Author Topic: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?  (Read 2233 times)

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Offline alesmora

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Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« on: September 07, 2017, 21:23:32 pm »
Hi!

My LO is almost 7 months old and has been catnapping since she was a newborn. Until the 6 months mark she couldn´t afford more than 2 hours A time and was having 4 naps a day each exactly of 30 min, for a total of 2 hours sleep. Recently she stretched her A time a bit and dropped one nap but the other three naps are still short. In addition to that the 30 min have become 23, 25, 32, 35 (Never longer than 35 min anyway). This results sometimes in not even 1, 5 hours of daily sleep, which is far too few.  I´m managing to extend one nap every now and then by laying with my daughter in my bed. In that case either she turns around and sleeps again or she tosses for 20, 30 or 40 (!) minutes before falling asleep again and is then able to sleep up to an additional hour and a half.

Although she never cries when she wakes up but rather coos and plays with her lovey I can clearly see that she’s still very tired, she rubs her eyes and yawns and starts getting cranky soon. It´s not unusual that I need to lay her I the cot after just one hour A time.  Also, tiredness affects feeding as well, especially in the evening.

I need to mention that I have never rocked or nursed her to sleep and she´s able to fall asleep on her own since a couple of months already. I always put her awake in the cot at BT and she falls asleep within 5 min with no fussing at all. For the naps she normally  sleeps in the cot as well although I recently started to put her in my bed to “rescue” her sleep (in the cot it´s kind of impossible) and lay next to her to get some sleep for myself too (I know, I could get a prop for her in this way…).

I´ve being trying everything (stretch A time, shorten A time, soothe back to sleep, w2s, etc.) but nothing seemed to work. Moreover, she doesn´t like sleeping in the stroller or in the car  :-[
Nights are ok, she only comes to eat once between 4 am and 6 am, she´s still very tired when she wakes up though. I think that depends on the fact that she has a very light and agitated sleep and tosses and turns around very much starting from 3.30 /4 am (I often need to reinsert the paci and rub her head to get her to continue sleeping). At 6 am she normally comes in our bed until WU thus calming down. This has also become a habit but I actually love it and least we can all get a bit more sleep.

Below is the schedule of today:

WU: 8.40 (WU is usually between 7.30 and 9)
A: 2 H (E: 8.45, bottle)
S: 10.49 – 11.22 (32 min)
A: 2,5 H (E: 12.34, solids)
S: 13.51 – 14.23 (32 min)
A: 2,5 H (E: 16)
S: 17.05 – 17.33 (28 min)
E: 19 (solids)
BT: 20 (BT varies between 19.45 and 20.15 depending on the last nap)

Sorry for the long novel, I just didn´t want to skip any details. I start thinking it´s a developmental thing but maybe there is anything I can adjust or try?

Many thanks in advance!
Alex



Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 21:39:09 pm »
Hi, welcome to the forum!

I suspect your baby may have a buildup of overtiredness from not taking long naps - this can explain the restlessness towards the end of the night's sleep though the short A time in the morning is likely also contributing. At nearly 7 months, I'd expect to see an A time of about 3hr.

You've obviously tried a lot of things but I think being consistent with one approach for at least 2 weeks is likely to yield results. Before I go too much further, are there any medical issues to take into account? Sometimes when babies have A times significantly lower than average, they were born prematurely and/or have medical issues.

Given the difference between average A time for age and current A time, I'd suggest jumping to 3hr A time and resettling what will inevitably be overtired naps for the first few days. If you can do that consistently for a 4-5 days, we can re-evaluate if its going really poorly. At first, it will be difficult to keep her awake for so much longer than she's used to but if you can keep changing her activity and get her engaged in different things when she's looking tired, you should have some success.

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 22:05:16 pm »
Hi again and thanks a lot for the quick reply.
Chronical overtirediness describes it perfectly.
Well, no medical issues as such amd she was born exactly on the due date but my LO has a severe hearing loss unfortunately. This makes the soothing more difficult of course.
She manages 3 h A time when we're on the go although not happily.. but I'll give it a try for one week as you suggested and see if it gets better!
Shall I keep the same A time in the morning as well? Also, shallI do the extension all at once or rather 10/15 min every day?

Many Thanks!
Alex

Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 22:11:23 pm »
Better to do it all at once, I think. If you were to do it in 10-15min increments, it would have to be every 3 days or so and you'll end up chasing your tail because by the time you get to your target A time, she'll need more still.

The most important A time to increase to 3hr is the first one of the day.

