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9 week old naps & nighttime routine?

(22 Posts)
Shadgal1 Wed 10-Jun-15 10:43:30

I'm an ftm and started a bedtime routine (bath, feed, cuddle, sleep) two nights ago. Ds has taken about two hours after I put him to bed (around 8pm) to fall asleep. The first night he slept from 10pm til 4am. He didn't really sleep after that until around midday and that was only after I took him out in the pram to force him to nap. Last night he slept from 10pm to 2:30am, fed fir about an hour then refused to sleep in his Moses basket. He'd doze off in my arms but wake the minute I put him in the basket. By now I'm knackered so afraid to hold him to sleep in case I fall asleep (and the Sleepyhead is in the wash so I can't have him in the bed with us!). Basically he hasn't slept since 2:30am and it's now 10:30am. I'm generally worried he doesn't seem to nap much in the day and so I'm worried he's not getting enough sleep...

He's feeding now and has nearly dozed off but the moment I try and put him down he wakes.
All the advice I read says he should nap in the same room as where he sleeps at night but he wakes from his doze the minute I go in there!

Sorry for the long ramble! My questions are - should I worry he's not sleeping enough or could this be just a phase or result of the new night routine? Is it ok if he sleeps less in 24hrs than most of the advice suggests? And will it cause problems if he doesn't nap in the bedroom? Like, does it matter if he associated day naps with the bright living room and night sleeps with the dark bedroom?
confused x

FATEdestiny Wed 10-Jun-15 11:44:23

Lack of sleep does matter in a baby. Especially a baby of this very young age. For the first 6 weeks, which you are only just coming out of, baby should basically be feeding or sleeping most of the whole 24 hours.

At 9 weeks old I would generally be trying to get baby back to sleep probably 30-45 minutes after waking (having a feed in that awake time). Definitely not more than 60 minutes awake at this age.

Your baby will be very, very, very over tired and really needs more sleep. 8 hours awake is quite worrying in the first 12 weeks. So you need some emergency tactics here. Don't worry about anything else apart from sleeping and feeding. Don't worry about bad habits forming or anything like that, too young to be concerned. You just need your baby to sleep and sleep often.

(BTW - the advise is that baby should sleep in the same room you are in, not the same room they sleep at night. That means daytime naps downstairs in the living room with you)

I would suggest dummy and bouncy chair for the daytime naps.

I like the EASY structure, to ensure plenty of feeds and sleep's. At this age I'd be working on a 1.5-2 hourly EASY structure.

E - Eat - Give a full feed
A - Awake time - From when first waking (so including the time to feed) this doesn't want to be any longer than 60 minutes. Preferably 30 minutes in the first 12 weeks
S - Sleep - Dummy in and into the bouncy chair (minus play arch). You sit on the sofa and bounce, bounce, bounce that baby. Putting dummy back in as needed, until asleep. Then bounce at any time the baby stirs and may wake up - bounce back to sleep. Keep dummy and bouncing back to sleep until it is 90 minutes since the last feed. Then stop bouncing and wait for baby to naturally wake up. When baby wakes, start again.
Y - Is You time (and makes the acronym).

Night time I would try a swaddle. You also don't need a sleepyhead to have baby in your bed. But there are co-sleeping guidelines.

PomeralLights Wed 10-Jun-15 11:55:36

This is a tiny baby who doesn't even realise he's a separate entity to you. He will not learn a routine or bad habits at this stage. Honestly. The most important thing is sleep.

The recommended co-sleep position is lie on your side with bottom arm outstretched. Baby below bottom arm snuggling up to your boob. The outstretched arm makes it quite difficult for you to roll on him (apparently it would actually break your shoulder!) and you both get to doze. Maybe try it?

Do feed him to sleep (are you bf?) - breast milk contains sleep hormones, it's just easier for everyone and the natural way. If bottle fed his instincts will still be to respond to milk in a sleepy way so I understand it's worth feeding a ff baby to sleep too.

I cannot emphasise enough that this is the time to just do whatever it takes to get your baby to sleep as much as possible. If you are worried about falling asleep holding him is there anyone you can ask to come round to watch you nap with him and keep you both safe?

I tried a bedtime routine for a few weeks at this stage because bitch HV insisted dd needed it and also needed to learn to 'self-settle' THIS IS BOLLOCKS which I realised after looking into the research.

