Author Topic: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline MakMommy

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Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« on: August 11, 2016, 17:22:13 pm »
Hello! My first post.

This week I switched my son to a 4hr easy. The weeks prior, he was having regressions in his daytime naps and feedings. Otherwise, had done well on 3hr easy routine. In my readings, his behaviour seemed inline with switching to a longer routine. I dove right in and started with a 4hr easy. Baby has adapted well during the day, but is starting to show regression at night (waking 2x: 2am & 5am).

I know it's very early and we are still adjusting but I had some questions:
1) is a 4hr easy too much for his age?
2) can his day naps rob him of night sleep?
3) does anyone ever do EASA before the next feed?
4) for night time waking, should I apply the same settling as a nap waking and for how long?
I am having trouble fully knowing if baby is waking at night out of hunger or starting habit (sometimes takes full feed other times not). Do you think it can take my milk some time to adjust to redistributing for the new schedule (dropping a feed) and baby is hungry at night?
5) not sure if this is related but he's been sucking on his hands like crazy
I tend to get stuck to a certain schedule... Not sure how to be more flexible if needed (I.e. Some shorter/longer naps, activity time, etc..).

I wanted to get suggestions early in the event I should change something sooner than later. Also wondering how long people would ride out the new change to see how it settles before changing things up.

Thank you in advance from this first time mom.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 17:32:28 pm by MakMommy »

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 19:32:02 pm »
Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

Let me see if I can answer some of those questions for you.
1) is a 4hr easy too much for his age?
Maybe.  As you have said there was some sleep disturbance for his naps he could well have been ready for a longer A time but possibly not quite ready for a full 4hr EASY.  Some LOs do well on 3.5hr EASY for a time, there's an example here you might want to look at:
Time to Transition - 3hr, 3.5hr or 4hr EASY
If you scroll down you'll see the 3.5hr EASY sample, remember it is not a strict routine, just guidance and you adapt for your LO.
Also some LOs are ready for a longer A time but not ready for a longer stretch between their E times.  Tracy said some babies do not reach the 4hrly E until a little later but that most would be able to move to 4hrly E at 6 months.  My own DS stayed on 3hr E although his A times stretched and were longer than guidance times.
So, to answer your question it's really about looking at your own LO and seeing what he is ready for. EASY is always about the individual baby you have rather than a one size fits all schedule.  Some LOs are ready to switch their routine earlier than others.

2) can his day naps rob him of night sleep?
It could but unlikely unless he is sleeping a huge amount in the day.
As you are in the middle of a change in routine you might want to see how things pan out for a few days but perhaps then you might like to post your (real day) EASY times here and we can have a look for you?

3) does anyone ever do EASA before the next feed?
Yes.  If LO is not hungry and if the E time is not due when S finishes then it's fine to have some A time between S and E.  The idea of EAS is to separate eating from sleeping so that there is less chance of a feed-to-sleep prop, it doesn't mean that you must automatically feed LO as soon as he wakes.  If he's hungry though I would go ahead and feed him even if the E time has not fully passed (so if you are aiming for 4hrs and he is hungry at 3.5hrs for some feeds that's okay, if he appears hungry but then takes a tiny amount then chances are he wasn't really hungry but something else, in that case you can be more confident he will feed better on the longer E time).

4) for night time waking, should I apply the same settling as a nap waking and for how long?
I am having trouble fully knowing if baby is waking at night out of hunger or starting habit (sometimes takes full feed other times not). Do you think it can take my milk some time to adjust to redistributing for the new schedule (dropping a feed) and baby is hungry at night?
Is he an independent sleeper usually?  So you put him down awake or drowsy and he settles himself to sleep?
Increased night feeds can be to increase your supply and can also be a grown spurt, either way he needs a feed.  If he is more hungry at night due to dropped day feeds I would suggest reducing the E time in the day to get him that extra feed back in, if all his feeds are full/proper feeds in the day then he is unlikely ready to drop one. I wouldn't worry yet about night time habits, if he is sleeping in his own cot and wakes a couple of times for food that's perfect :)  If he wakes and say only an hour has gone by since he last ate that's when I'd suggest trying to resettle without feeding as he is unlikely to be hungry.

