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  1. #1
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    baby sleeping schedule

    I have twin baby girls. They have 4 month age. How can I change their sleeping schedule. All the day, they sleep but when I go to sleep, they awake and start crying. Is there any method to change their schedule.

  2. #2
    The best thing you can do is follow their schedule until they adjust. They are too little for much else, though gentle encouragement would include keeping up with a routine. Breakfast at 9, lunch at noon, bath at 7- that kind of thing, so they learn what to expect from each day.

    They will grow out of this phase in time.

    Namaste,
    Angela

  3. #3
    Angela definitely touched on something when she mentioned a gentle routine. Personally, I never put any of my babies on a schedule, but that's just my temperament. I'm not a "routine" or "scheduled" person myself, though I do know that children thrive on routine. I made effort to always be home in the afternoon for nap time, and to run my errands in the morning - so I had a little "routine" but not a lot.

    At 4 months of age you can start to put the babies on a routine if you want to. This means that a very basic routine would be upon awakening, they have their diaper changed, then eat (maybe another diaper change), then play time where you put them down on an activity mat or have your 3 year old talk to them or dance for them or do something to entertain them. You will know when they are getting tired again, and at that time it may be time again for another feed and then nap, and then the routine starts over again.

    If you are sure to give them play time during their "awake" time between naps during the day, they will be more likely to sleep at night.

    For nighttime, I would encourage you to make night time dark and quiet. This means no TV, and no lights when the babies wake up to be fed. If you need a little light for a diaper change, just put a very low light on the changing table. I've used a flashlight and sometimes covered the flashlight with a cloth to keep the light low. If there is too much light, the babies' circadian rhythm will be disrupted and they will think it's day time.

    You should be able to get one 4 hour "stretch" a day, where the babies go between feeds for 4 hours. Other than that, if you are breastfeeding, they may need to be fed every 2 hours. When you have twins, it makes it much harder for you to get your rest, so I would encourage you to try to feed them both at the same time and then put them back to bed (or in a swing so you can get your rest - my babies definitely slept in the swing sometimes when I needed my sleep).

    And make sure you rest during the day when the babies are sleeping. You can have your 3 year old take a rest too, or look at books quietly in her bed so you are sure to get enough rest.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  4. #4
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    A bit like Kate I don't adhere to the notion of routines as such with little babies but both my girls tended to be wakeful during the day and sleep well at night so my situation was very different.

    Dessy and Kate are certainly right that creating a restful atmosphere at night is important, but if your babies have slept all day and aren't tired, it probably isn't going to have too much effect. Going to lengths to keep your babies a bit more active during the day might help. Get them outside on a mat - lots of fresh air and exciting sites (which at 4 months is basically anything new) certainly helps to keep babies awake for longer stretches.

    We have to keep in mind that in the womb all babies are a bit nocturnal. This is because the movement of your body as you move around during the day creates a comforting rocking which encourages baby to sleep. By the time you lay down at night they are awake and kickety-kicking - a phenomenon many women will attest to!

    While here on the outside we expect babies to sleep at night the reality is that it can take quite some time for them to move to this rhythm. In the meantime, it is important to work with them not against them. As Kate suggests make sure you take a nap during the day.

    If you are worried your three year old is likely to get up to mischief, consider some care options - daycare or family daycare if the budget allows, or the help of a willing friend or family member that can take you daughter out for a few hours or just be in the house while you sleep to supervise. Don't overlook other Mum's who might enjoy having a playmate for their child for a few hours.

    Remember this faze like all others will pass! In the meantime you might like to read this article: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep- another perspective

    Yvette
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  5. #5

    Waking a sleeping baby?

    Hello - I have a question related to this thread, but not exactly about babies waking up at night. I am wondering if I should be waking up my baby in the morning? I have an almost 5 month old and she settles down for the night quite late (11ish), but then can sometimes sleep in until 10 or 11 in the morning (with a few feeding breaks). She also naps later in the day and I let her sleep without waking her up.
    Since I will be returning to work soon, I am eager to (gently) introduce an earlier sleep schedule. Any advice out there from seasoned mums on how to adjust sleep times?
    Thanks,
    Dee

  6. #6
    Hi Dee,

    Most babies of this age will sleep for around 12 hours at night and then may have around an extra 3 hours of nap time in the day. What is important is that the baby gets enough sleep overall rather than the way in which the sleep and nap time is proportioned.

    In the No Cry Sleep Solution, Elizabeth Pantley talks about gentle ways to help your baby to sleep well at night-time. Pantley specifically talks about routines and the timings of the day. You may want to have a read of this book - it is not too strict on routines and is certainly baby-led but does give some helpful ideas. In terms of your question, Pantley suggests that to change the routine of babies who go to sleep late and then get up late it is best to just jump in and start the next day with putting them to sleep aiming to get them to sleep at 7pm. It may take a couple of weeks for your daughter to adjust to but Pantley writes about how this is easier for a baby to adjust to then bringing the time back gradually each night over a period of weeks.

    Do you have a bed-time routine? This would really help. You could start it around 1 and a half hours before bedtime and include things like: quiet stories and songs, lots of cuddles, bath, baby massage, milk etc. If your daughter naps very late in the day then she may find it hard to go to sleep for 7pm ish. Therefore, you could also try to encourage her to nap earlier. If she has two naps she could have one around 1 hour and a half after she has got up and the other around lunchtime.

    My first son was like your daughter and we used to just go to bed with him (at about 10.30pm) and then myself and him wouldn't get up until late morning. However, there came a time (I think when he was around 16 months old) when he made it clear he wanted to go to bed earlier so we just started putting him down for 7pm and now he almost always goes to bed at this time.

    When will you be returning to work? How many hours/ days a week will you work? Are you breastfeeding? Have you thought about expressing?

