Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Consistent Bedtime

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Having a consistent bedtime is very important to your baby on up through child. Consistent bedtimes are important for adults, also. Be sure you keep bedtime as consistent as possible. The -wise books recommend you strive for at least 5 of 7 days in a week to have the same bedtime for your child.

For some babies and toddlers, bedtime needs to be very specific. I have heard from readers who say that five minutes too late results in their baby waking up too early in the morning, but when bedtime is at the right time, morning wake up time is also at the right time. If your child is having difficulty making it to morning wake up time and you can't seem to figure out the reason, look into tweaking bedtime and find what is optimal for your child.

Some people will keep baby up later in the evening in hopes of having baby sleep in later in the morning. This can work if the time you are keeping baby up until is his optimal bedtime. If, however, you are passing the point of optimal, you are most likely causing him to wake earlier than he otherwise would.

For my children, bedtime has never needed to be exact to a minute as some readers have found, but they do not sleep any better if they have a later bedtime than they should. A few weeks ago when we were at the Emergency Room with Kaitlyn (see In Action: Benefits of Babywise III ), we did not get home until 11:30 PM. This was four hours past her bedtime. The next morning, she did not sleep in an extra four hours. She slept in an extra 30-45 minutes, but that was it. She did take a longer nap than usual the next day, but again, not four hours extra.

I have found the same to be true with Brayden. With him, often a too late of a bedtime will result in waking earlier than usual. As he has gotten older, he might sleep in a bit extra, but not enough to make up the lost time.

Take note that just because your child will wake at about the same time each morning even if bedtime is late doesn't mean he will sleep until the same time if bedtime is early. He should be pretty close, but he might wake earlier. With both of mine, they will basically wake up after their current perfect nighttime sleep length. For Brayden (3.5 years) right now, that is 11.5 hours. For Kaitlyn (21 months), 12 hours.

Don't underestimate the need for a consistent bedtime for your baby/child. Don't overlook the importance of finding the right bedtime for your child. Bedtime is important to your day, just as are the other elements of your day.

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49 comments:

marci said...

I have a 3.3 year old. He is very scheduled and does fine at night. We are having a TERRIBLE time at nap time. He is acting tired, but refuses to sleep. I tried moving his nap from 1:30 to 1:00, which helped for 3 days and he is back to fighting naps. When do children stop taking naps? Do I just leave him in bed even though he is not sleeping? If so, for how long? This is causing me a lot of frustration. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Tammy said...

My son is 9 months old and does very well at night. He seems to need about 10.5-11 hours of sleep at night. I just can't seem to get a consistent bedtime down for him. He generally naps at 9am, 1pm, and then sometimes at 5 or 6pm. He sometimes fights that last nap, however, he just can't seem to make it from 3pm until 7pm. I guess my question is if he takes that third nap, when would I put him down for bed? Would I feed him, change him and put him back down or just make his bedtime 8 or 8:30? Do I just set a time and no matter what, put him to bed at that time? Appreciate any suggestions you may have! Thanks!!

Jesskarabow said...

I have a scheduling question. Kara is 9 mos. I have never been able to get her to sleep past an hour in the morning - 99.5% of the time it's 45 min. So this makes our schedule look like this:
7:00 wake - bottle & breakfast
9:00 - 9:45 nap
10:15 ish - bottle and morning snack
12:00 - 2:30 nap
2:30 bottle & lunch
sometimes a evening nap around 4:30-5:00 for 45 min.
6:45 bottle & dinner
7:30 bedtime

My question is about the feeding schedule: 2:30 seems so late to eat lunch, but 10:00 seems way too early. Do we ever stray from the sleep, eat, play schedule? Wondering if she could eat lunch at 11:00 even if she's been up for awhile. Thanks!

IzzysMama said...

