It was good timing to regain all that independence during Week Seven, because I needed it this week when S went back to work. Week Eight was my first real time alone with LL for more than an hour or two. I was very nervous about doing everything myself without relief, especially since S was generally better at soothing LL than I was. Also, until this week, S had been changing the majority of the diapers. I'd been doing the diaper changes in the middle of the night, since S generally slept all night and left all of LL's care to me until morning, but during the day, he did more than his share of the non-feeding care. (Before LL was born, S and I had agreed: I was in charge of input, S was in charge of output.) Still, the week went fairly well. I was definitely exhausted, but S came home from work every day by 5:30, which helped. We also managed to bring LL to his first "dinner party" this week -- dinner at my cousin's house. As expected, LL slept the entire time.
We really focused on sleep this week, keeping a journal of when LL was sleeping, day and night. He generally was good about going to sleep around 7:00 every night, in his bassinet in our bedroom, but he was still waking up 2-3 times during the night to eat. Also, while he was very considerate about sleeping whenever we went out, he rarely agreed to nap at home, and I had my doubts about how deeply he was sleeping in restaurants and coffeeshops. I hoped that getting him to nap more at home during the day might encourage him to also sleep longer at night. ("Sleep begets sleep" according to the experts.) It worked a little, and by midweek, I'd established a pretty good rhythm with LL, with eat-play-nap cycles every three hours or so during the day.
This week's big milestone: LL discovered his hands! As we were driving home from New Mom's Group, I heard him spit out his pacifier. I braced myself for some crying, but instead, I heard loud messy slurping coming from the back seat. Fingers -- yum! From this point on, we only use the pacifier when we're soothing LL to sleep. When he's out and about, playing or observing the world, he relies on his fingers to satisfy his comfort sucking needs.