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Offline Ailasmum

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Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« on: October 14, 2016, 06:45:41 am »
I've been trying very unsuccessfully to move my 18 week old to a 4 hour EASY routine but her ridiculously short naps are making it impossible.

In the last week I'm convinced she can't be taking enough milk as she feeds for about 5mins and this is broken up as she pulls on and off for about 15/20mins. It's beginning to stress me out a little. She's clearly not hungry after 3 hours but how do I stretch it to 4 hours when her naps are so awful? She usually naps for 30mins and I then spend up to 25mins trying to get her back to sleep with shush/pat. This works usually for only 1 of her 3 naps.

I had previously posted on the naps forum and now know short naps are common at this age but I'm worried this is meaning she's not feeding enough.

Does anyone have advice on how to get her back on track? She did well on the 3 hour EASY previously but this is obviously no longer suited.

The last two days have looked like this.


E: 7:40 (small feed, woke at 7:30)
A: 8:00 - 9:20
S: 9:20 (20mins to fall asleep) - 10:10. 20mins shush-pat but wouldn't back to sleep. Nap total 30mins.
E: 10:40
A: 11:00 - 11:25 (but woke at 10:10)
S: 11:25 (20mins to fall asleep) - 12:35. 10mins shush-pat to go back to sleep. 12:45 - 13:25. Nap total 1hr 30mins
A: 13:30
E: 13:40 - 14:00
A: 14:00 - 15:15
S: 15:15 (10mins to fall asleep) - 15:55. 30mins trying but wouldn't go back to sleep.
E: 16:30
A: 16:50 - 19:05
Bath and massage 18:15
S: 19:05 (2mins to fall asleep)

Woke 22:00 and fed (my husband coughing woke her, she usually goes to between 12 and 1 before feeding.
Woke 2:30 and fed
Woke 05:00 and fed


A: 7:30
E: 8:00
A: 8:15 - 9:20
S: 9:20 (8mins to fall asleep) - 10:00. 25mins trying but wouldn't go back to sleep. Nap total 30mins.
A: 10:00
E: 11:00
A: 11:15 - 11:50
S: 11:50 ( 10mins to fall asleep) - 12:45. 15mins to back to sleep. 13:00 - 13:10. Nap total 55mins.
A: 13:10
E: 13:25
A: 13:45 - 14:50
S: 14:50 (5mins to fall asleep) - 15:25. 5mins to go back to sleep. 15:30 - 15:40. Awake for 5mins. 15:45 - 16:35. Nap total 1hr 30mins.
E: 16:40- 16:55
A: 16:55 - 19:00
S: 19:00 (12mins to fall asleep)

Woke 12:20 and fed till 12:40
Woke 04:10 and fed till 04:40

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 12:16:12 pm »
Hi there
Sorry to hear your LO  is going through short naps, mine went through it too, I remember how exhausting it was for me!

With regards to the E.  It's fine for there to be some A before E if she short naps and her milk is not yet due.  I would aim for a full 3hrs between E.  If you feel she can go longer between E and will eat better with the longer time between, that is also fine.  Some people like to move in increments and stick at 3hr 15 for a while then 3hr 30 and so on.  The thing really is to time the feeds so that she eats well, especially as this is one of your concerns. It is totally fine for the pattern to be EASAEAS and this is common at this age with the short naps.
You might also find this post useful if you have not already seen it:
Time to Transition - 3hr, 3.5hr or 4hr EASY

As the routine will be a bit unusual for you I suggest your write down her next E and S times each time she wakes or eats so that you can foresee a clash of times. Keep in mind if her E is due in 3hrs but she will be napping, if it is likely to be a short nap she will probably just go the 3.5hrs between E instead.  If the clash is bigger than this or she begins to long nap then you might need to feed early once to get the feed in before her nap time so that she gets to sleep on time (or alternatively she might be happy to go the 4hr between E if she is asleep).  It does involve a bit of flexibility at this stage but not long from now you are likely to be back onto a much more predictable routine as you were before.
(I notice on your posted EASY there is an instance of 2hr 25 between E, my advice is to go the full 3hrs or more if she is not hungry or is sleeping)

With regards to the S routine.
A times
I suggest you move directly to 2hr A times and do not reduce them following a short nap.
If at some point we see OT behaviour then reduce the A time by something very small such as 10-15 mins max.
There are times when OT can help, and personally I would rather deal with an OT baby than an UT one.  They can scream either way but the OT one is usually able to get back to sleep or will eventually do a long sleep where as the UT baby refuses.
Keep in mind the guidance A times, at 4.5 months 2hr A, at 5 months moving to 2hr 30 and at 6 months 3hrs.  Yes some need shorter and some need longer... looking at your routine at the moment I would think she is more on the side of UT than OT although of course you know short naps are also developmental.
Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!

