Am I keeping my baby awake too long?(10 Posts)
Hello, I've posted a few times now about my DD's sleep! Things are slowly getting better but still not quite there!! We now have a routine of napping in her cot in her nursery during the day time and early evening before we go to bed. We have a little calm down routine of nappy change and lullaby, then I hold her and shush her until she is calm and then put her down and continue to shush with my hand on her. Most of the time she starts crying and squirming as soon as her sleeping bag is on and she knows what's coming!! So sometimes it holding her doesn't seem to be helping I put her down anyway and shush and pat her in bed. Sometimes it works but sometimes I have to pick her up again it she starts really crying. Generally anyway when I put her down she is either awake, or half asleep and she opens her eyes as I put her down then I shush her off to sleep in her cot. Sorry for such a long description, just want to give an idea of what we're already doing!! The problem is she will only nap for 30 mins generally, MAX 50 but this is unusual. If she sleeps in the sling she can easily sleep for 2 hours and she's generally ok at night although has recently gone back to waking every 2/3 hours whereas she had been going for 6
So I've read loads of stuff (probably too much!!!) and think I have a good idea of what to do, but wanted to run it past other mums and find out what your practical experiences are!
So my initial question: am I keeping her awake too long?? In the morning I let her stay awake for max 60 mins post waking as she seems tired almost immediately. She goes down easiest for this nap. I then let her stay awake for between 60-90 mins before we go again. She's an extremely bright baby so I think that by the time she starts rubbing her face and yawning she's probably too tired, so I do try to start her nap routine before she seems tired. My husband and family in general are always fighting me over this as she seems to be so alert and happy that they think that I'm dragging her away from all the fun! So sometimes I do end up letting her stay up longer, then she cries lots is this the right thing though? Should I be starting her routine at 60 mins even if she's having the time of her life and after feeding she only has 30-40 mins to have some fun??
Secondly, how do I stop her from waking after only 30 bloody mins?! I've read about two things which I think I might try. One is literally sitting with her through her nap and putting my hand on her to stop herself startling herself awake as she comes out of a deep sleep, and the other is going on around 20 mins and stroking her cheek or similar to rouse her slightly, hoping that might push her into another phase of sleep... Has anybody tried these? Do they work? Does one work better than the other? How long before baby learns to do this for themselves? Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
How old is your DD?
You could me describing my DD exactly as she was at around 2 months! In hindsight I wish I had just let her nap for 30 minutes at a time if that's what she wanted. I tried to make her nap for longer and the constant shushing etc was a waste of time really. She took longer naps eventually. It sounds like you are doing a great job so keep doing what you are doing.
The first nap was always the easiest, the others were a battle. I always used to put her in the sling for her last nap even if it was just in the house as it was too exhausting trying to get her to nap in the cot, especially if over tired (I agree others read this at excitement and don't think a nap is necessary).
Ignore the books that outline the times your baby 'should' nap, as long as waking up time and bedtime are fairly consistent that is fine.
My DD is 11 months now and naps just fine in her cot. Giving her a dummy really helped too.
Thanks for that yeah it would have been helpful to mention her age!! 14, going on 15 weeks. It just feels like I'm constantly putting her to sleep at the moment! I was trying a dummy but she can't get the hang of keeping it in her mouth. She seems to be finally finding her thumb though, she's currently been in bed since 7, did her usual 30 mins and has been lying awake and sucking her thumb ever since! She seems to wake naturally around 7.30am and we start her bath and bed routine between 6.30 and 7 depending on when her last nap finished. Last nap is often a battle lost and we then just go straight into an early bed time to be honest!! I often do a nap in the middle of the day in the sling if I have to go out, or am just desperate for her to have a longer sleep!! I used to go out a lot in the day so she was always napping on the go but I've made a conscious decision to minimise plans for the next two weeks until we've started getting on top of her naps a bit!!
Ok I know this could be a very annoying thing to say, but you ask for practical advice based on experience, so here's mine. In two weeks she'll be doing something different. Just roll with it. My second baby is the same age as yours. With my first I tried to pin things down but at this point they naturally get excited by the world and more wakeful during the day. I just follow her lead.
I might have posted this link before but I had found this very helpful when my DS was around the same age link.
Thanks Cinnamon. It's just hard as if I follow her lead she won't tell me she's tired until she's exhausted and then it's a complete nightmare trying to get her to calm down and sleep!! That was what I was doing a few weeks ago but now I think it's led to her getting overtired you're right though things do change so quickly, even in this past week I can see changes! I guess I just worry about making things difficult for myself in the future by doing the wrong things now! Also typical first time mum anxious about everything
Thanks Araminkin. I get so confused because some websites say 90 mins max, which means I might be letting her stay up too long sometimes, but that link says 2 hours! Which sometimes is too long for her but other times ok... Argh confusing I think she gets roughly 10-11 hours at night after accounting for her wake ups to feed, so guess even if she only naps for a total of 1.5-2 hours during the day she's not doing toooooo badly. Her dad is awful at sleeping, if I don't drag him into bed he'll be up until all hours until he falls asleep on the sofa... Maybe she's just the same! ;)
It says around 2hrs for 3-6 months, and if I remember well with my DS it went from around 1.5 hrs up to around 2hrs at 6 months. At that age I used to take him for a walk in the pram to get him to sleep. I think I started putting him down in his cot to sleep around 8 months? Not sure now! However, as some of the others said, it will change again, in a week or so! So don't stress too much.
If I were you I would stop reading websites and books about what your baby 'should' be doing and concentrate on learning her cues. All babies are different, and when they are so tiny their needs can change from week to week as well. Certainly my two at this age were chalk and cheese. Ds did the startling thing and so we swaddled him (with one arm out once he started to suck his thumb). We also found controlled crying worked well for him (once we learned what his different sorts of cries meant) as he'd generally scream for a minute or two, and then find his thumb, sob for another minute or two and then go pretty much straight into deep sleep. dd on the other hand hated being swaddled and would not go to sleep at all without hours of jiggling.
They both turned out just fine though
Parenting is all about confidence I think and you will get there! It's just really stressful until you do I think. The only other thing I'd suggest is to try and work with your dh. If he thinks a different way might work, let him try it and see if it works, try not to make it your job to get the baby to sleep but something you work out together. Some babies go down much better for their dads, especially if you are breastfeeding. Plus it shares out the stress!
I must admit apart from her final nap (which she often refuses) she did go down very well for him today! Yes I am trying to learn her cues, it's just so bloody hard when she's such an alert little bunny and is super smiley all the time and doesn't seem at all tired until it's all too late! I think I'm trying to do the right thing by putting her down for a nap when I think it seems like she needs it, I guess you're right it is about confidence as when she's crying it makes me feel like I'm forcing it on her! So having the confidence that I'm doing the right thing is key I guess!
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