Ask SIFTW: Early wakers rejoice at the imminent time change

March 3, 2008

Kirsty and Myk write:

Our lovely son is turning 1 year on the 25th of February. He has been a very good baby with the exception that he was a terrible sleeper. We say “was” because after many months of compassionate sleep training – He seems to be sleeping better. However, it’s only been a few weeks. We’re sure some awful sleep regression is heading our way.

His bedtime used to be 9pm, and after reading every baby sleep book decided to try for the early bed time. We made it 8pm and then when the last time change occurred, we used it as an opportunity to make his bedtime 7pm. All the books said he’d probably sleep just as long, if not longer. Ha! Of course that was not our case. He just woke up earlier. So now that he is sleeping better he is averaging 10.5 hrs a night (It used to be 11 hrs with frequent night wakings). So we put him to bed at 7pm and he wakes at 5:30am. If we’re lucky we can get him to sleep until 6am. But not usually. We hate the 5am wake ups! They are the worst. We’d like to push his bedtime back to 8pm.

With the time change occurring in March we are thinking of keeping him on the same schedule. He’ll feel like its 7pm when we put him down at 8pm. Then *hopefully* he’ll sleep until 6:30am and if we’re lucky 7pm. In your opinion does this seem like a good idea?

You know what – there is a reason it’s been taking me FOREVER to respond to this question.

The universe works in mysterious ways.

The Imp is now going to bed at 7pm (that’s as late as he can stay up without having a stellar meltdown performance) and getting up at … you guessed it … 5.30 bloody AM.

And guess what my first thought is … Kirsty is onto something with the March time change.

Frankly, I don’t really have the energy or patience to make changes any other way.

I love an email that says “all the books said”. What the hell do books know? They never knew my son. Or at least the Imp had never read those books. I guess yours hasn’t either. This bedtime thing seems to be a juggling act. My considerations seem to be – how long can they survive in the afternoon/evening before having a major meltdown? And what time does this mean they are going to wake up in the morning? Seriously, if I could put the Imp to bed at 5pm and have him sleep through until 7am the next morning, I wouldn’t have a problem with that! I sure would get a lot done in the evenings.

I would say that if your son is waking up at 5.30am happy and ready to play and making it through the day ok without having tired- related meltdowns, then he’s getting enough sleep and that is his rhythm. Of course you can try puttin him to bed a little later and see if it helps, and by all means the time change may work in your favour.

But also be prepared for the scenario that it may not work. An interesting thing happened when we travelled half way around the world. I thought to myself: Wonderful! Since the Imp’s body clock will be messed with anyway, I’ll just put him to bed around 10pm each night and that way we can take him out to dinner with us each night and he’ll just sleep in each morning. It worked like that for a few nights, but as he adjusted to the local time, he seemed to NEED to go to bed around 7pm. So maybe it’s something to do with the daylight, the sunrise and sunset or whatever.

So just in case, you are still getting up at 5.30am next month, try and get earlier nights yourself, and maybe get a coffee maker that switches itself on in the mornings. Best of luck. I hope it works for you (and us!)

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The Ninja is back and this time it’s workable

November 21, 2007

It’s been a while I’ll grant you and no it’s not because we’ve been getting loads of lovely sleep (actually we have had one technical sleep through but it was only until about 5 o’clock so personally I don’t think it counts, I mean who the hell thinks 5 o’clock is an appropriate time at which to get up?) no, we’ve been away basically because I’ve returned to work and there has just been no time to get all poetic about lack of sleep.

Two things have arisen since returning to work though, well three actually. Firstly, baby Ninja and I are both enjoying our new arrangement despite initial concerns, last minute changes to childcare arrangements and a couple of weeks of learning to be without one another. Secondly, worrying about how I’d cope without a full night sleep and having to work was, like so many things, a waste of my energy because you just do cope.  And thirdly, because I’ve been busy with work I’ve had less time to worry too much about sleep and have consequently, well, just not worried about it.

We’ve also just accepted co-sleeping again and instead of fighting it we’ve bought baby Ninja her own double bed which we can join her in during the night. Her wakings are (teeth and illness aside) less frequent and shorter in duration. This is something age and maturity have given her. So on the whole it’s feeling pretty positive at the moment. Although she is still an unsociably early riser but one thing at a time and all that.

So sleep habits in the Ninja household have become workable after all this time and we’re working on them getting even better with time.


Going Postal (x 3)

November 20, 2007

Whenever I think I’m having a tough day with the Imp, I should really re-read this Going Postal


And the dad’s point of view…

October 25, 2007

can be found here…


Perhaps the Imp is a dolphin?

October 23, 2007

Insomnia Mania: Newborn Mammals Don’t Sleep for a Month


Don’t night wean!

October 17, 2007

And PS. Moxie says not to night wean at 9 months (a typical sleep regression time). She says wait a month. To Moxie we listen!


God I must be tired!

September 9, 2007

Sorry just realised I didn’t mention teething at all in my last post regardless of the title!

He’s teething his last molars.

There, done!