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Archive for May, 2009

If you are reading this post, then you most likely are tired and thinking to yourself, “will I ever sleep again?” The answer is yes, but it will take some time. I know that I had some very unrealistic expectations of how my son would sleep through the night. I wanted him to achieve nice long stretches at night long before he was physically ready to do this. It was not until I picked up Kim West’s book Good Night, Sleep Tight, that I realized that I might need to change my expectations for how long I should expect my son to sleep at night.

What is sleeping through the night?

That answer is different depending on how old your baby is. Here is a run down of how long your baby can sleep at night without a feeding:

0-4 weeks old (1 month) will probably wake 2-3 times during the night. Most infants can sleep 3-4 hour stretches at this age. Consult your pediatrician before allowing your baby to sleep longer than 4 hours at a time at this age. Most infants need more frequent feedings at night to help with proper weight grain.

4-8 weeks old ( second month) will wake once, some still wake 2 times during the night. At 6 weeks old, my son was still waking twice a night for a feeding (1am/ 4-5am). I did sleep training starting at 6 weeks to eliminate the first middle of the night feeding. By the time my son was 8 weeks old, he was only waking for one feeding (4-5am).

8-12 weeks old (third month) most can sleep 6-8 hours stretches at night. By the end of the 12th week, most are sleep 8 hour without a feeding. This was true of my son, he would sleep from 10pm-to-4/6am and then require a short feeding.

4 months old can sleep 8 hours uninterrupted. This was also true of my son. He was typically sleeping form 9/9:30pm until 5:30/6:30am without a feeding. I would feed him when he woke up, but not a full feeding or he would not eat well at his 7am feeding (that was the start of our day)

5 months old can sleep 10-11 hours uninterrupted. At that age my son would sleep from 9pm- 7am without waking.

6-12 months old can sleep 11 hours uninterrupted. My son started to sleep from 7pm-7am (12 hours) without a feeding at 6 months.At 7 months, he started to requires less sleep at night an only sleep 11-11.5 hours a night. So we adjusted his bedtime by shifting it 30 minute to a hour later so he sleeps from 7:30/8pm-7am.

How can you encourage your child to sleep through the night?

See my post about eliminating nighttime waking/feedings: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/how-to-eliminate-nighttime-waking/ You might also benefit from reading my post about dreamfeeding and cluster feeding. http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/dreamfeed-cluster-feeding/ Both of these methods have been helped to achieve longer stretches of sleep at night. Also remember that not all babies are the same. Some babies need less sleep than other babies, while other babies require more sleep. If your child is waking up cranky even after being feed, it could be possible that he/ she is not getting sufficient sleep.

Note: Information was taken from Kim West’s book Good Night, Sleep Tight

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These are the schedules that I have kept with my son Cooper. I introduced solids at 5 months old with my son.  I will update this list of schedules as my son and twins age. So keep checking back for future schedules. What I have noticed is that his schedule changes frequently. What worked one month may not work the next. I am constantly following his cues and trying to time his naps and nighttime sleep during his “sleep windows” so he does not get over tired.
For more information on schedules for infants/ babies, check out these posts:
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sleep-requirements-for-infants/

1 Month old (2.5/3 hour schedule)
I did not include a schedule from when my son was a month old. I was on a very flexible 2.5/3 hour schedule. I did make sure to follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle. But I allowed a little more flexibility as I was trying to figure him out and he had several growth spurts it seemed. A consistent schedule did not seem to really develop until Cooper was 2.5 months old.

2/3 Months old (3 hour schedule)

8:00 Feed
9:30-10:30/11:00 Nap – if Cooper woke early, I would just entertain him until at least 10:30 or 11:00 and then feed him

11:00 Feed
12:30-2:00 Nap

2:00 Feed
3:30-5:00 Nap

5:00 Feed
6:30-7:15 Cat Nap

7:30 Feed
9:00-10:30 Nap/ Nighttime sleep

10:30 Feed & Put right back to Bed for nighttime sleep

Cooper woke between 4:00 or 6:00 am for a short feeding. He stopped waking up in the early morning hours around 19/20/21 weeks old. Just thought you might want to know this. I stopped feeding him at 18 weeks old in the early morning hours. It was a weaning process. I would only allow him to feed for a few minutes each morning, until we were down to just a minute total. Then I started to let him cry it out. It took until he was 21 weeks old when he no longer cried at the early morning hour consistently.

