Seeking Advice on Sleep for a 16 Week Old.

Updated on December 17, 2008
J.T. asks from Fargo, ND
6 answers

My 16 week old daughter has normally slept through the night. Starting when she was 12 weeks, she will start fussing at around 3:00 am. I get up to check on her and her eyes are still closed. I put her pacifier in her mouth and she stops crying. My question is do I pick her up, change her diaper, feed her, or rock her. Her eyes are always closed so, I do nothing but, put the pacifier in her mouth. Sometimes she will continue this every hour until she wakes up at 6 because her pacifier falls out of her mouth. I do not want to wake her by picking her up so, I just make sure she is safe. I also swaddle her at night so she appears to be warm and not cold. I also let her cry for awhile to see if she will go back to sleep on her own and then I go check on her and her eyes are still closed. She goes to bed at 8:30 - 9pm. She takes two 2 hour naps at daycare. I can not keep her up later than 8:30- 9pm, she is sooo tired. Any advice would be helpful.

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answers from Davenport on

Dr. Marc Weissbluth wrote the book "Happy Child, Healthy Sleep Habits." I have followed it with both of my kids (now 3 years and 8 months). He says-"Sleep begets sleep," which means, the more sleep you get, the more you want to sleep. Put your daughter down ealier-she will sleep better. You want her to learn to sooth herself. It will make your life easier later. My 3 year old will put himself down for a nap or bed if he is tired since we have started following Dr. Weissbluth's advise. Great book!



answers from Minneapolis on

I think that what your doing is fine. As long as she goes back to sleep I wouldn't pick her up. However, Do you think she is hungry? Perhaps the pacifer is just pacifing her for an hour and maybe feeding her would satisfy her longer than an hour.

At four months old my daugher was taking 3 naps (a shorter nap around 3:30-4:00) and she still went to bed by 8:00. She went to 2 naps around 6 months of age.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would try putting her down an hour earlier (7:30ish). I know that it sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes night waking is a result of being over-tired/over-stimulated by a too late bedtime. Worth a try....



answers from Lincoln on

Have you started giving her cereal in the evening before bed? That can do wonders to keep little one's satisfied and content the whole night.



answers from Duluth on

mom you are doing a brilliant job of just listening to yourself and following your instincts.
i highly doubt that at any day care (or any GOOD one i should say) your daughter will be left ANYWHERE crying, nap time or not. cry it out method is pretty destructive to a trusting relationship, so proceed with MUCH caution on that method. babies until around a year DO NOT understand the difference between a want and a need, its all the same, and needs should be taken care of no matter how trivial to you.

it doesnt sound like your daughter is a poor sleeper, you are lucky she goes back to sleep without requiring being held.
just listen to your instincts, and follow through. between your baby's cries and your heart you will know what the right thing to do is, and no matter what it is, dont listen to outside advice - ONLY YOU know what your baby needs when she cries.
:D follow your heart, even when it goes against the popular ideas.
put it this way; my son never cried it out for any reason, and he is one of the nicest 2 year old kids ive ever seen (i have an in home day care, not to mention friends and families who i know have had babies...).
if most families use the cry it out methods, and most kids throw tantrums, fits, tempers, and flat out attitudes, then maybe crying it out doesnt work in the long run.

just do what you have to do to get her to sleep, and you sleep too.
it doesnt matter if you have to just give her the sucker back... thats a good thing. nuks help prevent sids! and sucking is a basic NEED for babies. :D
one thing you can do to help her sucking reflex strengthen enough to keep the nuk is to play with it when shes sucking on it and awake? push it around and almost out of her mouth and give her a little resistance to sucking it back in. dont do this and make her mad, you will know when to stop... but just help her strengthen that sucking.
breastfed babies usually have a strong sucking reflex, bottle fed babies have a weaker one. stregthening the sucking muscles ... makes for more beautiful smiles too LOL. one of the funniest things ive heard about babies. :D
good luck, and be aware that in about a month or 2, sleep might be nonexistent as teething starts. so good luck with that!



answers from Omaha on

Congratulations on your baby girl!

When it comes to sleep questions, read Night Time Parenting by Dr Sears or go to Ask Dr Sears Web site. Both are really helpful and the book saved our lives with our first born!

Is she in your room at this age? If not, bring her close and if a pacifier is all she wants, then give it to her. I wouldn't pick her up if she is likely to go back to sleep and just needs something in her mouth to comfort her. I would not let her cry it out at this age. She is still trying to figure out the world and you are the person she is learning to trust. At this age, she can not manipulate you, as her needs and wants are the same.

A side car, (a type of crib) is really wonderful, keeps baby close and safe, and best of all gives both of you the ability to get more sleep. These are available at JCPenney, last I checked. If you are comfortable to bring your baby to bed, that is ideal. We don't sleep alone, why do we ask our babies? There is a lot of anti bed sharing information in our culture now. However, if you look worldwide, the places that have the lowest SIDS rates co-sleep and nurse. The US has the second highest SIDS rates for developed countries.

We still co sleep and I always felt we all slept better and were the safest we could be.

Another book to look at is called Three in a bed. The bottom line is keep your baby close, and get some rest.

Enjoy your little one, the days may be long, but the years are short...


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