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Offline MrsTigs

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Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« on: March 13, 2017, 13:52:55 pm »
Hi everyone,

So after my last post (NY resolution: finally crack sleep/routine for my 7mth old..... Please help!) and our general ongoing saga of poor sleep since 4 months old, we are now at 9.5 months and still having issues!  ::)

We made significant progress at the start of the year, with LO learning to manage her dummy herself and beginning to have better nights. Her reflux greatly improved and the bedtime wake ups/ screaming subsided a bit. We even had a couple of 11.5/12 hour nights without having to go in  :o ;D

But then she cut 5 teeth in a week and was understandably very distressed!  :'(  Then bronchiolitis hit again (although she avoided hospital this time) and, before fully recovered from that, she got a really nasty D&V bug which wiped us all out (myself and my husband especially!!) So for the last 6 weeks, it's been best endeavours and APOPing all over the place...... She's ended up napping on my lap quite a few times and also coming into our bed in the early hours - both things she hasn't done since she was a tiny newborn  :-\

Anyway, in the last week or so, she's started to settle again and we are now trying to re-regulate her milk and sleep after the chaos of illness! She does still have a nasty bronchi cough at night and is quite snotty at the moment too, but has definitely been sleeping better. However, her naps feel like Russian Roulette and she also has a tendency to wake at 4.30/5am and not want to go back to sleep in her cot. Before getting sick, we were having success with an A time of 3.25-3.5 hours (producing 1hr+naps and better nights), but then of course we were back to short A times and catnaps during her illnesses. Since getting better, we have found the need to stretch her A times to 3.75 or more to get a good nap, but her nights are still all over the place and this morning I just couldn't keep her awake beyond 3 hours?!?  ??? (she did have a disturbed night - crying out in her sleep and then drained 100mls at 2am)

The last few days have looked like this:

Wednesday 8th
W/up: 6.45 (awake from 4.30 - 5am, then into our bed)
E: 7.30 solids + milk (110mls total, had already had 100mls at 4.30am)
A: 2hrs 50mins
S: 9.35 - 10.25 (50mins, in the car on the way to health clinic)
E: 11.30 milk (80mls, not hungry)
E: solids 12.30
A: 3hrs 40mins
S: 2.05pm - 3.50pm (1hr 45mins - eek!)
E: 4pm milk (30mls, not interested at all)
E: 4.45 solids
A: 4hrs 45mins  :o
E: 7pm milk (210mls)
E: 7.50 milk (extra 80mls)

S: 8.35pm - 5.10 (8hrs 35mins sleep. Tried for bedtime around 7.15ish, but resisted. Not that awake/chatty though - more screaming, arching fussing etc, so possible tummy pain too?)
E: 5.50am milk (50mls, after trying to settle for 40mins  :-\)
A: 40mins
S: 5.55 - 6.20 (in our bed)

Thursday 9th
W/up: 6.20am
E: 7.30 solids + milk (180mls in total)
A: 4hrs
S: 10.20 - 11.15 (55mins)
E: 11.30 solids
E: 1.45 milk (150mls)
A: 4hrs 40mins (happily playing and I forgot the time!)
S: 3.55 - 4.30 (34mins)
E: 5pm solids
E: 7pm milk (150mls)
A: 2hrs 50mins
S: 7.20 - 5.10 (9hrs 50mins)
E: 5.15 milk (40mls)
S: 5.25 - 6.25 (1hr in our bed)

Friday 10th
W/up: 6.25am
E: 7am milk (160mls)
E: 7.30 solids
A: 4hrs 35mins (but did have a 10min car nap at 9.30 on the way to brother's playdate)
S: 11am - 11.35 (35mins in the car)
E: 11.45 solids
E: 2.30 milk (160mls)
A: 3hrs 45mins
S: 3.20 - 4.20 (1hr in stationary car seat)
E: 5.15 solids
E: 6.50 milk (190mls)
A: 2hrs 55mins
S: 7.15-6.05am (10hrs 50 mins, brief wake up at 5am but settled with dummy/patting her back)

Saturday 11th
W/up: 6.05am
E: 6.15 milk (210mls)
E: 7.30 solids
A: 3hrs 45mins
S: 9.50-10.55 (1hr 5mins, in the car, might have gone longer but needed to get her out!)
E: 12.30 solids
E: 1.45 milk (150mls)
A: 3hrs 5mins
S: 2pm - 2.40 (40mins, in the car again so a bit early maybe? Woke naturally)
E: 5.15 solids
E: 6.40 milk (120mls)
A: 4hrs 10mins
S: 6.50 - 3.30am (8hrs 40mins)
E: 3.35 milk (140mls)
A: 45mins
S: 4.15 - 5.50 (hard to settle, but eventually went back in to cot for 1hr 35mins)
S: 5.50 - 6.15 (25mins in our bed)