*** I should also add that Cooper would wake 45 minutes into a nap and cry for 5-15 minutes before falling back to sleep to complete his nap. This continue until he was 4 months old***

4 Month Schedule (3.5/4 hour schedule)
7:00 Feed
8:30-10:30 Nap

10:30 Feed
12:30-2:30 Nap

2:30 Feed
4:30-6:30 Nap *** He stopped taking a good nap here at around 20 weeks old so I began to shorten it to a cat nap

6:30 Feed
9:00 Feed
9:15/ 9:30 Bed

5 Months Schedule #1 (3.5/ 4 hours schedule)
Starting around 21- 22 weeks

7:00 Feed (milk & solids)
8:30- 10:30 Nap (he could only stay up 1.5 hours in the am)

11:00 Feed (milk & solids)
1:00- 3:00 Nap

3:00 Feed (milk only)
5:00-5:45 Cat Nap

5:45 Feed (solids only)
8:30 Feed (milk only)
9:00 Bed

5 Months Schedule #2 (straight 4 hour schedule)
Starting around 23 weeks to current

7:00 Feed (milk & solids)
9:00-11:00 Nap

11:00 Feed (milk & solids)
1:00- 3:00 Nap

3:00 Feed (milk only)
5:00-5:45 Cat Nap

5:45 Feed (solids only)
7:45 Feed (milk only)
8:00 Bed

wake time is 2 hours, except the evening wake time which is 3 hours

6 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/

7:00 milk & solids
9:00 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:00/2:30 nap

3:30/4:00 milk
5:30 solids
6:30 bath & milk
7:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3 hours

 
7 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/
 

7:00 milk & solids
9:00 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:00/2:30 milk** & nap

3:30/4:00 snack (Gerber puffs 10-20 pieces)
5:00 solids
6:45 bath & milk
7:30/8:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3 hours
** I started to breastfeed Cooper before his nap because he was waking early out of his naps from hunger. This solved the early waking from his nap.

8 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/
 

7:00 milk & solids
9:30 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:30 nap

4:30 milk (Gerber puffs 10-20 pieces)
5:30 solids
7:45 bath & milk
8:00/8:15 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2.5 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

9 & 10 Month Schedule
9 months was a very difficult month for having a schedule. We moved, my son cut 4 teeth, and he was dealing with separation anxiety. For a while I thought he was trying to condense to one nap a day. We did only one nap for about 2.5 weeks. (I wrote about the 9 month trouble here.) Towards the end of the 9th month, things improved and we went back to two naps a day. Here is what the schedule looked finally at the end of the 9th month and during 10 months.
 
 

7:00 wake up & play in crib
7:45 milk & solids
10:00 nap (1 hour)

11:30 milk & solids
2:00 nap (1.5 hours)

3:30 milk
5:00 solids
6:00 bath & milk
6:45/7:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Naps- I have to wake him up form both naps or he will sleep too long making his afternoon nap near impossible or his bedtime will be very late.
Morning wake time is 3 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

11 Month Schedule
7:00 milk & breakfast
10:00- 11:00 nap

11:00 milk
12:00 lunch
2:00- 3:30 nap

3:30 milk
5:00 solids
6:00 bath & milk
6:45/7:00 bed

Naps- I have to wake him up form both naps or he will sleep too long making his afternoon nap near impossible or his bedtime will be very late.
Morning wake time is 3 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

1 Year (12- 14 Month) Schedule
7:00 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib & breakfast
10:00 small snack
12:15 lunch
12:45-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
7:00 Bath & Bedtime Routine
8:00 Asleep
This month started as two naps, but after 1.5 weeks of not taking a morning nap, I quickly switched to only one nap.
 
1 Year (15-16 Month) Schedule
7:00/ 7:30 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib
8:30/9 Breakfast
12:15 lunch
1:00-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
7:30 Bedtime Routine
8:00 Asleep
17-23 Months Schedule
I had to move his bedtime to 8:30 because he was taking to long to fall asleep.
7:00/ 7:30 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib
8:30/9 Breakfast
** I sometimes did a snack around 10:30 if he asked for a snack, but because he ate breakfast so late, he did not always need a snack.
12:15 lunch
1:00-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Asleep2-3 Years Old
At two, my son made the switch to a toddler bed. This was an easy switch, as he asked to sleep in the “big boy bed”. I moved his nap time up because his twins sisters napped at 2pm and I wanted them to all nap at the same time. It worked well. However, taking a later nap, caused him to take a little longer to fall asleep at night, but it was worth it to me to have all the kids napping at the same time.

