Author Topic: Sleep advice for 4 month old please  (Read 456 times)

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Offline _Elisanah_

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Sleep advice for 4 month old please
« on: August 13, 2017, 20:19:46 pm »
Hi, I'd really appreciate some thoughts on my dd2's sleep and routine please. I found these forums SO helpful with dd1...this time round I was determined to not make the same 'mistakes' but here I am again  ;)

The main issues are that she catnaps in the day and feeds to sleep in the evening. I got so stressed out trying to get dd1 into a routine that I've ended up taking things much easier this time round and going with the flow a bit more. It's been good for the stress levels but I think dd2 could do with more of a routine  now,  especially at night. I can see some of the same props my dd1 came to depend on so I'd like to try to establish better habits earlier if possible.

Each day looks different in terms of exact timings but I've loosely followed EASY from the get go. She currently has an A time of 2 hours (rarely goes to sleep before then) but still gets hungry roughly every 3 hours. She has 3-4 naps, depending on how long they are. She wakes 2-3 times a night and feeds to sleep during those.

My main issues are...

1) She only naps in the bouncer or wrap. This was initially because I spent so long getting her to sleep in the cot that dd1 was spending ages in front of the tv (downstairs is open plan so can't totally childproof and she kept waking lo up when she was with us) only for dd2 to wake up after 20 mins. She slept so much better in the wrap but, even in that, she now tends to wake after 30mins...so I guess this could be a good time to try the cot again. My questions are what do you do with your eldest child while working on it? Also I have to use the wrap when we go out so will working on naps in the cot work? Finally is it likely an issue with her routine which could be causing the catnaps?

2) she has no bedtime routine. Which I have all sorts of mum guilt about when I think of dd1's lovely routine as a baby! Until recently she just didn't seem able to settle down before 8.30, sometimes closer to 10pm. However she is getting sleepy earlier now so, again, think this could be a good time to work on bedtime and going in the cot (She's currently down with us bf until she's in a deep enough sleep.) The only issue is that on the rare occasions shes gone down for the evening she tends to be wide awake during the night! Questions are - should I do PUPD with her to work on getting her off bf to sleep? Also...how do others organise bedtime with 2+ kids? Not sure whether to do baby or toddler first (dd1 goes to bed at 7)

The other thing is that we're going away in 3 weeks so not sure it's fair to do full on sleep training before that? I just think she's showing signs of needing routine etc and I don't want to miss this window!

Any help much appreciated, Thank you!

Offline _Elisanah_

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Re: Sleep advice for 4 month old please
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 19:16:40 pm »
Just to add-

Yesterday she woke at 6.30 - then napped 8.30-9, 11-12.15 and 2.30-3.30 ...then wouldn't go down for.cat nap so  fell asleep at 6.45 and stayed asleep on me all evening until i put her down around 9.30.

Today she woke at 7, napped 8.50- 9.30, 11.15-12ish, 2-3.15,5.30-6pm. Then wide awake when i tried to do bedtime just after 7! Although sleepy since 8ish but not enough to go down.

As you can see she's actually managed some longer naps but they're all in the wrap. Her morning naps seem to be consistently shorter...is that okay? I wonder whether I should be aiming for 3 naps now without a cat nap?

Offline jessmum46

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Re: Sleep advice for 4 month old please
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 19:33:11 pm »
At 4 months I think I would be generally aiming for 3 naps and keeping that catnap in reserve for really bad days where it's all gone very wrong!  I found keeping 4 naps for longer than needed really messed up my DS's night sleep (DD was a rubbish napper so it was never an issue....). 

It's tricky if you are about to head away and likely be unable to stick to much of a routine, but there's no time like the present!  Will your holiday plans allow you to time outings around naps?  Or will it be very much 'winging it'? 

To answer your questions - when DS was tiny and DD was a toddler (2y5m age difference) I used to let DD watch TV or play a game on the iPad while I put DS down.  However, I did also modify my sleep training approach to 'do the bare minimum' - so I would do a little routine, put him down in bed and leave him to it unless he was upset.  I responded immediately if he needed me and would always stay while he did, but if he was calm I tended to leave rather than using shh pat all the way to sleep every time.  Possibly it was his personality, but he got it very quickly!  There were days when he did struggle and I abandoned in favour of the sling because you just can't leave a toddler unattended for that long.  But we did get there - hope that gives you hope!

