Getting on a Schedule

Updated on October 23, 2006
J.S. asks from Corpus Christi, TX
15 answers

i need help desperately. i have an 8 week old daughter and i am about to go back to work next week. she is doing very well, and sleeps for about 6-7 hours at a time once she goes to sleep at night. the only problem is that she does not go down for the night until 1 or 2 in the morning. i have tried keeping her up during the day and doing things at the same time but i can not get her to go to bed any early. i would really appreciate any suggestions about how i can move her clock back a couple of hours and getting her on a schedule. i know she is still very little, but i do need the help. thank you

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So What Happened?

thank you so much to everyone who responded. i have been trying to be as consistent as possible, but it's hard sometimes since i have an 8 year old as well with a busy schedule and my husband's is just as hectic. we have bath time every night around 8:30, give or take a few minutes and "calm down" time afterwards, mainly holding her in a blanket, singing little songs, etc., but she still just can't seem to get out of this habit. hopefully things will get a little easier after the next couple of weeks. thank you again to everyone. all advice is greatly appreciated

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S.A.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Maybe a little tylenol around 8pm and letting her sleep, then waking her up when its time to be up. This is something you have to be very consistant with. its hard getting new babies on a schedule. VERY HARD! Good luck!!

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D.

answers from Baton Rouge on

J.... I slightly disagree with Laura. I think the worst thing you can do is quiet down the house! Reason being is that then your entire household will be run around the little one. Do you always want the entire house to shut down at 8 all of the time? Then once she gets used to that... your home will always have to be shut down at 8! I have three and they all go down by 8:30... but I could have the vaccum going, the TV blaring, stereo on or whatever I want... and it doesn't disturb them.
I went back to work when mine were all around that age... and you will be amazed at how quickly she adapts to your new schedule.

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V.B.

answers from Alexandria on

I would give her a warm milk bottle and some soothing sleepytime music to listen to. Make sure she is not overfed or constipated.

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

J.,
For the time being you best bet is probably to start a routine around whatever time you want your little one in bed. You can always gradually start "noisy-ing up" the house up as she gets older and used to the routine.

Just as Laura said: Bathtime, quiet time with mommy, and then sit in her room lights off (or dim) and rock or lay down and sing or whatever you do to get her to sleep.
You might also try waking her up earlier and putting her down for naps earlier...however with her being so young she probably still sleeps on her own schedule.

Maybe for the first couple weeks when you are back to work (if baby isn't sleeping at an early time than 1am) you and daddy could switch off and that way you would get to sleep earlier at least half of the time.

Do keep in mind though, sleep begots sleep....holding naps off during the day is not the way to get baby to sleep at night.
Have you ever noticed that when you are EXTRA sleepy you have a harder time sleeping? Babies feel much the same way.
A well rested child is more likely to have a good nights sleep.

Good luck

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H.S.

answers from Brownsville on

GIRL, MY SISTER HAD A BABY HE IS NOW ONE YEAR OLD. WELL WHEN HE WAS 2MTHS OLD WE HAD THE SAME PROBLEM HE WOULD SLEEP ALL DAY AND AT NIGHT HE WOULDNT GO TO SLEEP TILL LIKE 2 AM AND SOMETIMES EVEN TILL LATER THAN THAT. SOOO WHAT I DID DURING THE DAY I WOULD KEEP THE RADIO OR T.V ON AND GET A WASHCLOTH WITH COLD WATER AND GENTLY RUB HIS EYES I DID THAT LIKE FOR A WEEK AND THROUGH OUT THE WEEK WE STARTED SEEING CHANGES. AFTER THE WEEK ME AND MY SIS BOTH STARTED SLEEPING LIKE BABIES AND WOKE UP READY FOR NEXT DAY ACTIVITIES. WELL TRY IT HOPE IT WORKS. GOOD LUCK!!

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C.V.

answers from Houston on

I had the same problem with my 3 yr old back when she was 6 months old and I would feed her and make sure that her belly was nice and full, then I would give her a nice warm bath and let her play in there for about 10 minutes or so after that I would do some reflexology on her feet as I rubbed lotion on her after the bath, It seemed to work, it would calm her down and There is a book that u can get at like wal-Mart called what to expect the first yr, it is packed full of info on things like this and I have had 4 kids and it still helps me out. In fact I was just reading it last nite on my 6 month old. If u need some help on where to find the pressure point in ur childs feet u can email me and I will be glad to help u, let me know if any of my suggestions helped..good luck sweetie C.

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A.M.

answers from Lafayette on

hey J. - i know the feeling, went throught it myself, i did find help from a book titled "baby wise". it worked wonders for us and there is also a follow up book "toddler wise". good luck.