7:30-8:00 Wake and stay in bed
8:00 get out of crib
8:00 Breakfast
10:00 Snack
12:00 Lunch
1:45-4:00/4:14 Nap
4:00 small snack
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime, Lights Out (but normally taking until almost 9pm to fall asleep)3 Years Old
I moved nap time back to 1pm since my twins were now napping at 1pm with one nap a day. I wanted them to all nap at the same time. Because I had to move the nap earlier, I had to make some adjustments to his schedule. He also needed a shorter nap or else he was taking until almost 9:30 or 10pm to fall asleep at night.

7:30-8:00 Wake and stay in bed
8:00 get out of bed
8:00 Breakfast
10:00 Snack
12:00 Lunch
1:00-3:15 Nap
4:00 small snack
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime, Lights Out (but normally taking until almost 9pm to fall asleep)
 

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My son is now 7 months old. His daily schedule is a lot more flexible than it use to be. Prior to 5 months old, if I did not get Cooper down for his nap at exactly the right time, then he would not nap well. Timing was everything. Now that Cooper is a little older, he has become more flexible with his napping schedule. This is very nice for me because I don’t have to stress out if I am out running an errand and will make it back a few minutes late for his nap because he will still take a decent nap.

I was looking over his schedules and noticed a pattern to his napping schedule. I started to goggle some information about older babies napping schedules when they are down to only 2 naps a day. I found that a lot of babies fall into a 2-3-4 napping schedule. What is a 2-3-4 napping schedule? This type of schedule is when a baby is awake for 2 hours in the morning before the morning nap, awake 3 hours in between the morning nap and afternoon nap, and awake 4 hours in between the afternoon nap and bedtime (nighttime sleep). It seems that babies cannot stay awake as long in the morning. I am not really sure why this is, but it has always been true with my son. Even when he was on a good 4 hour schedule (up for 2 hours down for 2 hours) he could only stay awake 1.5 hours before his first nap. As he has gotten older, 6 and 7 months, my son has naturally fallen into a napping schedule very similar to the 2-3-4 schedule. He is on a 2-3-3.5 napping schedule. Here is his current napping schedule at 6 & 7 months:
7:00 wake-up
9:00-11:00 nap
2:00-4:00 nap
7:00/7:30 bed

*his naps are anywhere from 1.5-2 hours in length usually. His nap lengths do cause some variation to the schedule. I just start watching the clock from the time he wakes up. So if he wakes early from his morning nap at 10:30 that means he would go down for his next nap 3 hours later at 1:30. To see all of my son’s daily schedules type out by age click on this link: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/infant-schedules-by-month/

More information on the 2-3-4 nap schedule:
http://www.easybabylife.com/baby-sleep-schedule.html
http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2005/12/quick_and_dirty.html

For more information on creating a daily schedule for infants read my post:
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/

For more information about sleep requirements for babies read my post:
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sleep-requirements-for-infants/

If your child is having trouble with napping read the following posts:
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/nap-trouble-the-45-minute-intruder/
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/
http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/create-a-good-sleep-environment/

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Note: The following post was written by a friend of mine. I asked her to write a post about PU/PD since I myself have never used the method. She has found great success with it and I hope that information and her personal experience she shares in this post will help you if you decide to use this sleep training method.

Pick up/put down is a sleep training method described in the book, “The Baby Whisperer” by Tracey Hogg. It offers your baby the reassurance that you are there but also the independence to help him learn to sleep on his own. It is important to note that this method should not be used before your baby is 4 months old.

There are several case studies described in the book where Hogg was called in as a consultant to help tired families teach their little ones to sleep (These can be found in all three of her books by looking at the index section for PU/PD or sleep training.).

My husband and I were advised by the pediatrician to let our son cry it out at 4 weeks old. He said, “bath at 6, bottle at 7, bed at 8. Put the baby in his bed awake and let him cry if he needs to.” After 5 nights of the crying for over 45 minutes at a time, and it got longer each night, I gave up and went back to feeding him to sleep. At 5 weeks old my mother-in-law brought me the Baby Whisperer book and my life changed forever! We started swaddling and put my son (and us) on E.A.S.Y.

By 4 months old my son was sleeping from 6:30 PM until 8 AM. He got his bath at 6, had a bottle and was swaddled and put in bed no later than 6:30 PM. As he’s gotten older, he goes to sleep a little later because he plays longer in the bath and now we read books. But the most important thing to remember with any sleep training method is consistency. It is the key to getting your little one through the night.

