Early night waking...is this normal?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by waitingfortwins, May 22, 2013.

  1. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    I have 4 month old twins and I have a question regarding early night waking. I believe my twins are going through a sleep regression as they often wake up more than 2x a night on occasion. My DD at times wakes up 4-5 x a night or other nights 1-2x a night while my DS will wake up 1-2x a night.

    My issue is when I put them down to bed for the night. I usually try to put them down to sleep between 630 and 7. What ends up happening they have their bottle and will fall asleep at the bottle, then we move them to the crib asleep and within 15 min to an hour they can wake up multiple times (up to 3). We then feed them more and they go down.

    I am not sure if they are waking up b/c they are overtired, not tired, or hungry. Before bedtime they usually have a nap until no later than 6 so sometimes they nap from 5-530 or 530-555. My DH thinks they are not tired and that is why they are waking up. I think they are over tired.

    Has anyone gone through this? This has been happening ever since we moved their bedtime earlier from 8 to 630 or 7pm. I feel like my DS likes to go to bed at this time but my DD doesn't. I go by the notion of early bedtime so don't want to put them to bed no later than 7.
  2. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Night waking almost always means they have a sleep deficit.

    If they are too tired to finish their bottle, can you give it to them earlier?

    Do they wake up on their own? I would make this their bed time, at least for a few days. Night waking is an indication of needing more sleep. A super early bed time is a great fix for this.
    I know it sounds crazy. I have been doing it for almost a year and a half and i still sometimes don't understand how it can work. How can they possibly sleep for 12+ hours straight?

    My kids have been going to sleep at 5:45 for a year. Wake up time 6:30am, play happily in their cribs until 7am. If I put them down 15 minutes late for 2 nights in a row we get night wakings. Really, how can 15 minutes make that kind of difference? :unknw: It does.

    Early bedtimes work. Try it. What do you have to loose?
  3. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    We've tried a 6 bedtime and they woke up 3x within the first hour of putting them down. That's why DH thinks they should go to bed later. He also thinks that if they cry for 10 minutes during the bedtime routine then they sleep better. I feel this is a sign of being overtired.

    In regards to their bottle, both never finish their bottle but i purposefully give them more b/c they always wake up when we put them down.

    So Amy, you truly think they are too tired and move their bedtime earlier? I don't know bc we did do 6 and they didn't go down when we put them down- they still woke up within the first hour.

    In regards to their nap btw 5-6, most times I wake them but I believe that's bc we wear them or they sleep on us, hence they can sleep longer. I think I put one in the swing and they naturally woke up before 6.
  4. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    How many days did you try the early bed time? It will take at least 5 days before you know if it will work... Longer if they are severely over tired.

    Yes. I agree with you they are over tired.
    I think an early bed time is your best chance of getting them caught up on sleep. (Combined with putting them down for naps after 1.5 hours of awake time or less.)
    If it were me, i would get them ready for bed beforr their last nap and call that bed time. If they woke I would treat it as a night feeding.. lights dim, no talking.
    Every thing you are describing says over tired... Waking shortly after going to sleep, crying when put down to sleep, falling asleep while eating.
    Rested babies will sleep longer periods both at night and for naps. They fall asleep without fussing (much) and they generally wake happy, content to just lie and watch the ceiling or talk quietly. AND they yawn when they are getting tired. Have you seen your babies yawn lately? Over tired babies do not yawn because they rely on adrenaline to function.
    It is so easy for them to get behind but it takes work to get them caught up.

    Ask your husband how he feels when he wakes from a good nights sleep. Do they appear to be feeling that way?
    I get how hard it is to imagine babies need this much sleep. Even after seeing it I still sometimes think its crazy to put them down so early. Then they sleep through the night and wake happy and I believe again.
  5. rayceryin12

