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Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Usually sometime between 15-18 months old, your toddler will no longer need two naps and will start the transition to one nap. The mid-day nap usually starts around 12:30/1:00pm and last 2-3 hours. However, for some young toddlers, this transition can happen soon, as was the case with my son. Right around my son’s first birthday (12 months-old), my son stopped taking good naps. This was a sign to me that it was time to start the process of weaning him off two naps and down to one nap.

Signs that your toddler might be ready for one nap:
1. Takes too long to fall asleep for the morning nap
2. Takes a very short morning nap
3. Sleeps too long for the morning nap that your child will not take an afternoon nap or will take a very late afternoon nap that effects bedtime
4. In some cases, the afternoon nap can also be effected- same reasons listed for #1-3

How I knew my son was ready to make the transition from 2 naps to 1 nap:
My son was taking pretty solid naps 2- 1.5 hours of sleep daily for each nap. Then he started taking very long to fall asleep for his morning nap and needing a longer wake time to take the afternoon nap. His also started taking a longer amount of time to fall asleep at bedtime because his afternoon sleep was too close to his nap.

What I did to help transition my son from two naps to one nap:
So I pushed the morning nap up by 1/2 hour so he would be tired enough to take the nap and shortened the morning nap to a cat nap (30-45 minutes). I also increase the amount of wake time between the two naps so he would be tired enough to take the afternoon nap. The second transition schedule worked for a very short while (2-3 weeks). Then suddenly he stopped taking his morning nap. Instead of taking a morning nap, he would just “rest in his crib”. After his morning nap was a “rest period” instead of a nap for over a week, I decided to drop the morning nap and just move to one middle of the day nap. This is what his schedules looked like during the transition:

#1 Schedule with two solid naps
7am wake up
10-11:30/12:00 nap
3:00-4:30/5:00 nap
8:00 bedtime
#2 Schedule with two naps in transition
7am wake up
10:30-11:00/ 11:15 nap
3:00-4:30 nap
8:00 bedtime

#3 Schedule with one middle of day nap
7am wake up
1:00-3:30/4:00 nap
8:00 Bedtime


Some tricks to dealing with one nap a day (when the transition is first made):

Your child is going to have a hard time at first with one nap a day. There morning wake time has lengthened considerably and they will most likely get fussy, cranky, and throw tantrums more easily. In order to deal with the late morning during the beginning stages of this transition I suggest you keep them active. Go outside to play, take them to the library for story time, have a play date with another child, go the park, run around the house…but do something to keep them busy so they will not be as agitated.  Don’t do activities that require sitting, such as watching a movie or driving in the car. They are sure fire ways to make them more cranky or even fall asleep before it is time for their nap. This will make their one nap disrupted and cause sleep problems.

There might be days when your child still needs two naps:
There might be days when after you have made the switch to one nap that your child might need two naps. I would say allow your child to take two naps only if necessary. I would try to limited your child to having two naps only once a week once you have made the switch over to one nap. Jumping from two naps to one nap will not allow your child’s body to adjust to a longer wake time in the morning.

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I am going to review two sound machines that I have purchased. My son is a very light sleeper and we use to live in a condo. The white noise machine has really helped him to sleep better by drowning our all the background noise. If you have more than one kid, than I highly recommend buying one to keep the noise level down while your little one is sleeping and your older child is playing.

Marpac Sound Screen & SleepMate 980

We are currently using this sound machine for my son. It has two settings: soft and loud. The loud setting is not quite as loud as a box fan, but it is loud enough to mask most of the sounds in our home or condo. The benefit of this sound machine is that it is portable. I can through this in my suitcase or diaper bag if I am not going to be home for his naps or on vacation. The familiar hum of this sound machine has made his naps and sleep in other places by home really great. He has never slept better! We use it all the time and I plan on bying another one for my next child.
Where to buy: Amazon

cost: $49

Rating: 4.5 Good sound, portable, drowns out background noise

http://www.amazon.com/Marpac-White-Machine-Screen-Conditioner/dp/B000X1JO76/ref=pd_sbs_bt_7

Sweet Slumber by Graco

This is a neat sound machine. I bought it and used it for 2 weeks when our sound machine was getting fixed (I dropped it). This sound machine not only creates a clean white noise, but it has some additional features. It makes the sound of the womb and other nature sounds. It also has a blue nightlight built into it that you can turn off and on by pressing the top. The other neat feature is that you can plug your Ipod into this unit and play a play list from you Ipod. This sound machine has a lot more to offer and is a little cheaper than the Marpac sound machine. The only down fall to this sound machine is that the white noise is not as nice as the one on the Marpac. It is a little more staticy. My son slept fine with this sound machine too. So I believe it is really a matter of preference.

