HELP - 3 month old a nightmare in the evenings...(9 Posts)
our DD (13 weeks) currently sleeps through from approx 11pm to 6am, which is great, but she's really tired and cranky in the evenings but won't settle in her cot. we managed to get this far without resorting to sleep training, but i don't know how to get her to sleep when she's tired in the evening, from about 8pm. she usually fusses and cries in our arms from 7 until 11pm, when i feed her again and put her to bed. we've tried recreating the late night bed routine earlier and she won't have any of it... please help. i really don't want to have to do controlled crying, but it's driving us crazy.
i think (personally speaking, but you did ask!) her bedtime needs to be brought forward. by 3 months ds was going to bed at 7 - not to say he slept through, no way! but he would be in bed and have another feed at 11. and then you get your evening back too. what happens when you try to bring bedtime forward?
she is way too young for controlled crying. it's not recommended until they are at least a year old and some people think it shouldn't be used at all.
at this age i really wouldn't bother with a routine, you will just run yourself ragged. at 13 weeks she will want feeding all the time so couldn't you curl up on the sofa with her and turn the lights down low and then take her to bed with you at 10.30 or whenever you go to bed?
my 20mo ds didn't have a bedtime routine until he was about a year old. he now sleeps through with no problems, unless he gets cold and wakes up that is.
unfortunately she isn't interested in snuggling on the sofa... or anything that involves us sitting down tbh! i can see she's tired, but will only settle if one of us is rocking/juggling her in our arms. i've tried putting her to bed earlier and she just gets more and more worked up until we give up and get her up again, but then happily goes to bed at 10.30/11am. it's almost as if she knows what time it is!!
FSB - I have a 13 week old DS, he is fairly cranky in the evenings too but these are the things that have helped (or I could just be VERY jammy, luck is a lot of it I think)!!
1. A dummy, and yes I was very anti-dummy until DS cranial ostepath recommended one for him, he likes to comfort suck!
2. I read an article that said babies will sleep better if they have been exposed to daylight for at least 45 minutes between the hours of 12-4 so I always try to take DS for a walk in the afternoon.
3. I don't use artificial lights, keep the curtains open so DS sees the light fading. Once it's dark we close the curtains and switch on a side lamp.
4. We do have a bedtime routine now, bath, last feed, grobag, cuddle/rock/lullabies.
He generally has an hour winding down but is asleep from 8ish until 6.30/7 the next morning.
Tonight is the first night I've put him in his cot upstairs, we usually have him downstairs in a moses basket until we go to bed and I've made up a lullabies playlist for him on my iPod, sang lullabies with him for 15 minutes then put him in the cot while he was still awake and left the lullabies on shuffle. He's snoring now so fingers crossed.
Does your DD get enough sleep during the day? Strangely I find that if DS does not get at least 3 hours during the day he's over-tired and harder to settle in the evening.
Please don't hate me for being smug, just feeling your pain and letting you know what works for us. Good luck
ps, have you tried a cranial osteopath? worked wonders for us.
try her on an earlier nap - she may wake up again for feed etc later but as stainesmassif says you get your evening back and it shouldnt interrupt the 11 - 6 thing (dd was pretty similar).
Agree re cc but I do think a routine is not a waste of time - bath, lights lowered etc .
dd had routine and would go down for maybe an hour then up again til 10/11 - to be honest, she didnt go through from 7.30 til 6 until she was about 7 months old I thnk. and she was just like your as seemed to know when we were going to bed properly as would usually settle.
thanks for all your suggestions, we are doing most of them already (good to know i'm doing the right things anyway )... we've been to a cranial osteopath a few times for her wind. we do use a dummy, and swaddling, and low lights, and white noise!!!
i think i'll try making more of the bedtime routine - bath, feed and put down in the dark, and see how that goes.
she currently naps for 1/2 hour in the morning and evening, with a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day (ideally, although this is often interrupted and then she won't go back down). perhaps if i drop her early evening nap and try to put her to bed at 7.30/8pm instead?...
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