Author Topic: 2 Months of 5AM WU, Short(er) Naps  (Read 412 times)

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Offline KYKatydid

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2 Months of 5AM WU, Short(er) Naps
« on: February 13, 2017, 20:30:18 pm »
Hi All,

My now 19.5 mo old has been waking up at 5A for the past 2 months, and I'm kinda over it. My husband and I are leaving to go out of country for 10 days starting in March, and I'm worried about my poor Mom and him getting up at 5A...

We moved his BT a little later, but then read later to make his breakfast a little later, so we did that. So his breakfast is now at 6:30, with hopes of his WU being 6A.

Here is his schedule:

WU-5A (with hopes of 6/6:30 WU)
Breakfast 6:30
Lunch: 11:30/12:00
NT- 12/12:30
BT-7:30

He's just so exhausted even by 9:30/10A that sometimes he just passes out. If that happens, I let him micro nap for 10 mins, and he will take his "long" nap about 3 hours later.

His naps lately have been right around 1 hr-1 hr 15 min.

Should we do PUPD (with more PD)? When he gets up I will go in his room, and rub his back if he's really upset, he hates me leaving and just cries and cries, which is why I'm thinking PD? Sometimes he'll chat to himself. We've also tried Wake to Sleep with out success.

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Re: 2 Months of 5AM WU, Short(er) Naps
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 08:55:42 am »
Hi there
I see you are just coming out of the 18 month regression time so these EW and routine changes are likely all linked.
Although your LO was doing a much longer nap prior to the regression it could well be that he now needs less. Some LOs totally drop the nap at 24 months and although that seems rather early it is not unheard of, so bare this in mind (others of course are still napping at 3-4 years old).

If you are totally focused on shifting that routine I see it as possible - but likely not pretty.
I would shift everything in 15-30 min increments over a period of days until the WU moves.  The night will not necessarily be longer but it will be later.
Once you have shifted everything and it has settled down you could then look at tweaking nap time, nap length and BT to see if you can reduce the nap a little and increase night length - I would  not advise doing both at once or you'll end up in a pickle.  One thing at a time would be what I'd do.

To move the routine then:
- Just like many of us move routines for clock changes, you move all sleep and meal times by 15mins day 1, another 15 mins day 2, etc until an hour has been achieved and the entire routine runs an hour later: 6am WU, 1pm/2pm nap and 8.30pm BT.  This is done in one week or less.
- If when you have shifted the entire routine by 1hr the WU time has not moved, increase by a further 15 mins next day and then another 15 mins making a total of 1hr 30. Wait a few days to see WU time move. This may go into a second week as you give LO a few days to settle into the new times and see if WU time moves.
- Do not put down for a CN regardless of how tired he looks or even for just 10 mins. Those micro naps can have a huge impact on routine

Separately you might consider introducing a gro clock or lights on a timer so you can begin to train LO that light means day and he is allowed to wake up, and that dark means night and he must not yet wake up.  This won't work on it's own to shift WU though, and in the early days with this training you need the clock/lights to show as day pretty soon after the natural WU time so that LO makes the connection.  it is a longer term tool, one I think worth introducing.  My 6yo has his lights come on at 6.40am for school days (then he reads until 7am then gets up) and 7am on weekends (then he reads for 20 mins), he knows we have a little lie in on the weekend and although he can tell the time the lights are a much clearer indication to his body.


Offline KYKatydid

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Re: 2 Months of 5AM WU, Short(er) Naps
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 19:54:09 pm »
Hi Creations!,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply :)

Yes, I totally agree that these EW and nap adjustments are very much linked to his 18 mo regression.

DS has in the past needed to be "readjusted" after a regression, in part in the past because of accidental parenting (before we knew better!), but he also just gets in ruts, too! E.g., 4 months ago he was still waking 3-4 times at night just because he was so used to it!

So, perhaps I should have clarified that after 2 months of EW I'm concerned this is more of a habit than to do with his regression. Am I wrong in my thinking? LOTS of people have told me he'll just "come out of it" but I'm struggling to believe this!

I also should have clarified that his routine IS adjusted for the most part, albeit a little slower than you mentioned :)

-We took just about 1.5 weeks to adjust his BT, doing 10 minutes every 2 days to get him to 7:30 PM (instead of b/w 6 or 6:30)
-We took about 1 week to adjust his breakfast time, adjusting by 10 minutes every 2 days to get him to 6:30 AM (instead of 6A)

We adjusted his BT and then his breakfast time.

