To let my eleven month old get up at 9.30pm for a play downstairs

(68 Posts)
KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:25:27

So, DD has always been a great sleeper. She settled at 7pm, woke once or twice in the night for a feed and slept till 7.30-8ish.

But the past month or so, she's still been settling well at 7pm, but waking at 9.30-10ish and taking 1-1 1/2 hours to settle back to sleep.

Last night, fed up of pacing my bedroom floor for an hour each evening, I brought her downstairs. She had a little play, we had a little cuddle. Then I took her upstairs at about 11pm, gave her a feed and she slept through till 5.30am.

Best nights sleep I've had in weeks (since she's been unsettled in the evenings she's also been waking lots in the night).

So, thoughts on whether it's just mental to let her play at this time of night in exchange for a decent nights sleep. (I'm also considering giving her porridge or similar at this time to see if I can get even longer sleep out of her)

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:28:43

Also, when she woke at 5.30 she had a little feed and then back to sleep till 8am

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 13:40:53

I did this frequently with ds at that age. I just couldn't see the point in wrestling him into bed for 2 hours. He was still tiny, couldn't sleep and I figured better to play/stimulate/cuddle than make bedtimes a stressful battle-y time.

He's 22mo now. Sleeps like a teenager log and will ask for bedtime if he thinks we are too late! Do what you think is best, enjoy that time with your baby. smile

Yanbu smile

rainbow2000 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:14:31

I used to do this it was my exscuse to raid the fridge as i was constantly hungry,Better than waking everyone else up as well

spanky2 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:26:41

You will end up with a child who will carry on doing this at any time of the night and you will be exhausted from the constant amount of entertaining during the night and. Bedtime is bedtime . Fun at first but when they are 7 and you are entertaining at 2am will you still want to do it?

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 15:30:28

I don't think it would set you up well for good long term sleep patterns, and I think you instinctively know that, which is why you posted.

It's possible she's getting too much sleep in the day time if she's waking at 9.30. What's her daytime nap routine?

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 15:33:43

By the way, young children get their deepest sleep between 8.30 and 10.30pm, which is why it's important to get them to bed before 7.30pm; 7pm is a good time to aim for.
If you put her to bed at 7pm then it's a good idea to get her up before 7.30am. By lettting her sleep in till 8am, 8.30am you're effectively robbing her nightime sleep with daytime sleep.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 07-Feb-13 15:42:14

have you tried putting her to bed at 7.30 - 8.00pm after a late supper to see what happens?

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:37:45

Re naps - on a good day she has one two hour nap (roughly 12-2). On a bad day two half hour naps, one am and one pm

Since she's been sleeping poorly, she has been waking for the day at 6.30-7 ish. When she was sleeping in till 8am, that was back when she was settled at night.

I wouldn't consider this if it was 2am that she wanted to 'party'. It's be ause it's roughly sociable hours and might mean that I get some sleep at night, that I'm considering it.

I know getting her up is wrong per baby books. But I'm torn as my DD1 was a bad sleeper and I persisted for a long time with the 7-7 routine. Only when I started putting her to bed at 9pm did she start sleeping through the night. She used to sleep 9-8.30 but now at almost 3 sleeps 7.30-7.30.

I don't think putting this dd to bed later would work though as she really is ready for her bed by 7. Sometimes she's even in bed at 6.30 if she's particularly sleepy.

Kiwiinkits Have you got some links to studies or evidence for that?

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 17:10:51

Babies don't read the books. Or tell the time smile

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 17:11:24

<<Prepares to get flamed for being a slack parent>> ;)

Tensixtysix Thu 07-Feb-13 17:15:04

I don't know why people are obsessed with putting babies and young children to bed at 7pm. My husband never got home until 7pm so naturally we kept the kids up until 9pm (when babies and toddlers under 4yrs old) and then they would sleep right until 8am.

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:01:42

Thanks for everybody's thoughts. I think I might try letting her get up again this evening. And see how tonight goes.

