Author Topic: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline Laineybobs

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Hi
Hoping someone can help! My LO is 16 weeks and for the last few weeks his sleep has been a bit all over the place. I put it down to sleep regression and the fact he started to roll. He was waking numerous times a night and I couldn't get proper naps out of him! However the past 2 days have been much better but now we are battling night waking where he just lies talking at 4am! This morning it went on til nearly 6am!! He also is now waking bang on 10pm when we used to do a DF and then every 3 hours after that! I have him on 4hr easy in daytime but wondering if he waking out of hunger? I'll post the past 2 days of easy below:

Wake 7
E 7
A
S 910
Y

Wake 950
E 11
A
S 1145
Y

Wake 1345
E 1430
A
S 5pm though always fights this sleep and had to sling him to get him to do it!!!

Wake 515
E 530 cluster
A. Bath at 6
E both sides 630
S 7pm

Then woke 10pm just before I went to DF, 2pm when I fed, 330 when hubby settled, 445 when I fed and then woke at 6 for day talking!!

To day easy:
Wake 6
E 7
A
S 9 - woke after 40 min
Y

E 1045
A
S 1240 (15 mins in car and then got home and woke but I settled and has been asleep since and it's 1430 now)

Anyone got any suggestions?? He seems to do fine on 2hr awake time and since cutting to 3 naps - though he will often fight the catnap at end of day - he does ok?

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 15:00:48 pm »
Hi there
Looks like he tends to do a short morning nap is that right?
Both days were 40 mins in the morning despite a different A time on the two days, one closer to 2hr and the other more like 3hr.  I wonder if you've tried a W2S (wake to sleep) for that morning nap to see if you can extend it?  He obviously does know how to transition from one sleep cycle to the other as he's doing a lovely long lunch time nap :)  The 40 min nap in the morning may be habitual which W2S can help with as it just helps to change the habit and tell LO to sleep longer at that time.
Generally this is too early to drop to 2naps but I'm just thinking if he is fussing at the third nap and seems to be able to manage the very long 3hr A time then it could be a possibility, I mean there is the occasional LO who drops the naps earlier than average.  It might be a possibility if you can get that morning nap to a good restorative length.

The waking at 10pm could also be habit or a one-off. I wouldn't think too much about it unless it becomes a problem. Mine never took a DF but I always fed him at that time and in the end he would wake habitually for the feed at that time. As he just ate and went back to sleep it didn't cause any problem for us.

we are battling night waking where he just lies talking at 4am! This morning it went on til nearly 6am!!
Sorry I can't see on your EASY which day this was. There is a possibility that this is OT behaviour, waking early, but it can also be part of the 4 month sleep regression or UT, just to be confusing.  If it came after a day of 3hr A times and a long A time before bed too then I prob say OT but if it came after a day of 2hr A times and decent naps (even if only 40 min for the first, a good 2hr second nap and another CN should be ok-ish) then it could be UT.  Hard to say with any certainty but if you continue to log the routine a pattern may emerge to give some clues.

Wake 1345
E 1430
A
S 5pm though always fights this sleep and had to sling him to get him to do it!!!
This looks like a long A time here 3hr 15 - just checking, how was he? Do you usually have such a long A time before this nap or is it long because he was refusing the nap so time just got on?  It could be that he gets OT and is harder to settle.  But if you usually do a 2hr A before this last nap then I wouldn't think OT.


Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 15:25:00 pm »
Thanks for replying!
Sorry I should have said I normally use W2S and can normally extend naps to bereeen 1-1,5hrs - yesterday my mum was looking after hIm so that didn't happen! Though after the 40 mins he was happy until his next sleep 2 hours later! I also use W2S for his long lunchtime nap and it seems to work - though do I keep doing this or let him see if he can do it on his own now?

He never seems tired enough for the catnap - he's been fighting it for more than a week now through in trying to enforce it as when I didn't he would wake not long after going to bed for night! Even if I only get 15 mins from him it seems to help but it's a battle!! Yesterday he was over 3 hours awake before the catnap in sling and he was happy! And tends to do fine even when been awake for this long?! On days he won't do catnap he could be awake 3 hours and fine?

