Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    I am emerging from the blackhole of having a newborn and a 2 year old seeking some advice.

    DD is just over 4 months and I'm having trouble getting him down to sleep. Before I used to sing to him and turn on his Sleep Sheep, lay him down and crank his mobile and he'd usually drift off to sleep. Sometimes I'd have to give him a little pat on the back and a "shoosh" but it was relatively easy. However, now that he's more alert it's taking a lot more effort to relax him and he doesn't like to fall asleep on his own. I think we have also entered into the 4 month sleep regression stage (lots of night waking/wrestling/fidgeting) so maybe this is just part of the whole deal. I'm not sure.

    So - what is/was your pre-sleep routine for your 4-6 month old? It's a bit more challenging for me because I also have a 2 year old to watch and she likes to talk to me when I'm trying to get him down for his nap, so spending a decent chunk of time in a quiet, dark room is not really possible.

    He's also taking 4 naps per day 30-45 minutes at a time (extremely frustrating), our pedi said to try to get it down to 3 naps 8:30/9amish 12ish and 4ish, but I can't get him to sleep any longer than the 30-45minutes. I do have him going to bed between 7-8 and he's up between 7-7:30.
     
    Thanks in advance, hope everyone is doing well!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Do not let the two year old interfere.  Pick a special thing she gets to do when you're putting Junior to bed and have her do it. There is no way he's going to fall asleep when he's got the Mommy and Big Sister Shussshhh! game to watch.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    I'm not sure if "let" and "two-year old" belong in the same sentence ...


    Napping was a challenge for us until about six months -- we had a similar cat-nap pattern going, if memory serves.  And I didn't have a 2yo to contend with!  I did have good luck with a CD that seemed to prompt DD to know it was time to sleep -- Renee & Jeremy, It's a Big World ... or something like that.  I think you can get it on iTunes.  It's soothing and would knock DD out.  We would say, "night-night" to the living room, the kitchen, the door to the basement ... anything that was between me and the Nap Room.  Then we would read a couple of board books, cue up R&J, and pray. 


    Doesn't solve the 2yo solution, but I don't have one of those, so I don't want to opine on that which I do not know. 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    purplecow, I assume you're envisioning my DD following me around while I put him down for his naps... it's not really like that (most of the time) our dining room (where his PnP for naps is located) faces our living room and has glass-paned french doors so I can actually see DD playing while I'm putting him down... but she's only going to play by herself for so long before she wants my attention. Even when I shoosh to her with my finger at my mouth she's still going "mama? mama? mama?" And staying at home all day, there arent many "special" things I can let her do 4 times per day.  So a long drawn-out pre-nap routine (I think the Sleep Lady says to get ready for nap 30 minutes prior, ha - I wish) isn't in the cards.

    I just want to do right by him and teach him to fall asleep on his own.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    In Response to Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.:
    [QUOTE]I just want to do right by him and teach him to fall asleep on his own.
    Posted by beniceboston[/QUOTE]
    Hope you're doing well... no specific suggestions.  Just wanted to say that we also had the cat nap thing and lots of nap struggles for a while (I think you helped me with some of those!), although now at 14 months napping is great... so it will happen for your LO at some point.
    But the reason I'm writing: don't worry that you're not doing right by him.  I bet you are doing a great job, whether or not he can go for a nap easily right now.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Sounds like you are doing fine to me. My almost 8 month old still doesn't have a nap routine or specific nap time but like your DD was a big cat napper at that age (and sometimes still is). As long as DD is getting the recommended hours of sleep per day (at that age I think it is 14.5-15 and it looks like she is getting about that?) and does not seem affected by lack of sleep (cranky, etc.) then I would say don't worry about it! Some babies are just cat nappers and there is nothing you can do about it. As much as we (myself included) would like our babies to conform to a schedule each day, it just isn't in the cards for some of us. I will say now that she is almost 8 mo's my DD has consolidated to 2 naps a day for about 1-2 hours each, and a short 20 minute nap on the way home from daycare, but that just naturally happened, we didn't really try to do anything. So your DD may just eventually consolidate on her own as well.
    Oh, and I don't have advice on a routine for naps. For bedtime we do your usual food, quiet play time, bath, bottle, sleep in dark room with ocean sounds. Nothing revolutionary! Good luck!!!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Benice I feel your pain.  My twins were catnapping 4 times a day at 4 months old.  I was told to put them in their cribs for all sleeping at that age so I was carrying them up and down the stairs all day long between naps.  It was sheer torture. They did eventually get down to three and then two naps.
    I think Sleep Lady must be off her rocker. Who has 30 minutes at every nap for soothing?  Can you imagine me doing that with twins?
    Weissbluth says 10-20 minutes.  And I have to say I used to rock for about 5 minutes, singing a lullaby and put each one in their crib.
    You might try soothing in a swing or vibrating bouncy for a few minutes before nap time. I have a friend who started reading stories at this time - maybe DD could sit quietly with you while you read and rock?
    Good luck!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Benice, I don't have kids yet so take this with a grain of salt, but could you have special, quiet toys that DD is only allowed to play with while you get DS to sleep?  I'm thinking something fun but quiet like those magnetic "paper" dolls.

