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Old 01-31-2005, 09:45 AM   #1
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Forcing a baby to stay awake

My sister has been forcing her 6 week old baby to stay awake until midnight every night. When her baby tries to sleep in the evening, she purposely wakes her up again and again. Then, when I am baby-sitting, my niece is extremely fussy and cranky. When I let her sleep, my sister yells at me saying how 'now she'll be up all night.' She even yells at our mother, throwing hissy fits when we let her daughter sleep. My son is due in May and I am wondering if this is okay?

 
Old 01-31-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnDewald1
My sister has been forcing her 6 week old baby to stay awake until midnight every night. When her baby tries to sleep in the evening, she purposely wakes her up again and again. Then, when I am baby-sitting, my niece is extremely fussy and cranky. When I let her sleep, my sister yells at me saying how 'now she'll be up all night.' She even yells at our mother, throwing hissy fits when we let her daughter sleep. My son is due in May and I am wondering if this is okay?
Your sister appears to be cranky and sleep deprived. Anyone with a baby can identify with that. I disagree with "forcing" a 6 week old baby to stay awake during the day. The baby should also definately be put to bed before midnight. It would be best to get a sleep and nap schedule set up. Babies need regular sleep in order to grow and be healthy. The baby should get at least 1 to 3 short cat naps during the day or one long nap. She is lucky to have a sister as patient as you. Good luck.

 
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Old 01-31-2005, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

I do sympathize with your sister.... it's hard being sleep deprived. However, an over tired newborn is much much more difficult than one who just has her days and nights mixed up.

She really shouldn't expect her to sleep more that 4 hours at a time at night (some babies sleep up to 6 by 6 weeks, but not many!) as her tummy will wake her up b/c she just can't hold much food.

Allowing her to sleep during the day will help her set her own internal clock. Newborns can need up to 14 hours of sleep a day or more. I put my son to bed around 10:00 at that age. Then he woke up at 2 for a feeding, again at 6, and at 8 or 9 and stay awake for a while. But he'd go right back to sleep every time he woke up. And he'd still take 3 or 4 1-2 hour naps a day.

I have to wonder if her baby is overtired and even more difficult to get to sleep because of that. I do know it makes them SOOO cranky.

Good luck with your sister! These are difficult days.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

From my experience, when they are that young, forcing them to stay awake can actually make their sleeping habits worse than if they are allowed to sleep when they need it. As someone already said, newborns need a lot of sleep, and should be allowed to sleep when they need to. That's the way babies develop a routine. I know it worked for us. My daughter is a year and a half old now, and we let her sleep when she needed it when she was a newborn, and since then she has developed a good napping and sleeping routine. And I'm due in July with our second and I know we plan on doing the same thing. But sometimes having a newborn is a lot tougher than you expect, and if your sister thinks it's a good idea, then maybe just suggest to her that she ask the pediatrician what would be best. Maybe they can suggest a better routine for her and the baby. Good luck!

 
Old 02-01-2005, 05:32 PM   #5
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

I have never believed in keeping a sleepy baby awake. Most six week olds actually sleep most of the time (up to 20 hours per day can be normal). Keeping a baby awake can result in overstimulation which will make the wakeful problem even worse.

If she wants the baby to sleep more and the baby is flat on her back in the crib she could try one of the following:

Let the baby sleep in the swing.
Let the baby sleep in the carseat (right in the crib is fine).
Prop her on her side.
Let her sleep on her tummy.
Sleep with her.

Nancy

 
Old 02-07-2005, 02:50 PM   #6
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Lightbulb Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

I disagree with a few of Nancys recommendations. You are to not let a baby sleep in a swing or carseat. These are actually not allowed to happen in many day cares, one of which I work for. Swings are bad for babies anyway. Only ones that go from side to side are okay not back and forth. Your sister is gonna pay when her child is 2 or 3 and doesn't want to sleep until midnight. Everyone in the world who has become a new parent has been sleep deprived but that comes with having a baby and IT WILL PASS. Putting your baby in a car seat or swing to fall asleep is wrong. It takes away from time that the parent should be holding and bonding with their baby especially at 6 weeks old. New babies heartbeats are regulated from whom ever holds them frequently. Children are supposed to be able to have their own routines. Does your sister starve the baby when she wants to eat? No. So why starve her of the sleep she NEEDS at the time she needs it. Your sister needs to let the baby sleep (in a crib or bassinet) and has to wake up in the middle of the night. Fun? No. But our moms did it for us and now its our turn. I hope that you let your baby sleep when he wants too. Your sleep schedule will suffer but isnt it worth it to have a happy, healthly and well rested baby? I have been in child care for 5 years so if you have any other concerns I have the inside scoop, and feel free to ask! Good Luck with the baby sitting and with your baby! Charmbracelet81

 
Old 02-15-2005, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

That is absolutely horrible. I would consider such behavior abuse. The baby being cranky due to no sleep is the least of anyone's worries. Infants need their sleep for mental developement.

