Sleeping FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Daytime Sleep

My 9-week-old can only stay awake for an hour at a time

Gina’s routine works well for my 9-week-old son. At night he is taking 4oz after his bath and falling asleep by 7pm, waking at 10.30pm for another 4oz. He then he goes until 4/5/6am (it varies at the moment). We start the days at 7am but my problem is that he falls asleep without exception about an hour after the first feed starts, similarly this happens after the 10am feed, so his naps are always early and this throws everything else out of sync, and we never make it to 2pm for the next feed as he is awake by 1pm. He does however manage to get back on track for 5pm.
He sleeps at 8.15-9am, 11.15-1pm, 3-4pm and is settled by 7pm. He presently breast feeds at 7am, 10am, 1 and 2pm split feed, 5pm, 6pm 4 ozs formula, 10.30pm 4ozs formula, 4/5/6am small breast feed. He weighs 13lbs 6ozs.
He also will not sleep in his nursery at lunchtime; he sleeps much better during the day where there is noise and activity (i.e. in the middle of a BBQ for 14 people!) How can I change this?

It can take sleepy babies a while before they are able to stay awake a full two hours and so fall asleep nearer to the routine timings. As your son is still not ready to do this, you will need to juggle his nap times a little. One way to try to get him to stay awake longer in the morning, would be to top and tail him just before 8am and see if this will revive him for a little longer. Let him have a 45 min nap, as you are doing now, and continue to feed him at 10am. Then allow him a short cat nap of 15 minutes around 10.45-11am. This should help him to get through to at least 12-12.15pm when you can settle him for his longer lunchtime nap. Even if he only manages 1 hr 45 minutes, as he is doing at present, he will be much nearer to 2pm before having a feed.

Working on getting your son to sleep in his nursery may take some time if he has grown accustomed to falling asleep in the midst of noise. It would be a good idea to start now, as in a few weeks his sleep cycles may begin to change and he could easily start waking after 45 minutes especially if he is in a noisier environment. You could try settling him to sleep with a CD playing in his room. Choose one of the calming discs available and gradually turn down the volume day by day, so he learns to adjust to quieter surroundings. Check that he is firmly tucked in. If he still finds it hard to settle for two hours, check it is not hunger waking him, by offering him a small top-up feed before going down.
Gina, Frances and the team