Author Topic: Early Waking 9 month old  (Read 1239 times)

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Offline JCN

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Early Waking 9 month old
« on: June 19, 2017, 13:44:18 pm »
Hi! I was looking for some advice for my 9 month old's EW habit.

Here is an average day for us:

WU 5:00am
S 9:00-10:15 (sometimes closer to just 1hour)(sometimes needs resettling half way)

S 14:00-15:00 (sometimes only 45mins)(sometimes needs resettling half way)

BT: 19:00

He STTN most of the time, until his EW. But this is only very, very recent.

I know his A time, at 4 hours, is a little high for his age. But because his naps are relatively short, it's the only way that I can balance the day. I tried shortening A time to a more appropriate 3.5 hours but this meant bedtime was at 18:00-18:30 and the EW came at 4am!

Since he's been about 6months old he has never slept more than 10.5hrs straight so I am convinced that this is all he needs.
Ideally, for when I return to work, I would like him to be up at 6:00-6:30am. So I'm Only trying to get an extra hour really. He's currently averaging 9.5-10hours.

My aim is to get to this routine:
WU 06:00-06:15
S 9:30-10:30
S: 14:00-15:30
BT: 19:00

Ive tried shifting his morning nap to 9:15/30 but he ends up cat napping for 40mins and then is super tired by 13:30 so I can never push the pm nap back , to therefore try a later bedtime of 19:30.

Any advice or tweaks to our current routine?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 22:06:02 pm by JCN »

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 10:50:04 am »
Hi there
To be honest I'm not convinced the routine you are hoping for is going to be suitable.  Not sure when it is you are returning to work and want this routine in place by but if it is very soon then the only way I can see you shifting the WU time to later would be to have a big shake up and "fix" a routine with some set times for a while.  Slowly shifting routines can help when LOs have been napping well but then naps become short and a little tweak is needed to get back on track but with a considerable time shift of an hour or more then some big changes would need to be made.  Not sure if you'd be up for that or if you are in a rush to try it?  If you are not returning to work for some time then really I'd wait until closer to the time to look at what you need to happen, routines can change considerably over a few months and LOs sleep needs will not be the same at say 12 months old as they are at 9 months old so in that case I'd just put the thought of work routines out of your head for a while.

Looking over your previous thread I see a couple of things.  Bec suggested moving the nap gradually out, 15 mins every few days, until you reached 10am.  Later in the thread you had some success with the WU time improving and a more consistent routine with that first nap coming at 9am - however looking now, it is approx 1 month since that suggestion, nap is still at 9am and WU time has moved earlier again rather than later.  To me this is consistent with the advice given that LO needs that first nap to come much later to encourage better night sleep, a later Wu time and a later BT.
It can be super hard to shift a nap time (and BT) and really the only way is to grit your teeth and get on with it.
It *can* be done in the space of a week if you are ready to go for it.  It is pretty much the same as shifting a baby's body clock for the annual clock changes.
If you look at your current routine you could shift everything 1hr by doing 15 min different each day. When you reach the 1hr change if you see no change to the EW/WU you go on another 15 and another. Totalling 1hr 30 overall time change which should really help to move that WU time.  Once the WU time shifts and settles you can then bring back the nap time ever so slowly (from 10.30 to 10am in 5 or 10 min increments so that the later WU time is maintained).

Another thing, looking at your LO's history and the proposed routine. The BT would realistically need to be much later. A LO who never sleeps longer than 10.5hrs over night is unlikely to change IME.  Mine was the same and certainly we had the odd longer night after a nap drop or during illness but really he maintained his night length and no amount of tweaking a routine would do anything to help that.  I would say then that if you want a 6am WU you will need to look at 8pm BT.  If he starts to do longer nights then great, that can be worked in as needed.

