Author Topic: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day  (Read 137 times)

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Offline Hoofbeat

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Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« on: April 06, 2017, 10:47:53 am »
I've been trying shush pat for over a week now with some success but am really struggling with short naps leading to a cycle of over-tiredness which inevitably causes problems!

Last few days have been very similar to today - my 14wk DS always tends to wake around 5:30/5:45 and I don't want that to be morning so I try to get him back down to sleep afterwards but then because he can't get into a deep sleep he can't manage much A before getting tired and he ends up napping for short periods instead of 1.5hrs. By the afternoon he's miserable and exhausted - yesterday i drove around the countryside for ages just to get him to sleep! He stayed aslee when we got home and ended up sleeping for a solid 3hours! I then woke him up to feed and do the bedtime routine (he was awake 1.5grs before bed). But i'm sure he went to sleep OT.

So far today:
5:45 Awake. Fed for ages (nappy change halfway through)
6:50 Began shush pat
7:20 Seems asleep (First attempt failed and now been awake >1.5hrs)
7:30 Really thrashing head in sleep so shush patted lightly again until 7:40.
8:00 E and A
8:45 Wind down (not yet showing tired signs but as he only slept 40mins earlier thought i should put him down early)
8:50 clearly yawning so put in cot and begin shush pat. Stops crying within minutes but just lies there with eyes open for ages
9:20 looks to have fallen asleep
9:25 manage to roll him onto his back successfully and he stays asleep
09:30 Leave room
10:00 wakes up. Try to shush pat him back to sleep but too upset. Begin activity time
10:20 E (just a snack - he's EBF)
10:25 A

He's now really grumpy and clearly tired but he'll be due a proper feed soon (i've tried to feed him early but he's not hungry yet).

How do I get back on track (without driving around in the car for hours!)

Online sevenebulas

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 01:36:55 am »
Take a look at my thread (just a couple down from yours). I posted about short naps for a 3.5 month old as well and creations suggested increasing A time to one more appropriate for his age. She suggested I start with 90 minutes based on this:  Average A times- BOOKMARK ME! . My baby seemed to be rubbing his eyes all the time but got used to the longer times after a couple days.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:39:17 am by sevenebulas »

Offline Hoofbeat

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 16:43:23 pm »
Thanks sevenebulas, but I know the activity time isn't the problem. I don't want to have 'activity' time when he wakes at 5:30am so after he's fed I want him to go back down to sleep until WU time.

The last few days have been so much worse - we're stuck in a chronic state of OT and no matter what I do I can't get him to nap long during the day and I know that's causing us issues at bedtime and with him waking earlier.

For example today:

3:45 - woke up (not hungry). OH shush patted him back to sleep. He never usually wakes at this time.
5:30 - woke up hungry so offered Eat. Fed for 45mins
6:15 - Sleep (using Shush Pat)
6:35 - Woke up. Tried to resettle him multiple times, but couldn't.
7:30 - Eat
7:50 - Put him down for a nap as soon as he finished eating as he was exhausted and showing tired cues and other than a 15min nap earlier has been awake since 5:30am! He successfully fell asleep when I shush patted him.
8:10 - Woke up (not crying)
8:20 - Tried to resettle him for nap. Shush patted him and he fell asleep. I kept my hands on him through the jolts. However, after 20minutes (with my hands still on him) he woke up.
8:40 - Activity time (I was worried we were in a vicious cycle with trying to get him down for naps)
9:05 - Eat. I wouldn't usually feed him after 2 hours but he started asking for food and then fed for 26minutes.
9:30 - Clearly showing tired signs so I tried to put him down to nap. Shush patted him and he was asleep within about 2 minutes. However, woke after 10 minutes again with me trying to help him through the jolts! Tried Shush Pat again and same thing - he fell asleep quickly, but then woke up a short time later. He is definitely tired as is yawning and rubbing his eyes.
10:00 - Gave up and did some activity time with him.
10:55 - Eat (again I wouldn't usually offer food this soon but he is so tired and has been up so long he is now hungry).
11:05 - Activity (we had to go to doctors). After doctors I took him on long drive to try and get him to sleep as by now he's very tired and cranky and has barely slept since 5:30am!
12:00 - Sleep (finally!)
12:37 - Woke up in the car when I stopped for fuel. Stayed awake despite me carrying on driving for another 20minutes!
13:00 - Eat (started screaming for food whilst driving).
13:46 - Carry on driving (we're miles away from home by now!) and he is happy but wide awake!
14:30 - Attempt to put him down for a nap in cot. Shush pat him to sleep within about 2 minutes. He wakes after 10minutes (again with my hands on him). He's cranky when he wakes up and is showing tired cues.
14:45 - Activity (as clearly he won't sleep)
15:20 - Eat (I offer him a quick snack as I want to put him down for a nap and don't want him to wake hungry).
15:30 - Attempt to put him down for a nap in cot. Shush pat him to sleep within about 2 minutes. He wakes after 10minutes (again with my hands on him). He's cranky when he wakes up and is showing tired cues.
15:45 - Wouldn't resettle so brought him downstairs to low key activity.
16:10 - Attempt to put him down for a nap in cot. Shush pat him to sleep within about 2 minutes. He wakes after 10minutes (again with my hands on him). He's cranky when he wakes up and is showing tired cues. Tried to resettle him and he became hysterical.
16:20 - Left him in his rocker downstairs screaming (I needed a break!) and he fell asleep after crying for 10minutes! He's now still asleep.

