Author Topic: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..  (Read 808 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bonnie89

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Texas
Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« on: October 29, 2013, 00:39:48 am »
I apologize in advance for this long, hopefully not too ramble-y, post. I honestly don't even know where to begin. I posted once a couple weeks ago on the PU/PD board. I received helpful advice, but I'm still having problems. I'm not sure which board I'm supposed to post in, but I'll try here. Redirect me if necessary.

From the time my son was born up until 4 months and 3 weeks, he was not on a consistent schedule. I read a lot of online articles about sleeping and eating but didn't find Tracy's book (the third one) until then. His NWs got really bad at around 3 1/2 months so I was desperate for help. I had read elsewhere that he needed to be eating every 4 hours for his age (he's exclusively breastfed BTW and had been a snacker and nighttime eater), and I was already against CIO and CC. When I read her book, I felt I already had a leg up on establishing an EASY routine with the exception of a few props. He was used to napping in his swing but even that was not working as much anymore (not to mention he's a big baby and was outgrowing it). He slept in his crib at night already, but I had been bringing him into our bed in the middle of the night when I was exhausted from nursing him back to sleep over and over. At this point, I excitedly and faithfully followed Tracy's logic and wisdom. I was sooooo hopeful and optimistic about it working, which is why I'm a nutcase after four weeks of mixed and mostly unsuccessful results. I recorded every day's EASY schedule for 24 days until I finally gave up. I mean it when I say my sanity was long gone. My poor baby and husband....sigh. Anyway..

In the beginning, it went well. He didn't eat at night anymore and I felt exuberantly lucky that I didn't have to use PU/PD because sh/pat was a miracle worker for him. "Was" a miracle worker. Then I decided I was tired of it and wanted to try PU/PD, but still never really had the chance since sh/pat worked and PU/PD is supposed to be a last resort. I admit I must have made a few mistakes, responding too soon when he fussed or picking him up too soon. I really didn't have the hang of PU/PD. I ended up still doing sh/pat and not really doing PU/PD. I was frustrated because his NWs, after having decreased significantly, picked back up again. I thought it might be habitual for a while but I wasn't able to get a clear picture because some nights were different (here, I can say I must have also made another mistake by accidentally falling asleep and sleeping through my alarm to df at 11.  I've done that more often than I care to admit. :'() I was frustrated also because at first, a simple sh/pat or calm words and paci back in his mouth and he was back asleep in seconds. I knew about regressions but this never got back on track. When I posted on here in the PU/PD board for the first time, everything was mostly good at night. He was only waking up at after 5 and having short naps. That's when I discovered that his paci was a prop. (I'm furious with myself for giving it to him. I basically replaced his dependency on nursing with a pacifier.) Well, I weaned him from it but our nights didn't get better. Every once in a while we get a good night. Then, it dawned on me that he might just be getting hungrier and ready for solid food. Starting about a week ago I let him nurse a little in between feeds because he didn't seem to be getting enough (or just not that hungry) during his regular feeding times. So that started the snacking again which only perpetuated because I wanted to make sure that I didn't stretch out his feeding right before a nap in case it affected his already too-short naps. The extra nursing plus his frequent and erratic NWs led me to believe he was ready for solid food (which I had started at 4 months but stopped when I read Tracy's book that said he should wait until 6 months). Once that idea occurred to me, I wanted to make sure he ate enough and when he woke up inconsolable and hard to soothe back to sleep, I decided to nurse. Sure enough he ate, so he was definitely hungry. That started his night eating again. :-( Also, he started biting the other night and today he cut a tooth so he might also have been waking from teething pain. It's just always something and I can never quite figure out how to keep him on track. His development (rolling over) and growth (teething pains) coupled with his extra hunger and being ready for solids is exhausting for all of us. I feel like there's no hope for sticking to this EASY plan, even though I really really want to. It doesn't help that he still can't roll over front to back (only back to front). He tries to turn over at night and can't but gets upset when I try to help him during the day. I think he associates me turning him on his side to roll over with putting him to sleep, since that's how I sh/pat . He also cannot be swaddled anymore because he always gets his arms out which has made sh/pat REALLY hard. Not to mention he's almost 6 months old now which is when sh/pat is supposed to stop working. He fights and kicks and arches his back and I think it may finally be time for PU/PD but I'm so discouraged and I've lost a lot of faith in this method. During his last few naps, I've had to rock him a little (which doesn't really help anyway and just introduces a new prop....I know that's dumb, I'm just desperate and sleep-deprived). I've patted his bottom and back at the same time which seems to help, though I feel like everyday I'm trying something new because what once worked no longer does.