    rayceryin12 Well-Known Member

    Does everyone put their kiddos to bed that early? Mine go at 7:00. I can't imagine getting home at 5:15 from work and putting them to bed 1/2 hour later!
  6. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Ours don't and never have. I am in the same position of not gettin home until 5 so there's no way I can get everyone fed and down. Fortunately for us, our girls take after their parents and like to sleep late, normally until 8 am or later (so even with a 7:30 bedtime they sleep 12 or so hours at night). However, I am also the first to admit that we don't have sleep completely figured out and have never done a full day schedule with the twins. We'll probably look at implementing that now that they are becoming toddlers and need a little more structure.
  7. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    When our kids were 3 month old we started our bedtime routine at 6 so basically by 6:30pm they're in bed. We slowly increased that time by 15 min every other week and now we put our kids to bed at 8pm.
    It worked for us since our kids were pretty fussy at 6pm and we couldn't eat dinner so it was easier to put them down and then eat.

    waitingfortwins - This is from my own experience so I can't say if this will work for you or not but first I think you got to wake them up while feeding. Don't let them sleep. They need to fall alseep in the crib so when they wake they're not shocked by where they are. Secondly, how long do you let them fuss? We still wait for 10 min if we hear them fuss before going in to check on them (we do not pick them up, only rub their tummy and give them a quiet shhhhhh, and then leave). Usually they fall asleep after 10 min. If not, we wait 20 min before going in and repeating. The other thing it sounds like is they might be crying because of expectations. Whenever they awake they get a feed so if they don't get a feed they'll cry. Somehow, you need to ween them off the night feedings. We were able by their 4th month to stop all night feedings. Keep in mind our kids are huge :ibiggrin: so they probably have no problem going through the night without another feed. Maybe cut them down to one night feeding, say midnight, and then let them fuss if they wake any other time.
  8. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    Amy- I will try to shorten the wake period during the day from 2 hours to 1- 1.5 to see if this helps. It sort of screws with the feeds and all but I'm trying to set up a schedule. Don't know if the babies will follow it though :)

    I will treat them as one baby so if one wakes up before the other I will wake the other one. Do other moms of twins do this? I feel bad and I stopped doing this and letting the other sleep but sometimes they are soo out of schedule (one is eating while the other is being put down). What do you do in this case?
  9. rayceryin12

    rayceryin12 Well-Known Member

    I did. When one woke up, the other got woken up too. They are pretty much on the same schedule now (although teething throws everything out the window some days!)

    Thanks for the responses about the bedtime. We are in a sleep regression right now - we have tried alot of different things, and they won't go to sleep by themselves - we are rocking them. It just seems to be what they need right now! :grouphug:
  10. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I know shortening awake times messes up the schedule. We are talking about sleeping and mean while, you are thinking about all the other things that have to happen also! It is a lot to juggle. You can only do what you can. If possible get those shorter awake times in toward the beginning of the day, that is when they will be most effective.

    In most cases the recommendation for twins is absolutely the same schedule. However, when they get over tired and are responding by shortening sleep times this can back fire. One baby is overtired and therefore waking earlier than necessary. If you wake the second baby because the first is awake then you are setting yourself up to have two overtired babies.

    I woke up the second baby if:
    1) i felt the sleep time had been acceptable in length AND it was feeding time (or we were going somewhere)
    2) if i thought the baby who was still sleeping was well rested AND waking him/her would help get them on the same schedule.
    3) it was the middle of the night and i was reasonably sure the second baby would need to be fed at some point (no sense in mom getting up twice if i could do it together ^_^ )

    To create the same schedule i concentrated mostly on feeding at the same time and putting them down to sleep at the same time.
    My DS has always needed more sleep than DD. I allowed him this time by separating them for naps. He almost always slept longer than she did. When it was time for the next nap I put them down at the same time. I figured if he needed that extra sleep than he also needed to go back to sleep sooner rather than latter.
    It wasn't perfect but it worked for us. There were also days when he was so far behind i just threw out the schedule and spent the day putting him back to bed. I usually kept her on the regular schedule. Once he was caught up i put him back on the regular schedule. It made for a crappy day but it was worth it to have my DS happy again.

    You will figure out what works for your LOs.
    Remember with any changes it takes at least 5 days to see a result, so make a commitment and stick with it.
  11. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    That is what i do, but i know a lot of people who don't because of work schedules or personal preference. As long as they can get 12 hours the kids seem to do fine.

