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5 month old baby- what to do?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by mrsfabmoretti, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Hi Bruno,
    Well done for getting baby in to a good napping routine, as that's often the hardest thing to do with little ones. My LO has been in a strict napping routine since he's been about three months old. He's now one and has two naps per day; one at 10am and another at about 3pm. Like your baby, he won't sleep anywhere but his cot (and sometimes in the car) so always have to make sure I'm back home for his naps. This probably sounds like a nightmare for some mums, but I like the structure, as does my mum (who looks after LO three days a week whilst I'm at work). LO is also a happy, contented baby and sleeps well at night as he is rested through the day. I have had to sacrifice certain groups, though, if they clash with nap times. And sometimes have to rush back from a play date to be back for 3pm.
    There are ways you can hang on to your routine, but get out and about, too. LO should be able to do about 2 hours between naps now. Could you try stretching his 'awake' time about ten minutes every three days, until you get it up to two hours? This would give you a little bit more time to get out and about. Also, could you plan play dates at home, so LO can have his nap when he gets tired? If LO is getting up at roughly the same time each day, perhaps you could try three 'set naps' per day, so you have a better idea of when you can go out?
    Another thing to remember is that as LO gets older, he'll be able to go longer between naps, and things will get easier.
  2. HI all, thanks for the replies, sorry I didn't get chance to reply yesterday.
    In response to some of your questions (I will try to remember them all!) he is usually a good sleeper at night, so at least I've got that. He does tend to wake up in the morning at a similar time now (between about 7.15-7.45am) so I have tried the 3 set nap times thing but it just doesn't work because he doesn't always sleep for the same amount of time and if he has a shorter sleep at one nap he just can't last until his next set time and then gets so tired that he can't get to sleep for his next one, so I have to work on the basis of when he's been awake for 1-1 and 1/2 hours he needs another nap.
    The suggestion of baby massage is good but I have the same problem getting to those sessions as anything else- the ones near enough to get to within his content time always seem to start 10 mins after he's gone to sleep. Also there is NO WAY he would get some of his sleep at baby massage, he won't sleep anywhere but his cot or pram if it's moving or in the car when it's moving. I know it's hard for others to believe but whereas lots of my friends can go to a baby massage session, put their sleepy babies in the pram and go for a coffee whilst they sleep my LO will just not do that. Then he screams and screams with overtiredness and we have to leave- such is the story of my life at the mo. [​IMG]
    Someone suggested speaking to HV as it could be something else such as formula, but he is on the comfort Aptamil and seems ok with this and his crying is definitely tiredness not hunger, as when I put him down he goes straight to sleep. I think I might try the suggestion of trying to keep him awake 10 mins longer every few days or so, but when I have tried this in the past it doesn't work as he then gets so overtired that he can't get to sleep, so I've always chosen to put him to sleep as soon as he seems to need it (1-1 and 1/2 hours from waking).
    I just find myself wishing the days away in the hope that within a few months he will at least be able to stay awake for 2 hours at a time so I might be able to start going to more groups.
    Thanks again x
  3. Also, forgot to add he feeds well- he takes six 6oz bottles throughout the day and usually sleeps through the night. He was a very hungry baby for first 12 weeks or so and then this seemed to calm down. He is about 16lb and on the 50-75th centile for weight, so not small but not a real bruiser! I am thinking of starting to wean him soon as get the feeling he is nearly ready (he is 21 weeks on Sat), x
  4. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    Hi bruno. You said that you LO will sleep in a car or moving pram so could you try to drive him/ push him to the groups and see if he goes to sleep on the way so is rested when he gets there? If we are going somewhere and Charlotte is near a time she will get tired, I sometimes leave early, do a loop of a couple of M1 junctions (or walk with her for an extra 20 minutes) and she usually falls asleep and then has had her nap!
    As for the classes, at my baby massage group there is one baby who always screams for the end of the class and most of the tea and cake time but nobody cares and us other mums take it in turns to take her for a walk around/ rock her etc. while her mum gets a cuppa, some cake and ten minutes rest! I am sure other mums would be supportive if you did go to a group and he got upset.
