Author Topic: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP  (Read 1237 times)

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Offline Shivsd87

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Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« on: April 09, 2016, 21:52:27 pm »
Hi there.
I have just discovered this BW forum and am slightly overwhelmed by all the info but it has also given me hope as there seems to be some very wise people here and I would appreciate any help you can give me. I actually don't know where to start with my ds!! He will be 7months next week and despite trying I have no routine with him. He has never been a great sleeper day/night (had late diagnosis of silent reflux and milk allergy but these now seem to be somewhat under control therefore it is time to sort him and his sleep out!!!) The 2 times I have tried getting him into a routine he has initially fought me but then responded well x 3-4 days/nights and then reverts back to being even worse than before. He can self settle but not at the moment. He will often lie awake happily in his cot at nap time for up to an hour if I left him. Nights -he wakes at 4am and again is 'happily awake' and will stay there for an hour if I leave him to it. sssh/pat pat no longer works and we have entered a vicious cycle where he is losing so much sleep at night he is overtired and won't nap. On a couple of occasions he has napped x 1.5-1.75h himself.  I have recently removed his swaddle so this is not helping but he can roll so well now it is not safe to continue the swaddle. He is formula fed and taking spoon feeds well (if not too tired). I have resorted to feeding him at 4/5am to get him back to sleep.
Every day is different so I will just tell you about the last 24 hours

Awake at 4am
Feed at 5
Back to sleep at 6.30
WU 8.20
Breakfast/bottle  9 (he has to take medication and wait 30mins before food which is why gap between wake up and feed is so long)
Sleep 11 for 20 mins!!!!
Awake at 11.20
Lunch/Bottle 12
Down for nap at 1 (as so little sleep so far) but didn't sleep until 1.30
Awake at 2.10 (talking in cot)
Taken out of cot at 2.45
Dinner 3.30
Attempted catnap at 4.30
Asleep 5-5.30
Snack 6
Bath 6.30
Song and bottle 7
Asleep 7.30

I honestly have no idea where to go from here. I wouldn't know where to start with a daytime EASY routine or how to handle his night awakenings as he isn't upset. If I go in once he sees me it seems to wake him more. Sometimes giving soother and snuggy helps but only for a few minutes. Like I said shh/pat no longer works. Should I start pu/pd?
How do I deal with nap times when he just wants to play, but 10mins before putting hime down seems tired??
All advice/suggestions though welcome

Offline Shivsd87

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 23:23:15 pm »
Oops I left out that he takes a feed at midnight!!!

Offline Lindsay27

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 23:23:46 pm »
Hi hun and welcome to BW! I am expecting company in a few mins but I will be back to post!



Offline becj86

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 00:58:55 am »
Hi, welcome to BW :)

Just as a quick starter, really at 7 months I'd start off with an A time of 3hr, keep that consistent (of course reducing a little to 2:30 or 2:40 if he takes a short nap) for a week and then tweak from there.

You have some good things going for you:
1. He *can* and *has* slept 1.5-1.75hr straight - this means he can transition from one sleep cycle to the next and that when you get the routine right, you should see at least one nap of this length each day.
2. You've got the medical issues sorted - that makes a huge difference as I'm sure you know :)
3. You've noticed heaps of things that can help us work out what's happening and how to help.

The 2 times I have tried getting him into a routine he has initially fought me but then responded well x 3-4 days/nights and then reverts back to being even worse than before
This is actually really normal - regression after 3-4 days is very common. It can also be a sign that the routine wasn't quite right if you're consistent through that regression and it doesn't get better within a few days to a week. Its a case of riding out the regression by consistently applying the same techniques you've been applying through those successful days.

He will often lie awake happily in his cot at nap time for up to an hour if I left him. Nights -he wakes at 4am and again is 'happily awake' and will stay there for an hour if I leave him to it
This long happy early morning waking is a sign of the A time in the AM not being sufficiently LONG. The thing that helps this is not sleep training, is not feeding or ignoring. Its keeping him up longer after he wakes for the day. In your case I'd say at least 3hr as a starting point. If he's not asleep but not upset, leave him to it.

