True or Not

Anne-Maree - posted on 09/20/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Is it true that if you keep your child awake for longer periods during the day it helps them sleep better at night and for longer???
And how long and how many times should u let your baby sleep during the day?

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Lise - posted on 09/20/2010

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For us, sleep begets sleep! The more she sleeps during the day, the better she sleeps at night.

Alison - posted on 09/20/2010

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Sweetheart... night feedings is part of being mommy to a newborn. Please do not deprive your daughter of any sleep during the day. You may want to consider one bottle feed during the night so daddy can take his turn, but otherwise, you just need to be patient until her tummy gets bigger and she totally gets the difference between day and night (it can take up to three months with some babies). Also, look for opportunities to take a nap during the day, so you are in better shape to tend to your little one.

Renae - posted on 09/20/2010

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That is absolutely NOT true. Any behaviourist or sleep consultant will tell you it is not true. The reason is that babies have difficulty moving between sleep cycles when they are overtired, so they wake more frequently. They also have difficulty shutting down and going to sleep once they are overtired and therefore overstimulated. All babies who get good sleep during the day will sleep better at night.

In regards to sleep during the day this depends on the age.

0-12 weeks, they should not be awake for more than 1 hour, usually 45 minutes.
3-6 months - awake for 1.5 hours
6 months - can stay awake for 2 hours.
Between 6 and 9 months (roughly) they need 3 sleeps per day of 1-3 hours each. The first sleep usually needs to be very early in the day, usually 45 minutes after first getting up.
Between 9 and 12 months they change to 2 naps per day, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, of around 1-3 hours each.
Between 12 and 18 months they transition to one nap per day of around 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

All mums should familiarise themselves with tired signs. You can google it. Then you will know when your bub needs to go to sleep.

If you tell me how old your baby is I can be of more specific assistance.

Amanda - posted on 09/23/2010

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I was alway told (and found to be true in my instance) that the better they sleep during the day, the better they will sleep at night. They can very easily become overtired and then night sleep is disrupted. Sleep times during the day are dependant on the individual child as well as their age. Trial and error I guess but the more rested the baby during the day - the better they sleep at night.

Avril - posted on 09/21/2010

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no its not true iv got 6 kids 3 of em r under 2yrs my twins r 22mnths old now me girl only has i nap aday but her twin bro still needs his 2 naps aday and me 10mnth only has 2 naps as well if they r tired then they go for a nap all 3 of em go to bed at 6.30pm and sleep rite through the night till 7am u have got to remember a baby or toddler dose there growing mainly when they r asleep plus if they r well rested u r more likely to have happy babies/toddlers

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Kayla - posted on 09/24/2010

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I agree with everybody to a certain extent. My husband has insomnia and we were worried that my daughter was getting it. She does prefer to stay up at night, and sleep during the day. I don't deprive her of her naps, but I do wake her during the day if she's slept longer than 3 hours, and try to keep her up for at least an hour, but I didn't start this until she was 6 months old. They also say they need to sleep a minimum of 45 minutes for a nap to get the benefits of the nap. If your daughter falls into this pattern, you can try opening up the shades so that it's lighter in your home or take her for a walk in the morning. The light helps signal to the baby's cycle that it's daytime and it's time to wake up. Having dim lights and the shades drawn may signal that it's sleepy time.

With your daughter only being 2 months old and premature, I would probably say that it's best for her to wake up in the night for a feeding or 2. She needs that extra nourishment. You're lucky it's not every 2 hours =) When my daughter first came home for about the first month and a half she woke up every 2 hours. If anything, I would probably talk it over with your doctor. They know things to look for that may be contributing to her sleeping pattern. My doctor really helped with mine. A big part of it was if you feed them too often or rock them to sleep every single time, then they will come to expect that to go to sleep. But your daughter is probably too young for those problems just yet. Her sleep patterns sound very normal to me. Maybe try alternating with your husband on nights for who gets her (unless your breastfeeding) or even if you are breastfeeding, have your husband just bring the baby over to you and feed her while you lay down so you can rest and go to sleep when you're done.

