Saturday, 20 November 2010

Limiting Awake Times

Megan is eleven weeks old! And I can't believe that the last post I wrote about her was on the 15th October, wow, I am SO SLACK. A great deal has changed since then, and I feel that I have learned a lot (stuff I wish I'd known earlier) and we are all a lot happier because of it.

I was given a book called 'Baby Sense' which features a chart showing the maximum recommended times for each baby age group to stay awake. I was amazed to find that the 6-12 weeks baby should only be awake from between 60-80 minutes, before being helped to sleep. Wow, that's a very short period of time! But when I started implementing these rules, I found that Meg could send herself to sleep if I put her gently down on a fleece on the bed, covered her with a couple of blankets and then lay next to her. The dummy helps enormously with this too. It sounds funny to say it now, but I was really surprised to see her closing her eyes and drifting off, after all the hard work it had taken to get her to sleep previously. But previously I had had no idea about awake times, and she slept on the boob or was rocked and sung to sleep when she became hysterical. Basically, she was a fussy, screaming baby because she was always being stimulated until she was over-tired. The book explains that babies can't edit out the stimulation they are constantly receiving, unlike you or I, so they are overwhelmed by what they see, hear, smell, feel, etc., they can't even block out the feeling of their clothes against their skin.

So now I'm starting to feel more in control of my life, and Meg is so much more content. She hardly ever has to cry anymore as I keep an eye on the clock with regards to awake time, and can see immediately when she starts to get hungry (always bearing in mind what time she last fed). I wish I'd known this earlier, but at least I know it now, and can share the information with all of my friends who have also recently become new mummies. :D

And here are some pics of Megan I took a couple of nights ago, the hat (made by a lovely friend of my mother) seems to bring out some very amusing expressions:

This little cardigan is a bit of an heirloom - my brother and I wore it when we were tiny too, and I think Meg looks quite dramatic:


  1. Thank you so much for sharing Emily! And what a beautiful daughter you both have :-)

  2. Oh she's absolutely gorgeous Em, and I love the colours of that hat, it's stunning.

    Glad you're figuring out wake/sleep times, the difficult bit is that once you've worked one part of it out, she'll grow and change and within a few days you'll need to try something else before you hit the nail on the head again! I found that bit really hard, but once you get into the swing of things changing all the time, it does get easier.

    Lovely to read a post from you, and hope motherhood is being wonderful to you ;)


  3. she gets cuter everytime i see her :D

  4. She is too too cute in that hat! :-)

  5. How beautiful! So pleased that you are getting to enjoy her so much.Love to you both. x x x x

  6. My young man has spent the last few days being enormously awake and only really content when he's on the boob. That is unless I put him in the sling and DON'T STOP MOVING, not even for a second. I'm knackered and he's grumpy, so maybe I will try to put him down and just lay with him and see if he'll drift off eventually. I'm so glad things are going better for you. You're currently my light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel - well, a bit further down the tunnel, at least;-) xxxx