What Should an Awake 7 Week Old Be Doing? - Mothering Forums

What Should an Awake 7 Week Old Be Doing?

not_telling's Avatar not_telling (TS)
09:37 PM Liked: 15
#1 of 16
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,043
Joined: Mar 2008
Our LO is 7.5 weeks and I'm wondering about how he spends his awake hours. He's still young enough that from the time we get up in the morning (anywhere from 8am-11:30am, depending on the day) till the time we all climb into bed at night (usually around 10pm-11pm), he just cycles through sleeping, nursing and being awake. We're not at a point where we can talk about "his morning nap and afternoon nap." Sometimes he is in the "quiet alert" state when awake and wants to look around and interacts a bit with us (sounds, smiles), but a lot of times it seems like he is fussy or wanting to be soothed (i.e. will start fussing, but will become content for awhile if being rocked/carried/bounced/etc. by me or DH). I would not categorize his typical fussies as "colic-y fussies", though.

Sometimes I worry that, because he gets fussy, we're..."wasting" (for lack of a better word)...his awake time by trying to make him go to sleep (by bouncing, rocking, etc.) when he's fussy. I guess our aim is to settle and soothe him (not explicitely to make him go to sleep), but often times he ultimately falls asleep if we soothe long enough.

I feel like the majority of his awake time is spent with us soothing a baby, rather than us interacting with a peaceful baby. This may not be accurate...maybe it just feels like the majority of the awake time...

Is this just a reflection of his age? Will he eventually need less soothing when awake? When??
ColwynsMommy's Avatar ColwynsMommy
12:12 AM Liked: 5
#2 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 1,207
Joined: Aug 2004
In theory, it should be getting better soon, but there's a wide variation of normal. I think it was soon after 6-7 weeks that Fiona started being more content to just be awake and look around, smiling at us from time to time. It's only been since about 10 weeks that she's been really interacting more with us.

It's like.. they're born, and they're alive and all, but they're not really awake, you know? Waking up and coming into their bodies can take a long time. It's more of a gradual process rather than anything as sudden as the actual birth.

And as for naps, she's still not on a real nap schedule, per se. It's mostly that she'll wake up, and about 1.5-2 hours later, she'll be ready for another nap. If she wakes up at 6am, then she takes more naps than on a day when she wakes up at 8am. Or if some of her naps are only a half hour, then she has more naps than if she has a few 1-2 hour long naps. That's well within the range of normal.

There is a difference between colic and fussiness, too. My second had colic really, really badly. It was horrible. He cried for hours, sometimes no matter what you did. Fiona, during the time when colic supposedly peaked, would fuss a lot, but could usually be distracted with movement, swaddling, etc. That's normal for the age, too, I think.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla
12:16 AM Liked: 392
#3 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 43,652
Joined: Jun 2004
I don't recall my babies "waking up" and really "playing" or "exploring the world" until 3mo or so. At 7 weeks old, awake time was spent nursing and comforting and bathing and changing diapers. It's not "wasted time" as long as the baby is either content or being held (or both. )
tomanola's Avatar tomanola
11:24 AM Liked: 0
#4 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 79
Joined: Mar 2008
At 7 weeks old, my LO would be awake around 1.5 hs at a time, and then needed a nap. At the first sign of tiredeness, we would nurse and he would go to sleep. Once I figured that out, life was much easier, because I didn't miss the window of opportunity to get him sleep easily. That was all his "schedule" was about at that age.

He didn't have colic, but he had fussy periods every day at evening. It peaked at week 6, and then it got better around week 8 or 9. So I'd say that at 7 weeks we were mostly changing diapers, soothing, nursing, and interact in many ways while doing that. Not wasted time at all!
AKA_PI's Avatar AKA_PI
12:00 PM Liked: 0
#5 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 2,008
Joined: Oct 2007
I'm glad you posted this because I've wondered the same thing about my 6.5 wk old. He's awake for almost 2-3 hours and gets fussy when he wants to sleep. Even when we wakes up in the middle of the night, he doesn't open his eyes. A quick dipaer change, bottle and some time listening to mommy's heartbeat does him good.
arelyn's Avatar arelyn
12:44 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 678
Joined: Mar 2006
Kai cycled through sleep-nurse-sleep-nurse with tiny awake times until four months old. He was a real sleepy baby and prefered to be asleep. One thing I noticed is that his awake and fussy for "no reason" times often happened right before he peed (we often use EC). Once I caught on and started taking him potty when he was fussy often (but not always) the fussy time ended and he'd go back to awake alert time (or he'd just go back to sleep).
Llyra's Avatar Llyra
02:49 PM Liked: 175
#7 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 9,388
Joined: Jan 2005
Have you tried doing some babywearing? I found that mine spent more time being awake and alert, and less time being awake and fussy, if they were worn for large chunks of the day, especially early in the day.
not_telling's Avatar not_telling (TS)
03:17 PM Liked: 15
#8 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 1,043
Joined: Mar 2008
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
Have you tried doing some babywearing? I found that mine spent more time being awake and alert, and less time being awake and fussy, if they were worn for large chunks of the day, especially early in the day.
We haven't done much babywearing yet...when we do, it's mostly to go out...and he falls asleep in the sling pretty quickly. In the house, he does stay with me, often being held while he sleeps (while I read, eat, watch tv, surf the internet...). We hold him while he's awake, too, but have noticed that he is the most interactive with us when he's either in his rocking (bouncy) chair or in his cooshee changer (the 4-sided changing pad we use) - this is when we get most of his smiles and when he tries to talk to us the most.