Also, I see that Bec suggested 2 sleep cycles would be restorative if your LO has a 30 min sleep cycle. Personally I think you can teach him to sleep longer to bring his nap length to 1.5 or 2hrs.  (in some of your posts it is unclear if your LO has a 30 min cycle or a 40 min or 45 min, you might not know and it is not always easy to tell).  My DS had a sleep cycle of 40 mins and would not have had a restorative sleep on 2 cycles, he needed 3 cycles to reach 2hrs and be fully rested.  From my experience on the boards I have often seen 40 min cycle lengths go to 3 cycles for a nap (2hr) and those with 45 min cycle lengths go 2 cycles (1hr 30) to be rested.  Of course if your LO was fully rested AND you could get through the day on 2 naps of 1hr each then that would be fine, but it seems to me you have quite some time to fill in the day so my suggestion would be to teach him to stay asleep for that third cycle for at least one nap per day (which I think would be more suitable for your 9 months old who I think has an adjusted age of 8 months).

Your routine might look something like this, although obviously it is only guidance.
WU 6
A 4hr
S 10 -  11.30
A 4hr
S 3.30 - 4.30
A 3hr 30
BT 8

or without extending the nap length something like this:
WU 6
A 4
S 10 - 11
A 4
S 3 -4
A 4
BT 8

You might need to shush/pat throughout the naps to help your LO shift this routine.  Remember to move all E times by the 15 min increments too, LOs know where they are in the day by what time their food arrives as this is one of the predictable routine things. When you move the E you can more easily move the S.

hope this helps


Offline JCN

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 07:20:23 am »
Thanks for your reply. If you don't mind, I'd like to respond to a few of your points? :)

Not sure when it is you are returning to work and want this routine in place by

I return to work in 3 weeks, but I'm not necessarily looking for a quick fix solution. I just meant that *eventually* (however long it takes), that's the routine that would be ideal to work around child care etc when I am working. I'm happy for a quick fix or a long term method.

Looking over your previous thread I see a couple of things.  Bec suggested moving the nap gradually out, 15 mins every few days, until you reached 10am.  Later in the thread you had some success with the WU time improving and a more consistent routine with that first nap coming at 9am - however looking now, it is approx 1 month since that suggestion, nap is still at 9am and WU time has moved earlier again rather than later.  To me this is consistent with the advice given that LO needs that first nap to come much later to encourage better night sleep, a later Wu time and a later BT.
It can be super hard to shift a nap time (and BT) and really the only way is to grit your teeth and get on with it.
It *can* be done in the space of a week if you are ready to go for it.  It is pretty much the same as shifting a baby's body clock for the annual clock changes.
If you look at your current routine you could shift everything 1hr by doing 15 min different each day. When you reach the 1hr change if you see no change to the EW/WU you go on another 15 and another. Totalling 1hr 30 overall time change which should really help to move that WU time.  Once the WU time shifts and settles you can then bring back the nap time ever so slowly (from 10.30 to 10am in 5 or 10 min increments so that the later WU time is maintained).

Yes, Bec did advise this, you're right. I have not ignored that advice but it has proved incredibly difficult to shift that nap. I can manage to get him to 09:15 some days but then other days, like a few days ago for instance, he fell asleep at 09:00 whilst he was playing. I have continually worked on trying to get his nap to at least 09:30. I was also advised, I can't remember by who, to try set nap times of 9am and 2pm. So I have tried to stick to that for a couple of weeks while we dealt with hourly NWs. Now he has started sleeping 9-10hours at night with no waking, I came back to seek advice as I feel in a better position.
I will continue to try and shift his nap later. But as I've said in my previous post - doing this tends to result in a catnap and therefore the next WU remains the same. The last couple of days, since my post, he has been waking at 4:00 and I am unable to resettle him without co-sleeping. This is a habit that I have not long broken and I am struggling with what to do at this time.

Another thing, looking at your LO's history and the proposed routine. The BT would realistically need to be much later. A LO who never sleeps longer than 10.5hrs over night is unlikely to change IME.  Mine was the same and certainly we had the odd longer night after a nap drop or during illness but really he maintained his night length and no amount of tweaking a routine would do anything to help that.  I would say then that if you want a 6am WU you will need to look at 8pm BT.  If he starts to do longer nights then great, that can be worked in as needed.
I had thought a BT of 7:30 might be a good start. Good to know that 10hours over night isn't out of the ordinary. I have been told he *should* be sleeping 12 hours. It's nice to have it validated that he may just need less than this and to work around it rather than trying to extend.


