ACTIVITY => E.A.S.Y. Forum => Topic started by: sevenebulas on March 30, 2017, 19:50:43 pm

Title: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on March 30, 2017, 19:50:43 pm
I have a 3.5 month old LO, and its my third. My first two were good sleepers, and by now were down to 1 or 2 night wakings. But my third baby is not doing the same things and I am so confused what to do. I feel like I should be good at this by now.  :(

Baby has always taken short naps. In his first month he would often have one long nap per day, but his naps were never predictable, and now they are all 45 minutes. He has taken a few long naps this week--initially because he was sick with a cold. But now I feel like he is over it. He took two long naps and one short yesterday, and then this morning took one long one and I thought my troubles were over--but then he woke up after 45 minutes. He wakes up happy, and if I try to go in and shushpat or pu/pd it doesn't do anything. I have never been able to get him to extend naps with any method. He is good at going to bed on his own, has done that since 6 weeks old (unless he is hungry or breaks out of his swaddle).

When waking after a nap, he seems happy and I bring him out of nap, he is either fine for 45 minutes or will rub his eyes immediately so I know he is still tired but I can't get him to go back to sleep. (like today when he work early from what I hoped would be a long nap--he was rubbing his eyes all the time but I can't get him to go back to sleep. I have tried letting him play for a while, then putting him back, but he gets really mad being put back in so soon, especially if he hasn't eaten. So he has this 1.25 hour awake 45 min sleep cycle that repeats all day.  I keep trying to get him onto a eat every 3 hour schedule but he just can't make it that long. It's 2 or 2.5 hours even with me trying to delay his E later into A time 

The last day and a half when his naps were good, I tried to implement a 3 hour EASY with 90 minute nap and 90 minute wake, but he started rubbing his eyes at 45 minutes (i guess because he's used to a shorter A?). Today after his first long nap I just kept him up 90 minutes as an experiment, thinking if he couldn't stay up 90 minutes then he wouldn't be tired enough to have a long nap again, but then he woke up early anyway probably because he was OT.

Eating every two hours during the day is way too often but I don't know how to fix it. I can't do EASAS because he screams when i put him down to sleep without food, even if its ESAS, he still fusses and wants to eat during A. He fusses halfway through every wake time and gulps down his milk so I know he is hungry. He eats around 4 oz at once, sometimes more or less depending. More like 2 oz in the morning, he is not hungry when he wakes up--this confuses me a lot. Even if he had 3 oz of milk at 5:30, shouldn't he still want more than 2 oz at 7? He used to get about 6 oz of milk at night spread over 3 night wakings, but the last few weeks he wakes 3 -5 times and eats 8-10 oz throughout the night.

He usually only wakes 3x per night for food, every 2 or 3 hours, but sometimes more. He has a 10 pm waking after a 7 pm bt (I hate this one...I try to go to bed early because  am exhausted and can't nap and he always wakes up before I can sleep), and then it varies every 2 or 3 hours after that. There are many mornings where he wakes up at 5:30 and I go and feed him, but then when I put him back down he cries loudly because I think he has gas or wants to poop and isn't awake enough to deal with it and I have to shushpat until he falls asleep to keep him from waking up my husband. Then he wakes up again at 6:15 crying in the same way, and I often just bring him into my bed and pat him there because I am so desperate for another few minutes of sleep. (It's bad right now because we've been sick for ages and older kids have been waking up constantly for the past week).

I don't have a sample EASY schedule to post because I've never managed to get him out of his 2 hour cycle. He wakes around 7 am and has 7 pm bedtime, or sometimes earlier if its been too long since his last nap. I tried blacking out his room, putting up black plastic even so there would not be even small amount of light waking him up mid nap (thinking if might help), but now its so dark that if i want to go watch him and try to extend naps by putting my hand on him during transition, I can't even see him and can't tell if his eyes are open.  I tried w2s once for naps, but it didn't work and i didn't try it again. I don't have a video monitor (just audio) so I have always struggled with getting the timing to help him through transition. Sometimes I think he is asleep and he isn't, and visa versa.

