Piper turned 20 weeks on Thursday 12th October, making 12th October to 18th October her 21st week of life. Here’s what was going on for her this week.
What we did: Piper had caught a cold at the end of last week and was very miserable with it at the start of this week, so I cancelled our planned trip to my parents’ house over the weekend. We were supposed to be attending my grandpa’s 93rd birthday and the last thing I wanted was to infect my grandparents or my cousins’ kids with our germs.
On Tuesday we went out at lunchtime to look at a primary school for Tom. Piper rode in the sling and had a good look at everything.
Wednesday we had friends round for lunch, so Piper got lots of attention and entertained them with her hiccuping.
Feeding: pumping is going better since I have upped my water intake and restarted drinking the tea. But Piper was wanting night feeds again some nights this week. I wasn’t sure if this was genuine hunger or comfort since nights were generally quite disturbed.
Since her schedule change, her 16.30 bottle feed is now only 2.5 hours after her 14.00 feed due to the catnap. Although she was still drinking plenty at 16.30, I began to wonder if she might be taking less earlier in the day because she had gotten used to having a big feed then. We started trying to push that bottle feed closer to 18.00, but because we had some days of interrupted naps, actually only managed to get it to 17.20 and 17.15 the two days we tried it. She didn’t have a night feed either night though so at least this seemed to be helping her get through the night. She also drank 9 ounces both days and looked like she could even have had more.
Sleeping: the first half of this week the cold was playing havoc with her sleep patterns. On Thursday she was super tired and not even managing an hour awake, but then struggled to take long naps as well. She also had a terrible night – we saw every hour from 1.00 onwards.
By Friday she was feeling better and by Saturday was back to napping normally. However, she was still waking several times at night, but only sometimes seeming to be hungry. Some of these wake ups seemed to be because she was managing to get her left arm out of its makeshift swaddle – I began to recognise the noise she made when this happened because it was a very specific high pitched whine. She also began to break out during nap times. Since she seemed pretty frustrated at having her arm inaccessible and was working so hard to get to it, I decided it was time to be done with swaddling altogether and braced myself for some rough naps and nights.
Well…I was wrong. She was definitely ready and the transition was surprisingly smooth. She did struggle the first time she had her arm free (I released it mid-nap which was not a great plan) but managed to get back to sleep after some sush patting from me. She had also tugged her blanket free and was rubbing it against her face to help comfort herself. I checked the blanket VERY thoroughly for breathability and satisfied myself that it really would be impossible for her to suffocate with it, then decided to allow her to have it. I also kept checking on her regularly – mainly to reassure myself that she was safe with it. The next nap was brilliant and she slept for 2 hours straight. She also settled pretty well at night, though she still woke at 3 and struggled to go back down, so I ended up feeding her. She woke again briefly 90 minutes later but put herself back down after a bit of cooing.
Naps were pretty good the next day too, although we had to get her up early from her lunchtime one to visit a local primary. I had hoped she might take a longer third nap to compensate but she didn’t, so was awake from 14.45 until a slightly early bedtime of 18.50. That night she slept through until I woke her at 6.30.
Frequent night wakings in the second half of the night that aren’t hunger related can be a sign that a baby needs less daytime sleep, so I began to wonder if Piper needed to drop the third nap. It is very early to do this – Tom had it up until 7 months and 6 months is average. Piper is not yet quite 5 months. She has always needed a longer awake time at the end of the day though and, since we are already down to only 30 mins for the catnap, my only real options were to drop it and move bedtime slightly earlier, or shorten her first nap so the catnap occurs earlier in the day.
The next day we had friends coming for lunch and I needed to spend the morning cooking. I was hoping Piper might manage 2 hours for her first nap and a slightly longer awake time after so we could drop the catnap. But I forgot to give her the blanket when I put her down and she woke after just 40 minutes very upset. After half an hour of trying to resettle her, we got her up at 9.30. As a result she kept the catnap but it worked out being an hour earlier, so she was up from 15.30. We kept feeds to their usual time. That night she came really close to sleeping through again – woke briefly at 5.10 but went back to sleep until I woke her at 6.00 (we start early on nursery days so her naps fit around me dropping Tom off). It seemed like less day sleep was definitely the answer but we needed to work out a schedule that would work around Tom and give her enough day sleep to be happy, but not so much sleep she couldn’t make it through the night.
Working on: Laughing! She developed such a sense of humour this week and started giggling away at all sorts of things, including having her tummy tickled, ghost noises, and everything Tom does.
She got so, so close to rolling onto her tummy. Just needed to move her head over and she would have made it.
Other things: She is suddenly in love with Tom. They’ve been playing together lots and she thinks everything he does is hilarious.
She has started making this horrific screeching noise when she is frustrated with her toys. It’s an awful sound but doesn’t seem to mean she is upset.
She is also sucking on her tongue lots and smacking her lips.
We put together her high chair so it will be ready when she starts weaning in about a month’s time. She sat surprisingly well in it but is definitely still too lurchy to be safe eating. A few weeks more muscle development needed yet!
Schedule: all over the shop this week! Hoping for more stability next week.