Piper – 18 weeks

Piper turned 18 weeks on Thursday 28th September, making 28th September to 4th October her 19th week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.

What we did: a very quiet week this week for Piper, who was mostly at home other than nursery runs.

Feeding: Piper has been finishing 6 ounce bottles for a couple of weeks now. It takes me two pumping sessions to get that much but I was concerned she wasn’t getting quite enough. We plan to gradually get her drinking a bottle of formula a day anyway ready for when I go back to work in January, so on Saturday I started by mixing one ounce of formula with the 6 ounces of breastmilk. She drank the full 7 ounces, so the next day I put two ounces of formula in to make an 8 ounce bottle. She drank 7 ounces again so we will stick there for a little while.

I also want to increase the amount I pump, so I’ve started taking a few supplements to increase my supply. I’m making smoothies that include brewers yeast, flaxseed, and oat milk and drinking a couple of glasses a day. I’m also mixing a couple of teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in with a cup of Pukka motherkind baby tea once a day and have upped my water intake. This started working straight away – the first evening I was able to pump 3.5 ounces instead of 2 and the second evening I got 4. I was also able to pump almost 6 ounces when I pumped to replace the feeds instead of the 3-4 I was getting. Between these two things I’m hoping to be able to give her an 8 ounce bottle every day and also be able to start building a freezer stash.

Sleeping: Naps went great on both Thursday and Friday. I did hear her occasionally at the 45 minute mark but she was putting herself back down straight away and I even had to wake her for some feeds.

Thursday night was less good. She woke at 1.30 and was struggling to put herself back down (though moaning rather than crying). I was just about to get her up to feed when she went quiet sucking her thumb. Then she woke again at 3.30 for a feed and again moaning at 5.30. Friday was much better with just a feed at 4.45.

Since it had been a week since we started leaving one arm out and she seemed to have adapted, I tried leaving both arms out on Saturday. It took her slightly longer to go to sleep for the first nap and she then struggled at the transition point – I was just about to go in with the dummy when she managed to fall asleep again by herself and slept another 20 minutes. She then wanted to go down a bit early for her next nap and was asleep almost before I left the room! That nap was pretty awful – she was waking every 15 to 20 minutes and taking a while to go back to sleep. I ended up getting her up a bit early and decided to go back to just one hand out for the next nap. Much as I would love to be done with the swaddle, it made no sense to be rushing this transition since she wasn’t yet rolling. She slept better for that nap though she did still wake a couple of times and then put herself straight back down.

Saturday night she came close to sleeping through, not waking until 5.15 and then just chatting and sucking her thumb for about 20 minutes before going back to sleep until my alarm woke her at 6.00. Sunday she seemed tired and even fell asleep on her playgym whilst john was looking after her (I had taken Tom to the park). She napped really well but just seemed especially sleepy for some reason and was wanting to go down early for every nap.

Naps were good Monday and most of Tuesday but then she struggled to get to sleep again after the transition point for her last nap on Tuesday. She went from chatting for about 20 minutes to crying so I went to try to help. After another 20 minutes she was still awake and crying so I went to make her bottle but in the 5 mins I was gone she fell back asleep. Wednesday morning she again struggled at the transition mark and just wasn’t going back to sleep. I began to wonder if she needed longer awake times. I got her up early from that nap but then pushed her to stay up a bit longer for the next nap and it was much better. Looks like another schedule change is on the horizon!

I noticed that the nights she had slept through or nearly so were when she had her bottle at 16.30 so I tried giving it to her for that feed on Tuesday and she slept through until 6.20, then did the same on Wednesday. Jackpot! It’s a bit sad because John is rarely home at that time of day so will miss giving her the bottle but it is worth it if it helps her to sleep through.

Working on: she is getting so close to rolling, especially in nappy off time. She gets almost all the way over but can’t yet work out how to tip herself over her bottom arm.

Other things: Got the first full belly laugh from her on Friday. I had her sat on my tummy as I was lying on the floor and kept lifting my head and shoulders up to grin at her. She found it hilarious.

Piper has started making that raspberry noise, especially when trying to roll over.

She is so attached to her thumb now she has found it. It’s almost always in her mouth. I often have to remove it before I can feed her.

Schedule: same as last week but sleeping through some nights. Changes to come though with lengthening awake times.

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