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Thread: 5-6 month olds and bed/sleeping

  1. #1

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    Question 5-6 month olds and bed/sleeping

    I?m interested in what other bubs of this age are doing.

    DD is 5.5 months old and her sleeping patterns have been heading downhill since just before the 3 month mark.



    Her bedtime varies widely, depending on when she wakes from her last afternoon nap. Sometimes she?s ready at 6:30, other times 8:00. We do follow a routine before bed.

    At the moment she goes down (we feed to sleep because otherwise it takes an hour to get her down) and wakes 3-4 hours post feed. I?ve started resettling her then (rather than feeding) and she then wakes about 8 hrs post feed (I feed her then). She has started being very difficult to get back to sleep and needs me to go back in again before settling (sometimes a couple of times). She then starts the day about 7:30 ? 8:00.

    Her overnight feeds are getting longer and she often takes very little from the second side, so I don't think she?s hungry, I think she?s just after the company.

    She saw the doctor last week who couldn?t see any signs of teeth popping through.

    I?d like not to have to feed her to sleep, but at the moment I am just too exhausted by evening time to do anything else.

    We tried introducing a dreamfeed but it wasn?t successful.

    Questions:
    Do you have a strict bedtime or watch for tired signs? If you have a strict bedtime, do you wake bubs early from afternoon naps if they go past a certain time?
    How normal is this sort of sleeping behaviour at this age?

    I am so tired at the moment and it feels like it?s never going to get better so I just want to know what others are doing.

  2. #2

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    I sympathise with you completely!! My DD is 5 mnths and the past month has been soooo hard! At the start of the year she was sleeping pretty much through with maybe getting up once. The last few weeks it's been so inconsistent - up 4 or 5 times some nights.

    I agree with you - it's much easier to feed them than resettle because exhaustion settles in so don't feel bad. I went to my HN ans she said it was teething even though I think that is an eexcuse for everything because she seems to have been teething for ages!

    I'm hoping that like everything babies do - she will just simple sleep through (or longer than now) and we'll wonder what was wrong!! If you're doing everything right with a bed routine and all of that then I'm not sure what else you can do.

    Maybe ring your local sleep school - where are you from? I'm in Melbourne anmd have rang the Queen Elizabeth Centre. I'm having a phone appointment next week and then we'lls ee from there. DD does sleep - just not in any pattern!!

    LOL - I just realised they are born on same day!! Maybe it is an age thing!!

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    My DS is not quite 5 months and he sleeps through but occassionally does wake 1 or 2 times (maybe once a week). I follow a fairly strict sleep routine (bath, feed, sleep). The bath seems to relax him a lot where with DS#1 I could never see that a bath did settle, so it is different for every child. As far as time goes he is normally down anywhere between 6 - 7:30pm depending on his afternoon nap and when that ends. I don't tend to wake a sleeping baby where I know some people would. If he wakes through the night I will generally know whether he will settle just with a dummy or whether I Will have to get him up and feed him back to sleep - either way I am not too fussed. I am just blessed that he sleeps through so if he wakes once in while during the night I would never decline him that extra feed. He will always settle very quickly after that feed and will generally only take 5-10 minutes. So basically I am asleep while doing this anyway (plus it's a little extra cuddle and quiet time)...

    I will always look for his tired signs, I can generally pick them before he gets out of control and overtired. As soon as I see them I will pop him straight into bed awake (obviously after a bath and feed). If he gets to the overtired stage there is hell to pay LOL....

    Good luck and it sounds like you are doing a great job, so I wouldn't worry too much, they are still only little. xxoo

  4. #4

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    Hi Cally,

    Olivias Routine is she wakes around 5.30am then has her bottle then about 7.30 to 8 am I give her some weetbix then another bottle around 9.30 /10 am then she goes for a sleep for about 2 hrs sometimes 3 sometimes only 1hr then has a play and some custard then some more play then a bottle all before 2pm then another sleep which is only for 1hr then play till 4.30/ 5 pm then some veges then a bottle around 5.30/6pm then play then shower around 7.30pm straight to bed after her shower. Then she sometimes stirs around 2 or 3 and I put her dummy in and usually she will go back to sleep till around 5.30am then it all starts again.