With PU/PD you offer your baby reassurance by being with him but you don’t become his sleep aid or “prop” because you remove the extra reassurance the second your baby does not need you.

So, when your baby cries for help***,

1.You go into his room. You go right to his bed and do NOT make eye contact, do NOT speak, just go to him, pick him up, a pat on the back or a rub of the head is fine, and then as soon as his body is calm you put him back in his bed.
2.You do this until he is completely settled and going back to sleep.
3. If he wakes early from a nap, you do the PU/PD method until he either goes back to sleep or it is time for his next feeding.
4. In the night, you do it until he goes to sleep (this can take 2-5 hours or more depending on what reinforced habits you have, you can read about my detailed experience in a bit).
5.You should keep a journal of every attempt because then you can see the progress you have made.

***(there are different types of cries, a mantra cry is very rhythmic. A mantra cry is your baby trying to put herself back to sleep. You should not go into your baby’s room for a mantra cry. Always stop outside the baby’s door and wait. Listen to the cry and determine if it is a cry for assistance or a mantra cry)

My Experience with PU/PD

Sleep Journal One:

At 5 months old we went on a trip. I went on a 3-hour flight with my son and we stayed at my parent’s house. We made the room he was sleeping in just as dark as his at home room (he is a spirited baby and so all distractions must be eliminated to achieve sleep.

That night my son woke up unfamiliar with the smells and the crib, so I did PU/PD:

Night 1: 6:00 PM – Bath, Bottle, and Bed by 6:30.

10:30 PM – Dream Feed.

1:00 AM – First waking. I picked him up, did one-two gentle (like burping)

pats on his back and put him back in his bed. He cried out once, rolled over and went to sleep. I did this 3 separate times in the night.

3:00 AM – Second waking. Repeat 1st waking method.

5: 30 AM – Third waking. Repeat 1st waking method.

7:30 AM – Up for the day.

Night 2: 6:00 PM – Bath, Bottle, and Bed by 6:30.

10:30 PM – Dream Feed.

7:45 AM – Up for the day.

Now you can see from that sleep journal that there was a LOT of improvement that second night. We left that next day so there was no more nights on that visit and upon returning home, the baby went back to sleeping from 6:30 PM until 8:00 AM.

Sleep Journal Two:

At 8 months old, I got into some “accidental parenting”.

At this point, my son’s routine was well established. He was napping during the day, sleeping at night, crawling all around the house and eating solids. Plus, he was still sleeping from 6:30 PM until 8:00 AM.

Well, one night he woke in the night and was crying.

(This, after 4 months of not having him wake at all in the night besides for 1st the visit to my parents (we went up another time at 7 months and everything went smoothly. He even had other people put him to bed at night)

I went to him, and did PU/PD. After about an hour I thought, he might be hungry, 8 months is a pretty big physical development age and maybe he didn’t get enough to eat or is going through a growth spurt. So I made a bottle and he drank 10 oz down so fast you would’ve thought he hadn’t eaten in days. I then put him in bed and he slept fine.

About a week or two later he woke in the night again. This time, I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep quickly, I just made a bottle and went to him and fed him. Here was my mistake. Considering anything could’ve woken him, the best thing to do would have been PU/PD. And I look back at this moment and think, why did I give him that bottle? And thus my problems began.

At first the night-wakings for bottles was inconsistent, sometimes it would happen and sometimes it wouldn’t. There would be 2-4 days in a row that he would sleep straight through and then there was 2-4 days where he would wake up and I would give him a bottle. I was still trying to convince myself it was hunger and continued the bottles.

By 11 months, he was waking 2-3 times in the night, drinking 2 oz and going back to sleep. Now, I new that he wasn’t hungry and didn’t need the bottles and it was just a “prop.”

We were moving at the end of his 11th month, so I decided to use the move as a time to re-sleep train him, since I would need to be doing that anyway.

By 11 months old, babies are set in their ways. Habits are MUCH, MUCH, HARDER to break, but NOT impossible. And that is the key. It took nearly 3 weeks to get my son back on track with his night-time sleep. However, I am happy to report that after those 3 weeks of PU/PD he has been sleeping from 6:40ish PM until 8:00 AM again, it’s been 2 months!

Here is my sleep journal from then:

Night 1: Dad got him down in about 45 minutes with P.D. by 10:00 PM (late night because the movers were still at the house and son threw up from a grape allergy, only allergy he has…weird though)  Wake time was 6:30 AM

Night 2: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 1:00 AM, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 10 minutes.

