Author Topic: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression  (Read 966 times)

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Offline MunchkinsMama

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15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« on: January 01, 2017, 22:29:55 pm »
Hi there, I'm hoping you can give me some advice.

My lb is 15 weeks and since birth has not been a great sleeper. We seem to have missed the sleepy newborn stage lol. He's very alert and active; constantly moving his arms and legs, always trying to pull himself up. He seems to have a very hard time relaxing. I don't think he has ever fallen asleep on me or my husband or ever fallen asleep of his own accord. He only likes to sit upright and doesn't like cuddling. He only likes to be held over the shoulder where he can see everything going on. He will happily lie down on his play mat and play independently for 30 mins or so and will engage best with people when they're not holding him.

Despite poor naps (1- 1 1/2 hour in total), he was going to bed between 8-9 and sleeping for 7-8 hours, one night feed and then back to sleep until 6-6:30am. However, I assume the 4 month sleep regression has hit because he now won't settle until 10:30-11:30 and that's with screaming and 2 hours of settling. Settling for naps can take 1-2 hours and lots of screaming. He now sleeps for 5-6 hours and 1-2 NFs. Now that he's going to bed later, he's getting less sleep and doesn't make up for it in naps so I have a chronically overtired baby on my hands! This change in BT has been for the last 2 weeks.

I am aware that he needs short awake times of 1 hour 15 (or less if he has catnapped) but the problem is that he has never settled easily so I feel that I have no control over his awake time. My efforts to wind him down are clearly failing because he doesn't go down without a fight. My husband returns to work this week after Christmas and I'm dreading it because I'm finding it so stressful battling with him to sleep all day.

Any advice from you mamas would be most welcomed.

Offline FPT23

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Re: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2017, 05:25:41 am »
Hello and happy new year! :)

First off, maaaany hugs! That regression is most certainly a toughy :( ...hang in there as this will pass! Xo

Could you possibly post his routine in EASY format please? Perhaps we can tweak his days a bit and see what's going on.

I would like to mention a few things for you and hope it helps some :) ....this age is very challenging. So much going on! :) ....short naps or inconsistent naps are very common but 1-1.5 as you mention is actually pretty good! So I will applaud you on that. As their activity time increases, their naps do as well. Closer to 5.5/6 mths I find that many LOs start taking longer naps. A good nap is considered at least 1.5 so consider yourself somewhat lucky your getting a few good ones ;)

At this age many become more active and have a new found mobility- rolling! That can def interfere with sleep. In addition, there is quite the growth spurt so if he seems hungrier at nights and waking more, he probably is! So that doesn't sound to out of the ordinary that he wakes for more NFs. A good rule of thumb is to try increasing his daily intake in hopes that he stays fuller during the day, and not wake and make up for those extra calories at night. Increase gradually to avoid tummy problems :)

At this age, babies begin to start sleep associations! If you were rocking baby to sleep, feeding to sleep, holding, patting, pacifier, swaddles... etc, they will now expect it until the fall asleep. Their sleep developmentally makes changes. It is now beginning to be more like adult sleep and won't fall asleep so easily. It's truly developmental. Is there anything you find might that is a possible prop?

Becoming very alert happens and many are ready for a good A time push too. With this... comes another change (fun stuff huh ;) awesome regression! Haha). Many LOs should be at around 3 naps by now. Closer to 5.5-6ish mths they start transitioning to 2 naps. So that might be something you keep in mind. At his age he should have about 2 naps of about 1-1.5 each with one catnap. I understand long naps aren't as consistent but just keep in mind these nap changes too.

Hopefully you can post his EASY (as best as you can) and maybe we can all spot something and offer extra suggestions for ya.

Many hugs!! Xo
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 05:28:48 am by FPT23 »

Offline sophsk22

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Re: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 15:27:09 pm »

Sorry to piggy back into this post but I'm having the same issues with my nearly 15 week old. Naps were always hard by now they're virtually impossible. I feel like I'm trapped in a vicious circle. I've just spent an hour trying to get her to sleep with shush pat but got nowhere, it just made both of us miserable. So now I'm having to feed her, she's obviously hungry after all that screaming, and I know she's going to fall asleep nursing. Which basically makes the whole exercise of trying to use shush pat pointless and reinforces her nursing to sleep. What should I be doing at this point?! Sorry, I have posted separately too but haven't any responses and since we're having the same issue I thought I might as well try joining your thread. Thanks!

