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Question:

I was wondering if you would be able to help me with bringing my daughters bedtime forward please 🙂

She wakes between 9-10am most days. And will go back to sleep around 11am and will sleep for 1.5-2hrs and then back down for another nap at around 3pm and usually wakes around 4:30-5pm. I then feed her, dinner, bath and to bed by about 8pm but she will wake at about 9 and be wide awake and won’t settle again until about 10:30-11pm

She then wakes at 1am and then 6-7am and I try keep her up then but she wants to go back to sleep

She is 7 months old and I don’t have any problem with how she settles to sleep.

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Answer:

The way to change her night time routine is to adjust her waking time in the mornings. Although she wakes between 6 and 7.00am you are putting her back to sleep, so you can either encourage her to stay awake or give her a quick band aid nap and wake by 7.30am in the morning. I have written a guideline for you to try and as she is 7 months i have written it for 8 months so you can either change the food/milk around or leave as it. If you change it around then you need to change when she turns 8 months.

Wakes and feeds and has a quick bandaid nap no longer than 30 minutes

7.00am Wakes

7.30 am Breakfast – cereal, toast, slice of fruit and sippy cup milk

Offer remainder of milk when she leaves the highchair

10.00am Morning tea – offer full milk feed

10.45am Nap – minimum 1 1/2 hours resettle if she wakes before this

12.15pm Wakes

12.45pm Lunch – vegetables and carb – offer finger food to teach texture, taste and smell – ideally the finger food is what is in the puree or mash

OFfer water in sippy cup

3.15pm Afternoon tea offer full milk feed

3.30pm Nap as above

5.00pm Wakes

5.30pm Dinner vegetables and good carb plus finger food (this meal ideally is different to her lunchtime one). Offer milk in sippy cup and remainder when she leaves the highchair

Evening routine, bath, milk, clean teeth,

8.00pm Bed for the night

Night waking, resettle resettle, if feeding ensure you are feeding for hunger and not comfort

SETTLING AND RESETTLING NOTES
Settling and resettling take TACT – time, acceptance, consistency and tranquility

Sleep is a learned behaviour. Sleep is also a nutrient and walks hand in hand with food.

It takes a minimum of ten days to see any changes and the change at the end of the light is just a dim light. The first 3 to 4 days is always the hardest and to change their circadian sleep cycles it takes a minimum of six weeks

Sleep is a learned behaviour. Sleep is also a nutrient and walks hand in hand with food. It is healthy for a baby to cry/grizzle before going to sleep. When you go to bed you read a book, meditate, watch TV, or chat with your partner – a baby can only do one thing and that is cry. You are not leaving him there to cry it out; you are leaving him there to give him the ability to find his own sleep. In my experience it takes approximately 20 minutes for a baby to fall asleep, however you are not going to leave your baby to do this on their own. Ideally you will put your baby in their cot awake, close the curtains and leave the room. You will leave your baby for an appropriate time and then intervene with reassurance – I tend to do this in 5 minute intervals so the settling routine will look like this – and it also depends on the age of the baby. For babies under 12 weeks, I tend to do the settling in arms. If doing in arms I never do any movement that cannot be replicated in a cot.
into bed, leave for up to 5 minutes (at her age you will probably only leave for a minute and its also about the crying/grizzling and whether it is off or on)
comfort – reassure (this is normally less that the grizzling time)
this can be repeated for up to 20 minutes and then you need to stay in the room and help your baby find their sleep – if you already haven’t. Sometimes babies will not be able to go to sleep if they are light sensitive. I would suggest that you look at your baby’s room and if they are unable to fall asleep then try making the room darker.

Thank you so much for your question I hope this helps, just remember you are doing an amazing job and being a Mother is the hardest job in the world.

Kind Regards
Dorothy

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