Night 3: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke up once, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 2 minutes.

Night 4: Got the crib set up, had been sleeping in the pack n play.  Played in the crib and was SUPER excited about it during the day.  Regular night routine, would not go to sleep, kept standing up and crying. Tried to do P.D. but he started falling to the mattress and laughing whenever I went to P.D.  I got annoyed that he was making it a game and left the room.  He cried, I came back, he eventually did the same thing.  This went on for 30 minutes and my husband took over.  Same thing.  We thought maybe he got too excited from our brisk visit with the new neighbors before bed and so we got him up for 20 minutes and then redid the bedtime routine.  Woke at 11:35 PM, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 1 minute. Woke again at 1:30, got him to sleep within 1 minute.  Woke at 2:35 AM, got him to sleep within 1 minute.  Cried off and on until 3:20 AM.  Full blown crying and I could not settle him.  At 4:20 I traded with my husband.  At 4:40 he thought maybe son was hungry and said I should give him a bottle (probably a bad idea, I know).  Gave him 4 oz of water first because I didn’t want to reinforce the previous bad habit.  He drank it all and then I gave him 8 oz of milk and he drank it all.  Then he went right to sleep until 8:00 AM.

Night 5: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 11:35 PM, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 10 minutes.  Woke around 2:35…did P.D. until 4:20, husband got annoyed and we were so tired from previous night and the move that we caved and gave bottle to save our sanity (truly a bad idea in hindsight).

Night 6: (after the previous night, I spent the day resting and decided that I needed to dig in my heals and stick with P.D. and be CONSISTENT).  Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 11:35 PM, got him to sleep with 43 P.D.’s and light back rub, and WI/WO towards the end and he went to sleep around 1:35 for the night.  Wake time was 7:30 AM.

Night 7: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 12:00 AM, got him to sleep with 27 P.D.’s and light back rub, and WI/WO towards the end and was asleep by 1:30 AM for the night.  Wake time was 6:00 AM.

Night 8: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 11:35 PM, got him to sleep with minimal P.D. and light back rub, and WI/WO in about 40 minutes. Yay! 7:00 Am wake up.

Night 9: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 1:00 AM, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 20 minutes.

Night 10: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Slept through! WooHoo! 6:00 AM wake up (uggh)

Night 11: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 2 AM, P.D. and light back rub in about 1.5 hours. 5 AM wake up, did P.D. and light back rub about 20 minutes.  Wake time 8:00 AM.

Night 12:  Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 1:30 AM, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 40 minutes.  EW of 5:30 AM, P.D. until 7:00 then started our day.

Night 13: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke once, got him to sleep with P.D. and light back rub in about 15 minutes.

Night 14: Regular night routine, but he started doing the playing with P.D. again.  Husband and I took turns.  Eventually he Mantra cried himself without us in the room to sleep in about 10 minutes.  Was asleep by 7:15 PM.  Wake time 5:00 AM, did P.D. and light back rub with WI/WO, took about 30 minutes to get him back to sleep until 8:00 AM.

Night 15: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke around 2:00 AM, took 3 P.D.’s then he played with his lovey sheep and chatted, so I left the room and he put himself down.  Repeat at 5:00 AM.  Woke up around 7:30 AM.

Night 16: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke at 5:35 AM, took 7 P.D.’s then he played with his lovey sheep and chatted, I left and he put himself down until 7:30.

Night 17: UGHH!  What the heck!?!?!  Great Nap today! Wonderful day, he was chatty and so much fun.  Bedtime he went to bed like normal and then 5 minutes later just screamed and screamed.  Went in to do P.D. and he kept running across the crib and playing and throwing himself around.  I left.  He started screaming.  I came back, rinse and repeat for 10 minutes.  He started screaming while I was in the room (bratty screams), didn’t want to be touched, didn’t want to be held.  Would NOT calm down.  Gave himself the crying hiccups.  After husband got angry at the ear piercing screams he asked me to leave the room.  Took son about 3 minutes to soothe himself to sleep.  He cried out off and on for 10 minutes and has not been up since (it’s 11:13 now).

Night 18: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke at 5:35 AM, put himself back 7:45 AM.

Night 19: Regular night routine, in bed by 6:45ish PM.  Woke at 6:00 AM, he cried out nce, went back to sleep until 8:00 AM.

