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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Any advice on how to fix his sleep schedule?

 

If I try to keep him awake more during the day, he just cries, so when I console his crying, he falls asleep. Vicious circle.

 

Right now, he's up from 9-4, sleeps from 4-11, then is up from 11-3, and sleeps from 3-9... I'd like him to go bed earlier...

post #2 of 14

This will slowly regulate better as he gets older.  For now, keep it as dark as possible at night and very bright during the day.  Once I got breastfeeding established I stopped turning on a light at night (except for diaper changes and then I keep it really dim).  Basically it's pitch black at night in our bedroom.  The light will do the best to help regulate sleep..  That and make it really, really boring at night (staying in the dark helps this).  It will get better!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTCChloeOrConner View Post

Any advice on how to fix his sleep schedule?

 

If I try to keep him awake more during the day, he just cries, so when I console his crying, he falls asleep. Vicious circle.

 

Right now, he's up from 9-4, sleeps from 4-11, then is up from 11-3, and sleeps from 3-9... I'd like him to go bed earlier...



 

post #3 of 14

Unfortunately crazy sleep is a reality of little babies.  They have the days and nights a bit mixed up and just sleep when they need to.  As they age things will fall into a pattern and Abra is right, keeping things light in the day and dark at night can help this process along.  There really isn't much you can do to keep a sleepy baby awake and the fact of the matter is, they need the sleep.  They are growing at an alarming rate and their bodies need sleep to restore their energy and organize their brains. 

 

My first didn't get onto a nap schedule until she was about 5 months old.  My second was quicker to regulate- maybe 3 or 4 months old.  And that meant taking 3 fairly predictable naps during the day.  It goes down to two naps after a few months and then down to one nap as early as a year old (but many toddlers keep their two naps for several more months).  Often when the third nap is dropped, bedtime comes earlier just naturally.  There is some evidence that babies are "wired" to be in bed around 6 or 7pm.  This is early for a lot of families and trying to push bedtime to an easier time like 8 or 9pm can result in baby not going to bed until much later in the end. 

 

All this being said, Connor's sleep schedule is nothing like I have experienced.  To be clear, when you say he's up from 9-4, do you mean he is awake from 9am to 4pm?!  No  nap in there at all?  Then he takes a 5 hour nap?  And then doesn't go down for the night until 3am and sleeps for 6 hours?  Usually young babies are ready for a nap about 1-2 hours after they wake up in the morning.  I would maybe try to encourage him to sleep around 11am if you could by nursing and rocking/wearing him in a carrier.  Maybe even taking a car ride or stroller ride if that works for him.  Maybe if he took a 1-2 hour nap then, he would take a shorter nap in the late afternoon and be ready for "bedtime" earlier.  Then he's slowly start to wake up earlier and the naps would shift earlier and earlier until he's getting up more like 7 or 8am napping around 10 and 3 and going to bed closer to 7 or 8pm.  There are many, many good books out there on sleep if you're interested in reading more.

post #4 of 14

I try, starting around 1 week old, to do a loose eat, awake, sleep routine with my babies. This doesn't always work, but I try to get them to be awake for 30 mins to 1 hour or so after they eat, then as they seem sleepy put them down for a nap.

 

It can be rough. *hugs*

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

He's up from 9-4 with power naps mixed in. We try to get him to nap but it only lasts for 10 minutes. Come 3, he's so damn crabby and tired, he fights his sleep like the devil until he finally crashes. There are days when his nap will start at 2 or 3. I love those days. LOL

 

Patience. Haha. DH and I both loveee our sleep and were used to a solid 10-hours prior to Conner. I didn't even have trouble with it when I was pregnant. I usually end up sleeping when Conner does in the afternoon so nothing ever gets done. =/

post #6 of 14

You need to let him sleep whenever he feels sleepy- sleep is most beneficial when it is during a biologically-driven "sleepy time".  I think you're seeing that he is going to sleep whether you like it or not winky.gif  Also, sleeping a baby MORE will yield MORE quality sleep- even though it seems contradictory.  What happens is that if they are kept awake when they want to sleep, their body starts pumping cortisol (anti-sleep hormone) and adrenaline in order to stay awake.  Those hormones stay in the body for a long time, so then when they are truly tired they can't fall asleep and are extremely irritable and overtired.  So keeping him awake (or trying to) will just make him overtired and then he will sleep LESS.  

