Help! How do I get my baby's bedtime ealier??! - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-05-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wulp, it's 9:40pm and my baby is just hanging out, smiling and all.  She is almost 5 months and I can't get her to sleep before 9:30/10pm on a good night...sometimes it's after 11pm.  I really want to get her to sleep earlier, but I went a whole week waking her up earlier and it backfired...she is now going to bed even later at nights. She was just constantly overtired for that week and napped more.  She takes her last nap around 7:30/8:30pm, but then wakes up ready to go until bedtime. I'd love for that 7:30pm time to be her bedtime, but how do I force her to not wake up? She's happy and ready to hang out after that nap...any suggestions?

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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Well you can't force her not to wake up. Do you have a bedtime routine? At that age, ours was quiet warm bath, a couple of stories then nurse to sleep. Since she does fall asleep around a reasonable bedtime, I would just start the routine before that last nap. When she wakes up, I would keep her in the bedroom where she sleeps, lights off and try to hold/rock/nurse her back to sleep. If she's not having any of that, I would let her hang out and stay with her in the dark. Basically make that wake up as little fun as possible so her choices are to go back to sleep or hang out in a dark, quiet, boring room with mom. Hopefully after a few nights the wake up will be shorter and eventually stop or just nurse back to sleep. It's very helpful if you can pretend to be very sleepy or doze off. It shows her by example what she's expected to do.
I had to do this with DD around 9 months when she would want to party at 2 am. She would be up for 3 hours straight playing and having fun. I would get up, check her diaper, nurse as much as she wanted but she would just want to play. I started laying down on the ground, pretending to sleep and she just crawled around me, playing. I wouldn't engage her at all but when she started fussing, I would nurse her again. It took about a week of consistent no fun wake ups but she went back to quick wake ups for nursing.
I hope this works for you as well as it did for me.
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