5) not sure if this is related but he's been sucking on his hands like crazy
He might have some tooth movement, some LOs can start teething as early as 3 months.  Otherwise reasons for sucking hands may be to self sooth, hunger, or acid reflux or just enjoying and exploring bits of his body that he just discovered he can control and touch.  You'd probably need to do some investigating to find out which but if he seems healthy and happy and you offer a feed and he doesn't want it or doesn't take a full one then you can rest assured it isn't hunger.

I tend to get stuck to a certain schedule... Not sure how to be more flexible if needed (I.e. Some shorter/longer naps, activity time, etc..).
In general once you have a routine that works for you and LO you can count on it for a while, that's why many of us like EASY, it makes the day more predictable.  Your EASY may not look like my EASY but it will still be predictable for you and your LO.  When you have that the only tweaks that you would usually make would be for instance if you had a one-off family commitment or something and LO missed a nap or had lots more stimulation than usual or only slept a short nap because you were out so might need a slightly shorter A time and earlier nap to help with the tiredness.

I wanted to get suggestions early in the event I should change something sooner than later. Also wondering how long people would ride out the new change to see how it settles before changing things up.
You said you started this week but I don't know how many days you already did.  If you feel things are not going the right way I would think about stepping back to perhaps the 3.5hr EASY or to look over your EASY records (if you have any) and observations and see does he need the longer A time but the shorter E time.  Not every A and E time have to be equal throughout the day either. You might find a perfect routine where the first A is longer/shorter than the others, and that's fine too.

For what it's worth this is a time when many LOs go a bit off track in the routine, naps often go short, we see it a lot, happened to my DS too (at 3.5 months, it's more commonly known as the 4 month regression) so you are not alone if you get short naps for a while...at the same time I do think it is worth trying changes to the routine just as you have done to see if the longer naps and a more settled routine can be restored.

I hope this has helped a bit rather than confused you further. If anything is not clear please let us know.


Offline MakMommy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 21:38:46 pm »
Thank you so so much for the reply! I really appreciate you taking the time to provide such a thoughtful response. Sometimes just the piece of mind is all the encouragement I need. Baby does sleep in his own bed and does well at self-soothing to sleep.

Something I need to work on is not being so rigid with the EASY. Although they are suggested schedules, I tend to try and implement that 'as is'. I am really having a hard time straying from this. The message I interpreted from the book on the schedule change was to watch the clock. I do think if I followed babies cues a little more, that he would A short in the morning, and S longer in the morning; he may do the opposite in the afternoon, for example. He usually needs a CN sooner than suggested in the 4hr routine and is ready to eat and go to bed sooner as well. So, I guess we've had some flexibility already.

He seems to be ok with the 4hr feed stretch, and then he does usually empty both breasts - did you say this is a sign that maybe he still needs the other feed in the day? I guess I worry at the end of the day that my times won't "add up" and I'll be in between a cycle of EAS before bedtime. What I am also interpreting from your feedback, is that if the current schedule seems to be working, then for now, I should just expect to have that feed through the night - this is normal and typical. So, instead of resisting it and drawing out both our awake times, I should feed him and both of us get back to sleep. Again, I am looking at the recommendations/ideal that "the night is yours". Baby is adjusting and I believe coming off of a growth spurt. So it makes sense he's waking and drawing in my milk. I overthink accidental parenting/habit forming.

You mention the longer A times, whether on a 3, 3.5 or 4hr routine. If I feed on a shorter schedule, say 3.5, and A can be a bit longer, does this mean then that the sleep times should be cut some instead? in terms of the napping I thought I was having to 'train' baby to go back to sleep after wake cycles and he's becoming more aware with each. I guess I need to read when he still seems very tired and when he seems like he's had enough. I think I've pushed extra nap time this week.

