5 month old sleeping pattern, helllp!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-26-2008, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5 mo. old has such a whacky schedule! He sleeps through the night whenever he finally goes to bed which is somewhere around the times of 11p-3a he wakes up between 10a-1p he goes back to sleep for a nap 2 hours or so after he wakes up. I try to lay him down for naps during the day after that and he only sleeps for 5-15 mins. So he has the craziest times for himself to go to sleep and I don't know how to fix it!! Anyone else ever have this problem?? It's driving me crazy because when it comes to the time that I'm trying to lay him down for naps, I make it the most relaxing, quiet atmosphere so he can stay asleep, BUT it never fails, he's up a few minutes later. I've done a little bit a research on it and all I've come up with so far to do is make it "quiet and relaxing with no disruptions" which I've tried. He's going to the dr soon but I'm not counting on any great advice from him. If anyone can help me out with some suggestions or any personal experience 'do's and dont's' that'd be fantastic!
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#2 of 8 Old 08-29-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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Just let me clarify the problem to see if I understand- he sleeps through the night, but doesn't go to bed until waaaay too late, and then he takes a 2 hour nap during the day, but only one nap instead of two. You are frustrated because you don't like the hours that he sleeps and you are trying to change the actual times that he sleeps and don't know how?

When would you like him to be going to sleep? What would the ideal solution look like? to you? How are you putting him to sleep? What are you doing to make the environment relaxing for him? Do you have a sleep routine? What do you think is waking him up? Is he sensitive to noise? Do you lay him down and leave? Do you nurse him to sleep and perhaps he is just sensing that you are no longer there?
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#3 of 8 Old 08-30-2008, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, ideally I'd like for him to go to sleep aroung 10p-12a bc that's the schedule my husband and I are on. It also gives my husband a bit of time to spend with him once he gets off work. I put him to sleep by nursing him til he falls asleep, he's pretty sensitive to noise, but I make it as relaxing as I have control over. Lights off, Tv off or down real low, door shut, everything that I can think of. I have no idea what's waking him up, I'm starting to think that his little naps are all he needs til his established bedtime. I'm not sure if maybe he is sensing that I'm not there, but what do I do in that situation, I have things to do around the house or want to take a shower or somethin, not to sound selfish at all, but I'd like a little free time to myself sometimes and I can't seem to fit that in. Do you have any suggestions? I'm just thinking that I'm going to have to deal with it haha! I'm okay with that though, I'm a stay at home mom for a reason, but I'm also willing to take any suggestions to try to get him on a schedule and for future reference as well.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-30-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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First, don't be in a rush to get naps on a schedule. A fluid day schedule will allow you guys to do a lot more than if you are tied to a nap at X time.

My DD napped like your DS. I found that she needed a 30 min nap every 2 hours. The first nap was 2 hours after she woke up the timing of which is pretty standard sleep advice from the experts too. So try a nap 2 hours after he wakes. The experts usually say naps should go like so: 2-3-4. First nap 2 hours after waking, 2nd nap 3 hours after waking and 4 hours after that bedtime. The 2-3-4 never worked for us, as my DD's pattern was 2-2-2-2 followed by bedtime. Now she takes 2-3 naps a day at all different times, usually for 30 minutes.

Also, if you can swaddle, try that. We swaddled until DD was 8 months old when she outgrew all the swaddle blankets. The motor development is so intense at this stage that babies sometimes literally can't relax. My DD always tried to practice things like rolling and sitting in her sleep. I remember when my DD discovered her legs, she wanted to kick all. night. long. I slept with my hands on her legs so she wouldn't kick herself awake. Swaddling helps calm the nervous system and contain the impulse to move move move so babies can relax and sleep.

Lastly, DD needs stimulation to be tired. Hanging out at home isn't enough for her (which sucks for me). I tried to give her a lot of new stuff to process to help tire her out. At 5 months we did library story time and we took a (free) baby sign class. We also read books (never too early to start) and before she could roll, I would put her on our bed and roll her from one end to the over (she loved it). An assortment of interesting toys or household items to explore together is great--go for different textures and sounds and sizes (ripping tissue paper is always popular, just put in a paci to keep DS from eating it). Finding busywork at this age is hard, but try to come up with new activities that DS can expel his energy on so he's ready to sleep.