Now, not every night is perfectly smooth, but I don’t go in anymore. He will cry out after a sleep cycle (45 minutes) some nights and put himself back to sleep within 5 minutes and that’s that. After 1 year, if you use PU/PD, you should implement the WI/WO method instead. You can find this on, the Baby Whisperer Forums at this link: http://www.babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=80750.0

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What is the 45 minute intruder?

The 45 minute intruder is a term that was coined in the book Baby Wise, but this is not a Baby Wise phenomenon. The 45 minute intruder refers to when your baby wakes up from a nap or nighttime sleep after only being asleep for 45-50 minutes. Why are some babies waking up at this point? Well, if they are in a growth spurt, it might be because they are hungry. However, if they are not in a growth spurt and are well feed it could be related to their sleep cycles. Babies cycle from light, deep, and back to light sleep in about 45-50 minutes. When your baby returns to light sleep, they may partialy arouse. If they hear a noise, smell something funny, realize they are too hot or cold, or are conditioned to need a sleep prop such as rocking or nursing to sleep, they will have difficulty returning to sleep to complete another sleep cycle. For more information on sleep cycles, read my post entitled “infant sleep cycles”http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/infant-sleep-cycles/

Other possible causes for waking 45-50 minutes into a nap could be due to being overtired, overstimulate, or not enough wake/ play time. If you keep your baby up too longer, they may be too tired and wake up early from a nap. Or perhaps you had company over and everyone was playing with your baby, that may have overstimulated your child. Both overstimulation and overtiredness can cause a baby to wake early out of a nap. Make sure you are following your son/ daughter’s naps cues and you get them down for a nap before this occurs. For more on this read my post entitled “Sleep Windows: Get them to bed before it’s too late”  http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/ It may be possible that you did not keep your child up long enough. That happen to my son a couple of times. I put him down for his nap and he fall asleep relatively easy, but would wake up 45 minutes into his nap. It occurred to me that he was getting older and may need to stay awake longer. I adjusted his awake time and that solved the waking up at 45 minutes. I believe he just was not tired enough to take a long nap. For more about appropriate awake time lengths see my post entitled, “Baby & Infant Daily Schedules” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/

My son had chronic 45 minute napping problems

My son has chronic problems with the 45 minute intruder from the time he was 2 months up until he was 4.5 months old (maybe even almost 5 months old). You could set a stop watch and he would wake exactly 45-50 minutes into each of his naps. It use to make me nuts. At first, I thought he was a short napper, but he would wake up fussy. According to Baby Wise and The Baby Whisperer, your baby should not fussy if they just woke up from a nap and you’ve feed them upon waking. The Baby Wise book says that it can last a few day or even two weeks–ha! This lasted for 2.5-3 months. I never thought I would see the day when he would sleep straight through a nap.  By the time he hit 4.5 months old, he was sleeping through most of his naps without waking. We still had the occasional 45 minute intruder, but that was about 20% of the time. Now he is 7 months old and my son rarely ever wakes up early from a nap unless he is in a growth spurt, has a dirty diaper, or a sound from our condo building has stirred him.

What I did to get through the 45 minute intruder

Lay a firm hand on his chest: a little before the 45 minute mark, I would creep into his room and place my hand on his chest. I would press firmly on his chest and apply a little pressure. This kept him from startling himself awake when he was transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next. I did this when my son was very young around 4-8 weeks old.

Swaddle/ Sound Machine: I started to swaddle my son really tight so he would not startle himself awake. This helped a lot. I bought a swaddle me (http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_swad.php), but then I added an extra step to the swaddle me. I took a piece of cloth from a receiving blanket and would lay it behind his back and weave the fabric over his arms and tuck it behind his back again. This kept his arms good and snug so there was no way he could break free while napping. This kept his body from jerking himself awake. I got this idea from the miracle blanket. Watch their instructional video clip to see how I modified the swaddle me to keep his arms snug. http://www.miracleblanket.com/video.htm I also used a fan and later a sound machine to block out the noise he may have heard from living in a condo building. Both of these things helped greatly, but we still had our issues. The most important thing is to make sure you create a good sleep environment that eliminates as much stimulus as possible. For more on creating a good sleep environment read my post called “Creating a Good Sleep Environment” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/create-a-good-sleep-environment/

Cry-It-Out (CIO): Around 10 weeks old, I believe that I start to just let Cooper cry-it-out at the 45 minute mark. The first week I started this, he would cry for almost 45 minutes until it was time to get up for his next feeding. But it only took a week, and after that if he woke up at the 45 minute mark, he would only cry for 5-15 minutes and then fall back to sleep for another sleep cycle of 45-50 minutes. This pattern of waking up at the 45 minute mark and crying lasted for about a month (the entire time he was 3 months old). The nice thing was, when I finally got him up to feed him he was always happy and well rested! Then around 4 months old, he would still wake up at the 45 minute mark, but just fuss or cry a tiny bit and drift back to sleep right away!

