Should I wake my sleeping baby?!(9 Posts)
My baby girl is 6 weeks old now (my first). She is still quite awake and cluster feeding in the evenings, usually falls asleep between 11-12, and if I'm lucky will go down in her cot and wake 3hrly overnight for feeds (I am breastfeeding). She feeds very 3-4h during the day and is awake for about 1-2h at a time and then naps, if I encourage it (won't self settle) using stretchy wrap/cuddles/walk with the pram.
I am keen to introduce a bedtime routine so she knows when it's nighttime, but I would appreciate advice about whether I should wake her from a nap to start this routine (like with a bath at about 6pm) or just continue to follow her lead for now? The problem is when she wakes up herself it is usually because she is hungry and she goes from quiet to hungry screams very quickly - not suitable for a bath or even time to change nappy and into PJs!
Also would getting up earlier or fewer naps in the day help her sleep in the evenings or overnight?!
Thanks for any tips!
She is 6 weeks. She doesn't know night from day. It sounds like she is already getting into a good feeding routine. I would leave it for a few more weeks and I say that as someone who was on a strict feeding routine due to prematurity my babies had to be fed every three hours even if they were showing no signs of being hungry, of course being fed between times if needed it but couldn't go more than 3 hours tween feeds.
Don't bother bathing every day it's not necessary.
Let her wake up a bit more for a few more weeks then start a bedtime routine but does not need to include a bath.
Congratulations on your daughter
At 6 weeks old just fit in baths and getting changed for bed around when her wake ups and feeds are.
Bedtime routines (as in having a defined bedtime) starts from around 4 months (ish)
There's no harm in having the same routine each day but it doesn't have to be done at the same set time every day. My Ds2 is 16 weeks and we have done bath, feed, bed pretty much from week one as we feel this routine helps them to know it's nighttime and we do it with Ds1 anyway so its just habit. However it's only in the last few weeks that we have began doing it at the same sort of time. Before this it would be done anytime between 6-10pm depending on his naps/feeds/moods. He's slowly getting himself into his own routine and now has a bath at 8ish and is asleep by 9 (most of the time!) Do whatever you feel suits your baby best, and enjoy the snuggles!
We've always done bath and bed routine from about 10-12 weeks, even with her screaming at us! Now (4 months) its an essential part of bedtimes.
At 3 months (once cluster feeding had really subsided) we brought bedtime to an earlier time of 6:30 rather than bed with us.
She was doing a delightful 6-7 hours undisturbed... Now (4 month sleep regression) she wakes every 45 mins and has done for over a month.
Its so varied, just do what's right for you.
Good luck and congrats on getting so far with bfing. It can be tricky to get going but it gets so much quicker and easier.
P.s. I meant to say, I wouldn't wake her at this age. I'd just do the same routine at whatever convenient time. After the routine is established you can introduce a time element. We now usually do bath and bed from 6:30 but if I know she's going to be over tired or she's had a late nap then I move it to a time that better suits.
Once you establish a time its good to aim to get her up at the same time every day too.
I have a friend with a 6 month old who is awake all evening and then gets up anytime from first thing to a 10am lie in. Not ideal for her little body clock of you ask me.
Talking of body clocks, top tips; keep the family room dimly lit from the same time each evening, take a walk outside every day to see some daylight (I was told afternoon daylight is best) and during the day keep everything well lit I.E. Don't put baby to sleep in a darkened room
Thanks all, I can definitely see the merits of going with her schedule for longer, I made the mistake of waking her for a bath this weekend and while she actually enjoyed the bath for once she was then wide awake for longer than usual and difficult to get off to sleep! It's good to know she'll get it in her own time. I'm just looking forward to having some evening time back - not looking forward to the 4 month sleep regression though
If you want to try and encourage a routine, I'd recommend waking at the same time in the morning and going from there as most babies are then hungry and sleepy at a predictable interval and you can try and predict a suitable time to do bedtime.
I would be led by her with the time for the bedtime routine. Don't start it at 11/12 though, pick a time around say 7-8 when she's awake then continue to feed when she needs it but make sure she goes straight back down in her basket/crib afterwards. Keep the lights dimmed & the TV down low and just move her through with you when you go to bed. That's what we did with our DD. She's 12 weeks now & is brilliant at knowing the difference between night & day. Bedtime starts at 6.50 with a story, some playtime/tummy time, bath then a feed. She's usually asleep by 8 and goes for 7-10 hours (though I wouldn't expect this at 6 weeks!) We just carry the basket through when we go to bed. She wakes for a feed around 4.30-5.30 and then generally goes back down til 7.30. Agree with PP that establishing a "wake up time" is a good idea too. Although it might be tempting to have a lie in, make a point of getting her dressed at the same time every morning so she soon associates that with daytime.
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