Silja's Sleep Diary: two weeks old
Written by Taru, Silja's mom
At two weeks old Silja spends
her days feeding and sleeping ... like a newborn 'should'. On the
lookout for an early newborn sleep schedule, her mom also tries out the
baby sling, bathing at night and a dummy. She even gets a few long
Silja is two weeks old today and
dozes on the sofa next to me while I
She's not quite awake and not quite asleep, and this seems
to be the way she prefers to spend her days: after all the novelty and
excitement of last week, this week it's been pretty much all about
eating, sleeping and pooing.
She doesn't have much of a schedule for daytime
naps but seems to crash
out whenever I put her in her pram, or if she's tired she'll just fall
asleep wherever she happens to be.
If I'm lucky, she'll sleep in the
morning between 7 and 8 am when I'm getting my 'big' kids ready for
school – although today she didn't, and somehow we still just about
managed to be ready for the school bus on time.
Mornings and early
afternoons seem to go well, either she's napping, feeding or happily
socialising with me. Late afternoons are tougher and she can be quite
cranky and just want to feed all the time – I don't know why babies do
this but my older kids were the exact same, too.
Obviously this time of
the day is exactly when the big kids are home and I'd like to spend
some time with them, while dinner needs to be cooked and husband is not
I've been trying out a baby sling and after a couple of unsuccessful
attempts Silja is starting to enjoy being carried in it. I'm hoping
this will get us through cranky afternoons as I think they might well
get worse as she gets a bit bigger.
Once the big kids are in bed after
8pm, quite contrary to what we'd like to happen, Silja really perks up
and is all set to enjoy our undivided attention. We've been bathing her
every other day and although this is supposed to calm her down, it's
certainly not working for us.
Does a bath help baby sleep?
A bath is often
help baby calm down. However, this is usually not true,
especially not for a newborn.
The thing is that a bath
can be pretty disturbing for such a small baby rather than
Maybe being in the water feels nice, but that doesn't take long, and
then they have to go through the whole undressing and getting dressed
thing and by that time ... no more relaxed baby.
Also the idea that a baby, or child, or adult, will have a better night after a bath is a
The relation between bath and sleeping is 'scientifically' not more
than this: after a hot bath, the body temperature drops (from hot bath
to out-of-the-bath). A dropping temperature is exactly what naturally
happens with a falling-a-sleep body.
So, if you go straight from bath to bed and have no disturbing
activities inbetween, yes you
can fall asleep rather easily, but the relation stops
there. It will not make the night longer.
And going to bed 30 or more minutes after the bath, there will be less
and less effect, if any.
By this time I'm ready for bed myself,
and I'm just glad my husband is usually around and happy to spend an
hour or two with her.
I wasn't too keen on introducing a dummy to her yet as I'd just like to
get breastfeeding properly established first.
However, my husband
wanted to get one so he could help to settle her, so he's been trying
it out with her. The first time earlier this week was a spectacular
failure – she spat the dummy out again and again, and apparently found
the activity so stimulating that she wouldn't go to sleep for two hours
Since then, there have been some moderate successes, and a
spectacular triumph last night: my husband put Silja down in her cot
wide awake with her dummy, and while I was dozing in my bed next to
her, ready to feed her yet again if necessary, she just closed her
eyes, quietly spat out the dummy, and fell asleep. I couldn't believe
it and had to check she was breathing.
Quite surprisingly, Silja actually seems to be getting into some sort
of a routine at night.
I didn't expect anything like that quite yet,
and although this is probably great as I can get a fair amount of
sleep, it also really freaks me out as I'm now starting to worry if
she's getting enough to eat.
She feeds around 10 or 11 pm, then sleeps
until around 2 am, and then until 5 or 6 am. There are all sorts of
variations of this theme – earlier in the week she fed at 1.30 am, then
did a huge poo. Having sorted that out, I tried to settle her in her
cot, only to realise that she'd now peed all over herself and needed to
have all her clothes changed.
After all that fun and excitement she was
ready to feed again, followed by yet another poo. It was well after 3
am when she finally fell asleep.
We had a couple more nights like this,
then a few nights with very straightforward 2 am feeds, and now for the
last two nights she's just skipped the 2 am feed and slept right
until 5 am or later.
I'm not really complaining, but the problem with
that is I keep waking up in panic and checking if she's breathing, and
by 3 am my breasts feel like they're going to explode.
So it's not
perfect, but could definitely be much worse at two weeks old. I'm
seeing the midwife
again on Monday, and if Silja has gained weight properly, I'll probably
be able to stop worrying – until something else comes along.