I am day four in the second 'cycle' (11amE) of the 4hr easy. So far baby has done this routine again today no problem. Maybe in the next week I will follow his lead a little more and find our individual groove.

Please if you, or others, think of anything else let me know. Again, this anxious/perfectionist mom so humbly appreciates your thoughts and suggestions. I will keep you posted.

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 07:38:25 am »
I'm glad you found it helpful :)

The message I interpreted from the book on the schedule change was to watch the clock
Sure. Watching the clock is really helpful either during observation (so you can see what routine LO does well with or what needs a tweak in the routine) or during a routine change.  For instance LO might appear tired early in the A time but if you put him down he short naps, in a case like that it is helpful to watch the clock to help stretch out the A so that LO is not put down too early.  However, we watch the clock based on the individual LOs need and routine rather than expecting all LOs to have the same need which some other parenting books might advise.
So, I guess we've had some flexibility already.
Well that's great, if you are listening to and adapting to your LO then this is totally BW :)

that my times won't "add up" and I'll be in between a cycle of EAS before bedtime.
If you find BT approaching and the E time is not due just go ahead and feed at BT anyway.  Most LOs seem to know BT is coming and take the BT feed even if they had a feed less than 3-4 hrs earlier, it's fine. If it starts being a problem and he is not happy then you can look at changing something, there are people here who can advise.

instead of resisting it and drawing out both our awake times, I should feed him and both of us get back to sleep.
Oh yes certainly. He's still really little.
I overthink accidental parenting/habit forming.
Honestly I think a lot of us fear accidental parenting (AP).  Try not to worry about it. Any habits which might creep in can be sorted out and I see your LO is self settling (brilliant!!!  Go Mummy! You must have worked hard to give him that gift :) ) which usually means any short term habits can be un-done relatively easily.

If I feed on a shorter schedule, say 3.5, and A can be a bit longer, does this mean then that the sleep times should be cut some instead?
No.  Let's say a LO is on a longer A but shorter E time (like mine was as he fed at 3hrs until 6 months), as you are already aware it throws the EAS cycle off a bit.  At some point an E might come quite close to an S or you see an E would be due just after the S time, in a case like this you bring the E earlier (say 2.5/3hr) so that there are a few mins gap between E and S just for a little A time, the idea being not to feed to sleep.  Or lets say the E will be due 1hr into the S time and LO usually sleeps 1.5hrs, chances are LO will just sleep the nap and be ready to eat on waking.  You do not need to cut the nap short to keep the E times all equal or dot on the 3.5hr mark.  If a nap was going on well over 2hrs and baby had totally missed a feed I'd probably say wake him to feed him but otherwise no need.

Hope this helps.

Are the naps going okay for you at the moment?  I see you mention you are still training to sleep through the sleep cycle transition, how's that going?


Offline MakMommy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 16:11:44 pm »
Ok. Baby is now 16weeks and we're about 3weeks into the 4hr EASY. Baby has done quite well with the transition, but I'm still not certain on whether the 4hrs is too long for the E.

Our days are looking like this:
630am - Wake (A)
7/730am - E
730/8 - A
9 - S

11 - E
1130 - A
1 - S

3 - E
430/5 - Catnap (30-45mins)
630/7 - Get ready for bed then E
7/739 - BT

DF - between 10-11

NW -
1/2am - E
4/5am - E

During the day, LO has adapted great to the 4hr easy transition. He can manage the A time, usually sleeps 1.5-2hrs (he has learned to settle through sleep cycles) and does not seem hungry between feeds. I notice that the morning and late afternoon E's can be more of a 3.5hr-4hr routine.

What I'm not sure however, is if he's getting enough during the day for the night. He's been waking more frequently and needing to E each time. He's hardly stringing together 3hrs at a time. Previously, he slept quite well at night, NW maybe once.

I recognize that he is also approaching his 4th month where there is a sleep regression. In addition, we are having trouble keeping him swaddled (use a miracle blanket). He escapes and wakes himself. When he gets out of the swaddle he either sucks on his hands and/or scratches his head really badly. We tried weaning the swaddle weeks back (giving him an arm) but didn't think he was ready as he cant fall asleep without it and once escaping, he scratches so bad (looked like he'd gone through barb wire).

