Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sleeping Like a Baby

Q: My baby seems to think nighttime is from 4am till 12pm. We try to get her down at 9pm and she will fight us till 12am, sleep till 4ish then wake up, take a bottle and sleep till 12pm. How can I fix this crazy schedule?

A: Wake your daughter up at 7 am. Yes, you're both going to be exhausted because neither of you has had enough sleep. But you need to do this. For the greater good.

Don't let her sleep till noon. This is the problem. No baby that sleeps until noon is going to be tired enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Wake her up and take her outside in the daylight. Engage her, keep her active.

A couple of hours later you can let her take a nap for an hour - but don't let her sleep longer than this. Wake her up again, get her out of the house and engage her. Keep her awake.

She will be irritable when you do this. You're gonig to have to deal with it. In my experience, the best way to deal with an irritable baby is to be out of the house, where there are lots of distractions. Maybe make a play date at the park with another mom and baby.

Having been up since 7 am, your baby will be very tired come 7 pm. You may even want to put her to bed earlier than what seems to be a reasonable bed time. Keep an eye out for cues from her - if she is yawning or rubbing her eyes, jump on that "sleepiness window" and put her to bed even if it's only 5:30 pm. Don't miss the window or she will get overtired and will refuse to go to sleep when you want her to.

It might take a few days, but be consistent. Wake her up at 7 am no matter how many or how few hours both of you have gotten. I guarantee you that by the end of a week, she will be sleeping at night and not during the day.

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