Bedtime ?? for 3-month old

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2007
Bedtime ?? for 3-month old
Sun, 04-05-2009 - 7:28pm

Hi Everyone-

I have been MIA lately--still dealing with Maddie's colic, which thankfully has been getting better. (Down to 3-4 hours a day of crying--thank goodness--and many more smiles).

I have been reading MW and wanted to get imput on bedtimes for 3-month olds. It seems like a sketchy area--Maddie was really good at sleeping-usually going down between 10-11 until 6-7am. however, my books say she should be sleeping 10 hours a night now. I tried going a little earlier about a week ago, about 8:30 and she was up 3 times over the night (a disaster!). This seemed to coincide with a growth spurt for 5 days, where she ate a lot and woke up frequently, but now DH doesn't want to try going to bed earlier.

I know CIO shouldn't start until about 4 months but for the BDTD moms, what time did you put your 3-month old down? (FYI: Maddie is not a good daytime napper so she could use more sleep).

I am now just getting over a very delibitating 4th round of mastitis and don't want to change things up unnecessarily! :)

Thanks in advance for your help!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2007
Sun, 04-05-2009 - 9:14pm

Hey Stefanie,

We put Mack down at 7:30 (give or take with nursing). She used to go at 9:30 before we got her routine set up. It took a while to change it though and it was met with disapproval on her part. It does pay off though.

Do you have a solid bedtime routine? I know it helps Mack and Fiona. Fi has been doing exactly the same thing for 3 years. Mack gets bathed at 6:45, dolled up in jammies, breastfed, kisses Fiona goodnight and I rock her to sleep at 7:30 while DH reads to Fi. Having that routine really helped Mack get used to the earlier bed time.

You'll enjoy having more time to yourself too.

From my experience... and totally just my 2 cents...I put the books away for a while. With Fi I was always trying to do what "the book" said and it made it harder because my baby didn't fit the mold like the baby the book was written for. I wouldn't worry if she isn't getting exactly the 10 hours. Mack doesn't and I put her down early. Just do the best you can do for her and the rest will fall into place. :)

I hope her crying is gone soon. 3 months was a magical change for Fiona. Still waiting for Mack. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2007
Sun, 04-05-2009 - 9:59pm

I am trying to remember back that far - - I would say we had Sara down by 10pm and she slept until 8am - so 10 hours. She was a pretty good day sleeper too though - My Dr actually said we were "lucky" and most babies did not do this. I remember working our way back in 15 min increments at about 5 months. We didn't CIO until 8 months when her reflux had gone away and she didn't need to sit up straight for 20 mins after eating. By then she was at 7:30pm to 7 or 8am. She is the same now. She dropped her one night feed at about 6 months BUT this wasn't every night. She would not wake up maybe 3 or 4 nights a week but the other nights she did. I think it was MW that said they could need a night feed until at least 9 months. That was when we let her CIO in the middle of the night too. She got used to that in like ONE day because she was already going to sleep on her own.

I agree with Annie on the book thing - I know that the books helped me understand why she may or may not do something but I tried not to compare her to the books. Every baby is different and Maddie will fall into her own patterns. The colic doesn't help with her sleep at all - so as that continues to ease (YEAH ON EASING) I bet you see a better sleep pattern at night and during the day!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2006
Mon, 04-06-2009 - 12:27am

Hi Stefanie ~

Seriously, I got the same model of baby that you did, lol.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2009
Mon, 04-06-2009 - 11:05am

For me, I put Audrey in the crib at 7 pm. She was formula fed though so I know BFing is different. Then at 11 pm, I would do a "dream feed" (from some other book, you feed the baby while they are 1/2 asleep) and by 4 months she would sleep through to 7 am. Eventually we dropped the dream feed. She still gets 12 hours at night and sometimes a nap so she needs the 12.

When Ben came along, it is hard to juggle 2 of them! So I would put him in the swing at 7 pm and he would doze in and out all over the place till I went to bed around 11 then he was up several times in the night. About a month ago I put the hammer down ;-) And said I need to get him on a schedule like I did with Audrey. Here is his schedule, he is a little older
7 am up
9 am down
10 am up
1pm nap
3 pm up
try to keep him up till 7 pm then put him in the crib at 7. Dream feed 10 pm (sometimes he wakes up for bottle) then he sleeps through USUALLY till 7 am.

So my point is by 4 months, I think a schedule is the way to go. you say she is a bad napper. bad napper= bad nighttime sleeper usually. At first you kind of have to force the schedule but they get used to it. Put her down even if she doesnt seem sleepy. This worked for me, just an idea for you!

Hope it gets better....Audrey was colic for 4 months too. It will get better!! I am one that just thinks its really important to get them used to going in the crib EARLY (7pm).


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Mon, 04-06-2009 - 12:38pm

Hi Stephanie,
My Robert was a "challenge" as well. He and Finley cut of the same cloth LOL. By 4mo he was an absolute disaster. I got good MW advice and got his naps in order. Bad naps = bad night time (as Kristen said). Once I got him rolling he was to bed by 7pm or so. Previously I had him up way too late, like 9pm or later. I was constantly trying to wind him down, which would never happen because he was chronically exhausted. Which made naps the next day awful, which made night time awful and so on. Like Anne said, I would do a routine every night to wind him down. I had some success with those routines used as a cue. It was all around tough till he got better sleep overall. At least this was my experience with Robert. Ugh he was a CHALLENGE with the crying, the fussiness, the fighting sleep all the time, you name it. You can't tell people about this until the have one of their own. My older kids were "regular" babies and when I heard people struggling with the Robert-type, I would think glibly "what is your *problem* you big loser. LOL! who needs a book?? I know better now. Walk a mile in the shoes kind of thing.

Elliot is a much easier baby. I would say he is "normal" like most other kids I've known or raised. He has almost always gone to bed between 630 and 730. He didn't STTN without a feed until 8mo or so (he is BFed). Now he is in bed at 630-6/630. when he's tired, he goes to bed without fuss. Like normal babies LOL. Of course, *I'm* smarter now too.

With a 3mo baby, I would just try to get as much sleep as you can with her. Don't let her get chronically overtired. I would put her to bed earlier, even if you gotta get up in the middle of the night for feeds. My opinion is 3mo baby can get up for a feed and its better than having an overtired baby or bad habits. My opinion though, having been to baby hell. GL, HTH!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2004
Mon, 04-06-2009 - 9:00pm

Emma is almost 9 mos old and she still gets up 1-3 times at night to eat during growth spurts. Sofia did the same thing. It only lasts for a few nights and then she is back to sleeping all night.
It usually stops around 9-12 months, and then they usually sleep all night. Of course there isn't a set schedule for any of this and every kid is different. :)
I've had Emma on a pretty set bed time routine since she was around 4-5 months old. She used to eat about every 3-4 hours, then towards the evening she would start eating more frequently. She would get a bath around 6 and then her last bottle and to bed around 6:30-7. That is still our routine. She usually sleeps until 6-6:30 am. I've noticed that even if she has a later bed time she still wakes up the same time. Sofia used to be the same way, still is. Also, if they don't nap good they don't sleep as good at night.
How is your nap routine? I know if I wait to late in the morning Emma doesn't nap well. Of course sometimes I can't avoid it due to our schedule, but I try to have her down for her first nap around 8:30-9. Then she usually sleeps for 2-2.5 hours. Then she takes her second nap around 1-1:30, around 1.5-2 hours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2007
Sat, 04-11-2009 - 6:46pm


We have pretty much the same situation as you.