Need help altering a sleep habit - if at all possible.

Carmen - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 8 week old daughter is at her most tired between 4 - 7 PM. We are trying to establish a bed time at 8 PM but she either is sleepy at 4 PM and wants to sleep throughout the evening or is most awake at 8 - 9 PM if she hasn't been napping. Any advice on how to keep her awake between 4 - 7 PM and get her adjusted to an 8 PM bedtime???

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Amber - posted on 10/28/2009

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i think an 8 week old baby is to early to maintain a schedule! that is just my opinion!

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Ashley - posted on 10/29/2009

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Do not try to keep her up...that will backfire on you. If you want to establish a routine, or at least a flexible schedule, let her sleep at 4pm but don't let her sleep past 5pm. When babies sleep past 5pm their brain starts transitioning to night sleep. Most babies' brains start telling them it's bedtime around 6pm everyday, so you should really try to aim for a 6pm bedtime, if you want her to sleep through the night as soon as she's capable...which can be soon if you stick to a 6pm bedtime. When my daughter was that young I would let her nap at 4pm but get her up by 4:45pm and start her bedtime routine around 5pm or so (bath, bottle or BF and then bed by 6pm). She was sleeping 6p-6a by 9 weeks.

Carmen - posted on 10/29/2009

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Thanks for all the advice ladies. I agree that she is very young and my husband and I should really let her set her own schedule right now. I appreciate all your help immensely.

Jessica - posted on 10/28/2009

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she is defiantly not too young for a routine babies love routine they like to know what is coming next. During the day she should be having about 3-4 sleeps through the day. if she is over tired at the time you want to put her down for the night she will actually be more hyperactive strange really but babies work differently apparently. 7pm is a better bedtime because of babies sleep cycles. so try this routine and see if it helps a night for you. try and feed her at 7am, 11am, 3pm and then last feed at 6:30pm try and put her down for sleeps at 8:45am, 12:45pm and a nap at 4:30pm for the first 2 sleeps let her sleep up untill her next feed if she wants too. if she wont nap at 4:30 try taking her for a walk in her pram or a drive in the car to encourage her to sleep in different places. at about 6:55pm swaddle her and lay her in her bed if she doesn't fall asleep at 7pm not stress she will fall asleep soon after. she should also sleep for about 5-6hours and eventually through the night. Ive been told sticking to a routine like this will mean your baby will never go hungry or be over tired, and will sleep well. You can always give it a try if you have tried everything else. If you want more information about the routine its from the book 'Save Our Sleep' the routine i gave you is for babies from 8weeks old BF or Formula fed.

good Luck

Linda - posted on 10/28/2009

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Read the book " The Baby Whisperer" excellent book. She has excellent advice on this.

Kristin - posted on 10/28/2009

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Go ahead and let her set her schedule now, and then move everything back 10-15 minutes at a time until it's when you want it. It may take a while, but it will be less painful then trying to impose a drastic new schedule. It's important to let her get as much sleep as she wants when she needs it... She is growing by leaps and bounds after all... but you can make it somewhat more manageable by changing things gradually.

Tenea - posted on 10/28/2009

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Try to play with her as much as possible. This way it will keep her awake and she will be tierd towards the end of the night. This may or not work for you....but that is what I do.

Stephanie - posted on 10/28/2009

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She is still young... we didnt establish a bedtime routine for our son til he was around 5 mons. old... most babies r different but we waited until he was no longer needing to eat in the middle of the night- he proved he didnt by gaining enough weight. if you want to set a routine b/c of working, try to work it around when she sleeps- plan your day that way... Best of Luck!!!!

Anna - posted on 10/28/2009

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I'd have to say she is too young for a routine like that - I'd wait another couple of months. I mean, you can try now, but don't get upset if it doesn't work. At that age, they need a lot of short naps and frequent feeds. I think you are supposed to let them sleep when they need to sleep for the first 4 months at least. If you try and keep her awake, it's going to be painful for both of you. They need something like 16 hours sleep a day so even if she sleeps in the evening, she should sleep at night as well. The best thing you can do is try to establish a pleasant bedtime routine like give her a bath with a drop of lavender oil in it, then a feed, then walk with her for 5 minutes - or whatever works for you, but do it the same way at the same time every night.

Christine - posted on 10/28/2009

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my son is 5 months and we let him make his own schedule. he takes his day naps from 12-2 and from 4:30 to 6. we start getting him ready for bed at 8 with a bath and a bottle and i usually lay him in his bed about 8:45 or 9 to fall asleep on his own. if he is not tired at 8-ish we move back to 9:30, my husband and i usually dont lay down until 10 anyway. we started his bedtime routine with a nice warm bath (where we play and talk to tire him out) and a bottle. he got the hang of it pretty fast. good luck!!

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2009

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My daughter did the same thing. Does your daughter like her car seat and will she sleep in it ?? ( Every baby is different ). Our daughter loved to sleep in the car. You could try and "trick" her into having a nap earlier....

Brandy - posted on 10/28/2009

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I don't think you should try to make a schedule for a baby that young. My opinion is that it is best to let the baby work out their own schedule. I think bedtimes are something meant for toddlers, not babies. My advice is to just tough it out and let her figure out day and night on her own. You could end up with a really cranky baby if you start trying to change her sleeping habits that early.

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