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Unpredictable wake up time, does your LO really wake up at the same time everyday?

(21 Posts)
FifiFerusha Mon 04-Jan-16 07:37:19

I really need to get a routine sorted for my 5 mo DS. Especially since I have started weaning( after two days already swallowing and asking for more, only on one meal a day). I also have the school run for DD but am all over the place with regards to a routine as his wake ups are unpredictable. This morning he awoke at 6.30, so it will probably be a four nap day(short 45 minute napper). Yesterday he awoke at 8.30, so was a 3 nap day. I really want to get a routine in place. Can I manipulate his wake up times? I am sooo sick of looking up good routines and it saying wake up at 7 and what about all these baby's that nap for an hour and a half. Wow, can I have one! He hasn't done that since 4 weeks. He can self sooth at bedtimes but nap times are a nightmare. Bedtime stays the same time everyday as regardless of naps it is like he knows the time. Nap times are a night mare. I know he can self sooth but won't at naps. So, how can I set wake up and make him happy about nap times like he is about bedtimes. I have a pre nap thing going but doesn't make a difference. Thanks x

CurlsLDN Mon 04-Jan-16 07:42:25

I'm no expert but I would think that with naps being at different times every day, that's why he is fussy, as he's not 'expecting' them like he is at bedtime.

Four naps is a lot, 45 mins is a 'normal' length. If i were you I'd pick three times of day that work for you and ds (eg 10,12 and 3) and put him down for a nap at those times every day. You may find that once you get nap and bed times on a regular pattern wake up time falls into place - it did for my ds by that age, now he always wakes up between 6.30-7am

FATEdestiny Mon 04-Jan-16 11:55:17

Somewhere between 5m and 6m usually marks the change when short frequent naps extend and you make the transition to fewer, longer naps, so you'll have a change coming soon.

You might move, for example, from 45ish minutes sleep in every 2.5h (ish) through the daytime, to 1.5h twice a day on a 234 basis (first nap 2h from waking, second nap 3h from waking, bedtime 4h from waking - or there abouts).

This transition happened when I found DD could be resettled to sleep when she stired, so that she slept longer. I used a bouncy chair for all DDs daytime naps, which greatly assists in being able to lengthen nap times.

FifiFerusha Mon 04-Jan-16 12:52:18

Yes, it is timing and wake time I am still figuring out. I have had a great day so far today though. He woke at 6.30 and then I put him down for a nap at 8.30' he self settled with no fuss but woke after 30 mins. .was so pleased he self settled though. .and I put him down for another nap at about 11.20' he self settled in about 20 mins and he is still asleep now. .wow, wow. Hope this continues. I am definitely going to work on your advice FATE. Sometimes I feel like I am still treating him like a 3 month old. He needs a change I think. Just need to work it round that school run. He now refuses to sleep in his pram.

Ps I also used a bouncy chair for DD1, a god send for her and you could take it anywhere. My boy is a bit fussy in it unfortunately but great advice for anyone else struggling to get them to sleep. It helps them realise they don't need to fall asleep on you.

FifiFerusha Mon 04-Jan-16 23:08:57

Well, getting him to bed tonight was a nightmare and it is usually easy. He had his first ever lunchtime nap for an hour and a half and was a real struggle to get him to self settle for a 3 o clock nap so I ended up feeding him to sleep for a 30 mins catnap from 4 until 4.20 ish . Couldn't just leave him crying but He then cried his heart out at bedtime so had to stroke his face and put on lullabys etc. .until he fell asleep OT at 7.45. Really late for him. Has anybody got a typical routine for a five and half month old?

Also got the dreaded school run to consider tomorrow. . This is really confusing me. . It really aggravates me when all these books on advice for typical baby routines fear to even consider that we have school runs to juggle with. Funny how they ignore it as though it disrupts their theories yet most of us have to deal with it. My DS will settle sometimes in his cot but on our pram walk school run he is far too interested in looking around to nap, arghhh x

onesteptotheleftofme Mon 04-Jan-16 23:24:41

Our routine is wake up between 7 and 8am. 1.5 hours after waking he shows tired signs so I either feed him to sleep or take him out in the pram for a nap. He usually sleeps about 45 mins at this time.
Then for the rest of the day I aim to get him asleep by 2 hours after waking, whether he has slept for 45 minutes or 3 hours.
We eat dinner at six and start his bedtime at 6.30. If he's napping at half five i wake him and then he starts giving tired signals by 6.15/6.30 and he's taken upstairs for a change of clothes and a bottle. He is usually asleep by 7.30 but always wakes by 8.30 for a bf.

