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Getting 12 week old to sleep earlier

(16 Posts)
FingonTheValiant Sun 02-Jan-11 23:18:35

We've been keeping the baby with us in the evenings and originally he was falling asleep on us and we'd just take him off to bed when we went. But over the last couple of weeks he's stopped going to sleep properly until much later in the evening, and has gradually been pushing it back and back, until now he doesn't go to sleep until about 12.30. He drops off a bit before that, but any attempt to put him in ANY bed backfires massively.

Dh tried to take him to bed about 20 mins ago, thinking that maybe it was just because we'd been staying up later and DS had been waking up again, but within 2 mins DS was screaming the house down.

I'm not trying to put him into a routine, strict or otherwise, but we're both getting knackered now.

So, how do we go about bringing his bedtime forward again? Without putting him to bed a leaving him to cry, which we're not prepared to do.

We've loved snuggling him in the evenings, but I think we've reached the point where it'd be great to be able to pop him into his (practically unused) amby hammock at 8ish and have a couple of hours to ourself before his next feed.

Thanks for any advice!

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Jan-11 23:44:22

My DS pulled his bedtime forward to about 8 by himself with no pushing, he just started getting tired much earlier.

But not until about 22 weeks.

puffling Sun 02-Jan-11 23:48:50

When dd was a baby I used to go on the babywhisperer website (was free to use ). If you post your baby's daily/nightly sleep schedule on the appropriate thread, one of the moderators and others will advise you on what you can do.

FingonTheValiant Sun 02-Jan-11 23:49:37

Ok, so he might eventually do it by himself.

I wouldn't mind waiting if he'd stuck with 10-11 ish, but after midnight is killer. Maybe we can get him back to that at least.

Thanks!

FingonTheValiant Sun 02-Jan-11 23:50:57

Thanks puffling, I'll have a look at that.

happygilmore Mon 03-Jan-11 10:38:22

Our DD started going to bed earlier from about 13 weeks, from 16 weeks (I think) she started going to bed a lot earlier.

Have you tried a bedtime routine - bath/feed/cuddle/bed? We did this when she was tired late at night, and then tried to gradually bring it forward. It took a while (and I'm sure a lot of it was her naturally getting tired earlier) but she started to associate the routine with bedtime after a couple of weeks.

MoonUnitAlpha Mon 03-Jan-11 10:50:20

We started a bedtime routine around 8 weeks, as ds had started falling asleep at 9-10ish every night. So started about 8.30pm with bath time, then feeding lying down in a dark/quiet bedroom, then into bed. For the first week or so he'd wake up again repeatedly (every 10-30 minutes) and we'd feed/cuddle/rock him back to sleep and into bed - this continued til we went to bed with him at 11ish. After a week or so though he started falling asleep at bedtime then sleeping til about 3am.

I'd also make sure he was up from his last nap of the day about 2 hours before bedtime.

Over time we've tweaked the routine a bit - it crept forward by about an hour anyway, and then the clocks changed so bedtime is now 7pm. Still do the same bath-feed-bed but at about 3 months I stopped feeding him to sleep and used a dummy instead, and now at 5 months we're getting rid of the dummy. I now also make sure he's up by 4pm so he'll go to bed by 7pm.

tiredfeet Mon 03-Jan-11 18:19:22

Hello again fingon, we are having the same problem here...

puffling Mon 03-Jan-11 22:04:49

Agree with moonunit. Nap should be over in enough time for bub to want to sleep in evening.

FingonTheValiant Mon 03-Jan-11 22:26:04

Ok, well I got him into bed just before 12 last night. We're aiming for 11 tonight, he's currently wearing himself out in the bouncy chair.

DH is off this week, so we're going to try to keep bringing it forward and get a bedtime routine going.

Hello tiredfeet, you've just reminded me that I need to get on the post-natal thread! How are you managing?

tiredfeet Tue 04-Jan-11 14:37:53

well done on bringing it forward fingon, what do you think helped?
we had a disastrous time last night, ds didn't settle till 4am not sure what went so wrong

Cosmosis Tue 04-Jan-11 14:42:11

might it be because he is now being distracted by what is going on downstairs? DS got to a point where at night he could no longer fall asleep if it wasn't dark and quiet (although he can in the day) so keeping him downstairs wasn't working any more and you quickly get into the spiral of overtired screaming.

tiredfeet Tue 04-Jan-11 14:57:15

possibly, but I have started going upstairs with him from about 10pm, with lights dim and trying not to talk, just feed/ cuddle/ massage, but it doesn't seem to have made a difference. although maybe it doesn't help that when DH comes upstairs he just starts chatting away to DS and undoes all my attempts to keep it quiet!

Selegas Tue 04-Jan-11 19:40:35

Hi, My DD is also 12 weeks old and is bathed every evening at 6.30 then gets breastfed to sleep til about 7.30. She then sleeps through til 5am when my husband goes to work, then comes into bed with me til about 8am when we get up.

She sometimes wakes up a few times before properly dropping off, and I just go back up to her, feed her quietly and she drops off again.

Seems to work for us, but I get really arsey if any one is noisy from about 7pm onwards! wink

FingonTheValiant Tue 04-Jan-11 20:44:17

Oh no tiredfeet, that sounds rubbish!

Well for all my talk DH finally got DS into bed at 12 again! We did have him asleep by 11, but when we tried to put him to bed (with us!) he screamed the place down.

Selegas envy

Gah, I just don't know what to do. I put him to sleep at 7.45 but he's wide awake again now, which is what always happens.

Tiredfeet what time does your DS sleep til in the morning? I'm wondering if I should make sure we're up and about earlier, maybe that's the problem.

lurcherlover Wed 05-Jan-11 23:36:57

I'm currently going through this with my DS (10 weeks). If left to his own devices he will hardly nap in the day - catnaps of up to half an hour - then his natural bedtime is 1am and he will sleep through to 9am. I am starting to bring bedtime forward gradually by using the Baby Whisperer technique. He has a bath at 8ish (I plan to eventually make this about 6.30) then I feed him as much as possible (I'm breastfeeding and he likes to cluster feed in the evening so this works well) - she says he should be upstairs, but I have to say I ignore her on that as I don't see DH all day and I don't want to spend all evening upstairs without seeing him as well! I keep the telly low and sit in a dim light though, feeding and cuddling. I try to read his body language - when he starts staring with very wide "dolls' eyes" it's a sign he's tired, and if he cries and kicks his legs a lot. When he starts this - usually around 10.30 - I take him upstairs and get him in his sleeping bag. I offer him a final feed, which I think he has to soothe himself as much as anything else, then put him in his cot. Usually at this point he wakes up. I sit next to him with one hand on his legs and another gently holding his arm to his chest (I leave his right arm alone as he likes to suck those fingers). If I don't hold him like this he flails his arms and legs about which upsets him. I talk softly to him, and he eventually falls asleep. You have to really give it time - usually I sit with him like this for half an hour. If he cries (I mean really crying - he will do little soft cries to soothe himself) I pick him up and cuddle him, but as soon as he's stopped crying he goes back in his cot. The key I think is for him to fall asleep in the cot rather than on you. I find usually he wakes up soon after he's first fallen asleep and I have to do the sit-and-hold thing again, but then he falls asleep and that's it. He usually then sleeps through til 7am-ish. It does seem to be working but only because I've recently started being really consistent with it. My plan is to see if in the next few nights he can fall asleep with me just sitting there, not holding his legs/arms, and then eventually without me in the room. When we're at that stage I'm going to bring it forward gradually, 15 mins at a time. Fingers crossed we'll get there eventually!

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