He has also started teething. No tooth in sight, but tons of chewing, drooling, sometimes the rosey cheeks, and ear pulls. Some days already seem worse than others. He had a growth spurt about 3weeks ago, not sure if he's dur for another so soon - his jammies are
seeming tight and short suddenly again.

What I'm wondering, is if the NW is typical for this age. Is it the combination of swaddle, teething, and growth that is causing the frequent NW and feeds. Or, is it possible that although baby manages well through the day, he's showing he's quite hungry at night? He seems to be draining me every feed he has - day and night. This also makes me wonder, how will I know if my milk is sufficient? I had a lot of difficulties with match and supply in the first 6weeks, so I am constantly wondering about supply. I haven't been able to pump extra for many weeks now.

Again, wondering if this isn't phase or if I should tweak something. Maybe I just need to go down with My LO at his BT to make up for some hours right now... Any thoughts I'd aplreixate!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 17:34:16 pm by MakMommy »

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 17:57:20 pm »
Hi there

NWs can certainly be down to teething and/or growth spurts. I've asked for some BF eyes to pop over here to have a look as I am not great with BF advice.  I believe there are ways to increase your supply which you might be interested in if you are concerned about supply, although it doesn't sound like your LO is screaming with hunger.

It looks like you're doing great with the A and S routine in the day, long naps! :) Brilliant.

I notice your first A time is super long (2.5hrs is more like a 5 or 6 month old rather than a 4 month old) - this is fine if your LO is sleeping well, I'm just mentioning it because if this is what your LO needs/likes to get a good first nap then this characteristic may well continue over the coming months and it would be handy for you to make a mental (or written) note of it.  When you post for advice it is always helpful to know info that you've already worked out such as a very long first A time.  The rest of the A times look age appropriate (2hrs at 4 months) and you're still getting another good nap and a CN - great.


Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 20:39:16 pm »
I'm not a BF expert but just from my own experience ...

I do remember my DD seeming v hungry at night around 16wks...and she was still feeding every 3-3.5hrs during the day at this point.  I think there is a growth spurt about this time.

I also think breasts stop feeling so full after a while...it doesn't mean you don't have enough milk or are empty..it is just the body adapting to BF and your baby's needs. Most people still have sufficient supply once it's established.

Advice is really to follow hunger cues rather than the clock still at this age. Is your LO giving hunger cues earlier than 4hrs? I would follow his lead for feeds in the day as much as possible.

Is he self settling to sleep at bedtime or do you need to feed to sleep, or help him to sleep in some other way? Not being an independent sleeper for BT can start to cause NWs around this age too.
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline MakMommy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 23:54:08 pm »
I notice your first A time is super long (2.5hrs is more like a 5 or 6 month old rather than a 4 month old)

I wondered about this... Before he was not waking until 7/730am, which was time to E. Lately, with the frequent NWs, he is also waking earlier in the morning (think this is due to the swaddle escapes and daylight). He is usually ok to have some time in his crib before needing to eat. Before, if he woke early, it would be around 5am, and I could feed him and put him back to sleep. I feel like feeding at 630am would throw off the eating schedule too much. I also didn't want to get LO used to waking at this time. What do you think? Today, he had S at 830-1030am as I recognized he was tired from the night and early morning. Most days he can manage the long A time in the morning, and if I let him, he could definitely S past 2hrs as well (which is too long for the E).

 
Is your LO giving hunger cues earlier than 4hrs?
Sometimes LO will wake after 1.5hr-1.45hr nap and seem hungry. In that case I would to E right away. At the last E of the day, he sometimes wants to E at 630 instead of 7. I have been trying to be more aware of earlier hunger cues, but he seems content with the schedule.