We haven't seen any adjustments for about a week in his WU time. I'm not necessarily "focused" on shifting his routine unless it's something that would help.

We just got him a timer for his light, and will start on that.

So to confirm, you're saying his NEW schedule should be "aimed" for:

WU 6A
N 1P or 2 P
BT 8:30 P

9.5 hours at night seems like SUCH a short amount of sleep...he's on the Spirited side, so I'm also struggling to see him being happy with that amount of wake time b/w WU and N and N and BT.

And, not to mention, my husband and I both work some evenings from DS's BT and our BT, and we would lose that if DS was put in bed at 8:30P, and we really wouldn't have much time in the AM if he has a WU of 6AM. I'm just trying to figure out "reality" vs "convenience" if that makes sense.

In a "picture perfect" world DS' schedule would be:

WU 6/6:30A
N 12:30/1:00P
BT 7/7:30

Is that not feasible at this age? Am I not understanding your advice? Thank you for taking the time to clarify!

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Re: 2 Months of 5AM WU, Short(er) Naps
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 08:33:31 am »
9.5 hours at night seems like SUCH a short amount of sleep..
Yes it is really too short a night however he is currently only getting this length night anyway and my suggestion of how to shift the timesit is not intended long term but to force the WU time to move.
The thing with the routine atm is that although you have shifted BT and breakfast his WU time has not shifted so he is losing an hour every night - correct?
Mine did this when his body clock was stuck at a 5am WU time, even if I moved in slow increments trying to get a slightly later WU all that happened was BT went later and he still woke early, losing sleep every night.
The way I found around this (as clock change was approaching and I couldn't bare the though of being up even earlier!) was a far more rapid move on the times.  As you'll see above I suggest moving beyond the hour if WU time doesn't change, the more rapid move plus going *beyond* the hour was what worked for my DS to break that habit of waking at 5am.  Once he was waking later for a few days I gradually made BT a bit earlier (this part slowly to make sure I didn't go too early or him revert to his previous EW habit).

As your BT has already moved to 7.30 you might even see his WU time change if you just put him down 30 mins later for several nights - there is no rule as to how to do this, you just do it and make the WU change.  In cases of a strong body clock or strong habit the more rapid move brings on faster OT and actually it is the OT which helps you to establish the more suitable routine.  Tracy used OT build up to get LOs on to more suitable routines too.

The other thing to bare in mind is that you might end up with only a 10hr night for a while as LO's sleep needs change and he is working towards dropping the nap.  It could be that his nap remains at 1hr but nights are shorter.  It could be that you can reduce the nap to 45 min, then 30, etc and nights will be slightly longer...but the chances of a long nap and a long night over the coming months just might not be on the cards for you.
As example at 19 months mine would have been doing 2hr nap and around 10.5hr night.  At 2yo his night started to shorten.  I did try some shorter nap but for my DS this was not helpful (his mood was far too bad to live with after a capped nap) so he remained on 2hr nap (1.5 if I dared to cap) with ever-shorter nights until 2.5yo.  I think the shortest was 9 hrs, but with a 2hr nap that is actually not so bad.  He dropped his nap over night and moved to 11hr nights which over times lengthened to 12hr nights (which he kept until about 4.5yo).

so, to clarify - the routine change is not set in stone, it is a method to shift WU and break a EW habit.  Once that is achieved you can tweak BT for a longer night (put down slightly earlier over a period of nights) and tweak nap time/length to get the best length of night possible.  Mood wise your LO might do better on shorter naps and longer night but equally might do better on longer naps and shorter night.

As an alternative you might find that if you just stop any morning micronaps and stick to the nap time you have his WU time *might* move later.  He is clearly tired if he wants those micronaps but they don't help him get a longer night.

FWIW just as my DS came out of the 18 month regression he needed a later nap time.  I forget the exact age we moved to this time of nap but it stayed for a good time and was settled:
WU 6 (and possibly 6.30)
nap 2-4
BT 8
And as I said, we had a period of 6 months where he was working towards dropping his nap when nights went shorter (refusing BT, call backs etc) and when I tried a range of alternatives including some NNDs (no nap days) and capped naps, neither of which suited him at all.  I would not describe our routine as "picture perfect" but it was the best routine to keep him in good spirits and well rested.  And usually the good spirits and well rested LO is the best option for parents, life is smoother even if BT is later or the nap is not at a time you would have chosen.