 

That being said, I have also never heard of an infant being awake for a 7 hour stretch- that is, if I am reading what you are saying correctly.  Not that he isn't doing that, but I think perhaps he is needing a nap (or two!) in that 9-4 stretch and he just isn't able to get it (thus being flooded with the anti-sleep hormones).  So I'd start by trouble-shooting that time period- like Jaimee said, he should be ready for a nap within an hour or two of waking.  So literally, when he wakes look at the clock and START trying to put him to sleep about 45-60 minutes after that.  Keep things low-key in the morning- just eat, keep play time quiet and soothing, lights lower.  Do whatever it is that you need to do to get him to sleep- I think you are at school during this time, right?  Have your DH try ANYTHING- dark room, white noise, shushing noises, rocking, walking him around, swaddle if he likes it, sling him if he tends to fall asleep in there, pacifier, ANYTHING you can do to get him to sleep.  Once he wakes from that morning nap, try to sleep him again in 1-2 hours.  Rinse, repeat ALL day long.  At his age, he shouldn't be staying awake for more than 1-2 hours at a time (a shorter break is better, but 2 hours if you need him to be awake that long for some reason).  

Then at around 7-8 pm you can try to sleep him for a longer night-time stretch.  It may take a while for his body to realize that that is the night sleep time and he should stay asleep, but keep things dark and boring/quiet at night and he'll learn.  

The earlier the bedtime, the better, honestly.  If your babe needs to go to bed at 6pm, let him!  It will take Connor a while to get to that point given his current schedule, but keep that in mind for the future.  Babies will sleep later in the morning if they go to bed earlier.  Again, it is counterintuitive but it's true!  

You and DH both need to learn his sleep cues (not that you aren't doing this, I'm just throwing out all the advice I have!).  It may be different from other babies but eye rubbing, yawning, generally less movement, glazed eyes, etc could all be a cue.  If a baby is crying and fussing and eye rubbing a lot you have MISSED the earlier sleep signs.  That baby is overtired.  Try to catch the very first cues and rush him off to bed at that time.  Remember, an overtired baby is a baby that is not going to sleep anytime soon.

 

Another thing is to prioritize his sleep.  Do not leave the house or plan activities/visitors at home during the times when he will be napping.  This may mean you can't leave the house until his schedule is figured out, but you have to do that in order to work this out.  He needs to be sleeping in a quiet place meant for sleep, too.  Crib, your bed, whatever- just away from any noise or activity that would stimulate him and keep him awake.  

 

You're probably doing some of this stuff, but I just threw out everything I could remember about infant sleep.  Also, I think Connor is 5 weeks old- 6 weeks is usually the point at which most babies know night from day.  It's important to get a good routine down with him ASAP because at the 4 month mark he will start forming habits, so always try to have the same "bedtime routine" (it can be different for bedtime vs naptime, but have at least one thing that is the same from day to day, i.e. a sleep song, or rocking, etc.  Keep it portable so that when you travel you can still do that *one* thing that he associates with sleep).  Also, you have to be consistent starting with that very first nap otherwise the whole day will be thrown off.  Bad naps/ no naps = bad night time sleep.  You have to set/fix the naps first. 

Ok I can't think of anything else right now :-)  good luck!

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

My first didn't get onto a nap schedule until she was about 5 months old.  My second was quicker to regulate- maybe 3 or 4 months old.  And that meant taking 3 fairly predictable naps during the day.  It goes down to two naps after a few months and then down to one nap as early as a year old (but many toddlers keep their two naps for several more months).  Often when the third nap is dropped, bedtime comes earlier just naturally.  There is some evidence that babies are "wired" to be in bed around 6 or 7pm.  This is early for a lot of families and trying to push bedtime to an easier time like 8 or 9pm can result in baby not going to bed until much later in the end. 

 

All this being said, Connor's sleep schedule is nothing like I have experienced.  To be clear, when you say he's up from 9-4, do you mean he is awake from 9am to 4pm?!  No  nap in there at all?  Then he takes a 5 hour nap?  And then doesn't go down for the night until 3am and sleeps for 6 hours?  Usually young babies are ready for a nap about 1-2 hours after they wake up in the morning.  I would maybe try to encourage him to sleep around 11am if you could by nursing and rocking/wearing him in a carrier.  Maybe even taking a car ride or stroller ride if that works for him.  Maybe if he took a 1-2 hour nap then, he would take a shorter nap in the late afternoon and be ready for "bedtime" earlier.  Then he's slowly start to wake up earlier and the naps would shift earlier and earlier until he's getting up more like 7 or 8am napping around 10 and 3 and going to bed closer to 7 or 8pm.  There are many, many good books out there on sleep if you're interested in reading more.