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  7. #7
    Hi Dee,

    It should be fairly easy to transition your 5 month old to going to bed earlier and waking earlier. One of the easiest ways to do this is to start putting your daughter down 15 minutes earlier each night (this is also a good way to help train yourself to start going to bed earlier).

    If you do this, your child will start to wake up earlier automatically as you adjust the time she goes to sleep at night.

    After 4 nights, she will be going to bed at 10pm. After 8 nights she will be going to bed by 9pm and after only 12 nights she will be going to bed by 8pm.

    Hope this helps.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  8. #8
    Hello. My 2 years old girl usually gets up at 10 am, than has a 3 hour long nap between 3 an 6 pm. Now, you can imagine that she has a lot of energy and we go to bed at midnight. What should I do, to make her sleep at 9-10 pm? It's too long for me to stay up till midnight.

  9. #9
    Hello Jasmin,

    It's really important that your daughter (and you) get your rest during the dark hours of the night, and get your "awake" time during the daylight hours of the day. The sun actually helps our bodies to regulate body temperature and hormones that are extremely important for health. The optic nerve in the eye allows light to travel to the SCN (Suprachiasmatic Nucleus) which signals our internal clock and tells us that it is time to be awake. The SCN also sends signals to other parts of the brain and this is how body temperature, hormones and other functions are regulated.

    It's best to sleep in a room that is very dark, but also it's important to have enough sun coming in, in the morning, that the body naturally wakes. For example, I have black out blinds on the two windows in my bedroom which makes it really dark at night. But I keep the door to the bathroom open, and the little window in there does not have any blinds on it. This way, when the sun comes up in the morning, the light will trigger an awake cycle in my body, and I naturally wake up without an alarm.

    To help your daughter to start waking up when the sun comes up, you can start putting her to bed 30 minutes earlier each night, and moving her nap time up 30 minutes.

    Example -

    Monday: To bed at 11:30pm, wake her up at 9:30am (if she doesn't awaken on her own) and put her down for a nap at 2:30pm.

    Tuesday: To bed at 11:00pm, wake her up at 9:00am and put her down for a nap at 2:00pm

    Wednesday: To bed at 10:30pm, wake her up at 8:30am and nap at 1:30pm

    Thursday: Bed at 10:00pm, up at 8:00am and nap at 1:00pm

    Friday: Bed at 9:30 pm, up at 7:30am and nap at 12:30pm

    Saturday: Bed at 9:00pm, up at 7:00am and nap at noon

    Now - you may want to start moving her bed time back and shortening her nap time which would look like this:

    Sunday: Bed at 8:30pm, up at 7:00am and nap from 12-2:30

    Monday: Bed at 8:00PM, up at 7:00am and nap from 12:00-2:00

    Of course you can even put your daughter to bed earlier (some families put their 2 year olds to bed at 7:00 or 7:30) - it will all be dependent on how tired she gets and how much time you want to yourself in the evening. This will also help you to get more sleep before midnight, which is important. If you can get to sleep by 9:00 or 9:30 each night, you will feel much more rested in the morning and have more patience and energy for the day.

    You will also want to be sure your daughter is getting plenty of exercise during the day. LJ has great ideas for how to help toddlers to get the exercise they need each day

    Please post back with any challenges or successes you have as you start to transition your daughter to a better sleeping routine. We're here to help.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  10. #10
    Thank you. I will try your schedule idea this week. Let's see if it works.

  11. #11
    Dear Jasmin,

    I see you have had some super advice from Kate. I agree that it is wise to gradually get your daughter into a better routine for her. Have you heard of the phrase 'sleep breeds sleep'; good naps and sleeping well at night time will help your daughter to sleep better overall. Without this, children can become long term over-tired and may miss out on enjoying activities to the full in the daytime.

    Having a good, consistent bedtime routine should also help with this. For example, quieter play then a bath and a story before bed each day. You need a bedtime routine that you both enjoy and look forward to.

    As Kate says, helping your daughter to be as active as possible in the daytime is also very important at this age. Playgrounds and country parks are excellent for this. You could create a treasure hunt for your daughter in a country park (e.g. she has to spot different wildlife and answer simple questions about their habitat as you walk and run). I always find that when my children are around their friends they naturally run, jump and play and end up using lots of energy in the process. Try to arrange to meet friends with similar age children a few times a week; you could explore forests together or plan a trip to a beach.

    If you and your daughter are that way inclined, there are also lots of 'organised' sporting activities for little ones. Often you have to pay for these but you could consider; football for toddlers (yes, it exists), soft play, swimming lessons, toddler gymnastics etc.

    Is there a 'toy library' near you? We have one near us and it is excellent. Not only can we go there once a week to play with the toys (inside and outside) you can also hire a toy every week. This saves us money and is also a great way to try out trikes, bikes, slides, small ball pits etc.

    Actually, even on a rainy day you could put on a nursery rhyme cd and dance around the living room. We often make up fun games involving make-shift obstacle courses on very rainy days or dancing and jumping games. A walk in the rain in lots of fun too!

    I hope all this helps you.

    Best wishes,
    LJ

  12. #12
    I fell very lucky, reading your comments. It's way much better than reading a book. I am going to search a toy library, hope to find one.Thank you very much

  13. #13
    Thank you for your kind comment Jasmin.

    I hope you find tonnes of creative and interesting resources near to you,

    Please do post back if you need any further ideas or inspiration.
    Best wishes,
    LJ

  14. #14
    Hi Jasmin,

    How are you doing with transitioning your daughter to going to bed earlier in the evening? We're here to encourage and support you. Have you started the transition yet? How is it going?

    Kate

  15. #15
    I tried, but it's still not working. Now she falls asleep at 1 a.m.)) but I don't give up. I know that my daughter needs more time, to get used.

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