Please can someone help me? I know the EASY schedule I'm aiming for and until last day or two I've been trying really hard to make sure his routine revolved around 1hr15 of E&A, 15minutes of wind down and shush pat and then I'm aiming for 1.5hr nap. The Shush Pat techniques works great on him and I can get him asleep, and last week I could at least get 45minute naps from him (once even 1hr10minutes!), but last few days I can't even get a 30minute nap out of him during the day! He then wakes early in the morning, can't resettle and the whole day is messed up. He used to go down to bed quite easily (we have had a good routine for last 6 weeks) but it's increasingly taking me 2hours+! I've tried bringing his bedtime earlier (yesterday I started routine at 5:30pm, but he didn't fall asleep until 8:30pm and then woke at 09:15am, before finally going down to sleep at 10pm).

I know there's a chance he's going through the 4month sleep regression early, but how do I get him to sleep at all when he's so over-tired?!!!!


Offline deb

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 17:25:19 pm »
I'm getting flashbacks just reading this, and here is why: How Tracy Helped Josie and her Family Get Past 45-Min. Naps!

Offline Hoofbeat

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 18:42:24 pm »
Hi Deb, thanks that post is very useful but I have no idea how to even begin to do that given that today I have not managed to get him to nap more than about 15mins in his cot (longest nap was 34mins in car). I'm desperately trying to get him down for bed now (he's had bath, pjs on, read him a story and given him a feed) but i cannot get him to sleep, yet he's lying here frantically rubbing his eyes!!!

I'm so lost :( It was all heading in the right direction last week but now I just have a hysterical overtired baby that won't sleep. Short of driving around the m25 all night I don't know how to get him to sleep!

Offline deb

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 19:52:46 pm »
For the rest of today, my advice would be to Just Get Through It and look ahead to how you can start breaking the cycle tomorrow. I know we'd almost gotten into a routine where every single bedtime was OT screaming until she was exhausted, and then FINALLY sleep. For tonight, I'd plan on a Dream Feed to help boost calories and maybe stave off that early waking for a start.

Even if he does wake at 5:30, see if you can gradually extend his A time while keeping it super-low-key especially for the 1st 2 A times. Even if you're only able to get him to extend a single nap - and if you have to, just let him sleep on his tummy on YOUR tummy for one nap just to give the two of you a break and him enough sleep to stave off being OT later - it's a start.

It took us 10-14 days for the longer naps to become more routine, but even when I got one long nap, it made the afternoons less hellish. It was HARD, so do try to take some time to take care of yourself today.  :-*

Online sevenebulas

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 20:24:25 pm »
What about temporarily using a swing for naps? I know they are a prop but if just used temporarily maybe LO can catch up on sleep, and then perhaps breaking the cycle wouldn't be as difficult. This assumes baby will nap longer in the swing though. If you don't have one maybe a friend can loan one to you to try out.

