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Slowly improving sleep... what to do first?

  1. #1
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Slowly improving sleep... what to do first?

    Hi Mamas,

    In which order would you do the following for a 5 month old?

    1. Move her to own room
    2. Improve naptimes - getting her to fall asleep on her own + extending naptimes
    3. cut out unnecessary early morning feed (as it is affecting first "official" feed of the day)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    1. I moved my little guy to his own room and crib when he turned 3 months. Before that, he slept in a bassinet in our room. I think it's best to start early, at 5 months, it might be a bit late, so I would move your daughter to her own room/crib immediately.
    2. Nap times I must say is not easy to extend. The baby needs to do it on their own and as they get older, it gets easier. We can't really help them, they simply just need to learn how ot self-soothe. Even after they wake up after 45 mins, I would not go into his room and pick them up right away, I normally wait 2-5 mins just to see if they can settle back into their nap. Putting them down for naps isn't easy as well. I normally bore him out by reading a book until he's absolutely zoned out (I hope he doesn't end up falling asleep behind a textbook when he's in school ). I still need to cuddle him till he's drowsy before putting him down for a nap. If I put him down fully awake (although I know he's tired), he'll just ball his eyes out. Some people commit to the crying it out method and would have great success, but I really can't tolerate his cries. The most I would let him cry would be 10 mins (although it always feels like eternity) - according to this article, CIO harms baby's brains http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8636950.stm
    3. At 5 months, babies normally don't need a 5am feed. However, breastfed babies seem to have a harder time sleeping long hours because breastmilk may not be as filling as formula so their babies may actually wake up being hungry (my son was formula fed with breastmilk top up - now he's exclusively on formula). Also sleeping through the night for a 3-6 month old means sleeping 5-6 hours straight and sometimes longer than that (http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sle...months_7656.bc), that's why if you have an early bedtime for your little one, you might want to sneak in a dream feed between 11pm and midnight. However during growth spurts, they may really be crying for food. If they cry in the middle of the night, I normally wait 10 mins, if they won't settle, I would go in to check to see if there's got a poopy diaper, if not, I'll give a little bit of cuddle and put him back in the crib. If he's still crying, I'll give him a bottle, but I never give him the full amount he normally takes. I just give him enough to fill his tummy so that it will not affect his morning bottle. Another thing I noticed with my son is that if he eats enough during the day, he'll sleep better at night. My son has never been a good eater, but back then, if he doesn't drink at least 25 oz of milk in the day, he would wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Now that he's on solids, if he doesn't drink at least 22 oz of milk + solids, he'll wake up hungry at night.


    All babies are different, what worked for my son may not work for other babies. I truly believe in having a routine and being consistant with it. When you first start sleep training (best to start around 3 months because by then you may notice a pattern in their sleep), you might have to spend the first week being consistant with the routine even if it means staying at home that whole week training your baby to sleep. I always tell my friends, it's short term pain, but it's a long term gain.

  3. #3
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the advice. The naps are definitely the most difficult. I am trying the most gentle way possible, which is to put her down increasingly more awake. This is actually how I trained her for her nights. Will take at least a month, I think... but I don't want to let her CIO. Hopefully, her naps will slowly get longer. I'd say it's a huge challenge to identify the "perfect" amount of awake time for each baby. Try to put mine down after less than 2 hrs awake, no chance.

    Moved her to her room though and she slept through til 530 or 630 after her late night dreamfeed (though I really don't know why she woke at 530 this morning). She also just automatically dropped the early morning feed. Strange how it just happens like that!

    The naps are really really difficult.

  4. #4
    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    Here are some readings on naps if you're interested:

    http://www.babycenter.com/0_naps-the...725&pe=2UwC5kI

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