You may be reading some of his boredom (get me a new activity, please mum) cues as sleepy cues. If in doubt, change activity and if still sleepy cues, then think about napping. FWIW, I would think you need to watch the clock so you're not watching for sleepy cues before 2:50 A time for him, otherwise you leave a huge amount of room for doubt.

General rules of thumb for nap lengths:
20min - overstimulation - TV + toys = too much for most babies. TV at all was too much for mine. Some babies need only 2-3 toys, sometimes only 1 toy at a time so they're not overwhelmed with choice.
30min - overtired - trim your A time a little or resettle (when a baby is used to A times far too short for them and you're pushing A times longer, sometimes there are OT wakings which you can just resettle for a couple of days and then LO sleep the long nap fine).
40-45min - undertired - not enough A time, bump it up.

These rules cannot be taken at face value on the basis of one nap, look for patterns through a few days before changing things otherwise you'll end up chasing your tail.


Offline Shivsd87

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 09:52:30 am »
Thanks so much for such a quick response becj86!!! I really appreciate it.
What you have said makes a lot of sense. DS has been managing these longer awake times some days so I'm going to aim for the 3hour A times. And I think he gets overstimulated quite easily so i'm going to work on that as well as having a proper wind down before naps.

So should my aim be 3x3hr A times with 2x 1.5h naps?? And then a catch up catnap in the evening if he hasn't napped well?

Last night was a long one as he was sick and had temps so he pretty much slept on DH!! But this meant he got more sleep than usual.
As he was sick last night i'm going to go easy on him today but you have given me hope!! As well as a new plan as I was at a loss of what to do next.
So far today

WU 7.40
Bottle 8.30
Bfast9.30
Windows at 10.15
Asleep at 10.30 (didn't want to push him to 3h as he isn't in great form with dodgy tummy)

I'll keep you posted...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 10:05:16 am by Shivsd87 »

Offline Shivsd87

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 21:01:09 pm »
So heres how the last 2 days have gone. I've included a fair amount of detail but I've noticed reading other threads that the more detail the more insight it gives.
Sunday
WU 7.40
Meds 7.50
Bottle 8.30
BFast 9.30
Asleep 10.30 (Total awake time 2h 50m)
Awake 11.10 = 40mins ??Undertired  Resettled x 5mins (rock/pat in cot) (Not fully awake/chatting etc)
Awake 12.00 = 1.5h total sleep
Lunch 12.30
Bottle 13.30 (refused)
Bottle 1400
Asleep 14.10 (Total Awake time 2h.10min)
(Unintentional, in pram on walk)
Awake 14.50 =40min ?? Undeterred
Meds 16.15
Dinner 16.45
Asleep 17.40 (Total awake time 2h 50m)
Awake 18.10 = 30min ? Overtired  Upset
Bath 19.10
Asleep 19.50 (Very tired at BT)

Quite unsettled in early part of night. A lot of "monitor action". But baby self settling.
Feed 1am
Awake 3.50 Stirring until 4.15 Then rock/pat in cot x 45mins
Asleep 5.00
Awake 5.35
Feed 5.45
Asleep approx 6.00 (self settled from quite awake therefore unsure of exact time baby fell asleep)

Baby was not awake/playing chatting during night therefore somewhat of an improvement

Today
WU 8.20
Meds 8.30
BFast and 1/2 bottle 9.00
1/2 bottle 10.45
Asleep 11.00 (Total awake time 2h.40m)
Awake 11.20 = 20min sleep ? Overtime Resettle x 10min rock/pat in cot  Followed by stirring x 20min but baby self settling
Awake 12.20 Resettled x 5min rock/pat in cot
Up 12.35
Lunch 13.00
Bottle 14.45
Asleep 3.20 (Awake total 2h 45m)
Stirred at 3.40 = 20min ? overtime baby self settled
Awake 3.50 Resettled 10min rock/pat in cot
Awake 1640 = 1h 20m sleep (UNPRECEDENTED length of sleep at this time of the day!!!) Woke upset   Resettled
Up and meds 17.00
Dinner 18.00
Bath 19.00
Asleep approx 19.40 (Unsure as left baby awake in cot to self settle so approx 2h40m total awake time)
So far some stirring on baby monitor but no intervention needed...yet

So generally a lot of improvements. Would you have any suggestions or advice on how to continue? My plan is to go for a full 3h awake time before first nap and then 2h 45 for the next 2 as baby still seems to be overtired and adjusting to the longer awake times.