His routine is the typical four hour EASY plan from 7am-7:30pm with an 11:00pm df. Occasionally we veer 15 to 30 minutes. Sometimes, like the past couple nights, that means no catnap and he goes to bed 7.  I dread naps anyway because he usually fights soooo hard to go down.  I extended his A time to ensure he wouldn't be undertired for naps but it hasn't helped.

Okay, I'm truly sorry to the person who reads this and offers help. You are very kind and I will appreciate just about any form of encouragement. I hope all of this made sense and that I didn't leave anything out. I've been going crazy so any advice is welcome and greatly appreciated. Thanks, in advance!!

Offline Layla

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 362
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 8785
  • Tiramisu - my favourite cake
  • Location: Australia
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 10:24:56 am »
Hi there and big (((hugs)))... you must be exhausted!!!

My initial thoughts are that things have been a little inconsistent and with a little bit of consistency hopefully we can get your little guy sleeping longer again!

Routine - at this age, he may be working on dropping the 3rd nap. How long are his naps at the moment? Would you be able to post what your last couple of days looked like? You mentioned he fights naps too and that you've stretched his A's to make sure he isn't undertired.. what are your A's at the moment?

Sleep training - I have actually found that with all 3 girls, pu/pd would make them go more nutty than not and I always tried to resettle in the cot and would only pu/pd if absolutely necessary. Dd3, who is almost 7mo has also just cut her 1st tooth and we had some night wakings and I still use the shh/pat method, which helps her settle faster than pu/pd. If it were me, I would do our nap routine - maybe a nappy change, 1 book, sing 1 song whilst holding him and rubbing his back and then into cot so he knows what's coming up (sleep). If you're finding the rocking is helping, then you can incorporate that into the routine and as you mentioned start patting him bottom and then place him in the cot. Then I would leave him to see what he will do (as in, leave the room ;))! If he starts to cry and its a mantra cry then you leave him alone. If he starts to cry the "I need you!!!" cry, then go to him and start the shh/pat. The really good thing about shh/pat is that you can adapt it to what works for your LO best. Some babies hate being patted or shushed. You could try tapping his bottom (if he flips over) or you could try rubbing his back. You could try  stroking his head as you're shushing. It doesn't have to be specifically babies placed on the side and bums patted, etc... You find what works best to help him settle and stick to that method. Shh/pat ONLY until he's calm and not TO sleep. You will find that there will be a peak in crying and then he'll hopefully start to settle down. During the settling down part, you could try stopping the shushing and maybe just do the patting or the other way around but again try not to keep patting him until he's asleep. And then I would leave him again. If he starts crying again and its a mantra cry, don't go back. If the crying escalates to the "I need you" cry, go back and try and settle again until he's calming down and then leave. Repeat, repeat, repeat!! For naps, I would do that for maybe 1 sleep cycle (45mins) and if he's not asleep by then, then pick him up and try for a nap a little later. Try your best to stick to the schedule but obviously if he hasn't slept, then the next nap would need to be earlier. So if he's missed the morning nap completely, then the afternoon nap would probably need to start somewhere around 11am and then you would do another nap and probably do an earlier bedtime. In fact, I think an earlier bedtime would really help since he's sleeping so poorly at the moment to help him catch up on some lost sleep.

If he wakes earlier from nap then try and resettle using the same method. I used to give myself up to an hour from the start of the nap to resettle (so if the nap was only 30mins, I would attempt to resettle for another 30; if the nap was 45mins, I would attempt to resettle 15-20mins). If he doesn't resettle, then pick him up and move on with the day.

