Sleeping FAQ: 0-8 weeks – Early Morning Waking

Will my 7-week-old daughter settling at 6.40pm cause early-morning wakings?

The routines are working well so far. The only thing is that – as the routine suggests – I give her the 6.15pm feed (which she is well ready for!) but as I am bottle feeding, she will take a 6oz bottle and fall asleep at 6.40pm rather than 7pm and I am worried that she may start to wake earlier than 7am. At the moment I have to wake her and would like to keep it that way. Do I need to keep her awake so she goes down at 7pm or is it ok to let her settle earlier?

Your daughter seems to be doing exceptionally well for 7 weeks, settling for the night after her 10.30pm feed and being woken at 7am. Be guided by her needs as well as following the routines. If she needs to settle to sleep at 6.40pm and this has no effect like her waking earlier than 10pm or in the morning leave things as they are.

If she does begin to wake earlier in the morning, be aware that she does need to be fully awake for at least 45 minutes at 10.30pm. Sometimes this waking time needs to be extended with a split feed starting at 10pm and finishing around 11.30pm. This has the effect of helping a baby sleep on in the early hours of the morning if they have begun to wake earlier.

Sleeping FAQ: 0-8 weeks – Early Morning Waking

At 7 weeks old my son is waking at 6am and wants his morning nap by 8.30am

My son is 7 weeks old and following the routine generally quite well. He usually wakes up in the night at around 3.30/4am for a feed [I normally give 3 oz], he then generally wakes at 6/6.30am and will not settle until I feed him. What do I do about his morning nap which is now meant to be 45min? He doesn’t make it until 9am and is very overtired by that time. Do I put him to sleep at 8.30am and allow him to sleep until 10am? What else do you suggest?

At present he feeds at 6.30am 5oz, 10.30am breast with formula top up 5oz, 2.30pm breast with formula top up 5oz, 6.15pm 5oz, 10.30pm 5oz, 3.30am 3oz. He weighs 3.9kg

He naps at 8.30-9.45am, 12-2.30pm and 4.15-5pm. He settles well at 7pm.

It is quite normal for a baby of your son’s age to wake about 6/6.30am. Feed him when he wakes, but treat the feed as you would in the night. Keep the room dark and eye contact to the minimum so he is likely to settle back to sleep again. Only change him if it is absolutely necessary. Wake him at 7.30am and offer him a small top up of 2-3 ozs which will get him to his next feed. Once he settles after his 6am feed he should be able to stay up after 7.30am to nearer 9am. Many babies of this age need more sleep at the morning nap, you must be guided by your own baby’s needs as well as following the routines. These are a guide to work towards. Rather than trying to keep him up until 9am straight away, work towards it by keeping him up 5 minutes more every three to four days. This will help him get used to the lesser amount of sleep gradually and avoid him becoming overtired and unable to settle. He may still need slightly more sleep than 45mins but once he is settling back to sleep at 6/6.30am you should find it easier to give him a shorter morning nap.