Silja's Sleep Diary: six weeks old

Written by Taru, Silja's mom

At six weeks old Silja seems ready for a reasonable bedtime.
The Baby Sling Trick helps instill that early sleep schedule.
Silja's parents debate about crying it out ...

I'm happy to report that this week - six weeks old now - Silja returned to the UK from her US time zone visit - although not straight away ...

We had a couple more exhausting evenings that dragged on until midnight or even beyond. Silja just seemed over-tired and kept fussing about.

My husband had to be away for two nights on a business trip and I thought that would be just about the final straw, but although dealing with the older children in the evening on my own was fair bit of work, Silja was actually easier to settle.

I guess there just wasn't that much fun and excitement going on in the evening when her dad was away, and she was able to get to sleep a bit earlier.

The Baby Sling Trick

(Here Taru describes how she successfully uses the Baby Sling Trick I am also a big fan of. It is perfect to help instill a baby schedule. Check the Baby Sling pages for full details.)

Then, when my husband got back, we decided we were ready to use a couple of dirty tricks - not for the long term but just to get Silja to sleep at a sensible time.

Six weeks old baby

After all, she still sleeps wonderfully once she settles down for her long nightly sleep. There would be absolutely no problem if we could all sleep until 8 am each day, but we can't - so it'd be perfect if we could just gently nudge Silja's schedule in line with the rest of the family's.
Our plan was to put Silja in the baby sling after a change and a good feed and before she'd have a chance to get too wound up - well before 10pm - and just walk around, even outdoors if necessary, and let her fall asleep in the sling.

She must have read our minds, though: that night she just went to sleep quietly after that feed, and slept for a solid 5 hours, followed by a feed and another 3 hours of sleep!

The night after that wasn't quite as successful, but we used the sling and she went to sleep right away. Now she seems readier to settle in her cot, too, before it gets ridiculously late.

We did, however, have one strange 'broken' night, when she woke every two hours and stayed awake between 2 and 4 am - I wasn't impressed, but it seems that was just a one-off and we're happily back to where I'd like us to be: very reasonable sleeping for a six weeks old baby.

To cry it out or not to cry it out ...

I'm feeling much better now: we've both have had our 6-week check-ups and  I started looking at all those baby swimming and parent-and-pram exercise brochures again - although haven't done anything about them ...

I've got to admit that things have been a bit tense with my husband over all this strategising about Silja's sleep.

We've both been really tired and not in the best frame of mind for tricky discussions and it doesn't really help that he's got a lot more tolerance to her crying than I do, and thinks that sometimes we should just let her be and have her crying it out.

I just can't bear to listen to her crying, and more importantly, I just don't think letting her crying it out works - it just winds her up even more.

I'd just like to help her relax at the end of the day so she can get to sleep without fuss. I'm not terribly proud of the fact that we still keep going on about this with our third baby.

For now, I think we have an agreement but it definitely helps that Silja has cooperated so well - we might still be arguing about this if we hadn't had a couple of restful nights ...

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Silja's Sleep Diary: Seven Weeks Old