How to keep a 1 month old awake

(36 Posts)
Taler Tue 10-Dec-13 17:35:36

Hi all,

My daughter is 1 month old and we are on day 5 of Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby routine.

Any advice on how to keep a 1 month old awake as finding it difficult to keep her up at the times she's meant to be up.



spacegirl81 Tue 10-Dec-13 17:39:48

shes still a newborn at 1 month, I would be letting her sleep and eat when she wants. A routine is good but when she's a little older; maybe 3-4 months.

clabsyqueen Tue 10-Dec-13 19:25:14

At 1 month you can't really keep then awake (not happily at least) and probably shouldn't try. As the first poster said - wait a while. There's not much love for Gina around these parts I'd say so I'd be surprised if you get many suggestions! Good luck!

Brookville Tue 10-Dec-13 20:05:59

I started GF's routine at 8 weeks and even then found it tricky to get right in terms of the sleep-feed-awake time-sleep cycle. They just become able to stay awake for longer as the weeks go by. So please don't beat yourself up about getting it exactly right. I remember being so anxious with that book because the author implies constantly that it can be done and that she's cared for 100s of babies who fell into routine. Take it with a pinch of salt and do your best. It will get better with time. Let baby sleep for now...

stargirl1701 Tue 10-Dec-13 20:08:13

You don't. Let your LO sleep if she needs to. It is optimal for neural structure development.

mummratheevertired Tue 10-Dec-13 20:11:48

My baby is 11 weeks and has only just started to wake up more. She likes to sleep. Some babies sleep more than others.

Winterclause Tue 10-Dec-13 20:26:15

You cant. Feed them when they need ( often 3-4 hr cluster feeds at that age) and never wake a sleeping baby!

SteamWisher Tue 10-Dec-13 20:30:54

Gina ford isn't really for babies that young. From memory, she says it's an aim and you start at 6 weeks. Not expect to be in the routine.

Best things to follow are the consistent waking times in the morning and "bedtime" but for a 1 month old that would be switching to feeding somewhere dark and quiet after 6.30pm.

I found gina ford very useful from 4 months once both were out of the newborn phase. Before then you're just causing yourself stress.

Jiltedjohnsjulie Tue 10-Dec-13 22:16:59

No idea on how to keep her awake at all sorry. It always amuses me that she says it can be done but doesn't tell you how! smile

If you do want a routine I can recommend Baby Calming by Caroline Deacon.

If you do want to follow GF I think its important to remember that her book isn't evidence based, it's just her opinion and she has never had a baby of her own. If you are bfing, it's also worth knowing that the book is on the kellymom books to avoid list smile

Flisspaps Tue 10-Dec-13 22:34:10

I see the issue here.

Your DD hasn't read the bookwink

Put the book away for now, let your DD do what she needs. Tiny babies are led by need and instinct, not clocks. If you really want to work towards a routine in a few weeks, then try again then.

GF seems to have this idea that if you massively sleep deprive a baby, they will be exhausted and sleep through the night.

My LO has needed many more naps than she recommends at every age - he is 11 mo now. As a newborn he could only stay awake for an hour at a time; at 8 mo he was still only up for two hours at a time; now at 11 mo he can finally stretch to four hours.

It is much more fun to be around your baby - and kinder to them - when they are well rested and happy.

Fairylea Tue 10-Dec-13 22:40:32

Pointless trying really!

I swore by Gina Ford for dd and then I had ds ten years later and he wouldn't go into the routines at all and I came to realise I had just been lucky with dd, I think it would have worked out that that was her natural routine anyway regardless of the book.

With ds I just followed the general advice - like naps in the dark in his cot, blackout blinds , making sure he started the day at 7 am latest (which was partly due to needing to be up for dds school run anyway) and when he was very little I didn't let him sleep more than 2-3 hours before waking for a feed during the day.

Dd began sleeping through from about 6 weeks. Ds took longer, he was about 6 months.

ShoeWhore Tue 10-Dec-13 22:45:42

Oh please don't!

The thing is, all babies are different and (much like their parents) need different amounts of sleep. Follow your baby's cues and the chances are that after a while, you will start to notice patterns and can build a routine around them that works for both of you.

McPheelingUpSanta Tue 10-Dec-13 22:51:36

Follow babys lead, and throw that bloody book away!

I slide those books down the back of shelves when I see them, just to spare the next parent/baby the anguish wink

Awful women.

Jiltedjohnsjulie Tue 10-Dec-13 22:53:10

grin at fliss. Don't think my DS read it either, but then neither did I. DMIL gave me a copy, I got to the bit where she talks about depression and thought, well I felt ok till I started reading this and put it in the bin! smile

Taler these first few weeks are more about getting to know your baby and if you are bfing, establishing your supply. There is some good info on kellymom and have you heard of the 4th trimester?

SantanaLopez Tue 10-Dec-13 22:53:16

Never ever ever keep a 1 month old awake, let the poor thing sleep!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 10-Dec-13 22:56:17

You are joking, arnt you?

notsomuchroomattheinn Tue 10-Dec-13 23:10:57

You can't keep a tiny baby happily awake, there are ways to try and wake them up. Making them cold, tickling their feet can do it but they don't like it and you will almost certainly end up with a distressed baby.
Being woken up when you want to be asleep is shit, hence the quest for the perfect routine so us parents can minimise it happening to us.
Enjoy having a lovely snuggly time with your gorgeous newborn. It passes so quickly, and you don't want to waste it stressing about a routine written by someone who has never met you or your baby.

wonderstuff Tue 10-Dec-13 23:13:06

Throw the book away.

