Author Topic: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still  (Read 572 times)

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Offline Eleanor_164

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Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« on: January 18, 2017, 10:37:46 am »
Hello all,
I've never posted in a forum before but am a huge believer in the Baby Whisperer and have used an EASY schedule from about 3 weeks with my LO so am really hoping you can help as I'm really stuck.
My daughter is 4 months old now but hasn't really progressed her EASY schedule since she was 2 months old. She is only managing about 1h15 of A time and naps for 30-40 mins 5 times a day. This hadn't really been a problem until a week or so ago when she experienced a sleep regression. Now, she wakes within an hour of bedtime and it can take a really long time to settle her. I've used strategies from the Baby Whisperer such as the shhh/pat and tried extending her nap times yesterday. She slept 11.30-12.00, I spent 50 minutes resettling her in her Moses basket and she slept for another 40 minutes but woke up crying and in a bad mood and didn't last much longer than an hour before she wanted to sleep again.
As a bit of background, she is about 50-50 Textbook/Angel baby and usually wakes up happy after her short naps. We feed her when she wakes so she normally only has 3-4oz each time.
Last night I swaddled her (which she has hated so we haven't done it often) and I heard her wake from each sleep cycle and I often needed to give her a paci and shhh/pat for a minute or 2 to get her settled. Her bedtime is 8.00 which she goes down fine for then she woke at 8.50, 9.10, 1.20, 1.40, 2.00, 3.30, 4.15, I fed her at 4.20 and then she woke at 7.40. She wanted to back to sleep within an hour but I kept her up for an hour and a half and she still did a 35 minute nap. I tried to get her back to sleep for half an hour but she wouldn't.
I'm really not sure why she hasn't progressed to a longer easy cycle and longer naps and I'm sure that's what is affecting her night time sleep - any ideas would be gratefully received!

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Re: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 19:44:29 pm »
Hello and welcome to BW forums :)
It's lovely to have you here especially as you are not used to posting on forums - you'll get used to it very soon.

The only way to extend those A times really is for you to push for them to be longer and be consistent with it.  From tomorrow I suggest 1hr 30 A time for all A times regardless of how longer nap is or how tired she might look - at this age they can have a habit of going to sleep after a short A time so get ready for it even if they are not really properly tired.  Sleepy cues can also be misleading at this age, LO is more alert and can yawn now with 'boredom' rather than just when tired. Often changing the activity or moving to a different room/environment can help, this is also a good way to help push the A time longer and keep her distracted from sleep.

Increasing A time:
For the next 3 days then 1hr 30 A time.
On the 4th day increase again, 1hr 45.  I would hold there and see how things go, post your EASY times for us to look at.
There's guidance on A times here:
Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!

Extending naps and teaching LO to sleep longer than 40 mins:
During this period you can also try out a W2S, go in before the end of the sleep cycle (so at around 30 mins) and shush/pat or your usual soothing method before LO fully wakes, it can often be easier to get them back to sleep this way rather than waiting until they fully wake.  Some info here:
How do I address habitual wakings? (wake-to-sleep and other methods)

The 4 month regression is common and in all honestly it can be hard to see what it sleep training related and what is routine related but working towards self settling, transitioning between sleep cycles alone and establishing a suitable routine for age are all things you can do even through the regression.

With regards to the rest of the routine.  I would feed every 3hrs or 3hr+.  At this age many LOs move to 4hrly E so LO should really manage on the full 3hrs between if not a bit more.  Rather than feeding at every wake time to produce a EASEAS routine you will check on the clock to see how long has passed since the last E time. It is totally fine to have a routine looking more like EASAEAS.  She may well feed better if the E times are kept consistently at the 3hrly+ intervals.  it looks like you might be feeding every 2hrs currently (I'm basing this on the info you gave 1hr 15 A time plus 40 min nap, feeding on wake up).  If this is the case you will extend the E time gradually rather than all in one go, for example:
2 days 2hr 15
2 days 2hr 30
2 days 2hr 45
2 days 3hrs. I would expect this is possible within a week without causing upset to LO.
After this you might increase in 5, 10 or 15 increments and depending on nap length and if Lo can mange a longer time between. Although most move to 4hrly E during this month, some don't.

I hope this helps - it would be lovely if you come back with an update - and please do ask more questions if needed.


Offline Eleanor_164

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Re: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 13:53:25 pm »
Thank you so much, that was very helpful, especially after an absolutely awful night. LO woke after every single sleep cycle and needed shhhh/pat and paci to get back to sleep. Fortunately each one only took 1-2 minutes and didn't need the PU/PD method but being woken hourly has really taken its toll on me, I'm struggling today.
So far, I have managed to extend her A timed to between 1h30-2 hours so I'm happy about that. Her naps have still been 40 minutes and my attempts to extend them haven't worked at all, even though I stuck with it for 50 minutes each one. I am trying to stick to a 3 hour feeding schedule as she was on 2 hourly to stick with EASY so I'm hoping that might have some impact too.
I just don't know how to support her to go from one sleep cycle to the next. She goes to sleep independently or with a paci for all naps and bedtimes with no problems and she used to sleep for 5-6 hours in a go so I don't understand what has changed and how to help her through it.
I will implement all of your advice too, thanks again.

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Re: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 14:13:10 pm »
I suggest you continue with shush/pat when needed rather than PUPD for a coupel of reasons:
PUPD really is intended for older LOs, Tracy did use it from 4 months but we generally try to avoid it until older, either way it is a "last resort" method and shush/pat or adapted is preferable.
PUPD is not recommended where there is paci prop. As PUPD is a "last resort" method the idea is that no props are used at all and it does not combine well with props.  You can continue shush/pat with the paci.

Have a look through that W2S link above and see if it might help extend those naps - and continue with the extend time before E and the full A time between naps this should help.

Wow - sorry to hear you were up every hour through the night ! How exhausting.
Things to consider:
Growth Spurt and she might need an additional feed?
Illness coming - disturbed sleep is often the first sign of a cold before the other symptoms show
teething - can begin at 3 months for some LOs, teeth can be on the move for some times before they cut too
reflux or silent reflux - if you have seen any other cues this might be an issue?
Waking so frequently is often a sign of pain or discomfort of some sort so I'd consider the above, it isn't necessarily a sign she can't self sooth, sounds like she does well with that.

Hope you manage to get a bit of rest at some point today.


Offline Eleanor_164

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Re: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 14:27:15 pm »
That's great thank you, I'll keep at it and let you know how it goes! You've been a big help!

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Re: Please help - 4 mo on a 2 hour EASY cycle still
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 15:06:13 pm »
You're welcome