Author Topic: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!  (Read 90 times)

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Offline JCN

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Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« on: May 18, 2017, 14:09:52 pm »
My little boy is 8 months old and has always cat napped for short stretches of day time sleep. I know this is a common issue with many babies but my little man had undiagnosed milk allergies until 6mobtgs which caused a lot of disrupted sleep & contributed towards bad habits.

He self settles to sleep in the first instance, with rarely any crying or issues. He has a dummy & a comforter. Between day time naps is usually 3 hours awake time, 4 hours before bed.

He will SOMETIMES sleep for 45-60mins on his own in the day but this is rare. Like clockwork after 30mins he is wide awake and it's impossible to resettle him unless he is then held.

When he was 4/5months old he used to have to be rocked to sleep all the time & I successfully used BW PUPD/sssh pat techniques to be able to put him down in his cot drowsy or awake for naps. But nothing has ever worked to extend them.

Unfortunately this has meant that he either has 2-3 half an hour naps per day or I end up holding him for an additional 30-60mins (although I'll be honest this doesn't always work)

At night there are similar issues with self settling when he wakes (he goes down brilliantly at BT) - sometimes he will manage to self settle, sometimes I see him trying by snuggling his comforter etc but he can't seem to settle and eventually cries or sometimes he just cries straight away. Some nights he'll sleep a 10-11hour stretch, some night 4 or 6 hours, but other nights it's waking every 1-2hours. The latter being very common at the minute.

Sorry for such a long post.

Offline Bera

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 23:16:25 pm »
Hi

My LO is 8mo too and he has a longer A time - have you tried more than 3 hours? He has 3.5,3.5 then 3hrs (he's down to 2 naps).

When he wakes up after 30mins, does he wake happy and playing or crying? That might indicate whether he's under- or over-tired.

I'm certainly no expert but I thought I'd just start it off, I'm sure one of the moderators will be along soon to help 😊

Offline becj86

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 01:02:21 am »
Hi, Agree with Bera re: A time - probably a little on the short side for a baby of 8 months unless he was 3 months premature or something.

He will SOMETIMES sleep for 45-60mins on his own in the day but this is rare. Like clockwork after 30mins he is wide awake and it's impossible to resettle him unless he is then held
When he does sleep 45-60mins, is that usually the first nap of the day?

Like clockwork after 30mins he is wide awake and it's impossible to resettle him unless he is then held.
Have you ever tried sneaking in at 25mins and holding your hand on his back or shush/patting to get him through that time?

Could you furnish us with some additional information?
- How is he fed? Is it possible he's had some milk inadvertently via solids and that's causing discomfort at the moment?
- Are you feeding him at night?
- Could you write out in EAS format 2-3 days just so we can see what they look like? I'm just trying to add up the hours in your post and can't quite envision what's happening time-wise to give you more advice re: routine.

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 07:27:51 am »
Thank you both.

He was 1 month prem so his adjusted age is 7 months, but I don't suppose the A time should be much different. I always thought around 3 hrs was the norm for 6-8months. I have considered longer A time but, particularly after WU, he gets really grumpy after 2.5hours and the stretch to 3 hours can often be a struggle!

His current as times are around 2.5-3hrs after WU, then he can often go a bit longer than 3hrs until his pm nap, then it's normally 4hrs until BT.

An average day looks like this:

5:30am WU (I aim for 6:30, he can usualynresettle until 6ish... but recently we have been getting a lot of EWs)
E 06:15 (bottle)
E 8:00 (solids)
S 8:30 (1-1.5hrs with resettles)

E 10:30/11:00 (bottle - doesn't always want this)
E 12:30 (solids)
S 13:00 (1-1.5hrs with resettles)

E 15:00 (bottle- doesn't always want this)
E 17:00 (solids)
E 18:15 (bottle)
S BT 18:30

He then wakes frequently at night - a couple of dummy calls (which is a separate issue)  but then from 4am he needs resettling every 15-20mins usually and from 5am/5:30am seems to have had enough and just wants to get up.

A couple of times every few weeks he will sleeps 10-11hours straight through from BT. But these days will be seemingly no different to any other!

For naps, I do go in just before his sleep cycle ends and sssh/pat to see him through to the next cycle. It normally takes 10mins to get him fully settled again. It works most of the time to extend to 1 hour. Sometimes I can do a second resettle but that doesn't always work. Sometimes I have to hold him instead, if sssh/pat isn't working and I can tell he's still tired. I've been doing this (W2S kind of method I suppose - although I don't purposely wake him, I wait until he stirs) for over a month now and seen no improvement. If I leave him to nap completely independently because a) I'm busy or b) we are not at home, he will still wake up after 30mins.

