Silja's Sleep Diary: three weeks old

Written by Taru, Silja's mom

Last week's sleeping through the night did not last but at three weeks old Silja's night awakenings are reasonable.
Her mom learns about the caffeine effects on baby sleeping problems when breast feeding ...

Silja is three weeks old already and this weekend our entire families came over for Silja's christening. It's been very odd having a baby here in London while all our family is back in Finland, so we really enjoyed seeing everyone.

We tried to make everything as informal and minimum fuss for us - everyone stayed in a nearby hotel, and the ceremony was performed at home by my husband's cousin.

He's a priest and can always be relied on to turn up when needed, and to say the right things in potentially explosive family situations.

Silja was totally calm all day, being passed from one adoring relative to another and barely waking up for feeds. She even forgot about her usual afternoon fuss – but by the time the guests had left and our big kids were in bed, she had her vengeance and kept us up until midnight...
Christening baby at three weeks old
I'm not sure if she'd just sort of shut down during the day because of all the activity and strange people, and then needed to be awake before she could settle for the night.

I also suspected it might have been the rather strong coffee I'd been drinking that afternoon. Silja certainly didn't seem happy or particularly sociable during those late evening hours.

Cappuccino full of cafeine can disturb baby's sleep photo courtesy by yoppy

While I was feeding her for the third time between 10 and 11 pm, I remembered one particularly cranky afternoon earlier on in the week when I'd enjoyed a large cappuccino in the morning ...

Whatever was bothering her was all over the next day and she was perfectly happy and active during the day and asleep by 10 pm.

Since then, and now at three weeks old, she's been back in the same 'sleep, eat, poo' lifestyle as previously, although she's getting a bit bigger now and can stay up a bit more and socialise a bit before the next sleep, eat or poo.

Caffeine effects when breast feeding

Taru most probably lively experiences the effects of caffeine on baby's sleep

Caffeine is a well known stimulant: very strong, acting quickly and lasting for up to six hours.

When you breastfeed, your baby gets her portion of this caffeine. And of course this may make her more active and less sleepy than she would normally.

Breastfeeding moms have reported tremendously improved sleep after they started drinking less or no coffee.

So it's worth a try: drink less or no coffee for a week or so and see how it affects your baby's sleeping.

Remember that also chocolate and tea contain caffeine so the same holds for these goodies. There's quite a bit of caffeine in most green and white teas and many blends so always check to be sure. Natural herb tea should usually be fine.

Going back to sleep at night might be getting more difficult, too  – last night she was wide awake after her nightly feed and it took a good long while and a bit more feeding to settle her back to sleep again.

Still, it's not too bad since I seem to be able to fall asleep myself at two seconds' notice after a feed, and feel like I've had a long and restful sleep although it's only been a few hours. Must be those breastfeeding hormones.

Of course, sleeping through the night like I mentioned last week didn't last – as soon as I started worrying about it, Silja changed her mind and went back to falling asleep around 10 or 11pm, then feeding once in the early morning hours and getting up around 6 or 7 am.

She seems to like a longer nap in the morning now that she's three weeks old and if the weather is good I try to get out for a walk at that time. Silja absolutely hates getting dressed to go out and getting into the pram, but by the time we actually get out of the door she will have calmed down.

She usually has a long and restful sleep while I get some fresh air and gentle exercise - or just a chance to sit in a café like a grown-up. However, I'm ordering peppermint tea from now on ...

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Silja's Sleep Diary: Four Weeks Old