I efinatlry feel the 10am wake up is habit now, he wakes on the dot at 10! Does take a good feed then but before this he used to manage 5 hours no bithher and since trying the DF I feel like now I've caused him to start waking now! And it's not even like the DF always buys us a good stretch of sleep - sometimes he wakes at midnight even after a DF! Though I haven't been feeeing him unless it's been 3 hours - should I stretch that to 4 since he's 4 hours in day?

Tha talking in the night was yesterday - fed him at 445 and he just talked until 6am! Today again fed him and he just talked after it!! There doesn't seem to be any clear logic to the happy NW?

He's just woken from his sleep so he did a 2 hour one in total waking at 3, do I offer him a catnap after 2 hours, so at 5 say or do EBt???

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 18:36:46 pm »
To day easy:
Wake 6
E 7
A
S 9 - woke after 40 min
Y

E 1045
OK so here, today, there is a 40 min nap. He had had a 3hr A time prior to the nap. Did you try W2S today and did it work?
This is not judgemental in any way at all (it may sound it!) - is there a reason there was a 3hr A time today in the morning?  I'm trying to work out if a long A helps him or if it is only W2S that extends his nap length.



Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 06:43:05 am »
Oh my what a night we have had!

To answer your question first yes he had had a 3 hour awake time before that 40 min yesterday.

The rest of the day yesterday - he would not do catnap, I tried for 20 mins and he was too awake so I did bedtime at 630 instead. He then woke at 8, 930 and wanted a feed which i gave; then woke at 1230 looking for a feed so gave it to him and he was awake until 245; slept and then woke at 430 and then woke again at 545 for the day and is awake now happy? He doesn't cry in night when he wakes he's happy awake and talking?? Please help I am so so tired!! I don't even know what to do with his sleep today?!

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 08:56:54 am »
Sorry to hear you've had a bad night. It sounds like either OT or a GS, perhaps a mixture of the two.  He is still  young so when a GS hits he will wake more often in the night for food.
I will do my  best to help you along here.

Any NWs where he is not calling/crying out for you there is no need to go to him. It is okay for a LO to have a period of wakefulness in the night and then for them to go back off to sleep by self settling. It's good to look at routine to see if those NWs can be reduced but sometimes LOs do just wake. Tracy did say it was fine and normal for LOs to be awake in the night and no need to attend unless they called for you or cried.

Sorry I am going to ask these question again about that 40 min nap after the 3hr A time:
- Did you try W2S on that occasion or not?
- Was the 3hr A time due to him refusing the nap so the A time just extended even though you tried to put him down for a 2hr A or was it some other reason? Not being put down earlier because you were out maybe?

There are various parts to your post (reply #2) which I have not responded to yet. I intend to come back to that post to respond to each part as best I can but often we need to ask additional questions about what is happening to see the bigger picture.

I know this is a difficult time for you. You are not alone. You will have support here on BW forums.


Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 09:14:58 am »
I'm beginning to wonder if my milk supply is low and is that why he's waking? Though he would cry if he was hungry surely?

In relation to yesterday - he woke at 6am and hubby tried unsuccessfully to settle him until 7 when I just fed him to start our day! We have a 2 year old too so we all go downstairs in morning - baby showed no signs of tiredness yesterday until around 840ish so I started to do wind down with him and he went to sleep at 9 with minimal fuss. Didn't do W2S as we were due to go out after his nap and I was getting organised for that! When he woke he cried but was happy when I went to him? I just remembered he did sleep in the car for another 30 mins after that?

Today he has gone back to sleep at 820 and I did W2S to try and get him to do a proper sleep to get today back on track and he's still asleep now which has been 55 mins. I'm so confused as to what's going on?!!

Part of me thinks he's LSN but I also know he was capable of doing long stretches and waking just once in night! How can he be so happy in night just to lie there talking and babbling when he's had such little sleep? .