Sorry this is so long. I've been scouring these boards for help lately and thought I'd finally post.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on March 31, 2017, 09:12:41 am
Welcome to the BW forums sevenebulas :)  It's great you decided to post!

I wonder if your LO has any symptoms of reflux or silent reflux?  Are you familiar with these?
One of the reasons I ask is the short napping when he clearly has the ability to go to sleep independently and to do a longer nap from time to time which means he can transition from one sleep cycle to the next so long as the conditions are right.  Another reason I ask is the frequent feeding.  Frequent feeding may well be because he is awake rather than asleep, being awake uses more calories of course so it would be quite understandable he would want to eat a bit sooner than the 3hrs however as I continued to read your descriptions I couldn't help but wonder if the frequent feeding is more than this (because many LOs short nap and still do the 3hr E) and could be that he is feeding to reduce the pain and discomfort of acid reflux.  Refluxers are known to feed frequently or want to suck.
What do you think?
There is some info here:
Reflux 101 - General reflux information

45 min naps can be for a number of reasons, here are some:
- the 4 month regression (common time for good nappers to suddenly short nap - mine had his at 3.5 months instead of 4 months, it often lasts 2 months)
- UT (under tired) the A time is not long enough
- inability to self sooth and transition from one sleep cycle to another
- pain or discomfort (even with the best self soother pain will bring them fully awake at the transition instead of going into another sleep cycle)
- external noise, heat, cold etc which disturbs baby

It sounds to me like your LO could be waking with a little discomfort from reflux, it's a possibility.
The other thing I'm thinking is possibly a little UT.  when you increase A times LO can sometimes have an OT nap or two from the newly extended A time but are usually easier to re-settle. Sometimes a longer A time will bring a longer nap right away.  I would stick with the 90 min A time for a few more days and see how it goes and then possibly increase by 10 mins and see what effect this has over a few days.

Waking happy (makes me think possibly not reflux but there is the frequent E to take into account too) is often a sign of UT and the eye rubbing at this age can be a bit misleading. Around 4 months LOs are more alert and can start to eye rub and yawn when they are bored and want a change of scene or activity rather than another sleep so if this happens mid A time and it is not yet time for nap I would do your best to keep him up and just do something different, walk around the house cuddling and chatting for a while or looking out the window etc.  If the eye rubbing comes directly after a short nap then yes I agree with you it would suggest he is still tired, but just not tired enough to get back to sleep and in that case an additional few mins A time could well help.  Tired LOs don't always need an earlier nap, sometimes later so that they nap well.

I think for now I would not try too hard to increase his E time but focus on extending the naps which can naturally help to extend the E time.
Here's a link for W2S, I know you have tried this once before, I think it's worth another try. Your LO is transitioning at 45 mins, the guidance is to go in at 30 mins and begin shush/pat to see him right through the transition (it's easier than trying to resettle a fully awake baby) and another 20 mins into deep sleep (that can be total 35 min) however you might be able to go in a bit later and just start shush/pat at say 35 mins.
Please look at naps option 1 in the link as it is not the method where you disturb LO but rather help him through:
How do I address habitual wakings? (wake-to-sleep and other methods)

With regards to the light and not being able to see him, I would just put the light on outside his room and leave the door open or have a night light in there that you can use when you are helping him with W2S or resettling him during naps.  Honestly, if he is short napping anyway then what is there to lose?  I always just left the door open so I could see what I was doing.

Hope some of this helps. Please do say if you need further clarification or have more questions.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on March 31, 2017, 14:18:49 pm
Thanks so much for your response. I will do the 90 minute A as you suggest and see what happens. And I peeled back some of the black plastic so there is a little light near his bed now and I can try W2S. I only put it up a couple weeks ago hoping it would extend his naps (i already had it mostly dark due to heavy curtains). What I did for W2S last time is just what it says for naps option 2. I tried option 1 for his nap this morning and he woke right immediately after I stopped doing shushpat unfortunately (I did 30 min--its possible i got wrong the time he fell asleep, but i can't leave the door open because my older 2 kids make so much racket and run back and forth past his door shrieking). I could not get him to fall back asleep by holding him and I don't know what else to try when shushpat doesn't work since he is so good at going to sleep on his own. I will keep trying W2S though. I wonder if I do shushpat wrong sometimes--he sleeps on his back so I tip him onto his side to pat his back, but then there is the inevitable tipping back down onto his back after i'm done that is fraught with danger.