    I recommend 6 pm because it is most likely the time that biology is signaling babies to sleep.
    Biology tells all of us when to sleep. That is why teenagers are up until the middle of the night and prefer to sleep until noon. That is way the 5:00 breakfast places are full of gray haired people. Biology! Obviously, the exact time varies slightly for every one but the rule stands. The young and the old go to bed and get-up early.

    Once you have a baby (or TWO!) with a sleep deficit you need every advantage to get them back to sleeping well. If you use it, biology (the desire to sleep at certain times) can be a big advantage.

    Note: I read somewhere about a study. They put people in a building with no windows and no clocks. They slept when they were tired and ate when they were hungry. Guess what! The older people got up early and went to bed early (no light indicators, no clocks!) and the younger people (late teens, early 20s) went to bed late and got up late. Biology is powerful! That is crazy but true!
  12. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on when they get up. Ours went to bed at 6:00/6:30 for most of the first year and got up at 6:30. Sometimes they went to bed as early as 5:30. It was crazy for awhile that we were basically coming home from work and putting them to bed, but it makes for such happier babies and doesn't last long. I think the real key is 12-13 hours of sleep at night.
  13. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I totally agree with Rachael, My two went down at the latest 6:00 and would eventually wake up at 6:30 the next morning. Of course, my two didn't sleep through the night until they were closer to 8 months. But at 4 months, they were in the crib by 6:00, awake at 10, 2:30 sometimes, and then 6:30. I am still jealous of you people who have babies that sleep through the night early. :)
  14. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    so my DH gave me this link to read through


    basically saying- make your baby stay up longer, don't resort to earlier bedtimes blah blah blah..is this true? He doesn't necessarily agree with Dr. Weissbluth's notion of earlier bedtime and short awake times..

    but my babies nap 4-5x a day since they are short and are crabby after an hour or hour and a half..
  15. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    There's a big difference in how we treated night sleep and naps. By 3-4 months, we did two naps a day. Generally 9:00 and 1:00, but we were open to earlier if necessary. We'd try to keep them from sleeping on errands, etc.

    That has NOTHING to do with my strong support of early bedtimes. In fact, two naps made early bedtime more important. Night sleep is the most important thing to me. Get that right, then worry about naps.
  16. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    this thing ate my response twice... maybe the universe is telling me to keep my opinions to my self, but i am a big mouth so here goes anyway.

    if you had posted this saying it was a good article, i would have said.. 'well then, good luck' and stopped the conversation.
    but i think you posted this because you don't agree with your husband and you are looking for a response. If you are looking for ways to convince your husband i hope these will help.

    How old is the child the author is discussing? I didn't see the age! Talking about sleep without mentioning age is like giving animal training instructions without mentioning which animal you are training.. cat? dog? horse? tiger?
    Sleep is VERY different for different ages!

    My guess is this article is referring to a child between the ages of 5 to 8 months and 12 to 16 months because this
    works really well for the above mentioned age. It is also what Weissbluth (and every sleep expert) recommends for this age. Nope the author didn't discover something amazing. She just discovered what every expert and mom whos child has lived through this age already knows.
    This schedule will begin to work for babies sometime between 5 and 8 months, not before!

    I particularly like this quote
    because the author is right. It does work for a teeny tiny baby and that includes four month old babies.

    If your DH does not want to believe Weissbluth (who spends his life studying sleep), maybe he will believe what your kids are telling you. They are tired!
    Crabby (without pain) = needs sleep.
    From your posts it sounds like you have already tried stretching awake times (longer than 1.5 hours and late to bed). Maybe you should try the opposite.

    Also I have to say, i don't understand following the advice of someone who has great experience with ONE CHILD but not following the advice of someone who studies hundreds and hundreds of children. If you don't like Weissbluth pick someone else but not some random blogger.
    Not to mention a blogger who cuses like a sailor and begins with
    Sleep issues are tough and even harder when your partner is not supportive. I hope you guys can get on the same page and support each other.

    A sleep log helped me see through my overtired haze and begin to see patterns for what worked and what didn't.