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 10:06:55 am »
Thank you for the additional information, it helps :)

This age is a prime time for short naps so it is no surprise that he is taking 40 mins naps. You are doing brilliantly though to help him get that longer nap using W2S.
W2S is a method that is usually done for about 3 or 4 days and then you stop and observe to see if LO can transition alone, if not then you continue W2S for another 3 days to try to aid sleep training and instil the habit of sleeping longer. So it goes in cycles of 3 days then a day of observation.  With some LOs going through the 4 month regression though it does seem like they will only transition with help each day so it ends up being more of a daily thing.  It's can be quite tiring to keep doing it every day so I suggest you find a balance which suits you as best you can during this tricky phase.  Some parents prefer to do the W2S so that LO has longer sleeps and is easier to deal with during A time, some prefer to accept the 40 min nap and get on with their day rather than trying to extend the short nap.  it is really up to you. My suggestion is to try to keep things consistent each day.

There is another aspect of W2S though which is that if you shush/pat all the way to deep sleep (which the method suggests) at every transition time then LO might become reliant on the additional help and less able to self sooth.  If you are shush/patting all the way to sleep at nap and BT and through every transition you might consider reducing this, keeping in mind the goal of LO self soothing and only giving the minimum help needed, always with the aim of reduction and weaning.  I mention this as it can become habitual for parents (especially when very tired) to sit and pat and go into a bit of a daze do the patting continues rather than reduces.  it can be hard to stay mindful to the aim of reduction when you are tired and when you know patting works, it is tempting to keep on doing it rather than risk LO waking fully.  Just something to keep in mind.

He never seems tired enough for the catnap - he's been fighting it for more than a week now through in trying to enforce it as when I didn't he would wake not long after going to bed for night! Even if I only get 15 mins from him it seems to help but it's a battle!! Yesterday he was over 3 hours awake before the catnap in sling and he was happy! And tends to do fine even when been awake for this long?! On days he won't do catnap he could be awake 3 hours and fine?
At this point it is hard to tell if he is so awake because he's got a second wind from being OT or if he is low sleep needs and really is happy to go 3hrs.
If you find the sling works (or pushchair or car) for a CN later in the day then I'd just go for that tbh.  2 naps at home in his cot are good for setting good habits but this third nap being a struggle each day it is probably easier all round if you just go for the sling nap.
One of the reasons for sleep training and using the EASY routine is that babies get heavy - holding them for every nap is so easy when they are tiny and light but an older heavier baby is hard work - this third nap is the one that most babies drop at around 6 months so if it is APOPed now (sling nap) then this habit is not a long term one if you see what I mean, it is going in a couple of months even if he is regular sleep needs.  Hope that makes sense.

since trying the DF I feel like now I've caused him to start waking now! And it's not even like the DF always buys us a good stretch of sleep - sometimes he wakes at midnight even after a DF! Though I haven't been feeeing him unless it's been 3 hours - should I stretch that to 4 since he's 4 hours in day?
You can try the DF a bit earlier to catch him in a different phase of his sleep cycle and try to prevent that 10pm NW.  Or you can stop the DF if you find it is not helpful and just do a NF when needed.  It is totally normal for babies this age to need feeds in the night and especially for a BF baby to increase night feeds to up your supply, this is the time of day your body gets the signals to produce more for his increasing need.  Waiting until 3hrs is a good plan, there is not much point trying to resettle a hungry baby at the 3hr mark and trying to hold off to 4hrs in the middle of the night, much better if he's hungry to just get the feed done and everyone back to sleep asap.

I'm beginning to wonder if my milk supply is low and is that why he's waking? Though he would cry if he was hungry surely?
Babies who know they are going to be fed promptly because they are on a regular predictable routine and their needs are being met, may not cry for food.  I didn't hear my DS's hunger cry until he was 10.5months old and that was following an illness and hospital stay after which he needed night feeds to make up for the calories he hadn't taken when he was ill. I wasn't expecting the need to feed at night so it was the only time he had need to use his hunger cry, which certainly got my attention!  What I'm saying then is that on a predictable routine your DS may have no need to cry for hunger, however if you do not feed him and he needs feeding then yes he would let you know about it.
If you are uncertain of your supply please do post on the BF board where there are members with lots of experience and tips for increasing supply.

