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Thread: Settling - is this normal?

  1. #1

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    Default Settling - is this normal?

    Hi All,



    Just wondering if it is normal to take up to an hour to settle a 4 week old baby. Sometimes he falls asleep in about 10 mins but other times it can take 1 hour. We have to rock him in our arms as he wont fall asleep himself in the bassinet. We try and keep to the feed play sleep routine of 1 hour or just over, but it is now stretching out to 2 hours and then he sleeps 45 minutes as he is hungry. Does anyone else take this long to settle their babies? Am I trying to put him to bed too early. How long should I have him up for before putting him to bed, he seems happy to stay up but I don't want him to get overtired.

    thanks

  2. #2

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    mmm up for two hours seems a littlet oo long for that age, dont forget the feed play sleep thing is a guide only, let your baby guide you as to what he wants, remember sleep creates sleep and he maybe overtired which is why he wont settle.
    even an hour maybe too long, DD only went to being up for 2 hours at around 8 months!!

  3. #3

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    I don't want him up 2 hours, but it ends up being that long as he wont settle or go to sleep. I thought they were meant to be tired at this age, he never seems tired unless when I am breastfeeding and I am trying to keep him awake.

  4. #4

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    some babies have very suttle tired signs, does he get red eyebrows, flaps arms, sucks fists?? i would just put him back after 30-45 mins, well prior to signs showing

  5. #5
    AcaciaMama Guest

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    Babies don't run on clocks, just follow his cues and you may find you are both more relaxed. In mnay cases, imposing routines that are a strain to keep to will just stress you out and make you think your baby is not doing as he should. Get rid of your clock, don't time anything, just go with him. He knows what he wants.

  6. #6

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    I found the easiest was to just watch my baby - looking for the non-blinking, the slow reactions, the jerky movements. Then putting him in his possie to sleep and removing stimulation (putting a muslin over the stroller, EG).

    When he's older you'll both find a rythm that suits you...

    Good luck!
    kaz

  7. #7

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    Hey. I'm not sure if I can be of much help to you, really, but I wanted to reassure you that, yes, I found sometimes it would take a long time to settle my baby when she was little. She wasn't all that consistent either.
    The feed play sleep thing is a great guide, and that's the pattern we've mostly followed, but certainly there were times where it didn't work out like that, and once I grew comfortable with that it was ok. If you're breastfeeding, you could try giving a topup feed before putting him to bed, if you're comfortable with that. My DD fed to sleep sometimes when she was really overtired and it was a really useful tool to have up my sleeve!
    HTH a little bit. You're doing marvellously

  8. #8

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    I agree with AJP, 2 hours at that young age seems too long to be up. My DD (5 mths) has only just started to be up for 2 hours and sleep for 2 hours. Sometimes she can't even last two hours up, particularly in the morning. For example, this morning was 1.5 hours up then she slept for 2 and a quarter hrs. From very early on she pretty much slept most of the time after she fed. Try not to think to much about routines this early on, for me personally it didn't work until she was older. Try to look for tired signs and within 5-10 mins, bubs needs to be in bed otherwise you'll find bubs will be overtired.

  9. #9

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    At four weeks my DD was only up for 40 minutes at a time. Now at 6 months she is only up for 1.5 to 2 hours.
    I would think that 2 hours at 4 weeks is too long and he is getting overtired. It is so hard to know but you will learn his tired signs and what he needs and wants over the coming weeks.
    Good luck.

  10. #10

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    This is a hard one, isn't it?

    I was HOPELESS at reading Daniel's signs until someone said, "How are you at reading his signs?" They asked me because I was feeding him and he completely zonked out and it seemed to be the only way to get him to sleep.

    I said, "What on Earth are you talking about?"

    Then I started to work out that when Daniel was getting tired and he had a dummy in his mouth he would make a "nyum, nyum, nyum" noise. He wouldn't do this at any other time. If I didn't respond to the nyums and put him in bed ASAP, he would get over tired and scream and scream. I would then end up holding him while he slept, just to get him to sleep for my sanity (oh, and to stop him screaming - talk about LUNGS!!)

    If I wasn't sure if he was tired I would stick the dummy in his gob just to test. If there were no nyums, but he was crying, he was probably hungry. If there were nyums, I'd put him to bed. Sounds dumb, I know, but that's how I worked it out. I got to the point where it would become a sixth sense and I didn't even need to do the dummy litmus test anymore.

    You learn these signs - so keep an eye out for anything that is even suspiciously like a "nyum". It may not be "nyum" but it could be something else your baby does, that is acting like a clue.

    Was that a rant, or what?