Durham uni and various health bodies produce an interesting infant sleep website based on actual research, not opinion-based baby books. The research suggests sleep training / routine makes no difference at all to long term sleep patterns (I.e. Children over 2 yrs). Search google for 'infant sleep information source'.

Just enjoy your baby. Cuddle your baby. Don't worry about all the other crap, it's proven by research to all be bollocks made up to sell books and just puts stress between you and your baby. It's not worth it.

PomeralLights Wed 10-Jun-15 12:02:09

Oh and it is really important that he naps where you are NOT in a room on his own. That is a big SIDS risk especially for a baby so young.

monkey2014 Wed 10-Jun-15 14:40:39

A couple of weeks ago I think...don't have a good concept of time at the moment smile ...I was in a similar position. I basically spent two days holding him so he would sleep as much as possible to catch up. I think one night he woke up a lot and I kept waking him up when I put him down and we had a bit of crying, which started the overtiredness off, so I decided to just suck it up and hold him so he could catch up. I did write down how much he was sleeping as well while I was worried about it, to see if there actually was something to worry about or if I was just making it up as I'm sure I don't remember everything correctly at the moment smile I just tried to get it back to as close to the 'textbook' amount of sleep as possible

I know what you mean about worrying about dozing off though! I did get a friend to watch us sleep or to hold him while I slept that weekend after too. That was when he was 7 weeks, he is 9 weeks now and in the last couple of days he has started this magical slightly longer sleeps at night malarkey (hurrah!) although he is also doing one big 3 hr nap in the middle of the day (he's just waking up now) and only doing little dozes around feeding between now and bedtime at about 7pm. Not sure what's going on with that either...

I have been going to bed at some point between 7pm and 10pm since he was about 5 weeks and sleep started being different to his newborn, like-clockwork every 2.5hrs routine. His longest sleep has been starting in that time slot so I do get some sleep and it means I can cope with any not-wanting-to-be-put-down stuff in the early hours. He still doesn't want to sleep in the cot after 5am for no apparent reason despite having slept in it all night, including 3-4 wake ups.

lexyloub Wed 10-Jun-15 14:58:59

I'm a big believer in a night time routine do the same things exactly the same every night and eventually it will come. 2 nights is too soon to give up a routine you need to keep at it and eventually each night will get easier. I've got 3 dc and started a bed time routine more or less from day 1 so at bedtime I'd take them up undress and bath then into the bedroom for baby lotion/talc pj's on bottle cuddles story and into bed, if they woke for a feed I kept the lights dim and didn't change a nappy unless it was dirty.
Not sure if it made a difference but I also didn't put them down for naps in the cot during the day until they was much older so they associated the cot with a night time longer sleep.
Have a sort of daytime sleep routine too so cuddles then a bounce in the chair or swing or a push in the pram do the same things each nap time they'll learn to associate whatever you find easiest for you with nap time.
All my 3 dc slept through the night from around 6-10 weeks and still love their sleep.

Shadgal1 Wed 10-Jun-15 16:18:48

Thank you all so much for confirming my fears and for the advice - Fatedestiny, the EASY is really helpful as I need some framework to work to. Pomeral I appreciate you advising i ignore a lot of the 'advice' out there. Theres so much of it out there and I should learn to trust my own instincts, which I'll do from now on. It's sleep by hook or by crook. Im
bf'ing. Monkey2015 and lexyloub, like you I'll stick to the evening routine but not so rigidly that it defeats the object.
I can't thank you all enough for reassuring me (that I was right to be worried, not that I was doing the right thing...)

lexyloub Wed 10-Jun-15 18:05:15

Stick with it you'll get there. I'm not specific to an exact time I give myself an hour Lee way as sometimes he's more tired on some days than others so if he's tired I'll do it earlier if he's content I'll leave him a bit longer it's the actual routine of going to bed I stick to as much as possible.

monkey2014 Wed 10-Jun-15 20:14:28

i dont know that either you or i should have worried smile that's what I did though - i realise now its really badly written so im not sure if youll have got anything useful from it but i hope so! i meant i just go to bed as early as possible so when he does his longest stretch of sleep im asleep too, so can cope if have to be awake early smile

Shadgal1 Thu 11-Jun-15 08:35:31

Last night was a struggle because he's overtired no doubt. But eventually he went down and woke after 4hours and 51mins sleep. I bf fed and burped and let him sleep on me which he did for 40 mins ... I've changed and fed him and he's meant to go down again now which frankly will be a miracle. The idea of him sleeping later this morning feels very unlikely but I'll take him out in the pram in an effort to make him drowsy. And so on...will it really get easier once he's caught up and is better rested??

lexyloub Thu 11-Jun-15 09:22:43

It will get easier try get him to sleep however possible for as long as possible. The more over tired they are the harder it is to get them to sleep and stay asleep. Big walks in the sunshine for you today.

