she woke every 2-3 hours.

On Friday her naps were messed up because of coming with me to settle Tom at nursery. Back at home, she seemed really tired even after her nap and started sucking her thumb and dozing off on my lap, so I put her back to bed, but this time with her right arm out of the swaddle. She managed to get to sleep sucking her thumb, but woke up 10 minutes later. This time though she managed to put her thumb back in and went back to sleep with it. She managed an hour total after that though I did hear her wake up a few times. That night I swaddled her fully again and she again woke multiple times needing the dummy.

On Saturday, I decided it was time to commit to having her sleep with one arm out of the swaddle, since she was now easily finding her thumb and obviously wanted to suck on it to sleep. She did awesome for the first nap – I heard her cry out once at the 45 minute mark but she instantly found her thumb and went back to sleep. The second two naps weren’t quite as smooth and she was waking fairly regularly (like every 15 minutes) for the second half of them, but each time would find her thumb after a few minutes and go back to sleep.

Since then, naps have remained a bit hit and miss and a couple of times I have still had to go in and give her the dummy, though she usually now spits it out and replaces it with her thumb once she has calmed down a bit. Night times though are much improved – she is waking only for feeds and uses her thumb to get back to sleep, though we did have a couple of early morning waking when we first put her arm out of the swaddle. To end the week on a high, she slept through on Wednesday – 19.15-6.30 with no wake ups. I had to wake her at 6.30!

The other big sleep news from this week is that we have dropped the fourth nap. She just wasn’t tired enough by bedtime when she slept so late in the day. Bedtime has crept slightly earlier as a result and I hope to see it move more to the 19.00 mark so she will eventually be doing 11.5 hours at night instead of 10.5.

Working on: obviously finding her thumb was the big milestone for this week and is a definite blessing when it comes to her sleep. She’s still working on rolling too and regularly moves onto her side when playing, but hasn’t yet managed a full roll.

She sometimes sits in her bouncy chair whilst we eat breakfast, so she can be part of the meal. She can now pull the toys hard enough to get them off and tries to put them in her mouth.

Other things: Piper was born with the most amazing mass of dark hair, but the roots look to be coming in a lot lighter. I wouldn’t even be surprised if she ends up turning blonde like her dad.

She is so good at entertaining herself and will happily play on a blanket or her playgym for 30 minutes or more.

She finds me doing yoga really funny. I lay her on my mat and work the poses around her and she will smile and wiggle whenever I get close to her.

She loves when I sing to her and bounce her up and down. I might start taking her to a baby music class whilst Tom is at nursery, now we are a bit more settled.

She’s too young yet to have her comforter in her cot with her but loves holding it during story time.

She turned 4 months on Monday!

Schedule:  It’s normal to have a lot of changes around the four month mark and things shifted again this week with the dropping of her 4th nap. By the end of the week we were also seeing her wake up for the day a bit later, so ended on this:

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

7.50-8.00 ish – nap 1 (sometimes disturbed at 45 minutes but resettles self with thumb)

9.30 – feed and playtime

11.00 – nap 2 (wakes after 45 minutes and resettles with thumb, but often wakes another few times during second half of nap)

13.00 – feed and playtime

14.30 – nap 3 (wakes after 45 minutes and resettles with thumb, but often wakes another few times during second half of nap)

16.00-16.30 ish – feed and playtime

17.45 – nappy off play

18.20 – bath then pjs

18.40 – stories

18.50 – feed

19.05 – cuddles

19.15 – bed

Usually one night feed between 2.00 and 3.30.

Oddly, the mid-nap wakings actually bother me more now than they did before she could resettle herself, when we had to give her the dummy every time. I guess maybe I was expecting her not to keep waking so frequently once she could put herself back to sleep? Also, I’m no longer in control of her going back to sleep and it is hard to listen to the times when she is struggling a bit, even though I know we need to give her the chance to manage by herself. We never let her cry for more than 10 minutes and usually I can’t even hold out for that long, but often when I go in with the intention of giving her the dummy, I find she has actually managed to put her thumb in and is going back to sleep in the time it took me to walk down the corridor. I don’t remember whether Tom also had this same issue (he found his thumb at 18 weeks but had always woken at the 45 minute mark before that, whereas Piper has done long naps before without it). I wish I had been blogging then as it would be very useful to have notes from that time now! All I have is a note from when he first went to nursery that says he might cry out 45 minutes into a nap but will go back to sleep within 5 minutes, so maybe he did have this too? Either way, Piper is new to the whole thumb sucking thing and is also still in the fourth Wonder Week so I won’t worry about trying wake to sleep or any other techniques to change it until after this leap is over.

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