Should My Newborn Have a "Bed Time" or Go to Sleep When He Wants?

Updated on April 28, 2012
K.H. asks from Arlington, TX
9 answers

I've been trying to follow the rules of Baby Wise but I am unsure if my newborn (almost 3 weeks) should be given a bed time or if I should let fall asleep on his own. Of course, I know I can't really assign him a bedtime but I try to help him fall asleep around 8pm by rocking, singing, etc. I want him to be on a 3 hour schedule and some nights it really works and he goes to bed at 8, wakes up at 12am, 3am, 6am, 9am.. etc... but other nights he falls asleep in evening and then is super awake until like after midnight. And once I go back to work that is going to be a big no no!

He isn't a fussy baby however, he does have his moments. for the most part he has been very easy.. and I just want to keep it that way.

Also, when he does fight sleep should I just let him cry it out.. or is he too young for that?

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So What Happened?

thanks for all of your advice.. i definitely learned some new things that i was not doing!!!

More Answers

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

I did not like Babywise!!! You can get into your own rhythm & set a schedule to fit him. My philosophy is not to wake a sleeping baby.

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

I keep a set of twins that are 6 months old right now and when they were younger I had them on a routine of a 3-4 hour napping/sleeping schedule. It helps to have some kind of routine. Especially since you'll be going back to work. Do you have a sitter lined up yet for when you return to work yet? If not, I'd be happy to help you out. My number at home is ###-###-#### or you are welcome to email me at [email protected]____.com

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

Sorry to say...but babies have their OWN schedule. He needs to sleep when ever he wants to at this age. My daughter would be up every two to three hours for the first 4 months. I just went with her sched. She didnt start sleeping through the night until she was almost a year!

I am not a big fan of the crie it out method. I think he is too young for that he is only a new born! We tried the cry it out method when my DD was 9 months but gave up on that quickly because she never relented. So I just rocked her to sleep. Now she goes down with out any problems.

Get used to the lack of sleep and take naps when he sleeps. Expect to be exhausted when you return to work! I am fortunate to be a SAHM. My DD is 28 months and I still nap when she does.

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A.J.

answers from Atlanta on

for a newborn they should go to sleep like at 6p.m. it depends on what time he wakes and 12am and is to early for a baby. A newborn babt should get 12-14 hours of sleep. No that is not to young for a baby

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S.

answers from Dallas on

More of a routine less of a schedule is how I think of it......
For newborns this is what I did...during daylight hours...wake, feed, play..read...bath...swaddle...sleep....wake, feed...play...read..play...swing....swaddle...sleep and so on several times per day until adult sleeping time. Sometimes this awake time between swaddle sleep is only 20-45 minutes long. Good signs that it is time to swaddle is yawning and rubbing eyes. During night....wake feed...diaper change....no eye contact......swaddle...sleep.
During the day, I always left the lights on in their rooms and window coverings open. During the night no light, only maybe a night light or hall light so that you can see what you are doing during feedings. This helps get their natural sleep schedule going.
In my opinion, big no nos in nighttime feedings are.....watching TV and moving to another room from their sleeping area. Never let them fall asleep while eating and then put them down. You always want to change their diaper and properly burp them...if you don't you will find that they will wake in between feedings when they really want to be sleeping but can't because of their discomfort.
Enjoy your new baby!! You will see soon the routine will turn into a schedule. You baby boy will start to cry and you will look at the clock and say..."oh it's 7:30." I bet he is exhausted." It is funny how it happens.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I think there's a balance between them going to sleep whenever and setting a schedule. You want to get them into a regular cycle, but not a "schedule" at this age. I don't believe in crying it out at all myself, but DEFINITELY not at this age. Crying is the only way they have to communicate, and at this age it's because they need something. Check out "happiest baby on the block" - book &/or DVD - I got it at the library. It might help :)

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

Your baby is WAY too young to cry it out! Please don't try that. Get the books "The Baby Whisperer" and "The Happiest Baby on the Block". At six weeks you can put your baby on a loose schedule and start dream feeds, which will help you get 5 or so hours of sleep straight, but crying it out will have to wait for many months from now. Hang in there. It will get easier. You WILL sleep again. I know it does not feel like it now, but you will. Good luck! The books helped us SO much....I can't say enough good things about the techniques they suggest.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I agree that a routine is important. it does not have to be too rigorus but if you want the baby to get on your time and sleep for you when you want him to then a routine is very important.

Good luck
A. J

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

I tried as best as i could to get my daughter on a bed time, and for the most part it did work. She was sleeping though the night in her own bed at 6 weeks. I would wake her up in the morning at a certian time and feed her and put her down for naps at a certian time. Now babies no matter the age have a mind of there own, so if i said nap time was 10:30 well then it might vary from 9:45 -11:30, it just depended on her some mornings she would wake up before 8 am then she would go to nap at 9:45 and if i woke up later (cuz lets face it sometimes we need a little extra) then she would go to nap later. So i had a "Flexable" schedule. Now there were times that she wanted an extra bottle or slept a little longer at nap or we played a little more but basically she had a schedule. She would go down to sleep at 8pm and would wake up at 10:30-11pm and I would feed her and then she would be up around 6-6:30am for breakfast. Since you plan on going back to work, i suggest you get your son some sort of one it will help you in the long run. Also my daughter's Doc said for us to feed her some rice in a "Feeder" bottle (wal-mart has them cheap) mixed with formula at bed time at about 5 weeks of age. I have herd alot of doc's doing this so ask, it can never hurt, they sleep longer cuz they stay fuller.

On the cry it out method. I agree that the method works, my doc told me that if my daughter was dry, full and burped and she wasnt crying real tears let her cry it out, for a 2 mins then go and quite her down then for 4 mins then, 6, 8, 10. I never got past the 4 mins. I dont exactly remeber when we did this with my little one but we did it for a few nights in a row now its few and far between. Ask your Doc or Mom though, someone close to you who you trust and you know has tried it.

Good Luck

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