New Infant Sleep Study: For infant sleep, receptiveness more important than routine

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Brandy - posted on 08/13/2010

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We do have a schedule but it is based on our kids' cues. Especially since we live in Northern Alberta because in the summer, the sun doesn't go down until midnight and in the winter, it's pitch black by 6 pm so our daughter's bedtime has been a bit earlier in the winter than it is in the summer. Our son is only 7 months old so he is still setting his routine but has basically gone to bed between 8 and 11 from birth. He started out going to bed at about 11 every night and slowly moved earlier and earlier until just recently he's been going to bed at about 8:30 which is perfect because that's his sister's bedtime as well. Naptime for our daughter has been 2:00 since she was about a year old and that pretty much always works for her. If she doesn't seem tired though, I will let her stay up a while longer and wear herself out and she will pretty much always still go to bed at 8:30.

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Our schedule is pretty much based on her cues. It always has been. I've never been a, "it's 7:00 get in bed now" parent. My daughter is an amazing sleeper, and will let us know when she's tired. "Come on Mama! Night Night!" She does that for naptime and bedtime, and it's around the same time every day. Sometimes I will ask if she's ready. If she says, "no" I don't worry about it because I know she will go to sleep when she's ready. The latest she's stayed up is 9:30 (unless we are out), and that's rare. She's usually down between 7:30 and 8:00. She sleeps 12 hours, then takes a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon. I'm not complaining. =)

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We made a schedule by observing our sons cues - I actually made a note for a week of his tired times, feed times etc and noticed they were pretty much around the same times each day. Saying that if he is particularly awake at bedtime I don't force him to bed or if he is tired earlier he goes earlier, and he has slept through since he was just under 3 months old.

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We haven't really done strict schedules for nap/bedtime either. It has worked better for us. We have taken several trips home to Ohio from Texas (both by car and plane). My daughter can sleep any where she's tired. She does tend to nap and go to bed around the same time every day on most days. We kind of have a bedtime routine, but it's very short. As soon as I see her signs of sleepiness we put on her PJ's and read a book. She nurses and then goes to sleep. She's very spirited lol so if she's not tired I can't make her go to bed. It's easier to just wait until she lets me know she's ready.

LaCi - posted on 08/13/2010

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I never have been much for schedules. He kind of sets his own schedule, I guess I followed his cues. He's pretty consistent. He wants to go to bed around 9:30-10. Wakes up at 7-8. And naps from 2-3 ish, sometimes longer. When he was younger he'd fall asleep around 8, but the schedule has essentially been the same all along, and it was all on his terms. He's a good sleeper, except a couple months of horrible fits, but those passed. Some sort of clingy phase ;/

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We have always had a pretty strict bed time routine and schedule...I think we were one of the lucky ones who had a good sleeper and it was easier for her to fall and stay asleep most nights that our friends children. We have always had her bed time at 8...although she needs to be in bed by 7:30 and we read books or watch a movie together as a family in her bed room...just a time for relaxation I guess then as soon as the clock strikes 8pm its lights off and time to sleep...I think she must lay in bed for only around 10 minutes before shes out like the light and sleeping very soundly.

I don't know if her sleep schedule is due to the fact we are in tune to her emotions or because we have had the same routine since she started sleeping through the night at about 8 months old. Interesting study though!

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