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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep hearing that if I don't put my baby to sleep at the first sign of her being tired, than she will become over tired and not sleep well. I was also told by the leader of our baby group that my baby shouldn't go more than 2 hours without sleeping (babe is almost 4mo). However when she first starts seeming tired I will try to nurse her or rock her to sleep and she will fight it. But if I give her longer time awake she will eventually just gently fall asleep in my arms with or without nursimg. By that time she has been awake closer to 2.5 to 3 hours. During this extra awake time she does seem tired. She yawns, rubs her eyes, and fusses a bit, but doesn't scream like she would if I were trying to make her sleep. But she also has been sleeping less than she "should" Yesterday it was only 12 hours total (I've read it should be closer to 14-16 hours at her age) Yesterday she had only 3 hours of nap so when I put her down for the night at 6:15 I thought she would sleep another 12 hours (of course waking up to nurse a couple times) but instead she woke up an hour later and refused to go back to sleep. I tried for 1/2 hour while she tossed and turned with her eyes closed and fussed. Finally I let her get up. She stayed up for another hour and a half and then went to sleep quite easily around 9:30. Then she woke up at 4:20 in the morning and wouldn't go back to sleep until 6:30 and then she only slept for another hour. I'm exhausted. I had no alone time yesterday at all. My husband wouldn't get up with her this morning because he had a job interview today. I have heard that sleep begets sleep so I don't know if she is sleeping so poorly because she is "overtired" because I am missing her tired signs and her sleep window, or is this just all the sleep she needs? Or is it because I was trying to mess with her sleep schedule by putting her down too soon after she woke up (within 2 hours). She has always slept well at night in the past. She would wake to eat and go right back to sleep. But this weird waking for two hours in the middle of the night has happened two days. I feel like its all my fault, but I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Whenever you hear a sentence that starts with "Your baby should..." take it with a big ol' grain of salt.<br><br>
It's been a while since my ds was that age, but I remember being very confused about his "schedule" compared to what I was told to expect. There is so much variation among individual babies and so many reasons a baby will not sleep. If letting her stay awake longer seems better to you, then nobody can tell you you're wrong. You're the expert on your baby.<br><br>
Not that it's any consolation when you're up from 4:20 to 6:30.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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I agree with pp. Don't listen to the "rules" that someone tells you about babies. Babies are very unique creatures - what works for one won't work for another. Listen to your baby, and do what works best for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I needed to hear that. It's funny today we were on the go all day and I didn't pay attention to the time, just her cues and she slept great all day. Fussiness is her biggest cue. If I don't let her get really fussy/whiney before I try to put her to sleep she will just scream and fight it. Wat's with her weird night waking though? Any ideas?
 

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My 5 month old literally just went through almost the same thing you are now. It lasted about a month and it got a lot worse before it got better. I think in our case it was developmental because she just mastered the art of rolling both directions and she wants to do it ALL THE TIME.<br><br>
That, and teething. But the waking up for a long stretch in the middle of the night and even wanting to play happened for at least a week. Then she started night waking every 45 mins to 1.5 hours.
 

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Almost 4 mos., and a change in sleep habits...<br><br>
... Could be developmental. (Often, when babies get a new "skill", they have trouble sleeping for a while.)<br><br>
... Could be a growth spurt. (These often bring <i>extra</i> sleep, but could do the opposite, too.)<br><br>
... Could be teething.<br><br>
... Could be a number of things.<br><br>
If you know what works for your little girl, stick with that and ignore anything that doesn't work for her -- no matter how well meaning or "expert" the person giving it to you is. Babies her age may need a certain amount of sleep <i>on average</i>. That does <b>not</b> mean it applies to every baby, every 24 hours. It's exactly what it says -- an average. Some need more, some need less, and some may need more today, less tomorrow, and more the day after.<br><br>
Trust your instincts and your baby.
 

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Hi JuniperMuse,<br><br>
My babe has always been on the low side of average too. 12 hours total sleep in a day was her norm at 4 months, and I eventually figured that was just the way it would be. And at 9 months, she's heading toward 11 hours/day.<br><br>
One thing not addressed yet - you were wondering about the window of too sleepy/not sleepy enough. With my babe, I see three general options:<br><br>
-try to put her to sleep when she's shown the first sign of sleepy and/or "she's due for a nap", and I get lots of cranky fighting<br><br>
-try to put her to sleep a little while after the above description, and it's an easy time<br><br>
-try to put her to sleep a long while after the above description, and she's wired/overtired/etc and a little frantic about the whole process<br><br>
How many minutes between each? I don't know. But for us, there is indeed a window, and if I timed the minutes out I think it would be a predictable amount of time. I have figured out that it's *not* at the first sign of sleepy for us though. Of course WMMV, but I thought this might be helpful to see.
 

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This is the same for me - first sign of tired and its like hes not tired enough, hes still too awake. Leave it too long and hes too tired. Theres a window. I'm lucky in that I do seem to have a "text book baby" - he does seem to do all the things the books say he will which is nice because I have a good idea of what to expect! But I think he is a rare baby and if yours is different then just listen to him and go with what he tells you... the times I have had the worst crying fits are the times when I have just read a baby book and I'm very sure of what is wrong or what I should be doing next and I'm getting it totally wrong because I'm not getting his cues.... does that make sense?
 
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