Author Topic: Transition to 4 hour EASY for very sleepy/hungry 6 month old?  (Read 777 times)

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Offline cml4314

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My son is 2 weeks shy of 6 months old, and I still can't get him to do much more than a 3 hour EASY schedule.  We're still at 4 naps.  Once every few weeks he will take a longer afternoon nap and I will think we're having a breakthrough, and then he just goes back to his usual 45 minute naps.

He is EBF and I do not plan on starting solids until he hits 6 months old.  Right now he will not even really take a bottle, so I don't have any clue how many ounces of food he gets per day.

What ends up happening is that his wake times are extending somewhat, and spreading out his feedings is not really working, so he's not really on a strict EASY schedule, instead often eating in the middle of his wake periods.  I have just been making an effort not to nurse him to sleep (don't want to create that sleep crutch), and feeding him when he needs it in between naps.

He cannot stay up more than an hour and a half most mornings after getting out of bed.  I have tried to keep him up longer, but he is not just fussing because he is used to having a nap, he is falling asleep playing at about the 1.5 hour mark.  When he was 3-4 months old, he could barely make it a full hour, so in some ways I'm not surprised by this.  I have been trying to keep him up longer for the later wake periods, only putting him down when he truly looks sleepy (yawning, eye rubbing, staring into space and trying to disconnect from interacting with me), but he still only does 45 minute naps for all but his first nap, and even sometimes that first nap is short too. 

He is capable of making it past that 45 minute mark at night, but just not during the day - on a good night he will sleep from 7:30PM-4:00AM without waking up, eat then, and then go back down from 4:30-7:00ish.

Typical day for him:
7:00 - Wake/Eat
8:30 - Sleep
10:00 - Wake/Eat
12:00 - Sleep
12:45 - Wake
1:00 - Eat
2:45 - Sleep
3:30 - Wake
4:00 - Eat
5:00 - Sleep (I'd love to get rid of this, but he can't stay awake from 3:30 until bedtime without having another nap somewhere, even if we push bedtime up to 6 or 6:30)
5:45 - Wake
7:00 - Eat/bedtime routine
7:30 - Sleep
4:00 - Eat/back to sleep immediately

Offline becj86

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Re: Transition to 4 hour EASY for very sleepy/hungry 6 month old?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 08:46:15 am »
Does he reliably sleep solidly from that night feed through til 7am?

If so, I'd hazard a guess he's just a kid who likes a short first A time. Increasing the other A times though, could well help with the nap length. I hesitate to suggest increasing incrementally since it can end up with you chasing your tail for months on end when they're so far off where they 'should' be (ie. in the normal range which at this age is ~2:45-3hr, maybe 2:30 at the very low end), however given the early part of the day and the night looks fine, it could be worth increasing the other A times in 15min increments every 3-6 days (depending on the presence/absence of OT wakings in the first few days of the new A times, 3 days from when he naps 45min-1:20 without waking).

Once he's getting more restorative naps in the latter part of the day, your nights might get a bit wobbly with UT wakings in the wee hours of the morning in which case that would be time to extend the first A time.

often eating in the middle of his wake periods.  I have just been making an effort not to nurse him to sleep (don't want to create that sleep crutch), and feeding him when he needs it in between naps.
This was one of the main points of the EASY routine. The other was to create predictability for LO in his routine but it is tricky with an EBF LO at this age when the feeds are otherwise so far apart.

I have been trying to keep him up longer for the later wake periods, only putting him down when he truly looks sleepy (yawning, eye rubbing, staring into space and trying to disconnect from interacting with me), but he still only does 45 minute naps for all but his first nap, and even sometimes that first nap is short too.
Tired cues at this age can be boredom as well, it can buy you plenty of extra time to shift locations/activities and watch to see if you still see tired cues 5min after the move. I really think these A times need a big push. When they're this short of 'typical', I often recommend just jumping to a base new routine, expecting and resettling OT wakings from naps for the first few days, then tweaking from there as signs and patterns are easier to see.