Im sorry to bother you, I know you get a ton of questions! I was hoping to get your input on our nap/bedtime situation. I thought my daughter (15 months) was ready to move to one nap but after some experimenting it seems she still needs a morning nap just later, about 10:00 and its only 45 minutes. The problem is she doesnt seem to be tired enough for the 2nd nap at 2:00 but if I move that any later she is not getting enough wake time before bed which is at 7:00. Do you have any suggestions??? Thank you for your time!!

Maureen said...

Good post! Funny, just today I had a post on my blog about the effects of a poor night's sleep! Some of my friends and family members think I'm a sleep nazi! But it's so true that sleep really affects their behaviors.

Maureen

http://childwisechat.wordpress.com

Mary Tyson Bradshaw said...

Hi, there! My son is 4 months old. I am having trouble figuring out his schedule, mainly because of his evening routine. After I feed him (around 4 to 4:30 in the afternoon) and he has his waketime, he is ready for a nap between 5:30 and 6. Then his little body shifts into nighttime sleep, and I have to wake him up for his 7:30 feeding and then also for his dreamfeed (he goes right back to sleep both times)! I have tried to drop the dreamfeed, but he wakes up at 4:30 in the morning. He doesn't seem to be able to go consistently longer than 8-9 hours at night. Also, we are trying to transition him to a 3 1/2 hour feeding schedule, but he is not napping very well, so our feed/wake/sleep cycle is more like feed/wake/sleep/wake, and I just feel like our "schedule" is out of control. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Stephanie said...

My little guy is 8 months old next week and has been sleeping through the night for 4 months now. The one problem we have though is that he is always awake at 6 or 6:30am. I don't go in to get him until 7am, so that we are consistent with that first feeding. We can't get him to sleep until 7am though. He does go to bed at 7pm, so I have tried to keep him up a little later in case he only requires 11 hours of sleep, but it's almost impossible -he is so tired! Any suggestions? Thanks!

Kit*Grace said...

I have an 8 weeks old son. I feel like we are in a constant "pattern" instead of schedule. I like for morning time to be between 7 30-8 00a but it is hard b/c our nighttime is pretty inconsistent. Last night his feeding was at 5 15 and then I wanted him to have his last feeding at 8 15. Well, he went down for a power nap around 7 p and we couldn't wake him up. If I do wake him when he's like that, I'll lose his long stretch. He went almost 7 hours but again,that doesn't put you very much into nighttime!
I really need some help!

UnOrdinary said...

Thanks for this post. I am struggling with figuring out what my daughter's optimal hours of night sleep is. She's almost 5 months old and not STTN yet, so I haven't been able to discover her natural wake up time. When she wakes up to eat around 4AM, she sleeps in until 7:00-7:30 (which is what I want the wake up time to be. It used to be 7:30 am, but when we dropped the 4th nap she started going to bed earlier and waking earlier so we changed it to 7:00 am) BUT when she skips that 4AM feeding, she'll wake up between 6-6:30am, which of course throws off our whole schedule. I feel like if I could figure out how many hours of night sleep is best for her I could get a more consistent bed time down. How do you figure it out? Any ideas?

Claudia said...

My son is is just 9 months old. Did you have any problems with your son at 8 month or 9? He just started waking up ealier. I tried have him wake up at 7:30 but he would wake up at 7 am, then at 6:30 am and my husband didnt like for me to have him wait til 7am or later. So 6:30 am became his waking time and feeding. But late in the 8 months he started waking up earlier first at 6 am next at 5:30 then at 5 am and not going back to sleep so I would wait to get him at 6:30 sometimes even earlier well now he is waking up at 4:30! He was a little under the weather so I had been less strict the last couple of days but today I had to give him a bottle and put him back to bed, cried for a bit and he went to sleep to wake up at 7am. Is it possible that he is going thru a growth spurt or is it a phase he is going thru? I dont want him to get used to it but I struggle with my husband because he likes bringing him to our bed even though we know he wont sleep when he is with us... I guess just want to make sure it is a growth spurt i thought that there weren't more of those.

Plowmanators said...

Marci, I think it can vary based on the child. One of the -wise books says they start around 4 and gradually decrease naptime. Anothther one I think says 3.