    Also, I'll add that it seems that you're doing everything right just thought it might be a good way to keep DD entertained and give you some quality, quiet time with DS.  Good luck!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    another idea is for him to sleep in his crib upstairs, not in the room next to where his sister is playing, because he's older and more distractible - and his older sister is much more fun than sleeping!

    And... it's impossible to keep a 2 yr old quiet during his entire nap, and he may be one who jumps when she squeals in happiness at her playdough thing she just made... but if he's upstairs (or wherever his bedroom is) it wlil be somewhat quieter.

    2nd children often just have to be more flexible with their naps, since sometimes they need to be taken in the car as parents drop off/pick up their older sibling to school/lessons/nursery school, etc. and they aren't any the worse for wear, don't worry!

    I'd say if he wakes up at 7:30am, he's ready for his next nap at 9:30am, not sooner....  just as you need to be careful you aren't waiting too long (like if he's yawning and rubbing his eyes he's overtired and you waited too long) you don't want to put him in too early, when he isn't sleepy.  can he wait a bit longer to nurse/have a bottle until right before bed, so you can nurse/bottle right before putting him in his crib so he's drowsy (not completely asleep, that's a bad habit to start)?

    good luck1  some of this, as you know, is just 'cuz he's 4 months old and not quite regulated!

    are you going to stay home fulltime with them, or are you going back to work and they to childcare?  will they be going to the same center/family childcare home?  that'll be fun for them (or her, and eventually him).
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Lots of good advice already, just thought I would mention that my son was the same way at an 3-4 Mon, no consistent nap schedule and short little naps. Now at 6 Mon he is napping from 8-10 and 1-2 most of the time. We didn't do much that changed his routine from short little naps to long ones, it just happened. However, our sitter discovered if he had only been asleep for a short time and he woke and cried, if she let him cry for a few minutes, he would go back to sleep! We also had a very rough time getting him down at night and he's doing better at night too. Each night I do pjs and wash him with a warm cloth if it is not bath night. Then a story and I nurse in the dark, rock him for 2 min and put him down. Some times he's awake but usually he's asleep by that point. I wish we could just put him down awake, but he usually cries and gets worked up and then won't go to sleep. There's really no magic solution no matter what the books say! Hopefully with age your LO will do better too. Good luck!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from amunro. Show amunro's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    I'm having a similar struggle with my nearly-7-month-old, and I have a 20-month-old toddler to contend with at the same time. Having him nap in a different room has worked the best, and to some extent, one of the two children is going to be unhappy for some time during this period -- one not getting attention and the other not wanting to nap. Is the area where your daughter is safe enough for her to be unattended for 5-10 minutes? Maybe closer to five, but still... enough time to settle him a bit and then walk away? Also, mine's transitioned to 2 (MAYBE 3) naps during the day.... and one of those is at the same time as the big sister.
    Not sure how you feel about CIO but sometimes it just comes down to that and if they're tired enough, they will doze off...
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from amunro. Show amunro's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    (And before you all pounce on me about letting a less-than-6-mos-old cry it out, our pediatrician said it was fine, especially for just short periods of time. That said, naps are always harder than night-time sleep, but especially if he's got a "show" (sister) to watch!)
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Well, I'm glad to hear that he's not alone in the inconsistent napping group!

    It's easier for me to put him down for a nap in the dining room because 1. I can usually see my daughter and 2. up until the past few weeks if he did wake up I was sometimes successful getting him back to sleep, if he were upstairs I'd have to run up and down and then worry about what my daughter was doing.

    I've been tracking all his napping times and trying to stretch it out if I think it hasn't been long enough...he generally hits 2-3 hours of awake time between naps... its just that he naps and I go in to get him and he's all bright eyed and bushy-tailed and I look at him like "seriously...seriously..go back to sleep, friend!"

    DD's naps are the ones that are suffering... I cant put her down unless he's asleep (I have to rock her and sing... and then sit in the room for a minute or 2 until she falls asleep...I used to let him cry when I was in the process of sleep-training her for naps but now that I FINALLY have her napping without me staying in the room the whole time I need a good 10-15 minutes to get her down and I feel sad to let him cry unnecessarily for that whole time every day) and I've tested it multiple times that I cannot put her down before 2pm - she just wont go to sleep... so sometimes her nap isnt until 3-3:30... some days she'll sleep 1.5-1.75 hours but the past 2 days she woke up at the half-way point and wouldnt go back to sleep and she was a bear for the rest of the evening.

