Author Topic: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad  (Read 1397 times)

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Offline needasleepingangel

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DD is 13 weeks old today. She is a healthy baby and her weight is over 95%ile. I now have multiple problems, eat and sleep, and sooo frustrated. Each day I was hoping  that problems will go away when she grows up, but problems are now even more than before.  :'( :'(

Eat problem:
No doctor believes that my baby has eating problem because of her weight. But she is really eating very little each time, about 3-5 min. I know I have lots of milk, oversupply and maybe forceful let down. But I don't think she is full by eating 3-5 min. Her day schedule is usually EAEAS instead of EAS. I give her top up before most of the naps because she eat little at meal time. Another reason for us to do EAEAS is to tackle her short naps. Maybe that's how she gained the weight. But I am afraid that she is in the habit of snacking now. She has been had these 3-5 min feed for over 4 weeks. At the beginning, she still have some feed that is over 15min everyday, but these days, every feed is like this. The only time she eats well is when she is sleepy and not fully awake or when she is sleepy and wants to go to bed. I am afraid she is really snacking now. What can I do about this, keep EAEAS to get long naps or go back to EAS?

Sleep problem:
We have made some progress on her naps, as she used to only nap in our arms or in the carrier. Now we can pat her sleep in crib for most naps. Her night time sleep was usually very good until the recent 4 days. She used to sleep at 7pm, and feed at 11:30-12:00am, and then 3:30-4am, and wake up at 7am.

But in the recent a few days, she either woke up at 5am or (last night) woke up at 12:40am, and played for a long time(0.5 hour at first, increasing each day to 2 hours yesterday). And NW has increased to 4 times including this 0.5-2 hour one. I ignored the other easily resettled NW if I can resettle her within a couple of minutes.

For her naps, if we do EAEAS, and if I just stay with her and pat whenever she wakes up, and feed when necessary to prevent her from totally WU as she refuses any pacifier (usually after 10min, 20min, 45min, 55min, 65min she's asleep), she is able to get 1 long naps a day (sometimes 2 if I was lucky), but at least 1 nap is still short.

I notice that her A time has increased. But her A time varies, depending on whether she has had a good nap. If the nap was good, her A time is 1 hour 30-45min. If nap is not so good, A time is shorter.

If I just follow her cues, and it will be hard to maintain 3 hour schedule if she only naps 30min, because EAS will be 2 hours in this case. And when I feed her after 2 hours, she is not hungry and not eat much. Should I wait for another hour to feed her, that is to do EASA?
But in this case, the next A in the routine will be very short. Is it OK as long as we have some A before sleep?

I am so sad feeling like she doesn't need me to nurse her as much. And her sleep is so bad at night now that I am exhausted during the day to deal with her short naps. With her short naps, it is difficult to maintain the 3-hour EASY routine. I don't even know where should I start to handle all these problems.

When I read this post, Time to Transition - 3hr, 3.5hr or 4hr EASY, I realize I meet all 4 signs. It is just that 1. Not taking as much at a feed & 4. Starts taking 45 minute naps have been for a while, and the other two happen in the recent week.

I need some suggestions about whether I should transition to 3.5 EASY or not.

Her EASY on 8.19:
WU 6:57.
E 7:00
A
S 8:22-9:15. can't resettle until 9:40.
A

E 10:04
A
S 10:40-11:57 (resettle at 45min)

E 12:00pm
A gym etc, and feed for a very short time and falls asleep on my breast.
S 1:40-3:30 (resettle at 45min, 55min, 66min)

E 3:30
A
S 4:54-5:32.
A bath

E 6:33-49 falls asleep on my breast again.

Stir at 7:30, had to feed, otherwise fussy and crying.
Stir at 7:50 again. Had to feed again, then hold and pat. Leave room at 8:03.

NF1 1:40

NF2 4:36

WU 5:20. Changed diaper, not sleep. Did some massage on tummy, not sleep. Let her play and kick, and nurse at 6:40, finally asleep at 7:05.

WU 7:53am.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 02:38:04 am by needasleepingangel »


Offline Lindsay27

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Hi hun! I unfortunately don't have a whole pile of experience breastfeeding, but please know that your beautiful girl does not have a weight problem.  A EAEAS routine is very common, especially in BF babies and even more so during the 3-4hr transition.  Again, not much experience but I do believe that some LOs are very efficient eaters and it is entirely possible she's done after 5mins, but I will get some of the BF mods over here to help with that :).