When he HAS napped for longer by himself, there is no pattern. Sometimes am nap, sometimes pm nap, busy days, quiet days, sometimes after 2 hours A time and sometimes 3+ hrs...

He self settles for all naps and at BT with almost no fussing. And as I've said, has slept longer for naps and at night.

With regards to allergies - we are very careful with his dietary requirements and I'm almost positive he would not have consumed any dairy. Particularly as this is an ongoing issue, this would mean he's eating it all the time. He may have undiagnosed allergies to other products, but no more so than any other child. Having suffered with misdiagnosis for 6 months, i tend to recognise the signs of a bad tummy for him and this is not happening a majority of the times I'm referring to.

Sorry for such a long reply! Just trying to answer all questions and paint the picture!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 07:39:04 am by JCN »

Offline becj86

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 08:53:56 am »
Sorry for such a long reply! Just trying to answer all questions and paint the picture!
No need to apologise! A long reply with information is much better than a short one that gives us nothing to work with :)

It is just possible that he's got a shorter than average sleep cycle of 30min instead of the more typical 40-45min, in which case, an hour nap would be considered restorative.

I do wonder what would happen if you were to bring solids closer to the milk feed before it and he'd have a little longer to digest. He may also want his bottles a bit more.

You could try W2S properly, just stir him at 20min and see if that helps - can't really hurt in this situation, I guess.

With a BT of 18:30, a WU of 05:30 is still pretty reasonable. You could try pushing that first A time a little more - that should then help with the frequent wakings through the early hours of the morning and *may* help with the nap length. I think he's pretty fussy at that time because he's OT from the disrupted end of the night but he needs it pushed so he can sleep better at that time of the night.

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 09:09:28 am »
Thank you :)

I agree that 5:30 WU isn't bad for an early BT. When he has slept well he's never managed more than 10.5hours so I think that's all he needs over night anyway. Obviously at some point I need to push back his BT so I can get a later WU (6:30 WU would work brilliantly with our family routine, but would that mean I need to aim to push BT back to 8pm? That seems a little late!?)

I will try pushing his A times to 3h15 or 3h30 over the next few days and see if that helps.

I've often thought about shifting his E times. I've heard of others doing solids 1 hour after a bottle, rather than approx 2 hourly like I currently do. I did this pattern based on advice I'd read about weaning, but it could be worth trying to change. He doesn't take much milk when he has his bottles (never has been a big milk drinker...) and although he dropped night feeds around 5mths old (used to wake for a bottle around 3am but eventually was only taking 1-2oz so I stopped offering and resettled instead), I often wonder if he needs filling up more? I've tried feeding at his 4am unsettledness but itneither makes no difference or triggers his 'WU' brain as he thinks its breakfast! We've tried DF him at around 10pm a few times to try and push his initial long stretch of sleep back a bit, but it only ever seemed to break the cycle completely and cause earlier NWs...but I havent tried that for a few months.

Offline becj86

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 10:16:23 am »
I've heard of others doing solids 1 hour after a bottle, rather than approx 2 hourly like I currently do.
That's what we recommend here so LO has time to get hungry again for the milk which is still his main nutrition at this age - its higher in calories than the solids you'd be offering at this stage so increasing milk intake in line with your national guidelines if you're not already there is probably a good idea.

Obviously at some point I need to push back his BT so I can get a later WU (6:30 WU would work brilliantly with our family routine, but would that mean I need to aim to push BT back to 8pm? That seems a little late!?)
That is the maths of it though. It might not suit him particularly well or it might work wonderfully - its a case of giving it a try and seeing what happens.

With that unsettled period in the early hours of the morning - I assume he is happy and wanting to play? If so, yes I think pushing that first nap later is going to help - you don't necessarily have to increase the other A times but it may help.

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 15:20:22 pm »

Obviously at some point I need to push back his BT so I can get a later WU (6:30 WU would work brilliantly with our family routine, but would that mean I need to aim to push BT back to 8pm? That seems a little late!?)
That is the maths of it though. It might not suit him particularly well or it might work wonderfully - its a case of giving it a try and seeing what happens.


