Author Topic: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?  (Read 502 times)

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Offline Bera

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5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:21:24 am »
My 5 mo went through a phase of short naps for 1.5 months! I tried everything, W2S, HTTJ etc and the only thing that worked was HTTJ (and that was only half of the time). Then he suddenly started taking longer naps (of 1.5-2 hours) for the past 2 weeks or so & all was great! Until....

The past 5 days he has gone back to short naps of 30-40 mins and he rarely goes back down with shush pat etc. I'm not sure what to do with our routine - I've tried extending A times but it doesn't seem to work. I've put our old routine below to show a typical day (prior to the short napping). He's 5 months old and EBF

8am E
8.10 A
9.45 S

11.30 E
11.40 A
13.30 S

15.00 E
15.10 A
17.00 S (Catnap)

17.30 E
17.40 A
19.00 E and start bedtime routine
19.45-20.00 BT

He wakes up an average of 4 times per night - of those I'll feed him 2-3 times (and he does drink a decent amount)  otherwise I'll shush pat back to sleep.

I thought perhaps he's UT so I did 2 hours for the1st A times for the past 3 days - the 1st nap of the day ended up being 30-40 mins long every day and then the rest of the day went in a similar way (I tweaked the following A times to make them shorter after the 1st short nap but didn't help) bc I think he gets stuck in a OT/UT loop.

Please could someone suggest what I can try...

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 14:00:10 pm »
Hi Bera welcome to BW forums :)

Sounds like you just need to increase the A times. I know you worked this out yourself but then thought it didn't work. Maybe just needed to wait longer rather than second guessing yourself and reducing the A time to try to avoid OT.
Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!
At this age I would keep all A times at 2hrs even after a short nap.  If he's had a short nap and is looking particularly grump by 1hr 45 just try to slow the WD down a bit.  If you keep putting him down UT (even if he looks tired) you will likely continue to get the short naps.
It also looks like he was already doing a 2hr A time in that EASY prior to things going off track (11.30 - 1.30 in your routine) so I really wouldn't go any shorter, possibly longer though.  I suggest 2hr for all A times for the next 2 - 3 days then if things haven't improved increase the first and second to 2hr 15 but not to let the last A time before BT get too long (looks quite long there 5.30pm - 8pm is 2hr 30 which is far longer than any of the other A times in the day. If you are comfortable and confident that this A time  is fine then continue it, keep in mind if he's okay for this then he can likely handle longer in the other A times too).

hope this helps
let us know how you get on :)


Offline Bera

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 21:31:18 pm »
Thank you so much - it's good to know I was on the right lines and I just need to be more consistent and follow through. My husband is with him for the next 2 days whilst I'm at work, so I'm not sure he'll be as regimented as me! But I'll definitely start it from Monday and let you know how we go :)

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 17:20:17 pm »
@creations

Sorry I haven't updated sooner. My DS had a fever and subsequent cough last week which threw things off kilter for a few days. We're also having some work done to the driveway and garden which is very noisy and I think it's been disrupting his naps (even with white noise playing throughout).

I had to HTTJ for most of last week bc he was waking after 30ish minutes, possibly bc of all the noise. When I've tried not HTTJ, he seems to wake early more often than not. The following has been an average day recently....

Wake up 8.00
E
A
S 10.10 (HTTJ)

Awake 11.30
E
A
S 13.45 (HTTJ/resettled at 35mins)

Awake 15.15
E
a
S 17.15 catnap

Awake 17.45
E
A
S 20.00 bedtime

hes been needing resettling around 35 mins if I don't HTTJ but I don't know if this means UT or OT??

Any suggestions what to try next or whether to keep going with this routine or HTTJ?
I don't know whether to start the plan again at the weekend bc the work will be finished so it'll be back to his usual environment...

I've looked at the past few days and I can't see a consistent pattern with nap length based on 2hr vs 2hr15 A time.... ( I've tried to stick to 2hr for the 1st two A times but sometimes it's been longer bc he's taken longer to settle or we've been out)




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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 11:39:52 am »
Hi there
sorry to hear your Ds was poorly :(

I would continue with HTTJ if it is working for now - you don't want to get in to the habit of doing it every single day but just try to hold off every 4th day to see what happens and see if he can transition alone. TBH when mine dropped to 1 nap (obviously older than your LO is now) and I used W2S I did do it every day as I could see it was the only way to keep him asleep and get the one good nap, I went on far longer than the 3-4 day cycles because I just knew he'd wake too early if I stopped. it became apparent when he was ready to get through alone again.  The method though isn't *supposed* to be every single day.

I am not sure exactly how old your LO is, late 5 months, approaching 6 months I would guess so the chances are that the A time is getting too short again.
For late 5 months early 6 month you're looking at 2hr 30 to 3hr A times. At around 6 months usually closer to 3hrs and LO drops from 3 naps to 2 (the CN is dropped).  With that in mind I would keep all A times at least 2hr 15 and suggest increasing the first and second A times to 2hr 30.  You might need another increase over the next couple of weeks to 2hr 45 or even 3hr.  Move in 15 min increments and always wait a few days for LO to settle into the routine before increasing again.

One other thing you could try is to go in a second time on nap 1 and see if you can get a third sleep cycle making a 2hr nap.  If you can't get that third cycle then no harm done, I wouldn't try for a long time to resettle if it causes crying etc, I just think it's worth a go to see if that nap can be longer.

