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Thread: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    44

    Default keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    Hi all,
    I have read that you should keep your baby awake for at least 2 hours before bedtime so that your baby can sleep longer at night. My situation is that how can you keep a baby awake for the whole 2 hours if he/she does not want to. There is only so much playing and talking and stimulating you can do, but if the baby is really sleepy, he/she will be cranky and not cooperate. Another issue I have is that my DS takes 2 long naps (2 to 3 hours) from 1 pm until 7pm (with 1 feeding in between). Should I let him nap during the day or try to keep him awake? He is now 2 months old.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    4,893

    Default Re: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    I'm sure this isn't the answer that you want to hear, but I don't think it is really possible to give a baby a schedule. That being said, if you already have a baby that prefers to sleep a long time at night, that doesn't mean that you can't alter the particular hours a bit (meaning if he/she goes to sleep at 8, but you want it to be 9 you could work on getting it to be 9 - it takes a lot of time and patience though). But I think if you are trying to get a baby who normally nurses every 3 hours to suddenly sleep all night then you are going to be very disappointed. I think you should allow the baby to create their own schedule and then perhaps make a few minor adjustments that may make it easier for you. I know that a lot of people have to work, so they are forced to rouse a sleeping baby to get them ready for daycare, eventually this may create a pattern for the baby so that they start waking up at that time on their own. But again, no guarantees and just when you think you have a predictable schedule, BAM, they change.

    Sorry, I wish I had a real answer for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    447

    Default Re: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    The last time I kept my daughter up until her bed time, she was a nightmare. She was beyond tired!! We kind of had this problem last night, because she didn't get her afternoon nap (dad came home late and really wanted to play, so he kept her up!). Well, she usually goes to bed around 7:00 pm, so instead of putting her down for a late nap, I just moved up her bedtime for last night to 6:00 pm. She did end up waking up after about an hour because she was hungry, but after that, I just had to rock her for a minute and she went right back to sleep. If I had made it a "nap" instead of bedtime, she wouldn't have gone to bed until at least 10:00. Since we did her bedtime routine, she knew that it was bedtime, so she still wanted to go back to sleep after she ate.

    If I were you, I would try to keep him awake more during that big block. It seems to me like he has things reversed and thinks that it's nighttime. Someone else would probably have more information on how to fix that. I've seen people discuss it in other threads, but I'm not sure with one. So, maybe go to the "Sleep" board and see if you can find anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,108

    Default Re: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    I think three naps a day is pretty age appropriate for two months. (Actually, I'd say you're pretty darn lucky!) But, if I were you, I'd institute a 7pm bed time now while it's still easy to do. Maybe LO is so sleepy because she really needs to be going to bed sometime between 6 and 7pm which is a little more "normal" for young children. You don't have to force the baby to do anything, but you might be able to learn a little bit more about her sleep cues and needs.

    It's frustrating because there are so many different ideas out there about sleep and you have to wade through it all and find what works for you and your child. Personally, I like Weissbluth for information about how we sleep and how much sleep we need - but for a two month old, I like Pantley's gentle ideas on how to achieve better sleep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,374

    Default Re: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    Sleep begets sleep. Let your child nap. And if you are getting a four hrs stretch ANYWHERE in the dark that's considered sleeping thru the night! Don't try to schedule or train an 8week old. It's just like Bfing. You just have to surrender yourself entirely to their needs and ACCEPT what it is to be helping a brand new human being navigate thier way thru this big new wide world. Doing that and being able to understand that this is not a time that you can really "control" things will help you to be less frusterated. Again don't get used to anything a baby is doing sleepwise under a year. It's not worth it. Roll w/what your baby is doing. Anorther thing fdor you to do is count begin counting your sleep in a 24hour period. So if your getting 6-8 hr even if they aren't all together in 24hrs. You'll be OK. We all make it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: keeping baby awake during the day to sleep at night

    DJ's mom is absolutely right about sleep begets sleep. It's actually an old wive's tale that you need to keep a baby- or anyone for that matter- awake so they will sleep better at night. Actually what happens when you do try and keep your baby awake is in their stress they secrete cortisol. Because of it's effects it actually increases wakefulness and stimulation. This is why a baby or young child that is overstimulated and overtired tends to have meltdowns. So- let that baby sleep when it wants too. Sleep is also one way an infant tunes out their world when they are overstimulated- so you are working against yourself if you try to force your baby to stay awake. The only thing that might help your baby sleep longer during the night is more feedings during the day- but even that might not work.

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