DevonFolk Tue 10-Dec-13 23:18:15

Burn it (the book that is). Please please don't try to keep a newborn awake sad

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 11-Dec-13 03:49:04

You started GF when your baby was 3 weeks old? That's barely out of the womb. Put the book down and let the poor child sleep.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 11-Dec-13 03:49:45

Being woken up when you want to be asleep is shit, hence the quest for the perfect routine so us parents can minimise it happening to us. Bloody, bloody good point.

wellieboots Wed 11-Dec-13 04:11:29

A one month old may only last an hour at a time awake. please don't try and keep your baby awake, it will only make you (and her) stressedthanks

TheBakeryQueen Wed 11-Dec-13 20:49:30

Sleep is really important as this is when growth happens.

It is cruel to try & keep such a young baby awake.

She will naturally fall into her own routine as she gets older. And you can tweak the routine, over time, sp that it suits you too.

Congratulations smile

msmiggins Wed 11-Dec-13 20:57:35

Do mothers really let these silly books override common sense?

Babies sleep a lot- they need to sleep a lot- why would you want to wake them on some stupid advice of a woman who have never even had children herself?
Do your baby a favour- chuck the book. I wouldn't even give it to a charity shop in case some other new mother buys it.

somewheresomehow Fri 13-Dec-13 16:33:50

oh lord your baby is a month old, sleep is what they do best at a month they eat, sleep, poo, and wee, please don't try forcing an agenda on the little thing its not the way to do it she will adjust her sleeping as she grows

Jinglejohnsjulie Fri 13-Dec-13 16:59:45

How are you getting on now Taler? Are you trying to get a routine because you are struggling? Is there anything we can help you with? smile

cakehappy Sat 14-Dec-13 10:39:02

Good god, sorry to be harsh but WHY??? Why try to keep a little one awake? I've got a 6 week old who sleeps about 12 hours a day, couldn't imagine keeping her up or wanting too, they sleep so much for a reason, don't mess with nature!

duchesse Sat 14-Dec-13 10:51:54

You can't keep a newborn awake. Sleep is a developmental necessity at this age.

Mrswellyboot Sat 14-Dec-13 11:07:39

I bought the book and it started stressing me out while I was pregnant. Looks nice on the bookcase but haven't opened it since.
I would let the baby lead. Feed on demand. Our son woke a lot for two months then suddenly slept during the night until 7.30

I think it is very rigid and spoils the fun a bit. Maybe better to read about routines when the child is older. Don't wake the baby !

Congrats on your newborn flowers

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sat 14-Dec-13 11:10:12

Gosh - please don't try to keep her awake, they NEED to sleep lots when newborn!

Kiwiinkits Sun 15-Dec-13 11:22:34

I agree with the sentiment from everyone here. Too early for routine.
If you do want to wake a dozy breast feeding baby you can hold them up vertically and their eyes will pop open like a little doll's. Or you can rub their palm while they're feeding to keep them awake. But that's only to keep them awake long enough that they get a full feed, not just the fore milk.

minipie Mon 16-Dec-13 10:58:26

I wouldn't try keeping her awake tbh - UNLESS she is asleep all day and awake all night? Then it might be worth trying to stretch her awake times in the day in order to establish day/night separation.

But otherwise, no. Too little sleep and you risk overtiredness - which is far far far far worse <bitter voice of experience> than any consequence of too much sleep.

If you have a baby who loves her sleep (lucky you!) then I would use that to your benefit to try to teach self settling, in a very gentle way. Swaddling, stroking, shhing etc when she is sleepy until gradually she can fall asleep by herself. If you can do this during the sleepy newborn phase it will reap rewards later (especially at the 4 month sleep regression stage).

Honestly GF works for some and not for others. If your baby doesn't naturally take to it then don't force it. I think it is particularly unlikely to work for EBF babies. I know plenty of parents (including me!) who have stuck rigidly to GF when it was making both them and their baby miserable and frankly their babies didn't sleep through any earlier than the average.

Let baby sleep.

ds1 slept all the time at first and then naturally went into this wonderful routine of his own which -coincidentally only I am sure- fitted in with us.

d2 jeeeeeez he never slept, only power napped, was clingy, wanted a bazillion teeny feeds instead of regular longer ones,

and a friend whose first baby had been like ds2 while I was smug perfect parent with my routiney ds1 said 'and are you trying all those things you told me to do with dd?' YES!

so you see sometimes the book gets lucky and you get a child that is naturally in that sort of routine. The rest are on a sliding scale until you get ones that just cannot and will not fit into a forced routine.

Trying to deliberately keep a tiny baby awake? No no no no no.

Goldmandra Mon 16-Dec-13 12:52:14

I think the OP has probably got the message by now smile

I remember how fragile and lacking in confidence I felt at that stage and I don't think she needs to hear that she shouldn't be doing this any more than is already on this thread.

MBRaz Wed 18-Dec-13 14:16:56

I second Goldmandra. I bought a million books in the first few weeks of DD's life as I was so convinced I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't, but I also didn't know that that was ok.

With hindsight, I WISH I'd never woken my baby up or tried to put her in a blasted routine, but I sort of had to learn that for myself!

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