For my son, it was around 3.5 thatt naps started happening fewer times each week. At 3, he no longer took a nap every single day, but at 3.5 it started to get to be fewer times.

What I did is we have our set naptime for when it starts. He is to stay in bed and be quiet, but if he doesn't sleep, I don't stress about it. He can get out at a certain time if he is awake so that he doesn't have to be in there as long. It is long enough that if he is going to fall asleep he will, but short enough that if he doesn't fall asleep it isn't torture. Figuree out what is best for your child as far as length. Our time is longer than a "rest time" because he needs it right now, but eventually it will move to 30-60 minutes based on need.

See also:

Toddler/Child Getting Out of Bed : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/12/toddlerchild-getting-out-of-bed.html

Plowmanators said...

Tammy, I would have bedtime be 11 hours before wake up time in the morning. Then have him in bed by that time. Then if he doesn't take a third nap, watch his cues for the possible need to go down early. Most children will need an earlier bedtime when they don't take a third nap, at least until no third nap is common and the child is used to it. But really will need an earlier bedtime for good after the third nap is dropped, even if just 30 minutes earlier.

Plowmanators said...

Jesskarabow,

This post will answer that for you:

Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/eatwakesleep-cycle.html

Plowmanators said...

IzzysMama,

That is just the rough patch of toddler life. You just kind of have to deal with it for a while. See this post for more:

Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/10/dropping-morning-nap-from-2-to-1-naps.html

Plowmanators said...

So true, Maureen.

Plowmanators said...

Mary Tyson Bradshaw,

I am not sure about the 7:30 feeding. Is it a problem that you have to wake him? Are you having problems because of it? If not, I wouldn't worry about it.

As far as the schedule, if he can't make it sucessfully to 3.5 hours, I wouldn't do it. It just makes life more stressful for everyone. However, do see this post:

Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/eatwakesleep-cycle.html

Hemsath Family Blog said...

I was having the same issue as Mary Tyson. I have an almost 3 month old son. We're still working on getting the whole "consistent schedule" thing down. He usually has a feeding around 4pm, and when he goes down for his nap at the end of that cycle, he is out for the night. He is not STTN yet. He'll sleep for 4-6 hours. That's his long stretch. I used to wake him for his 7:30ish feed, but he would be a very inefficient nurser, and it didn't help the sleep later on in the night. He was still waking up at least twice in the night... every 3 or 4 hours. When I don't wake him, and just let him sleep for as long as he can, he goes 4-6 hours asleep, and then still only needs the same amount of feedings/sleep afterwards.

So should I wake him up for that 7:30ish feed or let him sleep through it and take consolation in the fact that he at least can sleep 5-6 hours at a time, even if it's not during the hours my husband and I are asleep?

Also, I was trying to do our bedtime routine around 8ish when the 730 feeding was over, but since that feeding isn't happening, I would be left with doing the bedtime routine around 5:30 or 6 when he goes down for his long stretch, (which seems too early for me) or not until 11 or midnight, which seems too late to do the routine.

Any insights?

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, You will have to figure out why he is waking early. Is it because he only needs 11-11.5 hours of sleep at night? If so, your only option is to move bedtime back or stay as you are until he can move bedtime back. There might also be some noise waking him up. Is someone up getting ready at that time? He might be hot or cold. Once you know the reason for his early waking, you can figure out what to do about it.

Plowmanators said...

Kit Grace,

If you are really tired, I would suggest you go to bed as soon as you can if he won't wake for that feed. Either that or give him 30 minutes and try again. I would keep trying to get a feeding in every 30 minutes until he will do it. See also the blog label "newborns" for ideas on feeding the sleepy newborn.

Plowmanators said...

UnOrdinary, I just figure it out by what happens. I can't really explain it; you just know. But you do need the consistent sleep before you can know for sure.

See this post for handling the 6:-6:30 feeding:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

Plowmanators said...