In terms of her routine it looks like she might be in a bit of a UT/OT loop, especially as you said she often needs a good 1.5-1.45hr A time.  For reference a 30 min nap usually indicates OT and a 45 min nap indicates UT, this isn't always the case but is a general guideline.  I would maybe try to push that 1st A time right to 1.5hrs or slightly more to see if that helps.  Some LOs (both of mine) woke at 45mins even with good A times for the first while until they learned to transition through that sleep cycle.  You've already made fantastic progress by having her settle in the crib, the next step would be helping her through those transitions by using shh/pat or a firm hand, trying to avoid comfort feeding back to sleep. 

If she takes a short nap and you are unable to resettle just reduce the next A time slightly to avoid OT.  Your routine can look like EASAES which is ok, just try not to feed right to sleep, maybe feed and then do a diaper change and then S. 

Does this help at all?



Offline needasleepingangel

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Thank you very much, Lindsay. It helps a lot. I have some more questions about the routine.

If she takes a short nap ... Your routine can look like EASAES which is ok, just try not to feed right to sleep
For the EASAES routine, do you mean the 2 E's are 3 hours apart for 3 hour EASY? Why the second E is followed by S immediately? should there be an A before S, so the routine is EASAEAS?

I did some experiment today not doing EAEAS, that is, no top up feed before nap, and then after 3 hours, she seems hungry but still only drink 3min. But she wanted to nurse again before the following nap. I am afraid she knows that I will feed her before nap if she protests. Is it ok as long as I don't feed her right to sleep?

Another question is about the 3-4 transition.
I think DD is ready for 3.5 hour EASY as her A time has increased to 1.5 hour, which is the maximum given her age according to Average A times- BOOKMARK ME! . But given 1.5 hour A, she has to nap 2 hours to get 3.5 in total. If her A time is less than 1.5h, the nap has to be longer than 2 hours to get 3.5 hours in total. But is it a general rule not to have naps longer than 2 hours to prevent day night confusion? And actually 2-hour nap is very long, and difficult for us to have more than 1, not to mention 3. I am not sure how to accomplish the 3.5h EASY.

Another question is if we have 3.5 EASY, say, 7:00, 10:30, 14:00, then either the BT will be pushed later to 21:00 or if we skip the catnap then BT will be much earlier at 17:30. Actually we did experiment today since she had 2 good 2-hour long nap, with 1.5h A time. And I decided to skip the cat nap and sleep early at 6pm. But she just took a 15min nap from 6:45-7pm, and then stayed awake for a long time. She ended up slept much later than usual at 8:19. I don't know whether it was because I didn't swaddle her for BT today, making it difficult for her to sleep. Would you please tell me how should we arrange the routine for 3.5 EASY? She usually wakes up at 7am. Many thanks!  :-*



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Hi there
Maybe this helps:
Time to Transition - 3hr, 3.5hr or 4hr EASY
There is an example of the 3.5hr EASY, you can just write in your times based on WU time and the A length you are doing.  it pretty much works through the day if you accept that if naps are 1.5hrs there will be some A time before E (E comes in the middle somewhere of A rather than at the beginning).
At the end of the day if things are a little awkward on times just remember this is a transition period when the routine is changing so it is totally normal for there to be a little bit of winging it. Earlier BT is fine, later BT (due to CN) is fine and it is also fine to have a 15 or 30 min CN to help LO get through from the last proper nap up to BT.  For some the short CN works really well, gives them the energy to get through the BT routine and towards a more 'normal' BT.

Often LOs sleep 2hrs because they have 40 min sleep cycles (3 of them) or they sleep 1.5hrs because they have a 45 min cycle (2 of them).  Either is fine.

Just try to keep E at roughly 3-3.5hrs and A at 1.5 hrs and with a little A time (few mins or a nappy change) between E and S.

Hope this helps


Offline needasleepingangel

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Thanks a lot for the clear instructions, creations. It really helps.

