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when is bedtime for a 4mo?

(15 Posts)
picknmiss Mon 12-Jan-15 20:44:55

Hi all, feeling a bit all over the place with my 4mo DS' sleeping habits and hoping for some opinions from wiser, more experienced mums (he is my PFB).

We are struggling with early waking and increased night wakings. He wont self soothe at all but will nap quite easily with a bit of cuddling/rocking and his dummy and usually will be transferred to his crib easily. He has 3 or 4 naps a day for 1 or 2 hours. He used to go to bed around 8pm and sleep till 1am ish for a feed and another at 5am after which he'd usually be up for the day having a short first nap around 7am.

Now he's started waking at midnight, 2am and 4am and wanting to play at 4am. I've tried not feeding at 2am and although he will go back to sleep without he'll still wake at 4am hungry. His last nap usually finishes at 5pm when I feed him, i've been starting bedtime at 6.30pm with the aim of getting him to sleep by 7pm, 2 hours after he wakes up. The problem is at 7pm he's not that hungry and will only take a small amount and we struggle to get him to sleep before 7.30pm. I don't think I can revert back to an 8pm bedtime as he'd be awake too long, I tried adding a micronap around 6ish but this made him very grumpy. Should I keep him awake longer so he's hungrier or keep bedtime 2 hours after final nap? Also not sure if I should offer food at every night waking or will that encourage more dreaded bad habits?

Brynmummy Mon 12-Jan-15 20:53:15

I'm looking forward to seeing responses to your posting, as I have a very similar 4month old! Especially the night wakings - not sure if I should feed him?

nottheOP Mon 12-Jan-15 20:56:51

I'd stick to the 2 hours awake time but I followed easy. Could you try a dream feed when you go up to bed?

His routine sounds good. I think it's just discovering how exciting the world is or the beginning of teething.

BetterTogether75 Mon 12-Jan-15 20:58:38

4 months old is too young to worry about bad habits, feeding on demand just makes life happier and easier when they are so little. Sorry I can't help much with regard to routines - my DS didn't really have set bedtime at that age: he just kind of came along with us blush

nottheOP Mon 12-Jan-15 21:01:32

Just read your op again. There is a huge growth spurt at 17 weeks so if the dummy isn't doing the trick I would feed.

If he is waking for the dummy I'd get rid of it.

Early waking can indicate that the first nap is too early so you could try to push it back by 10 minutes every other day so it's 30 minutes later

rockinrobintweet Mon 12-Jan-15 21:07:02

ive always found baby needs 3hrs a awake before sleep so if your baby is sleeping at 5pm, 7pm may too soon?

my 7mo changed massively around 5-6months and our routine managed to cement bit better as naps became predictable and bedtime better.

are you weaning? i introduced small bits of food at 4mo and my dd started sleeping better as fuller.

like a pp said, bad habits don't massively matter when they're so young. i am quite forgiving with 'bad habits' even know- let dd co sleep as and when she wishes etc.

do you give baby a bath at night? i find it makes baby tired and ready for bed. my dd has dinner at 16:30, bath around 17:30 and then bedtime is around 18:30 (sometimes nearer 19:00). just a thought.

oneofthosenicemuslims2015 Mon 12-Jan-15 21:15:57

Amazed you're so observant with PFB naps! Dc3 is not quite four months and we're all over the place with naps! Could your DS be teething hence the disrupted sleep pattern? You said in your post 7pm he's not hungry but 8pm is too long, why not aim for 7.30 and just be kind to yourself if it doesn't quite work out how you planned smile I wish someone had said that to me with my first. They get older and it all sort of works out.
I always feed if dd wakes up at night (bf) if she's not interested I would rock back to sleep. She walkways feeds to sleep though. Not sure if any of this helped but good luck!

Katie2489 Mon 12-Jan-15 21:16:53

No expert just speaking from personal experience. Growth spurts and 'fussy phases' come thick and fast for the first 6 months. So don't despair that this is lasting. I would try to feed as much as possible during the day whenever and try not to worry too much about nap times. I always found that more daytime sleep doesn't mean less night time sleep. It will get better so soon. From around 4 months if mine woke in night less than 1 -2 hours after feed I would give then a quick rub and see if they went back off( tried for around 30 seconds) if not I'd feed them to sleep. Over time I'd stretch it out to 2 hours, 2.5 hours etc. sorry i can't be more helpful just offering anything as I remember it being a very draining time and I was desperate for any help at the time! Good luck.

picknmiss Mon 12-Jan-15 21:23:31

thanks very much for your replies, lots to think about! I think I'll continue to feed at night for now he does seem hungry as generally he spits the dummy out when he's deep asleep and isn't too fussed about it after that. I do know we need to get rid of it at some point though!

we do have a bath as part of our bedtime routine but I could to definitely make the run up to bed a bit calmer, he loves songs and splashing in the bath and I do get a bit carried away trying to make him laugh blush

very interesting point about the early first nap, i'm going to try moving it back over this week and see what happens!

Buttercup27 Mon 12-Jan-15 21:25:27

Both mine had growth spurts at 4 months and would wake every 2 hours for feeds. As soon as spurt was over went back to only 1 feed during the night if any .

picknmiss Mon 12-Jan-15 21:27:30

And thanks for the moral support, much appreciated. I'm sure I'm being a bit OTT about it all, I will try to relax! He's definitely starting a bit of teething too it seems to come and go but there's a lot of dribbling/chewing/red cheeks going on! He's furiously trying to do sit ups all day too so I wonder if that's making him a bit tetchy too!

oneofthosenicemuslims2015 Mon 12-Jan-15 21:50:46

Always not walkways!
And trying to make babies laugh is so much fun, how could you resist

EssexGirlLottie Tue 13-Jan-15 20:15:05

Hi, not sure I can provide much help but wanted to share my experiences. DS is now 5 mo and we were having quite a problem with early wakings. He woke 3-4 times between 5am and 7am EVERY night for 3mo. After looking for advice on here specifically for this, we tried the "wake-to-sleep" method. Idea is to rouse them about an hour before they usually wake to try and induce them into a deeper sleep. We are seeing some good progress with this. His night wakenings are now all over the shop a little (no pattern) but seem to be better.

Wrt to night awakenings, you don't say whether you are br feeding or formula? (Unless I missed it) we are formula feeding our DS and my HV said I needed to make sure I was giving him 5 feeds in the 12-hours he's awake. So we're on more of a schedule now and it seems to work quite well. This has then meant his naps are more in a pattern. This is roughly our day:

7am awake and feed
9am nap
10am feed
11.30am nap
1pm feed
3pm nap
4pm feed
6.30pm start bath/bed time routine
6.45/7pm feed and bed

I share yr pain though. I think 4mo is a tricky time for sleep in general. Not helpful I know. Just keep enjoying those laughs :-)

picknmiss Wed 14-Jan-15 11:13:11

Thanks Lottie! Our schedule looks similar to yours so I'll definitely try wake to sleep... we had the 16 week jabs yesterday though and were up every hour last night so hoping things settle a little before we try it. similarly not really been able to try moving the first nap back as he's been all over the shop with when he's waking. He's still pretty chirpy when awake though and napping ok so I can't really complain too much!

picknmiss Wed 14-Jan-15 11:17:47

and sorry I'm breastfeeding so it does make it harder to tell how much he's taking at each feed!

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