Tuesday, 20 September 2011

16 weeks

Mia is 16 weeks old today, which is a bit of a personal milestone. I've been anxiously anticipating this week, because when Harry was 16 weeks old we were going through a very difficult patch. I was sleep deprived, tearful and miserable. That was the point at which one morning I actually called my Health Visitor in desperation because I felt like I needed some help.

Looking back it doesn't seem that bad. Our biggest problem was that Harry was waking every couple of hours at night to feed, and he never seemed content or settled during the day. I'd read my parenting books, and I was feeling frustrated because I thought that he should be sleeping for longer stretches by now. I also looked around at other babies that were happy and smiley, while he just seemed so unhappy and cross. I assumed that the reason he was waking so frequently and was so discontent was because he was hungry. This was coupled with the fact that he never breastfed for long, and his red book told me that he wasn't put on weight as quickly as he should have been.

I was so worried that he wasn't feeding properly that I lost confidence in my ability to breastfeed, and we ended up moving to supplementing with formula, before starting him on baby rice at just 17 weeks. It made no difference at all to his sleeping.



Now Mia is the same age, and her night time sleeping is pretty similar. We had some longer stretches a few weeks back, but lately it's back to every two hours at night again. The difference is that this time I know that she isn't always waking because she is hungry.

I now know that babies (and toddlers!) do just wake up during the night and can find it difficult to get back to sleep. Breastfeeding back to sleep is a comfort thing, and it can become a habit. But this time I am less anxious and frustrated when she wakes, because I know that it is not because she is starving.

I won't be rushing to wean so early this time, and I don't feel the need yet to start topping up with formula. I'll just accept that whether by nature or nurture my babies are not good sleepers, and remind myself that there will come a day when I am struggling to get them out of bed in the mornings.




I also don't get Mia weighed as frequently, with the consequence that I don't talk to Health Visitors as often. This time around I have the confidence to follow my own instincts.

3 comments:

  1. It's good to know that you are happier this time round. Like you say, they will be grown up before you know it, and all the difficult times will be forgotten. xx

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  2. LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS LOOK AT THEM. She is adorable.

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  3. Oh my goodness, she is such a wee cutie!You must spend all day smooshing those cheeks of hers!

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