It's a pain when there are external noises etc to add into the equation. I would help him transition if you know there is noise etc.  Maybe white noise or music would help cover the irregular work noises?


Offline Bera

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 20:12:26 pm »
Thanks so much for your prompt reply.
The noisy work has finally finished today so we can get down to business properly!
He is indeed 5.5 months, so you're right about increasing the A times - perhaps that's why he wakes early without HTTJ (bc he's UT at the moment with 2hr15)

I will start my new plan at the weekend hopefully, although we are visiting my family out of town so it might be a bit chaotic   ::) - if so, I'll start when I get back next week.

The plan is:
Try 1st & 2nd A time 2hr30
Final A time To keep at 2hr15 for now - I've found this is perfect as he self settles with no fuss within 5-10 mins of putting in his crib
HTTJ for 3 days, observe on 4th day to see if wakes early from nap

Will keep you posted on progress   :)

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 20:31:37 pm »
Great :)
Yes, no harm in trying the new A times when you are visiting but as usual, keep expectations low, it's usually harder to get LO to sleep when so much is going on and they are not in their own bed etc.
have a lovely trip to see your family :)


Offline Bera

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 11:48:25 am »
Just an update as it's been a while since I posted. We got off track for a while due to teething and just got back from holiday last week. His routine was all over the place whilst we were away but he was almost back to normal as soon as we got back  :)

He seems to be comfortably doing 3 hour Atimes which seemed to happen overnight! But he's started walking up after 1 hour and needs resettling. His routine yesterday was...

Awake 6.45
E
A (3hr15)
S 1hr40 (Nap 1 hour then extra 40 after resettling)

E
A (3hr15)
S 1hr15 (Nap 35 mins + 40 mins after resettling)

E
A (3hr5)
Sleep for the night (Wakes for 2 night BF)

Do you think 3hr15 might be too long and I should go back to 3hr and see what happens?
He's also started rolling in his sleep/during partial awakenings which is disrupting some naps and night sleep and we've had to de-swaddle him as a result which is also unsettling him.


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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 13:33:09 pm »
I think he is 7 months now, yes?  It could be he needs an additional 10 mins on the A time to help transition during the nap.  You can try for a couple of days just on one nap and see what happens perhaps?


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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 19:37:38 pm »
He is 7 months. Thanks - I'll try 3hr25/3hr30 for his 1st nap for a few days and see how he goes (seeing as 3hr15 seems to be giving 1 hour naps at the moment). He's handling his Atime well at the moment so hopefully he'll be okay with that extra push. I'll let you know how it's going in a few days.

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 12:03:38 pm »
He's been doing well with coping with extended Atimes, but I'm still not consistently getting long naps 😔 He's also proving difficult to settle before his naps and fusses for a while before he falls asleep (I used to just shush pat but I am having to do a bit of gentle rocking to calm him before and during naps if he wakes up early)

Our routine yday was...
E 7.15 Wakeup
A 3hr35
S 10.50 (1hr nap + 40 mins after resettling) woke at 12.15

E
A 3hr20
S 1hr10 nap (I woke him to preserve bedtime)

E
A 3hr
S bed for 20.15

This morning I tried 3hr45 and he woke up at 45 mins...
I'm confused - does he really need longer A to get a good morning nap - 4hour 1st A time?! (He's 7.5 months) I'm assuming he's undertired bc he wakes up relaxed and happy, never crying.
Is it wise for me to resettle him if he wakes early? Or should I just let him wake up?
He wakes up, I usually leave him to see if he goes back to sleep and he doesn't- so when he starts fussing/crying I go up to resettle him.

Any advice or suggestions are much appreciated 😄

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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 20:01:54 pm »
I'm confused - does he really need longer A to get a good morning nap - 4hour 1st A time?! (He's 7.5 months) I'm assuming he's undertired bc he wakes up relaxed and happy, never crying.
Well, possibly. It's also possible that something else is waking him so he is not transitioning at the end of one sleep cycle.  Mine always needed a really long first A time but shorter after that.  Some LOs even drop to one nap around 9 or 10 months, I mean it's unusual but it happens so I would assume those LOs are on much longer than guidance A times at 7.5 months.
How about try the 3hr 45 for a few more days and see what happens?
On the other hand the 3hr 20 A time resulted in a longer nap on his own which didn't need resettling and you ended up capping it so he would have gone longer.
Bit confusing.
I think the only thing you can do is try either the 3hr 45 or go back to 3hr 20 - but either way you'd need to try it for a few days to see what happens.

Is it wise for me to resettle him if he wakes early? Or should I just let him wake up?
It's fine to resettle him.  Some LOs (usually a bit older than this) will need to move to one longer nap and one shorter nap so that they can fit in the A times and the naps and still make it to bed on time for the night so if it comes to the point where you decide not to resettle then just bare in mind that the following A time would need to be on the shorter side rather than longer side, and you'd still want to look for at least one good length nap in the day.

Sorry I'm not able to give you a cut and dry answer.


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Re: 5mo started short naps - how to tweak schedule...?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 22:28:12 pm »
That's really helpful, thanks. I appreciate there isn't always a single simple answer but thank you for your ongoing advice and suggestions.
I will try 1st A 3hr45 for the next few days and see what happens.

Re: 1 vs 2 naps, I've been reading on the forums/resources about trying to preserve 2 naps for as long as possible so I figured we'd end up with 1 long and 1 short in the next few months. Well I hope to get at least 1 long nap out of him every day!