We are going to PiLs this weekend. Apparently DH and all his siblings slept through 7-7 with no feeds, illnesses, teething etc from three months. So I'm not sure what mil will make of baby reappearing at 10pm!!

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:02:49

The thing that does reassure me is that DD1 is now a super sleeper despite my disregard of baby books (eventually) with her.

And my firm belief that everything babies do is a phase!

mum23girlys Thu 07-Feb-13 18:15:12

Hi KD07 my youngest dd does this every time she's teething. Always has. Took a good few teeth till we worked it out. We've always just let her get back up as as soon as the tooth is through she goes back to normal. She's 2 now and unless poorly she sleeps 730 til 730 every night. Recently she's had 3 ear infections back to back so has been waking in pain through the night. But slept all last night so fingers crossed.

I also had a similar problem with dd1 and now at 7 I can report there have been no long lasting effects.

I hope your little one is back to her usual soon smile

DumSpiroSpero Thu 07-Feb-13 19:06:48

You know your baby, and your own limits, better than anyone so if you think it'll work for you, give it a try.

FWIW my DD has always been an erratic sleeper (as am I so no surprise there!). We have always been very laid back about her coming downstairs or getting into bed with us. She is now 8 and sleeps through in her own bed 99% of the time.

We might just be lucky but I honestly don't think the 'making a rod for your own back' school of thought is always helpful tbh.

DoJo Thu 07-Feb-13 19:37:53

I do the same - why waste an hour and a half trying to get an unhappy baby back into bed when you could have a happy baby playing downstairs and be enjoying some time together? My son's sleep patterns are shot after three months of illness followed by monster teething, and I'm buggered if I'm going to let him cry and wail upstairs when a bit of distraction downstairs will sort him out until he falls asleep again. Apart from anything, I nearly fell asleep standing up with him the other night which was a first, so I'm keen to avoid that too.

However, I too would be interested in seeing the research about babies sleeping best between certain times - a quick google hasn't revealed any research on it, but if I'm doing it all wrong then I would love to know the science behind the slacking! Plus it might make me feel more inclined to persevere with the hated pacing up and down the bedroom...

Startail Thu 07-Feb-13 19:45:29

DD1 would never go to bed before 8-8.15 pm then she slept.

Any earlier and she was revolting and still fighting sleep at 9.30-10pm.

I am a firm believer in not trying to fight DCs to sleep, like food, you will lose.

If getting your DD up feeding her and then allowing her 30 minutes or so of quiet boring play gets her to sleep through do it.

But do be boring, I have been known to watch question time with the subtitles on.

If she sees grown ups aren't doing anything exciting when she's asleep she'll soon decide she's tied and go back to bed.

Beveridge Thu 07-Feb-13 19:45:32

I have too much on my sky plus that needs watching to spend hours upstairs in darkened rooms this time round with DC2.

This too shall pass...

We used to. DD was a good ish sleeper -generally 7-7 t least each night. She went through a phase of waking up about 9-10 each night ad we spent about 3/4 nights in her room, in the dark battling with getting her back to bed. She was crying a massive amount, we were getting frustrated and upset too. One night we just instead brought her downstairs (so we could watch strictly!!!) and she played for half an hour, and happily went back to bed after her usually routine of grobag on and then book. We did this for about three nights and then she stopped waking, it was definitely less stressful for her and us.

fluffyraggies Thu 07-Feb-13 19:48:23

If it was me i'd try waking her a little earlier in the morning (i know, i know) to 'push the day' round a bit for her - maybe just a little later nap time during the day then, and a little later bed time. Might be just enough to get one long sleep smile

Does that make any sense? lol

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:29

But fluffy she's waking at 6.30 ish at the moment. After a disturbed nights sleep!!! [wails]. I just can't get up earlier. Nooooo.