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 12:33:09

Has anybody got a typical routine for a five and half month old?

Your baby, your family, is unique. Just as other families are. You would be best to avoid seeking The Definitive Answer from elsewhere, instead work out a routine that works for you and your family.

Its a massive cliché, but babies don't come with a manual for good reason - they are all different.

I have school runs to do, which therefore means I couldn't be too 'go with the flow' with baby because she had to fit in with the comings and goings of the rest of the family routine.

Once my DD started extending her naps and moved away from short, frequent naps she settled on a morning nap starting when we got back from school - say 9.00/9.30. I would then wake her up at 11am if she wasn't awake.

Others wouldn't dream of waking a sleeping baby but this is where the fact that all familys are different comes in. I know that I wanted DD to have her afternoon nap in the cot. This meant she had to be awake for 3pm (to go on school run). Working backwards this therefore meant she needed to go to sleep by 1pm to allow for a 2 hour nap.

Again working backwards from this, to be awake long enough to be ready to go to sleep again at 1pm means I have to wake my DD at 11am if she isn't awake.

So in summery, the sleep routine that works for my baby and my family at 5.5 months was:

7.00 wake
9.00/9.30 sleep in cot (if home) or carseat (if out)
11.00 woken up (will wake sooner of we are out)
1.00 sleep in cot (always stay home for this nap)
3.00 woken up
7.00 bedtime in cot

However, this works for my family. You just need to work out what will work for your family.

Are you using a dummy for sleep times? Great as a way of allowing independent sleeping.

FifiFerusha Tue 05-Jan-16 21:45:13

Thank you again FATE. Coincidently, your routine is something I am going to try and head towards as it would allow hiw naps at home and fit in the school run. Today it went like this:

7.45 wake
Then school run
9.40 went up to nap, fell asleep at 10.10(self settled with no crying, yes!)
11.15 wake( can't believe he seems to be sleeping longer just as you said)
13.10' went up for nap, slept at 13.40(self settled, little bit wingy)
14.30 wake
Then school run
I tried to give him a catnap between four and five but it is soo hard when DD is around as he adores watching and playing with her. He cries as soon as I walk in his room. Wouldn't even feed to sleep at this catnap today so put him to bed early instead and he slept at 18.30.

He seems to be going beyond the 45 mark which is great but the awake time before bedtime is quite long. Should I just stick to this? However the early bedtime might mean early wake up. 7 would actually fit in better. Shall see what happens.

Sorry about school run rant. I guess our routine changes everyday and I was just seeking a bit of predictability.

Tried a dummy after previous advice you gave me in another thread but he didn't seem to like it. He now sucks on the corner of a blanky and his thumb. . A life saver and does the same job I guess.

I think I just need to relax smile

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 22:04:04

You do just need to relax flowers

My DD added a teatime powernap in when she first transitioned - from around 5 months old until about 7 months she would have the extra 30-45 powernap probably 50% of the time.

I had already established the bouncy chair for daytime naps at this point, so the powernap was always downstairs in the chair to avoid her sleeping too long. She was also known to drop to sleep lying on the sitting room floor when absolutely knackered!

On days when my DD had the powernap, it usually meant bedtime was more like 8pm rather than 7pm. But that was fine for us. 2.30pm - 7.00pm is a long time awake at your DSs age. Some people would go for an earlier bedtime rather than an additional powernap. Everyone is different.

Incidentally the routine I gave evidentially works for us. DD is now 15+ months and is still on the same daytime routine. Just starting to get signs she might be ready for 1 nap, but mostly still 2 naps.

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 07:41:44

After the disruption of even a very quiet Christmas, DS naps have gone to pot. He's never napped well but we are currently stock on two 20-30 minute naps. He wakes anytime between 6 + 8. He Will happily play in bed for an hour (with me - i pop him in his cot to get tea and breakfast) and then after an hour is usually ready for another sleep. I don't know whether to stop doing this or carry on and count it as a nap. I feel i should stop so didn't do it yesterday. He had a third 30 minute nap at 4.15 ish but woke twice after bedtime (in cot by 7, woke at 7.40 and 8.30) i went to bed after the second wake and he woke again twice before leaving bed with me at 11pm. (had a week or so of bed 6.30/7, wake 9/10 & 1 then co sleep)

I know he's not sleeping enough during the day. What do you do if they fall asleep in the car? He would always wake when i stopped but now doesn't (nice new comfy car seat!) so i either drive slowly randomly about for an hour or sit on the drive. Neither of which is practical.