How can he be so happy in night just to lie there talking and babbling when he's had such little sleep? .
This can be caused by a routine which is not age appropriate but it can also as easily be part of the developmental process and the 4 months sleep regression. It is quite normal for babies to have phases of wakefulness in the night due to developmental leaps. Although it is worrying and tiring for you it is pretty normal for them, be reassured that he is happy.  You do not have a totally inappropriate routine, quite the opposite you are offering a good regular EASY, and are doing your best to help him sleep and stay well rested which is all you can do.

This is a phase. As hard as it is, you will get through it.  Let's keep an eye on the EASY logs and look out for any patterns which may emerge, OK?


Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 09:17:37 am »
I thought I would post our whole easy from yesterday to see if her is anything that stands out to you?

E 6
A
S 820 (1hr 40)
Y

E 10
A
S 1240 (45mins)
Y

E 2
A
S 330 (1hr 10)

E 5
A bath at 6
E 630 (50 min feed both sides)
S 730

Woke at 1030 just as I was going to DF, 215am for feed, then again at 345 crying and was awake 2 hours. He was inconsolable at one point so offered him a feed at 430 which he somewhat took and got sleepy but wouldn't go down - would wake 5 mins after being put back again in his bed. Slept again eventually on hubby in our bed at 545 until 720.

Last night was diff as last few nights when he wakes he's happy and talking- last night he was crying and wouldn't be put down. There wasn't any babbling or talking, just the crying?!

I know I'm probably creating some bad habits by taking him into our bed when we can't settle him and by offering feeds when he probably doesn't need them but I'm just so tired and desperate?

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2016, 09:22:43 am »
I should have explained! The 45 min was when we were out at a family event and he was sleeping in the sling. He woke and then was too distracted to go back so that one was my fault! I did W2S with the afternoon nap to help him catch up? Don't know if that was the right thing to do or not?

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2016, 09:55:58 am »
He woke and then was too distracted to go back so that one was my fault!
Try not to blame yourself for his short naps, you're doing the best you can. You can't force him to sleep, only offer him the opportunity.

The day looks okay really. Nothing leaps out. I wonder if he might have started teething and this may be causing some of the NWs.
If you have this experience again where he wakes again 5 mins after being put down in the night I suggest you put him down and keep a hand on him for patting or just a firm hand to see if you can take him into a deep sleep phase before leaving (up to 20 mins).
Depending what the temperature is like where you are it could be that his cot feels a little cool after being out in your arms for a while, you could try a little warm water bottle in there whilst you hold him to keep the cot warmish, always remove the bottle and check the temperature of the cot before putting him back in. It's not about it being hot, just to take the edge off any coolness.  This helped my own DS settle a bit better in the night during a tricky phase.


Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 08:44:15 am »
Thank you for your suggestions - we did wonder about teething so last night have some meds but didn't seem to make a difference?!! He seems to have gone back to wanting to feed every 3 hours overnight? So then I wonder is he not getting enough in the day since I moved to 4 hour feeds? He's a big boy so I feel like he should be able to go longer between feeds?

If it's ok I'll keep posting our easy for next few days to see f anything jumps out? This was E 720
A
S 930 (woke after 30 and got back until 1040 - 1hr total)
Y

E 11
A
S 1 (2hrs)
Y

E 3
A
E 5
S 525 (20 mins capped)

A bath @ 630
E 7
S 730

Woke @830 & 930

DF@ 1010

Woke @ 120, 415 and was up til 530 and then slept in our bed until 630;

Also is it better to sleep train during these difficult periods or wait til after? I know we need to do something about him being held til drowsy before sleep!