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:57:50

I am heartened to hear other laissez faire parents out there

fluffyraggies Thu 07-Feb-13 20:08:47

Sorry OP, i had it in my head that she rose at 7, 7.30ish. My mistake smile

Yep, not allot you can do at the beginning of the day then. I would just be wary of setting a pattern of going to bed and getting up again.

My holy grail was an unbroken nights sleep (even if that was 8pm till 5am!) and i remember moving heaven and earth and shuffling getting up times and nap times and bed times around until we damn well got there grin

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 20:10:40

oh well KD0706, do whatever you're comfortable with. If you're happy to say bye bye to your movie on the couch, reading a book in bed, having sex, go for it.
FWIW I do think that getting her up near to 7am, having a structured nap after lunch, and a 7pm bedtime will be better in the long run but I'm not the one making the decision, you are. So go for it.

Tee2072 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:11:21

I did that. My 3.8 year old now sleeps 7 - 7.

Bullshit you're setting it up for a lifetime. There is no lifetime setting anything up at that age.

Do what feels right. Ignore the bullshit artists who think they know everything.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 20:12:26

I'm not implying that the only time you have sex is 9.30pm BTW. My point was rather that 9.30-11pm is nice, quiet, baby and child free zone. And it's nice to keep that a little bit sacred.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 20:13:11

[I do know everything]

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:14:16

No worries fluffy.

I know what you mean about an unbroken night.

But at the moment I feel I have a choice between an hour or more of shush pat, room pacing etc in the late evening followed by two-three hourly wake ups, or an hour of baby being downstairs followed by a full six hours sleep.

Will see how tonight goes. If she happily sits with us for a while then has a good nights sleep, I think I'll stick with that for a while.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 07-Feb-13 20:15:07

I used to take them downstairs, it was just a phase. Better than getting all stressy upstairs. It soon passed.

RobinSparkles Thu 07-Feb-13 20:17:49

I used to do it with DD2. We didn't take her downstairs often (only because we tend to go upstairs to watch TV in bed) but she would come to sit in bed with us and cuddle etc until she started rubbing her eyes then it was off to bed for her.

She's brilliant now. She's almost 2 and sleeps from 7.30pm till 7.30 am <<touches wood>>.

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:21:13

Bit of x posts there.

My first thought was something along the lines of 'I can have sex at other times you know'!! grin

I do understand what you're saying.

The nap issue is that I have an older daughter who I need to transport to activities. If DD2 falls asleep at the wrong time she just has a short nap then won't fall asleep at proper nap time. Historically that hasn't affected night time sleep.

I hear what you say about 9.30-11 being a nice baby free time but currently it's not. I'm not doing any of the lovely activities you've listed. I'm paving the floor and shushing and patting and getting frustrated. I've persevered with it for weeks and I'm kind of coming to the end of my tether.

I am listening to people's opinions, please don't think I'm dismissing anything. I'm still humming it over but leaning towards the 'lazy' version

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:22:10

That was to kiwiinkits btw

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 20:23:10

"I feel I have a choice between an hour or more of shush pat, room pacing etc in the late evening followed by two-three hourly wake ups, or an hour of baby being downstairs followed by a full six hours sleep."

Don't want to thrash the point, but you actually have another choice here.
Get her up at the same time in the morning, structure a midday sleep, put her to bed at a consistent time at night. A lot easier than shush pat room pacing etc. Also a lot easier than baby entertaining in your precious evening time.

FFS you're turning me into an evangelical Gina Ford!

Hulababy Thu 07-Feb-13 20:23:18

Do what feels right for you and your child.
There is no real right or wrong. The babies haven't read the rule books you see - they just do what they want.

It won't last for ever either. More social hours will come with time.

dashoflime Thu 07-Feb-13 20:23:30

I'm reading this with interest.

My DS is 6 months and sleeps from midnight to 8 am. He just falls asleep at the breast and I put him down, then go to sleep myself.