Now dh is back at work i am aiming for an afternoon cot nap. And an earlier bedtime as i have to cook and eat after he goes to bed and its ending up too late to eat.

FifiFerusha Wed 06-Jan-16 09:36:44

How old is your DS nota lotta? Sounds like he is a random sleeper like mine. Mine also sometimes wakes an hour after bedtime, and I have to encourage him back to sleep. In the night he sometimes wakes at 1, 3 and then 6 and I too don't know whether he wants to be up that early or go back to sleep. It can be confusing.

Recently I have started to put a bit of faith in him regarding self settling. At the start i think i made a decision that he couldn't sleep himself and so he couldn't. .self perpetuating maybe. I tried everything but it seemed to annoy him so I have started to let him get on with it and realised that a lot of the times he won't scream to sleep. If he does I go in, give him a shhh, put on white noise until he calms, leave the room and then see if he will drift off. I go in and do this ahain if he cries. It isn't controlled crying. Just our own little way of gently teaching him how to sleep independently. This has been working and I think it has helped extend his naps, even if is just by 20 mins. Maybe nap extension is developmental though.

It is tricky when their wake ups and routine changes everyday though.

You driving around in the car reminds me of me going on my hour walks in the pram until he decided he didn't like the pram(argh). Maybe let him wake and try and get him to sleep again at home( but, oh the effort after he is finally asleep, sometimes easier to drive around) . .know how you feel x x

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 09:57:13

He's 5and a bit months. He's ebf and feeds to sleep, when he wakes its often because he's stirred, rooted for a boob and not found one. He has never just fallen asleep independently and gosh i have tried. He would bounce to sleep but it would take 15mins of bouncing at least while he protested for 20 minutes of sleep and i had to keep bouncing at so not worth it imo - i would rather sling or car seat. But i feel at a stage where things NEED to change.

In the evenings he has fed to sleep and slept in the cot for between 3 and 5 hours before now so i know it can be done!

I really don't like the idea of waking to get him out of the car. But Will have to i suppose. I am going to try for an afternoon nap at home in the cot. I often find it easier to be out (he Will sleep in the pram in the busiest of places!) so not revising tying myself to the house.

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 10:06:07

So today he woke at 6.40. I was shattered. By the times i had had a bit of a cuddle and chat with him, Nappy change, loo for me, popped him in cot while i got tea and cereal (find it easier to do this before he is 'up') and taken it back to bed, he played a bit and started looking tired. Laid him down and fed and he had a good feed then sleep by 8.15. I slept too and he woke at 9.45. Not sure he would sleep this long if i put him in his cot. But today i am counting that as a nap and Will go from there. Will try for a nap around 12 (maybe in the sling while out) and then at 3ish. I have to take the cat to the vets at 5so he Will sleep in the car i guess. God life gets in the way of naps!

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 12:10:36

Well so far so good. Still at home and feeding so should fall asleep soon. Don't mind feeding to sleep IF he would stay asleep! Not sure now whether to just let him sleep (on me) or try to put him down once asleep. Or, as he's stopped feeding and is laying there looking at me quietly, to put him down awake.......


FifiFerusha Wed 06-Jan-16 13:52:54

Yes, I know that feeling. I always went, or go, with if I am feeding to sleep may as well go all the way. Have you tried shh pat as a start off for independent sleep. I did it in the early days and then he went off it a bit so fed to sleep a while and still do sometimes. He will still only feed in the dark anyway, but now try to feed on wake if fits in. after that I just did a sort of stroke and shh version of shh pat with white noise. It took me up to 50 mins sometimes but was determined not to give in. It got quicker. I think this has helped him settle himself. .but it really is still hit and miss. It is soo hard to organise naps when they may take over 30 mins to get to sleep and then that window is missed( never really noticed a sleep window with my DS though, he goes from ok to wired and giggly, strange).

Well, my DS's second nap has just ended, argh gonna be so hard to get him to sleep again before bed ( please, please, please sleep in the pram, finger crossed)

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 16:09:52

I did put him.down in the end and he slept for 40minutes total but most of that was on me. Maybe 15on his own but still better. Just dropped off again and am going to wait 10minutes then put in cot.

I haven't really tried slush pat or anything. I do wonder though those times he stops feeding and is awake but sleepy if he would drop off if i put him down. I Will try it i guess. What he usually does is look t me a bit, do some soft 'chatting' latch back on and sleep.

Hope you got/get a pram nap! i am hoping for him to stay asleep for at least half an hour so i can prep dinner. Otherwise dinner Will be stupidly late again.

