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Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 1:38 am       Post subject: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
My baby is 4 months old now and is on his own schedule. How do I go about putting him on one? I really need him to be asleep by around 11 pm so that DH and I can have a functional day the next day. I make sure that he does not sleep past 6pm. What usually ends up happening is that he nurses fully on both sides, falls asleep by around 11:15 and wakes up half an hour later. It's driving DH and I up the wall! We are first time parents, and need a little help here! Thanks in advance.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 1:43 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
Okay, he wakes up 1/2 hour later and then what? Is he hungry? In pain? Just not tired and wanting to "play"?
Also, why is bedtime so late?
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 1:52 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
Sometimes it's because he's hungry, and sometimes because he wants to play. Bedtime is so late because that's kind of what we got used to doing. Hey, if we can get some ideas of how to get him to sleep way earlier, we're all ears!
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:07 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
I always gave my babies a morning nap, early afternoon nap, and then bed around 7 PM. It helps to make a bedtime routine: bath, massage, nurse (or bottle), rock to bed, whatever... the point is they will start to get the signals, oh, now we are starting to wind down for bed. Same routine exactly every night. As close to same time as you can. Baby will still wake to eat every few hours I'm sure (unless you're really lucky), but at least you can start to get some rest earlier then 11 PM. Napping til 6 PM doesn't sound good and going to bed earlier will usually make them sleep more and better. Don't know why - it's just been my experience.
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acccdac









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:15 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
basic idea here, its based on "healthy sleep habits, happy child" by dr. marc weissbluth.


baby should be taking a nap around 9am, sleeping anywhere from 45min to 2 hours, then again at 1pm ish for 1 1/2 -3 hours, then if necessary (not all babies take this nap) 5pm-ish for about 45 minutes. Bedtime should start around 6:30/7pm. There should be a bedtime routine of bathing, reading books, etc. you feed your baby and put it in bed. It is definitely possible for your baby to sleep from 7 to 7 with or without getting up once or twice a night.

(btw....feedings through the day work around the sleeping schedule)

now if your baby wakes up twice its most likely to be something like 11pm and again at 4 or 5 pm. its up to you when you go to bed, meaning at 8pm or after the 11pm feeding. But try it out you may find that your baby will only wake up once.

make sure when your baby does wake up at night, DO NOT PLAY. I usually dont make eye contact with them because I'm afraid of them trying to get me to play. my kids always took pacifiers so I would also try that first before feeding. I found that sometimes they just need the pacifier put back in, a bit of a rub and they'll go back to bed nicely. Many times they are just waking up because of a noise or because they are accustomed to it.

again this is a big nut shell so if you want more info feel free to write back or PM me or get the book, I love it.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:16 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
OP here. So what times exactly would you say to put him down for those naps? And what happens if he wakes up from the nap, and then I have some errands to do, so he falls asleep in his stroller again? I would think that's too much sleep during the day and he'll be up later in the evening. Should I be doing errands while he naps in his stroller? Thanks so much for the advice!
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:21 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
Thanks acccdac, just saw your post after I posted about when to have him nap. I am going to try this out tomorrow. Right now, he's wide awake and ready for some fun, lol! I will also try and get my hands on the book.
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cinnamon









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:36 am       Post subject:
just wanted to add that the bed time routine does not have to be elaborate (sp?) especially not for a four month old. when ds was four month I gave him his bath in the morning (when older dd was in gan) so bed time consisted of putting in pjs nursing and putting in bed. This was enugh to let him know it is time to go to sleep.
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acccdac









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 11:26 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
one more thing

make the naps different then bedtime.

I never put my kids to nap in pjs (unless I was lazy that day and by 9am they were still in pjs, and sometimes I even opened the shades in the room so they should know its daytime.

the only "problem" with the whole book/schedule this is that you get tied to the house because of the naps.
eventually you learn how to skip naps and how to utilize the time when they are up. but yes its hard to have a life and do their schedule without being a ridged person about it
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the world's best mom









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 11:43 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
6 pm is very late to be napping. When my first was a baby, she had a similar schedule. It was hard for us to get home and settled at a normal bedtime for her.
When he wakes up after half an hour, let him know that it is still sleep time. Keep him in the bedroom, with the lights off. Do not make eye contact or smile at him. As I saw in a magazine article once, eye contact has the same effect on him as an iced latte would. I would either lay in bed with him, rock him on a rocking chair, or walk around the room with his head on my shoulder and pat his back...whatever works to get him back to sleep.
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MaBelleVie









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 11:58 am       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
at what age can you expect babies to be on that kind of schedule- sleeping 7 to 7 with a 2-3 naps during the day?

also, if your baby is used to going to sleep for the night at 11, how to you make the transition to 7?
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geemum









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:04 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
I used to be very unscheduled with my babies, but when number 3 came along, I realised that scheduling was not an option, but a must!

Anyway, my addtion to what's been said is not to nurse to sleep. Nurse the baby, wind him, change nappy (if you want), then put into crib, sing a song or whatever else u want to make part of routine, then he goes to sleep settled.

