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What should i be doing with babies bedtime?

(15 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 20-May-13 22:03:02

Hi, my ds is nearly 16 weeks old and im so confused about what i should be doing with him sleep wise. The hv advice/guidelines is that the baby should be kept downstairs in the evening until they are six months old. However, ds would not fall asleep downstairs due to too much noise and distraction, yet would become over tired and fractious. After becoming fed up of having no time to ourselves in the evening and with his crabbiness, we decided we'd all benefit from a bit of routine at bedtime.

He is ebf so it is hard to do a last bottle, but when he was 9wks we started doing pjs just before 8, and a last feed (he is fed on demand so this would be no matter what time hed fed previously) at 8 in our dimly lit bedroom. We had a couple of days of crying but it didnt take long and he took to it quickly, quite well, being asleep by 8.30. This worked fine for about 5 weeks and we were feeling quitr smug! But then suddenly, he just wouldnt go down to sleep after his last feed. It started off with on and off crying that we would attend to to shush, pat and replace his dummy before leaving the room again. At first the crying lasted for an hour on and off, but its got to the stage of lasting two hours until tonight we have given up, brought him downstairs, and he has fallen asleep on the couch!!

I am now questionning what i should be doing. Should we perservere with bedtime, and if so, how? Or should we justhave listened to what the hv said, and not bother until after 6mo? It just feels that everyone except us has their baby in bed by 7!!r

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 20-May-13 22:54:24

Hv change their guidelines with each new moon, i have never heard that one before and personally wouldn't go with it, they need to learn that sleep happens in a quiet, dark place. I'd persevere with upstairs, maybe check winding? If the baby is tired just rule off every other reasonnfor not settling. It may also be teeth stirring, they're tricky little things!

Wineafterseven Mon 20-May-13 23:01:45

I agree with BabiesAreLikeBuses, stick with your bedtime routine and sleeping upstairs. I think as they start to become more aware they are harder to settle but you have to be consistent. It's so hard when they cry though isn't it. If only they came with a manual, I have have had so many inner monologues about sleep issues.

chubbychipmonk Mon 20-May-13 23:21:15

Does he have a bath? Easier for me to get my now 8 week old DS in a routine as I have a 3 year old DS also & the new baby just had to get on with it & fit into routine. My DH works late most nights so I do bedtime myself. Our routine is dinner at 5pm for me & DS1 during, after dinner DS2 has a bottle, bath at 6.30pm/6.45pm for both DSs, get them both out bath & in pjs by 7.15pm. Then DS2 has another bottle & falls asleep while reading DS1bedtime story. Both in bed asleep by 8pm & I have wine in hand by 8.15pm! (This is on a good day, obv there are days when one of them doesn't play ball!)

Think it was easier this time round to get DS2 asleep & in bedtime routine because he has to just go along with DS1 bedtime routine. It did take a few weeks to get used to trying to get both if them ready but by doing the same thing at the same time every night it will eventually fall into place.

Good luck!

chubbychipmonk Mon 20-May-13 23:22:13

Oh, and bed for Both of them is upstairs in their own bedrooms so I can enjoy my wine & trash TV in peace! grin

PoppyAmex Tue 21-May-13 06:39:03

The reason they tell you to keep the baby with you is because of the risk of SIDS.

It's not pointless advice in this case.

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 21-May-13 07:04:54

Hi everyone, thank you all for your replies! PoppyAmex yes that is what she said, SIDs risk. But he just wouldnt settle downstairs originally because it was too noisey and distracting. I would like to keep him upstairs really. It just seems now that he doesnt want to be on his own and he looks so cute and happy when i finally pick him up that its hard!!

He doesnt have a bath in the evening because we tried it and he was too overstimulated by it. He used to love the bath but hate getting out and getting dressed so would scream to the point that it was more stressful than calming. He is getting better though with getting out so i will try it. What do i do though when he just keeps settling and then crying for up to two hours. We have had two weeks of it and if anything the crying is only last ling longer!

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 21-May-13 07:11:04

Sorry, just made it sound like i dont care about the SIDs risk, obviously i do, but we have taken every other bit of advice which reduces the risk and we keep a good eye on him...he ia ebf (believe this is a factor in reducing SIDs), he sleeps in a baby sleeping bag in his own cot sometimes with a cellular blanket if hes cold, his feet are at foot, we have monitors on and i check on him very regularly.

