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Any tips for bedtime routine for 4yo and 5mo?

(11 Posts)
TeaMuncher Fri 28-Apr-17 18:50:26

So... DD is nearly 4, and without a nap in the day she is beyond ready for sleep at about 6-6:30pm and sleeps through til 7.(FYI she gets very hypo before bed and v noisy/giggly etc, so getting DS to sleep before her is impossible).

DS is 5 months and I'm really struggling to get him in a bedtime routine, and to improve on the current situation of waking every 1-2hrs throughout the night.

DS has 3-4 x 30min naps in the day, and by 5pm is very whingey and by 6pm he is definitely ready for 'bed'. DD and DS have a bath together at 5:30/6 and then DH puts DD to bed (sad) while I bf DS in our bedroom (no time for story/massage because he is usually so tired/upset). He usually falls asleep on the boob, or I try and get him in the cosleeper crib with a dummy to actually fall asleep. This has happened about twice! He protests until I take him out and hold him, then he falls asleep (and I'm stuck!) and I end up admitting defeat and going to bed with him next to me, where he proceeds to wake every 1-2hrs to feed again (by head butting my boob! 🙈) The two times he did fall asleep in the crib he woke so easily (he is an incredibly light sleeper!) and we ended up in the same position as always.

I'm exhausted! He must be exhausted! It has to improve soon before I keel over from lack of sleep...

Any tips?

FATEdestiny Fri 28-Apr-17 19:14:36

...by 5pm is very whingey...

This is because of not enough daytime sleep. Try to limit awake time in the day to 60-90 minutes.

A nice easy-to-follow routine on 30 minute naps would be to divide your whole day into 2h chunks. Basically follow a repeating cycle of events:

■ Wake - note the time
■ Feed
■ Activity time - until 1h has passed from waking up.
■ Settling baby to sleep (this allows for about half an hour to do whatever you do to get baby to sleep)
■ Sleep

□ Wake.... and repeat.

2 hour cycles will give you 5 or 6 naps in the daytime. More sleep = less grumpy clinginess.

Then baby should be easier come te evening. I'd do batg together, let DH play with baby down stairs while yoh put DC1 to bed (if that's what you want to do). Then breastfeed baby in front of TV and allow for a 'nap' in your knee or in bouncer. When wakes later evening, take up to bed with you and feed upstairs at that point.

Early evening bedtime ate fine for babies who go to bed and stay asleep until you go to bed. There is no benefit (to you or baby) while baby is still waking regularly through the evening. It just makes you miserable for no benefit to anyone. So what's the point?

For now, I'd go bath together, into night wear together, story together. Then put DC1 to bed while DC2 comes down stairs for a quiet evening feeding and napping with you say on the sofa watching tv.

In time, you'll come down from putting DC1 to bed, feed DC2 and find that DC2 just stays asleep from then until when you want yo go up to bed. That is the time you start putting DC2 upstairs at bedtime. For now, no actual reason to deal with the hassle.

robyneHet Fri 28-Apr-17 20:07:06

So I'm in exactly the same situation! DD1 is 3.5 and goes to bed at 6:30pm (sleeps straight through until 6:30am)
DS2 is 6months and also ready for 'bed' at 6pm ish.
So...they both get bathed together at 5:15...after bath we sit on DDs bed and read stories/talk about the day, with dimmed lights.
I then leave DD1 in her bed with a little bit of milk and take DS into the nursery. I breast feed him until he is drowsy but never asleep...I then put him in sleeping bag (which wakes him even if he is a bit to sleepy 🙈) and then he settles himself in his cot with his dummy.
I then return to DDs room where we will have 1 last story before she's tucked in for the night.
They both have white noise machines in their rooms so aren't disturbed by each other 😊
...don't know if this is helpful?!

Lovelilies Fri 28-Apr-17 20:56:27

I'm a bit in the same boat except I'm on my own so it's a bit trickier.
I also co sleep with both of them 🙈
Usually DD2 (10m) is ready for bed at 7, if DS (3.5) is too, then we all get into bed and I BF DD to sleep while DS watches 10mins of Kids YouTube not ideal I know, but I'm trying!
Then I sing songs to DS while he falls asleep.
If either one isn't sleepy, I'll wait til one is asleep and take the other one downstairs for half an hour.
It's hard, but not forever. I also have DD1 who's 11 and puts herself to bed 😁

NapQueen Fri 28-Apr-17 21:01:17

If ds is shattered by five, can you feed him and pop him down to sleep then? Whilst he is asleep, bathe dd and take her to bed. No doubt ds will wake soon after for a play, bath and feed then back down?

GuinessPunch Fri 28-Apr-17 21:01:20

Sorry to butt in but thanks for your message FATE. The nap cycle and keeping the baby downstairs. I am up in my bedroom by 6/7 pm and thats me for the night.

TeaMuncher Fri 28-Apr-17 21:16:21

Thanks so much everyone!

FATE - great advice. I always used to feed DS downstairs and keep him down there until my bedtime, but we found he was sleeping all eve. BUT then he hit 4 month (classic sleep regression) and we were back to (worse than) newborn sleep. Sometimes he can do 7-9 or 10, but as you say I completely lose my evening and feel bad for not sleeping while he's sleeping (but also longing for a bit of me-time in the eve!!)

I will work on the daytime sleep. It's a bugger coz it's bloody impossible to do ANYTHING when baby sleeps for 30mins, every 2hrs! Especially when he needs constant movement (endless pram walks or drives in the car).

DH still hasn't built DS' cot in his room, so I can't try and put him down in there (not that I think he would) but 6/7 pram pushes a day would probably kill me! 😩 Does anyone have any luck with a crib in the living room during the day??

FATEdestiny Fri 28-Apr-17 22:10:58

it's bloody impossible to do ANYTHING when baby sleeps for 30mins, every 2hrs

It is. It helps when naps are predictable. So for example needing to go to the shops. Either get yourself organised to go while baby sleeps and then when he wakes, feed and go straight away. Or have awake time at home and plan for nap to happen whilst walking around the shop.

(By the way, if he likes perpetual movement, a bouncy chair may help at home)

Same principle with all other aspects of damily life - school run, nursery run, toddler group... you just use the oredictibility of nap time to your benefit.

Usagii Fri 28-Apr-17 22:25:10

Can I recommend a routine I follow for my now 4 month old DS, called 'Little Ones'? They're based in Australia and their guides (in PDF downloadable format) have been a lifesaver for me. As a single mum, without those guides I don't know how I'd get anything done. They offer a lot of interesting facts about baby's sleep at different ages and have a Facebook support page too if you're struggling.

TeaMuncher Sat 29-Apr-17 09:34:43

In persevering with the bouncy chair, but to no avail sadly ☹️

TeaMuncher Sat 29-Apr-17 20:27:48

Arghh tried to squeeze in an extra nap today & our whole 'routine' went to pot! DS basically just wailed in his pram until his usual nap time, then was completely overtired and wired at bedtime so any hopes of getting him to nap downstairs whilst I watched the TV went out of the window!

So for example, I put him in his pram all ready for a nap at 10am (1.5hrs after his last nap) and I pushed and pushed until he finally fell asleep at 11 (usual time), then I had to push for another 30mins to keep him asleep 😩 exhausting after a few hours sleep at night 🙈

The message is loud and clear - don't mess with the routine! 😂

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