I sometimes wonder about setting a bedtime, but it seems crazy to try to force him to sleep when he's not sleepy- especially when overall we are all getting a full night.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 20:25:47

YY I understand about the transport to activities thing. We have the same problem, the short naps in the carseat threatening to f** up the longer nap. Much much easier to have a routine for a first baby than a second, isn't it.

Hulababy Thu 07-Feb-13 20:29:32

I never went for the whole routine thing tbh much though! We just went with the flow. DD is 10y now and appears to be able to sleep on her own okay, and for the full recommended length of time.

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:29:55

Gina kiwi
I acknowledge your point. I am probably too lazy to enforce a wake up time. If she sleeps in then I'm usually really chuffed and have to do the same.

She has her midday nap the vast majority of the time but if she falls asleep in the car when taking her sister eg to playgroup then naps do go awry.

Acht, I'm just making excuses here aren't I!! I guess maybe I'm too lazy for enforced routine. grin Will ponder on it.

Viviennemary Thu 07-Feb-13 20:30:30

I'd try to avoid this if possible apart from a one off ifshe really couldn't settle. Because if you do it as a matter of routine she will get into that sleep pattern of waking at 9.30 for a nice play downstairs. I'd change the routine a little so she goes to bed a bit later.

Egusta Thu 07-Feb-13 20:31:30

I agree about babies not reading the books. DS (2 years and7 months) goes to bed at 8.15, and has done since he was tiny. He then sleeps until well after 8 in the am. He naps during the day- 2.30-4.30-ish. He is usually hyper hyper (and leaping off the couch re-creating 'splash' at 7.30) then at 8.15 sayd 'to bed?' and goes. We have never had routine- this has just evolved.

We never worked on times, we just went with - whatever- and in the end whatever suited us.

Startail Thu 07-Feb-13 21:41:58


These are mysterious things that only DC1 have.

OK its a long time ago, but I don't recall DD2 ever taking a nap on week days from very very young. Well she slept on her full day at nursery, but never at home.

At 11.15 she looked sleepy at 11.30 we left to pick up her sister from pre-school.

Sister was much too interesting for any further interest in nap.

Then she'd BF to sleep at 9pm after aforementioned non going to bed big sister.

repeat until long after she started school.

A lucky sod, who's DCs went to bed said children got tired when they started school.

Mine are now at secondary and I'm still waiting.

Startail Thu 07-Feb-13 21:42:37

went to bed at 6.30

Egusta Thu 07-Feb-13 21:48:32

Startail i thank my lucky stars that Ds still naps! i work now mostly from home.... and do most of my conference calling from 3pm. smile

None of my friends with DCs his age still naps. [ssssh..... don't tell DS]

catkind Thu 07-Feb-13 21:51:14

In my house trying to persuade babies to be asleep when they're not ready just results in them crying till the time they would have gone to sleep anyway, and then maybe being too het up from the crying to sleep. Def worth a try if it seems to work for you. I'd try not to interact too much at that time so it's clear it's still "night time" but let them play rather than try to keep them in a darkened room. I think there's every chance she'll naturally stop waking at that time next time the naps and bedtimes shift a bit.

Yes it's partly I'm too lazy for enforced routine. But also I don't really see the point, it feels to me that anything you try to enforce might be right on some days but on other days it will be fighting their natural rhythms. I can't go to sleep if I'm not tired, I don't see how I can expect my children to. The long term goal for me is for them to find sleep non-threatening, recognise when they're tired and be able to fall asleep easily and happily.

VitoCorleone Thu 07-Feb-13 21:52:46

I do this with my 10 month old.

He goes to bed at 7 and usually wakes up about 9pm and wont go back to sleep so i let him have a little crawl about and play for an hour or so then feed him and put him back in bed.

He sleeps til about 7:30am - 8am.