(in some of your posts it is unclear if your LO has a 30 min cycle or a 40 min or 45 min, you might not know and it is not always easy to tell).

It genuinely seems to change! But I would say it's now more often than not around the 40-45min mark.

so my suggestion would be to teach him to stay asleep for that third cycle for at least one nap per day (which I think would be more suitable for your 9 months old who I think has an adjusted age of 8 months).

Your routine might look something like this, although obviously it is only guidance.
WU 6
A 4hr
S 10 -  11.30
A 4hr
S 3.30 - 4.30
A 3hr 30
BT 8

or without extending the nap length something like this:
WU 6
A 4
S 10 - 11
A 4
S 3 -4
A 4
BT 8
 

Would you suggest lengthening the morning nap over the afternoon nap then? I had wondered which nap should be longer, if any. I'll give this first routine a shot and if the naps don't seem to be working I'll have a look at your second example.
Even when I have successfully lengthened his naps, it rarely results in anything longer than 1hr 15mins.
I also struggle with more than 3.5hours after that last nap. At the minute I do 3h45-4hours and he has started refusing his final bottle and getting very agitated and eventually I have to just put him down in his cot, where he rolls around for 15mins before crying and then deciding that he'll take his bottle and then sleep properly.

might need to shush/pat throughout the naps to help your LO shift this

This is where I am currently seeing a challenge. I used to sssh/pat through his naps to get him through a second cycle- this worked well, although it never worked for a third cycle. He then began taking longer naps independently and I would only need to resettle  him for one nap a day, sometimes neither. Then, coincidentally maybe, since he's started sleeping 9hours TTN, most of his naps have returned to one cycle and ssssh/pat doesn't seem to work. He'll have the odd nap where he sleeps 1-1h15 but most of the time he's awake after 40mins. I've tried W2S, I've tried hovering over him until he stirs and sssh/pat (which is what worked before) and I've tried leaving him for a couple of mins to self settle (as he is able to do this at night). None of which seem to be making a difference.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 07:43:22 am by JCN »

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 18:47:20 pm »
I was also advised, I can't remember by who, to try set nap times of 9am and 2pm. So I have tried to stick to that for a couple of weeks while we dealt with hourly NWs
Yes that's fine. It was bec also who suggested this i believe as you were finding it hard to move the nap any later than 8.30am so a 10am move likely seemed very far off.  The thing is once the nap time moved later and sleeping improved a bit it would then be time to swiftly move on to the nap moving to 10am...without this WU has become earlier and naps shorter again - meaning the same problem returns. It isn't your fault and I am not pointing a finger of blame, often change seems impossible and then comes unexpectedly quick and we (parents) are left playing catch up if we don't respond swiftly enough.  It is also tempting to stick with a newish routine which has worked for a few days or seems to be helping in the hopes it will continue to work rather than changing things up again and risking everything going to pot - I know x It's hard!

With that in mind, and also the rapidly approaching return to work for you, my advice would be to not delay.  LOs very often don't like things to change, it's quite normal for there to be resistance to a new routine and it is down to you to make it happen.  Many of Tracy's examples of putting LOs onto a suitable routine involve LOs who are not happy about it. Tracy said when A times need to be extended we must do everything we can to keep them awake, she said to do a fan dance if necessary. So then, to change his routine, you have to keep him awake, it is a period of time when it is not up to him when he sleeps but up to you when he sleeps and the more consistent you are with that the quicker the whole thing will be - not easy mind you, Tracy also said EASY is not always easy.  Rather than giving him the opportunity to sleep whilst playing, do the fan dance, keep him awake.
Write down the time for WU, naps and BT and stick to them for a week.  I believe if you do, change will happen.

Would you suggest lengthening the morning nap over the afternoon nap then?
It's up to you. Usually I suggest to keep a long nap where LO has been doing a long, or longer nap, it seemed you were able to extend the first nap to 1hr 15 so it looked like this one would be the most suitable to extend to 1hr 30 (or 2hr) but it's your choice. I would not chop and change though, pick one and stick with it.