  5. It sounds to me like he's sleeping lots, but that it's not good quality sleep. You need to be able to get out and about. I would do a little activity every day and keep baby awake for it, even if that means him being grizzly. You may find that the extra stimulation makes him sleep better for the rest of the day and he is actually more rested as a result.
  6. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Agreed miss tutu. Other than speaking to HV, not sure what else there is to say. I just worry that you could be making a rod for your own back bruno, if the routine continues as described xx
  7. Agree with misstutu too- take him swimming!! that'll knacker him out ;-) then he'll have a lovely long quality sleep and potentially stay awake longer? I agree with tartetatin too that you should take to someone who can help you rearrange his daily routine- deosn't sound sustainable to me. You must be going insane bruno- I know I spent most of my mat leave out and about and I have made some fab memories and freinds- don't waste the precious time xx PS have you read Gina Ford? i don't particularly agree with her but she may be able to suggest a routine suitable for a 5 month old that you can adapt.
  8. Or, maybe baby whisperer by tracey hogg - someone on here suggested it to me when I was having nap difficulties (ok, not me, obviously, my baby!). I think I would be cracking up by now if I wasn't able to get out - can't remember from your post, do you have mum or other family nearby who can keep him an afternoon so you can get out for a bit?
    If you're interested in the baby whisperer book, you can have my baby whisperer sleep book. You can pm me your address if you'd like it.

  9. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Ooh, I've heard many good things about Tracey Hogg. Good thinking, GK!
  10. You poor thing Bruno, it sounds v difficult. I have the opposite issue - a baby that never sleeps! She really battles and altho she can stay awake for a long time she does eventually get really grizzly. However, I decided early on that she would have to fit in with me, that sounds selfish but what I mean is that I really wanted to enjoy my mat leave with her and for me that means getting out and seeing people. I have made a rod for my own back in the opposite way to you, she hates sleeping in her cot and the concept of napping is totally foreign to her, unless we are on the move. One of the things that I have done is deliberately book groups that are at least a half hour drive away, it's not great in terms of petrol consupmtion but at least I know that she will have had a good sleep in the car and should arrive happy.
    I would agree with the others that you need to get out and about, in spite of his crying. A happy mummy is a must for a happy baby and it must be miserable for you being stuck in all day, every day. On the days where we have nothing booked and we stay at home I go stir crazy! Have you tried mother and baby cinema viewings? You can normally take the pram in with you so if you went for a stroll beforehand then he may stay asleep for the first bit of the film. There's one near me and I would highly recommend it, its v sociable as lots of mums go on their own so there are always plenty of people who fancy a chat after (or during if its a bad one!) the film.
    Lots of luck x
  11. How so?? I understand people's concerns about me not getting out and about etc. but I don't see how it would be a rod for my own back to have him sleeping at home and as a result be happy and content when he is awake. He has learned how to settle himself to sleep and I have always been advised by HVs that this is a better approach than them getting used to be being pushed to sleep in the pram.
    Thanks for the suggestion about swimming, I have actually booked onto a 6 week course from next Wed and we do take him swimming quite often on Sundays and he loves it. I am also planning on going to baby bounce and rhyme on Tuesdays as have found one that should fit in with his routine.
    Can't remember who asked about family nearby- yes my Mum comes round a couple of times a week and my sister and her LO come about every other week, in fact they came today and it was her baby that cried and woke mine up for a change!
    Thanks for all the useful comments/suggestions, I guess I just wanted to see whether 1-1 and 1/2 hours awake at a time is normal and I think the consensus is that it's not, but I think I would rather stick with it until he can be awake longer, rather than trying to take him out and about too much and him being unhappy/overtired for rest of the day. x
  12. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Sorry if I've overstepped the mark Bruno. I didn't realise that he was 'happy and content' through the day, but in fairness it didn't say that in your OP.