Claudia,

There are growth spurts until the stop growing all together :) Most babies don't get disrupted by a growth spurt when they are older because they will just eat more solids. But you will always have them, and some do get disrupted.

One thing is I would highly recommend no bringing to bed unless that is something you are okay with happening for many years.

See this post:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

Plowmanators said...

Hemsath Family Blog,

I would try to get a feeding in him around 7:30ish. I would try waking him, then if he doesn't wake, try again in 30 minutes, etc. To put him down at 5:30/6:00 for the night means he should be waking at 5:30/6:00 in the morning. That is the reason I would really try to get another feeding in him in the evening hours.

Jenni said...

I'm having issues with my 25 month old son. He has always slept fairly well and most of the time is an early riser. While 6am wake up is painful, we have gotten somewhat used to it. My problem is that now for the last 6 months or so he takes SO long to fall asleep at night. He is introverted so we have thought that he just needs that time to wind down. It doesn't really matter when we lay him down (from what I can tell) if its 7pm he'll be up there playing in his crib until 8:30. If its 8pm he'll go until after 9pm. The only time its not an issue is if he missed his nap that day. But, he still wakes up super early. Last night he only got about 9 hours of sleep because he didn't fall asleep until 8:45pm and he was awake by 5:45am if not a little earlier. Any ideas what we should do? Are we just doomed to this for a while? Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Jenni,

It is really normal for a two year old to go through this. Brayden did. Kaitlyn is. And I hear from a lot of moms that ask about it. So it is normal and they will grow out of it.

One thing you might try is to darken the room with darker blinds, curtains, etc. Something. I have heard of moms using aluminum foil.

Kristin Liddell said...

I have a question about finding the right bedtime for my 5 month old son. I'm really struggling to figure out his evening schedule and optimal bedtime. He usually eats dinner around 5:00 (or if he wakes up later from his catnap 5:30). Then he's awake until bedtime. The problem I'm having is the balance between not keeping him up too late (or having his waketime go too long) and not feeding him his bottle before bed too close to dinner time. For example, if he eats dinner at 5:30 and then is awake for two hours with a bed time of 7:30 (meaning we get him ready for bed at 7:30 and he then has his bottle at 7:45 and then goes down at 8:15) then his last two feedings are less than two and a half hours apart! Also, sometimes keeping him up for even the two hours (until 7:30) is a stretch, and I'm always worried that he's going to become overtired and not go to bed well! Any suggestions??? The older he gets the harder this sleeping thing is getting! He's been waking early out of naps regularly and so I'm trying to figure out his optimal waketime during the day too!

sarah said...

I NEED HELP! my baby was doing good, sleeping through the night until about 4 months. She would wake up at 12 and 3 and I would just give her a bottle and she would just go back to sleep. Well now she is just about 6 months and she is still waking up at the same times. I think she is only doing it out of routine. I started her on some rice cereal and giving her more milk before bed along with her night time routine and she still wakes up. I do not know how to stop this? Do I just let her cry herself back to sleep? cause she eats plenty. She is usually a sleep by 7pm every night as well. SOME ONE PLEASE HELP ME???

Plowmanators said...

Kristin,

He is old enough to be a on a four hour schedule if possible. So if he is going to bed at 7:30, I would assume he is waking up around 7/7:30 in the morning.

So I would do

7:00
11:00
2:30
6:00

And that is it. If he needs a 3 hour schedule:

7
10
1
5
7:30

Or a straight 4 hour

7
11
3
7

Plowmanators said...

Sarah,

I would slowly wean off of the feedings. Give her less and less over time until she gets nothing. If she still wakes up, I would try to soother her back to sleep without food, and if that didn't work, go to CIO. Good luck!

Kristin L. said...