That is really good to know about rubbing eyes from boredom! I will keep that in mind

I don't know about reflux--he doesn't have any of the issues from the list, although he used to get a lot of hiccups because I couldn't get all his burps out and he did do plenty of big spit ups, but not much anymore. He always seems so comfortable and happy. All my babies(DD, DS1, DS2) have had trouble with spitting up the first few months, but my first one who was the worst was never put on reflux meds--her dr just suggested mixing rice cereal into her formula to see if it would keep it down with the extra weight (but it didn't work, she just outgrew it by 5 months).  DS2 seems to be pretty comfortable most of the time, except very early am when he wants to poop while he's half asleep. This happened again this morning. I fed him 2.5 oz at 4:30 (all he wanted), tried to put him back down, but he squirmed and cried and wouldn't lay there quietly like he usually does earlier in the night. I shushpatted until he finally fell asleep at 5:15 after trying for half and hour. He has always been a snacker even with me always trying to get a full feed into him, he always splutters and chokes, swallows some air and then I stop to burp, and then anything else he takes after that is very slight. So he snacks more as a result. (I have wondered if trying a different bottle set would help with a wider nipple, but the only other kind I have is the comotomo and their med flow is too slow and fast flow is too fast).  Another complicating factor is that until now I have been doing both nursing and bottle during the day, one after the next. I have IGT which causes very low milk supply, but I really want to give him what I can so I nurse first(~10% of his needs) and then supplement with frozen pumped breast milk that mamas in my community have given me, so he has not needed to start formula yet and gets only breast milk. As a result his feedings have always been quite long. The last 2 weeks I stopped nursing in the daytime and pump instead because refuses to nurse and just wants bottle. He will still nurse at night though, so I still do both at night. I know it complicates things but I wonder if he is just so used to having his meal spread out over an hour (it used to take that long--i would struggle to feed him the whole time he was awake and then he'd sleep again) that he has trouble taking in large amounts now? I have done it this way with all 3 kids, except with DD I didn't have any donor milk so she was on formula right away instead of at 4 months like DS1.

Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on March 31, 2017, 17:49:16 pm
I wonder if I do shushpat wrong sometimes--he sleeps on his back so I tip him onto his side to pat his back, but then there is the inevitable tipping back down onto his back after i'm done that is fraught with danger.
I would try just laying him on his back and patting elsewhere. Patting on the nappy area or hip still gives the rhythmical reassurance, many people do this.

I'll ask for some bottle and breast feeding experience to pop in to see if they have any additional advice about the feeds for you.
It's great you can get donor milk!
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on March 31, 2017, 18:06:52 pm
That is a great suggestion. I will try that next time! Thank you! I tried W2S again (before seeing this response) and woke him up because I started having a bad coughing fit. He was quite OT at the next S. We will see how the day goes! And yes I feel very lucky to have donor milk for him. It is a very emotional issue for me. Thanks again for your help!
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: *Ali* on March 31, 2017, 21:29:38 pm
I agree with patting with him on his back. That's what we did.

It is natural for EBF babies to feed little and often. Breastmilk is digested much more quickly than formula.  3oz a feed would be about right if he's having about 8 feeds in 24hrs.  If he's having  6 feeds then maybe 4oz would be ok. Typically an EBF baby will need an average of 2oz every 2hrs (24oz over 24hrs) so no, I wouldn't necessarily expect him to want more than a couple of ozs if he'd only had a feed 1.5hrs previously.

Well done for persevering with giving breast milk in the face of such difficulties x

Also Google paced feeding. It's a more natural way of bottle feeding EBF babies.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on April 01, 2017, 18:30:58 pm
Thank you both for your responses. Ali- I will look into paced feeding, thank you!

