Routine for a 12wk old? Daytime a nightmare!(10 Posts)
Hi! Have lurked many times on these boards but not posted yet - would really appreciate some Mumsnet advice / experience about my 12 wk old DD. I have no idea about how much or when she should be sleeping during the day... as such I spend hours trying to put her down when she isn't tired (cue wailing and thrashing) or miss the boat and then she's overtired (cue mega wailing and thrashing). Was wondering if anybody had a vague routine that worked for them so I could get an idea of what I'm doing wrong? I'm trying to be "baby led" about it but seem to misread the signals and everyday is different! Adore her and don't mind any of the other baby stuff but the endless crying when she won't sleep during the day is getting me down - some days I don't leave the house because of it which has now reached crisis point as I'm out of Hobnobs.
I'm dealing with a 12 week old as well, and I too came to reading the signals really late. Remember that there is a 12 week developmental shift which makes babies super-fussy at the moment (DS is a bloody nightmare during the night at the moment - we're exhausted). Anyway, I'm doing a kind of Baby Whisperer kind of routine, but it's still baby-led.
I watch the clock after he's been up for an hour and watch for tired signs - he can't manage more than 90 mins - 2 hours awake at a time, which is quite normal. I take action after the first yawn (I really mean it, I whisk him away to his room). I make a big show of closing the curtains, speaking low and soothing, and then I sit with him for 15 minutes or so, quietly. I swaddle him, which often disturbs him again, so I hold him again for a bit. I have a snack available too which can just top him up to go to sleep. I use a dummy where needed. I wait until he's all floppy and dreamy and then I pop him down. Remember not to just take your DD upstairs and dump her in bed - give her time to understand that there is a transition happening and it's about preparing for sleep.
TBH, sometimes it works, other times he wakes up as I put him down - that's a sign that he's overtired, not that he's not ready, as once he's yawning I know he's tired.
DS's tired signs include: stopping making eye contact with me when playing (he turns away), just kind of slowing down and stopping his movements, yawning, pulling/rubbing at his eyes, his eyelids go quite red, he nuzzles into my neck when I hold him, and when he's really tired he kind of makes a creaking kind of cry. That's when I use a dummy - it can be a brilliant indication of tiredness as his eyelids almost immediately start drooping.
Today I have restarted 'nap school' here as his nightime sleeping is so bad that I need to feel that I have some kind of control over something! He managed 3 naps of 40 minutes each, which isn't great, but at least he got some sleep. He's been awake since 3pm now and I spent 90 minutes between 4 and 5.30 trying to get him to have a nap. He was a combination of sleepy, grizzly and beaming with happiness. Little bugger. My back is killing me from picking him up and putting him down. In the end I just ran him an early bath and started bedtime routine.
I've found that even if he doesn't sleep, I sometimes leave him in his basket anyway for a while just so that he knows that there are calm periods in every day where he needs to chill out. I have been known to pick up and shush/pat him for the entire duration of a period where he should have been asleep, only stopping to feed him - it was 4 hours, and he woke up every 6 minutes... It nearly bloody killed me.
Anyway, have a look at the Baby Whisperer - you may find it helps you just to get a sense of some little techniques that could support you in getting some peace during the day!
Sorry, long rambling reply!
I can't advise on 'putting down' as ds decided that if I was around, my lap was the preferred location to be - car seat (in the car, going) or buggy (out on a walk) were also acceptable. He first went for a nap 'down' at home when he was 10 months, although he'd nap on cushions at the side of the room at nursery. It did mean that I didn't do all the things I had intended to do whilst I was on maternity leave. However, I don't begrudge him any of that time I spent with him suggled up on my lap asleep.
Yorkshire, I have a 17wo and similarly found "reading the signs" hard, but please don't worry and beat yourself up...it's really difficult to work out what will please the little person or make them mad, and they are changing so quickly at the moment that even if you felt you had it totally cracked at 8 weeks, it would have all changed again by now.
Nunners speaks a lot of sense...I really liked the Baby Whisperer but found that getting a nap between each feed didn't really work for me.
I use the 2,3,4 method, which is putting down for naps roughly 2 hours after first wake up, then second nap 3 hours after first nap, then bedtime is four hours after the second nap (so if DD wakes at 7am, nap 1 is 9am till about 10, nap 2 is 1 till about 3, then bedtime is around 7). All very rough and I have been told this is a routine for an older baby but it works for us.