Offline MunchkinsMama

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Re: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 08:52:19 am »
Hi Sophsk, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one having this problem. Hopefully we can find ways to improve it.

FPT23, thanks for responding. You've helped me before so thank you  :) and Happy New Year to you too!

I apologise for the essay, but just to give you more info. so you might see better where I'm going wrong.

I should clarify... He's not sleeping for 1-1.5 hour naps at a time, that is usually the total amount of nap time from 7am-7pm roughly. Although in saying that, the naps for the last few days have been a bit better. Nothing I've done, mind you lol we've also only had one nightfeed for the last few nights.

We're having an issue with his eating as well and I'm not sure whether it's a case of we've messed it up... He was going 3 hourly between feeds over a month and a half ago but then the sleep prop of feeding to sleep seems to have messed things up. We ended up offering him his bottle every 1.5-2 hours to help him nap. The problem is now that that sleep prop has stopped working. He gets really tired and then overtired because he doesn't know how to fall asleep without the bottle but if he's not hungry then he refuses and won't go to sleep. I didn't want to sleep train him yet but I have no choice now that every time a nap/BT comes around, we have a screeching and overtired little man. I need to teach him a new way to go to sleep (he has never fallen asleep by himself. Ever. Lol).

With regards to feeding, we've agreed to stop trying to feed to sleep now (because it isn't working) and instead, try to offer feeds at 3.5-4 hourly (or before if he wants it). I feel like I've lost the ability to identify his hunger cues since we kept feeding to sleep because the two became synonymous.

He has never been a great eater. Doesn't take full feeds, refuses a lot (but that could be because we're offering it too much). In 24 hours, he'll take between 22.5-28 ozs (usually s'where in the middle). His weight was 15lb 7ozs a few weeks back. Surely this isn't enough for his size?

He takes around 11-12 ozs between 7am-15:00pm. The only time he usually takes a full feed (7 oz bottles) is evening time and it's usually a circus of feed to sleep, wakes up 10 or 30 mins later, more feed, wakes up again, more feed, until he's finally in his night sleep. At NFs he doesn't take anymore than 2-3 ozs. Then when he gets up at 7am, he's not hungry for his bottle. On Day 1 (below) he took 6 ozs but that was a one-off.

I'm genuinely not sure what his awake times are! When he gets up in the morning, he seems tired within about 30 mins of waking. Then the 'awoo'ing' and hyper noises commence so I presume by this stage I'm too late?

This has no semblance to EASY (no two days are the same but I'm really keen to get there and separate the eating from the sleeping. It's a right mess and incomplete in the evening. He will usually have his last nap around 5:30/6:30 and then BT begins at 7/7:30 but he will usually only begin his night sleep at about 9-9:30 🙈

Day 1
NF at 3:20 (2.5-3 ozs)
Awake 8 (started getting tired at 8:30)
Feed - 8:35 - 6.5 ozs (Bottle 1)
Sleep - 9:30 - 10:05
Activity 10:05 - 11:50 feed at 11:30 - (Bottle 2) 1.5 then refused
Eat - seemed frustrated with milk 2.5 in total
Took a few sucks of water and fell asleep
Sleep 12:00 - 12:35
Took a little then Refusing feed 4 ozs total
13:50 - 2 ozs (6 ozs total)
14:00 - 15:00 sleep - woke up crying
Eat - 2 ozs
Sleep 15:30 - in pram (slept for 10 mins) then awake.
Sleep 16:05 - 16:35

Day 2
Wake 7:20
Eat 7:50-8:05 (1.5 oz)
Sleep 8:05-8:55
Awake and eat 3.5 ozs (5 ozs total)
Sleep 11:00-11:30
A 11:30
Sleep 14:50- 15:20
Eat 15:50 ( bottle 2)
Sleep 16:05-16:55 (in car)
E 17:10 -
S - 17:15-18-15
S- 21:15 -4:45am

A 6:55
S 8:00am (showing sleepy cues at 7:30) 30 mins of crying to get to sleep (refusing bottle).

Thank you for reading!

