Author Topic: Really struggling to get baby to adapt to EASY schedule and 3 hour time frame  (Read 401 times)

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Offline hordol2013

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Hello,

I'm new here and I apologize if people get tired of answering these questions all the time, but I'm hoping someone can help me out!

My son will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. I think he would be considered a "touchy" baby. Every day I wake up determined to follow 3-hour EASY patterns with him, but he will not sleep long enough unless I hold him. I try to do drowsy but awake, and I'm usually successful once or twice a day, but he fights me on it almost every time. I end up holding him for most naps because if I set him down, I only get 10 minutes. When he wakes up, he is not easy to resettle.

How does one get their baby to sleep 1.5-2 hours? For example, if I feed him at 6 am and try to get him to nap at 7, he may take awhile to get to sleep and then is awake by 8. What do I do then? What I have been doing is feeding and essentially trying to restart and shift the cycles up, but this continues for EVERY cycle. Instead, should I try to hold him off on eating so I can nurse him at 9 and stay on the original schedule? (and since it would have been about an hour, essentially nursing to sleep because he will have exceeded the amount of wake time he should have before next nap.) So my whole schedule gets off. Should I aim for 2 hour EASYs?

He wakes up 4-5 times per night and has since about 5 weeks or so. I'm exhausted and hoping a schedule will help him. I'm not sure what else to do.

Offline creations

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Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

Don't apologise for questions others might have asked, everyone has their own situation and every baby is an individual.  We welcome people starting new threads with their questions.

It takes time to gently sleep train a young baby, so the short naps you are experiencing are quite normal, he naturally wants to be in your arms or close by you. Tracy said in her books that often parents experience LO waking up 10-20 mins after being put down asleep and this is to be expected when LO has not yet learned to fall to sleep independently or to stay asleep without being held.  One of the methods to help with this is to continue to shush/pat until LO reaches the deep sleep phase 20 mins after going to sleep.  This means continuing to keep a hand on LO either fully patting or reducing (over time you would reduce to gradually wean this and teach LO to sleep independently) which can take up quite a lot of your time and energy.  Some people choose to do this once or twice per day rather than for every nap. It's your choice.

The next thing to look out for is that at around 40/45 mins your LO comes out of one sleep cycle and moves into the next. This again can be a time when LO fully wakes because they are not close to you or being held and have not yet learned to transition alone.  You can help to teach LO he is safe and to sleep longer by shush/patting through the transition time, we call this W2S (wake to sleep).  This usually begins with patting at the 30 min mark and continues again into the deep sleep phase so depending when the end of the first cycle comes this could be 20 or 30 mins of shush/pat.
With patting through to the deep sleep phase and adding a W2S at the transition you could be shush/patting almost throughout the nap, this is a gentle method of sleep training and the patting is gradually reduced over time. However this is also why some people choose to do this once per day rather than every nap as it can be very hard work and you are already tired.  For the other naps you might use a sling or push chair or hold LO either for the full nap or to extend the nap after a short nap in the cot.

For the EASY cycles.  If your LO is comfortably eating every 3hrs you do not need to alter this, LO does not need to eat every time he wakes up from a short nap as he might not be hungry enough to take a good feed, obviously if he is hungry then go ahead and feed him.  If you stick with 3hrly feeds you would need to watch the clock and possibly move the E a bit earlier than the 3hrs so that you can get him down for his next nap in time.  If he continues to short nap through the day you might even see two short naps come between the feeds.  The point of the EASY routine is to avoid feeding to sleep becoming a prop, for this you can include a few mins A time after the E and before S, a nappy change is often a good way to put a little A time between and avoid the prop habit.
Using the example you gave of waking at 6am and taking short naps your morning might look like this:
WU 6.00 (wake up)
E 6.00
A 1hr 15
S 7.15 - 8 (45 min)
A 1hr (reduced following a short nap)
E 8.30 (2.5hr so as to fit in before S)
nappy change
S 9.00 - 9.45 (45 min)
A 1hr
S 10.45 - 11.30 (45 min)
E 11.30 (there have been 2 short naps before this E)
Obviously this is only an example. Things would look quite different if LO only sleeps 10 mins after being put down or if the nap is extended with W2S or with extending in arms or in a sling.

The A time at this age is around 1hr 15 to 1hr 20, this is counted from when he wakes to when he sleeps and all activity between including feeding and nappy changes if he is OT (over tired) he might find it harder to get to sleep or stay asleep.  Often we reduce the A time a bit after a short nap to avoid LO becoming OT.  There are times we suggest a full A time and this is when we suspect LO is UT (under tired) which can also cause nap problems.

It takes time to get onto a consistent routine, you will get there.
I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have further questions or need more support.


Offline hordol2013

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Thank you sooo much!! This was really helpful! I will definitely give the shush/pat for 20 min and the w2s a try! I'll aim for at least 2 naps a day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) doing that and the other morning and afternoon naps however we need to do it I guess. I am definitely guilty of nursing to sleep far too often. Like just now I missed an opportunity to help him through a transition because my older child needed a diaper change and of course baby woke the few minutes I was gone when I was sitting right by his bed for a good while before that! I tried shush pat when I got there but it made him angrier so I resorted to nursing. I'm not sure what to do when he gets so worked up and angry to calm him that isn't nursing. He can carry on for quite a long time.

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Glad you found it helpful.
Just in case you need it here is a link to the W2S info, it describes in naps option 1 how to shush/pat through the transition:
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=223809.0
It says to begin at 30 mins (only 10 mins after you have shush/patted for the first 20 to get into deep sleep, it doesn't give you much time off!) but you might find you don't need to begin quite so early or to continue for quite so long. A bit of experimentation perhaps.  When mine was much older and fully independent for sleeping I needed to use W2S during a tricky nap drop transition. I was actually able to go in for just 2-3 mins and the job was done.  Different situation of course but just sharing so you know you can try different things out.

Obviously when you have an older child to care for at the same time you just can't put as much time into sleep training. Don't beat yourself up about it, it will come gradually if you are able to set some initial habits in place.
If you are going to select certain naps I suggest you try to keep to the same pattern each day so for example always nap 1 for sleep training rather than chopping and changing each day between naps 1, 2, 3 this is because babies pick up habits so you will have more success with greater consistency to the daily routine.

With regards to nursing to sleep. It can easily become a prop because it is an "easy" solution to the problem at hand. if baby is crying and nursing to sleep stops the crying it is a very tempting solution in the short term.  For parents who don't have this option they simply have to find another way. So for instance I could not BF and my LO refused to feed to sleep with a bottle and refused a pacifier...so all those options were out even if I wanted to use them.  yes he screamed for a long time sometimes but I had to just hold him and be there for him until he calmed or exhausted himself and nodded off.  It's not a particularly nice experience but on the other hand feed to sleep never became a prop and I never had to wean a paci so there is a plus side!

Your LO is still very young, just getting into something resembling a predictable routine will help you all work out where you are in the day I'm sure. Even if sleep training comes later.