Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Newborn Summary: Week 11

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at a family reunion
This is a summary for McKenna age 10-11 weeks, or the eleventh week. The week we had some interesting disruptions to sleep. It appears that McKenna is very sensitive to the temperature in her room when she is sleeping. This poses an interesting challenge for us.

NURSING
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.

WAKETIME
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.

INDEPENDENT PLAY
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
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!

NIGHTTIME SLEEP
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.

DIAPERS
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

OUTINGS/EVENTS
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 SCHEDULE
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?

7:30 AM--eat
8:30 AM--nap
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
4:00 PM--eat
4:50 PM--nap
6:00 PM--eat
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
10:00 PM--Dreamfeed

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18 comments:

Bob said...

Hi. I was just wondering what makes you think her waketimes change throughout the day? Does she take a shorter nap? Cry when going down? Take a long time to go to sleep?

Melissa said...

I have a 10 week old daughter, my first child. The babywise method is going very well. She slept through the night a few times starting at week 8 and now has slept through the night three days in a row. So I am hoping the trend continues and she is finished with waking up to feed at night. The difficulty we have been experiencing is her napping schedule when we are not at home. At home it is like clockwork and she goes to sleep now almost as soon as I lay her down (without any fussing). However, when we are at the grandparent's house, or anyone else's for that matter, she will wake up a few minutes after you lay her down. Even if I lay her down when she is asleep. I let her cry, which she does for about 15-20 minutes. She will usually fall back to sleep only to wake up again after a few minutes. This on and off crying goes on for over an hour. By then she gets so worked out and upset that I just call it quits and pick her up. Naps just don't seem to work well when she is not at home and I am guessing it is because she is not familar with her surroundings. I tried laying her down on her blanket, thinking the familiar smell would help, but it hasn't. Any suggestions? Have you ran into this problem at all?

RunLikeMama said...

Hi there--
Our naps are not going great. Baby is 8 weeks old and only napping for 45 minutes, sometimes 1.5 hours. When we swaddled her in the early-ish weeks, she slept great! But then she started breaking out of it (receiving blankets) and would wake up. So we removed it altogether this past weekend. She goes down without too much problem without it, but won't stay asleep much past 45 minutes. Should I continue to swaddle her? I'm hesitant to return, since we've weaned her from it...? Our 3 yr old is a BW baby and we never swaddled her...but I don't think I found BW till she was 3 mos old either. Next question...when you get McKenna from her naps, does this mean she'd sleep longer if you let her, or does she stay up there, even if she's awake, until you get her? Can you tell these sleep issues are CONSUMING my life?

Thanks! Maureen

Jeannie Herrmann said...

I just wanted to comment on your statement regarding McKenna's waketimes: "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!"

My 7.5 month old has had the same waketime lengths for about 4 weeks now. This is the longest we've had the same waketime lengths since we began Babwise at 16 weeks! So, I'm expecting it to change again soon. I think it's amazing that some babies seem to keep consistent waketimes for months at a time. That has not been the case for my baby at all yet!

Rachel said...

Hi! First, I want to say that I LOVE this blog. My son is almost 12 weeks old and we just recently started following BW. I also have a 2 year old daughter. I had a question about the dream feed. We did this with my daughter around 10:00pm every night as well and it worked much better. She would stay swaddled and drink her bottle. I breastfeed, but have my husband do the dream feed with a bottle. My son will not do the dream feed! He gags, etc.. and seems to not want it. I am wondering if we should totally wake him up? His bed time is between 7:00-8:00pm (just now starting to get consistency using the BW method). Any tips for making the dream feed a success would be greatly appreciated!

Charisse said...

Hi, My son is 10 weeks today. He has started sleeping through the night this past week, but only every couple of days. Our naps at home are good, but when we go to our relative's place, he does not nap well at all. I think this might be due to being in unfamiliar surroundings etc and I'm not too concerned by it.

I was just after your opinion on our schedule - I am not sure if it is optimal for STTN consistently. It is: 7am eat; 8am nap; 10.30am eat; 11.30 nap; 2pm eat; 5.30pm eat; 6.15pm nap - though he usually does not nap as this time has become his witching hour; 8pm eat; 8.45pm sleep (though getting him to sleep lately has been taking up to an hour to do); 10.45pm dream feed.

Any feedback on our schedule would be greatly appreciated! :)

Plowmanators said...

Bob,

It was a combo of taking a longer time to go to sleep and also the nap not being as long. I also just really had a feeling.

Plowmanators said...

Melissa, I haven't ever had this problem, but it isn't uncommon. I have a post that suggests you vary sleep locations every so often so baby can get used to sleeping in places other than her specific room in her specific bed.