Eating - You need to try and space out the feeds so that he's eating at least 3.5hrs. If he's getting distracted during the day, try feeding him in a dark room. If you think he needs/wants more after he's had both sides, go back to the 1st side again. Now that he's almost 6 months and you may be thinking about introducing solids again - be careful with introducing too much. Milk is still more important and should be offered first and then you could try solids 1hr later. Jennifer is only on 2 meals (breakfast and lunch) and she really only has 1-2 table spoons per meal. I know rice cereal is a common 1st food but I took it right out of (as well as bananas) as she was really struggling with it and was very constipated.

Dreamfeed and night feeds- have you noticed him wake more often when you do the DF? I ask because some find the DF has the opposite effect and cause even more night wakings than stretching them. I never did the DF, I always let mine wake when she's wake. So I wonder if you should just scrap that altogether and just let him sleep until he wakes naturally for a feed? At night, if it were me, I would be working on trying to settle him (using the same technique as during the day) if he wakes earlier than 4hrs from last feed or if its more, I would feed him.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 10:28:46 am by Layla »



20/06/2012 - my angel baby

Offline MJ&N

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 214
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 13362
  • New life
  • Location: UK
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 10:41:19 am »
Here to give you some support too (although it looks like you are already getting fab help from Layla).

I wanted to chime in that around your LO's age my DS really benefitted from spacing out his feeds. We were doing a 7,11,3,5,7 spacing (cluster feeding in afternoon worked better for us than dream feed) but when I took out the 3pm one I also found that his NWs diminshed. He was taking MUCH better feeds during the day and therefore getting the calories he needed. So I would encourage you to look at your feed spacing to ensure he is taking a full feed each time.
My 'little man' - kind-hearted Spirited whirlwind, 2008
My love, my everything - BabyTwo, Nov 2015

Offline Bonnie89

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Texas
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 17:58:36 pm »
Thank you so much for the kind words! You are so right about the inconsistencies. We've gotten off track and I'm ready to get back on! His tooth doesn't seem to be causing him any pain today and though he fussed each time during his nap routines, it wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday, so I'm assuming the extra fighting and crying is behind us...until the next tooth appearance anyway.

Routine-- the past couple of days he's been eating once or twice during the night (like last night, I pushed him as long as possible and he may or may not have been hungry but after being up with him for an hour and a half from 2:30 to 4 and going back to sleep only to wake up at 5 and then 6, I gave in and nursed him both times. He ate a good bit both times.) When he woke up again at 7:30, I wanted to keep up the habit to let him eat when he wakes in the morning but of course he wasn't hungry so I just planned to go ahead with feeding him cereal at 8:30. It depends on when he wakes for the day. I keep him up for at least 2 hours, though I shoot for 2 hours 15 minutes to 2.5 hours. He always seems more tired in the morning which is perhaps due to the last hour and a half or so of me putting him back to sleep several times before his final waking. Regardless, after a good nap he can stay awake longer for the next A period. If he's had a short nap, he is sleepier and cannot last as long until his next nap. If he wakes earlier then he naps earlier and therefore is more likely to have a catnap. If he wakes a little later than he is more likely to take later naps and get into bed earlier. Is this bad? Should I be waking him at 7? I figured at this point I could let him veer for 30 minutes either way like Tracy said in her book, but in this transition from catnap to no catnap, should I be more strict on his routine? On a perfect day, he sleeps until 3 during his second nap but that is RARE! Even so, that's still at least 4-4.5 hours until bedtime. I usually take him on a stroll outside around 4:30 so that helps him relax and sometimes sleep (IF I know he won't take a catnap because his last nap ended too late) for 10-20 minutes which can usually stretch that time out until bedtime, and often he just goes to sleep at 7 instead. Also, did you want to know the sorts of activities we do or just length of time?

