Can you help me adjust our LATE bedtime? ~4 mos - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-19-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well right before Christmas my little guy (then 3 mos) started treating his 8:30pm bedtime as a nap and waking bright eyed and bushy tailed after 45 minutes or so. Then he wouldn't settle back to sleep until 11:30pm or so. It was hard on me as I had been going to sleep with him at that time, but I told myself it was just a phase like everything else and we'd ride it out. Well, here we are a month later and now the bedtime is creeping toward the 12:30am range and that is just too late for me. The baby sleeps in late to compensate but my other two older children are up around 8am and I am just not rested at all with the waking to feed in that stretch. We are all night owls around here but not quite to that extent. ;)

 

He generally takes two naps, from about 11am-1pm and then 3:30-5:30pm. Then he is always ready for his "fake bedtime" as we have come to call it (in reality a LATE evening nap) at 8:15pm. My first thought was that I'd just have to stay in the room in the dark with him when he woke up around 9pm until he was ready to sleep again, make it boring, don't talk to him, etc. Would that be your advice? I have been hesitant to try it because it sounds like some type of torture to stay in the dark room with him from 8:15pm until midnight or later when I am so sleepy besides and just wanting to go to sleep! Plus he starts fussing and then crying if we don't go out into the light. I have just been hoping that he would get tired a bit earlier, even 11pm would be okay with me. When he gets up I normally change him, put him in the carrier and do some cleaning/lunch prep and then watch TV until he's ready.

 

Ooh, and I should mention that the past few nights he's also been pooping at 11pm. Just to make things more interesting I guess. ;) But he is an infrequent pooper, always has been, so he cannot settle at all in the hours leading up to a BM.

 

What do you think? Is this a 'this too shall pass' or is it time to make some changes?

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#2 of 13 Old 01-19-2012, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking I could also try pushing back his 'fake bedtime' just a smidge by giving him a bath around that time and see how that goes, it's a fine line between being tired and overtired though. Has anyone tried this in an attempt to phase out that last, late nap when they are still wanting 3 naps?

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#3 of 13 Old 01-19-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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One of my twin daughters was doing that around the same age. I started giving her a bath around her fake bed time to gently keep her up until about 10pm then we all go to bed together. So far it has worked :)


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#4 of 13 Old 01-20-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So just updating in case it could be of help to others! When the baby started showing tired signs around 8:15pm I got a bath ready and took a leisurely bath with him and then hung out with him in the bedroom until he was ready to nurse, which was about 9:15pm. He nursed to sleep right away (yay!) and dozed, waking to nurse a bit more occasionally, until about 11pm when he finally fell in to a deeper sleep. I was able to unlatch him and go to sleep myself then and we slept until almost 9:30am!!!! (with some wakeups to nurse, maybe 3?). I have been around the block enough times to not count on this working tonight but man, that was a great night of sleep and I am going to try it again. :)

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#5 of 13 Old 01-20-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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Hip, Hip, Hooray! I was hoping it would work :) taking a bath together was the ONLY gentle way I found to keep my girl up during her fake bed time. It has worked for us for 3 weeks straight so I hope it works for you too.


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#6 of 13 Old 01-21-2012, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay, thanks so much for letting me know what worked for you. We did a bath again last night, but he got fussy after just a few minutes so then it was speed dressing and getting to the bed to nurse! It was also a bit later, 9:45pm. He did wake after 20 minutes or so and I thought we were going to have to get up, but then he fell back asleep. So that's two nights, yay! Hoping for some momentum here but trying not to get my hopes/expectations up.

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#7 of 13 Old 01-23-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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I had a very similar issue and did much the same - stretched out the nightime routine tho with "teeth-brushing" together, good-nights and bf'ing top-up.

I also got her up a little earlier each day until we were back to around 0800-0830 from 0930-1000.

 

Of course the last few days have been all messed up thanks to a trip we took...argh.
 

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Originally Posted by twinpossible View Post

One of my twin daughters was doing that around the same age. I started giving her a bath around her fake bed time to gently keep her up until about 10pm then we all go to bed together. So far it has worked :)



 


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#8 of 13 Old 01-27-2012, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

 

Just wanted to update and say that this has been working for us, every night since I started it! Since my little guy doesn't get up at the same time every day and hasn't been napping great lately, bedtime is a little different each night but generally about 3 hours after he wakes from his last nap, I aim to have him in the bath, then after that I quickly dress him in his jammies and we lay down to nurse. He still nurses/snoozes for about the first hour but we haven't gotten back out of bed til the morning since we started this!!! I am so happy. So happy that I don't mind all the night wakings. ;)

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#9 of 13 Old 01-30-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I had to go and open my big mouth and say that something was WORKING for us and that very night he started treating post-bath bedtime as fake bedtime. Three nights in a row now. And then falling asleep around midnight and waking at 2, 4, 6-7:30 and 8:30 for the day. Yawn. He is 4 months old now and I really thought we might be exempt from the 4 mo sleep regression because our sleep was already so crappy but apparently it could be sliced and diced further, and has been. I don't know what to do about the fake bedtime other than try to push it later again; we're usually in bed by 9:30-9:45 post-bath so I could push it later and still be able to live with that as he has been sleeping in til 9:30am until the past few days.

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#10 of 13 Old 01-31-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Oh gracecody, sorry to hear that.  Are the wakings at least short dream feeds?  Sounds a bit like what we went through.  And now at 8 months, after a cross-country trip (including a red-eye), everything is completely out the window.  The last several nights have been totally random and pretty sleepless, including midnight bedtime, up every 1-1.5 hours, long, dozing nursing sessions, and 1am wide awake playtime.

I'm clinging to the fact that all her sleep trends thus far (the good ones at least) have been temporary.

Double yawn...


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#11 of 13 Old 02-04-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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9:30am is a pretty late wake up time.  If you start getting up early in the morning for a few days, it might be easier to move the bedtime earlier.

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#12 of 13 Old 02-06-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyMae08 View Post

9:30am is a pretty late wake up time.  If you start getting up early in the morning for a few days, it might be easier to move the bedtime earlier.



This is true - it happened with our first. I was a complete zombie until the baby starts going back to sleep earlier, but that's why God gave us coffee, right? =)

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#13 of 13 Old 02-07-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions!

 

Things have been going better again, I have been able to get him to sleep around 10pm post-bath (and sometimes a bit earlier with no bath if he seems more tired) and he sleeps pretty well with an initial long stretch of 4-6 hours and then he is more restless as we get closer to sunrise. Still waking at  9-9:30 for the day so that is a good suggestion to tweak that. But if he keeps going to sleep around 10 and he continues to act happy and well rested, then this schedule actually works pretty  well for the rest of us. I go to bed (though not to sleep) when he does and am feeling pretty good. My other two get up around 8 so I get up with them and see my son off to school and have a little time with just my daughter, while I have my COFFEE (yes, I agree, thank God for that!). So it's nice that he sleeps in a bit and I have that time with my other two.

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