I apologize for the harsh attutude, but this is absolutely sickening. Horrible. At a very minimum, your sister needs counseling.

 
Old 02-21-2005, 05:36 AM   #8
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

I was wondering when someone was gonna reply to this stating that it is considered abuse. I know she's family, but when it comes to children they are more than just family. I always worried if my child was getting enough sleep and I stayed up most of the night to make sure she did at first. Your sister needs to realize that having a baby = less sleep for HER. Please talk to her and explain the concerns you may have with her behavior.

 
Old 02-23-2005, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

Yeah your sister is extremely selfish. That poor baby is tired and needs to sleep. I was only 21 when I had my son and wasn't used to the whole baby thing but I would never dare keep him from sleeping. People have been having babies for millions of years and I admit its not fun getting up with a baby but guess what??? You have to deal with it. Everyone knows that they should expect sleep deprivation so why on earth did she have a baby if shes too lazy to take care of it? You should take her on healthboards and show her our comments so she understands exactly what shes doing.

 
Old 03-03-2005, 12:11 AM   #10
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

A baby can't be expected to sleep though the night until at least 10 weeks. Your sister has some unrealistic expectations. The first things the nurses told me was to sleep when the baby slept. If I did that, I would be getting plenty of sleep. It is difficult to do, especially when there are other children in the house, but day care and help from family members helps. I had friends who worked on changing their baby's sleep habits. When the baby reached 9 or 10 weeks, they tried to gently keep him awake from about 8pm because his sleep pattern was upside down. It seemed to work, but they never FORCED him. It was Christmas time so their family was around so they just played 'pass the baby' and entertained him. GRADUALLY, the baby's sleeping habits changed. It just takes time. A baby's seritonin levels don't work like ours until they get a bit older. Someone should explain it to your sister. She just can't expect the baby to sleep though the night yet.

 
Old 03-05-2005, 01:39 AM   #11
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

I agree that your sister's behavior is abusive. She might need some professional help. She needs to have more respect for the life she's been given to look after. Babies are not machines, they are delicate creatures. Waking a sleepy baby repeatedly is sick and dangerous. Her baby might get seriously sick because of the way she's treating her. I hope she doesn't have some bizarre feeding schedule as well. You are right to be concerned.

Last edited by dackard; 03-05-2005 at 01:42 AM.

 
Old 03-09-2005, 10:34 PM   #12
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

Look I Have 3 Kids That All Were Born Very Soon After Each Other When My Last Was Born My Daughter Was 3 My Son Was 17 Months So I Had 3 3 And Under I Had To Have A Hysteractomy By The Time I Was 30 So I Had To Do It Fast But Anyway As Any Other Mother Of More Then 1 Child Would Know It Is Very Very Hard For You To Wake Up And Whatnot Though The Night But Hey That Is What Babies Do I Think It Is Cruel And Unfair To Keep A Baby Awake Just So U Can Get Some Sleep Babies When They Are Asleep There Brains Grow The Most I Know Its Not U Its Your Sister And Im Glad That U Are Concerned With Niece And No And Big No For Doing That To A Child That Didnt Ask To Be Born Into This World Tell Her To Drink Some Coffee And Roll With The Punches It Doesnt Last That Long And If She Wants Her Baby To Grow Up With A Strong Brain Let That Baby Sleep Sorry To Go Off But I Hear That Kindof Stuff Sometimes I Do Hair And I Just Think That Is Cruel And So Does My Ped. I Told Her About A Client Saying That To Me Before And She Says That Shouldnt Be Done How Would She Like It If Someone Were To Keep Her Awake It Was Her Choose To Bring The Baby Into This World Take Care Of It The Right Way Or Give It To Your Mother Or You To Take Care Of Her Properly Sorry Perrin

 
Old 03-09-2005, 11:29 PM   #13
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Re: Forcing a baby to stay awake

hi there.. i completly agree that this is not good for baby at all - do you have plunket or some other parenting organization that you could go to and gather some information on how often baby should sleep, how often they should wake for feeds etc and give the info to your sister to read.. i no of NO place that would say what your sister is doing is good, give her facts to work on.. even talk to a doctor about it, this is not good for bubs and in the long run your sister is creating a rod for her own back.. i have a 2 and a half year old, i was up every 2-3 hours in the beggining, as there stomaches are able to handle more they begin to sleep for longer periods of time, they dont need to wake as often to be fed and as she grows she will become more alert and will stay awake for longer during the day, thus, making her tired and able to sleep longer at night.. i sure hope you can nock some sence into your sister, hang in there, ur neice is very lucky to have you

 
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