How Do You Shift a Baby's Sleep Schedule??

Updated on December 04, 2008
W.H. asks from Buckeye, AZ
5 answers

My sister has this request: I have a 3mo who has great sleep habits -- EXCEPT -- she consistently goes to sleep at around 12:30 or later. I can count on one hand how many times she has gone to sleep before midnight and slept through the night. Our little miss sleeps for 7-10 hours in one stretch, wow, so of course we're happy about that and dont want to change it. Just would love to have her start her long sleep earlier, like around 10-7am instead of after midnight to 10am.

It's not a matter of waking her up from her nap earlier, or keeping her up, or getting her down to sleep, it just seems to be that her body does not know that midnight is sleeping time, not awake/play/talk time.

The main problem seems to be that she will wake up just a few hours after being put down to bed in the evening to fill her diaper and any pooping/tooting that she does wakes her (or keeps her awake till it's done). Same thing happens with her first daytime nap, she doesnt sleep till after she's filled her diaper.

Have you been able (or tried) to shift your baby's sleep schedule?? If so, what did you do and how did it turn out?

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answers from Phoenix on

She is only 3 months so is not producing melitonin yet. They start producing that at 4months. There is a great book called Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Wiesenbluth. I found it to be the bible for sleep for my kids. Have her get it and read it. It will give suggestions beyond belief and will be right on if followed. My daughter was just the opposite her stretch was between 430 and 10PM and then she would wake up all night. The book really helped me understand what was going on and how to over come. Good Luck!!



answers from Phoenix on

I went through a very similar situation! My son would not go to bed before midnight...then it was it's 830. He naturally went from midnight to 10 on his own. Then he kept wanting to take like a 20-30 minute nap at about 800 or 830 so we just started putting him to bed at 830. He usually eats around 9, so I just go in and nurse him whenever he's due to eat and he usually stays asleep. So, my recommendation is that at her last nap (even if it's like 7) just put her down for the night. When she wakes up to eat go in and feed her in her room, in the dark. Don't talk to her, ssshhhh her gently if she needs it, but do not turn the lights on, keep everything the way it is when she goes to bed. I would also suggest wrapping her (not necessarily swaddling) in a blanket so she stays warm. This is what I did with my son and now he just knows that 830 is fact, he's already fussing and it's only 810 ;) Good Luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Have you tried awaking her 2 hours earlier? She might think it's 10 am, then her whole schedule would be changed...



answers from Phoenix on

Hello:) Well I've actually had to play around with my son's schedule a couple of times....we are military and just came from Okinawa, Japan where my son was born! There is a very large time difference and when it's night time here it's day time there! It was a mess! But I just did it slowly, and if you only have a few hours that you want to change it by it will be easier. Just start waking her up when you want her to be up and then set her bedtime. When it's bedtime put her in bed and don't take her out again! It might be hard but she will get used to it! Another thing that helped me was a fisherprice aquarium in my son's crib! I put him down for the night and turn on his aquarium. The aquarium stays on for 18 minutes and usually before that he is asleep. That way he doesn't scream himself to sleep! Good Luck! :)



answers from Tucson on

Hi WH- I wouldn't mess with her schedule. She's doing shockingly well- a little inconvenient, but up once nightly is not a bad thing- in fact, it is the best I can imagine given the joys of raising my very hungry boy. Hope it helps-

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