Have changed vets appointment to next week (it was just routine) so i can concentrate on this for a bit.

FifiFerusha Wed 06-Jan-16 22:35:29

He did manage the pram nap. I reclined the seat down more and it was ok. Slept for only thirty though but better than nothing.

I found shh pat useful as it helped him work out ways to sooth himself such as sucking his thumb or blanky, making these strange screechy calls and swaying his head from side to side. He also moves his hands in front of his eyes and twirls them in slow motion. .really funny. So, shh pat helped him learn that and for me to learn whether he was trying to get to sleep. So by the time I decided to leave him to it he had soothing methods. Don't get me wrong though he can only do it fifty per cent of the time. Try it, it does take a while to tune into whether it is annoying them or not. .shhh, stroke works better for a five month old, or at least my DS. It takes perserverance and my DS did cry, but I was there. He would them calm, cry a bit, calm(the pattern continued again and again) and then sleep. It was almost like he wanted to sleep but was frustrated he couldn't do it. I liked to look at it that way anyway. Expect it to take ages at first. .and therefore the knock on effect of messing nap times. It is actually easier to feed to sleep . .i mean that won't be forever, so I wouldn't worry if it is too frustrating.

Oh, and I also have a little rhythm, white noise cube thing. I think that calms me more than him(weird, I know) but that helps x

Nottalotta Thu 07-Jan-16 05:16:32

Awake. Oof . Definitely staying in bed for the first nap today!!

Last night he woke after going to sleep and coo'd at his blankie, i left him and he went back to sleep!! First time ever!! I find it hard once we are in bed though as husband gets up at 4 and is not good with being woken. And DS has taken to waking 40minutes after his night feed so is hardly in his cot (he comes into bed after his first wake up which used ti be 1-2am....)

Last night was 11.30. He did feed though rather than just comfort. I wish my husband would bugger off to the spare room.

Glad you got the nap - ours was barely 30 minutes in the afternoon but feel we made progress yesterday.

Will try the shush pat stroke thing. DS also does the twirly hand thing, very cute. But when he wakes he is rooting, kicking thrashing about and loudly groaning/moaning so i find it hard to leave him. Off to get tea.....

Nottalotta Thu 07-Jan-16 05:39:19

Oh and i do put white noise on at his bedtime but turn it off when we go up.

What are you doing about wake up times fifi? Hoping it Will settle or getting him.up atva set time? Most days i don't have to be up hence the staying in bed habit! Which ok if he wakes at 5 like today - likely to sleep from 6.15 for another hour or so but yesterday sleep til 9.45 was a bit much! (i enjoyed it......)

FifiFerusha Thu 07-Jan-16 09:44:27

Well, wake up yesterday was 6.30' today 6.50. He has started to like the pram again so slept on school run from 8.55 until 9.05(woke when I walked in the door argh). So I have just put him up in his cot to see how it goes. Not sure if I am doing the right thing. He isn't crying just doing his usual sleepy moans. .i will give him 30 mins and get him up if it doesn't work.

Do you partially co sleep after that night waking then? I used to often do that. He is in his own room now so Have a koo dee set up in his room so if he can't go back to sleep I get a duvet for me and pop him in that and lie next to him. That way it doesn't disturb partner. I am trying to leave DS be at night though but it isn't that easy when you are tired so FtoS mostly.

Also, I have found now that DP is back at work his wake time coincides with his shower(next to his room), 6.30 ish. Maybe I will have to go with that but makes sure he gets to bed early. He is always better after twelve hours in bed(minus the times he wakes in the night of course). I just think if a wake up was consistent then the rest of the day could be planned out better. Have started weaning too. .oh dear another thing to place on the timetable. Everyday is different. X

Nottalotta Sat 09-Jan-16 07:50:08

Yes we co sleep after that wake up. Used to co sleep fully until recently. In fact looking back we HAVE made real progress. 6was ago he was in the sling to go to sleep every evening while i attempted to cook,followed by a delicate transfer to bouncy chair while we ate then got ready for bed and co slept. He goes in his cot now at bedtime which sometimes is great and he'll sleep til 9/10 but other times will need reselling twice before then. He started out waking between 1/2 and then i co sleep but the time is getting earlier, he often wages after one sleep cycle. But has resented himself earlier in the evening.

He has fed a LOT through the night last night. There's no way i would cope not co sleeping. But i was out of the house 9.30 - 3.30 yesterday though did try to feed him several times he didn't really settle to it, gets very distracted. He did gum some carrot sticks and turned an entire small banana to dribble. Don't know if any went in!

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