It's also very amusing to me when he's alert just as we're going to bed. We'll get into bed, DH will crash, I nurse Aydin and then settle him next to me, all cozy-like and close my eyes....then I open my eyes and he's just STARING at my face. I smile, close my eyes again, wait...open my eyes, and he's still looking at me, like "what're we doing next, mom?"
olien's Avatar olien
06:22 PM Liked: 1
#9 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 685
Joined: Apr 2008
So glad you posted this q. I have a 6.5 wk old and had the same thoughts runing through my head. Glad to hear its all normal. especially the evening fussy period.
*MamaJen*'s Avatar *MamaJen*
07:55 PM Liked: 918
#10 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 5,266
Joined: Apr 2007
A seven week old baby should be doing nuclear physics, or maybe studying existential philosophy.
Nah, what you described is totally normal. They're pretty much blobs the first three months -- basically, they should still be in utero, but thanks to the large brain capacity of humans, our babies are born a few months early and a little uncooked. They just kind of sleep, eat and cuddle. Put them in the sling and pretend like you're still pregnant.
Lizafava's Avatar Lizafava
09:00 PM Liked: 11
#11 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 721
Joined: Nov 2004
Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post
Put them in the sling and pretend like you're still pregnant.
This pretty much sums up how we are all happiest. Sometimes its so smooth and the baby is so content I forget he's there.
amynbebes's Avatar amynbebes
10:33 PM Liked: 0
#12 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 403
Joined: Aug 2008
My 8.5 week old is still in that phase. When he is awake I talk to him (his fave thing to do is have someone to talk to him), sing to him, and we've just started reading to him, he loves to look at the colorful pages.
JoyfulMom84's Avatar JoyfulMom84
11:16 PM Liked: 0
#13 of 16
09-19-2008 | Posts: 92
Joined: Apr 2008
You're doing a great job! All a baby needs at that time is to be near Mom and Dad and to hear your voice and and feel your love. If you have a concern that some thing isn't normal of course you should check with the doctor, but if the crying is just fussies then it's probably normal.

DD was super super fussy unless she was at the breast. When she was awake she was attached...Her fussy time started aroudn 4 and she would marathon nurse from around then untill 11pm...LOOONG evenings for me. Ocassionally DH would swaddler her and walk her try to keep her happy for a little bit so I could use the bathroom and or eat supper.

It got sooooooo much better by 12 weeks, it was like magic. Really all a baby needs is being held close at this stage, it doesn't matter if they are fussy, happy, nursing, or quiet and alert... They are near your body...And their sleep cycles are still pretty unregulated so don't feel bad about trying to get him to fall asleep...If he falls alseep it's because he needs it. :0) Do you babywear? Wearing DD in a MOby Wrap or sling also worked to get her to quiet down.
HidaShara's Avatar HidaShara
10:52 AM Liked: 14
#14 of 16
09-20-2008 | Posts: 463
Joined: Jan 2008
DD is 10 weeks old now, but we have been interacting with her pretty heavily right from the beginning. She was always a very alert, awake baby. Unlike most of the PP she was pretty intolerant to being ignored. If I put her in a carrier, she'd squirm and fuss (unless she was being walked around) until she slept, but if I sat her up on my knees and sang to her, she'd be happy and content.

It could be that DH and I are pretty "boring" in our regular lives. We don't have other kids and we don't watch TV. Our time around the house is spent doing quiet activities like reading, writing, knitting & sorting cards. I guess none of that is very interesting to a baby. :/

I don't know if I'm setting myself up to have a spoiled child, but while she's awake I pretty much spend my time entertaining her. :

It must depend on the child. If I could get away with slinging her or putting her in a seat while we do our Thing, I absolutely would. Entertaining a 2-month-old is exhausting. :/
readytobedone's Avatar readytobedone
01:02 AM Liked: 12
#15 of 16
09-22-2008 | Posts: 3,466
Joined: Apr 2007
we didn't get a whole lot of "interacting with an awake and content baby" until, oh, 4 months? pretty much at 7 weeks i spent my day nursing her, wearing her, and trying to get her to sleep while she refused to sleep. it was miserable

once they stop getting tired 1.5-2 hours after waking up, they stop needing 5 naps a day, and it gets a lot more enjoyable IMO.
readytobedone's Avatar readytobedone
01:04 AM Liked: 12
#16 of 16
09-22-2008 | Posts: 3,466
Joined: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by HidaShara View Post

It must depend on the child. If I could get away with slinging her or putting her in a seat while we do our Thing, I absolutely would. Entertaining a 2-month-old is exhausting. :/
agreed. lots of people like the baby stage because "you can just wear them everywhere and go about your business." uh, no. DD needed to nurse CONSTANTLY, would not nurse in the sling, refused to sit in the sling half the time, and screamed because she was exahusted but too alert to sleep. we had to cover her eyes while bouncing her on the ball with the hairdryer running multiple times a day. i never got the whole "take them with you while you do your regular stuff." DD was never that accommodating. it's actually a lot easier to do that with her now, even though now she tries to put her hands in the trashcan and runs through hallways yelling!
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