Silja's Sleep Diary: four weeks old
Written by Taru, Silja's mom
Four weeks old baby Silja takes
great naps in the stroller and the baby sling.
Her mom experiences
light sleep deprivation effects and an energy drop after the rush of
the first weeks. Experimenting
with a bedtime routine gives on-and-off success so far.
Four weeks old now: Silja
is still asleep in her pram
after a long walk in the park, and
I've even managed a shower afterwards. I'm not surprised she's sleeping
now, as last night was definitely the roughest we've had by now.
beginning to dawn on me that although I've been feeling much better and
more energetic than I expected, I am tired a lot of the time and it
will be a long time before things get any different.
During the first
few weeks, every day was better than the one before, but now Silja is
four weeks old, it feels like
that honeymoon is over.
Morning walks and naps
Still, this week, at four weeks old, we've managed lots of long morning walks and she's had
long lovely naps in the pram, usually still fast asleep when we get
This can backfire – I tried to have her passport photos taken
(again, the first ones were not good enough so it was back to the
photographer's) and she just took one very suspicious look around the
strange place, shut her eyes and refused to wake up.
I tried everything
– cuddling, tickling, changing her, taking her outside – but she just
wouldn't wake up. After half an hour of this nonsense I had to leave
and try again in the afternoon. Even then, it was hard work, and I'm
still waiting to hear from the Embassy if the photos are good enough.
Afternoon wriggles ...
have been great. Afternoons remain a bit of a mixed bag,
sometimes she naps 'properly' early in the afternoon, and sometimes she
just dozes a bit.
seems to work like magic when she's at
her worst around dinnertime. Silja is now used to the sling and seems
to settle there no matter how fussy she's feeling. I can usually get
the big kids fed and bathed, although I do wish I had some
uninterrupted time with them.
Bedtime routine experiments
We've tried to introduce a bit of an evening routine now that she's four weeks old.
First physical effects of sleep deprivation
Even if you do get
reasonable sleep, like Silja's mom right now, you do have less than
(and certainly more than you'd want I assume :)). Sleep deprivation is
a standard 'bonus' that comes with a baby ...
That is does not increase your
energy levels of course.
What I always find good to realise is how our
body&mind react to a sleep debt. The first consequence of less
sleep is that you start to feel more sad, depressed feelings, and
lethargic (you don't feel like doing anything because 'what's the use',
good to know that these are natural reactions of the body. So you're
not feeling down because "all is bad" or "I'm not doing well and not
doing much" BUT because that is simply how your body reacts when it
gets less sleep.
(unreasonably optimistically) think we have a fair chance of getting
her to sleep, around 9pm perhaps, I turn the lights down in the
bedroom, change her into night clothes and give her a good feed.
put her into her baby sleeping bag and put her down in her cot. I was
thinking about swaddling her but haven't tried it yet, however the
sleeping bag has worked really well.
Since she can't kick it off she
stays warm and cosy even if I pick her up for a feed, and it's probably
easier for her to get back to her cot after a feed.
She still feeds
around 2 or 3am but then goes back to sleep very easily, and then wakes
up around 6 or 7am.
All this hasn't been much of a success in terms of getting Silja to
sleep in the evening, however.
I think she's fallen asleep like this
once this week.
If she's not settling well, I'll cuddle her and give
her a dummy. This has worked a couple of times, but on the couple of
really rough nights this week she's fussed about for a half an hour,
then done a poo, then wanted to feed again, fussed a bit more, done
another poo, and so on and so on until midnight.
What really gets me
about this is that about 3 seconds before she poos herself up to her
neck she actually looks like she's falling asleep ...
I don't know if
we're making too much of a fuss of it, maybe we should just let her
watch the evening news with her dad and then put her to sleep.
Last night was particularly hard because Silja seemed to be in pain and
cried quite a bit. Feeding seemed to help but then she was so full she
seemed about to burst, and that probably didn't feel too comfortable
In the end, she fell asleep lying on her tummy on top of me, on
my chest, around midnight. She had her four weeks old BGC immunisation
that might explain it.
I'm not sure if it was just the injection – it
didn't go very well and seemed quite painful to me, in fact it was
absolutely terrifying to look at and I was in cold sweat all over – or
the vaccine itself that upset her. There are lots more vaccinations to
come, so I hope it won't all be like this.
The good thing is we never
seem to have two rough nights in a row, so I'm hoping for a calm one