Creations- I have been doing 90 minute A time for 2 days so far, and he seems to rub his eyes all the time from the minute he gets up until I put him down. He cries like he is OT but will still fall asleep by himself in less than 10 minutes. If he is getting over a cold, should his A times be less than if he is healthy? (like now he is getting over a cold, its not gone as I originally thought). As he adjusts to the new A time will he stop rubbing his eyes?
Also I can't do option 1 for W2S until my cough is better controlled, which may be several days. Should I try option 2 instead or is that pointless for a baby this age?

The last two nights (tonight included) I have put baby down on the early 6:15 or 6:30 instead of 7 pm because he hasn't been able to do a nap after 4p. He just lays in bed and won't go to sleep for the catnap. (BTW these are both days following the 90 minute A he is not used to, loads of eye rubs all day)So then I put him down early for BT. Last night he woke up again after 45 minutes. Tonight he woke up after 30 minutes. Then one more time an hour later (possibly due to a burp that was uncomfortable...not sure though). Is it possible these early wakings after BT are caused by his earlier BT than usual? Or more likely OT due to longer A? Or could be a health related issue too i guess (i.e. reflux, his cold, his eczema).
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on April 02, 2017, 07:51:52 am
It's really hard to say if the A time needs to be reduced when he is recovering from a cold. I think for now you need to go with your gut instinct until he is a bit better.  Some LOs stay up much longer when they are poorly or recovering simply because they find it hard to get to sleep...but then once they are asleep might sleep better.  Others seem to need to nap earlier even if they don't nap so well. And others end up sleeping much much longer than the norm simply because they are poorly.
Sorry - no simple answer.
Mine always napped oddly when he was poorly - I've often ended up using it as a time to set up a new routine if I knew his routine needed tweaking anyway so I kind of took advantage of the opportunity to get where we needed to be.  Not sure if that helps you.

If you feel he needs to have a shorter A time just now then do that.  You can always increase in a week or two instead.

1hr 30 is around the right time for this age, at 4 months you'd be looking to increase to 1hr 45 or even 2hrs - of course some need that approaching 4 months and some need it a little later (say closer to 5 months).  it's only guidance:
Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!

The NWs early in the night sound like either OT or something disturbing him from the illness.  Probably OT if he refused to nap after 4pm and then didn't get to bed until 6.15/6.30 as I guess it would be beyond 2hrs A time by then.  That can't always be avoided, I mean you are going to try for the nap and that takes up a good chunk of time, then by the time you decide to ditch it and get on with BT routine the time just ticks on, feeding and a wash down or quick bath and changing into pjs all takes time...just do your best it's all you can do.

Let us know how things are going in a couple of days, we can always look at the routine again. Try to keep a record of sleep and awake times.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on April 05, 2017, 12:16:49 pm
I've moved up to 1.40 A times today. His eye rubbing stopped and now I can usually get him back to sleep after a short nap. Hopefully more A time will lead to him making his own transition.

Also, I have tried w2s option 1 a couple times now when it was possible to do it. Both times he woke up anyway and I had to work to get him back to sleep. Do you think I should try the other w2s option where I just make him stir and then walk away? I'm often busy with 2 older kids so this one i could be more consistent with too since there is far less time needed.

I've noticed now on days he gets his catnap then his waking 30 minutes into bedtime does not happen. So it must be OT.  If only i could get him to catnap every night!  (He is still waking 5x per night otherwise...including the dreaded 10:30 one after i've just gone to sleep.)

Is it possible to be both UT and OT? For example, yesterday I came home from a school orientation for my DD to find that DS2 did not fall asleep during his catnap after I 'd left and my husband had not put him down for early BT. As a result was awake almost 4 hours.  So he gets down finally 7:10 with much assistance lots of crying. Then wakes at 8, get back down with assistance. Then wakes at 9, shrieking for food, will not resettle until fed. I get that these first two wakings are tied to his OT since he doesn't wake that early when he has a catnap. But then later in the night during one of his wakings he stays awake after feeding for an hour, doing leg slams the whole time. I kept trying to settle him but nothing worked and I'd lay down thinking he was asleep and be treated to yet another slam. When he finally did stop and fell asleep he was only asleep for 30 or 40 minutes before waking again.  I've read on here that awake at night means UT, but if he was OT just a few hours earlier is that possible?
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on April 05, 2017, 20:46:35 pm
Do you think I should try the other w2s option where I just make him stir and then walk away? I'm often busy with 2 older kids
Sure, if you feel it is a better method for you then go for it :)

