Austin Babies

sleep help please...

I'm not sure if this is 'normal' or if there is something we can do. Laci cat naps during the day...like 5 naps that are usually an hour or less. I'm hoping that daycare can fix this and get her into a schedule of maybe 2 longer naps? But I think the cat naps are not allowing her to get any rest which makes her exhausted at night. From about 7-9 she is just not a happy camper...we lovingly refer to it as her witching hour at home. I feel like she is very tired but overly tired and fighting it. Her crying/screaming isn't as bad as when she was having lots of gassy issues so I don't think there is anything hurting her....also, I can hand her off to BF half the time and she's fine so that also leads me to believe that she is just exhausted. I try to start her bedtime routine around 6:30 or 7 and usually she is sleeping by about 10. Am I or Are we doing something wrong here?

She is on formula and being swaddled. I think the swaddle is our saving grace at night- once she is out she may sleep for 3-5 hours...depending on how much of her bottle she took just before bed. In her fussiness she usually won't take her full 3/4 oz bottle.

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Re: sleep help please...

  • What do you do when she wakes up from one of her shorter naps? I would try keeping her in her room, low light, quiet noises/no talking, and seeing if you can get her right back to sleep. Maybe at first just rub her back and see if it calms her down, and if it doesn't try rocking her. If you can get her to sleep for longer you can try keeping her awake longer too, having fewer naps. I wouldn't get set on 2 long naps though. At her age she might need 3 or even 4.

    Charlie still has trouble staying asleep for as long as he needs to. He usually wakes up after about an hour of napping, but we've gotten to the point where I bring him more water, tuck him back in, and he goes right back to sleep for another 1+ hrs. Worth a shot!

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  • The witching hour is super common and just generally sucks all around. I think most babies outgrow that by 3-4 months.

    Neither of my kids napped for longer than 45ish minutes per nap until around 7 months. 30-45 minutes is one full sleep cycle, so many babies pop awake at that point. With DS, we could go in and try and rock him back to sleep, but that only worked about 50% of the time. If she's sleeping an hour, she might actually be getting in two full 30-min cycles, which is a pretty decent nap.

    Have you tried guiding her into a daily schedule/routine? We followed the eat-play-sleep routine recommended by the Baby Whisperer and Baby Wise, and it worked well for both mine. If you can set a consistent waking time to begin the cycle, say, 7 a.m., then you go through the eat-play-sleep cycle once every three hours. At her age, she probably wouldn't be happily awake much longer than about an hour or 1.5 hours, so it would look something like 7 a.m. eat, play 'til around 8:30, then nap 'til 10. Rinse, repeat. As they stretch out their wake times (stay awake longer), they gradually drop naps. Sometimes it works out neatly and sometimes it doesn't, but the idea is you start to teach her body when it's time to eat, when it's time to sleep, etc. You're helping develop her rhythm. 

    FWIW, we didn't get to 2 naps until around 6 months. 

    Other ideas: white noise for her naps. Are you swaddling for naps also? If not, try that. 

    Newborns are really hard! They get easier around 3 months and then a lot easier around 5 months. Hang in there! 

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  • This is all reassuring...I was just going with the flow and not really noting anything until I saw her daycare reports and noticed that she is taking 4 or 5 naps during her time there- I wasn't sure if that was normal or if I should have her on another napping schedule.

    We do us a white noise machine and I have a swaddle blanket at daycare but I think I need to let them know that it is there if they want to use it.

    A week of changes for her as well so I guess things are what is considered normal for a 2 month old.

