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Bedtime for 4 month old - what should it be?

(8 Posts)
EmW1987 Thu 02-Mar-17 08:48:17

Hi everyone
Dd is nearly 4 months old, up until about 10 days ago I thought we had some sort of napping and sleep schedule but it's all out of sync now. The main issue is that whatever bedtime we seem to go for either results in her being overtired and resisting it or undertired and up for hours (like last night where she went 5hours from her last nap to finally sleeping).
Everything I've read seems to suggest that babies need an earlier bedtime so I'd be interested to hear what time you take dc to bed?

At the moment on a good day our schedule goes a little like this:
8:30 awake
Feed (ebf)
Play
After awake time of 1.5 hours she's placed into cot with dummy and will hopefully send herself to sleep. So assume asleep by about 10:10.
Then she'll sometimes nap for 1.5 hours, sometimes 30mins.
Depending on how long she naps she'll then have another 2 maybe 3 naps - roughly 2 hours after being awake each time.
We then take her for bath, play her cot mobile and get her into her cot to be asleep for about 9pm.
However recently this hasn't worked with her napping, so yesterday her last nap finished at 5:30 so we worked to have her in bed at 7:30 (giving her the maximum awake time of 2 hours) but she was wide awake and cried every time we put her down until she finally slept at 11!!!!
After 5:30 it's impossible to get her to nap any more - dummy, bouncer, rocking - nothing seems to do the trick.
Everything seems to suggest not letting them nap too late, but trying to get her down earlier was the most stressful process last night I'm now completely confused about when to take her to bed. Any tips would be gratefully received!

FATEdestiny Thu 02-Mar-17 09:44:08

I'd suggest that by early evening, she's over tired.

1.5-2h awake time is fine for a baby routinely having naps of 90m plus every time. Short naps need shorter awake times. I would suggest about 1h awake time, raising to 90 minutes if the previous nap was over an hour.

I'd also suggest baby might wants lots of feeding from 5.30pm onwards. Evening cluster feeding is a normal thing.

As for bedtime, I would be flexible. I'd continue the 1h awake followed by a nap through the whole evening. Baby is dupposed to sleep in the same room you are at all times until 6 months old. That includes ťhe evenings.

I would therefore "do bedtime" at any awake time between 7-9pm. Bath, change into night clothes etc. Then bring baby downstairs for more napping and cluster feeding. Any wake up that happens around 10-11pm, I'd use that as my signal to go to bed myself and take baby with me.

Baby going "to bed" at bedtime starts once over 6 months and when you are having to wake baby up to go to bed yourself, rather than baby waking up themself.

FartnissEverbeans Thu 02-Mar-17 13:45:55

With our DS we basically do what FateDestiny says, or try to. Two hours is pushing it for awake time with DS during the day. Evenings can be messy in terms of routine but I try to stick to eat-activity-sleep cycle anyway. At the moment he's falling asleep at some point between 9:30 - 11pm and is very difficult to wake up at that point, so I put him to bed and usually go to sleep myself. I make sure he's clean, fed and in pjs by that time.

He's started going to nursery now and has had a couple of days where he's so wiped out that he's asleep by 8ish.

Also, DS is nearly five months now so a bit older than your little one - he went through a bit of a fussy phase for a while that meant he was needing some rocking etc. before going down, which he never needed before. That's improving now (fingers crossed) and last night he soothed himself to sleep for the first time in ages. Maybe your DD is going through something similar?

EmW1987 Thu 02-Mar-17 17:42:25

Hi both, thanks for your responses.
I'll try getting her down earlier during the day as I hadn't thought that maybe she's overtired (although that's obvious now you say it).
I find it near on impossible to get her to sleep downstairs now, as we get her to nap in her cot (in our room) during the day - I watch her on the monitor but she just gets too distracted by the tv, the lights, basically anything when downstairs So unless I take her for a walk and she sleeps in her pram then all her sleeps are in her cot. I've tried the swing seat, bouncer etc but she's never really slept in them - even as a newborn! I guess we've made it harder for her to nap before bed - which means we are then trying to get her get her to bed when she's overtired.
Why don't babies come with instruction manuals??

MonkeyToucher Fri 03-Mar-17 17:24:04

My LO is 4.5 months and he goes to bed at 6pm to be asleep for 6:30 by the time we've done his bedtime routine. Up until about a month ago it was much later, more like 9. We never "decided" this though, he did it on his own. I think I read somewhere that if a baby falls asleep at the same time for 3 consecutive nights and doesn't wake (i.e. It's not a nap) then that is their bedtime iyswim. He does get up earlier than your DS though, more like 7. His last nap usually finishes at 5 ish - his only consistent nap of the day is c. 3-5pm. He's also ebf and wakes once or twice in the night at most. I move him from his room to my room at first wake up (usually around 01:30 am).

Also Fate is absolutely right about sids guidelines and having all sleeps in the same room as you until 6 months but this wasn't practical for us and having no other side risk factors, we're comfortable with our choice.

Boomies Sat 04-Mar-17 19:47:40

We are a few weeks ahead of you but for the last 6weeks+ I've bathed him at 6pm, then massage (length dependent on how tired he will cry if not in the mood) Baby grow and sleeping bag on feed (fed to sleep at this time) and asleep by 7pm he may stir a bit between 7-7.30pm but is normally asleep by 7.30pm. Through the day he does a couple of 40min naps and sometimes a longer hour one but I wouldn't say he sleeps more than 2-2.5hrs between waking around 7.30am and being sleep at 7.30pm (he feeds a couple of times between 7.30pm an 7.30am!)

EmW1987 Sun 05-Mar-17 12:31:28

Ahhh @Boomies sounds like you have a good routine going on.
For the last few days dd has been waking at about 6:30/45 and I've been feeding and then trying to get her back to sleep, often on me. But now I'm wondering whether I should take this as her natural wake time and then it would help shift everything forward so she had a slightly earlier sleep time as it seems getting her to even nap in the early evening is a nightmare? Maybe the earlier wake time will help signal an earlier sleep time - with a couple of feeds between 'bed' and morning??

FATEdestiny Sun 05-Mar-17 12:45:18

I would use anything after 6am as wake up time.

I probably would not get up at that point. Baby would come and have half an hour snuggling in bed with me and DH, but without any expectation of going back to sleep. Just because DH and I are not fans of getting up as soon as we wake up.

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