PoppyAmex Tue 21-May-13 09:03:00

It's obviously entirely up to you and what you're comfortable with, but that's the official guideline and just as a reminder monitors don't reduce the risk of SIDS nor do they help prevent it (including the breathing monitor pads).

Might be worth having a peak at Lullaby Trust, formerly FSID.

It's hard when a baby won't settle, but he's tiny so he'll get there smile

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 21-May-13 12:37:46

Oh no i know the monitors wont prevent it, just wanted to stress that i dont just leave him once he's in bed! Im probably not that knowledgable on SIDS so will have a look at that info thanks, but as far as i understand at the moment, babies literally die suddenly in their sleep rather than from suffocation necessarily so it could happen even when they are close by. I met a woman whose baby died in her arms. I also read that overheating can play a part, so im careful not to do that.

Thanks for your reassurance that he will settle, it does feel like it will last forever at the moment so it does help! :-) . Do you think its pointless trying to get him to go to sleep before us at this age (SIDS aside)?

PoppyAmex Tue 21-May-13 13:22:56

I believe the reason why the guidelines advise babies don't sleep alone has more to do with the fact that under 6 months infants can, and often do, go into very deep sleep and stop breathing as a result.

At night, in their parents' room, they can regulate their breathing and during naps the general household noise won't allow them to drift into the heavy sleep.

Listen, I'm no expert and far from me to tell you what to do, but I'm a strong believer in information and then trying to make the best possible decision based on the available facts. So I guess I'm just suggesting you read about it, as this is perhaps not just a case of "parenting style", but an important Health issue.

In answer to your question, DD snoozed in the sitting room until we were ready for bed; when she was almost 6 months we finally felt comfortable getting her to nap/sleep on her own, before we went to bed. We were pretty baby-led and that also coincided with some of her "routine" patterns emerging, which made it easier.

Anyway, I remember that stage well - it feels relentless but it will soon get better smile

Jsa1980 Tue 21-May-13 16:44:07

I'm led to believe it because babies can regulate their breathing by copying your breathing. Not sure how much truth there is in that.

Desperate for some quality time with OH or at least a hot meal! DS is 4 weeks so think I've got a bit of a way to go

emstats Tue 21-May-13 23:18:15

Hi, my understanding is its quite common around 4 months for babies sleep to become more unsettled because they start sleeping more like adults going between deep and light sleep (where as younger babies spend more time in deep sleep) and initially this will cause them to rouse and the vast majority arn't able to self soothe. So to sum up, its a phase and hopefully he'll get the hang of it soon.
P.s I don't think going into his own bed at 8pm will do him any harm either!!!grin

YouMaySayImADreamer Thu 23-May-13 07:16:08

Thanks everyone for your replies. I had also heard about the falling into a deep sleep thing actually...sort of comforted myself with the fact that we live by a railway line which means theres trains going past at least until we join him in the bedroom. So he's not sleeping in complete silence. I just really try to find a balance between following the guidelines as closely as possible, and balancing it with what works with our particular baby. Definately dont want to put him at risk though so have been considering bringing him back downstairs.

I know exactly jsa1980, we were managkng hot meals after hed gone to sleep around 8.30 or 9 but now one of ua spends 2 houra running up and down the stairs and theres been a couple of nights where ive jusy gone to bed with nothing because i just give up!

However as emstats says, sure i wont be the first or the last and it is nice to know that this phase will end too!!

Accentuatethepositive Thu 23-May-13 07:33:48

We kind of had this problem which we solved by dimming the lights at one end of the living room where DD sleeps in her Moses basket( luckily we can do this and still have light over our dining table so can see to eat our dinner!) and giving up tv and loud conversation in the evenings! DD is now almost 6 months and I'm looking forward to having the living room back but I have been glad of the peace of mind in the meantime. Ive also found it useful to be able to respond quickly when she stirs as she's easier to settle if i get there before she really wakes. I have to say though I'm the only person I know who still keeps their baby downstairs in the evening.

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