  5. #5

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    Hi Cally

    My baby's about a month older than yours.

    I mostly go by tired signs rather than the clock which means her bedtime varies from 7pm - 8.45pm. Wake-up times also vary from 6.30am - 8am. That doesn't worry me too much as she sleeps through.

    I keep her routine the same for every sleep, day and night. Big cuddle, lots of me saying "sleepy time now" and I put classical music on the radio for her. I can't bath her (dodgy back) so we can't incorporate that into her night routine. Sometimes she will fall straight to sleep and other times I have to go back if she cries when I leave the room. When I resettle, I break the rules and lift her out of her cot and give her another cuddle as I find that less frustrating than patting with fingers crossed.

    If she doesn't fall asleep after a couple of goes (this is rare), then I get her up again as I find it more exhausting trying to get her to go to sleep than letting her stay up for a bit longer.

    I could probably get her into a strict bedtime if I tried but that would mean doing the same things at the same time each day including getting up time. And I just ain't into that - I prefer to play it by ear rather than having a strict routine.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for your responses, its nice to know that she is similar to other bubs out there.

    I spoke with someone this morning at mothers group who suggested moving her arms and legs around more during the day to try and get the muscles working and wear her out some more. So I might try that and see how it goes!

  7. #7

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    Hi Cally, we don't go by the clock either (even though juggling sleep times around school pickups gets trickier that way)! What I have noticed though is that E can actually stay awake longer than I used to think she can, I watch for the tired signs, and then we play some more (but this involves one-on-one playing, she can't cope by herself at this end of playtime) and then I wrap her and pat-jiggle until she's getting snoozey then put her in the cradle (jiggle some more) then walk out. Sometimes she needs more settling, sometimes less. I've found since I'm keeping her up longer in the day she's sleeping better at night. The amount of sleep they need changes and it took me a little while to catch on to that! She also tolerates it a bit better when I'm out and about and she only gets little snoozes in the car/pram and makes up for it by sleeping soundly later.

    I like Jazmum's suggestion of playing in the bath. The other hit at our house is the jolly jumper which mostly only comes out in the afternoon/evening.

    BTW, if she stays awake in the middle of the night we just put her back in her cradle and turn the light off like normal, of course we get up and rock and jiggle if she starts to cry, but as soon as she is snoozy we put her straight back down and turn the light off. That means we get to listen to the sounds of a baby entertaining themselves in the dark. We have a very low wattage lamp which we use and she doesn't leave the bedroom at all so she gets the message that at nighttime nothing interesting happens.

    Not sure if you've thought of co-sleeping but that is very often the solution the family needs so everyone gets (some) sleep. Also, I have a much lower tolerance for sleep deprivation, so if there is any mucking about after E has had a feed, DH is the one who settles her down.
    Last edited by AnyDream; February 26th, 2008 at 05:02 PM.

  8. #8

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    I went through this with my DD when she was about 5 months and it continued for 1-2 months and i tried EVERYTHING. She was sometimes still awake happily moving around out bed at 10pm.. basially we introduced a bedtime routine:

    5:00 pm dinner and play

    6 o- 6:30 pm bath

    7 ish - read her a book, bottle and bed

    first few nights she fussed a bit but i sat in her room where she could see me till she fell asleep.It has been great ever since the week after we started the routine.

    In the day i wait for tired signs but in the evening i do the same thing and she is always ready for sleep around 7-7:30 (depends when her last was)

    Best of luck, it gets better

  9. #9

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    W's sleep has gone downhill since about 3 months as well. He was sleeping through sometimes or only waking up once. Last night he woke up about 5 times and decided that 5am was play time. I don't know what to do so I just put him in bed with me and feed him when he wakes.

    We have a night time routine of bath play feed bed, but it doesn't really seem to make a difference.

    I am not sure that moving her arms and legs would tire her out, W 'walks' around the house all day with me holding his hands and he is certainly not sleeping any better.

    Good luck

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