|at a family reunion|
As I said last week, McKenna is pretty much a 10 minute per side nurser now. She even had a few times that I tried to get her to nurse longer that she gave me a mad squawk. She is starting to be more proactive about ending the nursing session herself.
McKenna's waketime stayed the same. Optimal was about 50 minutes, with her first waketime being about 60 minutes and the waketime after her 1 PM feeding being a little shorter. She really doesn't display any consistent nap cues, so that is a challenge for me, but not something I can't overcome. Kaitlyn was the same way. An easier thing with Kaitlyn, however, is that she had the same waketime length all day long. McKenna seems to need different waketimes at different times of day. Without nap cues, it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what she needs. I have the first two down perfectly, but after that it is still a guessing game so to what is perfect right now. The "funny" thing is that I am also aware that waketimes can change with age. So I can spend the week figuring out perfect waketime lengths, only to have them change a few days later. This is life with a baby!
As for waketime activities, I often have McKenna do the same activity for several waketime periods. Right now, she is very interested in her gym. She is starting to try to bat the toys. When you remember the learning process for children (and the theory applies to everyone, on up through adults), they learn by building on what they know. It helps them to really know something before you try to add to it. She wants to focus and practice on her gym right now; that is interesting enough for her.
A couple of different activities a day is plenty for a newborn. Everything is new to them, so they automatically receive a lot of stimulation. There are people to listen to, smells to discover, and faces to look at. Their senses are constantly bombarded with things that they are trying to assign meaning to. By giving them the same activity over and over, they can really learn it and also avoid overstimulation by having too much in a day.
I also wanted to mention that I do short "independent playtime" sessions with McKenna. With a newborn, you don't have to be far away for independent play. I can put her at her gym and sit back a couple of feet from her and give her independent play. They can't see far, and they don't really look for you yet unless they hear you. I like to sit and watch her play. You could also sit and read a book while your baby played. Sometimes I will go into Brayden or Kaitlyn's room and put clothes away or organize or something, but I am in ear shot and can be in her room in a second. Her independent play lengths are not long at this point. When you consider the child is awake for 50 minutes at a time, 5-10 minutes is a really long time.
You want your newborn to be able to sit contently without someone entertaining her. When Brayden was a baby, I really thought I needed to sit and entertain him while he was awake. I thought he needed to be able to look at my face, interact with me, listen to me, etc. for every minute he was awake. It isn't the case. McKenna and I definitely have our time smiling at each other and talking to each other, but I also give her time to play on her own without being entertained by me or another family member.
Naps were good for the most part. Every nap was not the picture of perfection. I think it is definitely normal to have naps be disrupted for one reason or another. But we did have several days of perfect naps. This is when I confirmed my theory that McKenna sleeps better with a perfect temperature in her room. Naps were perfect from birth up until the weather got hotter. Then mornings were perfect, with afternoons often having short naps. This last week, we were in the upper half of the country experiencing colder temperatures and rainy weather. She slept really well all day!
Then comes the problem. Cooler days also means a lot cooler nights for us. This meant McKenna started waking in the night again. As I said last week, I didn't expect her to sleep through the night every night consistently. I just had the feeling that wasn't how she was going to be. But she started waking up in the 3 AM hour, which was unexpected. I thought she would make it at least to the 4 AM hour every night, if not the 5 AM. She was cold. There was just a chill in the air that comes with cooler days followed by cooler nights. McKenna definitely prefers to be a little warm over a little cold.
For a few days, I wasn't positive it was the cold. She was still getting over her cold and I thought that could be disrupting her. I also thought it was possible she could be having a growth spurt and was waking in the night again rather than eating more often in the day. But I also suspected cold. We then had a warm day where she slept through the night again, followed by a cold day where she woke earlier in the night.
Fortunately, it is summer, so we shouldn't have cold at night problems much longer. Unfortunately, when there are cold nights, there isn't much more I can do. I put her in warmer pajamas and swaddle her in a warmer swaddling blanket. I even put a space heater in the room. There is still a chill in the air. It is just something to deal with for now.
This week, I started putting McKenna in a bigger diaper at night. I put her in a diaper one size bigger than she wears in the day. See Diapers: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/tips-and-tricks-diapers.html
Summer activities are here and in full force. We have all but four Saturdays planned for us through various family events. This makes for a lot of disruptions. McKenna sleeps relatively well in the carseat. We also can get her to fall asleep in her sling and take a nap. Because of this, we are at least able to get her to take nearly a full nap. I am sure the quality of the nap is not the same as it would be in her bed, but it is better than no nap at all.
Our feeding schedule was pretty much the exact same every day this week. That is one bonus to her waking in the night; I start our day instead of her starting it. You have to look at the bright side, right?
10 or 10:30 AM--eat (I always get her by 10:30)
10:50 or 11:20 AM--nap
1 or 1:30 PM--eat (I always get her by 1:30)
1:50 or 2:20 PM--nap
6:45 PM--put in swing (due to witching hour)--sometimes she sleeps, sometimes not
8:00 PM--eat (essentially a dreamfeed--no waketime)
8:30 PM--in bed
- The Wonder Weeks. Eight predictable, age-linked leaps in your baby's mental development characterized by the three C's (Crying, Cranky, Clingy), a change ... and the development of new skills (and a link to their site: http://livingcontrolsystems.com/)
- On Becoming Baby Wise
- The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood
- Super Baby Food
- What to Expect the First Year
- newborns (blog label)
- newborn summary (blog label)
- optimal waketime (blog label)
- Diapers: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/tips-and-tricks-diapers.html
- Factors that Influence Learning
- The Learning Process (Toddlerwise)
- Baby Whisperer: Learning Triangle
- Benefits of Independent Play
- Independent Playtime Lengths
- Independent Playtime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/independent-playtime.html
- Word to the Weary: Independent Play: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/word-to-weary-independent-play.html
- disruptions (blog label)
- Baby Whisperer: Sleep Cues