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Thread: Bedtime woes...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Bedtime woes...

    Hi mamas!

    My baby girl (5 months old) is having trouble falling asleep at night and will nurse 3 or 4 times in a 2 hour period before really being "asleep" for good. It surprises me, it's frustrating, it's adorable, it's endearing, and it's infuriating. The hardest part is that my 4 year old waits, sometimes patiently and sometimes not, for me to be done with her to get his bedtime routine attended to. Sometimes I finally finish with her only to find him passed out already.
    I can't start him any earlier, and she doesn't tolerate me putting her routine off until later. She is genuinely tired at 7 or 7:30, but doesn't actually knock out for the night until 9 - 9:30, sometimes 10.
    When it first started I thought it was just a passing thing or a growth spurt but it's been 6 weeks? 8 weeks? More? I can't remember anymore, it's been a really long time now.

    She also wakes up 2-3 times in the night to nurse, which I also thought was a growth spurt, but it has continued long beyond her actually sprouting. Previously she was consistently sleeping a 6 hour stretch.

    These are two separate issues that I'm not sure how to handle. Are they normal? I've been trying to be relaxed about them, should I be? Should I be trying to establish a better nighttime routine with her? How? (I've tried baths before bed and it doesn't seem to make a difference) I'm starting to become seriously sleep deprived and crabby...

    I read someone say teething can cause an increase in night feelings. She has two teeth already - could that be part of it? She seems to have been teething since birth, got both teeth at 4 months.

    Thanks, all.
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    I don't have any answers for you but am having a similar struggle with my 7 month old, and am also wondering what (if anything) to do. My LO has been sleeping poorly, on and off for a couple months now. First it was teething disrupting his sleep, then a growth spurt, another tooth, then learning to crawl, pull up, then 4 more teeth. He is currently sleeping a good 6/7 hour stretch at night, but will NOT go to sleep at a reasonable hour. He is happily playing on the floor beside me as I type this and it is 11:52 pm. I used to spend hours rocking and nursing him to no avail. Now I try for 30-40 minutes and if he is not sleeping, but not fussy and wants to play, we play, and try again in a while. At least this way I am not so frustrated, and he seems very content. I honestly am puzzled and in awe of people who claim their babies go to sleep at 7:30 every night, and dont get up again. Mine has done that once, 7:30 is more like nap time around here, bedtime happens anywhere from 8 pm till midnight:/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,149

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    Totally normal, sorry to say! Only having to nurse 2-3 times a night at 5 months sounds like a dream to me- both my girls nursed every 2 hours at night at that age, or even more often with DD1. And my second daughter also had that weird habit of needing frequent nursings (like every 5-20 minutes) between her 8 pm bedtime and her first longer stretch of sleep, which usually started around 11. Fun times!

    I'd go back to the nightly bath. You don't want to expect it to make a difference NOW, at just 5 months, but building that nightly habit- bath, nurse, bed- is a good habit for the future.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    I wish I was only being woken up 2 to 3 times a night by my 22 month old!

    Can your husband help you with bedtime routines with one of the kids?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    Ha, thanks guys. At least I can repeat the mantra "this is normal, this is normal, this is normal." Mommy2lilah, I cannot imagine being woken MORE than this, especially at 22 months! Wow! You have serious dedication! My husband does help tremendously, but he's a nurse who works 12 hour night shifts, so when he works I'm on my own.

    mommal, that's exactly it, it's nursing every 5-20 minutes for 2 hours before she's actually asleep! I think I will try the nightly bath. I did that with my son for the first year, then he got some unrelated skin irritation and we cut back and just never went back to that routine. It's been so long now NOT doing a nightly bath that I sort of ... forgot? Ha!

    I'm glad to know it's normal, if exhausting.
    Back to it!
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    I cosleep, which helps.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    Can you bring baby with you to do the bedtime routine for your son? I'm not sure what all it entails in your house, but if it's a matter of sitting with him or reading a book or whatever you could maybe just bring her along and let her nurse while you get him settled.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    I tried bringing her to the bedtime routine with my son a few times early on, but she would not tolerate it. She was super squirmy and fussy and crying. I'm thinking as she gets older it will be easier to include her and I'm looking forward to making ONE bedtime routine for both of them that we can share as a family. I guess the trick will be to dip my toes in that water every once in a while until it works!
    Tracie: we co-sleep, too, some of the time. She has a bassinet-type thing she sleeps in right at the side of our bed, and sometimes I bring her in the bed with us. Unfortunately, it seems like she gets worse sleep when she's in bed with us. It's almost as if when she feels me or my husband, it's too much stimulation and she startles and wakes. ugh...
    Mama to
    O - 7/10/08
    and
    J - 6/25/12

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    I'm also in awe of those people whose babies go to bed at 7:30. DD is like yours, OP, she takes her sweet time being ready for bed. It's like we're still cluster feeding at 6 months...it's spaced out a bit more since the early weeks, but I can get at least two good feeds in between 8 and 10, usually. She also recently stopped sleeping through the 7-to-9 hours she was doing, and she'll wake every 1.5 hours or so between the time I put her down (10-11) and about 1 AM. And we can't co-sleep safely, cause the cat has tried to crawl on her before, and now she sleeps facedown, and our mattress is soft. Oh well, I guess we have night owls.
    FTM to Emmeline Talia, June 14, 2012, , trying to (she likes the ergo and the moby), and

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: Bedtime woes...

    Is the 4 year old cosleeping or just baby? If 4 year old has own room or own bed, I suggest, do routine with 4 year old first. Have baby in a sling or carrier. Or adjust the bedtime routine to work with a fussy baby. When I sing/do prayers etc with my 6 year old sometimes we lay baby next to him in his bed (not to sleep, just for this time while I am right there.) He loves it. Or I sing or tell a story while I stand jiggling/swaying fussy baby.

    Can you say goodnight and leave 4 year old before he is asleep, or do you need to be there until he is asleep? That's alot trickier.

    But I think it is important to figure it out, because, while a regular bedtime is pretty important for a four year old, it is not for a 5 month old.

    Once your 4 year old is in bed, then you can relax on the couch and nurse your baby to sleep as needed without stressing. There really is no such thing as 'bedtime' for most 5 month olds.

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