Thank you for your suggested scheduling ideas. I'm really not sure what to do. Nathan (now 6.5 months) has acid reflux and nap issues! So, that means, I'm hesitant to put him on a four hour schedule (since it requires him to eat more at a given feeding, which I think makes his tummy over-full and uncomfortable), and he wakes early out of naps (only sleeping for 30 to 45 minutes) which messes with the whole feed/wake/sleep cycle. Ideally, his schedule would look like this:

7:00 Feed
8:30 Nap
10:00 Feed
12:00 Nap
2:00 Feed
4:00 Nap
5:00 Feed
7:30 Bottle before bed and bedtime

He doesn't follow that schedule very well though because he doesn't nap well. Most days I still need to give him a fourth capnap to get him through the evening (so he doesn't get overtired before bed). Also, he usually wakes up at 6:30am (although I don't get him up and feed him until 7) so I factor that into his wake time and then he winds up taking his first nap closer to 8:00 (instead of 8:30) which pushes his whole schedule up. I really feel like I'm just fumbling through his schedule each day. :( Any other suggestions!? Also, is there a point when I can stop giving him a bottle as a part of his bedtime routine!? Thank you SO much for all of your help, suggestions and the wonderful information this blog provides!

Kristin L. said...

Additional info... because of the nap issues, we've decided to move Nathan's bedtime to an earlier time. He now gets ready for bed around 6 or 6:15 and has his last bottle around 6:15 or 6:30pm. (He's then in bed by 6:45 or 7pm). Because this puts his last bottle so close to his dinner time, I think we have no choice but to go down to four feedings a day. I am still wondering if there is an age we should cut out a feeding as a part of his bedtime routine though. Any thoughts you could offer would be great! Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Kristin, leave the bedtime bottle until at least 9 months old. I do it until at least 12 months.

LaceyLS said...

I have a 1 month old daughter who is on a 3 hour schedule. Her early evening feeding is at 7:00 then her late evening is 9:45-10:00 pm. Should her bedtime be after the seven o'clock feeding or should she have some wake time around the 10? I am just not sure how many nighttime hours of sleep a newborn needs.

LaceyLS said...

Another question. Is it normal to still have to wake her for every feeding during the day? She usually has a 45-1 hr wake time then she sleeps right up to the next feeding at which it is sometimes hard to wake her to eat and to keep her awake while feeding? Will her metabolism get used to the schedule and start waking her for the feedings more as she gets older?

Plowmanators said...

LaceyLS, Her bedtime should be after the 7 PM feeding.

As for waking, that is pretty common for a young baby. It is a nice problem to have :) See the newborn blog index for posts to help on keeping her awake for feeding.

Jodi said...

Thank you so much for this amazing website! I have 10 week old twin girls (about 5 weeks adjusted age), and they are such wonderful babies! The issue that we have most nights, though, is getting them to settle down for bedtime. After CIO, they do so well for naps, but bedtime is a struggle, and the often cry until the dreamfeed. Any suggestions? Thank you for your time!

Plowmanators said...

Jodi, look at the "witching hour" posts on this blog. I think that might be what's going on. Good luck!

Jessica Asire said...

I have a 9 week old daughter. I'm following baby wise, but I'm a little confused. She eats every 3 hours durian the day, and after her last feeding at night (usually 9'or 10 pm) I let her sleep until she wakes up (usually 6 hours - though I'm trying to stretch this), I feed her and put her back down and do the same thing (she's been going 4 hours here) feed her and put her back down (3 hours this time). By this time it's 9 or 10 in the morning and we start our 3 hour routine.

All that to say: how do we have a consistent bed time. Or will this come when she starts sleeping 12 hour stretches? Is there something I can do to help her obtain this goal?

Caitlin said...

I have a 14 week old baby girl who, at 11 weeks, was sleeping through the night... but the last 2 weeks have been chaos! We've followed Babywise from the beginning and have her on the 3 hour schedule, but in the past 2 weeks she's regressed. She's waking most nights in the middle of the night to talk to herself for over an hour, and when she does settle back down she is up again around 5, talks to herself until 6ish, and wants to eat by 6:30, at which point I feed her. Around the same time the middle of the night chat sessions began she also started taking a long morning nap (before this she was your typical 45 minute napper). My husband and I have been debating whether or not she's getting too much sleep now with that long nap? She's down for the night after her 7pm feed, I do a dream feed between 10 and 10:30. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Kristen said...