    Edited to fix curse words so you would know what was said! Smart program TS... it '*' the curse words :p
  17. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I know it can be confusing when people say different things, so I want to say that I completely agree with the above. My kids were doing two naps at 3-4 months, but they were always on the early end of less napping (one nap at a year, naps done just after two). At 3-4 months, Weissbluth suggests two naps and then a late afternoon cat nap I believe. I would try to consolidate into 3 naps but only AFTER you get night sleep solid.
    1 person likes this.
  18. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    it's very hard for my LO's to only nap three times a day. They need at least 4 sometimes 5. I think they need more naps b/c of their cat naps and now bc of their night waking (up to 3x a night).

    I know developmentally 4 mth olds take short naps- just not sure when they snap otta that? Every few days they do take longer naps but i think they are just super tired.

    A typical nap/feed schedule goes something like this

    - wake at 7
    - eat at 8 (they don't eat at 7 only bc they wake up btw 4-5 am and eat then and go back down until 7ish)
    - nap from 830-900 (or variation of this time)
    - feed at 1030ish
    - nap from 1045/11 till 1115/1130
    - feed at 115/130
    - nap at 130ish- stroller walk so aim for 45min to an hr
    - feed at 430ish
    - ergo nap anywhere btw 5-6 for a half hour.

    Their awake times are on a two hr window so i try hard to get them down before that 2 hr window but its hard when they nap little and feed every three hours.

    So if i were to only do awake times of 1-1.5 that would mean two mini naps before each feed- so multiple naps which isn't the greatest i think.

    So far they are getting tired at those nap times but do get fussy at the 1.5 hr mark. Any tips on how to schedule shorter awake times, 4 naps and eat every three hrs?
  19. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I wasn't ignoring you. I was going to get my old charts and give you an example of one of our days when we got behind on sleep. The charts are in the kids room and i keep forgetting about them until they are asleep.
    So instead i played around with what you wrote.

    This is an example of what i would do in your situation. However, remember at this age there is no hard fast schedule you need to follow their cues and be able to adjust when they have a good or bad nap. That is why a chart is helpful to see what is working and what isn't and to remember who got up when.

    I know that is a LOT of putting them to bed but if they are truly only sleeping 30 minutes they are WAY behind. Hopefully if you do this for a few of days (might take a week) their naps will get longer and you won't be constantly putting them back down. As they sleep longer (and get a little older) you will work toward three naps daily.
    approx 9,12,3:00 but let them take you there. the first nap to get longer and more consistent will be the morning nap. At four months you need to follow their sleep cues and keep awake times short. If you try to make them follow your schedule it will not work.

    Make sleep and not eating the first priority on the schedule. (adjust the eating earlier or later but not the sleep, especially while their naps are only 30 minutes)

    MOST IMPORTANT! make that 5:00/5:30 nap their bed time!!!!!!
    Once they catch up on sleep you will move it to closer to 6:00 but for now this is your best chance to get them some sleep.

    Sorry it took me so long to respond. If i can find those charts (remember to look for them :rolleyes:) i will post one
  20. dab_20

    dab_20 Member

    I don't have much advice for you, my girls are only 11 weeks. But I am so surprised many of you put your babies to sleep so early. My girls don't go to bed till 9-10 pm and wake up around 6 am. Then after a bottle I'll put them back down (sometimes they will stay awake in their crib for awhile, other times they go right to sleep) till they wake up between 9-10. They have an afternoon nap that usually lasts from 2-4 and they are awake until 9 pm. Typically most the night results in fussing so I thought they may have some mild colic, but they simply won't go to sleep earlier than that.
  21. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Mine didn't go to bed that early until probably 11-12 weeks when we started settling into a routine better. Before that, it was 8, and before that, the whole evening was the witching hour. I do know people who successfully made a 9-9 schedule work, but I'm a big proponent of early bedtime (for kids and parents).
  22. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    ^^ this was how it was for us too.

    Danielle B, I noticed your ticker. If i am reading it right, your twins are not quite 5 weeks adjusted age. Sleep is biological so when you start looking for where they are in sleep development, make sure you consider adjusted age.
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