Typical/Ideal Routine
E. 7
A.
E. 8:30 solids 
A.
S. 9:15-10:30/11
Y
E. 11
A.
E. 12:30 solids
S. 1/1:30-3/3:30 (depending on when he previously woke up)
Y.
E. 3
A.
E. 5/6 solids OR S. catnap between 5 and 6 for 25-45 minutes then wake up and E solids after
A.
E. 6:45/7 (depending on if he's going to bed early)
S. 7/7:30

As for his dreamfeed, I'm not sure that it is causing him to wake more, but my response to feeding him may be causing some AP. Let me explain. He wakes up sometimes at 9:30pm and isn't ready for his df so I put him back to sleep and try to wait until 11. Sometimes, like last night, he wakes up at 10:30 and I go ahead and feed him since he's awake. Or, like I've admitted to accidentally sleeping through my alarm, I feed him when he wakes me at 1. To fix this, should I either sleep until he wakes and do what you suggest, by feeding him only if it's been a space of at least 4 hours? Or keep the dreamfeed? I've gotten better at hearing my alarm so I don't think oversleeping will be a problem, and anyway, I figured the occasional late df only helped to disrupt his habitual wake patterns. He did really well in the beginning with df but does seem to wake for it now.

I must say, I really like the idea of trying to extend his naps no longer than the total of the remainder of the hour. I sort of already do that, but perhaps not as long when he only sleeps 30 or so minutes. I usually only try for 15 minutes. I like your idea for some PU/PD if absolutely necessary. A couple weeks ago, when I was determined to try PUPD again, I put him down for his nap (at that time, he easily went down and my only problem was extending his naps....oh the days), so did PUPD for the next hour or longer until nap time was over and it was time for his feed, but it didn't work either time for his naps and then that night I planned to do it but he literally never needed me. I was even going to use my husband to help (for moral support) since it was the weekend but of course he had to have two magical weekend nights and then go back to crazy sleeping the following week. Yay. :-) I just feel PUPD isn't great for us. Some form of it maybe, but not solely.
Is rocking him JUST to calm him down okay? Or do I need to stay away from that and only incorporate it into our bedtime/naptime routine?

Eating-- As I mentioned previously, I started him on solids at 4 months and took a break to get him on EASY 3 weeks later. In those 3 weeks, he ate really well. Only cereal but still, really well. Now, he doesn't seem as interested. I'm keeping it positive and light, not forcing it or making it stressful for him, but I just don't know why he's suddenly uninterested. Oh well. So yeah, I'm lucky if he eats half a tablespoon.

Today has already been a little crazy. Since he ate at 5 and 6 this morning and I couldn't get him to eat at 7:30 when he woke, he ate a tiny amount of cereal around 8:30 and went down at 9:20. When he woke up at 10, I figured he was hungry when I couldn't easily put him back to sleep and it had been 4 hours since he nursed last. We are definitely off today. Should I make sure to just let him tough it out and not eat until 7? I'm pretty sure he could make it, I just didn't feel like making him.

Okay, I'm sorry for the long read!!! I want you to know that just talking about it really helps restore my hope and sanity!! You are very very kind, Layla!!

To MJ&N, thank you for your support as well! I think you're right about spacing out his feeds more. I just have to stick to it and, if necessary, distract him from his hunger if he gets hungry earlier than 4 hours.  So when you took out his 3pm feed, did that mean he went from 11 to 5? 6 hours? Was he on solids yet? Emmett might be able to do that too, because sometimes he doesn't seem that hungry at 3, other times he does. Just wondering though! :-)

Offline MJ&N

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 214
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 13362
  • New life
  • Location: UK
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 18:20:43 pm »
I think I pulled his other feed forward, maybe to 4pm? He was on solids from 5mo. It's hard to remember because he's nearly 6!
My 'little man' - kind-hearted Spirited whirlwind, 2008
My love, my everything - BabyTwo, Nov 2015

Offline michcabby

  • New & Learning The Ropes!
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 0
  • Posts: 15
  • Location:
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 03:55:12 am »
I don't know that I can offer advice, as I'm working through some things with this method myself.