Other Nap Intervention Suggestions

I have not tired these various methods, but I have a friend who used the PU/PD method with great success. I have used the wake-to-sleep at night, but never during the day. It worked great for me at night. Both of these strategies come from the book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. (p.251)

Wake-to-Sleep: “Instead of waiting for her to wake, go into her room at 30 minutes, because that’s when she starts to come out of a deep sleep…pat her gently until you see her body relax again. It could take 15-20 minutes of gentle patting. If she starts to cry, though, you’ll have to send her back to sleep with PU/PD.”

PU/PD (Pick Up/ Put Down): This method is intended for a baby 4 month or older. You pick your child up while he is crying and the minute he stops crying you put him back in his crib. If he starts crying, pick him up again. Then if he stops crying, place him in the crib again. You will repeat the pick up/ put down until he stops crying and will fall asleep in his crib on his own. “Granted the first time you try this remedy either situation, you might spend the entire nap period doing PU/PD. and then it’s time for the next feeding. Now both of you are tired! Because sticking to the routine is as important as lengthening her nap, you need to feed her and then try to keep her up at least half and hour before putting her down for her next nap- at which point you’ll probably have to do PU/PD again because she is overtired.” Just keep repeating the PU/ PD until he quietly lays in his crib without crying. (The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems p.221-224) I have a friend who used this method with her son with great success. For more on this method read: http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/pupd-pick-up-put-down-baby-whisperers-sleep-training-method/

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How can you know if your baby is getting the right about of sleep? Are they getting too much or too little? According to Kim West in her book Good Night, Sleep Tight “children need to get the right amount of sleep and they need to get the right kind of sleep. Quality counts along with quantity. Good Sleep should be largely uninterrupted. If your child is getting up a lot, she isn’t getting all the sound sleep she needs.”

Signs that you baby is not getting enough sleep:

  • Baby falls asleep in the carseat all the time- A well rested child will not fall asleep in the car often, unless it is close to his scheduled nap time.
  • Sleep disruptions- if your baby is overtired you will notice that you baby may have more difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. You child may wake early from a nap or wake several times throughout the night if overtired. Or you child may have difficult falling asleep at night. For more on this see my post about sleep windows.  http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/
  • Fussy/ Irritable- You may notice that your baby is waking from a nap or nighttime sleep fussy. Your baby should be waking up happy unless they have not slept enough. Young babies will wake from a nap crying, but that is usually due to hunger. Once they are feed, they are generally content unless they did not get enough sleep. Make sure you don’t rush in when you hear your baby stir during sleep or naps, they might be cycling from one sleep cycle to the next. If you leave them alone they might return to sleep on their own. For more on this see my posts entitled “Baby Wise: Sleep Training” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/baby-wise-sleep-training/ and “Sleep Cycles” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/infant-sleep-cycles/

Quantity?: Check my post about sleep requirements that babies need. For instance a three month old should be getting a total of 15 hours, 10 hours at night and 5 hours during the day (spread over 3 naps). If you are already jotting down the time and length of each of your daily naps in a sleep log, then you should be able to quickly total up the amount of sleep to see if it equals 15 hours. Some babies will sleep slightly less or slightly more than the recommended amount, but usually no more than an hour of deviation. At 3 months old my son slept for about 15.5 hours a day, 9 hours at night and 6.5 during the day. You can see that my son still slept close to 15 hours a day, but his nighttime sleep was a little less and his day time sleep was a little more than the average infant at that age. The important thing is that he was getting at least 15 hours and appeared to be well rested.   http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sleep-requirements-for-infants/

