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How to adjust sleeping pattern ?

(10 Posts)
fuzzyllama Sun 31-Jan-16 12:18:56

My dd is nearly 11 weeks old and her sleeping pattern is rubbish. She doesn't go down to sleep for the night until 12.30/1 am, I have tried starting bedtime earlier but she seems so awake and wired and nothing I do seems to settle her.

Her "naps" are also more like sleeps. She is sleeping in 2-4 hour chunks in the day, which is more than she will do at night.

She also wakes in the night for 5-10 min feeds. I'm not sure if this is just to re settle herself, I can't find a way to do it this other than to bf. I have tried her with several different dummies but she just rolls it around and gags on it and gets upset.

Any advice on how to get her to bed earlier ? I see everyone seems to get theirs down at 7pm onwards and I can't help but feel I'm doing something wrong !

fuzzyllama Sun 31-Jan-16 21:40:09

Any one got any advice? I'm stuck in a rut !

FATEdestiny Sun 31-Jan-16 22:11:41

Her sleep sounds a bit all over the place, she might be over-tired.

During the daytime, could you try watching her time awake. Limit the time between one nap and the next to about 1 hour (give or take) and after an hour awake, try getting her back to sleep for a nap.

Daytime naps are expected to be short at this age, 30-45 minutes or so. But they should be frequent throughout the daytime.

I like EASY for daytime structure:
E - Eat (a full feed)
A - Awake time of about an hour (at this age, will extend with age)
S - Sleep (expect anything from 20-60 minutes, but usually 30-45 minutes)
Y - You time while baby sleeps

Then back to the beginning and start with another feed when baby wakes, and so on repeating the EASY steps all day long.

In terms of late evenings, if you carry on her EASY structure then she'll have a nap in the evening around a usual "bedtime" (say between 7pm and 8pm) but as she gets older you will start to notice this nap getting longer, as she learns to link together her sleep cycles.

Once the evening nap stops being a nap and becomes part of her night time sleep, that is when to establish a proper bedtime. This usually happens between 5-7 months old.

fuzzyllama Sun 31-Jan-16 22:44:42

Thank you for the reply.

Her sleep is very irratic. I quite agree with what you are saying about her being over tired, she seems to fight going to sleep - for example she has been so tired this evening but I've been trying for the last 2 hours to get her off and she just won't settle properly.

I am going to try and keep a daily journal of her activity and try and change where I can.

In terms of the EASY the trouble is she often falls asleep after a feed, especially in the morning until around 3 pm and after this she seems to be more awake and alert.

I'll be honest I really don't know what to do, she is quite a difficult baby, she cries a lot and I think it is mostly sleep related because we just can't seem to get it right.

Sorry that's all a bit long winded

FATEdestiny Sun 31-Jan-16 22:57:41

It's OK to move the feed to just before the sleep if you prefer. The key us to try to limit time awake to about 50-70 minutes.

An over-tired baby is really, really hard to get to sleep in comparison to a just-tired baby. This is why good sleep promotes better sleep and unfortunately poor sleep can self-perpetuate to get worse and worse.

fuzzyllama Sun 31-Jan-16 23:15:26

So in the day should I be waking her if she is sleeping too long ? Apologies for all the questions but I genuinely have no clue confused

FATEdestiny Sun 31-Jan-16 23:22:22

Nooooooo. Don't wake a sleeping baby.

Don't worry about how long she sleeps for in the daytime. I only mentioned 30-45 minute naps because some parents worry their baby is "just doing catnaps" and not sleeping for long enough, but this isn't anything to worry about.

Just watch time awake to avoid baby getting over tired. So look at the clock when baby wakes and try to main a point of trying to get her back to sleep in around about an hour's time. It doesn't need to be exact or anything, just an estimation.

Ashleyc123 Mon 01-Feb-16 09:40:30

Don't know if anyone can help, my baby is 17months and has slept for 12 hrs for months however recently he has been waking and crying for hours in the night, some of my friends say can be separation anxiety and I've just seen it can be sleep regression.
He seems fine in the day and will have his 1-2hr nap at lunch time and settles fine at 7 but wakes anywhere between 11 and 12 ans will cry and cry and cry. He can be awake on and off for hours and if we leave him to cry be DOESNT calm down it's been going on for a couple weeks now and me and husband shattered. I don't know if it's teething as we have used the tweeting gel and like I said he is fine in the day!!
Please any advice????????confused

FATEdestiny Mon 01-Feb-16 11:41:26


It might be worth starting a new threat because since fuzzyllama's baby is only 3 months old, it is a very different stage of development to your 17 month old.

It does sounds like your baby needs a more reassurance in the night than he is getting. I wouldn't leave him to cry, personally, because I don't think that solves the insecurities your toddler is feeling.

I would try a process of gradual withdrawal so that baby learns that your reassurance is always there, but that he can sleep without it.

Gradual withdrawal means starting off by giving the child as much reassurance as he needs until he is full asleep. But don't pick him up, do all that reassuring in the cot and stay until asleep. Then over time gradually reduce the amount of reassurance needed.

So you might start shushing and patting and it taking an hour for baby to settle. Then shushing and patting but eventually it takes only 10 minutes or so to settle until asleep. Then change patting to just a firm, non-moving hand on chest - stay until asleep. Then the hand on chest only when stirring, otherwise just wait by the cot. Then hand on chest to settle then retreat to the doorway. Etc

The idea of gradual withdrawal is that you always give as much reassurance as the child needs, but you slowly and gradually reduce how much reassurance is needed so that baby feels more confident and secure to be able to go to sleep without you.

fuzzyllama Mon 01-Feb-16 11:50:05

Thanks for all your advice fate we had a better night last night, she went down at 23.15 in the end as opposed to her usual 1am bed time and she slept a lot better, waking up for three feeds but going straight back to sleep after.

Today I will be putting your advice in to action and hoping for the best to get her down even earlier tonight !

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