Silja's Sleep Diary: nine months old

Written by Taru, Silja's mom

Silja is nine months old now and settling in a new environment with her family after the move. Add to that teething and new motor skills in full development and you get ... the worst nights ever.

Silja is nine months old today, a big baby milestone in my view, as she's now existed as a separate person for longer than I carried her inside me.

She's now napping on the big bed near me while I write this on my little desk in our new bedroom.

She fell asleep when I was nursing her and I should really move her into her cot that's just next to our bed, but I don't want to risk waking her now. It's been almost four weeks since we moved from London to Switzerland and we need all the peace and quiet we can get.

Chaotic schedules and teething

On one hand, it's amazing to be here. Instead of a cramped flat in London we now have a large house and a garden, the train to central Z├╝rich takes 9 minutes and in just an hour we can be up in the incredible Swiss Alps. On the other, moving is always a bit of anTen months old baby unpacking removal boxes upheaval, and we're all missing our old friends and the things we used to do in London.

Figuring out just how to shop for groceries (or how to put out rubbish!) has been a small battle - but I like to think we're winning. 

We don't have our normal routines to structure the day, but lots of things that just need to be done, regardless of how the baby feels about it, so Silja's sleep schedule has become really erratic. And while all this has been going on, she's got two new teeth now at nine months old and has learned to crawl properly, as well as to stand up.

Silja's days and nights

On average our cute nine months old is up at around 8am, then wants to rest and breastfeed a bit around 10am. She won't take a proper nap at this time unless we're traveling somewhere in the car - or possibly on the excellent Swiss trains.

After and early lunch at around noon she's ready for a good nap, up to 2 and a half hours if we're lucky. She may also doze off for a bit late in the afternoon, but mostly it's just one nap a day. She seems tired in the evenings by 8pm, but with so much going on, she's often struggling to fall asleep. And with so much going on, unfortunately I haven't had much energy to deal with it.

 One thing I've been trying to do, though, is to teach her to fall asleep in her cot, as it seems I always have tons to do still downstairs after her bedtime, and it's no longer safe to leave her anywhere else. I still breastfeed her before I put her to bed, and usually she's more than half asleep once she's nursed. If I try to lift her to her cot she normally wakes up again.

After three rounds of this last week I just put her to her cot to see what would happen. She wasn't too impressed and cried a couple of times. I didn't leave her, but picked her up and calmed her, however I didn't nurse her any more and didn't take her back to the big bed.

This took a good long while, but eventually she fell asleep calmly, apparently hypnotised by the soft lobster toy I was gently swinging above her (desperate times call for desperate measures). Since then, she's gradually become much happier about staying in her cot. She might wrestle with the lobster a bit, and last night she couldn't get enough of standing up against the cot bars - even when she was in her sleeping bag. I left her twice, thinking she was fast asleep, only to find her awake, standing up and gurgling excitedly, a few minutes later.
 
I thought that falling asleep in her cot would make her less likely to wake up at night, but unfortunately this hasn't (at least not yet) worked at all. I feel her nights are the worst they've ever been and she can be up at least four times, however I don't really notice or wake up properly when I get her to and from her cot to nurse.

Nine monhts old baby playingIt's not too bad as I don't need to be up early in the morning, however we'd all sleep better without a baby traveling all over the bedroom all night.

The new home, the new teeth and especially learning all the new motor skills must be quite a lot to digest and I am not surprised her sleeping is disturbed, however I feel she's getting quite old enough to sleep for longer stretches.

I hope she'll eventually figure this out for herself. She's already been so close of sleeping through on several occasions and it's quite disappointing still not to be anywhere near there.
 
On the other hand, we've got lots of other things to think of now and can't worry too much about sleep. We've planned an afternoon of exploring our new hometown, and now Silja is awake and ready to go, gurgling at her older siblings who have come to the rescue of their nine months old baby sister as I finish this. Better be quick.


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Silja's Sleep Diary: Ten Months Old