In terms of BT routine for your DD2 why not at least get the routine in place (bath, PJs etc) even if for now you still BF to sleep?  Is the BF to sleep causing issues do you think?  I only ask because my DD BF to sleep for about the first 6-7 months (bad naps = exhausted bubba!) but gradually just stopped falling asleep and it never affected nights really.  But if you do want to stop then PUPD is pretty rough - I'd start with a feed just slightly earlier in your routine so you know she isn't hungry (possibly feed, bath, PJs?) and then use shh pat instead of PUPD.  Or go for bath, PJs, feed but do it in a bright room and take her off and stir her as you put her down so she's aware even if sleepy that she's going into the cot.

The order of our bedtime has changed as both kids have grown and developed and needed different things in terms of sleep.  First few months we preserved the older one's bedtime at all costs.  Then moved to doing stories together then putting younger one in bed then older one (a few mins apart).  Now we do younger one's whole routine and into bed before starting the older one.  It really depends on your kids and their sleep needs (and whether or not you have help) but kids seem to learn to deal with each other being around and it does all work out ok in the end x
***Katherine***







Offline _Elisanah_

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Re: Sleep advice for 4 month old please
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 18:40:27 pm »
Thank you for your reply, it was really helpful  :)

I keep changing my mind about bf to sleep, on one hand I love that time with her but, on the other, she'll fall asleep on me but will wake as soon as she is put down. Last night I took her up to the bedroom around 8 as she was clearly tired. She fell asleep feeding but didn't stay asleep when put down until 10pm. She seems to need the sleep but can't go into a deep enough sleep. I feel that if she was able to learn to go to sleep without bf then she might  sleep better in the evening (and me not be locked in the bedroom for hours!).

I can't help but compare her to DD1 who was very similar (both refused dummies and bottles, fed and woke frequently in the evening and night),
 Her sleep became worse and worse until we tackled bf to sleep at 8 months. I found PUPD so rough at that age and I couldn't see it through properly so ended up having to be in her room until she was asleep until she turned 2! Maybe dd2 will stop by herself but I'm worried it's just going to be harder the longer I leave it. The other thing is that ,where dd1 was so used to me putting her to bed, even now she's not very impressed with my husband doing her bedtime. It'd be lovely if we could share bedtime with dd2 from an early age.

I kept it to 3 naps today and she was ready to sleep by 7. I think just doing 3 naps will make it easier to know when to do bedtime so thank you! It's just that she might end up back downstairs afterwards if she won't settle as evenings are mine and dh's only chance to see each other!

Thanks for sharing your experience,  I find it really helpful to hear other people's stories. Would youmind sharing how your ds settled to sleep? Did he have anything that helped him be more independent of you  (e.g. dummy)? How does ssh pat work when they get really upset? Because my lo will just rage cry when I try it! Should I just keep holding her until she settles? Should I lay her down awake though and keep it up until she sleeps?

I feel like I should be so much more sorted this time round but feel clueless!

Offline jessmum46

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Re: Sleep advice for 4 month old please
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 20:14:38 pm »
DS was a bit of a dream at self-settling for bedtime (sorry!) - honestly from about 7-10 days old we just stuck him in the moses basket next to us when we were eating dinner and he just messed about then went to sleep.  We did introduce a lovey almost right from the start as DD had loved hers so much.  He also found his thumb after a few weeks which really seemed to help him settle at other times. 

Shh pat can be started in your arms to get he used to the technique and then you can gradually transition it to putting her down and continuing to shh pat all the way to sleep.  It's a bit of a judgement when they are super-cross - if it's just that they are beyond exhausted and over tired/stimulated then to be honest I would bail out and just get them to sleep however you can.  If it's just protest however then you can pick up to calm if you need to and put back once a little less angry and keep going with the shh pat :)
***Katherine***