My son melts down between 7-10pm - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2003, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 4 1/2 months old. He is a very reasonable sort of baby on the whole. He sleeps from 10pm-ish until 7:30am. I recognize this as the gift it is from a breastfed baby. My issue is that lately he has been 'melting down' every night starting around 7pm. He gets very fussy and cries and cries and cries. At first we thought he was teething, but the two teeth came in and he is still inconsolable. The only thing that works is taking him for long walks around the neighborhood in the Baby Bjorn. Some nights, my husband walks Jack 4 times!
He falls asleep around 8pm and takes a 20 minute nap and then wakes up again screaming. He finally settles down for the night at 10pm... I am looking for advice or even just a "Hey! I went through that too and they outgrow it by such and such months old."
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:42 PM
 
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my dd also slept similar hours to yours, my first question would be is your ds napping dirung the day? Is it possible that a lack of daytime napping is making his over tired and thus extra cranky?
Is the evening a real busy time for you?

I have no experience with colic so I dont' know if it just be that?
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Old 07-31-2003, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He generally takes an hour long nap in the morning and then 3-4 20 to 30 minute cat naps. He used to take a 2 1/2 hour nap in the morning but has stopped that since sleeping later (till 7 or 7:30am.)
It could be possible he needs a longer nap in the afternoon... but how to make him sleep longer?
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Old 07-31-2003, 10:01 PM
 
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My son went through this exact phase. It sucked because it usually started right around the time my husband got home from work (7pm), and lasted until bedtime, so that for awhile there my poor dh only got to see the cranky baby, not the sweet loving baby that I had during the day! I don't remember the specific ages, but it seems that it was around the 3-5 month age, and it lasted for a few months. But it did eventually just end.

It didn't seem to be affected by his sleep patterns. It was just his evening cranky time.
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Old 07-31-2003, 10:32 PM
 
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Ds did this....we figured out it was colic. DH would hang him over his arm, belly down and swing him from side to side (not hard, though). When he was fully asleep, we would lay him belly down and he would settle down.

It also sounds like your son is not getting enough restful sleep during the day...20-30 minutes even through a series of catnaps doesn't seem long enough. DS ALSO did this....Can you put a fan wherever it is he sleeps and keep LOUD noises to a minumum? I'm not saying tiptoe around him, but we found that putting ds in his room with the door open, running the dryer and a fan and he would sleep MUCH longer and the meltdown's subsided. Then he would fall asleep at 7pm and stay asleep until 7am. He continues THAT routine (well...sometimes he doesn't fall asleep until 8-8:30, but we AIM for 7m!) to this day. He's 3-1/2 yo.

Best!
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Old 07-31-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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This is just what happened with my son when he started being able to force himself to stay awake. We got him on a nap routine with an earlier bedtime and he was his sweet sunny self again in no time.
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Old 07-31-2003, 11:07 PM
 
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Oh yah, dd did this and still does it some nights, although it seems to be less. I think the afternoon naps probably have something to do with it. DD always naps better and longer in the morning although I've read that the afternoon nap should be the longer one. She usually naps on her own, so if she wakes after only 20-30 minutes I quickly get her nursing and try to get her back to sleep. Sometimes I have to lay with her for quite awhile. Often she'll go back to sleep and have a good nap, then bedtimes are easier.

DD went through a period where we she would sleep 20 minutes or so, then wake up and we couldn't get her back to sleep. It lasted a few weeks and we had to change the bedtime routine (we used to dance to country, now I nurse/bounce her to sleep). She's stopped waking up after that short period....although now we're into other sleeping issues! These nighttime troubles will pass, soon to be replaced by others.

It's probably not colic, as it would have started before this age. Although, if you have started any solid food, your ds may be experiencing some stomach pain.
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:46 AM
 
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Some tots can't handle the extra commotion and noise caused by the joyful arrival of the other parent. You might try to really quiet things down in the house--no tv or radio, turn out extra lights, and just 'be' with baby while dp comes home. Really, let dinner prep wait, and act as a buffer until the additional person in the house seems less overwhelming. Since the baby bjorn seems to be working, maybe be out on the first walk when daddy arrives, and have him meet you along the way--that will give your husband a fuss-free zone to come into, and if you're meeting outside, maybe your ds will feel less disturbed by the added busy-ness of the household, if that makes sense?

Good Luck!

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Old 08-01-2003, 03:26 AM
 
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moving this to Life with a Babe....



My dd did this as a newborn, when she was about 3 to 6 weeks old, about twice a week. 7 to 10 pm was the time.

since your baby is older, maybe it's not that newborn thing. my DD took many small naps a day when she was that age. She didn't often nap for longer than about half an hour. I, too, don't know how to change that other than the suggestion to run a fan or something, if that happens to work for your baby (for mine it was the sound of the shower, at least when she was tiny).

There's really no way to know what it is. You can try as if it were colicky behaviour. My guess is that it's a phase and will likely disappear as quickly as it came.

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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Old 08-01-2003, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your insights...
I think the issue might be a combination of a couple of issues: overstimulation and not getting a long enough afternoon nap. Now armed with the knowledge, I have to figure out how to help him sleep longer. I really liked the comment about the babe being able to keep himself up even when overtired... I think that is happening. DS doesn't want to miss out on the action... he's always been a social babe... so I think when both DH and I are up and around he doesn't want to go to sleep for fear of missing out on fun.
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:50 AM
 
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He sounds overtired, actually. Lots of babies need a pre-7pm bedtime in order to not hit that miserable, cranky wall. I know a number of people whose babies started sleeping longer stretches once bedtime moved considerably earlier.

Have you read Weissbluth's book? You have to ignore all the CIO stuff, which is crazy, but it actually has some really useful info about babies' sleep patterns and needs. It made a difference for us. We applied his ideas in an AP kind of way, and Abigail's naps improved immediately.
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the book recommendation. I do think that we want Jack to be up and about for a period of time when dh gets home and perhaps that is what is throwing him out of whack... ie he is in to a calm down before bed mode and then dad comes home and wants to play which overstimulates the babe enough that he can't get to sleep until hours later. The problem then is when to get good dad time. I hate to tell my dh to curb his nightly baby enthusiasm but maybe it is the crux of the problem. Argh!
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Old 08-01-2003, 02:27 PM
 
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Heh. I didn't dare mention it here, but the Weissbluth book is what I used. The info about *when* to do naps was incredibly helpful.
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Old 08-01-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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I don't think you necessarily have to have your baby in bed by 7 p.m. What's important is that they get 10 - 12 hours of sleep per night. I've seen many mamas posting here whose babes don't go to bed until 9 or 10 at night.

So, if you have to/want to have your baby out of bed at 7 in the morning, then an early bedtime is good. If you can keep babe in bed until 9 or so, then you should be able to have some quality time with dad when he gets home.

Last night dd went to bed at 9:30 p.m. and we crawled out of bed at about 8:30 a.m. She went down for a nap at 11 a.m. and is still sleeping (it's noon). She'll probably go down again between 3-4 p.m. and sleep until 5-6 p.m.

The later bedtime works better for us, because she doesn't sleep well by herself at night, and I don't like going to bed at 7 p.m.
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