It is usually hard for us to get 1.5-2 hour naps, as DD always wakes at 45min (sometimes even shorter). When she wakes up, she will cry and fight sleep. Sucking really calms her down, and then I can pat her back to sleep again. The problem is what to give her to suck? She doesn't accept pacifiers, but sometimes takes my finger, and it nothing works, I will offer her my breast. Only in this way, she can be calm again and get a long nap. Is it OK to do this or I should try avoiding offer my breasts during a nap? It is a hard question trading off longer nap and bad sleep associations.  ???


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If you begin the longer A times as Lindsay suggested chances are you will start to get some longer naps or the resettling will at least be easier.  She may not need the sucking so much mid-nap when she had a good A time and is properly tired.
As Lindsay said too, try to avoid comfort feeding back to sleep.

Mine also did not take a paci, did not suck my finger and I couldn't BF beyond 4 wks so the breast wasn't an option...when there are no other options what's left is shush/pat and that's why the BW method is not reliant on BF or paci use.  If you continue to link sucking and BF with sleep then the prop will be reinforced.

How about start tomorrow with the longer A time and holding off from feeding to sleep mid nap?  This would make quite big inroads towards getting a suitable and consistent routine going.
Maybe try W2S instead, you can do this whilst you increase A times, see naps option 1 on this link:
How do I address habitual wakings? (wake-to-sleep and other methods)
If her naps are usually 45 min I suggest you go in at 35 min rather than at 30 min as the link says.


Offline needasleepingangel

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Thanks again, creations.

DD's A time is actually quite long, given that she only drink 5min each time, but I usually spend more time waiting to see if she would want some more. What we usually do is to walk around to see and smell around the house for about 10min to gently wake up. Then some activities, such as helping her practice rolling for a while, and activity gym for 10-15 min, and tummy time for a few min, and airplane. The total activity time is around 30-40 min. Then we may start winding down, massage to relax, 2-3 stories, and some singing, total about 20-30 min. Total time for A is about 1hour 15-25min. Then patting her to sleep.

Do you think the arrangement for A looks OK? Thanks.


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Total time for A is about 1hour 15-25min
If this is the total A time from eyes open and awake to eyes shut and asleep including all activity, play, eating and nappy changes, then I think it is too short.  Lindsay suggested a full 1hr 30 or a little more and I agree with that.
The a few reasons why short naps happen (there are more than a few in reality but these are the main things happening here I believe) are:
1. too short A time, LO is finding it hard to transition from one sleep cycle into the next, even with help she finds it hard, you are finding it hard to resettle her too.
2. prop. reliance on BF just before a nap and mid nap.  This may be impacting on her having proper feeds because she snacks mid nap when you try to resettle her.  The only way to to break this habit is to stop doing it and rely on another soothing method such as shush/pat.  W2S can be a useful tool in breaking a mid nap BF prop.
3. has not learned to sleep longer and to transition from one sleep cycle to another.  This is something we can teach LO by initially helping them with shush/pat to resettle and then gradually weaning shush/pat until LO transitions alone. W2S is also a useful tool for this.

I would suggest checking the clock and feeding every 3 hrs.  It's true sometimes when A times increase and naps are long some LOs have a top up feed because they might sleep through the next normal 3hrly E time.  Many times babies can go a touch longer than the 3hrs if they are asleep.  It doesn't sound like she is waking mid nap from hunger it sounds more like a prop to try to resettle her.  I read that you feel she is snacking, if you offer frequent feeds then this may well be the case, which is why I suggest checking the clock before feeding to help you both get back on track with E.

Your routine for the day might look like this:

WU 7
E 7
A 1hr 30 (or 5-10 min more)
S 8.30 - 10
E 10
A 1hr 30 (or 5-10 min more)
S 11.30 - 1.00
E 1
A 1hr 30 (or 5-10 min more)
S 2.30 - 4
E 4
A 1hr 30
S 5.30 - 6.00 CN
E 6 if she is hungry, it's ok this is less than 3 hrs in preparation for BT
A 1hr 30
E 7 BT milk prior to WD
S 7.30

There was some mention about her needing a 1hr 45 min A time previously. 1hr 45 is a bit long for her age but if she does better on it then that's fine. If she sleeps a long nap her E would only be a little later, there is no need to feed mid nap.

I hope this helps you with making a start on those changes. I know it can all be very confusing and it seems to easy on paper but hard in the thick of it.


Offline needasleepingangel

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Thanks a lot, Creations. We were preparing to move this past week, and I was so sleep deprived at night, I was not able to get any time to post a proper reply.

