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Thread: baby sleeping schedule
10th September 2012 12:35 PM #1
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- Sep 2012
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.
14th September 2012 03:47 AM #2
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- Dec 2011
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.
16th September 2012 01:19 PM #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.
17th April 2013 02:08 PM #4
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
31st October 2013 06:01 AM #5
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- Oct 2013
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?
31st October 2013 06:59 AM #6
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?
2nd November 2013 10:01 AM #7
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.