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#5 of 8 Old 09-01-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Here's a few things that could help:
-making your room really dark. We tacked up blankets on our window when ds was 5 months and it really made a difference. When we were out, he could still fall asleep if it wasn't dark. You don't have to worry about him learning to only sleep in the dark. Darkness helps cue the body it is time for sleep, the body will actually produce hormones that help you sleep.
-white noise. I have never used this since ds is pretty good at sleeping though sounds. But I've heard tons of great things about them from people that have used them. An example of white noise is the sound made by a fan or air condition, that gentle humming sound. It's helpful because 1) the gentle, consistent sound can be effective at soothing a child to sleep, 2) it can filter out other noises that may jar him awake (like the phone ringing, a dark barking, ect), and 3) it creates a cue for sleep. You can use a white noise machine, white noise CD (like ocean sounds, waterfalls, ect.), a house hold object (like a fan, radio turned between stations, ect.)
-having a bedtime routine. This doesn't have to be dependant on times, just have the same order of activities. Example, read a book, sing a song, swaddle, nurse to sleep. This helps to cue sleep.
-leaving a shirt of yours (that has been worn) behind with him so that he can smell you and sense your presense.

About the sensing that you are no longer there. I think they just grow out of this as they age (if that's why he is waking). Ds would often wake up shortly after I left, and I would go back in and nurse him back to sleep. And the older he got, the better he became at sleeping on his own. Just try to make sure he is in a deep sleep before you leave the room.

In terms of when he goes to sleep. I don't have have much advice other than to say that it will get better with time. I strongly reccommend reading these two books: The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Sleepless in America by Marry Sheedy Kurcinka. They should be in your local library. They will both have a lot more ideas for you.

Sleep has been one of the biggest frustrations in my parenting journey as ds has never been a perfect sleeper. But the older he gets, the better of a sleeper he becomes. So on days where you are feeling stressed out over your baby's sleep habits, just now that they will get better on their own over time. You can do things now that might really help, but if you keep doing things the way you are now, they will eventually get better on their own. Don't feel that you are doing any damage by not fixing the situation. That was one of my fears when ds was a baby- that I was setting ds up for a life time of poor sleep habits because he wasn't sleeping at regular hours, couldn't stay asleep very long without needing me to nurse him back to sleep, because he was nursing to sleep to begin with, ect. Your ds will eventually be independent and not need you to put him to sleep and he will eventually sleep through the night! Don't let anyone worry you into thinking it won't happen unless you do such and such (like cry it out, which is sadly very popular in our society).

Sorry this is so long, I just know what it's like to be struggling with sleep issues. Feel free to ask anymore questions you may have. I hope that some of this helped!
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#6 of 8 Old 09-01-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Just so you don't feel alone, my 5 month old is going through some crazy sleep patterns right now too. She's never slept through the night, which is fine with me. But this week she's been waking at 3 or 4 for an hour or two! Ouch! She nurses back to sleep eventually, then gets up as usual around 6 or 7. I'm assuming she's just starting to teeth or go through a growth spurt. (developmental or pshychological). Good to know we're not alone!
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#7 of 8 Old 09-04-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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My DD is the same age and her sleep patterns have changed. Her bottom 2 teeth have shown themselves and who knows what else has gone on.

I have found that we have a routine and turning off the lights and rocking helps calm her. She looks around and knows it's time to sleep. But she also goes to sleep easier than her brother. But she will wake a few times between 9 and 12 p.m. several times. I nurse her back to sleep and right now (shortly after midnight), she's conked out on the boppy.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-04-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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Have you tried swaddling? I never used it when dd was younger but once she could roll over DD has trouble winding down without it. She'll be rolling, crawling and talking one minute. As soon as I swaddle her she usually falls alseep. Then I feed her a little to put her into a deep sleep.

Just wondering could it be teething? Mine has 2 teeth already but she doesn't sleep as well when they are coming in.
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