The difficulties you describe with naps and using W2S or shush/pat through the nap to extend sound like some sleep training is needed to get him to learn, or remind him, that naps are supposed to be longer.  If you put him down too soon for a nap extending and W2S are fruitless but it can also be habit to fully wake after a cycle and not go back down. Sticking with the routine really should help with this.  Continuing to try to resettle until WU time, continuing to try to resettle until end of nap time, and then not offering the nap until it is time for the nap, these are the methods Tracy used.
This would mean him waking at 4am and you stay in his room trying to resettle until 6am, then whether or not he fell asleep at all you start the day and keep him up until 10am nap time. This is a long shift for you to get through so if there is someone who can come in to give you some time off then maybe plan this in advance if you can. A friend or relative might for instance keep him occupied from 7-9 so that you can get a shower and a breath of fresh air and ready yourself for that fan dance!  Then it's over to you to make the nap happen or continue to try until 11.30...and so on through the day.

There is a bit of an "out of the box" thing you could do to kick start a new routine which would be a ONE OFF - to AP a nap late in the day and follow this with a full A time and then a very late BT.  This would shift BT considerably later for that day only, (but without adding OT) which could help you when you begin your early hours resettling shift.  He might not wake at 4am at all or the WU time might shift and just give you an ever so slightly easier route into starting the new routine either because he wakes later or because he is easier to resettle.  You'd then begin your 6am WU and set routine to get on track.
Hope that makes sense.


Offline JCN

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 05:18:50 am »
Thanks for he advice. I do try my utmost to keep him awake when I'm stretching him, it's just that sometimes even when I'm dancing around with the radio on or we are playing peekaboo, he can still on the odd occasion fall asleep!

So yesterday, I stretched his morning nap to 9:15 (my plan  is to move by 15mins each day, as suggested). He fell asleep well and then woke 1 hour later, I'd been hovering over him and managed to ssh-pat him back to sleep easily, he then slept for another hour, resulting a 2 hour nap. I then put him down for his afternoon nap at 3:30 & was met with a lot of resistance. When he did eventually fall asleep, he only napped for 30mins and I did not manage to resettle him. I was then able to  shift BT to 19:30. Again,  he fell asleep well. But we have just got up this morning having had lots of NWs from 2:30am onwards-almost half hourly! It's seem I can't have one without the other. I've just spent an incredibly long time using sleep training to get him to STTN which had worked great, now it's going to pot.

Today, on day 2 of my shifting of sleep, I aim for:

WU 5:30 (this was after his multiple NWs)

S 9:30-10:30 (minimum)

S 2:30 - 3:30 (or later, if a later WU from morning nap)

BT 19:30

Unfortunately I parent alone, with little help from family, so I will try my best with long A times that result from being unable to resettle.
I have also previously tried your out of the box idea and it still resulted in either lots of NWs or an EW. But I'll try it for one night again in the future if I feel it's necessary.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 05:44:01 am by JCN »

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 09:31:15 am »
I can sympathise with the lone-parenting. I had basically no help in that first year - it is truly exhausting!
I did manage once to talk my mother into coming to mind my DS for a couple of hours during one particularly difficult few days when I had to move him from his hammock by my bed to a cot in an adjoining room but even then my mum wasn't a great help to be honest.

I know it might seem like everything has gone wrong when there is a night with lots of NWs after you've had a stint of STTN but this is to be expected when changing a routine quite considerably.
I wonder if some of the night disturbance was due to a bit of OT rather than because he's had a longer morning nap - what do you think?
Was it 4hr 15 between nap 1 and 2...and then 3hr 30 A time before BT?  I feel he could have been a bit OT leading to nap resistance and then the shorter nap and the OT effected his night a bit.
I could be wrong of course. It is all a bit of a guess. He is already on long times and low sleep levels for age which is why I am veering more towards thinking a bit of OT rather than UT.

That first nap was very good though.  If you can continue to get a fully restorative sleep there I think he could eventually sleep better at night.


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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 05:25:07 am »
I wonder if some of the night disturbance was due to a bit of OT rather than because he's had a longer morning nap - what do you think?

I could be wrong of course. It is all a bit of a guess. He is already on long times and low sleep levels for age which is why I am veering more towards thinking a bit of OT rather than UT.

