Silja's Sleep Diary: five weeks old

Written by Taru, Silja's mom

At five weeks old Silja is no longer a newborn. Being a bigger baby brings the first smiles and some interesting experiments with afternoon naps, the dummy and a swaddle blanket.
Plus a wise lesson about prioritising ...

Silja is five weeks old now. As I write this, she is completely knocked out and still sleeping in her pram, having slept through a hairdresser appointment and lunch - it's been 3 hours now and I'll wake her in a bit if she doesn't wake soon.
After the very fussy night after her immunisation last week things have got both better and worse ...

Like last week, I'm still dealing with the fact that things actually can get worse, but then on the other hand I should have remembered this was coming - both my two older kids gave me a pretty rude shock when they stopped sleeping like newborns and actually woke up.
The pain on the night after immunisation hasn't recurred, so overall Silja's been very calm and happy. We've seen the first smiles - and a huge grin whenever I try to sing to her. Yes I know I'm really, really bad at that ...

Nap to the rescue

I realised something blindingly obvious one afternoon - she was simply being cranky because she was tired and couldn't settle herself down with everything going on around her.

She's simply getting bigger and acting more like a big baby - and I'm days and weeks behind, as usual. I put her down in her pram for just a second, and when I came back, she was fast asleep.

After a good nap of an hour or so, she woke up, and was quite happy for the rest of the afternoon and evening ...

She even went to sleep at night with only a couple of repetitions of her usual feed - almost fall asleep - make a huge poo - routine.
So afternoons have improved markedly if and when I can get her settled for a little nap around 4 or 5 pm.

Late bedtimes

Evenings, on the other hand, are generally shot to hell as it seems Silja thinks she's living somewhere in the East Coast of the USA, and her body clock seems to be slipping further back each day.

She sleeps very soundly from around midnight to 5 am now, and then a few hours more, and can nap until noon if I take her out in her pram and don't wake her up.

Getting her to sleep any time before midnight is getting increasingly difficult
. For now, I'm not too worried as I trust this will sort itself out one way or another - but I'm getting quite tired as I really find it difficult to sleep in the mornings after I've got all wound up getting my big kids ready for school.

Dummy and swaddle blanket fights at five weeks old

One thing that definitely doesn't work for her is the dummy - the term 'pacifier' couldn't be further off. Silja will take one if offered, but she seems to think it's something to be fought with rather than enjoyed quietly.

Baby pacifier on table with cloth photo courtesy by gregoryjameswalsh

She just grabs it in her mouth, growls viciously and shakes her head from side to side. She can go on doing this for a good half an hour, but it certainly doesn't calm her down.

And putting a nipple in her mouth after she's had a good session of 'killing' the dummy is a very bad, painful idea.
I also had a go at swaddling her, if for no other reason than to have something to do while waiting for sleep. She was quite bewildered with the swaddle blanket and calmed down for about a minute. I think if she'd been a newborn this would have been enough of a shock to put her to sleep.

However, I'd clearly left it too late and after another minute or so she just went all red in the face, gave a furious growl, and really let me know how she felt about being bundled up so rudely.

Priorities ...

So for now, with Silja five weeks old, I'm quite tired and I've had to cut myself some slack and prioritise taking naps, eating chocolate and watching Desperate Housewives (not very proud of this but seems helpful) over joining baby swimming classes and postnatal pilates as I was originally planning to do around this time.

I do get out of the house every day for brisk walks which help, and should help balance out my other, less than healthy but very therapeutic activities.

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Silja's Sleep Diary: Six Weeks Old