It also could be that things are too stimulating for her when you are out. In that case, she would need a shorter waketime possibly--which I know can be hard when you are with grandparents. You might be keeping her up longer than usual because of the grandparents.

As she gets older, she will be able to handle disruptions better so long as she is well-rested on a consistent basis.

Plowmanators said...

RunLikeMama, I wouldn't realy consider her to be weaned from it if she doesn't sleep well without it.

3-4 months old is the most common age for stopping swaddling. We didn't swaddle Brayden, either, but that doesn't mean his sisters didn't/don't need it.

Also consider that 8 weeks is the age for the 45 minute intruder. Be sure it isn't a growth spurt.

I get McKenna up when she wakes up or it is time to wake up. At that young of an age, I don't just leave the baby in the bed until it is "time." There are a lot of reasons I have for it. I think I will do a post on it.

Plowmanators said...

Jeannie, it is always changing! It seems like around 6-7 months, things stay consistent for longer periods of time. Then around a year, they don't change much or often...which is good because you really have to focus on discipline! lol

Plowmanators said...

Rachel,

Is your son used to drinking from the bottle? If not, get him used to it in the day.

The dreamfeed success really varies from child to child. Some need to be woken for it. Some need to stay asleep for it. Some sleep just as well without it--and some better without it! You have to experiment.

Also, I think it is awesome that your husband does the DF, but if the bottle isn't working out, consider trying it breastfeeding.

Plowmanators said...

Charisse,

He might do better with a shorter schedule right now--taken to 3 hours. You could have some intervals be at 3.5 hours, but most children need to be in bed for the night by 8 PM. Sleep begets sleep.

Jenny Jo said...

Hi there - I have a 10 week old daughter who just had a healthy two month check up! Right now, I do seven feedings - with six of them spaced 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours during the day and one middle of the nite feeding. She's usually asleep by 8:00 p.m. and has made it to 5:00 before. But lately, she has been waking up at 1:50, 2:00 or 2:30 - the past four nites! Do you think she is just getting 'stuck' on this hour and we should just soothe her through it? I'm not too concerned about her going nine hours already because she is already over 13 lbs! Also, she is our second BW baby and our son slept 12 hours at 12 weeks (also a pretty chubby baby) so maybe my expectations are too much?

Thanks,
jen

Plowmanators said...

Jenny, be careful about comparing babies to each other. They will do things on their own time table.

It isn't habit unless it is pretty much the same time to the minute, so I wouldn't mess with it otherwise. If you think it is habit, you can try rocking her or giving her a pacifier. If she falls asleep and sleeps just as well afterward, then you can guess she doesn't need the feeding. If she falls asleep and wakes an hour or two later, you can guess she is really hungry. If she falls asleep and still wakes before morning waketime, you can guess she needs food in the night still. If she won't fall asleep, you can guess she needs food :)

Kurt n Sarah said...

our 10.5 week old baby boy still doesn't sttn. we began BW from day 3, then picked up Baby Whisperer at wk 5 (our baby is "spirited"). at 9 weeks we discovered his eczema; he is now much happier & active during his awake periods - it's wonderful to see him smile!! now he is inconsistent w/ naps & isn't nursing as long. he wakes well before it's time to nurse again, eats a little, is active again then is ready to nap. while nursing he gets distracted & wants to coo & smile at me instead of nurse. we still cluster feed & dreamfeed since he hasn't sttn yet. he wakes randomly between 1:30-4a (sometimes twice) then about 5:30a. his waketime is 7a. i'm worried that if he starts skipping daytime meals his night time will never host lots of sleep. any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

First, it is within the "norm" according to the book to not STTN until 12 weeks, and I have seen that many don't even beyond that.

Second, I would suggest you stop cluster feeding. The Baby Whisperer says to stop that at age 8 weeks. That is the age I started cluster feeding...but by now, he is really beyond cluster feeding.

Also, evaluate his ability to self-soothe. With that much waking, I would say he is waking fully either because he cannot soothe himself back to sleep or he is too hot or cold or something like that. See "nighttime slep issues--revised and updated" for more on that.

Eliza said...

I have just found your blog and am finding it incredibly useful, especially this segment breaking down newborn patterns week by week. I do have an issue with my babies napping that I don't know if you can answer but I thought I would try. My baby is 11 weeks today. Her last good nap of the day is always around 6pm and then she sleeps TERRIBLY if at all before 11pm. I put her down, she screams, I hold her she won't sleep, I try to put her down right after her 7:30/8:00 feed and she won't have it. she doesn't have a witching hour she has a whitching 3-4 hours. Starting at 4 or 5 I feed her every two hours as well. Any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

Hi Eliza,

That actually sounds right for a witching "hour"--it usually lasts several hours. I think that is what you are facing. :(

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