That first nap was very good though.  If you can continue to get a fully restorative sleep there I think he could eventually sleep better at night.

I do agree that the longer nap skewed the rest of the day. He is not used to sleeping for such a long period in the day and I think it messed up the rest of the day - on both our parts.

Yesterday was a very different day, with rubbish naps (although I did successfully push them back an extra 15mins) but improved night time sleep.
After quite a few night wakings,and being extremely difficult to resettle from 4:00am onwards,  he eventually woke at 5:30am and the day panned out like this....

WU 5:30

S 9:30-10:10 (did not manage to resettle)
*we went out later in the morning and he also had 10-15mins in the car at around 11:30am

S 2:30-3:35

BT 19:00

NWs- 21:00, 02:30 (both times I left him a couple of mins before going in and he self settled before I decided to get up)
WU 5:30

I'm worried about pushing that morning nap another 15mins today as it will mean he's been awake over 4hours...

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2017, 08:52:03 am »
He did 4hr 20 between naps 1 and 2 and then slept an hour so despite the A times looking long I think your LO needs that later nap and longer first A time.  It is consistent with bec's advice too so there has been more than one person thinking the same about these early mornings and first naps times.
Based on what has happened before I feel if you don't shift that nap then you risk WU moving to 5am again.  I'd move it now before that happens.


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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 09:47:48 am »
Thanks - left in the capable hands of a family member under clear instructions this morning, he went for his morning nap at 9:30 again,  grrrr.... but did sleep for a longer period than yesterday's 40min catnap and no resettle.... he managed 1hr 30 with no need for a resettle, 9:30-11:00. So hopefully this means I can push today's afternoon nap to 3pm & BT can be 7:30-8pm. Then I can continue to push the morning nap 15mins each day over the weekend to get to 10am.
Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 09:50:18 am »
That's a really good first nap :)


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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 10:20:29 am »
I don't know why I put 1h30... it was actually 2 hours!  :-\

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 05:53:49 am »
So, just an update... yesterday panned out like this:

WU 5:30
S 9:30-11:30
S 15:00-16:00
BT 19:30

In the night he woke once at 3:30, but we think he is teething so I gave him a dose of calpol (which he'd also had a BT) and then he slept until 06:00am :)

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 08:46:17 am »
Ooh good WU time!
Time to move the first nap later to take advantage of that WU time I think.
Something to keep in mind - if the WU time actually ends up being too late for your ideal because the routine has moved on too much you can always take it back a little at a later date.


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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 17:15:32 pm »
Think little man is teething and has made today difficult. We only managed to get to 9:40 for a nap and, with a resettle, that lasted 90mins. We've been out and about a lot today, plus his teething grumpiness and unsettledness so it's been a bit of a pickle...

WU 06:00

S: 9:40- 11:15 (with one settle at 10:20) - I really did try for 10am but no matter what we did his eyes were rolling back and his head was flopping all over the place. For some reason he was beyond tired by 9:30 and I was beginning to wonder if he'd been awake before 6:00 for a long time or awake in the night, but hadn't made a noise and I hadn't realised?

CN in car on way back from shopping - 1:30 ish for 20mins

S: 15:30-16:30 - this was a tricky nap. I put him down at 15:00ish  and he cried and cried and cried no matter what I did. By 15:30 he was in a complete state and I ended up needing to calm him down by holding him. Eventually I got him to sleep with cuddles (I know, naughty me)  by 15:35 but then had to wake him at 16:30 because I didn't want him to sleep too late.
Nightmare of an afternoon.

Like I said, we think he's teething giving his vile mood the last few days and the faces he's pulling. So trying to battle on...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 17:17:15 pm by JCN »

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Re: Early Waking 9 month old
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2017, 18:20:31 pm »
To me it looks like he is so much in the habit of taking a nap at 9.30 that his body clock is making him nod off, it might be hard but push past it as quickly as you can because that first nap looks UT needing a resettle.

I wouldn't read much into the last nap, he will have been UT due to having a car nap and sometime we just can't avoid car naps, that's life.

Maybe try some pain meds for the teething before nap time.