Resettling.
During her nap you can try a W2S (wake to sleep)
How do I address habitual wakings? (wake-to-sleep and other methods)
Please look at option 1 for naps.
I'm sure you know the resettling is hard work and tiring if you try it all day. With W2S you begin the resettle before LO wakes up, or you ready yourself by her cot, literally hand hovering above her body ready to pat and waiting for the very first sign of transitioning/waking.  With W2S you catch her before she fully wakes, the hope is that the resettling period is easier as you help her move into another sleep cycle.  The longer A time with W2S should hopefully work in a good combo.  If she does fully wake and cries do you usual resettle (ie pick up if needed) for your usual length of time or accept the short nap and get on with your day.
There are some options here, you can work on one nap per day, say the first nap (choose one to be consistent on, don't chop and change each day, I suggest nap 1) to extend, to use W2S and do you utmost to resettle and for the rest of the day accept the short naps and move on.  Or you can work on every nap which is harder work on you but might see better results overall.

Night sleep.
I suggest you try not to let her last A of the day go over long. Often with short naps the routine is off track and LO has woken from the last nap too long before BT. I would bring BT forward and do EBT (early bed time) so that her last A does not go over 2hrs.  A long A time before BT can add to NWs and EW due to OT.

Could I also ask that when you record her EASY times that you begin with morning WU and calculate A time from eyes open to eyes shut, so from WU to S.  A time includes eating, nappy change and wind down for sleep. This means the S time will show me exactly when she slept/woke, the resettle time and S again.  eg:
WU 7.30
E 7.30
A 2hr
S 9.30 - 10.10, shush/pat
S 10.30 - 11.10 did not try to resettle
E 11.10 (3hr 40)
A 2hr
S 1.10 - 1.50 shush/pat
S 2.00 - 2.40
E 2.40 (3hr 30)
...and so on
please go up to BT and include NWs and NFs then WU the following morning.

I will find it easier to see the overall picture of sleep and A times etc this way as at the moment I am finding it hard to work out exactly when she nodded off etc as the WD time seems to be included.
S = actual sleep
A = anything else

Hope this helps.  If you have any more questions please let me know. And otherwise please update in 2 - 3 days with how things are going.
This phase won't go on for ever, although it can feel like it when you're in the thick of it. Mine short napped from 3.5 - 5.5 months I think our A times were too short, but he also struggled with reflux pain and of course the 4 month regression. I remember how happy I was when he slept 2hrs again :)


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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 12:20:44 pm »
Hi hun!  Short naps are so hard to deal with! My DS was the worst!  Looking at your routine I think a jump in A time might help :)  If she's taking up to 20mins to settle to sleep and you have a hard time resettling her it probably means she's UT.  I think if you push her A times to 2-2.15hr you may find she settles to sleep more easily and she'll be more likely to transition sleep cycles.  She may still wake mid-nap as short naps at this age are pretty common and tend to be partially developmental based, but you may be able to resettle easier if she's had a little more A time.  This will also push feeds farther apart as well so she will be more likely to take a better feed as well.



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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 15:00:40 pm »

Thank you both for your detailed responses. I'll try making her awake time just that little bit longer to see if that helps. One question about awake time, if she is to have an awake period of 2hrs 15mins, when do I put her down in the cot? Is this at 2hrs 15 or before? I always try to do a bit of quiet time just before a nap, something like reading a story to help her wind down and then I take her up to the nursery which has the blinds closed, play some relaxing music very quietly and swaddle her.

If I'm to bring bedtime forward some days to prevent an overly long awake period before bed, up to how much earlier than her normal 7pm is ok? Also, what about awake time before bed, if it was a little bit shorter than the normal 2-2.25hrs would this cause a problem. For example, today she has woken from her afternoon nap at 15:15. I'll need to get another nap in before bedtime. If she does half an hour from 17:15 - 17:45 is that awake time too little before bed? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just keen to get her routine sorted.

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 17:44:41 pm »
if she is to have an awake period of 2hrs 15mins, when do I put her down in the cot? Is this at 2hrs 15 or before?
Begin your WD to allow for the length of time it usually takes her to fall to sleep. If it usually takes 20 mins then allow for that, if she used to fall to sleep in less than this when you were on a good routine then you can base it on that (I see one nap only took 8 mins to go to sleep so she is perhaps used to a shorter time). The aim is that she is asleep by the end of that A time, as close as possible.  All LOs are different so you just start when you think you have the timing right. My DS liked a quick 3 mins song and in he went, any longer and he kicked off big time, he did not like quiet time before naps he seemed to think that was a waste of A time. All different.