Sunday 12th
W/up: 6.15am
E: 6.20 milk (150mls)
E: 7.30 solids
A: 3hrs 40mins
S: 9.55 - 11.05 (1hr 10 mins)
E: 11.30 solids
E: 2.15 milk (200mls, took most nearer to 3pm)
A: 4hrs 10mins
S: 3.15 - 4.15 (1hr)
E: 5pm solids
E: 7pm milk (150mls)
A: 3hrs
S: 7.15 - 1.50 (6hrs 35mins)
E: 1.50 milk (100mls)
S: 2am - 6.15 (4hrs 15mins, in her cot)

Today so far
W/up: 6.15am
E: 6.20 milk (180mls)
E: 7.30 solids
A: 3hrs (very ratty and nothing would distract her!)
S: 9.15-9.55 (40 mins)

So..... we have definitely made progress from regular screechy bedtimes and multiple dummy plugs a night!  ;D  But her routine still feels a bit all over the place  :( It looks like we've finally moved from three catnaps to two decent naps, although today might a different story after this morning's early 40min nap (she's with Nana this afternoon, so will see what the report is when I collect her!). I'd still love a bit more predictability though, and would really like to see the back of night feeds and early wake up calls  ::)

She is definitely super, super hungry at the moment, but I'm not sure how I can get more food into her in the daytime.... She loves her solids and this morning ate half a Weetabix, a whole slice of toast with cream cheese and some bits of banana. Plus 180mls of formula as her morning drink/mixed with the cereal! We dropped her down to three bottles over the last couple of days, as she was just snacking at her 11am and 3pm ones, but I'm now a bit unsure about when to offer her second bottle? With lunch or a bit after? She prefers solids, so I've tended to do lunch first and then milk around 2ish, but that can then creep towards feeding her to sleep for her afternoon nap (we still do for bedtime as I just haven't been able to schedule her bedtime milk for a time that she won't instantly fall asleep on it  :-[)

Sorry in advance for this rambling essay..... I'd be so grateful if anyone can unpick it and offer any suggestions to regulate her naps, stop the early wake ups and night feeds! I think we're heading in the right direction, and some of it may just be developmental (she's going through separation anxiety I think, plus so busy standing up and starting to cruise - she is literally NEVER still during the day, even when sat in my lap!!) We're off on holiday on Friday, so that will no doubt muck things up again, as well as the clock change after that, but I'd love a fresh pair of eyes on where we're at and what tweaks I might look at making when we are back from hols and things are 'normal' again!

Tigs xx
Claire xx





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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 19:50:55 pm »
Hi there Mrs Tigs :)
sorry to hear your LO was poorly :(

I've been sitting staring at your post and wondering what I can suggest.
TBH I don't have a clear "solution" idea in my head but I'll share my thoughts and perhaps that will help you work out where to go from here?

At this age often one nap is longer and is becoming shorter eg 1 nap of 1.5hr and 1 nap of 45 min, or they are both a bit shorter such as 2 naps of 1hr.  Looking ahead I probably wouldn't try for two very long naps as you won't fit them, plus the amount of A time into the day, the day would become too long.  Perhaps choose one you want to keep long, increase the A time before that one if you haven't already and try to make sure this nap is mostly 'protected' (ie no toddler groups etc to interrupt it if at all possible).  Have a slightly shorter A time before the shorter nap.

Nights look good - a decent length - although you are getting that night feed I'd just do the feed for now, she might just need to catch up on lost calories from the illnesses.  You can tackle the co-sleeping in the early hours but it means sticking it out in her room to resettle.

Feeding - Usually when one milk feed is dropped it is replace with a small solids snack.  So for instance if you drop the 11am milk you would offer a small healthy snack at that time instead, along with a sippy cup of water.  Then the solids lunch (solids usually come about 1hr after the milk feed) still comes 1hr later so at 12 noon.  You've dropped a milk feed but it doesn't look like it was replaced with a snack, she might need a little something and a drink of water rather than holding out too long. Their tummies are still very small so frequent feeds/meals are normal.  I'm not totally sure where to suggest you put this snack in with you moving to solids first, it's not something I am familiar with as I rarely see solids first in a routine unless LO is older and is for example not taking a good solids breakfast so that meal/milk is switched.  At this age though, although solids are becoming more important, milk is still her primary source of calories and has the right balance of the nutrients she needs.  You might consider switch back around or you might work out a good time for your milk, meals and snacks.  When LOs move to 2 milk feeds another snack is introduced, again it can be at the same time the milk was given.  I found this way our routine didn't change it just switched from milk to solids snack and water.
There is a slight chance that too much solids and not enough milk in the day could possibly be causing hunger in the night/early morning - but as I said it may be due to recovering from illness.
There is also a chance you can change the solids food groups a little to give more fats/proteins or dairy foods if she is not so interested in taking more milk.