Hi, I love this...all of it!

My five week old does well at night...she goes down at 11 and wakes consistently at 6:22...yeah i dont know why 6:22 but I will take it. But her naps are quite another issue. We have to do CIO for naps every time. At bed she just goes down no crying.

I have tried cutting back her wake time and have been working super hard to keep her eating since she is a sleepy grazer. How do i know if she needs more or less wake time? She was doimg 45 min. And was cut to 30 with no changes in her nap adventures.

She does have reflux but it is pretty under control with her meds.

oh and she will CIO for a good 15 min. each time before stopping and suddenly.goes quiet....then starts.again within 10 min.

All together she is getting no more than 45 min. To an hour naps.

Kristen said...

Oh i forgot to add she is starting the day at 7 and we are trying for the three hours between feedings.

Since she seems to wake 20 - 30 min.for morning and naps does that mean i should just move the schedule by 30 min.?

Kristen said...

Oh i forgot to add she is starting the day at 7 and we are trying for the three hours between feedings.

Since she seems to wake 20 - 30 min.for morning and naps does that mean i should just move the schedule by 30 min.?

Nicholasmommy said...

Hey ! Absolutely love this blog! I'm exclusively breast feeding my 5 month old son and just recently went down to 4 feedings a day by dropping his dream feed. (he was beginning to show signs he wasn't hungry when I would feed him on his 3-3.5 hr schedule.). Im having trouble with a consistent morning wake time as he wakes up anywhere from 6:30-8:30 am with a consistent bedtime of 7-7:30 pm. I would like his wake time to be 7:30 so shouldi be waking him up at 7:30 if he is still sleeping? Or is it ok to let him sleep til 8? I just don't want it to screw up his naps during the day.

Also, should his naps be at the same time everyday or should I be putting him down for a nap more based on the length of his wake time? He's currently wanting to take his first nap an hour and half after he wakes up and then his wake time for rest of day is 1 hr 45 min - 2 hours. Becsuse having a consistent nap times everyday Is difficult because the lengths of his naps are not always consistent. So then should I be letting him nap until he wakes up and adjusting feed and future naps for rest of day or should I wake him up to feed?

For example. If he wakes up at 7:30 his ideal schedule would be:

7:30 - feed
9-11 nap
11- feed
12:45/1- 2:30 -nap
2:30- feed
4:30-5:30 - nap
5:30-6 - feed
Bedtime at 7:30 pm


Also, how much flexibility is ok for bedtime? Is it ok that it can range from 7-7:30 based on his last catnap?

Thanks so much
Virginia

Nicholasmommy said...

Sorry to add onto my already long post. But just as an example. I put him down for a nap at 12:45 pm and could have slept longer if I hadn't gone in to get him to eat by 3 pm (last feeding was at 11 am) and he was unhappy like he definitely could have slept longer. My thinking was he can't go longer than 4 hrs without eating and if I don't wake him up now he'll never go to sleep at 7:30 bc he still will take a catnap before his last feeding which is usually around 6. Help! Should I have let him wake up on his own and adjusted his last feeding til later? But then how could I have kept a 7:30 bedtime?

Stacy Krahn said...

Hi, I would really like some advice on what to do with my 2 month old daughter, we put her on babywise routine about 2-3 weeks ago, and having a lot of trouble getting her to nap and then go to bed in the evening. As I write this, she has been up for 5 hours straight! Attempts to get her to nap have been unsuccesful, and I really am clueless on how to get a consistent bedtime with her, as it seems impossible to get her to sleep. she is often up till midnight or just before. Morning waktimes vary from 7:00 to 9:00, and it is quite impossible to wake her and develope a consistent waketime because shes still so very tired from going to bed so late.....Would REALLY appreciate some ideas on what to do.

Daniel and Liz said...