I have almost eliminated mid-nap feeding. And it worked out fine. I also increased her A time to around 1h30min, if she had a good nap previously. She is now able to get 2 long 1.5-2hour nap, and a 45min-1hour one. But to get a long nap, we still have to help put her back to sleep in the middle. Sometimes, it took 20-30 min. She is not completely awake during the resettle, but not fast asleep either. Will she be able to learn to connect sleep cycles if we consistently help her get long naps?

She had so many NW during the past week. Everyday at least 4 times. And at least one of them is difficult to resettle, which could take 2 hours. I am so exhausted. And I will go back to work next in 2 weeks. Really need some help about the NW problem.

By the way, Average A times- BOOKMARK ME! , the A time in the guideline is for activity(feed, play, diaper) before actual patting+shhing to sleep, or is the total time from eyes open to eyes closed?

EASY yesterday:
WU 7:10
E 7:12 only 30 seconds, maybe.
A
E 8:13  2min maybe
A
S 8:45-10:55. was staying with her the whole time, pat when necessary.

E 10:55
A
S 12:40-2:25

E 2:25-33 good feed.
A
S 3:50-4:54

A bath
E 5:45 not too much
A massage, story, songs
E 6:35
S 6:40-50

A tummy time
E 7:30
S 7:40

E 11:35

E 3:03

WU 5:00 and kicked 20min not sleeping, patting not work. so I feed her.
E 5:27

WU 6:33. Unable to resettle, so just get up.



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Sorry to hear you are so tired :(
Hugs, things will get better.  It's hard when they are little and not sleeping well.

the A time in the guideline is for activity(feed, play, diaper) before actual patting+shhing to sleep, or is the total time from eyes open to eyes closed?
It is total awake time from eyes open and awake to eyes closed and asleep. A time includes the length of time it takes for wind down to sleep.  However, they are only guidelines, if you find your LO sleeps better with longer A times that is fine. Some do, others do better on shorter A times.

S 8:45-10:55. was staying with her the whole time, pat when necessary.
Needing resettling can be for various reasons as previously listed. If she is jolting awake and crying say 10 or 20 mins into the nap it could be OT, if on the other hand it's more like 40 or 45 mins it is more likely UT.  I see this A time was 1hr 35, you might do better with 1hr 45, I remember you previously said she needed this length of A time to sleep better (do't worry yourself that it's a bit longer than the guidance time).

S 12:40-2:25
Looks like this A time was 1hr 45 and a good sleep :)

S 3:50-4:54
A time before this nap looks like 1hr 25 and it resulted in 1 hr nap. In this instance keeping her up a bit longer might have helped to get closer to BT by using up some time with a bit more A and a longer nap.

S 3:50-4:54

A bath
E 5:45 not too much
A massage, story, songs
E 6:35
S 6:40-50

A tummy time
E 7:30
S 7:40
In this evening cycle there is likely too much A time but it isn't clear if you tried to make BT 6.40 and she just woke up and wouldn't resettle or if she just had a little micro-nap on you at 6.40pm when she F2S.  Although there is that little nap her A time is almost the whole time from 4.54 to 7.40, so 2hr 50 with just a tiny nap in the middle.  This might not be how your evening usually goes but this is an example where LO can be OT before BT which can lead to NWs and EWs.  although you are aiming for a 7.30pm BT in your routine I would suggest if this sort of thing happens in the evening again to put her down for her night sleep earlier.  I would have probably just got her into bed at 6.40 right after that feed.

I'm not seeing the NWs so it's hard to know when they were if they were not at the E times for NF.
Many times LOs can wake for a longish period at night and Tracy says to leave them to it if they are not crying for you. Sometimes they eventually go back to sleep and this is part of learning to sleep when it is night time.  Obviously if LO is calling/crying for you then respond.

hope this helps


Offline needasleepingangel

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Re: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 03:46:21 am »
Thanks, creations. It really helps.

For DD to get long naps, I have to be in the room for a very long time. I usually just take a nap as well because I have to resettle her a lot, usually during the first 20 min after she falls asleep. and if she enters into deep sleep, I have my time until she wakes at 45min. She wakes at 45min even if we had a good A time, say 1hour 40min. And then after she wakes up at 45 min, I need to do the resettle again until 20 min later. Sometimes, if I tried to leave early, she stirs even longer than 20min. It almost never happened that she didn't wake up during her nap and had a good long 1.5 hour one.

