Routine for a 10-week-old baby
Everything is more settled and predictable by 10 weeks. You may not be in a routine that's ideal for you and your sleep patterns but at least there is some semblance of order to your day now and you've more idea of what to expect and when.
Sleep patterns at 10 weeks old
By this stage most babies have begun to develop a Circadian rhythm, meaning their bodies can tell the difference between day and night. She is still sleeping around 15.5 to 17 hours in every 24 but this will soon start to decrease, with fewer naps in the daytime and more sleep at night. At the moment night-time sleep makes up 8.5 to 10 hours of her total.
Her naps will still last no more than 45 minutes at the moment, as that's the natural length of a baby's sleep cycle. However, if you're sneaky, you can increase this a bit by waking her up before the end of her nap. We know. Bear with us.
The theory goes that if you rouse her gently just before the end of the 45-minute cycle (and we do mean gently – don't go banging saucepans together in her ears) she will resettle to sleep and enter another 45-minute sleep cycle. We calculate that to be about the length of time needed to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls with a short interval for resettling. Score.
Feeding at 10 weeks old
Just when you think you've got breastfeeding established, your baby throws a spanner in the works. At around 10 weeks, babies are suddenly very easily distractible as they're more interested in the world around them. You may find she loses interest halfway through a feed and starts looking around – always nice in a public place to be left with one boob hanging out while your child takes in her surroundings. If you're really unlucky she'll keep hold of the nipple while swinging her head round sharply and suddenly.
Feeding her somewhere quiet with fewer distractions while she gets over this phase might help.
Physical development at 10 weeks old
Your baby has probably gone through at least one size of clothing now and may already be threatening to need 3-6 months outfits now. She has more control over the way her body moves these days and you won't see so much of that weird newborn jerkiness.
Her neck muscles are quite strong by now and she'll be able to hold her head up by herself when you're carrying her. What she can't do yet is turn her head enough in her sleep. Lots of babies at this age get a bit of a flat head from being in the same position while asleep. Try and just gently turn her head onto the other side when you go in to check on her before your own bedtime. This should prevent any funny flat bits developing.
Brain development at 10 weeks old
By now her memory is growing and developing and she's starting to recognise familiar faces. However, it will be a good six months more before she works out that there are some faces she doesn't recognise and 'stranger anxiety' starts to set in. (This is usually timed perfectly – just as you go back to work and have to settle her into childcare…)
Play at 10 weeks old
Play is becoming a much bigger part of your baby's day now, and you'll probably have a small collection of toys and books to entertain her by now. Try setting up a few small play stations around the house, with a mat or baby bouncer and a couple of things for her to look at and grab for nearby. Playing in different environments is good for her development – and if you have one on the bathroom floor it means you might just get a chance to have a shower, too!
Milestones at 10 weeks old
At 10 weeks old your baby may be getting ready to roll and even starting to exercise the muscles she will need for crawling. You may notice her pushing up on her hands, as if doing some baby planking. Once she's mastered that she'll start rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, ready for the off.
Your life with a 10-week-old baby
Life seems a lot easier now than it did just a month ago but you're probably still very tired and your baby will be waking at least once, possibly twice, in the night, even on a good day. A bit of regular exercise will make you feel better than mainlining caffeine all day but do take it easy, particularly if you had a difficult birth or are recovering from a caesarean section.
Go easy on yourself emotionally, too. Lots of parents feel pressure to get everything back on track by now, particularly their sex life. If an early night for any reason other than a long, deep sleep doesn't appeal, you aren't alone. You'll get there eventually but the weeks when you're so tired you're hallucinating are probably not the time.
"If she wanted to sleep we would put her down in the pram carrycot in the living room, and she would come to bed with me for her final feed before going into her crib. Of her own accord, she gradually started sleeping for slightly longer stretches of time."
"There are absolutely no 'shoulds' for a baby's routine – they're all so completely different. He will almost certainly be sleeping in his cot in the evening at some point in the future."
"Babies under four months are totally random a lot of the time and it's pointless trying to analyse them. They’re still trying to figure out which way is up. "