My guess from your first post is that he's waking up so soon after because he's winded or something similar.

Let us know how it goes Smile Good Luck
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acccdac









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:17 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
MaBelleVie wrote:
at what age can you expect babies to be on that kind of schedule- sleeping 7 to 7 with a 2-3 naps during the day?

also, if your baby is used to going to sleep for the night at 11, how to you make the transition to 7?


every baby is different. but a schedule that is the same everyday can start at 3 months, the book that I referred to starts the program at 5 months (although if you follow the rules up until 5 months the schedule kind of just happens on its own)

you can either make the transition by just changing the 7ish feeding to the last feeding instead of the 11pm feeding, or you can try and move bed time up 15-30 minutes every 3 nights. I think going straight to the 7 is the easier route
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:26 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
(different amother)
Ha Ha OP, I could have written that post to the last detail! Very Happy

We're also trying to get the baby to an 10-11 pm bedtime - an "early" bedtime.
Only difference is that after he would wake up from his "nap" at 12 pm, he would start SCREAMING. (and he BH barely ever screams.) The only thing that would help (then) was to plop him in my bed and just go to sleep.

But we finally moved him out of our room. We put him to bed and he just plays quietly. Occasionally, he complains and I give him a pacifier. BH, so far so good... He still goes to sleep late, but at least he's not keeping us up.

I should try some of these tips...

Q for all experienced mums here: If a baby is UP, just putting them to bed works? Or do you just stick with it a few nights til they get the hint?
And how do you exactly schedule naps? Just put them to bed? Wake them up if they fall asleep at a wrong time? And if they fall asleep in the stroller but you need to go someplace?
Ack! This is too confusing!

Also, my baby is in PJs the whole day - it's cold around here and this is the warmest thing he has.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:37 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
OP here

So last night, he finally went to sleep at 2am Embarassed and that was because I nursed him lying down. he could sleep until 2pm with a few feedings in between.

At 10:30 am, I woke him up, but now, he's so tired, he can't stay awake until the 1pm nap.

So now what do I do??!! How do I just switch him over to this new schedule.

If I let him sleep until 2pm like normal, he'd be up a little bit, take another nap, and start his whole schedule again! How do I switch him over to this new schedule?
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geemum









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:53 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
For the first few days, like today, he was tired cos you woke him up before he was ready at 10am, so he will be tired but you gotta keep him awake - play with him and whatever. then he'll fall asleep at 1pm for nap (2 hours) and then he'll be happy to start bedtime routine at about 6:30 for bed at 7-7:30pm
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shabri









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 12:54 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
You might want to try "The Baby Whisperer" Get the big book ,"The Baby Whisperer answers all your questions" by Tracy Hogg. Its a similar routine to the one above, but she speaks abt starting it at any age.

To answer the other question. Both my kids were going 8pm-8am with 3 day naps at abt 8 weeks. But I started baby whispering from day 1.
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acccdac









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:02 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
geemum wrote:
For the first few days, like today, he was tired cos you woke him up before he was ready at 10am, so he will be tired but you gotta keep him awake - play with him and whatever. then he'll fall asleep at 1pm for nap (2 hours) and then he'll be happy to start bedtime routine at about 6:30 for bed at 7-7:30pm


I agree.

also the book talks about the only time its okay to wake a sleeping baby is to protect another nap/bedtime.

when its close to a nap time the book says not to go out on walk but play with your child. it doesnt always work out because of your schedule or other kids schedules but try your best.

btw.....his rule for babies before getting to the actual schedule is that a baby should never be up for longer than 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The key is to put the baby for a nap BEFORE they are exhausted but just getting tired.
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amother









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 2:38 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
OP

He's been sleeping in his swing for the past while. The motion seems to help rock him to sleep.
Should I continue putting him to sleep in his swing, or start with the crib?

Or should I try putting him in his swing and see if he'll fall asleep that way?

So, I kept him up until 1pm today. He was hungry so I nursed him. Was that the wrong way to do it? Should I have nursed him earlier? Now he's up. I'll change him and nurse him some more and see how that goes.

Thanks so much for all of your responses. You don't know how much this is helping me!
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MommytoB









  
Post Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009, 3:57 pm       Post subject: re: Please help me put my baby on a schedule!
Please read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child! It changed my life with my first. Yes it is hard to have a rigid schedule but the kids learn to be flexible and you feel like a person again having your baby sleep through the night.

Early bedtime is a must. The earlier they go to sleep, the better they sleep AND the more sleep they get during the day, the better they sleep at night. At that age he should be napping 3 times a day. Wake him at 7 or 8am for the day and start a natime routine that will end up with him in his CRIB an hour after he wakes up. Nursing to sleep is fine IMO. I nurse on demand and schedule sleep. Let him fuss for 5 or so minutes before going back in to nurse/comfort again. After he wakes up from a good nap, start the whole routine over again with him being up for only an hour at a time. Stroller naps are not ideal. Last nap should be over aroun 5. 5:15 and bedtime around 6:30.

Good luck! Just whatever you choose, be consistent and stick to it for more than one night. It can take a week but it is sooooo worth it.
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