First, I must say that I love your blog and I have referenced it countless times since my son was born 7 months ago. I have found sanity in keeping my baby on a schedule. However, as he is getting older, I am getting more resistance from my parents/in-laws/siblings regarding my desire to not be out past a certain point so I can put him to bed. I think they secretly roll their eyes when we don't join them for a 7 o'clock dinner or when we leave a family event early because of bedtime. And while I believe very much in keeping a consistent bedtime and I think it will help my son be his best self, their questioning vibes are starting to wear on me. I truly just want to do what's best for my son, but it's hard when what I think is best does not align with those close to me. Any advice on dealing with this without taking it too personal? Am I too anal about keeping his schedule?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom! I wish I was as baby/child savvy as you!
Liz

Kristin L. said...

I am having a hard time structuring my 12 week old's evening/bedtime and have a few questions about that: How do you determine what the best bedtime for a baby is? Should a feeding be a part of the bedtime routine? When do babies go from 4 naps down to 3 naps per day? Is it ok for them to have a really long evening wake time?

My little guy eats around 3:30 or 4pm, then is really alert and content (so I have a hard time knowing when to put him down for his 4th nap), so if it gets to be 90 min of wake time I put him down. He usually wakes up from the 4th nap after only 30-45 min. Then I'll feed him when he wakes up (which is usually only 2 hours after his late afternoon feeding) and then do bedtime routine and put him to bed around 7 or 7:30pm. After putting him to bed he usually wakes up 45 minutes after bedtime!!!!! Sometimes he won't go back to sleep so I'll feed him again (which again winds up being only 2 hours since his last feeding) and then put him back to bed. Or sometimes he goes back to sleep on his own after waking up 45 min after bedtime, so then I'll do a dream feed around 10. Either way, he sleeps through the night until 7am, which is good... I'm just trying to figure out a way to help him go to bed at the right time (consistently) so he doesn't wake up 45 minutes in, and try to avoid the cluster feeding of 3 feedings in 6 hours. Any suggestions you have would be wonderful! :)

Kristin L. said...

I am having a hard time structuring my 12 week old's evening/bedtime and have a few questions about that: How do you determine what the best bedtime for a baby is? Should a feeding be a part of the bedtime routine? When do babies go from 4 naps down to 3 naps per day? Is it ok for them to have a really long evening wake time?

My little guy eats around 3:30 or 4pm, then is really alert and content (so I have a hard time knowing when to put him down for his 4th nap), so if it gets to be 90 min of wake time I put him down. He usually wakes up from the 4th nap after only 30-45 min. Then I'll feed him when he wakes up (which is usually only 2 hours after his late afternoon feeding) and then do bedtime routine and put him to bed around 7 or 7:30pm. After putting him to bed he usually wakes up 45 minutes after bedtime!!!!! Sometimes he won't go back to sleep so I'll feed him again (which again winds up being only 2 hours since his last feeding) and then put him back to bed. Or sometimes he goes back to sleep on his own after waking up 45 min after bedtime, so then I'll do a dream feed around 10. Either way, he sleeps through the night until 7am, which is good... I'm just trying to figure out a way to help him go to bed at the right time (consistently) so he doesn't wake up 45 minutes in, and try to avoid the cluster feeding of 3 feedings in 6 hours. Any suggestions you have would be wonderful! :)

Valerie Plowman said...

1-start by putting baby down 12 hours before you want the morning wake up time. Over time you will get to know if your child is a 12 hour a night sleeper or different. As a general rule, bedtime in the 7 pm hour is a good time.

Feeding can be part of the routine, but if doesn't have to be. It really basically will be beicse you need to feed your baby close to bedtime and you want bedtime order of events to be consistent.

3 naps is usually around 4 months old.

Yes, evening waketime can be long.

More in a minute--my phone is almost dead :)

Valerie Plowman said...

The bedtime issue might be that he is too tired. It is classic to wake at 45 minutes when overly tired.


It also could be witching hour. Read up on that.

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