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T.L.

answers from Beaumont on

My little one is now 5 weeks old and we're on a sleep schedule now and it has worked for us. After I have dinner and do the dishes I get her ready for her bath which is usually around 9:00. I give her a bath and wash her hair and then I rub her down with the Johnson's Bedtime Lotion (it has lavendar in it which has a calming effect) and I put her pjs on her (usually something with long sleeves and something that covers her feet--she wears a onesie during the day). I then give her a bottle (she goes back and forth from breast to bottle) and when she's done with the bottle (if she's not already asleep) then I read her a bedtime story and then we get in the bed. Usually at that time she will open her eyes when I lay her down (she cosleeps with me...husband now sleeps on the couch...lol) I will lay her on her side and I will lay on my side and I'll give her the breast and she falls right asleep. We do this every night and she's usually asleep by 11:00 & sometimes before. She does wake up at least once during the night, but I just put the breast back in her mouth and she goes back to sleep. Hope something I've said here helps you.

T.

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L.K.

answers from New Orleans on

Unfortunately she is really too young to have her on a schedule....the fact that she sleeps for 7 hour stretches at all is awesome! What I did with my daughter when I went back to work is that I let her go to sleep when she was ready to at night and I still got her up when I needed to in the morning to bring her to the babysitter's. At her age, she is so resilliant and will get used to her new routine and will move her own clock back a few hours. Keep in mind that a 2 month old can and will sleep whenever she's tired... the best you can do is when you are ready for her to start winding down in the evening start quieting the house down (tv's off, turn some lights off, etc) and get a bedtime routine started... whatever works for you, but for example: starting at 8:00pm feed her, then bathtime (chamomile/lavender soaps really help to relax her), then go in her quiet room and read or sing to her, then lay her in her bed and pet her back or just sit next to her bed and hum. It may take a week or 2 for her to catch on to what you're doing but once she does She'll start going to sleep earlier all on her own! Good luck to you!!!

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L.B.

answers from Lubbock on

J.,

I know everyone will say give her a bath earlier. My only advice on that is give her a bath around 8:00 or 8:30, but use lavender baby wash. It's aroma therapy, very calming for babies. Also it helps to lay her on a sponge or bath cradle while she soaks and lay a warm wash rag on her stomach. I always called it my sons bath robe, since he was so little. This is something they do at the hospitals to calm a baby down. It should relax them enough to go to sleep. My mom is a nurse and she tells me all the gimmits. She also said to give them Tylenol (Infant brand), just 4 ml or the minimum dose. It won't knock your baby out, but it will help them relax. Just don't become a fanatic of it, like my husband. Just know that they are babies and it's basically their job to cry, poop and sometimes not sleep. They don't know any better. Let me know how things work out for ya. And congrats on the baby. You have alot more to look forward to.

Charice

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L.

answers from Little Rock on

Congratulations on having an 8-week-old baby who sleeps 6-7 hour stretches. Thatís pretty good!
I have a consulting business called Baby Answers (a division of Nanny For Newborns.com), and I am a newborn specialist parenting, coach and infant sleep trainer. I specialize in getting babies onto a predictable routine and helping them learn to sleep through the night. My client babies all sleep 10-12 hours every night by the time they are 12-16 weeks old, and many of them do it earlier than that. By the way, no, I do not believe that an 8-week-old baby should cry it out.
What your baby needs is a good predictable routine all through the day and in the evening. I can help you initiate this routine and explain the benefits of it all through consulting. Please do not try to keep your baby awake during the day. Keep this in mind: good sleep begets more good sleep. SO if your baby sleeps well at night, she will take good naps; and if she gets good naps during the day, she will sleep better during the night. Itís a beautiful circle.
If you are interested in consulting with me, please contact me privately for more information.
L.
www.nannyfornewborns.com
____@____.com
mamasource rated!

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A.V.

answers from Beaumont on

You just need to give her a warm bath and a warm bottle before you want her to go down for her bedtime and rock her to sleep. But you need to decide what time you want her to go to sleep, cause you need to do this around the same time every night. Still let her take her cat naps during the day cause it helps her grow. In no time she will slowly learn when her bedtime is and you will feel better. Even though my kids are alot older then 8 weeks, they are all on a schedule. A schedule is the best thing for a child I believe. They pretty much know what time it is by what we are doing. They know that they take baths at 8:00pm and go to bed at 8:30pm. Good Luck and don't give up it will take time.

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B.D.

answers from Oklahoma City on

All I can say is BABYWISE!! It's a great book that helps you put your baby on a schedule and helps them sleep through the night. Going down at a decent hour and sleeping 8-11 hours at night. It's amazing. My baby has had great success with it. I hope you try it!! It will make your life SOO much easier!

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S.M.

answers from New Orleans on

J., My name is S. and I have a 9 month old. It seems to be the way at 8 weeks for kids to not sleep through the night because they know that you are going back to work. Tell me what your night time schedule is. Do you bathe her at night? Have a little time right before bed to sort of calm down? I recc. these 2 things for sure. The thing that helped us the most was repetition. Children try to resist it for a while, but their little bodies need sleep... Try to start bath time at around 7pm. Then, go into her room and put soft music on with a night light. You could read her a book, or nurse, whatever works. It will take a while to get her into this routine, but it really will help. I recc. Disney lullabye CD...IT WORKS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me know how you do.

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M.S.

answers from Baton Rouge on

There is one book I could recommend; it is called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Apart from good advice on how to get babies on a schedule, it also provides a lot of background information on how babies' sleep rhythms develop as the brain matures, and what you can expect from your child at what age.
Good luck!

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