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When your baby wakes early from a nap or in the morning, but you wait to feed them at their normal time, do you put them down so they are awake for the right amount of time, or do you put them down when they should go down if they slept as long as they should have?
The answer to this would depend on your child. It depends on how long he/she can stay up. It would also depend on how early they woke up. It will also depend on the age. The older they get, the less crucial it is to go to sleep after so many minutes of waketime, but timing of naps remains important with my 2.5 year old. Most babies will need to go down after the appropriate amount of waketime (actual time they have been awake) rather than the time they would normally go down.
No matter the age, don’t keep them up too long. It will backfire. Your child is more likely to sleep longer if he isn’t overly tired than if you put him down later (see Easy Nap Fix). You need to figure out the best thing to do for your child, and you need to maintain flexibility. Your child will change over time. At 8 weeks, Kaitlyn needed to go down after being awake for an hour no matter what. At 7 months, if she wakes up 30 minutes early I can wait and put her down at her normal time with no problems.
- The Cornerstone for Good Naps
- Optimal Waketime Lengths
- Waketime When Baby Wakes Early
- Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps
- Waking After Only 20 Minutes
- 45 Minute Intruder
- Naps: Troubleshooting
- Charlotte’s Momma said…
What about when they wake up after only 20 or 30 minutes of sleep? Do you let them CIO again or get them up?
December 28, 2007 12:11 PM
In that situation I would let the CIO again. Kaitlyn did that for a bit, and I finally decided she needed to CIO and go back to sleep. I only had to do that a couple of times. You know they aren’t hungry. If your baby is young (under 3 months), you could try swaddling. I know Brayden would wake after 15 minutes because he would startle himself when his arms would fling.
December 28, 2007 1:38 PM
- Lindsay said…
Question about wake time: My little Jack (almost 4 mos.) will not always sleep until his next feeding. I think I read in Babywise that you just take into account that wake time after he eats and put him down a little earlier after he eats–but that’s my problem. Then his whole schedule gets off, and he ends up being awake too long (as to avoid putting him down RIGHT after he eats)…any suggestions? What would YOU do?
January 22, 2008 3:29 PM
This is a hard one! I hate it when this happens. Here is what I would ideally do:say he gets up at 10:30 but shouldn’t eat until 11 and he can have 1.5 hours of wake time. He normally would go down at 12:30. Since he got up 30 minutes early, you would put him down 30 minutes early. This is hard because then you are ahead of schedule. BUT, if you put him down late, he will most likely wake early from the next nap, too. You best bet for a good nap is to get him down in time. You would then try to get the schedule back to normal over the next couple of feedings by adding 15 minutes to each cycle.
January 22, 2008 3:43 PM
- Amy said…
Oh, thank you so much for your answer to Lindsay’s question. I am having the same problem. Also, thank you thank you thank you for this blog. The books are amazing, but I needed more. So this really helps.
May 27, 2008 1:15 PM
Thanks for your thanks Amy! Here is another post along this idea:Waketime When Baby Wakes Early : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/waketime-when-baby-wakes-early.html
May 27, 2008 10:57 PM
- swelb21 said…
I basically have the same question as Ashhog but can’t find your answer to it. My 4.5 month old is waking up anywhere from 5:30-7–every morning and thus every day being different. I am still doing a dreamfeed, so I wonder if he will sleep in more/more consistent when I drop that? Also, with two kids, I am trying to have them do an afternoon nap at the same time and also am trying to have him awake for longer after his morning nap. Someone who does BW suggested this to me, but he is having a hard time with it: 7: wake up, feed8: nap9:30: wake, feed, play, go to storytime, playgroups for older sis, shop, etc.12:30: feed, both kids to bed3:30 ish: wake, feed, play5:nap. (I make dinner, etc.)6:30 feed, then bed10: feed. He is having the hardest time dropping from 4 naps to 3, and he is so far not adjusting to this schedule. It is so nice to have that chunk of time though! will he adjust or will it just make him overtired? Any thoughts are much appreciated
August 9, 2008 10:45 PM
It is possible he will sleep more consistently after dropping the DF. He also might be waking for a growth spurt or the random 4 month problems (see 4 month Sleep Problems : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/4-month-sleep-problems.html )For the naps…that looks iffy to me. When a 4 month old goes to three naps, he has three naps at consistent intervals all day and then a longer chunk awake in the night. I think this will make him overly tired. My two aren’t on the same napping schedule yet and they are 16 months and 3 years. They are pretty close for the afternoon nap, but you can’t expect the same length and time of nap as a toddler for a 4 month old.
August 11, 2008 10:45 PM