    CT, right now I'm staying home with them but I'm thinking next summer or fall I will go to culinary school and see if my babysitter can watch them the days that I have class, and I am leaning towards putting DD in pre-school, I think the socialization will be good for her. She has a September birthday and depending on where she stands when she's 4 I could lean towards putting her in private kindergarten/1st grade... but that is years away.

    amunro- God bless you... I keep telling myself that having 2 so close in age is going to pay off later in life... right!? right!? :)

    Oh, and I'm not against CIO...I'm leaning toward this being a growth spurt because he's waking up multiple times pretty soon after he goes to sleep which he wasn't doing before...I used to be able to just give him his pacifier and now I find myself bouncing him or nursing him and he's still restless. Fingers-crossed this passes soon and I can regain confidence that I haven't created any bad sleep crutches. But I'll tell you one thing... if this goes to the 6 month mark, mommy is playing hardball - I went through 11 long sleepless months with DD and I'm not doing it again when there is no good reason that he can't sleep for longer stretches at night.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    I just nurse DS down for naps most of the time.  Otherwise if he's really tired we have pretty good luck just putting him in the crib and walking away.  I've also had good luck at night now where if he doesn't fall asleep when nursing, I'll put him down on the floor in his room and he crawls around and plays until exhaustion takes over and he falls asleep on the floor with a toy in his hand.  I know that your DS is a little young for that, but maybe something to think about for the future.  Then again, don't ask me for sleep advice because I don't have a lot of good advice to give!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Is there no safe place to put the older one where you can't see each other but could hear her if she truly needs something?  If she can't see you it may keep her attention on something else for a few minutes longer.

    As for a 30-minute soothing routine:  That sounds way over the top.

    In general I say be wary of doing something you're going to have a hard time undoing.  Extended, ritualized routines are going to be hard to undo. 

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    DD isnt really a problem, most of the time...I'm just wondering if my routine is simlar to other people or if I need to tweak it to help him relax so he'll fall asleep on his own. The music CD sounds like a good idea, I can play it in the kitchen before naptime.

    LostGrouse... with DD I nursed her to sleep all the time and had the mentality that she'd eventually sleep through the night on her own... at 11 months and waking 5+ times per night having to nurse her back to sleep every time, I decided it wasn't going to happen any time soon, and I was exhausted. DS wouldn't even LET me nurse him to sleep before... if he wasn't hungry he didn't want anything to do with nursing for comfort, but now I'm resorting to nursing more often because he is letting me and not much else has been working. However, I imagine since your DD and DS couldn't nurse to sleep for naps during the week, they were somewhat programmed to fall asleep on their own some of the time.

    I am thinking of letting him have some safe toys to play with in a few months when I put him down to sleep and I'm already trying to work in a lovey to associate with sleep time.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from June08bride. Show June08bride's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Benice...my daughters are 13 months apart.  My youngest only takes 2 naps a day and has been that way since about 4 months.  She goes to bed no later than 7:30 and gets up at 7am.  Goes down for nap #1 at 9-10.  Nap #2 is 1-till she wakes up, some days that can be an hour or some days I luck with with a 2 hour nap.  My oldest is down to 1 nap a day....1pm till she wakes...never more than a 2 hour nap.  I let them cry it out and have since day one.  My oldest is caged in my living room, so if I need 5 minutes away from her, I know she wont get into trouble.  Im blessed with great sleepers and have since 5-7 weeks old.  If they dont nap too long during the day, I dont stress.  Sounds like your doing it all right.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    Ooh, Benice, a lovey totally helped my kids.  Granted the lovey was and still is the shining stars lion (because its fur was like my hair).  They love their lions!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.

    In Response to Re: Pre-nap/bedtime routine for 4-6 month old.:
    [QUOTE]Can you try to tweak your son's afternoon routine so he is hungry at 1:30pm so you can feed him and then he's either tired or so darn full he'll just lie and look at his gym toys while you get your daughter to sleep?

    Congrats on sleep training your daughter!  That is so huge!!  I'm sure that took lots of willpower on your part, but you did it, and you can now finish the job by getting her to go to sleep on her own, without needing you there. Remember, you could also start shortening the 'have to' 15 minutes of getting her to sleep, by telling her from now on you will read two books (SHORT of YOUR choosing - like board books) books (they like TWO of anything vs. only ONE) and then she goes to her crib/bed, and you simply sit with her vs. rocking and singing.  THEN after 3 days of you sitting by her crib/bed (not touching her) for 3 days, move your sitting chair 1/2 way across the room for 3 days, then into the doorway for 3 days, then outside the room, then gone. 

    That way she learns to go to sleep by herself and you decrease the rocking, singing, etc. as a NECESSARY part of her routine.  I know you love to rock and sing to her, but those things can be done throughout the day, and you will be very happy to free yourself from this so she can just 'Go the $&*# to sleep" as that fun book says. And you'll be sitting in the rocking chair together during the two short books anyway.  Seriously, don't let her choose the books unless you put out 3 acceptables and she chooses 2 because they ALWAYS pick the dictionary-like books to read before bed, and if you let them choose, you have to stick to it, so make sure you offer only good (short) choices.

    And once you do that (it would take about 7 days) you would be free to have her go to sleep when she really NEEDS to - at 2pm - vs. having to wait for her brother.  Because you're right, if she goes down too late then she isn't going to get good sleep and might wake up and be a BEAR!

    honestly, it won't kill him to chill out in his swing for the 15 mins it takes to get DD down when she needs to - she's had to alter her life to his schedule the rest of the day, so he can do it once each day.  But if he's really full-one crying/screaming, that is hard on him (and you).

    Congrats on sleep training her!  I'm sure that took lots of willpower, but you did it, and you can now finish the job by getting her to go to sleep on her own, without needing you there.
     

Share