  11. #11

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    Hey stillhoping

    this is part of a handout that I give at some of my workshops...if you want the whole thing I would be more than happy to forward it to you

    How much sleep does my baby need?

    Newborn - 3months
    • 16-20 hrs per 24 hr period
    • up for 1-2 hrs
    • sleep 2-3 hrs round the clock
    • may have one sleep of up to 6hrs

    Identify what your baby’s tired signs are…jerky movements, eye rubbing (in older babies), grimacing, crying, clenched fists

    Learn your baby’s self settling signs…soft staring, quiet stillness, soft face, relaxed breathing



    hope this helps

    xx yogababy

  12. #12

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    Stillhoping - I know exactly what you're going through because I have been too! Our DS is only 13 days old but has been very unsettled between his first two feeds of the day and some days I just have not been able to get him to sleep no matter what I try.

    I have spoken to tresillian, karitane and also our MCHN and they've all said to stop stressing about it, at 2 weeks (and even up to 8 weeks) they are just too little to learn any sort of self settling and whatever works to get him to sleep at this age is just fine. If I have to hold him, that's fine, if I have to rock him or pat him, that's fine, if he won't settle after about 30 mins in his bassinet and I have to put him in a sling, that's fine too!

    At about 8 weeks you should start introducing some sleeping patterns and routines and by about 12 weeks they are able to learn from these cues how to self settle.

    The general guidelines are up for an hour, down for 2-3 (depending on how often you feed - we feed 3 hourly so he's up for about one, down for 2 on a good day) and we try to follow the feed, play, sleep routine but some times it just doesn't happen that way.

    Just try to remember the advice I've been given this week - these are tiny little babies who've been living in our bellies for the last 10 months. They need our help to sleep at the moment and some need more help than others, all babies are different.

    Hang in there, it gets easier!

  13. #13

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    Well said, Williow. Sometimes I forget how difficult those first few weeks were - they depend on you so much, don't they?
    My mum told me that the first weeks are like this dark tunnel where you just grope around and get through, then you gradually come out of it, feeling more confident and in control. You guys are doing a brilliant job. Hang in there

  14. #14

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    Snacks - your mum was right! I'd forgotten how much they depend on you. I have been giving myself such a hard time and putting so much pressure on us both to get into a routine and to sleep etc etc. I'm finally starting to relax and just try to enjoy these weeks going with the flow and following his lead and it seems the more relaxed I am, the better he is!

  15. #15

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    still hoping.... my dd who is approaching 8 months has only just, in say, the last couple of weeks, settled down with her sleeping.... she is up around 2 hours, sometimes 3 at the moment, then goes down for a sleep. Prior to this, and from about the age of 6 weeks, she was up for HOURS AND HOURS... i could not get her to sleep at all.... she only slept for half an hour to 45 minutes and in the end i accepted this was all i was going to get.... then, gradually, and it did feel like it took forever, but she gradually improved, and has now been known to have 2.5 hour naps on occassion.... just get thru it the best way you can.... i would definitely only try keeping a 4 week old awake for about an hour, but as i said, sometimes it is impossible and they will not sleep.... the one thing that saved my sanity was a fisher price cradle swing... for weeks that was the only thing she slept in.

  16. #16

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    I like the dark tunnel bit.

    It was when Daniel was about 12/13 weeks old and I said to my husband. I feel like, for the first time in weeks, that my mind is working again. I just felt like I was in a dark tunnel. Then suddenly, I just popped out. My husband said I was definitely not myself for the first few weeks.

    Suddenly you also realise that you are able to work out things about your baby. It's a massive learning curve for all involved!

    It's hard to explain unless you've been there.

  17. #17

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    Its great when you get to that point, hey Willow, when you feel like you can relax a bit and go with the flow? It took so long for me to get there - IKWYM about putting pressure on yourself. Its awesome that you're feeling more comfy now.
    You're certainly right, Lesty, about it being a HUGE learning curve. I had all these ideas and fears about what sort of parent I was going to be (still do sometimes) but I was so unprepared for the emotions that would come along with it, and that my baby didn't do the things I expected her to do. I'm continuously surprised, and my job is constantly changing along with my baby!

  18. #18

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    Still hoping, I have had similar problems. My baby would stay awake from 7-8am to 8-9pm with only a couple of half hour naps. I spent all day holding him trying to get him to sleep. He had all the sleepy signs but just couldn't drift off, or would then snap awake again. He is improving as he gets older. Some days he still won't nap, but usually he will now have a few 2 hour sleeps during the day.

    I have found there is a strong relationship between what I eat and how well he sleeps. Sugar seems to be the main offender, if I eat any during the day I can assure myself of a grumpy baby and a minimal amount of sleep.

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