Quote (selected)
In this evening cycle there is likely too much A time but it isn't clear if you tried to make BT 6.40 and she just woke up and wouldn't resettle or if she just had a little micro-nap on you at 6.40pm when she F2S.
Actually I was aiming to get her to bed early at 6:40, but she just woke up and wouldn't resettle.

Quote (selected)
E 7:30
S 7:40

E 11:35

E 3:03

WU 5:00 and kicked 20min not sleeping, patting not work. so I feed her.
E 5:27

WU 6:33. Unable to resettle, so just get up.
The above was the feeding and NW. Usually she didn't wake up 4 hours after BT. But I thought since it was 4 hours, maybe she was hungry. Then 3 hours and a half later, I thought it is ok to feed even though it can be longer. Then at 5, she didn't sleep after playing for 25min, but she yawned, just couldn't sleep. So I fed her again. And then finally at 6:33, she almost never got up this early. But I couldn't resettle her, so I just let her get up and start the day.

But yesterday, I decided that it is not her growth spurt anymore. Maybe I shouldn't always feed her when she wakes up at night. So DH helped me resettle her and it was a bit better.

EASY yesterday.
WU 6:33.
A
E 7:43 (previously fed at 5:27)
A
S 8:20-9:20. (Was in bed before 8, but just didn't sleep. But with dad, the nap is always short).

A
E 10:40
A
S 10:58-1:00

E 2:15
A tummy time a long time, roll, gym
S 2:31-4:07. stir at 2:41, quick fix.

A
E 5:00
A
S 5:37 fall asleep. But woke up 10 min later when I left. Then sleep again from 6:00-6:15.

A bath
E 6:45
A massage, story, songs
S 7:40. WU at 8, I waited and watched her on monitor. Went in a bit too late. Totally awake and difficult to settle. Cried about 30 min on and off, and finally fed her.
E 8:31-43. Feed to sleep.

WU 12:40, changed diaper. Resettle her from 12:45-1:20.
WU 1:44, resettled in 10min.

E 4:00

WU 6:30. resettled.

WU 7:57.


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Re: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 06:48:42 am »
Are you resettling all the naps without feeding mid nap now?
And how is she falling to sleep at the beginning of the nap?  Is she going down drowsy but awake and self settling yet?

The ability to self settle at the beginning and mid-nap is a skill that really helps with longer naps.

I'm not 100% sure but perhaps you need a slightly longer first A time to get a transition from one cycle to the next rather than you helping throughout.  It might be worth a shot to see what happens. What do you think?


Offline needasleepingangel

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Re: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2016, 03:12:52 am »
Are you resettling all the naps without feeding mid nap now?
Most of the time yes. Very occasionally, especially after bed time, sometimes she stirs at random time and may be very difficult to resettle. I feed her when she fights really hard.

And how is she falling to sleep at the beginning of the nap?  Is she going down drowsy but awake and self settling yet?
Now we always put her down after winding down when she is awake. Sometimes she is drowsy enough, it only took me 1 minute to put her to sleep. Sometimes less drowsy, it takes longer.

Now basically the environment when she falls asleep is almost the same as when she wakes (less the patting and shhing), but she never successfully self-sooth during the naps. What's more, she doesn't just stir at 10min and 20min jolts, sometimes at 13min, 17min. Is that normal or does it mean anything? It is usually not too hard for me to put her to sleep. But it may be very hard sometimes for me to resettle her.

I will also play around to see what A time is suitable for her now.


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Re: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2016, 20:42:17 pm »
Sounds like you're doing well working towards the independence whilst still helping when needed :)

Some of those jolty wake ups with short times can be age I think, and they often sound a bit OT but I think overall you are more likely ready for a longer A time which in a roundabout way can result in beter sleep and less OT.

Let us know how you get on.


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Re: 13 weeks old, very short feed, 30-45 nap, erratic NW, very frustrated and sad
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2016, 01:04:26 am »
Thanks again, creations.

I will try a bit longer A and see how it works.

We will have a long trip in 2 days, and will have to work on adjusting 12-hour time lag. So I expect some sleep disturbance. Do you have any suggestion on how I should handle the adjustment? Hopefully it is not too bad. fingers crossed.