LouMae Thu 07-Feb-13 21:53:31

Why are people so obsessed with the 7-7? As a small baby, DS quickly settled into a 10pm-10am routine which I loved. He slept soundly and always has. I was only sadly forced to get him into an earlier routine when I went back to work. At 7, I let him stay up late in the holidays or weekends and he is always guaranteed to sleep a solid 11 hours from whenever he falls asleep, which is bloody brilliant cause i love lie ins! Why does it matter what time they get their sleep, if they get their sleep and it fits in with the family's routine?

KD0706 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:04:52

Well after all this umming and ah-ing madam hasn't stirred so far tonight.

I'm off to bed. No doubt as soon as my head hits the pillow DD will be bright and awake.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:08:33

I would accept she is up and not force her down, but maybe stay in the bedroom for quiet time. Don't bring her into a stimulating environment of lights and noise. It's not a good habit.

stopgap Thu 07-Feb-13 22:15:01

I take the same approach with naps. My 18-month-old sleeps 6.30-6.30, but his naps are terrible. Sometimes he takes an hour nap, but mostly takes a single, half-hour nap all day. Rather than sit next to his crib and try to (uselessly) get him back to sleep, I just pop him in the carrier when he wakes and potter about until he's fully awake.

maninawomansworld Thu 07-Feb-13 23:45:08

Yes it solves the problem now but what are you going to do when she's mobile and won't stay in bed?
Easier said than done I know, but bedtime is bedtime and there's no getting back up after that, no getting in my bed and no mucking about.

What has changed in the last month or so to cause her to start waking?

Do what you need to do it'll pass. But this is from someone who currently has 20month old dd sitting up in bed eating Cheerios cos she's hungry

Kiwiinkits Fri 08-Feb-13 01:29:40

to the person who asked, why are people obsessed with 7-7 routines? the simple answer is that kids in the lounge in the evening are a pain in the arse and prevent you from lots of nice adult activities like watching CSI or reading a mag.

I think there's two types of parent actually, both have their pros and cons. Trouble is, you can only be one or the other - hard to mix the two. On one hand there's the go with the flow ones who don't actually mind kids being around in the evening and who enjoy the flexbility that entails. Being able to take them out and about in the evenings and perhaps enjoy a lie in in the morning. Happy to deal with kids who are a bit tired, grizzly, unpredictable at times. Maybe they're a bit on the lazy side and cba setting some boundaries in place. That's fine, if that works for you then whatever.

Then there's the ones who like a bit of structure, kids out of the way at some times during the day, like to know approximately what time their kids will be sleeping, eating etc. Downside of this arrangement is that you have to structure your own life a little bit around theirs between the hours of (say) 7 - 7pm.

I'm in the second camp, suits me, may not suit everyone. But you can't have the best of both worlds. You can't fail to put boundaries in place and then expect that, for example, when you get a babysitter in you can tell them with confidence that the kids are in bed asleep by 7.30pm. Or, on the flipside, you can't have a strict bedtime and then expect that every weekend you'll go to your mate's place for a BBQ till 11pm and your kids will happily run around playing until then.

Point is, you need to choose.

Kiwiinkits Fri 08-Feb-13 01:36:52

Scariestfairy do you feed your pets in bed too? Do you think bed is a good place for food? Is that where you and your DP eat? Is your advice to the OP that you can do pretty much whatever you want with babies and they somehow magically learn the right way to behave? Or is your point that you CBA and that's somehow riiiight on?
Anyway, becoming invested. No point arguing this one, it's age old.

Startail Fri 08-Feb-13 01:56:30

Kiwi as a member of the fairly relaxed camp.
I find families were everything stops to get PFB to bed by 7.30 very annoying.

Families with teens where everything is still messed about by DC3 needing to be in bed are very annoying.

Maybe I have very flexible DDs, but they are not tired and grumpy the next day, never have been.

A lot of the time, I find if you look for grumpyness you don't find it.

Startail Fri 08-Feb-13 01:58:14

Don't look for.

I never expect my DDs to be grumpy if they were late to bed and except for after midnight coming back from holiday, they aren't.

