Author Topic: Questions about making the transition to a 4 hour routine with a 4 month old  (Read 570 times)

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Offline karireyn

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My son is 4 1/2 months old and on Monday I started working on transitioning him to a 4 hour routine. I wanted to do it sooner but we've been out of town for a while and this is the first long stretch where we'll be home and I can work on it. I just have a couple of questions.

Here's what our 3 hour routine on Monday looked like. He's waking up early on naps which indicates to me that its time for him to be on a 4 hour routine

7:30 E
8:00 A
8:45 S
9:30 (awake until time to Eat)
10:20 E
10:45 A
11:50 S
12:25 W2S
2:00 E
2:20 A
3:30 S
4:15 (awake until time to Eat)
5:00 E
5:20 A
6:30 S
7:15 E
7:30 Bath/Lotion
7:50 S
10:45 DF

I usually get him up around 7:30 to start the day but often times he'll wake up around 7:15 and talk to himself until I come in to get him, he's definitely an Angel baby. Which technically puts his awake time at 7:15 although I don't actually get him up until 7:30. And I don't feel like I need to do PU/PD because he isn't upset he's just talking to himself, not to mention I like the fact that he's comfortable in his bed and doesn't need to be picked up right away.

So we're on Day 4 of the switch which means I've added 15 minutes to his morning activity and put him down to bed at 9:15 this morning instead of his usual 9. But he was REALLY dragging and the last 15 minutes we spent sitting quietly in his room because he was so tired. And then, being so overtired he only slept 30 minutes before he was awake again.

Which brings me to my next question. Tracy recommends do PU/PD to lengthen sleep times. Should I do that even if he isn't upset? Often times, like now, he's awake but happy and content in his crib. Sometimes he'll fall back asleep, sometimes he wont. But should I be doing PU/PD when he isn't upset? I obviously want him to sleep longer but I also don't want him to become dependent on me going in there when he doesn't really need me.

I recognize that making this transition is a long process but I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make it as smooth a transition as possible for him. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 16:40:04 pm by karireyn »

Offline karireyn

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So one thing is obvious after trying to extend his morning A time, 15 minutes is WAY to long. He has been so OT all day that he's only taken short 10-20 minutes naps and cried the majority of the day. And I have an Angel/Textbook baby who hardly every cries. I'm thinking I need to get him on a 4 hr routine in smaller increments-maybe keeping him up for only 5 minutes on his first A time. I was thinking 5 minutes for 3 days than an additional 5 minutes, etc. I don't like how long that will take but I'd much rather this take a month or more than have the day we've had today.

Thoughts?

Offline Martini~

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Hello Honey. It's possible your child is rather very sensitive if 15min push at almost 5mo resulted in such a OT day. The case is Honey that your A are very inconsistent during day. In the morning it's 1:45, in the afternoon it 2:15-2:20. It's totally fine but it created you a day with short and long naps which is not typical easy (which is totally fine!). With current A times you have a short morning nap, but your second nap was really nice and A times were fine for such a routine. But it also meant that shorter A and shorter sleep in the morning were compensated by longer A and nice long lunchtime nap.

You can go for 4h EAST if you want and I would keep pushing A times, starting from the first one - but adjust your day accordingly. So if first nap was the same length as "normally" even with longer A, look out and try either the same second A or slightly shorter than "normal" second A. With him being OT and having 30min naps, don't hesitate to shorten second A vs "normal".

Other way is keeping the schedule/routine you have with short-long morning nap and just work on two short naps in the afternoon and trying to make them one nap. In that scenario I would only push afternoon A times.

Re pupd, I am not the biggest fan of doing that during nap if the reason for short nap is UT or OT. It's totally different story if you have a baby who cannot transition between sleep cycle well or you are teaching him/her how to settle and he is not an independent sleeper. So I would try maybe w2s or shhh/pat to extend naps and work towards A lengthening.

Hope that helps!
~Marta

Offline becj86

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Keep in mind that average A time increases another 45min-1hr between 4 months and 6 months so if you do it 5 min every 3 days, you'll end up in a world of pain chasing your tail and not knowing if he's OT, UT or just incapable of taking a long nap. I'd suggest that you could try shush/pat or hold through the jolts for the first stages of the nap, anticipating the OT because he's so used to that A time and just helping him through it. That will make it a whole lot easier on you and him and should help you keep increasing steadily as he needs it rather than jumping when poor sleep tells you he needed an increase a while ago.

Of course, if you cannot resettle him and his nap is 30min, a 1:45 or 2hr A time is going to be too much, so shortening A time by about half the sleep missed is the rule of thumb but this is incredibly individual so it may be easier to go on his cues if he has reliable ones :)

Offline karireyn

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Thanks ladies for your advice! I realized that last Wednesday's melt down was more because my LO was getting sick AND just getting back from a week long vacation. I was seriously stunned, my Angel baby NEVER cries so I didn't know what to do. After the epic disaster I decided that trying to force him to do something because the book said so goes against everything Tracy has taught me, so I decided to use my baby whisperer skills and follow my sons cues.

Low and behold he stayed up 2 hours for each of his awake times, took one 2 hour nap and one 3 hour nap with a quick catnap before bed right from the get go and we've been golden ever since. He's always needed more sleep than the book recommends, and he's holding true to that. Sometimes I really doubt my whisperering skills but I've read these books so many times I've lost count, and I've been around EASY for 10+ years as my sisters used it with their kids. Looks like I need to listen to my inner mom voice a little better.

Offline becj86

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Looks like I need to listen to my inner mom voice a little better.
That's great :) Listening to LO was Tracy's main point, so keep that up and this parenting gig gets easier.

I'm a little jealous of your high sleep needs kid... so glad he's feeling better and you're both settling into a new routine :)