As long as you feed your baby regularly, maybe try doing a longish walk at about the time you'd like him to nap, and then if he's wakeful he can look around and if not he'll sleep in buggy?
I've got a ten week old so slightly different, but I find his first nap of the day is the easiest to get him down in basket for. HE's basically up an hour and then he has 45 minute sleep. The other two, sometimes three naps of the day, I'm not too stressed about taking him out in buggy or wearing him in sling. I think 10 or 12 weeeks is quite young to have learnt to nap in cot, althuogh i understand why you want it as it's much more convenient that taking them out, but I wldn't stress too much if you can only get your 12 week old to take the later naps of the day out in a buggy or being walked in sling, driven in car seat. My first ds didn't learn to nap in cot until about 5 months when he startd sucking his thumb and being attached to a little comforter we used to shove towards him at sleep time. Then it was a really easy process of leaving him in cot for sleeps without having to listen to wails. Good luck!
Thanks so much for advice and experience, really helpful.
Nunners - sounds like your DS and my DD rather similar! My back hurts sooo much from the endless soothing and picking up / putting down.
Ahh well, guess that 12 weeks is still quite early and she is changing all the time. When you have a newborn you think "by 3 months we'll have a routine / I'll know what I'm doing with this baby lark / I'll be teaching her Japanese while baking organic muffins in my size 10 skinny jeans" but real life not obliging
Yorkshire so right about the disillusionment! At 12 weeks DD (now 6.5mo) was having 4 naps a day, about 90-100 mins of waking in between. The first was longest, usually 1.5 hours and the rest 30-45 mins. These were mostly in my arms, or in the pushchair, sometimes sling. in my limited experience she was pretty unusual in having such a regular pattern at that age.
Regarding tired signs I find they can vary almost daily for my LO, so don't get too worried about finding it hard. Nunners has given you a pretty exhaustive list of possibles.
My suggestion would be to go out in the pushchair about an hour after LO wakes up and see when she drops off, then the next day try to get her to nap at home after the same interval. Then try repeating that interval for subsequent naps, if it's no working try the pushchair trick again.
I too have spent days at home just trying to get DD to sleep so I feel for you. Believe me when you reach that stage it is better to be out of the house than in, and you might as well make the most of autumn before it gets too cold and wet!
Yorkshire my DD is 13 weeks and we're still trying to figure out her routine! I have also spent hours trying to get her to sleep, I remember sitting beside her crib stroking her for about 3 hours one afternoon. On a good day I try to do the following. Up at 7-7.30 then a nap at 8.30 or 9, she usually will settle in her crib or pram for this one but I'm lucky if she stays asleep for 45 mins! We then have some sort of activity or go out, usually around 10-10.30am. She then tends to get tired again around 12 ish but if I put her "down" will only sleep 30-40 mins (if I'm lucky) and be grumpy for the afternoon so I'e given up and now cuddle her on the couch for an hour and a half or even a couple of hours whilst I
watch crappy tv read mind improving novels and she sleeps (she once stayed asleep for 3 hours like this!!). If we're out at lunchtime she'll usually happily nap in her pram or in my arms. Then we have playtime and I try to take her out for a walk in her pram around 4-5pm ish so she can have another little snooze then a little more awake time before bath and bed routine. This sounds very organised when I write it out but doesn't feel it in reality!! And of course I have days when the whole thing goes to pot!
And part of me feels guilty for not doing the housework or Japanese and organic muffins whilst she's sleeping but a bigger part of me wants to take every cuddle opporunity whilst she's little and I'm at home to enjoy her
I too was baby led and just tried my best to see what best suited her. It was only around the 12 wk mark that a rhythm developed - she woke around 7, fed, sleep around 9 (sometimes for over 2 hours!! Rarely these days though - maybe an hour), feed at 11, big 2.5 hour nap at 12.30, feed at 3, catnap around 4.30, bed before 7...this is an ideal day though and DD is in great humour when it works out like this. Various things can interrupt the day naps, but I try to encourage her.
What worked for us was when she woke from a nap after just one sleep cycle instead of, as in the early days, just picking her up I would sshuushh her back, hand on tummy, and so often she eventually went back for a decent nap - can take a while though but gets shorter.
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