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Day time / night time sleep ratio

(10 Posts)
Heloise1982 Fri 16-Sep-16 06:24:57

I've got 7 mo twins who love their day time sleep (finally napping well, hurrah), but night time sleep is still a disaster area... In particular, I really, really hate the 4 am start sad

They've always needed a lot of daytime sleep, and do get ratty if they don't get it. Yesterday the routine went roughly like this:

Up at 4
Nap 6-6.45
Nap 8.15-11.45 (yes, three and a half hours!)
Nap 1.15-2.00
Nap 4.45-5.30 (and they were overtired by the 4.45 nap)
Bed at 7
Feed at midnight
Feed at 3
Up for day 4.30

Now it seems to me that is far too much daytime sleep for a 7mo, but the problem is they really need it. It's only fairly recently that we've cracked napping (finally getting the right reflux meds has helped), and until a couple of weeks ago they were crying, overtired disasters for much of the day (still are, if the naps don't happen.) They generally go down without fuss, apart from the last nap of the day, which I wish they'd drop, but at the minute if they don't get it they are howling banshees by bedtime. They really can't do any more than 1.5 hours comfortably without a sleep.

But... The 4 am start is killing me! I do wish they would do more of their sleeping at night and less during the day. Is there any way to encourage them to do this, or do I just have to wait it out and hope it gets better with time? On the occasions I have limited their day time sleep all that happens is that they fuss and cry through tiredness during the day, and wake up at sodding 4 am regardless.

user1471421772 Fri 16-Sep-16 06:51:51

Wow that's a lot of daytime sleep! My son is 5 months old and has 3x40 min naps. Perhaps try waking them after 2 hours for their long nap and stretch them put to going at least 2 hours between naps. It will take a few horrendous overtired days to adjust, but that amount of day sleep is why you're having the early waking.

PopsicleBopsicle Fri 16-Sep-16 07:07:26

They need four naps but within the 6-6 timeframe. Can you try putting them back down as soon as they wake from the 4am sleep? Also try putting them to bed earlier at around 6 ish might help.

Heloise1982 Fri 16-Sep-16 09:05:02

Yes 3x30 mins is what my daughter was on at this age too! Hmm yes might try stretching the awake time. I'm cautious of playing around too much with the naps because it's been a long road getting where we are, and they are so much happier now they're napping better. On the other hand, I know they say sleep breeds sleep but surely there's only so much sleep a human can have in a 24 hour period, and it stands to reason that if too much of it is during there day there won't be as much at night.

Popsicle sadly there seems to be no getting them back down once they're up at 4! They are full of beans and singing loudly. Having said that, they're often tired again within an hour, but I have been trying to extend the morning awake time. Perhaps I should try to shorten it instead and hope it gradually fades altogether. As to bedtime, yes, my feeling is they are overtired by their bath at 6.30 but worried if they go down earlier they'll wake even earlier. Anything is worth a try tho.

It's a minefield isn't it??

Timetogrowup2016 Fri 16-Sep-16 09:50:36

If they wake early . Keep them in their cots in their room in the dark until 6am. Treat it as a night waking. They don't get up until 6. They will readjust their selves.
Wake them up from their long nap after 2.5 hours and stretch awake time to 2 hours min

Heloise1982 Fri 16-Sep-16 10:08:18

Timetogrow I have tried that, they just cried and cried, by 4.45 they were sobbing wrecks and I couldn't do it any longer. I'm not against a bit of letting them fuss themselves to sleep if they're really tired, but I think when they're that wide awake it's just not going to happen sad

Timetogrowup2016 Fri 16-Sep-16 12:07:52

Yes. They will probably cry but let them cry in their cots with u in their. They'll know your their but your teaching them that they don't come out until 6 . Maybe start with 5 and push it back say 5:15,5:30 etc until u get to 6

Timetogrowup2016 Fri 16-Sep-16 12:08:48

They don't have to sleep btw just learn that their not getting up then and that they can't just nap all day long either

Me624 Fri 16-Sep-16 16:06:46

Are they waking that early because they're hungry? My 6.5 month old DS wakes most days between 5 and 5.30 for a bottle and he gets it in his room in the dark (landing light on) then straight back into his cot. He doesn't always go back to sleep easily at that time but with perseverance he will. I agree with Time, you need to treat it as any other night waking. You don't have to let them cry, just don't let them play and sing and keep reiterating that it's still nighttime.

Heloise1982 Fri 16-Sep-16 16:32:01

I'm don't think they're hungry. Sometimes they don't have their night feed til 2 or 3, and still wake at 4 or shortly after. I've tried feeding to resettle; not feeding; dummy; sitting with a hand on them; just leaving them to it - whatever I do they're awake! They're happy as Larry if I get up with them, but if I leave them or resettle them they just cry and cry - not like a frustrated, overtired cry like they sometimes do at bedtime (and if I leave them to it then, they will settle themselves within 30 minutes or so), but full on sobbing tears that just get more hysterical, until they are well beyond the point of going to be able to go back to sleep. Which is such a horrible way to start the day. I really don't think I can just leave them to it, much as I would like to.

It does very much seem like they are just ready to start their day at that time, and I somehow need to reset their body clocks. I think I'm going to try to have a really busy weekend, get them out and about a lot, and try to distract them from sleeping too much during the day, in the hope they compensate a bit at night. And hope I don't just end up with overtiredness waking them instead.

It's so hard. I'm so tired.

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