up to how much earlier than her normal 7pm is ok?
Any time to make sure that the last A doesn't go over the length of your planned A time.  Some people even put to bed at 5.30 when nap dropping, I know you are not nap dropping yet but just using that as an example.
if it was a little bit shorter than the normal 2-2.25hrs would this cause a problem
No it should be fine. However if your LO refuses BT because the A time is too short just bring her back out of the room do another 30 min activity and try again.  Again all LOs are different, some will stick to BT no matter when the last nap was, some like the last A to be very short and others like it longer.  if BT ends up a bit after 7pm because of a late nap and needing a full A time before she will sleep then that's okay too.   These things vary a bit when routines go off and will eventually all come back into place.
hth


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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2016, 17:54:05 pm »
Can I get a bit of advice? Today started really well and I managed to get her down for two long naps using wake to sleep to transition through the 30min wake up. She also went to sleep both times in 5mins.

WU: 7:25
E: 8:00 (6min feed broken up. I'm timing all her feeds to check if the longer time between them means she is taking more)
A: 2hrs 10mins
S: 9:35 (5mins to fall asleep, wake to sleep used from 25mins into nap) - 11:15. Nap total 1hr 35mins
E: 11:45 (3hrs 45mins, 7min feed)
A: 2hrs 15mins
S: 13:30 (5mins to fall asleep, wake to sleep used from 25mins - 14:55. Nap total 1hr 25mins
E: 15:15 (3hrs 30mins, 6min feed)

However it went to pot this afternoon and she refused her afternoon nap. I tried to get her down for a nap at 17:00. She had been up for 2hrs and 5mins so I had allowed 10mins to fall asleep taking us to the max awake time of 2hrs 15mins. She cried for 30mins whilst in the cot, getting more and more upset, whilst I was doing shush-pat. I gave up and got her up to give her a bath and get her ready for an early bed.

E: 18:15 - tried to stretch it out to 3 hours since her last feed. (4min feed, the bedtime feed she is always fussy and won't take a full feed so I always offer a bottle too. She drank 120ml tonight)
A: 3hrs 40mins, way too long I know
S: 18:35 (7mins to fall asleep)

Any idea why she wouldn't go for her last nap? Had she slept too long during the day. She's not had more than 3 hours day sleep since she was tiny. What can I do to make sure tomorrow stays on track?

With regarding to feeding her at 18:15, should I have fed her sooner to get off to bed earlier? I didn't want to feed her before 18:15 as it would have been less than 3 hours since her last feed.

Again I'm very grateful for any advice.

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2016, 18:03:00 pm »
Any idea why she wouldn't go for her last nap?
Sounds like she was UT. She had two long naps which is likely more restorative than she's had for a while, so she was unwilling to go down again after a shorter A time. you might have had more luck on a longer A time possibly and then just do a 30 CN, maybe.

You've done great getting those two long naps!

With regarding to feeding her at 18:15, should I have fed her sooner to get off to bed earlier? I didn't want to feed her before 18:15 as it would have been less than 3 hours since her last feed.
I always fed mine at whatever time BT needed to be even if it turned out to be only 1 hr since the last feed. Somehow he always knew it was BT and that he needed to have a good drink.  Worst that happens is she doesn't take much at BT with it being less than 3hrs and then wakes for a milk at say 8 or 9pm or something like that yk? It doesn't mean that would happen every night.  I prob would have done BT at 5.30pm or as soon as possible after as the A time starts getting very long then.

Keep going another couple of days and see how she settles. After 3 days of W2S stop to see if she transitions alone.
You never know she could be ready to drop that CN even though she's a bit young yet.

You're doing get!  When something happens you are not expecting all you can do is what you can do :)


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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 08:50:45 am »
Hi again,

I've had varied success with getting her to extend her naps, some times it works, others it doesn't. She is going down for naps easier with the slightly longer awake times which is good. I think I'm just going to have to accept her short naps and hope she grows out of it. I'll still try to get her to extend them where I can.

Her feeding is a little improved and whilst her feeds are short she doesn't pull on and off as much. I think she had just become a super efficient feeder. I'm not due to have her weighed for a couple of weeks yet but this will tell me if she really is taking enough.

The only thing that is a bit hit and miss is bedtime. We used to have a set bedtime but with her unpredictable naps this isn't possible. It's difficult to know when to put her to bed early and when like yesterday to fit in an extra nap. If she does go to bed early she ends up waking up early.

The last few days have looked like this. Again if you can see anything that needs tweaking please let me know.

I've noted the time between feeds and the length of the feed.