Is it possible to be both UT and OT?
It is yes, often people talk about an OT/UT loop but this tends to be more often a case of being UT for the first nap leading to a short nap, then UT for the second leading to another short nap...and by BT baby is OT from a series of short naps or a very long A time before BT due to the naps not taking up enough of the day.  What you describe though doesn't sound so much like UT in the night though, I think it was more likely linked to OT - but it's not possible to be sure of course.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on April 07, 2017, 13:58:51 pm
What does UT in the night sound like then? I'm not sure how to recognize it.

Also, I'm rereading Tracy Hoggs books (I'm pretty rusty as you may have noticed!) and just realized I may be miscalculating A time. I've been including the 10 minutes it takes DS2 to fall asleep in the A time, so that S starts just as he starts sleep. But in the books, there are a couple places where I think she is saying to include falling asleep with S. (Secrets of BW p42, and BW solves all problems p25). But in the forum on this page I think it says to bundle falling asleep time with A (What are A times and how do they fit into the EASY plan?). Which is it? It makes a difference to whether my A times are as long as I thought.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on April 07, 2017, 17:50:54 pm
I would need to check out my books to see the pages you are referring to (which I can't right now sorry) but from memory Tracy classes E as a certain amount of time but it takes LOs varying amounts of time to eat so the guidance times we have on the forums are the total amount of time awake.  It's probably worth noting though that Tracy also started counting a time after nap time should have ended even if an amount of time had been spent shush patting to try to extend or resettle, so that means the A time in reality would be much longer.
The times are really only a guidance and each LO is different so if it's only 10 mins we are talking about for your DS then really it doesn't matter so long as you know how long he needs to fall asleep and how long he's been awake/asleep for.

On the forums then, we count everything that is awake as activity time or A time including E, nappy change, playing and wind down. We also include as A time the time baby is awake when he "should" be asleep and often adapt the start of the next nap to account for a suitable A time - although not always, getting onto a good routine can more clock watching and those longer A times.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on April 07, 2017, 18:19:54 pm
Thanks so much, you've been so lovely to answer all my questions. On a positive note, I got W2S to work twice today and one of the naps was a record 1h45m. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on April 08, 2017, 18:35:19 pm
You're very welcome :)
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on April 20, 2017, 18:01:57 pm
here's a less happy update (looks like the happy one is gone anyway). Long naps are feeling very low again. we're back to 4 short naps a day for 3 days in a row now. i'm still doing 2 hr A times. i don't understand. w2s does not help no matter the degree of waking.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on April 20, 2017, 18:52:26 pm
Yes, we've lost a few posts in the server move - but the good news we haven't lost our forums :)

Try your W2S at a slightly different time. I think you had some success with it before, you might need to go in 5 mins earlier to catch a different part of the sleep cycle.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: sevenebulas on May 08, 2017, 21:08:27 pm
Thank you so much for suggesting silent reflux to me, you were right. I was so reluctant to give him an acid blocker and kept hoping it wasn't reflux and would just go away but it didn't (he's nearly 5 months now). I found a homeopathic treatment that I wanted to try before meds and he's been on it for the last 5 days. He's like a new baby. I now have a video monitor and I watched him go through a nap transition today. After 45 minutes he woke, fussed a bit and wiggled around for 15 minutes and then fell back asleep. I think that he was capable of long naps all along and would occasionally take one, but the reflux kept most of them short. That's my theory anyway. I'm just glad his 100x a night wakings have stopped, the last few days its like my brain has been waking up. The 1 or 2 he does now is like a dream that I probably won't complain about for a while.
Title: Re: Help to get on EASY for 3.5 month old
Post by: creations on May 09, 2017, 13:47:04 pm
Well, although it is not good news that your LO has reflux it is good news that you have found something which is helping him :)
The "like a new baby" sounds wonderful!!  It's great to hear you are getting better naps and nights and can relax a little bit.
I hope the meds continue to work for you - if not then there are prescription meds available which I am sure you are aware of.

Thanks for stopping by with an update - always lovely to hear good news!