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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2016, 18:48:51 pm »
He seems to have gone back to wanting to feed every 3 hours overnight? So then I wonder is he not getting enough in the day since I moved to 4 hour feeds?
If he's having a growth spurt it wlll likely only be a few days of additional feeds over night. If it is significantly longer than that then it's more likely something else. If you suspect that 4hr E is too long in the day it's fine to bring it earlier, say 3.5hrs. My own LO didn't move from 3hrly E until he was 6 months old, he just couldn't go longer.

Those two early evening WUs look like they might be OT or pain, I wonder if he needs longer than 20 mins CN, it would mean a slightly later BT perhaps.

Also is it better to sleep train during these difficult periods or wait til after? I know we need to do something about him being held til drowsy before sleep!
My approach was always to give as much help as needed but to be mindful not to move into habitually helping more than needed.  Drowsy before being put down should be fine, if you can put down drowsy do a little shush/pat in the cot and leave him to go to sleep alone then you are moving in the right direction :)


Offline Laineybobs

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2016, 15:47:43 pm »
I really need your help! Am at end of my tether with our 20 week old who's sleep is just getting increasingly worse! I can some days get two good naps out of him but the nighttime is just awful. He can be awake anything between 3 to up all night. I can't jeep going.

I'll post my easy for last few days to see if you can see anything:

Tuesday:
E 7 (after being awake from 515 when I took him into our bed)
A
S 830 ( was quite happy up too this point
Y

Woke after 40 mins but I got him back off and he did 2 hours in total

E 1045
A
S 1245 - again woke after 40 but got him back off for

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Re: Can someone help me tweak our routine to help with early waking??
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2016, 16:03:26 pm »
I really need your help! Am at end of my tether with our 20 week old who's sleep is just getting increasingly worse! I can some days get two good naps out of him but the nighttime is just awful. He can be awake anything between 3 to up all night. I can't jeep going.

I'll post my easy for last few days to see if you can see anything:

Tuesday:
E 7 (after being awake from 515 when I took him into our bed)
A
S 830 ( was quite happy up too this point
Y

Woke after 40 mins despite me doing W2S at 25 mins but I got him back off and he did 2 hours in total

E 1045
A
S 1245 - again woke after 40 again despite me doing W2S which used to work / but got him back off for 2 hours


E 3
A

And this is where day went a bit wrong!! He wouldn't catnap and seemed happy so I tried to push trough and do EBT but by 6 he was grizzly so I fed him one side, changed him into nighttime and fed him other side and put him to bed. He was asleep by 630.

He then woke at 730, and then again at 830 and was up then til 1130. I fed him at 930 to see if it would help and he did get sleepy but wouldn't go to sleep. took him into bed and he slept til 130, fed again and was unsettled again so kept him in bed beside me.He then slept til 330 and then woke again and then I can't really remember what happened but I woke at 5 and he was asleep beside me so I put him back in his crib and he slept til 620.

Today:
Woke 620
E 7 ( I held off feeding him to make sure he was hungry but he wasn't that interested)
A - offered him a top up feed around 745 and he took some but again not much
S 9
Y

Woke at 30 mins despite W2S but went back off and did hour 1hr 15 in tota
E 1045 (again not interested so kept offering top up feeds - took some)
A
S were out at relatives house so wasn't in his own room and he took til 1245 to settle when he did hour despite W2S at 30 mins
Y

He's been happy since getting up and has just gone down again now and 1550 for what will be a catnap.

I'm lost as to where I'm going wrong! He had lots of good sleep yesterday but last night was terrible. Other days his naps are terrible and he sleeps ok - but not always. There is no rhyme or reason to it all?!!!

In tens of his feeding he isn't as interested in feeding at all - prefers to pop on and off so don't know if  That's bad in terms of trying to be on a 4 hour easy? Even at the 4 hour mark he isn't always that hungry? His A times seem to be higher too some days? Some times he can manage 3 hours til bedtime other times no! Same with the catnap! It causes me mor stress than it's worTh some days to get him to do I?!!  I'm so lost!! Please help!!