Sunday

WU: 6:35
E: 7:00 (4hrs 15mins, 6mins)
A: 2hrs 10mins
S: 8:45 (5mins to fall asleep) - 9:50. Nap total 1hr 5mins
E: 10:30 (3hrs 30mins, 7mins)
A: 2hrs 5mins
S: 11:55 (5mins to fall asleep) - 12:25, asleep 12:30 - 12:40. Nap total 40mins
E: 13:30 (6mins)
A: 2hrs 10mins
S: 14:50 (7mins to fall asleep) - 16:20. Nap total 1hr 30mins.
E: 16:35 (3hrs 5mins)
A: 2hrs 55mins
E: 18:30 (4 mins, 120ml)
S: 19:15 (30mins to fall asleep, had to give some calpol as think she's teething)

E: 23:20 (5hrs 10mins, 25mins)
E : 2:40 (3hrs 20mins, 15mins)

Monday

WU: 6:05
E: 6:25
A: 2hrs 10min
S: 8:15 (3mins to fall asleep, woke very briefly after 30mins) - 9:30. Nap total 1hr 15mins.
E: 10:00 (3hrs 30mins, 6mins)
A: 2hrs 10min
S: 11:40 (7mins to fall asleep) - 12:10. 12:15 - 12:25. Nap total 40mins
E: 13:10 (3hrs 10mins, 5mins)
A: 2hrs 15mins
S: 14:40 (10mins to fall asleep) - 15:10. Nap total 30mins
E: 16:30 (3hrs, 30mins, 10mins)
A: 2hrs 5mins
S: 17:15 (5mins to fall asleep) - 17:45. Nap total 30mins
E: 19:30 (3hrs, 30mins, 4mins, 120ml)
A: 2hrs
S: 19:45 (7mins to fall asleep) - 1:00

E: 1:00 (5hrs 30mins, 20mins)
E: 4:15 (3hrs 15mins, 15mins)

Tuesday

WU: 7:20


Today has all gone to pot, she's only taken 3 x 30min naps. I'm really hoping this is just an off day. It's tiring me out the constant battle to get her to sleep.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 15:46:34 pm by Ailasmum »

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2016, 20:27:36 pm »
Oh it's exhausting have those short naps isn't it? I do remember this phase with mine.

There may be nothing you can do other than accept this is a developmental phase and you'll come out the other side.
Otherwise, you might want to try out a stylish longer A time. Maybe just the first A of the day as you seem to be getting a longer nap there but it could still be better.  Some LOs need a much longer A time, it's up to you really if you want to give it a go.  Worst that happens is an OT nap which would be short but might be easier to resettle.

WRT to the E times, it is also okay to extend this again if you feel your LO might feed better or isn't hungry at the current times. Many do move to 4hrs at 4 months but not all.  You can reduce the E a bit if a nap is coming up.


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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 08:24:21 am »
Yep it certainly is exhausting! I'll try playing around with her awake times and see if we can extend at least some of her naps. Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2016, 11:28:49 am »
Aaargghhh the last few days have been awful. I think we are now in a viscous circle of short naps and being over tired. No matter what I do I can't get her to extend her naps over 30mins now. Should I be reducing her awake time to compensate? I let her have the first awake period of the day at around 2hrs 10mins but should the rest of the day be shorter? I'm trying an awake period of 1hr 30mins/40mins today. I know for a baby who is 4.5 months this should be much longer but we were only managing to get a total of 2 hours day sleep on a good day and that is split between 4 naps. We seem to be regressing not progressing.

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2016, 17:43:11 pm »
Oh dear that's a shame.  It looked like things were going well a short while back with the 2hr 15 A time and longer naps.

Are all the naps 30 mins now?  Even the first one?
Are you trying W2S and to re-settle the fully awake short naps?

30 mins is often a sign of OT but going by the history I'm actually wondering if she needs longer than normal on the A times to help her sleep or to help you resettle her when she wakes.
This is prime age for short naps I'm afraid.

See how things go with the shorter A times and if it does seem to help with OT and the 30 mins naps...and if not it could be a case of UT rather than OT.  When my DS had this phase of short naps it was either developmental or too short an A time - or both - I worked out later he needed a really long first A time but until I worked that out the naps were all 40 min long and I was convinced he was always OT.


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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 09:24:04 am »
Yes all naps are 30mins, I've been trying wake to sleep to extend them for days now with no result. She's been so cranky and unsettled the last few days and wants constant attention so something is definitely bothering her. Her night sleep has also been affected and the last few nights she is waking earlier and is hard to resettle. Last night she was up and crying for nearly 3 hours - I think this might be due to teething.

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Re: Struggling to move to 4 hour EASY, not feeding properly
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2016, 18:40:22 pm »
It does sound like it could be teething. have you tried medicating before BT or before a nap?  Naps are likely too frequent for meds every nap but it could help to get one good sleep.
Teething sucks!