Offline Hoofbeat

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 20:56:32 pm »
I did put him in his swinging chair earlier but he only slept 15mins in it :( He also no longer really sleeps walking in the pram (tried that last few days and despite walking around for 2hours (!) he barely slept) - he just seems to find it too stimulating now.

Tonight I let him suck my fingers and he eventually fell asleep in me. I waited til he'd been asleep for 55mins (so through the first 45min cycle) and put him in his bed and he's now stayed asleep for over 1.5hours! Am reluctant to try DFing him tonight as now he's asleep I'd rather leave him as long as he wants so he catches up on sleep. Also when we tried before (admittedly when he was about 8weeks) we always found he wouldn't take either a bottle of EBM or the breast as a DF and would stay fast asleep!

Would you suggest that when/if he wakes up at 5:30am I treat it as morning and do some activity after feeding and force him to stay up 1.5hours then as if it were daytime? My worry with soingthat has always been that he will start thinking that 5:30 is our WO time every day!! It's so frustrating as if I could get him to sleep for 45min naps like he was doing then he wouldn't be exhausted and I could try things like W2S etc. Can only assume it's the sleep regression as he used to be a very good sleeper (easy to get down for 45min naps and SSTN without a dream feed).

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 23:21:27 pm »
I would start by sending in DH to offer the paci, especially if he can get in there before DS gets REALLY awake.

If he wakes for the day anyway, then I'd keep it as low-key as possible and treat it the wake time *today* (not permanently) and work on nap extensions. Tomorrow is another day!

Online sevenebulas

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 23:38:44 pm »
It still might be worth borrowing a swing. Some babies nap better if they are swinging front to back instead of side to side (or visa versa, depending on which you have). Its something to try anyway. And I recently read this article about helping babies sleep in swings--maybe it will have some helpful tips for you. https://www.preciouslittlesleep.com/the-ultimate-baby-swing-sleep-guide-for-swing-hating-babies/
Something else you could try is to wear the baby in a sling or wrap of some kind. That may extend naps if nothing else works.
Good luck tonight.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 23:50:09 pm by sevenebulas »

Offline Hoofbeat

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 04:56:13 am »
Thanks both. We don't use a paci and would prefer not to start if we don't have to.

Will look into swing if this continues much longer. Have tried a sling and while he used to sleep in it on me the last few days he hasn't!

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Re: Help! Short naps leading to OT throughout day
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 20:14:55 pm »
Hi there
I see you've already have lots of great help and support :)

I really just wanted to add...
I know the EASY schedule I'm aiming for and until last day or two I've been trying really hard to make sure his routine revolved around 1hr15 of E&A, 15minutes of wind down and shush pat
This looks like 1hr 30 A time which you are aiming for which is about right for the guidance times for age but the thing is, these are only *guidance* times and each LO is different.  My own DS needed much longer than the guidance A times and we do see LOs who need significantly longer (or shorter) than the guidance times.  I kept my DS on too short an A time throughout the "regression" as I had no experience of these things.
If you see debs link the A times are 2hrs which is the higher end of guidance fora  4month old but some LOs need this earlier.
A times increase pretty quickly over this period and to be honest I think most of us don't expect it - it caught me out I know that.

I would increase the A time again and use W2S to help LO stay asleep - use a firm hand or shush/pat throughout the entire nap if necessary.  There's no need to try to introduce a paci at this point (imo) if LO has taken one to this point but equally don't be scared of giving the level of help needed through this difficult time.

WRT the 5.30am WUs I would say ther are two options:
1. treat as a night wake stay in the room and continue to try to re-settle until 7am - then get LO up whether or not he fell asleep and do a FULL A time.  This will lead to OT but my understanding of the BW books and Tr5acys methods were to get LOs into routine as quickly as possible which initially meant a level of "setting" times for a short period and to keep LO up until the correct nap time by any means possible, doing a fan dance if necessary.
or
2. just accept the 5.30 start for now and get up. Start timing A time from here and begin first nap after a full A time.  Once the routine is better settled you can gradually move the entire day on, it's a longer term plan.

hope this helps - I'm not around quite as much at the moment as I have a health issue - but it seems you are in good hands here anyway. Just adding my additional thoughts and sending a hug your way.
You will get through it.