Author Topic: How do I make bedtime better?  (Read 742 times)

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Offline becky1969

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How do I make bedtime better?
« on: March 24, 2006, 00:20:16 am »
I have posts all over the forum right now as the last 3 days went from heavenly to hellish! LOL!

Over the weekend we added the 10:30 dreamfeed. I've always hated the dreamfeed in the past (we've done BW since Owen was born, and he turned 12 weeks yesterday) because it never worked for us. It is now working great! He is sleeping through the night more often than not. Every other night he has woken for a feed around 3-4 am, but I believe that is due to the 3 month growth spurt because he's taking a 7 oz bottle (draining it!) and then another 6-7 oz when he wakes up at 7 am when usually he only drinks about 3-4 oz when he wakes up at 6 am after going 7 hours between bottles. So I'm very happy with the dream feed and sleeping through the night!

However, since starting the dreamfeed we've also added in a 7 pm bottle. We were having our last bottle of the night be at 4-4:30 followed by a bath and then bed around 5:30. This worked so great because he went to bed so easily, with no fuss or bother and then slept until about midnight/ 1 am, had a bottle, then slept through until morning.

 I like the new routine because we're now sleeping through the night, but he's now fighting bedtime like crazy! Here's our routine:

(we're on 3 hour EASY (but I'm wondering if it should be 3.5)

starting at 7 am

7 E
7:30 A
8:15 S

10 E

And so on....


where things start getting weird is after the 4 pm E. He'll go down for a nap around 5:15. maybe sleep 15-20 minutes, and then fuss the rest of the time. Since we usually try to sneak dinner in here, I'll just stick him in the swing to keep him somewhat mollified until we're done. Then around 6/6:15 I'll give him a bath, bottle around 6:45, and then I'll try to get him to sleep. It's touch and go until 7:45 or so. He's typically sound asleep by 8, but it's hard to get him asleep before then.

I'm really hating this! Before when we had the bath after the 4p bottle and put him down for the night, it was all so easy and DH and I could have a calm dinner. Now I feel like Owen ends his day so upset and unhappy, and his nightime routine is really just a big fight. HELP! How do we make this better??? Is the bath just too stimulating this late in the day? Should I be giving it to him earlier?

(Also, his naps used to be 1.5-2 hours after each E until the 4 pm bottle, and then that one got short when we moved the bath later. The last 2 days his naps have all gotten weird and unpredictable, so I don't know WHAT the hell is going on. It may be his growth spurt. But the night time bed time fight with the late bath is something we experienced before when we tried it a month ago, so I know it's unrelated to the growth spurt mess).

Also, am I on the right track with the amt of activity? I'm watching his sleepy cues VERY closely, and we start our wind down for naps at 1 hour on the dot after he wakes up. If I wait until I see a yawn, I'm too late - he better be swaddled by then or I'm in trouble! 1h15 seems to be his max awake time right now -does that sound right for his age, or am I having him be asleep too much?
Owen, 12/28/05 7 lb 2 oz

Enjoying the toddler years!

Nikki~Nathanamp;Danielle

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Re: How do I make bedtime better?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2006, 00:42:23 am »
I think with the combination of shorter naps and bedtime becoming a nightmare along with the growth spurt it is probably time to switch to the 4hr EASY. Wait a few days to be sure the GS is over and then make the switch, either go 3.5hrly in the interim or straight to 4hrly, just see how he takes it. The bath may be too stimulating at this stage, so how about move it earlier again before the catnap for now, get onto 4hr EASY and then shift it back to before bedtime to see if there is any change.

Good luck, I found that age a little tricky shuffling things around to make it all fit, but it will work out in the end. You will probably find that you'll need to eat your own dinner at a different time just so you're not feeling annoyed that it's not 'to plan' (not saying you are) - we often ate after our kids were in bed until they were on solids.

HTH :)

Offline becky1969

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Re: How do I make bedtime better?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2006, 01:05:22 am »
Thanks! My concern with going to a 4 hr EASY is that it would mean longer A time probably. Right now, he just doesn't seem ready, but I could be wrong, so how do I find out?? Do I just extend his awake time by 15 minutes and see what happens?

What are the typical signs that a baby needs to be awake longer?
Owen, 12/28/05 7 lb 2 oz

Enjoying the toddler years!

Nikki~Nathanamp;Danielle

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Re: How do I make bedtime better?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2006, 09:05:11 am »
Hi Becky, sorry to take so long to get back to you! Now that post markers are back I realised I forgot to recheck your message.

Anyway, how has the last week been?

I think you'd be best to gradually stretch A time by 15mins if he is getting tired easily, it is tricky to make sure you don't hit overtiredness instead.

As far as knowing when they're ready to go longer - I have found fussing to be put down for a nap when previously it wasn't a problem. My dd was fighting it, yet if I kept her up for an extra 1/2 hr she'd be fine, I'd then keep things low key, have quiet time with her and she'd go to sleep fine again Another sign is more frequent night wakings when they weren't there before (once again, make sure the GS is over - which it should be by now if that was the problem). Alter the daytime and the night should fall into place on it's own.

HTH

Offline becky1969

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Re: How do I make bedtime better?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2006, 16:45:58 pm »
Things are so much better!

We've now stretched A time in all periods. We're trying our best to have a 4 hour EASY, though it's more like a 3 hr 45 EASY! LOL! But we're getting there! Our morning A time is our longest - I try to go almost 2 hours if I can. The other awake periods are longer too, usually about 1 hr 45. Our shortest one is the last one before the bed time one - and that is about 1.5 hours. He just is so tired then - I can't keep him awake longer because he's so tired and crabby! Bed time is much better now that awake time is longer, the naps are back to their usual length, and I've moved bed time up from 7:30/7:45 to 6:30/6:45. He seems much happier to have it an hour earlier. Now he's sleeping easily until 7 am. I'm actually often having to wake him at that time! I do get a cry/wake-up at 5:30/6, but a paci will do the trick and then he'll sleep until 7 when I wake him.

So, thank you for the advice. We just needed to extend our schedule to 4 hours and everything just fell into place! It was so surprising! It was 2 weeks of tweaking, but now we're just about there.
Owen, 12/28/05 7 lb 2 oz

Enjoying the toddler years!