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Getting REALLY desperate: baby hijacks our evenings

(133 Posts)
TrixieLox Fri 20-Sep-13 08:03:14

I really thought this would resolve itself by 3 months but it seems to be getting worse: my 15 week old baby girl simply will not settle from the time she has her bath etc to about 9pm or 10pm. My hubby and I have to take it in turns to have dinner and just can't relax. The last straw came last night when I went to cinema and came home to find my hubby hadn't eaten dinner cos our daughter had played up all evening.

By playing up, I mean she either cries or yelps in excitement, trying to get our attention and refusing to sleep.

We've tried everything: putting her in her crib upstairs (she screams hysterically so we have her downstairs in her vibrating chair or sitting on us), starting her bedtime routine earlier / later (yes, she has a routine: naked kickaround, story, bath), low lights and sounds, ignoring her, 'tricking' her by pretending to sleep upstairs, etc etc. Sometimes, some of these work and we think we've cracked it. Then she's at it again. She's perfect in every other way and sleeps through from 9pm or 10pm to 7am.

The advice we're getting divides into two camps: a) You're too soft, time to start controlled crying, or b) This is just what babies do, it'll sort itself out soon.

I feel 3 months is too early to start CC but am actually on the verge of trying it now. I also feel that no, it won't sort itself out and no, babies shouldn't be like this at this age. She's got into a habit and unless we stop it, it'll be the story of our lives for the next few years. I know people who's kids don't have their bedtime until 9pm or 10pm and evenings are havoc, I DO NOT want to be in that situation.

Please help before I start controlled crying (or maybe you recommend I do?!).

apachepony Fri 20-Sep-13 08:08:58

???? Sorry your 15 week old baby sleeps from 10 to 7 and you're complaining? I don't think I'm going to be helpful on this thread, except to tell you - you're lucky, relax, you'll have your evenings back before you know it

TrixieLox Fri 20-Sep-13 08:11:56

Thanks, apachepony. So do you think I'm worrying for nothing then? It just feels like I'm surrounded by friends with 'perfect' babies who went to bed in their cribs from 3 months guaranteed and slept right through (maybe with a dream feed inbetween). Also, women in my baby clubs seems to have no problems too, their babies go to sleep at 7pm and tend to sleep right through. Maybe I live in Stepford town ;-)

To be honest, it's my hubby putting pressure on too, he says it's ridiculous and surely she should be settled by now. I feel guilty, like I'm being too soft on her or something!

dyslexicdespot Fri 20-Sep-13 08:14:45

I am in the 'this is what babies do camp'. Have you had a look at They provide information about infant sleep based on peer reviewed research. Please have a look before you subject your DD to CC.

Good luck!

Reiltin Fri 20-Sep-13 08:15:10

Our evenings are also hijacked. But baby also wakes up a few times during the night so you're one up on me there! We also can't find a pattern that works. But I take splice in that fact that she's still so young. I hope?!

bigkidsdidit Fri 20-Sep-13 08:15:19

I think your expectations are a bit high smile keep doing bedtime routine then cuddle her downstairs and before you know it she'll start sleeping from earlier.

Hawkmoth Fri 20-Sep-13 08:15:34


I'm on my third baby the same, and they gradually move their bedtime back to a sensible time and the first two were doing seven seven long before I had to worry. To be honest, I don't mind sacrificing time before midnight for sleep after midnight, even though it is frustrating.

My baby is just coming up to three months and I eat all meals with her on my knee. I do not like having to get DH to cut up my food!

Her bedtimes this week have been 10, 11, 8 and a soul-destroying 2 this morning (but that's because my mum had her last night and put her to sleep in her pram from half seven to half ten). We've had lovely long sleeps to seven and eight am, but with one 0500 due to cold sticky-out hands.

It does get better.

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 20-Sep-13 08:16:02

They talk bollocks. Babies are not programmed to sleep for 12 hours, sleeping through the night is clasdrd as a 4 hour period.

If you want help settling, try the no cry sleep solution, but she is so very young. I understand how hard it is. DS2 is a frequent waker even now at 19 months, you have to try and adjust your life for a while as she's little.

Hawkmoth Fri 20-Sep-13 08:16:33

People at baby groups don't always tell the truth....

bigkidsdidit Fri 20-Sep-13 08:17:00

Oh, and for reasons I don't understand, lots of people lie about their babies' sleep !

Vakant Fri 20-Sep-13 08:18:11

She is very young still, and although she goes to bed late she is sleeping 10-7. That is amazing. I personally wouldn't use controlled crying at all unless I was desperate and if my baby slept 9 hours a night I'd be ecstatic. It isn't recommended to be used until they are at least 6 months old thought I think anyway so she is much too young.