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  • I didn't realize it's also her first week at school! Yeah, with the new environment, that's going to bring crappy sleep no matter what. And neither of my kids sleep at school. Ever. Too bright, too many distractions, too much noise, etc. She'll get the hang of it.
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  • First, we're still on 4-5 naps per day, 2 nap days didn't happen with my first until about 5-6 months. But my DD takes 1 long 2-3 hour nap mid day and a short 20 min. Nap around 5:30(bedtime is 7:30.) The others are probably 45 minutes long. If she hasn't taken the long nap by mid afternoon I tend to hold her and rock her back to sleep when she wakes up after 45 minutes or so, and most of the time I don't put her back down for the rest of the nap. Basically I gave up my afternoons for a pleasant evening. Since that isn't really an option anymore, im just hoping she'll sleep on the car ride home for longer

    second daycare won't really help this as she'll get woken up by sounds more frequently, but I would have them try to rock her back to sleep if she wakes earlier than you think she needs, nd definitely rock her some on the weekends

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  • imagerssnlvr:
    I didn't realize it's also her first week at school! Yeah, with the new environment, that's going to bring crappy sleep no matter what. And neither of my kids sleep at school. Ever. Too bright, too many distractions, too much noise, etc. She'll get the hang of it.

    I just didn't want to be that mom that should be doing something to help her sleep longer or whatever and not be told. Sounds like she is a normal cranky/happy girl! lol

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  • everything you're saying seems pretty normal. we're still doing 3-4 naps during the day before bedtime at 8pm. like pp said, try patting her back to sleep if she wakes up after a short nap and maybe that will help her combine them into a longer nap.
  • oh i should note that this also being DS's first week at daycare, he isn't napping much there and worse, not eating much. he went the first day completely refusing the bottle. i went to babies r us to buy different nipples that he seemed to do ok with. and today he's home with a fever and his first cold. rough start!
  • First of all, TOTALLY normal.

    And everyone has given you wonderful advice. I've found that sleep is so cyclical. As soon as you get a routine, something interupts it, even if it's just a new age and new day. Try different techniques and find which one works for your daughter. Then next week, find the next one that works for her. LOL!

    Just remember, "This too shall pass" doesn't apply to anything better than baby sleep issues. Good luck!

  • naps sound totally normal - when you're at home, try to walk in, give a paci, white noise, pat on the tummy, and see if she'll go back to sleep (no talking, picking up, eye contact, etc).  that works for us on the weekends a lot.  at daycare, she just always takes her 45 minute naps.   there's too much going on there for her to sleep through it!

    for bedtime - why is it taking 3 hours for the bedtime routine?  I'd change up something there.  you said you usually start bedtime at 6:30-7, but she isn't asleep until 10?  talk us through your night routine and we'll see if we can help.  

    FWIW, ours looks like (and has looked the same since her first week of daycare at 12 weeks old):  

    6:45 (every other day): bathtime

    7:00:  put PJs/nighttime diaper on

    7:05:  rocking with bottle in her dimly lit room with no distractions (talking, etc).  

    7:15/20:  burped and swaddled.  lay her down in the crib (used to be the swing until about 16 weeks), give her the pacifier and turn on the sleep sheep.  turn off the light and walk out of the room.  

     

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  • imageMrs.Purdue:

    for bedtime - why is it taking 3 hours for the bedtime routine?  I'd change up something there.  you said you usually start bedtime at 6:30-7, but she isn't asleep until 10?  talk us through your night routine and we'll see if we can help.  

    FWIW, ours looks like (and has looked the same since her first week of daycare at 12 weeks old):  

    6:45 (every other day): bathtime

    7:00:  put PJs/nighttime diaper on

    7:05:  rocking with bottle in her dimly lit room with no distractions (talking, etc).  

    7:15/20:  burped and swaddled.  lay her down in the crib (used to be the swing until about 16 weeks), give her the pacifier and turn on the sleep sheep.  turn off the light and walk out of the room.  

    bedtime 'routine'...I don't know that I have it down to an exact science. If/when she needs a bath we bathe her around 7-7:30 and then put clean clothes and a new diaper on her and then a bottle. Other nights I usually start her routine about the time she should be wanting another bottle. I'll make sure her diaper is not wet/dirty and then feed her and then let her fall asleep on my chest or in my arms.