Offline FPT23

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Re: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 04:34:24 am »
Hi! Glad I can help again! :)

IRT his feeds... is he formula fed? If I remember correctly at this age it is close to around 2-3oz?  Maybe. Now, I do know that sometimes the E part can get a bit tricky with the short naps and all that. I would just continue to try and feed every 3 hrs still. Closer to 4mths+ they do increase to more of a 4hr feeding schedule. A lot of that can be due to a big growth spurt that occurs around that time and many other changes (regression). Many moms see at least one longer nap (naps are very normally short at this age and elongate closer to 5.5-6mths when their self soothing skills become better and their A time increases). It could be that he's maybe not hungry when u are offering his feeds. If he is formula fed, have you noticed any kind of tummy troubles or winded? ...maybe some constipation? That can put a baby off of wanting to eat. I would say that if he's having enough stools/wet diapers in his day and gaining weight well, it should be ok but always check w his dr of course.

Ok, now, his EASY; I'm happy to make a few suggestions but this age is still not as consistent but things may start to regulate soon. But until then, it's normal to see short naps. What I would suggest is after the short naps, specifically the 30-35 min ones, is to try and resettle back to sleep so they can turn it into a longer nap. I would attempt to send off back to sleep... if after trying for 10-15 mins with no success, I would stress it. Just put down earlier for the next nap. On that note, 30-35 min naps typically can mean OT. That first nap when you said he seemed tired, I see it was about 1.5 hr A... maybe your LO prefers a shorter morning as some do. I would aim to have him asleep BY 1.15? Try that a few days. Again, this age they short nap often and it's primarily bc they lack the self soothing skills to continue past their sleep cycles AND their A times are still pretty short. As that gets longer, and they become more active, they just are seemingly more tired. I am going to link the A times page just for reference:

Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!

I would try your best to ATTEMPT to stick with an A time between 1.15-1.30 simply to avoid excessive OT. At this age OT is really inevitable so the best thing to do is try and help them by not exceeding A times and trying to resettle the short naps when possible. At this age most typically are on 3 naps a day. What I would do was try my best to stay home and get that first nap down and in his crib. Never missed that first nap at home unless I had to. I would then try for the second one too but that was harder with DS1 around, so I would get him to nap in his stroller or car. If naps were short and unable to resettle into longer naps, I shortened the next A but only by a bit (10mins give or take).

In your EASY The A time between the first nap and second nap was way too long (Day 1) 2 hrs and off of a short nap... :-/ ! Not all A times are the same. Some prefer shorter mornings some prefer shorter evenings. It depends on your baby :) stick to "reasonable" A times for his age. Again, at this age it can still be a bit inconsistent and short naps are common. A good rule of thumb, if it's a 30-35 min nap he might be OT so consider dropping the A time some. 45 normally is UT but also common when babies can't continue the cycle since they are unable to self soothe themselves. Play around w those A times, resettle short naps and bring them closer if he's OT and giving u 30 min naps.

Hope this helps! :)

« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 04:37:06 am by FPT23 »

Offline KBolton

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Re: 15 week old - Sleep issues and 4 month sleep regression
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 07:07:47 am »
I had a very similar issue with my LO and she napped only 15-20minutes, max 30mins in one go.  Like you I was also observing awake times closely and trying to get her down before she got overtired. In the last few weeks, she's totally changed and I now get long naps twice a day and cat nap in the afternoon (I'm still in disbelief and very grateful).

Can I check if he is spending 30minutes under his play mat? One thing I changed was keeping the playmat time to 10-15minutes and then removing the playmat and letting her kick on the floor. Or if in her bouncer chair, removing the toys and letting her have a good look around the house.  I think with a longer period in the playmat she was getting overstimulated. When I put her down her little mind was racing and she struggled to unwind.

I was also feeding to sleep (or anything to get her to sleep) and they all stopped working. That's when I went on a shush pat mission. She loved sleeping in the sling, so I still kept one nap in the sling to try and avoid a total meltdown in the evening due to being OT. If he's an active and intrigued little one, you could try getting the room as dark as possible. I ended up in our ensuite bathroom (please don't judge me) as it had no windows and was pitch black. A little white noise also got rid of any outside noise (and I could actually see her relax with it). She's now in her crib in a dim room, with white noise and goes to sleep in under 10mins, I get some tears but they are more tired moaning. She cried and protested a lot more when I introduced shush pat.

I also found that yawning wasn't necessarily a sleep tell for my LO. I watch her eyes, she gets a bit glazed and avoids eye contact. She then does some eye rubbing. My mid wife friend also said hiccups can be a sign. He might be fighting you because he's not quite ready to go down.

Best of luck and hang on in there! I know how exhausting and frustrating it is!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 08:13:39 am by KBolton »