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First timer with no clue - 6mo fighting sleep!

(8 Posts)
Anniefluff790 Mon 14-Nov-16 21:43:21

People, I am desperate for advice. I am a first time mum and have no idea what I'm doing. Currently winging it like everything else is life. Our 6 month old daughter is an angel (most of the time) and has always slept all night. That fact remains. However, here's the problem. She's started fighting her sleep this last week and isn't going down till 11 or later. She used to do 8-7 quite happily but this is happening every night now. She will sometimes go for a sleep (grudgingly) at 8.30ish but an hour later she's up. Or she will be tired and dpze off but as soon as I move, she wakes and is wide awake. I don't get what's going on. Can anyone enlighten me or give me some help as to how to help her get back to her normal sleeping time? Also, ideas for timings for a good bedtime routine would be very much appreciated! And do I start putting her down to self settle? What do I doooooooo?!

Smyla Mon 14-Nov-16 22:10:17

I recently wrote an equally desperate post about sleeping! I think we're all winging it in our own way whether we're on number one, two or three!!! My little boy (9months) wanted contact at night and I started the controlled crying technique - it's not for everyone but having followed the advice of some love Mumsnetters, over the past 3weeks he's starting to sleep for 11-12hrs each night without waking.

I found the key points were to:
• stick to a routine leading to sleep.
• keep the lights low, little stimulation.
• don't allow sleep after 3pm in the afternoon.
• he eats at 5pm, bath around 5.30/5.45pm, in the chair having milk around 6.15pm and down in his cot by 6.30pm.
• controlled crying: lay them down, say the same phrase and leave the room. Start the timer for 2mins, return and repeat, extend the timer to 5mins, return and repeat - if there's an extended time of no crying then restart the clock. I follow up with 7mins, 9mins, 15mins....
• Its not easy to hear them cry but after a week he's beginning to self settle and he's such a happier boy in the day.

Good luck, don't beat yourself up and remember that every stage is a phase and it will come to an end.

FATEdestiny Mon 14-Nov-16 22:35:07

Controlled crying at 6 months? hmm each to their own I suppose...

Anniefluff790 - what's her daytime slerp like? If she's still on short, frequent naps then I'd aim for about 90m-2h awake time between on nap and the next.

If she's moved onto longer (90m+) naps, then I'd go for a 2 or 3 nap day:

7am wake
9am nap
1pm/2pm nap (depending on wake time of previous nap)
4.30pm power nap added if previous naps were shorter.
8pm bedtime

At 6 months old you could do with aiming for 4h of daytime sleep (give or take) and 11-12h overnight.

Anniefluff790 Mon 14-Nov-16 22:58:55

@FATEdestiny she goes for a nap at 12ish because she's too bloody nosey otherwise! She's very much awake and happy until this time then it's lunch and a bit of bottle then she crashes and sleeps for a good hour and a half usually. This is a new thing too. She never used to nap. She will usually have an hour later in the afternoon too - does this sound like enough? I will do my best with your timings. She went to bed at 8.30 tonight and is still asleep so fingers crossed this continues haha. Also, bedtime routine? How long before bedtime? And if she's not looking like sleeping, do I just put her down and keep going back and shushing or what do I do? Sorry for the million questions- I really have no idea what I'm doing here haha!

FATEdestiny Mon 14-Nov-16 23:33:19

I wouldn't want more than a power nap (20-30 minutes, just to take the edge off over tiredness) after 4pm. What kind of time is her later afternoon nap? Do you think you could jolly her through to keep her awake until bedtime?

I would normally say more sleep = better sleep and so the answer is to reduce awake time between one nap and the next. But you seem sure she's happy with longer awake times. So maybe te issue at bedtime is down to the timings of her naps.

The run-up to bedtime routine, I favour short and sweet because it's very easy to procrastinate. I'd do milk downstairs followed by bath if needed, sleepsuit and then book, kiss, bed. On non-bath nights I can do bedtime routine start to finish in 10 mins or less.

If she's not tired then I wouldn't bother. But make sure you're tuned into the subtle tiredness signs. If you are able to routine your daytime naps more, it will give some predictability to your bedtime and so there will be much less guess work involved.

Anniefluff790 Tue 15-Nov-16 09:16:32

You are a lifesaver, FATE this is the advice I've been needing! She's very much contented to sit and speak away, play with her toys, watch me going about my daily business and come out to my lessons with me (I teach violin) and no she really enjoys the music. But to keep the routines going, I may need to leave her with her granny at our house because my home times can be a bit unpredictable. This WILL work. She says. Hopefully.. ha. Ha. Ha...

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 09:28:01

She doesn't have to be at home for predictable naps.

Could she nap in the pushchair or sling? These allow for naps on the go.

Anniefluff790 Tue 15-Nov-16 11:03:55

Naps aren't the problem - by the time I'm coming home from teaching she's getting tired so ends up sleeping in the car. Then she doesn't want to go to bed which is understandable. It's evening teaching I do! If I could keep her awake in the car it would be great but that never happens grin thank you so much for the advice you've given me though. It really is appreciated! flowers

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