What time bedtime?

(18 Posts)
ackerbee Tue 09-Apr-13 17:46:51

hi I have a three month old dd and we are trying to get our heads around bedtime which has proved challenging despite three weeks practice!
Does anyone have a view on whether am better timing bedtime for two hours post last nap or twelve hours since morning wake up?
So... this morning she woke up at 8.30 so would have thought 8.30 to bed, but she woke from her last nap at 5pm so if push past 7pm she will be overtired surely...? I find it really confusing! And am getting a little tied up in knots trying to figure it out... Hugely grateful for advice

Wake her at the same time each morning and pick bedtime from there.

cleoowen Tue 09-Apr-13 20:15:08

Two hours after final nap works for us, so we aim for 7 and I never let mine sleep past 5 for his nap. It seems at that age they need a sleep two hours after waking. My 15 week old had a very short nap and woke at 4.45 I paid for it later when he was screaming at 7.10 because he was over tired, as I tried to keep him up too late. Timing is everything I think.

ackerbee Tue 09-Apr-13 20:27:34

Okay, thank you, and is it twelve hours approx since waking time? Guess what I don't get is how you get order into the naps - they seem so different each day...

It will be different each day especially if you wake them at different times each morning. But yes roughly 12 hours.

Passmethecrisps Tue 09-Apr-13 21:01:08

I can be tricky working it all out.

My 21 week old is woken by us at 7:30. She has three naps in the day usually of 45 minutes long. She is then bathed, fed and in bed by 7pm. I try not to let her sleep after 5pm - she started doing this herself about 3 weeks ago.

I agree that sticking to a getting up time is key.

Thurlow Tue 09-Apr-13 21:06:16

Definitely pick a day to start and wake your DD up at 7, or 8, and go from there. It might take her a little while to get used to the routine - though do bear in mind that some babies just won't take to a routine at all.

At that age we were following the Supernanny routine, which is basically the same as the Baby Whisperer: a rough three hour routine of sleep, food, play etc, so she'd be awake for 2 - 2.5 hours

ackerbee Tue 09-Apr-13 21:08:37

Okay great, thank you! That's really helpful! She actually always wakes up at 8 or 8.30 but her naps are all over the place, different times, different lengths, going to try and monitor for next few days...

Passmethecrisps Tue 09-Apr-13 21:12:36

acker I still can't put any proper pattern to my DD's naps. Typically she is sleepy within one hour of waking in the morning and within 90 minutes the rest of the day apart from the last section of the day. That can reach over 2 hours. For some reason she seems to be able to manage this.

lazzaroo Tue 09-Apr-13 21:20:20

Watching with interest as also have 3 month DD. All this talk of you waking them is making me jealous....mine wakes between 6 & 6.30am! Maybe habit she's got into as DD1 wakes around then & comes into our room.

Her naps are never longer than 45mins. Tend to use 1.5 hours awake as guide but some days (like today) she even struggles with that. Bedtime is 7ish because somehow her last nap always falls around 5ish.

ackerbee Wed 10-Apr-13 08:27:54

Well this morning she woke up at five thirty...
I think it's trying to work it out that is so stressful, it doesn't fit, the 12 hour day thing doesn't necessarily match the late nap thing iyswim. Her late nap might finish three to four hours before a 12hour finish, so you wonder if you're putting to bed too early (which is what we did last night I think - hence early wakening) but was trying to get her 2/2.5 hours after nap, which def helped her go down. Is it one or the other or for some people does it work out for both?

DangerMousey Wed 10-Apr-13 08:52:08

I think as a general rule you have to go with 2 hours after last nap. If this looks like you're going to end up with a ludicrously early bedtime (ie if she wakes up from nap at 4pm, and will then be due a 6pm bedtime), i would probably suggest putting her down for another short nap at 5.30pm, just 20 mins or so, and then going for a slightly later bedtime that night, it 7.30pm, or 8pm.

basically, I think you will really struggle to get a 3-4 month old to do the same thing every single day, especially as their naps are so random during the day, and easily affected by trips out of the house!

That is certainly being my experience with 4mo DS! He needs a nap 90 mins after waking throughout the day, and naps for 40 mins, so is currently having approx 5 naps every day :-S

I used to put dd down at 6pm if she was tired then. In fact her natural bedtime was 6, then 6.30pm now 7pm. I remember trying to nap ds at 5ish when he actually wanted bedtime at 6pm and we ended up with a struggling baby who wanted to be asleep but got so wired, he wouldn't settle until very very late.

SunnyUpNorth Wed 10-Apr-13 15:24:41

I agree with dangermousey - you need to follow more of a routine than a schedule as you can't predict their naps so accurately at this age.

A schedule is like Gina Ford, waking them at the same time every day regardless. A routine is more flexible like The Baby Whisperer so can be adapted depending on whether they have had a long or short nap etc. So instead of having very rigid timings you would be aware of how long they can stay awake and work with that.

I personally think it is ludicrous to wake a small baby at a set time each day (unless of course you need to leave the house for a school run etc). What if the baby has been up with wind/hungry etc and only fallen asleep at 6 am, why would you then wake them at 7?

I always aim for 2 hours awake time before bedtime and aim to have bedtime between. 6.30 and 7. It depends on the individual baby but if they wake from their last nap at a time that might make stretching them til 6.30 difficult then you could allow them a quick power nap at 5ish and wake them up after say 15/20 mins or you could put them down a bit earlier.

For example my 15 week old has been asleep for nearly 2.5 hours and will probably wake up in a few minutes. So it would be 3 hours if I wait to put him down at 6.30. But I will be out later so he might dose off in the pram in which case I will let him have a small nap and then he should be fine.

Hope that makes sense. I would recommend the baby whisperer book as it advocates a routine but isn't too rigid.

ackerbee Wed 10-Apr-13 18:24:32

This is really helpful stuff - thank you
It now makes sense - I was getting so confused. Just woken up so going for bedtime in two hours! also def going to buy the baby whisperer book. By the way, what do you all do when you're struggling to stay awake in the daytime after no sleep at night? Presumably coffee goes into the milk supply so doesn't help matters the next night?

DangerMousey Wed 10-Apr-13 19:24:40

If DS has had an especially shit challenging night, I just generally try to rest, or nap if i can, during the day when he naps. Although I am pretty poor at switching my brain off enough to nap during the day! But I find just lying on the sofa for 40 mins with a book whilst he sleeps can make the world of difference.

And ignore the housework/chores.

Hopefully this slightly rubbish sleeping phase will end soon!

teacher123 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:48:03

DS now 11-mo needs exactly 14 hours sleep per 24, and his natural bedtime is 6pm. His bedtime has been the same since he was about 3mo as he was always a napping nightmare so an early bedtime suited us. He does wake up by about 6.15 every morning without fail, but I like having my evenings to eat my dinner and MN in peace smile

Tigresswoods Wed 10-Apr-13 21:52:01

I went to some baby show or whatever at the NEC when DS was about 11w old. I didn't go to the talk on good sleeping habits but I did walk past just as the presenter said "treat 7pm-7am as night time. Whatever else happens that's the basics"

The next day I woke him at 7am & we went from there. I put him to bed at 7pm that night & so our routine began.

He's 3 now & we've never looked back.

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