Author Topic: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!  (Read 476 times)

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Offline katerinask

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5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« on: July 13, 2017, 18:58:13 pm »
Hi everyone,

Our 5 week old daughter has been on a "flexible" EASY routine since the beginning, gradually working towards a more consistent routine as she grows older.

She goes down relatively well for her 3 naps and 1 catnap during the day and falls asleep independently many - if not most - of those times. Our problem is at bedtime. It takes her anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours to get to sleep, while struggling and crying. In the end we are all exhausted as you can imagine. We will try to reassure her in her crib, but we do need to hold her to calm her down a few times as well... We have tried late bedtimes (9pm), early bedtimes (7.30pm), afternoons when she has slept alot, and afternoons when she has slept much less, afternoons when we stayed in, others when we went for walks.... it doesn't seem to make any difference. It's like she just doesn't want to go to bed for the night (we had only 1 success one night, when she fell asleep immediately).

Any ideas or suggestions? Bedtime are driving us mad, as we also have a 19 month old, who needs a lot of attention for bedtime as well  (bath, stories, milk etc). Any thoughts will be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!!

Offline Katet

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Re: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 22:26:30 pm »
Probably won't help, but it's 100% normal & expected that a 5wo would have a couple of hours "witching hour" where they are unsettled & nothing works. They tend to be either early evening or wee small hours of the morning (my DS2 did 3-5am...loved that) where they just seem to not settle for any reason or in any way.

Is she BF, as I know it can be a time that BF babies can just want to suckle for ages & I know my cousin with 5 children would always have one on the breast while she did baths & bed for older children.

Hard as it is it's probably time that will work best for you & accepting that it won't last for ever (3mo is usually when things improve) & how to work the rest of the family to her needs rather than look at her for the solution.

I read somewhere once that in the evening the bodies tension is released & so that is why babies need to cry & "unwind" & that is why being held at that time is best because it makes them feel secure & the more you try & put them down for bed the more tension that builds up. I know with my DS1 who had witching hours from 6-10pm (give or take) would cry if put down, but if DH & I carried him around in a carrier he didn't sleep but he didn't cry much either. 
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline katerinask

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Re: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 06:59:32 am »
Thanks for the reply and apologies for the late response...

Yeah, you're probably right. It may well just be baby fussiness, rather than something specific in our routine that we have been doing wrong. Falling and staying asleep doesn't seem to be her strong point anyway, it just seems to be much worse in the evening. What worries me though is that she often (not always) does the same during her night waking. So she may wake for food at say 4am and then need a total of 1.5-2 hours to get back to sleep. This seems to happen regardless of what time she wakes, so it would be the same at 3am and 5am. Although, as I said, it doesn't always happen this way (thank God)... sometimes she will go back to sleep relatively easily.

What do you think? Could this also be attributed to "witching"? She does also have quite bad reflux issues as well, which only makes things worse.

Offline Katet

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Re: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 10:51:32 am »
Reflux could be playing a part but at under 3mo unsettledness is pretty normal. Last year I was at a fundraiser for a baby support organisation here (it runs on site sleep & settling help among other things in 6 places across the State) & there was a address by a paediatrician there & he said the whole "colic" is because babies do cry loads in the first 3 months & for a large part it's not the baby's routine, but western culture expectations that babies will settle & go to sleep easily if we get the routine 'right'.  Temperament plays a big part even in young babies (& why my friend with her 4th baby says, you'd think I'd know what to do by now & yet this 4th is so different to her first 3) & sometimes they just need more skin to skin contact, sometimes they need tweaks & sometimes it is issues like reflux, which is what makes it hard. 

dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline katerinask

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Re: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 18:59:11 pm »
Hi Katet,

You always seem to put things in perspective :) I guess it is asking alot of a 6 week old to have an easy bedtime... We just want to make sure that there isn't anything WE can do to improve the situation.

As far as bedtime is concerned, I was wondering... What would you do? Would you stick with the 7:30-8:00 bedtime we are doing now? I was thinking that since she doesn't finally fall asleep until 9-10pm anyway, maybe we could try putting her down at 9, when our 20month old goes to bed as well. Between 7:30 and 8:30 we would take the baby out in the stroller while our eldest plays in the playground, so the baby would either nap or just lay there (as opposed to fuss while trying to fall asleep). What do you think? Too risky?

One more thing... maybe you can shed some light on this also. She does this mainly at bedtime,  but she also does it for some day time naps. Just when you think she has fallen asleep, she is awake again and when she gets into this pattern she may sleep and wake 6-7 times before she finally falls asleep for good. At bedtime I don't actually know how she wakes because I'm not watching her, but during naps when I've seen her do it, she seems to wake with a jump/jolt, as if something startled her. Any idea what this could be? Is it temperament or something in the environment that we could change possibly?

Thanks again for all your time :)

Katerina

Offline Katet

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Re: 5 week old's bedtime is a NIGHTMARE!
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 06:40:39 am »
Honestly I think I go to the park with the baby. My eldest turns 14 next week  and I ve never regretted the times we enjoyed  life rather than keeping to a routine.
In terms of the jolts do you wrap her I found both of mine needed a tight swaddle otherwise they woke from the startle reflex.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05