Startail Fri 08-Feb-13 01:59:19

I think it's an excuse from routine loving parents wink

YANBU this too shall pass etc

You are NOT making a rod for your own back, that is bollocks. I fought with dd now 3 & spent hours in misery as I'd googled what to do. With DS, 10 months I learned to try & listen to my instinct as to whether it would work. He would settle within 45 mins if I got him up, he'd moan for boob then fall asleep & I could put him to bed. Tried 'in the room' like dd before that & one night it was 3 hours!

He did it for a couple of weeks & reverted.

All this wake them at 7am to reset their body clock, daytime sleep robbing nighttime sleep crap gets on my tits too. People are different, they need different amounts of sleep and at different times. Babies are, the last time I looked, people!

HesterBurnitall Fri 08-Feb-13 02:37:47

We used to do this with DS1. He's going to be 14 next week and sleeps like a champion. Do what works for you, everything passes, everything changes. Enjoy as much of t as you can along the way. Rods be damned.

Kiwiinkits Fri 08-Feb-13 02:59:22

[It's a MAHOOOOSIVE rod to let your 20 month old eat in bed]

Had to say it.

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Fri 08-Feb-13 02:59:53

Why do parents who put their children to bed before 8.30pm somehow seem a little up themselves here? I can imagine what the children will turn out like....

Bearandcub Fri 08-Feb-13 04:01:36

Do what you need to do to survive, that's my motto. A bear grills style of a parenting.

Bearandcub Fri 08-Feb-13 04:04:57

*Grylls blush

I completely disagree with the rod-for-your-own-back brigade.

DD is now three and goes to bed between 630-730 most nights and gets up 6-30-730 each morning. However if we go out, say up late for a special occasion she is fine, on new year eve she danced all night and went to bed at 1245. She wasn't grumpy the next day, tired yes but not grumpy.

We never had a routine in terms of strict times for DD I spent hours in tears, stressing about it when she was younger and once I realised the 'routines' were a new thing peddled by book sellers (no-one in my mums generation ha ever heard of them) and I just went with the flow everything was much easier and less stressful. I do have friends who have has rigid routines which worked for them which is fine, but a bit of me was always relieved it wasn't me not able to meet up at specific times, or
Rushing home for nap time when we met up.

I like the bear grylls analogy - everyone does what they need to d to get through with the least stress for them and simply to

I too like the Bear Grylls analogy. I may borrow that. Extreme parenting. Parenting on the edge. Would quite like it if lovely BG turned up to help out once in a while though wink

Jemstone Fri 08-Feb-13 08:04:10

I always think about what I would suggest if it was an adult. As an adult if I can't sleep I get up and do something relaxing until I am tired. This is usually reading a book or doing a jigsaw. I wouldn't lie in bed for hours tossing and turning because that way actually takes me longer to get back to sleep.

With my kids I've always made it clear that if they can't sleep that is fine but there will be no TV our electronic toys. They are allowed to play in their room with books, Lego, jigsaws etc until they are tired. I won't put the main light on but will instead use a dim night light. Even at the op's child's age I would give then books in the cot which usually worked, or put some restful music on which we would sit and listen to together. Of course this didn't always work.... But it often did and was a lot less stressful than forcing them to sleep! Now they sleep through almost every night and even entertain themselves in the morning (until they get hungry)

milf90 Fri 08-Feb-13 09:12:28

I think every baby and toddler is different and you need to do what works best for you. If its getting lo down and having a play then so be it.

Our lo has bedtime between 6 and 7, depending when he's tired and wakes up at half 7 durin the week (woken up by oh getting up for work) and between 8.30 and 10 at weekends. He also has an afternoon nap between 12 and 3 that can last from 1 to 3 hours.

I think you need to let them sleep when they wantto, because they ovbiously need it. Wakin them up early so they will sleep better at night seems a bit mean and pointless. I think if children sleep well during the day they will sleep well at night as they are not over tired.

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