Silja's Sleep Diary: nine to eleven weeks old<
Written by Taru, Silja's mom
Flying over to Finland for the
Holidays from nine to eleven weeks old, Silja takes her first flight.
The jet lag, and maybe the sauna, actually help her adjust to an
earlier bedtime ...
Learning to roll over gives a one-night sleep disturbance.
Silja is eleven weeks old now and we have celebrated our first
Christmas and New Year holidays with her.
We were really not too keen to fly with Silja, but we really wanted to
go home to Finland for Christmas so we decided to do it anyway.
I was mainly worried about the
as Finland is two time
zones East from London, and that means two hours earlier, a completely
wrong direction with a baby that has been going to sleep a bit later in
the evening than we would like ... talking about an annoying jet lag.
The rest of the family would probably adjust to the time difference
quite quickly and start getting up earlier, but if Silja would not
adjust I'd be up with her until very late, and then up with the big
kids very early - and completely wrecked in a few days ...
Silja's first flight
The 5am start to catch our flight seemed like another problem but was
probably the best possible solution to our bedtime worries. Silja was
wide awake and perfectly happy in the taxi to the airport, and having
pooped through every item of clothing she was wearing while the plane
took off, she then slept through most of the flight!
Actually small babies
travel really well
, they just sleep and eat, which is
perfectly doable even with the seat belts on ...
And although the pooing can be a bit of a challenge, changing is no
problem in airplane toilets, they have good solid changing tables and a
stewardess even gave me an extra blanket to change her on, and told me
not to worry about ruining it - 'life happens', she said.
Still, not my favourite way to spend the day ...
Welcome to Finland
But soon we were comfortably settled at our house in Helsinki. There
was a light dusting of snow on the ground and it was already getting
dark at three pm. My parents had filled the fridge and my husband lit a
fire in the fireplace, then set off with the big kids to find a
We didn't actually have anywhere for Silja to sleep at our house, but
then completely out of the blue, two days before we were due to arrive,
a friend sent an e-mail to tell us that she'd brought in a baby cot and
set it up in our bedroom with clean sheets and everything.
She'd apparently read my mind as we found it exactly as I would have
wished, as a 'sidecar' on my side of the bed. And she'd cleaned up and
left a homemade gingerbread house and flowers. I nearly cried.
Nine to eleven weeks old baby sleeping ...!
Silja visited the sauna
for the first time that evening - for about ten seconds, I really
wouldn't recommend any longer than that for babies - and then fell
asleep at 9pm Finnish time.
That's 7pm in London!
We all had an early night, and the next morning we were perfectly
adjusted to the Finnish time zone. Silja
continued to fall asleep at around 10 pm for the rest of our time there
waking up around 2am for a feed (actually, sometimes she doesn't even
seem to be fully awake, she's just making enough noise for me to wake
and feed her while she's half asleep throughout), then waking up
between 4 and 6am, and sleeping until 8am if I'm sleeping that late
I've been a bit disappointed that, eleven weeks old now, she's
still not sleeping for longer stretches of time
, and her daytime naps
been really short and erratic, too. She might sleep quite well in the
morning but usually not at all, or for a half an hour only, in the
Still, I've been so
pleased with her earlier bedtime
that I'm not really
complaining. Well, maybe a bit, since if I want a longer stretch of
sleep myself, I need to go to bed when she does.
And to be honest I'd
really like a bit of adult time in the evenings once all the kids are
asleep. But I guess we'll get there ...
We had one crazy, broken
just before Silja learned to turn to her side the
following day - something
major must have been going on in her little brain
seems to be quite normal that a big developmental step (baby milestone)
disturbs sleep somehow.
After that, returning to London has been an absolute pleasure
sleep-wise and her bedtime is nearer to 9pm now.
Now Silja has definitely finished playing with her best Christmas
present, a baby gym. Better feed her and see if I could interest her in
a little nap ...