Really I think you need to alter your expectations rather than try to change her. Have you tried a sling for when she's unsettled in the evening? That way you can get other stuff done too, she obviously needs to feel close to you and at her age that is totally normal so you will find it easier if you go with it.

beachavendrea Fri 20-Sep-13 08:18:44

I think it's too early for controlled crying personally.
Have you tried the no-cry sleep solution? Or a lady called sharlene Poole does a supervised settling technique which is meant to be very effective.
I think babies take six days to learn a new habit so it's worth pushing through with whatever technique you try.
Have you tried putting her bedtime forward by half an hour each day?
Also what are her daytime naps like? When is her last nap?
My gut would say after her bedtime routine take her to her dark bedroom and try to settle her using whatever technique you can. Maybe after a few nights she may get the idea that its bit playtime after 7:00.
Can you have your dinner early? Then at least your not sitting there hungry.
It's not forever there will come a time when she will be old enough to do a reward chart and all that stuff.
Sorry not sure if this is very helpful at all!

Hercule Fri 20-Sep-13 08:19:39

Sorry but I've had three babies and they all did this in the early days. She's still only tiny, if you keep going with the routine you'll probably find she calms down gradually tabs her 'bedtime' will naturally move earlier to a more reasonable time. That's what happened with mine anyway. Wouldn't try cc till at least 6 months.

Babies do tend to take over your life in the beginning. I remember many times manically rocking a small screaming bundle whilst manically spooning food into my mouth with one hand. It passes. Relax.

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 08:19:51

It's what babies do! Honestly count your blessings if your baby sleeps through already, mine don't until he was 3!

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 20-Sep-13 08:19:54

By they, I mean the friends at groups...

MintyDiamonds Fri 20-Sep-13 08:21:18

Seriously!!! Your baby sounds like a dream. what with a refluxy, windy baby I haven't slept more than 2 hours in a row in the last 6 months and I couldn't even consider an evening out and I can't remember the last time I had a hot dinner down stairs without holding a baby and this is why I don't go to baby groups.

BooCanary Fri 20-Sep-13 08:21:30

It is a common mistake with you pfb to think things will always be like this. Try not to worry. I am/was routine obsessed and hated losing my evenings, but don't lose heart, it will only beva short term issue.

BumbleChum Fri 20-Sep-13 08:21:34

In the nicest possible way I think you and your DH are completely deluded about babies! Mine were all downstairs with us until they were about 8-9 months old - they would snooze on my lap while I watched TV.

They all now (5, 4 and 2) have a 7pm bedtime and fall asleep within minutes, because we're very consistent with it. I always did the whole tea at 5pm then bath and into sleepsuit etc at 6pm, but when they were babies they came back downstairs and cluster-fed for hours until I went to bed. Between 8 months (eldest) and a year (youngest) they began going into their cot at 7pm. You can have good routines without being harsh.

By the way none of mine slept 10-7 as little babies! That is unbelievably luxurious, your DH should be counting his lucky stars not whinging. Babies are small and defenceless, they need love and security - and not to be accused of 'hijacking' their parents' time! Not having time to yourself is a part of being a parent. It gets easier as they get older in that they sleep more soundly and more reliably.

There's no greater joy than a milky snoozy bundle warming up your lap on a winter's night! Enjoy it while it lasts smile

Hercule Fri 20-Sep-13 08:22:22

Oh and fwiw it didn't become a 'habit' - my kids are all school age now and 'happily ' hmm wink go to bed at 7/8 !

MintyDiamonds Fri 20-Sep-13 08:23:01

Also cc, could you actually ignore a hysterical baby honestly I'd rather have no evenings for a bit longer than do that.

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 08:23:02

I am a cc fan AFTER a child is about 15 MONTHS old not 15 weeks. It's really not fair or appropriate at this early on.

Can't you just cuddle up on the sofa and watch crap Telly until 10? It's not like you need to go to sleep really early yourselves if she's sleeping that much, is it?

CbeebiesIsMyLife Fri 20-Sep-13 08:23:07

When both my dd's were 15 weeks their bed times were 9-10pm (and they both woke 1-2 times in the night envy) and now they are 2 and 3 their Bedtimes are 6-7pm. It will sort its self out, what you have described sounds perfectly normal to me, mess with it too much and she won't sleep through.

The not eating thing isn't good tho, I remember nights when we used to juggle the girls to eat. Can you change bed time and she might play and let you eat?

louloutheshamed Fri 20-Sep-13 08:23:49

Are you for real? Your baby is an awesome sleeper. B all the way! Please don't do cc.

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 08:24:03

Minty, that's not what cc is at all.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 20-Sep-13 08:24:20

I think this is quite normal. My DS was sleeping through the night from 7-7 at 6 months and that is what he was sleeping then

He stayed in the Moses basket with us down stairs until we went upstairs about 10. I think around 16 weeks we started putting him down in his crib upstairs however to start that routine

Re food do you have a play gym or a bouncy chair? We used to put DS in that if he wouldn't settle in the Moses basket when we ate

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