 

post #7 of 14

sorry, you posted this while i was typing :-)  Does he need to be swaddled?  Near you?  Pacifier?  Does ANYTHING make his nap longer than ten minutes?  It might be inconvenient but if sleeping near you or on you will help him nap longer you should try doing that for a few days/ a week just to lower his sleep deficit so that he isn't so wired and overtired.  It sounds like he has a lot of adrenaline and is unable to sleep for very long- and like you said, he is crabby/tired and fights sleep... because he is overtired.  

So yeah I'd just do whatever you have to do to lower his sleep debt, then go from there.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTCChloeOrConner View Post

He's up from 9-4 with power naps mixed in. We try to get him to nap but it only lasts for 10 minutes. Come 3, he's so damn crabby and tired, he fights his sleep like the devil until he finally crashes. There are days when his nap will start at 2 or 3. I love those days. LOL

 

Patience. Haha. DH and I both loveee our sleep and were used to a solid 10-hours prior to Conner. I didn't even have trouble with it when I was pregnant. I usually end up sleeping when Conner does in the afternoon so nothing ever gets done. =/



 

post #8 of 14

Crap, I spelled Conner wrong.  My nephew is Connor.  Apologies!

post #9 of 14


I second everything J said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post
Do whatever it is that you need to do to get him to sleep- I think you are at school during this time, right?  Have your DH try ANYTHING- dark room, white noise, shushing noises, rocking, walking him around, swaddle if he likes it, sling him if he tends to fall asleep in there, pacifier, ANYTHING you can do to get him to sleep.  Once he wakes from that morning nap, try to sleep him again in 1-2 hours.  Rinse, repeat ALL day long.  At his age, he shouldn't be staying awake for more than 1-2 hours at a time (a shorter break is better, but 2 hours if you need him to be awake that long for some reason).  

 

This is especially a good point about you being in school during that long awake stretch.  He might be waiting for you to come home.  I think I remember you mentioning that you come home for lunch to nurse?  By that time he's already over tired and that may be why he still does not sleep until he finally just crashes from pure exhaustion.  Cortisol is not good for the brain and has been linked to emotional issues- bonding, trust, attention span, under sensitivity, etc.  Granted the brain needs to be exposed to high levels for long periods of time to suffer long term consequences, I certainly don't mean to be alarmist, but it's something to keep in mind when trying to figure out how to balance sleep with other commitments.  Again not suggesting you drop everything to get him to sleep, just that you and your dh might have to get creative to figure this out, but you'll get there!

post #10 of 14

Yes to everything jbk21 said. That is some great advise, mama!

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Update:

 

I did the no stimulation thing (That was an issue because DH works seconds and wouldn't get home until midnight.).

 

He napped from 4-7, fell asleep at 8, woke up at 10, 230, 530, and 8 to nurse and he's been up since 8 (It's now 9). So basically, 12 hours of sleep!!! I let him nurse to sleep, comfort nurse, and co-sleep but it worked so whatever. LOL 

 

I'm excited to see what today brings. I have finals next week then I'll be at home for 2 weeks solid before going back to work/school so a schedule WILL get made.

 

DH was a little bummed he didn't get Conner time after work but I put my foot down and told him he could see him in the morning. He got wife time instead. =D

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTCChloeOrConner View Post


DH was a little bummed he didn't get Conner time after work but I put my foot down and told him he could see him in the morning. He got wife time instead. =D

thumb.gif
 

 

post #13 of 14


That sounds AWESOME Nicole!  Much more like an infant schedule.  winky.gif  That's great that you'll be home in order to help get him on a good routine.  I don't know what other people's opinions of this are but it would be good, I think, to have DH help you with the naptime/bedtime routine so that he doesn't get used to just you doing it since you'll be going back to school.  My oldest son would NOT go to bed/nap for my DH and it was a nightmare on the two days that I'd go to work.  I'm home all the time now so I don't know how to implement it this time (advice anyone?)  but I think babes should be flexible and go to sleep for either parent.  shrug.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTCChloeOrConner View Post

Update:

 

I did the no stimulation thing (That was an issue because DH works seconds and wouldn't get home until midnight.).

 

He napped from 4-7, fell asleep at 8, woke up at 10, 230, 530, and 8 to nurse and he's been up since 8 (It's now 9). So basically, 12 hours of sleep!!! I let him nurse to sleep, comfort nurse, and co-sleep but it worked so whatever. LOL 

 

I'm excited to see what today brings. I have finals next week then I'll be at home for 2 weeks solid before going back to work/school so a schedule WILL get made.

 

DH was a little bummed he didn't get Conner time after work but I put my foot down and told him he could see him in the morning. He got wife time instead. =D



 

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

DH helps when he can, really, he's amazing. But like today, he's working 11-11. His normal schedule is 3-11 so it's hard.