I have a couple of questions
1. Should I be waking baby at the same time every day? My 'ideal' day would be 7am-7pm

2. When having a late nap if waking anytime around 5pm/after he will always wake crying quite hard. This is the only time he wakes so upset. This is the case no matter where he naps bouncer/cot/sling/pram/my arms. Do you have any ideas as to why that is? It seems to me like he is still tired/overtired. As if its an accumulation of tiredness throughout the day.

3. He was very overtired going down tonight. Is it ok to do Bedtime after 2h20-2h30m awake time until he seems to have adjusted?

4. Any tweaks you think I should make?

Wish me luck for tonight!!!

Offline becj86

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 22:39:47 pm »
So should my aim be 3x3hr A times with 2x 1.5h naps?? And then a catch up catnap in the evening if he hasn't napped well?
Yes, essentially. Don't wake him at 1:30 though, let him sleep longer if he so wishes.

3hr shouldn't really be considered pushing him, its on the low side, I'd expect you'll be at 3:15 or so within a couple of days.

It looks like things are coming along nicely :)

1. Should I be waking baby at the same time every day? My 'ideal' day would be 7am-7pm
You can if you like, it works for some and not for others, particularly is baby is sensitive to being woken mid-sleep cycle. I think if you aim for BT as close to 7-7:30 as you can, LO should wake pretty close to 7am anyway.

2. When having a late nap if waking anytime around 5pm/after he will always wake crying quite hard. This is the only time he wakes so upset. This is the case no matter where he naps bouncer/cot/sling/pram/my arms. Do you have any ideas as to why that is? It seems to me like he is still tired/overtired. As if its an accumulation of tiredness throughout the day.
Its pretty common, no really sure why it is, though. I think if you get to the point of having two solid naps, that will reduce/stop happening. I'd also be inclined to just do an early bedtime rather than putting in another nap, so BT at 6 rather than nap at 4:30, yk?

My plan is to go for a full 3h awake time before first nap and then 2h 45 for the next 2 as baby still seems to be overtired and adjusting to the longer awake times.
I wouldn't do the 2:45, I'd do the 3hr - OT is not going to go away unless you do get decent naps and a longer but not long enough A time won't get you a decent nap necessarily.

Those 20min naps are more often overstimulation than overtired - building some firm touch into your wind down, say a massage or some tight hugs can help with that. No TV for at least 30min before sleep is a pretty good rule of thumb too. Visitors/new people/too many toys, etc. can all be too much stimulation. Really impressive that he's resettling himself from those wakings though!

It is likely he will be less settled in his sleep for at least a few days - you know how you feel when you're incredibly overtired, have a great sleep and feel worse? That's possibly what he's doing at the moment and its actually important to keep pushing through to get good solid sleep to recover.

Good luck! FX for some good sleep for both of you :)

Offline Shivsd87

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 20:33:58 pm »
Thanks again for your help. You're a life saver!! Who knew keeping him up longer would help??!! So so true what you said about the bored cry. When I change activity he's full of beans again!! In saying that i've been watching out for over stimulation since you mentioned it and he seems to get OS quite easily. I did the baby whisperer baby type quiz and he seems to be a combo of everything!!

Don't want to jinx things...but day time naps have gotten significantly better. He had a 2.5h nap this morning!!! He was up from 6am so once he had the long nap he was back on track for a 7.30 BT. I will admit i was lazy this morning and didn't put a huge effort in to settling him at 6. When I went in and saw the beaming smile back at me there seemed little point!! But he'd had his best night in a long time and lasted the 3h 15m easily!!  Nights are still mixed but much better than this time last week so hopefully they continue.

I have no doubt something else will come up with him but now I know where to come for advice.

Thanks again. I really appreciate it  ;D

Offline becj86

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Re: Run out of ideas!! Please HELP
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 21:20:59 pm »
Awesome :) Glad you're seeing some nice solid long naps! Keep in mind his A times will keep increasing, so if he starts taking longer to fall asleep or protests going to sleep for naps, or naps start to get shorter - anything less than 1:25 is a good sign that its time to increase A time. Long may it last.