Offline MrsTigs

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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 22:24:24 pm »
Hi Creations,

Many thanks for your reply  :)  I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed that you haven't said "Aha! I know exactly what's going on/what you need to do!"  ;)  But at the same time, it's nice to know that we're not completely off track - I think I've lost all perspective on "normal" after 6 months of chaos and poor sleep!!

Naps
I'm definitely not expecting to get two long naps - anything but the 20min catnaps that we were experiencing! 40mins-1hr is great for her, given past form, so I'm not looking to head back to the 2hrs+ naps she used to do (not until we hit and crack the 2-1 transition anyway)

In the past, her morning nap has always been the longer/better one, so we've been focusing on stretching out her morning A time until this hits the hour mark. That was working ok last week, but then she suddenly over the last two days she's started losing the plot around 3hrs A, taking a 40min nap at that time and then (so far) taking a longer afternoon nap. To be honest, that would suit me better in some ways, as most of the activities/ playgroups that my son might want to attend happen in the morning. I'm not worried about getting out for baby groups etc (also in the mornings!) when he's at nursery, but it's hell with both of them stuck in the house all day if I stay home to try and get her a good morning nap - won't be so bad once the weather warms up though!  :)

So, given her variability, I'm a bit stumped......  If you'd asked me last week, I would have said "stretch the morning A and preserve that nap" but based on the last couple of days, she's now wanting a shorter A+nap in the morning and making it up in the afternoon. Which is fine as long as her afternoon nap doesn't start too late/go on too long I guess? Today she did the following:

W/up: 6.10am
A: 3hrs
S: 9.10 - 9.50 (40mins)
A: 4hrs 15mins (resisted nap at 3hrs 30mins and then got OT I think)
S: 2.05 - 2.35 (30mins, woke up screaming  :'()
S: 2.45 - 3.30 (45mins in my arms, had to really soothe her back off to sleep)
A: 3hrs 45mins
S: 7.15pm - now (a little fussy at bedtime as I was flying solo with getting her and my son to sleep. Think she was getting hungry and a bit OS)

So not a great day on the nap front...... I just wish that she would stick to some basic pattern/timing, with obvious adjustments 15-20mins either way depending on night sleep, activity levels, illness etc.

Nights
Overall, our nights are soooooo much better  ;D  I can live with a night feed for now; as you say she might just be catching up on lost calories and, on a couple of nights, she has at least settled back in the cot for the rest of the night fairly happily. The only problem is that she's then not massively hungry for her morning bottle, although, to be honest, she's never seemed that hungry on waking, unlike my son who demanded his morning milk NOW, within seconds of his eyes opening! She just seems to want to see us and then get busy crawling all over our bed etc, rather than drinking  ::)

The early wake ups are more of a challenge than the night feeds really...... so disheartening to be awake at 5am, trying to settle her back down when I know both she and my son are likely to be up for the day less than an hour later. I have managed to settle her a couple of times (and sometimes she sleeps later naturally) but co-sleeping does buy us that extra hour or so before we start our day. So I guess we'll maybe leave tackling that for a little bit and see if her naps and overall nights settle down a bit more.

Feeding
Usually when one milk feed is dropped it is replace with a small solids snack. So for instance if you drop the 11am milk you would offer a small healthy snack at that time instead, along with a sippy cup of water

I can definitely offer her a snack and water at 11ish instead of milk. She so far hasn't seemed to miss her morning bottle in the slightest and doesn't show signs of hunger until her lunch at 12ish, but would probably accept a solids snack more readily than a bottle!

Then the solids lunch (solids usually come about 1hr after the milk feed) still comes 1hr later so at 12 noon
Hmm, so I'm a bit confused I think...... If I replace her 11am bottle with a snack and then do lunch as usual at 12ish, where does a bottle come in? You mention that milk usually comes before solids, but it sounds like you are suggesting a solids snack at 11am and then solids lunch at noon? So does the snack totally replace the morning bottle and I wait until 3pm to give her afternoon bottle as usual? I had been bringing this one forward a bit (say to 2pm) although it's always a bit hit and miss with when she needs another nap (depending on when the first one falls and how long!)