With that unsettled period in the early hours of the morning - I assume he is happy and wanting to play? If so, yes I think pushing that first nap later is going to help - you don't necessarily have to increase the other A times but it may help.


Yes, he's sometimes happy and chatting but often just awake, moaning and fighting sleep at 4-5am. By 5am he's always awake and chatting.

I'm unsure how I can push his BT back that far with his A times.

Offline becj86

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 22:11:09 pm »
If you push that first nap another 15min every few day til its at 10am, the BT should gradually shift and the early hours should get better. As it is, you're encouraging the 5-5:30 WU by doing that first nap at 8:30.

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 08:30:39 am »
Ok- thanks. He's just cut his second tooth and has been waking in the night even more than usual the last few nights & this morning was wide awake (and over tired) at 5:00am! I'm going to wait until the teething has died down in a few days (hopefully!) and start pushing that nap back 15mins every couple of days. I would preferably need his BT to be at least an hour later asap.

Just for clarification- how does the following look as something to aim for?

E 6:30 WU and bottle
E 7:30 solids
S 9:45 nap (1 hour - sometimes stretches to 1hr 15)

E 11:00 bottle
E 12:30 solids
S 14:30 nap (this is almost always no longer than 1 hour)

E 15:30 bottle
E 16:45 solids

18:30 start BT routine (stories, bath @18:45)
E 19:15
S 19:30 BT


Do those A times seem ok?



« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:32:18 am by JCN »

Offline becj86

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 09:54:34 am »
I'd probably try to push that 14:30 nap to 15:15 to even them out a bit - he'll be pretty OT for BT I'd imagine with 4hr A off 1hr nap. You know him best though.

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 13:12:49 pm »
True, I was thinking the same about being OT from am nap to pm nap though if he only naps anhour until 11am then I'm not sure how far I can push the pm nap. Suppose it might be a bit of trial and error...

Offline KBolton

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 17:36:10 pm »
Hi, you've got some great advice from the forum. I hope it's helping!

For my LO, I get 30 minute naps when she is OT and 45min naps when she is UT. Originally I saw a sleep consultant, as my baby wasn't napping well and she mentioned that a lot of babies need a shorter awake time in the morning. I have heard people say this can lead to an early wake time, but this works brilliantly for me (with a 7am start to the day). My LO is 8 months and can only do about 2h awake time in the morning but longer in the afternoon. We do a 2-3-4 awake time routine with 2 (1.5h) naps. I know all babies are different, but if you are still fighting to get your LO down, it could be worth a shot!

Best of luck!

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 19:55:51 pm »
Hi, you've got some great advice from the forum. I hope it's helping!

For my LO, I get 30 minute naps when she is OT and 45min naps when she is UT. Originally I saw a sleep consultant, as my baby wasn't napping well and she mentioned that a lot of babies need a shorter awake time in the morning. I have heard people say this can lead to an early wake time, but this works brilliantly for me (with a 7am start to the day). My LO is 8 months and can only do about 2h awake time in the morning but longer in the afternoon. We do a 2-3-4 awake time routine with 2 (1.5h) naps. I know all babies are different, but if you are still fighting to get your LO down, it could be worth a shot!

Best of luck!

Thanks! I saw in a book a while ago about a 2-3-4 nap 'formation' actually. He very good at settling off to sleep, since we started 3hr A times...he just doesn't stay asleep for very long - but he will resettlemrelatively easy for a second sleep cycle - but rarely a third cycle. Naps are now at 1hour with help from me to transition him into the next sleep cycle, which before I wasn't able to do as he'd just kick up a fuss.
I'm going to work on balancing out his A times and pushing back BT for a couple of weeks. However, the next time I feel like I need to try something else I'll definitely give 2-3-4 a try!

Offline JCN

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Re: Serial Cat Napper! Please Help!
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2017, 06:31:25 am »
So yesterday, he had a 1hr am nap, a 1.5hr pm nap (with lots of ssh/pat resettling every 30min sleep cycle)and then a 30min cat nap before tea as we were travelling, from 5:00-5:30pm. This meant we were in a position to push back BT, which we did- to 7:30pm.

We still had NWs, frequently. 8:30pm for his dummy. 2:00am he was awake for an hour before finally resettling at 3:00am. Then he woke every 5-10mins from 4:30-5:30am and was then up for the day.

This is happening every night, regardless of nap times, awake times and BT. I've tried altering and varying it so many ways.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 06:34:39 am by JCN »