Dawn - posted on 09/24/2010

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I think that every child is different and you will find that sleep habits will change periodically throughout their development. Teething, growing, and things like that will all interrupt sleep patterns. For the 1st 5 months, my daughter didn't sleep all day (maybe a 20 minute nap once in a while) but she slept 10 hours at night. Then at 5 months old, she still had the same nap schedule (1 20 minute during the day) however, she was up between 3-5 times a night for the next 4 months, it was mentally and physically exhausting. She turned 10 months old and starting take a better nap, anywhere between 1 and a half to 3 hours, depending on the day, and sleeps through the night most nights. I think that all kids are different and thing even out after time. Hang in there though, it will get better at some point, or either that you just get used to not sleeping! : )

Dawn - posted on 09/24/2010

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Absolutely not! A child deprived of their nap will wake up at their usual time, plus not sleep as well due to being overtired. My daughter is 9 months old and sleeps through the night most of the time. She's cutting teeth so she wakes occasionally right now. She slept the majority of the day and night from birth to about 3 months, then it gradually declined, giving her more awake hours. She's a catnapper so she will sleep for half hour - 45 mins 2 - 4 times a day.

Renae - posted on 09/24/2010

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Hi Anne-Maree, sorry I didn't check back to this thread after you answered me. When talking about sleep and most developmental milestones, you will need to go by your baby's adjusted age until she is about 12 months old. A lot of how babies sleep is to do with their physiological need for food. Most babies will sleep for longer stretches, without you doing anything, when they are physiologically ready. Likewise, you cant make a baby sleep for longer if they are not physiologically ready. It is normal for babies to wake every 3 hours for food (sometimes 4 hours if formula fed) until they are 12-14 weeks old, or until they have doubled their birth weight if born a normal weight at full term. I think you should continue to feed your baby on demand whenever she wakes for it. It is unlikely that she has gotten into any bad habits. New borns run on instinct, a habit is something that forms over time and requires a level of cognition that very young babies dont yet have.

So if we assume your baby has the sleep and feeding requirement of a 4 week old; then she probably cannot stay awake for more than 45min to 1 hour max before needing a sleep of 1-2 hours - and would probably need to feed every 3 hours. If she is having short 45 minute sleeps during the day, then she may only be able to stay awake for 20 or 30 minutes. Look out for her tired signs. The most common ones are - eyes not focusing or a glazed starring look, pulling or scratching at ears, jerky sudden movements in arms and legs, crying for no apparent reason. By the time a baby is yawning they are over-tired and will become overstimulated and cranky very quickly.

I know its exhausting. But hang in there. They are only newborns once and in a few months she should be sleeping a longer stretch.

Lynn - posted on 09/24/2010

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My son is 17 months,he sleeps 8pm-7am then 11am-3pm and often a 30 min nap between 3pm and bedtime.
Your baby is too young to be staying awake for long periods during the day.
Another thing you can do to get baby to recognise day time and night time is to leave curtains open during daytime naps and keep it short and sweet when you put them to bed, whereas at night, you do bath time,story time,milk and then sleep.Don't worry,they will catch on soon enough and then you'll be waking up wondering why baby is still sleeping!
It's hard in the first few months,I know, I did it by myself, but it gets easier.Just remember to sleep when baby does if possible, I still do at times.Housework will still be there later but you need your rest.

Nikki - posted on 09/23/2010

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I can tell you one thing if my 15 month old son is tired and he doesnt go down for a nap, he turns into THE MOST MISERABLE LIL BOY you could imagine, which in turn makes putting him down for bed even more impossible. An overtired baby gets extremely frustrated and cranky and if they miss a nap, the next time sleep time comes around they are still frustrated and overtired that they struggle so much more to go down........... let your child sleep when they want to sleep... like the saying goes Never wake a sleeping baby. Their scheduels will regulate themselves. My son went to bed between 10:30-11pm every night and napped 2 times a day, then one day he changed his nap times, then by a year he went down to one( not sure why most kids have two naps til at least 18 months, but now at 15 months he sleeps from 1-3pm and goes to bed by 8:30pm-9am

At one month your child will sleep alot, but this is because they are still adapting to this new outside world, and when they sleep they grow, so it's very good for them. Also Sleep when she sleeps, tis the only way you will get rest, and dont stress she will regulate her schedule soon enough.

Sarah - posted on 09/23/2010

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Like Amanda Marshall, I was told that the better baby sleeps during the day, the better they sleep at night... however in my case, it just did NOT work for my little one. She is 9 months old now and only has two 30 minute naps during the day and sleeps 10.5-11 hours at night without waking up. That seems to be all she needs. She's always been a cat-napper and I tried everything when she was younger to try get her to sleep more/longer during the day but I found it affected her night sleep (ie waking up more), so I gave up and just let her take the lead and she's been happy ever since. Some babies just don't need as much sleep as others.