Her previous pattern was:

6/6.30 milk
7.30 breakfast
11/11.30 milk
12.30 lunch
3/3.30 milk
5pm tea
Between 6 and 7pm milk (depending on naps and whether we're trying for an earlier or later bedtime)

Since she's shown less interest in her second and third bottles, we've been doing:

6/6.30 milk
7.30 breakfast
11.30 lunch
1.30/2pm milk
5pm tea
6-7 bedtime milk

To be honest, it hasn't upped her milk quantities all that much, although she's definitely more eager for just one bottle in the middle of the day. So she does at least drink it with enthusiasm, rather than me feeling like I'm forcing her, even if the total quantity doesn't much exceed the 11am+3pm bottles combined! We were obviously keen to increase her milk intake during the day to help phase out the night feeds, but we might have to do a dual attack on that and gradually water down her night feed instead maybe?

There is a slight chance that too much solids and not enough milk in the day could possibly be causing hunger in the night/early morning - but as I said it may be due to recovering from illness. There is also a chance you can change the solids food groups a little to give more fats/proteins or dairy foods if she is not so interested in taking more milk.

That's what we've been thinking, but she does also just seem insanely hungry at the moment!! So possibly still catching up lost weight from being ill, plus she is soooo active - literally never sits still, but is just crawling, standing, fidgeting all day  :o  So I'm not surprised she needs more calories - I'm just have a hard job keeping up with her appetite (for solids that is... she doesn't seem to make up the shortfall with milk during the day)

I've started adding full fat cream cheese to her purees/mashes and plan to get in some double cream to mix through - I can recall doing that with my son when he started crawling and dropped off his weight curve. She already has cheese and yoghurt every day in addition to her formula, and loves lentil based purees which should be good for protein. I could definitely up her meat intake though, so that might be something to think about. I've got some minced beef and veg puree in the freezer and some fishy mashes, and she starting to like normal minced beef and strips of chicken breast so I can make sure I add them in frequently too.

Thanks for your input - it's reassuring to know that you don't think we're totally off track, despite my frustration at her unpredictability!!

Tigs xx
Claire xx





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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 18:53:36 pm »
Hi again.
I hope I am not steering you off course with those night feeds. I really should have said that usually night feeds are dropped before any day bottles are dropped.  Dropping milk in the day can also lead to more need for milk in the night so keep that in mind too. sorry it is impossible for me to tell why she is feeding at night but can at least mention the possibilities.  if it is making up for lost calories I suppose it wouldn't last more than a week or two, 3 tops?  Not 100% sure but I would think anything beyond that is habit and a need to move calorie intake back to the day.
Night feeds from habit can be easily and gently weaned by reducing by an oz every couple of nights.

6/6.30 milk
7.30 breakfast
11/11.30 milk
12.30 lunch
3/3.30 milk
5pm tea
Between 6 and 7pm milk (depending on naps and whether we're trying for an earlier or later bedtime)
Yes, this is a very "normal" kind of routine. When bottles are dropped you literally keep the same times but switch one to solids snack.  Leave the other milks where they are, no timings change which is great for everyone (IMO) as both you and LO are in the habit of these times, they are predictable.  Obviously sometimes times change due to fitting things around naps.


Offline MrsTigs

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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 21:17:33 pm »
Hi Creations,

Many thanks for your reply to my last post! That message and your reply have now disappeared from the thread since the server move........but basically we have been following your advice and sticking to the plan of LO's first nap being at 10am or a 4hr A time (whichever is later), in an attempt to push her morning wake time later than 5.30am and her naps back to something longer than 25mins!  ::)

We've seen some success with this and her first nap has now stretched out to around an hour. She still gets very cranky at the 3hr A time mark, but then seems to get over this hump and is pretty awake when we put her down at 4hrs A (although she doesn't seem to resist a nap at this time). We're still seeing a 5.30am wake up though, unless she's had a disturbed night  :-\ I can sometimes get her back off to sleep for another hour or so, but only if we bring her into our bed, and quite often she wants milk at this time too. That's not a huge problem as hopefully this might act as a temporary schedule reset and she'll eventually go back to sleeping right through in her own bed (she is now pretty proficient at finding her dummy independently etc, and went back to her own bed fine after a previous spell of 4.30am co-sleeping!)