    Good on you for acting on the advice given and booking a few things [​IMG]. I realise it can't be easy. The cinema suggestion was also a good one and you should check to see if your local cinema offers baby cinema. I've heard that it doesn't matter in the least if the babies cry during the movie; it's all about the mums getting out, even if they can't hear themselves think!
  13. I used baby whisperer and it gave me my sanity back- but that was when she was very wee. It makes sense and helps you understand baby patterns but sounds like you know your baby better than I did when I turned to the book in desperation!!

  14. No I didn't think you had, I just wondered why getting him to sleep in his cot was making a rod for my own back or getting him into bad habits so to speak. It wasn't clear in my OP that he was happy and content when he's awake but this was what I was trying to get across (albeit obviously quite badly!!) that he is happy and content but ONLY for an hour or so at a time so I was looking to see whether others LOs were the same, or to get an indiction of when this content awake time might get longer. Getting him to sleep etc is no longer a problem it's just that he needs so much sleep that it restricts what I can do. I have all the books on routine- baby whisperer, gina ford, rachel waddilove etc etc but it's not ideas for a rotuine that I struggle with it's that the routines imply he should nap approx every 2 hours and he can't last that long. So do I try to keep him up longer and have him unhappy so we can get out and about or let him sleep every hour so he's happy but I have to stay in??
  15. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    Hey Bruno - my LO is just over 5 months and up until very recently could
    only stay awake between 1 hour 20 and 1 hour 30 without getting over
    tired and very grumpy/screamy! He's just starting to stay awake up to
    about 2 hours now and then I make him have a sleep (he doesn't go to
    sleep easily even though he cries with tiredness). I wouldn't worry about him not socialising enough just
    yet as he is still really little. I hardly went out for the first 3
    months and have only recently started going to groups regularly. My LO
    has not been sleeping well at night so most of the time I'm too
    knackered to leave the house! I do understand your situation - it's really hard to keep them awake when they are so tired, my LO sounds a bit like yours x
  16. Hi handrail thanks so much for that, it really helps to hear of others who have the same problems (not that I'd wish them on anyone- but you know what I mean!) I just don't see the point in keeping him awake when he's so tired but I suppose that's the choice- keep him awake and put up with his crying/screaming in the hope he will start to 'learn' to go longer, or put him down when he needs to sleep and accept that I am not going to enjoy my mat leave as much as I thought and can't get out and about as much as I'd like. I do see other people (I'm not a complete hermit!!) but like I said I can only do anything for an hour max at certain times of the day.
    He is only 5 months and I'm having nearly 13 months off, so am hoping that by 7/8 months he will be able to stay awake more like 2-3 hours so I can start to enjoy my days more. Weekends are fab as husband and I take him out and about and I really enjoy that, I just find myself crossing off the days til the weekend at the mo. On a positive note I started him on some baby rice and he LOVED it!!
  17. Hi Bruno, i just wanted to say that my Lo has always struggled to stay awake longer than 2 hours [I know this must seem great to you]. My point is though that now he is going 2 1/2 to 3 hours quite happily but it's just happened in the last week or so. He was 6 months this week.
    Sounds like you are doing a fab job [​IMG]
  18. Hi, thanks for that, it is good to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!! I think when the day comes that he can be awake for 2-3 hours I will think all my Christmasses have come at once!!
  19. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Aww, bless!
    We've all been there, if that's of any comfort. They all have their wee quirks. My 19 month old has only JUST started sleeping through the night ... and even then, it's still not 100% guaranteed! She's the baby where if she'd been our first, there'd have been no more!!! (does that make sense even remotely, I'm tired?!). Adore her to bits, but you know what I mean!
    It's a labour of love, this motherhood malarkey!
  20. Bruno, nobody has the perfect baby/routine/solution and what works for 1 person won't work for another. I think that people maybe suggested that your routine is unsustainable because for them it would be. I include myself there, as I would be really quite unhappy if I wasn't able to get out and about. In your OP you didn't sound particularly happy with the situation, but if your routine does work for you then that's all that matters.

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