Sunny - posted on 09/23/2010

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your baby should be feeding thru the night, every 4 hours is great. Especially if s/he was a premie and needs the milk to help her gain weight etc. It's a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child, and waking thru the night is part and parcel of being a mom. Don't try and make her go hungry, your baby will tell you when she needs it. And no, the more she sleeps thru the day, the better her night sleep will be. If she gets overtired, your baby will be harder to settle at night. At 1 month, she is still getting used to sleeping, differentiating day and night etc. Most babies at this age will not be sleeping thru the night. They will be waking round the clock, more often when going thru a growth spurt. At one month I'd say she'd be needing to sleep about 4 naps, her awake time no more than 1.5 hours. Watch for tired signs and put her down to sleep when she shows them. All the best.

Cynthia - posted on 09/23/2010

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TRUE cause my daughter does it cause she is so tired she gets 20 min naps 2 or 3 of them during the day thats it

Jodi - posted on 09/23/2010

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If your little one is that young she will wake every 4 hours for a feed that is very normal. I know its hard work but trust me this age is a walk in the park compared to when they get to 12mths old and your constantly chasing after them you'll be wishing she did sleep most of the day lol. Just set out a routine for her and stick to it. I follow the Tizzie Hall routines and they work very well for us.

[deleted account]

Like everyone else, I agree, it is not true. Good sleep begets good sleep. A rested baby will go to sleep easier than an overtired cranky baby.

The naps depend on the age of the child and their temperament.

A baby won't sleep through the night until they're physically able to eat and process enough food during the day. Don't withhold food at night from a hungry baby.

Nicole - posted on 09/22/2010

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To Amy that is sooo... not true. Both of our babies slept through the night around 2 1/2-3 monthes. Some don't until they are more than 1 or 2. It is true though that if you keep them up when they are tired that they will become over tired and they will not be fun to put to bed at night. Think about how you feel if you get to the point where you are sooo... overtired that you just can't sleep. Let them make their own schedule.

[deleted account]

No it's not true. If a child is tired from not sleeping enough during the day they are likely to have a bad nights sleep too. And a baby of your daughter's age need's plenty of sleep and it's normal for her to want to eat every 4 hours... that's what newborns need - my son ate every 3 hours at that age.

Amy - posted on 09/22/2010

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I wonder the same thing.....So should I not try & keep my baby up during the day??? I guess im worried shes never going to get it & sleep at night.....So is it just something she wil grow out of?? because I have heard some people say shes never going to sleep at night if she doesnt by now & shes 10 weeks

Melissa - posted on 09/20/2010

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In my experience and from what I have read no it is not true! Babies are kind of like us when we dont go to sleep when we feel tierd we get a second wind...sleep depervation catches up to them....Ours is soooo fussy when he doesnt get at least 15 hrs of sleep! It also will actually make their sleep patterns worse at night!! It is deff a habit so depending on her age read up on different sleep methods...there is the no cry method and the cry it out method....after trying everything for our LO at 5 mths we resorted to the cry it out.. and it worked within 3 days...but thats not for everyone so try wht you are comfortable with!

Oh wait I just read your LO is 1 mth..dont do the methods yet I think he is fine waking up every 4 hours...ours did to eat it wasnt untill around 3 mths that he was sleeping for 7-8hrs at a time...and tech. sleeping thourgh the night is 5 hours!!! So I say dont let him stay awake longer than 1.5- 2(max) hours at a time...I agree with Renaes post aswell!

Nicole - posted on 09/20/2010

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We have always let our babies sleep when they want to sleep. They both have been sleeping through the night since about 2 monthes.

Anne-Maree - posted on 09/20/2010

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Hi Renae, My gal is 1 month 4 weeks 2 days, but she was one month prem so her corrected age is 4 weeks 2 days

Anne-Maree - posted on 09/20/2010

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Kimberley was there anything u did different or was it right from the start, my lil gal was in special care for about 4 weeks so she was woken every 4 hours for food, so now i think she is in that habit and i dont know how to break it

Kimberley - posted on 09/20/2010

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when my daughter was born she slept most of the day and night no problem, now that shes 10 month she only has 1 nap for an hour a day and sleeps all night

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