My question is: should we push her first A time even further? We've held the 10am/4hr A for the last 5 days and her naps have been around the hour mark, although one did stretch to 1hr 40mins (this was after a 5.30 wake up that I managed to stretch to 7am by cuddling her, so the nap was later in the day at 11am, and it was also in her car seat, so she wasn't able to stand and wake herself up fully!)

If we should push the A time, how quickly is advisable?  You mentioned pushing by 15min increments, but should we hold the new time for a few days or keep pushing until her first nap is more like 1.5-2hrs? Or until her wake up time returns to 6.30-7am more consistently?  ???

We're not seeing hugely disturbed nights from moving to a 4hr A time (or longer). We've had a couple of bedtime battles that relate more to the timing of her second nap, a couple of random night wakings/feeds and last night a fair bit of crying in her sleep  :'(  But I think the latter two are more related to teeth moving around/having a cold and wanting comfort, rather than being OT. We've also had visitors for the last couple of days, so OS is a probable factor too. She does seem to get pretty tired after a 1hr morning nap and is liable to fall asleep anywhere from 2.5hrs if we go out in the car.... but if we stay home and/or there stuff going on to distract her, then she'll happily stay awake for another 4/4.5hrs. Today's EASY looked like this:

W/up: 5.30am (after 9hrs 50mins sleep)
E: 150mls milk in our bed, awake for 45mins
S: 6.15-7.15 (1hr in our bed)
A: 4hrs 15mins (nappy crisis before sleep!)
S: 11.30-12.35 (1hr 5 mins)
A: 3hrs 40mins (took a 10min car ride at 3hrs and she just managed to stay awake!)
S: 4.15-4.45 (30mins in car)
A: 2hrs 45mins
S: 7.30m (all quiet so far.....)

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear your advice on whether and how fast to push her A time again (if this post makes any sense at all without the preceding posts!) :P

Thanks,
Tigs xx

Claire xx





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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2017, 18:53:51 pm »
If we should push the A time, how quickly is advisable?  You mentioned pushing by 15min increments, but should we hold the new time for a few days or keep pushing until her first nap is more like 1.5-2hrs? Or until her wake up time returns to 6.30-7am more consistently? 
Taking that she is still waking early and the nap hasn't extended to 1.5hrs I think I would try another 15 mins A time on there. I'd hold for several days at least before adding any more.  Then possibly another 15 mins, that would be 4.5hrs.  When you hit 5hrs you are starting to get into a routine where it is hard to maintain those times, 5hrs A with good naps means capping the afternoon nap to maintain BT.

If she has teeth on the move it could be this disturbing her and causing some early waking, can you try some meds in the night, see if she sleeps longer?


Offline MrsTigs

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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2017, 20:32:35 pm »
Hi Creations,

Thanks for your reply  :)  Missy got another snotty cold just after you posted, so was back to erratic naps all over the place...... But she's better and we are back at 4hrs A time or longer.

The last couple of days looked like this:

W/up: 6am (after 10hrs sleep)
A: 4hrs 20mins
S: 10.20 - 11.50 (1hr 30mins in cot)
A: 4hrs
S: 3.50 - 4.20 (30mins in cot)
A: 3hrs 10mins
S: 7.30

W/up: 6.30 (after 11hrs sleep)
A: 4hrs (couldn't keep her up longer!)
S: 10.30 - 11.45 (1hr 15mins in cot)
A: 2hrs 40mins
S: 2.25 - 3.05 (40mins, fell asleep on drive home)
A: 4hrs 5 mins
S: 7.10

As her wake up time and first nap have shifted a bit later, we've moved her second bottle from late morning/with lunch, to the afternoon around 3ish. This seems to suit as she has a morning snack before her nap and a biggish lunch after it, and then her bottle as a snack in the afternoon before a lighter dinner fairly close to her bedtime bottle. I do anticipate that the afternoon bottle will then phase out and be replaced by an afternoon snack, especially as this will likely be her new routine at nursery in three weeks or so (although they are totally flexible and will still make up bottles etc as required.)

Anyway, just a quick update! I think we will move back towards shifting her to 4hrs 15mins A time now she's over her cold, but are happy that her wake times are beginning to shift in the right direction (albeit with one step forward and two steps back most of the time!)

Her brother is actually now the one giving me more headaches (behaviour not sleep!), but that's a whole other story......!  ::)

Thanks again for your help,
Tigs xx
Claire xx





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Re: Back like a bad penny! Wonky naps for 9 month old.....
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 18:32:44 pm »
You're welcome.
Glad to hear she's over her cold and things are going well.