Shadgal1 Thu 11-Jun-15 09:23:04

He's sleeping! I think nursing him to sleep is going to be my trick. That, and the pram,

Shadgal1 Thu 11-Jun-15 09:25:34

Thanks - yes grateful it's not the height of winter smile

PomeralLights Thu 11-Jun-15 12:58:45

I'm glad he's slept more smile

A big thing to know about sleep is that fighting / worrying about the lack of a 'long' period of sleep is exhausting for YOU.

I hate to sound like a cow but periods of 4hrs ish of sleep are actually really good. If you get a sleep then too, you will manage on just dozing here and there the rest of the time if you accept that this is the way things are.

My dd used to do one 4 hr stint a night, but since the 4m sleep regression wakes every 2hrs if not more frequently.

FATEdestiny Thu 11-Jun-15 13:08:18

woke after 4hours and 51mins sleep

Tracking sleep to that exacting amounts is not helping you. Try to not clock watch.

nottheOP Thu 11-Jun-15 13:13:33

Hi OP, if you're thinking of using EASY I found this chart really helpful as a rough guide.

www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02/average-sleep-charts-by-age.html

My baby didn't have many obvious sleep signs until he was overtired so this was a lifesaver for me.

9 weeks is still very early days. If I could tell myself anything it would be to reduce my expectations of what I could achieve in a day and of the baby in general. Limited sleep and napping being all over the shop is par for the course until they're a good bit older but EASY did help to bring some structure for my day.

Shadgal1 Thu 11-Jun-15 21:43:53

I'm using a iPhone baby tracker app to log eats and sleeps - I just hit start when he goes down and stop when he wakes up. Without this I find it impossible to remember anything and would struggle to even know he'd been up for more than an hour or not, etc. I'm not worried about his night sleeps (I'm thrilled when I get 4+ hours kip a night and can manage on that and a few dozes in the day) - it's the lack of day naps I'm concerned about. Actually logging them today (using the app) has helped me keep track and keep ontop of when I should put actively him down. I'm def someone who needs a list, it's always been the way long before motherhood! I'm sure it'll become more instinctive as we go. It was the same with the breastfeeding, took me a while and LOTS of writing down to be sure of how often he'd fed, which breast was fed last, etc...
Anyway so my only concern is whether he's getting enough healthy sleep - I'm not so bothered about making him fit into a routine for my sake. During his many (probably too short) feeding-naps today I discovered a brilliant sleep website www.troublesometots.com which I recommend to anyone needing help like me.
Thank you all for taking the time to listen and respond x

PomeralLights Fri 12-Jun-15 04:00:47

I found trying to track naps meant I was always being reactive and having to second guess myself.

I've found it much more helpful to think how long has dd been awake. For my dd (5m) after 2hrs I start thinking about getting her to nap.

Pp up thread suggested at this age you should be trying to start the next nap after 45mins/1hr awake. Maybe try it that way?

Shadgal1 Fri 12-Jun-15 19:24:47

Yeah you're right that works much better for my brain and today has worked well. He hasn't quite napped exactly one hour since waking, one time it was 2 hours - but overall he's slept as much as he should in a 24-hour period and that's already having a positive impact and he's dropping off a little easier. Fingers crossed!

Shadgal1 Fri 12-Jun-15 19:25:54

Ps I did swaddle and white noise last night and this morn and it worked a treat

PomeralLights Fri 12-Jun-15 19:53:59

That's great. Just to reassure you, the days get easier once they get broken up into longer periods (like 2hrs awake rather than 1) and it does get much easier to leave the house and do things without constantly worrying about food and naps - promise! Hope things stay good for you.

Shadgal1 Sat 13-Jun-15 13:57:58

smile thanks PomeralLights grin

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