    If she is calm I'll swaddle her before the bottle. If she is still uneasy I try to get it on her just after her bottle. Other times she just is active with her arms and legs and swaddling her will only piss her off so I just have to wait it out. The 3rd scenario is usually when she just isn't wanting to sleep and eventually gets handed off to BF for him to calm her down. On these nights as soon as she can feel me swaddling around the 1st arm she just isn't having it at all. She sleeps in a playpen next to my side of the bed so I usually just chill in bed with her with the TV on low volume. I've tried it with no TV, lullaby station on Pandora, white noise machine, etc...

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  • I'd establish a routine and stick with it - that will signal to her that it's bedtime vs just another nap, or something else (she doesn't know what's going to happen after she eats - sometimes it's bedtime, sometimes not). 

    IMO, I'd do bath, bottle, then swaddle (maybe even the diaper change here instead of before the bottle) so that she's just drowsy when you lay her in the pnp instead of completely asleep.  that way she'll get used to going to sleep on her own (even though she's 99% there anyway) AND she'll remember that she's in her bed when she wakes up instead of waking up thinking that she's still in your arms and then WTF?!  

    I think it also helps us that we do her bedtime bottle in her room, in her chair, etc.  If it's a daytime bottle, we're usually in the living room or somewhere else.  Lots and lots of sleep cues to tell her that THIS is the bedtime bottle and you're going to sleep immediately following.  

     

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  • FWIW, our daycare (same as keri's) turns down all the lights in the center from 11:30-2:30, plays soft music, and has quiet time for all the older kids. They're good at getting everyone to nap together..I don't know how they do it!
  • Ditto everyone else on the normalcy.  DS will still only take 30-45 minute naps on the weekends with us.  During the week, the nanny can get him to nap an hour or more, but he just won't do it for us (unless we hold him, which we finally just stopped doing).  The only way I would get him to nap longer on the weekends is by holding him and when he would inevitably wake after 30 or 45 minutes, stick the boob in his mouth and nurse him back to sleep.  so, just know that the short naps are completely normal.

    We talked to the pedi about this at his 4 month appt and she said it sounds like we have a social baby and he just wants to be around us.  As he gets older, I can really see this more and more.  He can be super cranky but when we lay him on the bed for a diaper change his face totally lights up and he starts smiling and kicking away.  Basically, he wants us standing over him giving him constant attention!  Even in the middle of the night, he is all smiles and kicks when I change him.  His awake time is about 2 hours and he still takes 3-4 naps a day depending on the length of them.

    We established a nighttime routine a little before 3 months and it helped tremendously.  Every night we do bath (not soaped up every night, just in the tub for a queue), diaper change, massage, and nurse to sleep (I know, I know...) in his room with the sleep sheep and lavendar aromatherapy on.  The longest it takes to get him to sleep after the diaper change is 30 minutes.  Even if he is super hyper and has only been awake for an hour he still goes down pretty easily at night (knock on wood!).  I attribute this entirely to the routine because this child fights naps (no routine) like you would not believe.

    This post is reassuring for me, too, especially Rssn's comments.  Sleep is just all around Sucksville, USA in my book.  And SLB was dead on with as soon as you figure out what works, something will change and you'll have to figure out something new.  Funsies! I  highly suggest a nighttime routine, that should help a lot.  GL!

  • why does her bedtime routine take so long?

    DS had the same witching hour and i realized he just needed to go to bed earlier. this was at about 7 weeks. so instead of keeping him "napping" downstairs with us, i started putting him upstairs to bed by 7:30pm. made a huge difference!

    eta: should have read the other replies first. ditto mrspurdue. set a routine and stick to it. and start early, try to have her in bed by 7:30 or earlier. you'll get in your own routine soon!

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  • Oh yeah - when we first started the routine he was going to bed bout 9:00.  After a week he pushed it to 8:00 (based on nap times) and then a couple of weeks later he pushed it to 7:00.  It's been there ever since.  Maybe she is trying to make her bedtime earlier.  Sometimes we start the routine before 6:00 if he is really tired and didn't take the last nap.
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