I would just say that I too have a hungry night eater! She was a great sleeper until about 4.5 or 5 months, and then I think she just needed to eat more, but we decided to also wait until 6 months to offer her solid food. She's been eating solids for almost two weeks now, but she still wakes up every 4 hours at night starving. I think until she's a more efficient eater and able to consume more, she'll need to nurse more. I guess I've just accepted it. It's been a little less painful waking up every 4 hours once I accepted that this is how it may be for another month or two. Thanks to this method, however, our girl nurses fairly quickly, and is ready to hop right back into her her. We've been doing PUPD for over a month now, and it's been a God send, if only for the fact that I now longer have to fight her on sleep. I feed her, put her back down, give her a little back rub, whisper a few words, and she's usually passed out within 10 minutes. So I'm woken up, yes, but not awake that long. It was much more difficult when I'd have to nurse her to sleep, and take 20 minutes to gently put her down.

I also keep telling myself, that even though I'd like more children, there's no way to know if I will have another baby. We don't know the future, and she could be my last one. From that perspective, I almost cling to our quiet night moments that we share. In no time she won't need me to nurse anymore, and if I never get to experience that again, I will have wished I'd enjoyed it more, rather than wishing for more sleep. Dunno, just what I tell myself :)

Offline Layla

  • Resident BW Chatterbox!
  • *****
  • Showing Appreciation 362
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 8785
  • Tiramisu - my favourite cake
  • Location: Australia
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 02:27:39 am »
How are you going?

At 6 months our routine was (give or take 30mins):
6.30 - wake and feed
7.30-8am - solids
9.30-11 - morning nap
11am - feed (both sides)
12am - solids
2-3.30 - afternoon nap
3.30 - feed (both sides)
5.30 - feed (usually 1 side) and then bath, bedtime routine
6.30 - final feed and sleep
night feed

I only do solids 2/3 meals - milk is much more important and has more calories and too much solids can lead to less milk intake and more night wakings at night. I still only do 2 meals and will be shortly introducing dinner. Mind you, our meals are on average 1-2 table spoons and I don't push her to eat - we're doing BLW and she eats how much she wants to :)

The morning A time is usually the shortest but try and aim for 2.5hrs - I used to take my LO out of the house as I found that would help stretch her. You don't have to push too hard - 10-15 mins every 3-4 days is what we worked on. You want him to be tired but not overtired as that may also affect his nap length. If he doesn't take the 3rd nap/catnap, personally I would be doing an earlier bedtime. When Jennifer was in that 3-2 transition period, some evenings we would do bedtime as early as 5.30pm! She is pretty good at making up what she didn't sleep during the day and she would usually sleep until her usual wake up time.

Let us know how you're getting on :-*
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 02:31:07 am by Layla »



20/06/2012 - my angel baby

Offline Bonnie89

  • New & Learning The Ropes
  • *
  • Showing Appreciation 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Texas
Re: Almost 6 months..I don't even know what to do anymore..
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 19:45:59 pm »
Micahbaby, thank you so much for the encouraging words! I try to remind myself of the same thing and remain positive throughout everything. It's definitely hard sometimes, but talking to other moms going through the same thing really helps! So thank you again!

Layla, I'm doing pretty well! Yesterday he had short naps but I was trying to keep him on his routine so I made him stay up for 3 hours until his next nap (which wasn't even that hard) and he fell asleep so easily! Today, however, he fought me EVERY time he went down for a nap. It is so exhausting. He is strong for a baby! However, I did what you suggested and basically just did PUPD until he let me sh/pat and it didn't take that long at all! I'm just wondering though...if I can't do his regular nap routine because he's fussing and crying the whole time, do I just put him in bed and start the PUPD process? He is still waking up at different times of the night, usually around 1 or 2 and then between 3 and 4. I feed him again the second time because he's probably hungry and that's helped him not wake up so much after like he used to when I would put him back down. He used to wake up again at 4 and then 5 and then 6. I'm ready to cut that feed out but maybe like micahbaby said I just have to go with it until he grows out of it?
Thank you again for all of your support and guidance! I have a million thoughts in my head all the time, and I'm constantly re-evaluating what I'm doing with him, so it helps a lot having other moms to talk to! Hope you all are doing well!