Quality?: Your baby really needs to sleep in his own crib or bassinet for his naps and nighttime sleep. Prior to 6-8 weeks old, your newborn is so sleepy they will sleep in someones arms, in the car, in the swing. When your baby is older than 6-8 weeks old, they really need to sleep in a stationary crib. “Motion lulls us to sleep, bit it also keeps us in a lighter, more fragmented sleep; our brains never reach the level of full restorative sleep if we’re moving.” If your baby falls asleep in the car (and it will happen every now and again), try to move them from the car to the crib as soon as you get home. If you put your baby in a swing before nap time and you notice him drifting off to sleep, quickly remove him and place him in his crib. Now I know that babies are only little for so long and that you might want to hold them a little while they sleep, that is okay. Just try not to make that a habit.  Also, it is important to make sure that your baby’s room is conducive to sleep. You would not want to put your baby down for a nap in a bright room right outside a noisey street. Try to make sure your baby’s room has very little sound and light and is a good temperature. For more on how to create a good sleep enviroment for you baby see my post “Create a Good Sleep Enviroment” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/create-a-good-sleep-environment/

Quotes taken from Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West p. 35-36

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FACT #1: Establish a good schedule (eat, wake, sleep)

If this is the only thing you take from baby wise, then great! Babies thrive from consistence. If you are constantly changing up the schedule and routine daily, your child will have a more difficult time achieving good nighttime sleep. Every day should have consistency with a wake up time that is the same every day (our’s is 7am) and a bedtime that is the same every day (our’s is 7pm now). In between the start and close of each day, your child will cycle through several eat, wake, sleep cycles. This trains you child to not become dependent on nursing or bottle feeding to fall asleep. And beleive it or not, this helps with nighttime sleep too. If you babies wakes in the middle of the night, she may be able to put herself back to sleep if she is not dependent on nursing or bottle feeding to fall asleep. For more on eat, wake, sleep cycles see my post entitled “Infant & Baby Schedules”  http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/

FACT #2: Keep Sleep Props to a minimum

Baby Wise urges parents to stay away from sleep props such as nursing or rocking baby to sleep or sleeping with your baby in a shared bed. There is nothing wrong with any of these sleep props. There are many parents who do this with their children and it works for their family. But if you are attempting to use parent-directed feeding and Baby Wise, these sleep props will hinder your progress. The goal of Baby Wise is to help teach children how to fall asleep on their own without someone’s help. Having said that, I will say that I believe it is okay to rock your baby to the point of drowsiness before laying her in her crib. Just don’t allow them to fall sleep in your arms.  For more on putting your baby to bed drowsy but awake see my post “Put Your Baby To Bed Drowsy But Awake” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/put-baby-to-bed-drowsy-but-awake/

FACT #3: Some crying will happen (Cry-It-Out)

If you are using Baby Wise, then they recommend putting your baby in his own crib awake. Some babies will fuss or cry in their crib before falling asleep. Baby Wise suggests allowing your baby to cry for up to 15 minutes. If your child is still crying after 15 minutes, go in a check on him. You might want to pat him on the back or hold him in your arms for a little.  Then leave the room and try again. Every baby is different, if I showed my face even after 15 minutes my son would cry longer and harder.  I had to learn that when we where in the heat of sleep training (Cry-It-Out), I had to just leave him be. We had a video monitor so we could make sure he was okay. Thankfully, the hard nights really only lasted for 3-5 days, maybe 7 days at the most.  We started putting my son to bed awake by drowsy when he was 4/5 weeks old at night. At first he would cried for 20 minutes before falling asleep, but it did not take long (maybe 4-5 days) and his crying diminished. I believe by the time he was  3 months old, he rarely cried going to sleep at night. If he did cry, it was because he was overstimulated and needs to blow off steam.

FACT #4: Some babies make noise, fuss, or cry during sleep transitions (so don’t rush in)

Babies sleep cycle are about every 45-50 minutes. During this transition from one sleep sleep cycle to the next, your baby may partially arouse and make noise, fuss, move around, or even cry. As hard as it is, don’t rush into their room to check on them. Give them a few minutes to settle. “Sometimes you may think your baby is waking up when she’s actually going though a phase of light slumber. She could be squirming, startling, fussing, or even crying- and still be asleep. Or she may be awake by on the verge of drifting off again if left alone. Don’t make the mistake of trying to comfort her during these moments; you’ll only awaken her further and delay her going back to sleep. Instead, if you let her fuss and even cry for a few minutes, she’ll learn to get herself to sleep without relying on you (BW p. 146)” My son use to wake from his naps in between sleep cycles (45 minute intruder) and would cry for 5-15 minutes when he was 2-4 months old. I learned to leave him alone or he would never complete a full nap and be cranky. For more on baby’s sleep cycle read my post entitled “Infant Sleep Cycles” http://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/infant-sleep-cycles/

Important Reminders

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