Is he self settling to sleep at bedtime or do you need to feed to sleep, or help him to sleep in some other way? Not being an independent sleeper for BT can start to cause NWs around this age too.
Depending on whether E is a little earlier of not, some nights we do bath and pj's before the E. Others, we do E, then finish the bedtime routine. He does not seem to have a preference, it's more based on how tired and hungry he is at the end of the day. He settles for sleep with a swaddle, nightlight and a lovey.

Again, thank you both for your feedback. Much appreciated!
         

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 01:46:22 am »
There is a big 4 month growth spurt -- you might try feeding before one of his naps (thought not feeding to sleep) for a few days to see if that has any impact.  If nothing else, it will boost your supply. 

Offline MakMommy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 02:33:24 am »
Thank you Erin! I will try that.

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 07:33:30 am »
He is usually ok to have some time in his crib before needing to eat.
Mine was like this in the morning, he always woke early but never to eat, he wouldn't eat for 30-60 mins after WU in the morning even though he last had a feed at 10.30 ish (DF time but mine woke for it). I think some LOs just aren't ready to eat right away but also yours is getting a NF too so probably doesn't need to eat at 6.30am.

As he seems so tired for that first nap, even though he's able to do a very long A time, I wonder if trying a slightly longer CN might help?  Maybe 45-60 min rather than 30-45?  He me be less tired for the night sleep and possibly sleep better.


Offline MakMommy

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2016, 16:05:55 pm »
I thought I would check-in with an update. Well, baby is now 19weeks (I survived the last 6!). Since my initial post, we had about 3weeks of short naps, more frequent day E, and NW to E every 2 or so hours. In that time however, baby started showing two teeth, started rolling from his back to front, and we weaned the swaddle! No wonder he was fuelling up!!

The last few weeks have been more consistent, with more regular EAS (3.5-4hrs)  times and usually only 1 NW to E. We've also been supplementing with formula for the DF so DH can help and I can go to bed earlier if needed.

This past week, DS is doing good with EAS (sometimes EASA) during the day. No issues at BT. I have been torn on the DF. My DH gives DS a bottle of formula for DF. DS will take anywhere from 2-4oz. Regardless of the DF, he still is NW  at 130/2. I give him one side (usually need both for a feed) and he settled back to sleep quickl afterwards. Then, he wakes again at 3/4 to E. At around 630, LO WU for the day, chatters and coo's in his crib and then he E around 730.

Last night, we tried to skip the DF and just feed DS once he woke after BT. He woke at 1230am for 3oz bottle; 3am (E) and 5am (E). Then this morning, he is hardly wanting first E, I assume he's full from the evening. This is happening more frequently.

WU - 630/7
E - 7/730
A - 730/8
S - 9

A - 1030 (some days)
E - 11 - bottle of formula
A - 1120
S - 1230 or 1 (depending if woke early from nap)

E - 3
A- 320
S- between 4-5 for 35-45min catnap
A - bath, jammies
E- 630/7 depending on hunger and tiredness

1030 - DF

NW - 1, 3, 5; or,
2, 4.

I am wondering if I may be into another growth spurt? Baby is still teething, chewing, sucking and drooling constantly (haven't had to give Tylenol for pain lately). 2-3NW with only a few hrs I between seems like a lot. Also, is the night feeding interrupting the first E? We are slowly switching over to formula (2/5 feeds) so I can't be sure he's getting enough during the day at this time either. Just wondering when I should keep feeding on demand in the night, or, start looking at resettling for some feeds as they are habitual. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2016, 18:27:15 pm »
It's good to hear your day routine is improved :)  Looks like you've got the E all sorted during the day :)

One of the other ladies might come back with some help on the number of night feeds, to me it does sound like a lot but as I've said before I didn't breast feed, we only had the one night feed so I am not a great help.
I'll keep an eye out though.  If you don't get an answer here perhaps try a new thread on the BF board for the NFs?


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Re: Help please! 3months (13weeks) - 4hr easy
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2016, 17:41:49 pm »
Hi - it's been a few days, would you like to start a new thread on the BF board for your question?
Breast Feeding