Where to buy: Target, Amazon

Cost $40

Rating: 4.5 ★ Many different sounds, portable, nightlight, and Ipod ready

http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Sweet-Slumber-Sound-Machine/dp/B001GQ2P78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1246042157&sr=8-1

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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: https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/how-to-eliminate-nighttime-waking/ You might also benefit from reading my post about dreamfeeding and cluster feeding. https://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:
https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/
https://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: https://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: https://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: https://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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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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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.  https://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” https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/baby-wise-sleep-training/ and “Sleep Cycles” https://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.   https://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” https://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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My son who is now 7 months old started waking up an hour early for about the past 3 weeks. He does not do this consistently. I was looking over my notes and it seems that he has been waking between 5:45-6:30 but occasionally sleeping in until 7am (which seems to happen mostly on weekends). I should add that I have dark out blinds in his room and a white noise machine running all night long.

Here’s my theory for why he is waking an hour early:

First, it is getting lighter sooner. I think this is setting off a natural alarm clock in Cooper that says, “rise and shine”. Unfortunate for Chris and I because our alarm clock says, “no thanks we need another hour”. I have tired to darken the room even more than it was, but there is still a faint bit of daylight creeping through, enough to make it appear to not be night but morning. The hormone that signals sleep, melatonin starts to decrease in the early morning hours, causing us to have lighter sleep. Sunlight also decreases the amount of melatonin that we produce.

Second, our neighbors above us (we live in a condo) have been waking up early in the morning it seems. I hear them somewhere between 5am and 6am. I can hear their footsteps and water running. Occasionally, I might even hear their dog tramping across the floor or let out a bark. They are not being overly loud, but the noises are enough to stir me awake. (I am a light sleeper to begin with.)

Conclusion: I think I am just going to have to accept the fact that Cooper is waking at 6am. I cannot not tell God to make the day light come up an hour later and I cannot tell my neighbors above us to wake up later. This just means that Chris and I need to go to bed an hour earlier at night and wake up at 6am instead of 7am. Oh well!

Future Action: Since we are moving to Texas in a month, the time zone will change and we will be an hour behind Maryland time. This might be the chance for me to get Cooper back to waking at 7am. I will be in a quieter house with no condo neighbors and the time change will make it easier for me to just shift his schedule.

There are many reasons your little one could be waking early in the mornings

  • might need less sleep– check my post about the average amount of sleep your infant should be getting daily. It could be that your child is older and now requires less sleep at night or during the day. If your baby is getting too much daytime sleep, it could be causing him to wake early. Or if you little one is sleeping too long at night, they could be waking up.  https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sleep-requirements-for-infants/
  • morning nap is to close to nighttime sleep- if you don’t keep your baby up long enough in the morning, your little one could be confusing the first nap of the day as part of his nighttime sleep. Try extending his wake time between the time he wakes from nighttime sleep to the first nap.
  • afternoon nap is to close to nighttime sleep- the last nap of the day or the afternoon nap if you are down to two naps is to close to nighttime sleep, this could also cause your child to possibly wake up early.
  • hunger- your child could be going through a growth spurt or just need more food. Try feeding him more solids or offering bottles/ nursing more frequently during the day to prevent him from waking early in the morning. You can also try to offer a later dinner that has more carbohydrates to keep him fuller longer. You can also do a late night feeding (some people call this a dream feed). A late night feeding is when you feed your baby after already being asleep for the night between 10-11pm. This might help to hold his hunger out longer in the morning.
  • needs a longer awake time- you might try keeping your child up longer in between naps and nighttime sleep. Your child may not be tired enough to sleep for a longer stretch. If you adjust their awake time, they may sleep longer. See my post on infant schedules, it includes average awake times for infants. https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/
  • overtired/ overstimulated- if you child has been not sleeping well and may have had a lot of disruptions to his sleep, then that too could cause him to wake early. Try to get your baby to bed during their “sleep window” before they become overtired/ overstimulated. Stay as consistent with your schedule as possible too- this helps to get your little on back on track. See my post on sleep windows https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/
  • too bright in bedroom- the room may be to bright in the morning. Invest in some darkening blinds or put cardboard up to block the light.
  • too noisy- invest in a good quality sound machine/ white noise machine, run a fan, or play soft music in the background to block out external noises from loud neighbors, your own home, or outside.
  • room temperature is too hot or too cold– make sure to dress your baby appropriately for bed. If they are either too hot or too cold they will wake more easily, especially in the morning when melatonin, the hormone that helps us to sleep, is wearing off.

Some kids are just early birds

If your child wakes up happy, you have tried all the suggestions above, and you have seen no improvement, then you might just have to accept the fact that your child is waking early. Some children just wake early. Just adjust their schedule as needed to accommodate the earlier wake time.

Other Resources About Early Risers

Note: many of the ideas were pulled from Good Night, Sleep Tight p. 98-100 and the internet resources provided

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