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17 week old bedtime battle(17 Posts)
I’m really hoping that someone has some advice because I feel at a complete loss and haven’t come across a thread with anyone else having the same problem.
My 17 week old DS a nightmare to get to bed at night - it can easily take two hours for him to fall asleep after we’ve started his bedtime routine. I would have put it down to the infamous 4 month regression, but this has been going on since he was about 10 weeks old! It’s really starting to get me down now because I basically go to bed at 7:30 every night, as by the time he’s finally gone to sleep there’s not much of the evening left.
Maybe I’m missing something in the timing of the routine?
Last night example:
He woke up from his last nap at 6:30 so we started his bedtime routine at 7:30 with bath, PJs and feed with the aim of getting him in bed for 8pm. He finally went to sleep just before 10! I know that he’s tired because he’s yawning and gets quite grumpy before bedtime, but he just won’t sleep.
Does anyone have any tips or could tell me what I’m doing wrong? I’m a FTM so this is all new to me.
So he's less than 6 months old? I'd just keep him downstairs with you and take him up at 10 when you can go to bed too. How does he sleep during the night?
Neither of mine had much of a bedtime routine at that age OP.
“ He woke up from his last nap at 6:30”
This is your problem. He should wake up from his last nap of the day no later than 5 so that you can start bedtime routine at 6.30ish and in bed by 7. If he doesn’t go to sleep immediately that’s fine, just let him wiggle about a bit until he does- it’s good for him to get used to some quiet time in his cot. If he screams just wait one or two minutes before going in, then go in, keep everything dark and quiet, reassure him then leave again. Repeat until he gets the message!
Congrats on your baby op! I agree with the previous poster, 17 weeks is a bit little to be trying to instil a strict bedtime - are you putting her upstairs? They don’t really know the difference between day and night at this age so they can be a bit all over the place - I chose to go with the flow but I understand why you want to put good bedtime habits in place for the future.
We used to have DD downstairs with us, either in the Moses basket or being held. At some point in the evening while she was still awake we would do our ‘bedtime routine’ of bath/pjs etc and then we’d just chill and then transfer her upstairs when we went up to bed.
Sometimes she’s be asleep and I’d give her a dream feed, sometimes she’d be awake and refuse to go down until midnight 😫.
It’s difficult to know what to do for the best sometimes but don’t put too much pressure on yourself
@FudgeSundae I agree with you on the late nap but op’s baby is 17 weeks old, that seems a bit young for sleep training!
*@FudgeSundae* I agree with you on the late nap but op’s baby is 17 weeks old, that seems a bit young for sleep training!
Haha, I know opinions differ on this. We did a bedtime routine with our baby from day one and it worked brilliantly for us - no crying longer than a minute or two, ever, and we got our life back. Our now 18 month old is so happy and continues to sleep well.
Now, whether it will work for baby #2 due next month...
To add as well baby was put to bed in our room until 5.5 months - she slept through us watching tv next to her head no problem!
Thanks for the replies everyone!
About his naps - it’s only over the past two weeks or so that he’s started reliably napping during the day and even now it’s only if I hold him. Before this he was only napping for an hour at best throughout the day and getting overtired and cranky in the evening. I guess I’ve been a bit apprehensive about disrupting all of it at the moment now that he’s finally sleeping in the day, but I will try to move that last nap earlier and see if it helps!
TooMinty - he tends to sleep well when he does go to sleep. He is wakes about every 2-3 hours throughout the night which I know is normal for his age and I’m fine with that.
MindatWork - thank you! There seems to be so much to take in and I’m constantly worried about getting something “wrong” which probably doesn’t help the situation. Yes, we do put him upstairs. I had thought about trying to keep him down with us, but he just gets really grumpy until I take him upstairs.
@FudgeSundae that’s amazing that he went to sleep like that with you in the room - DD was fine when really little but by 5.5 months or so she got wise and we were eating dinner in the dark with the tv on mute to avoid waking her up 🤣. One night we decided enough was enough so we pushed the 6 month rule a bit and put her upstairs to bed .
This was exactly us a month or so ago, around the same age or a bit younger (DD is 20 weeks now, it's all a blur). Bedtime always took 2 hrs or longer, the majority of which was her feeding to sleep verrrrryyyyy slowly. We started slowly moving bedtime earlier - from a start time of 7.30, we are now starting at 6pm. We moved it by 15 mins every three days or so and if the the process stretched beyond 2 hrs we stayed on the new time until it got back down to 2 hrs (theoretically, though we didn't always stick to this). When we reached a start time of 6.15 the time taken suddenly reduced from often 3 hrs, to fairly reliably 90 mins so basically I think she was overtired by bedtime and going to bed too late.
Obviously if you do this you'll have to move the last nap with it. Ours also was and is a terrible napper - only on me or on the move. We do the last nap in the pram as it makes the timing fairly controllable. And we aim for a wake window of 2 hrs, as a few things I read suggested that is appropriate for the last window of the day at that age (wake windows getting longer through the day).
Obviously 90 mins is not great, but it's better than it was. I suspect it won't get better now until either she learns to nap properly so ends the day less overtired, and/or until I wean her off feeding to sleep.
We're currently deep in the 4 month sleep regression and sleep is crap so I don't feel very qualified to give advice but hope this may help!
(Also, as she is such a terrible napper, just having her sleep in the living room with us wasn't really an option)
He is too young for a bedtime routine - it is futile even to try. If you stop trying you will feel better!
Also to add, the main reason it started taking less time is because she had been massively fussing and protesting - it took ages to get her peacefully on the boob. While she does still nurse for 1+ hr, we now completely skip this step and get down to feeding with minimal or no fussing.
I disagree that they're automatically too young for a bedtime routine at this age. DD is at the distractible stage where she generally won't peacefully feed for longer than 5 mins at a time, and she seems to take the bath, PJ's, song, white noise/dark room routine as her signal to actually settle down for a proper final feed, which she won't do without it (having tried and failed to move the feed before the bath). But every baby is different, of course.
@Etherealhedgehog - I’m so relieved it’s not just me! All I hear is stories of other mums getting their babies in the cot asleep for 7pm and we’ve never even come close to that. 90 minutes is the average for us too, but on a bad night it can easily be double that. I think we’ve also just hit the dreaded regression. The last two nights he’s been waking every hour, then decided that 4am was party time.
We’ve reached a kind of middle ground between the two approaches at the moment. We still do bath, PJs and sleeping bag upstairs, but then I bring him back down to have his last feed and he stays with us until I go to bed. It was just horrible battling with him every night and I can’t imagine he was enjoying it either. I’m not sure whether I’m just more relaxed as a result, but now he usually falls asleep within half an hour of coming back down!
I still need to work on taking him back upstairs to put him down in bed - I’m yet to manage putting him down without him waking up and we’ve been co-sleeping at night for a while as a result. Ideally I’d like to get him sleeping in his cot, but for the moment I’m just happy not spending hours getting him to sleep in the first place.
@pikkukettu glad to hear it's going a bit better! It's all about finding some compromise that you can live with at this stage, I reckon. Getting him back down after you come upstairs sounds hard - I can imagine I would find that very frustrating. But it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise - at the moment the main obstacle to us starting some very gentle sleep training is the fact that DD falls asleep when feeding and I haven't really figured out how to ensure she gets her full feed but is then awake enough for me to try putting her down awake, which I suspect will be needed for us to ever exit the neverending sleep regression (I mean, I have some ideas, but right now I'm too chicken to try any of them!)
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