Keep us posted :)

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 22:26:15 pm »
I'll do! Keep finger crossed for me  ;)

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 14:06:06 pm »
So, today was a disaster so far but I was´t expecting any miracles on the 1st day. We had two naps, both around 24 min. One was after 3,5 h (so much A time wasn´t planned but we ran late after a doc appointment) and the second one took place after 2,5 h A time, the LO fell asleep in the stroller which is unusual for her, I guessed she was super tired.
Anyway, last nap was over at 3.30 pm, so that next one should take place around 6.30 pm. But this would mess up BT, which is normally around 8 pm. Shall I keep her awake until BT and try to anticipate this instead? This will mess up feeding btw, as she will eat at 4.30 pm and again at 7 pm (dinner is always a bit earlier than other feedings).  If I leave BT at let´s say 7.30 pm LO will end up being awake for 4 hours and she´s soo cranky right now already!!
How shall I handle that?? I´m confused...  :-\

Thanks!!



Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 21:24:21 pm »
She is really chronically OT as it is, one day is not going to make that huge a difference for her. Sticking to it for a few days and being consistent gives her a chance to self-regulate, knowing that she's going to get a chance to sleep every 3hr or so means she'll take the opportunity more readily than if you put her down for a nap after a short time because she's cranky. Now you know her naps will be ~24min if she's OT for them - so go in when she's been asleep 20min and watch for stirring, then shush/pat or hold your hands on her or whatever your soothing technique is and help her through. The sooner she gets used to getting through those transitions, the sooner she will take longer naps on her own.

Another CN wouldn't be terrible but I think you'd be better to bring BT a little earlier to say 7:30 and know she'll be tired. Often mums get so worried about OT nap to nap that they keep A times too short and then they build up an undercurrent of chronic OT. Its ok for her to be OT for BT tonight.

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 22:06:08 pm »
She did have a third nap at 6.15 pm, which was almost 3 h after the last one, so I managed to stick to the 3 hours A time. But she was really needing it. BT was 2 h later, at 8.30 pm. The problem is, as long as her naps are that short and if I don't manage to extend at least one the last nap will end between 3 and 3.30 pm. I could anticipate BT to 7.30 pm but I'm not sure I can let her take only 48 min daily sleep though?? I guess she wouldn't even be able to eat dinner and I'm afraid this could affect night sleep too?
So I think I'll still need to put her down 3 times a day and posticipate BT instead. Would this mess everything up??
Do you think it would make sense to anticipate WU or wake her up always at same time?
Sorry so many questions, short naps are a nightmare!

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 22:32:17 pm »
A couple of Additional questions before going to sleep myself: today first nap was in the crib, 2nd one in the stroller and the 3rd one in our bed otherwise she wouldn't settle (OT). As you see, no constistency at all. As I wrote initially only way to resettle her is in my bed. Shall I start with that and stick to it for a while and then move her to the crib once naps are consolidated?
Also, Shall I keep the pacifier during these adjustments or would make sense to ditch it at the same time? She's able to insert it on her own, not while sleeping though and sometimes wakes because of it !

Thank you!

Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 23:32:27 pm »
Shall I start with that and stick to it for a while and then move her to the crib once naps are consolidated?
Given how much you're changing, it is totally reasonable to do what you need to to get her to sleep well. Once her body is used to sleeping at these times and for a decent amount of time, getting her to sleep in the crib will be easier. Its also not essential that she sleeps every nap in the crib - if you are someone who's out and about a lot, you probably want to keep her skilled in sleeping in the stroller for instance.

Your choice on the paci - if she can reinsert it herself and its not a problem to you to replug occasionally until she's really got it sorted out, you can ditch it (though maybe better to ditch it when you move away from sleeping in your bed to the cot.

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advices?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 16:40:34 pm »
Hi and thank you very much for your advices.
So, I´ve been sticking to the 3 h A time more or less all the times, and I see LO is getting used to that with no many difficulties - she falls asleep with no fussing, simply closes her eyes!!
We have had two good days with three longer naps, by the one I had to resettle her and it took me 40 min,but  the other two were about 1h and 10 min straight, and i only needed to replug the dummy. This is muuuch better than usual. 
Today I´m a bite discouraged though, since from yesterday afternoon we are back to the roots again: 20 min pm nap yesterday and 35 min am nap today. This afternoon I put LO in the sling and went for a walk hoping she´d sleep longer (used to do it some months ago) but no way - again 20 min nap and no way to resettle her  :'(  As a result I had to put her down again TWO hours later otherwise she would end the day with 55 min sleep. She just woke up after 23 min.
I have to add that we bought black out curtains last week and since then she´s sleeping very long in the night/morning, today she woke up at 9.15 am and yesterday, after 1/2 hour awake in bed around 8, she fell asleep again until 10 am... this without changing her BT!

I´ve a couple of questions at this point:

1) When she takes two short naps and it´s impossible to resettle her so that she sleep less than 1 hour in total during the day is it ok to put her down for a last CN after only TWO hours A time?? Or shall I stick to the original plan and accept that she´ll just sleep less for some days?

2) Is her WU too late and would you recommend me to wake her up every morning at same time even she´s beautifully sleeping ?

3) Is there any chances that she´ll learn to connect sleep cycles by simply stretching her A time or am I supposed to resettle her until she´s ready to do it on her own? When is this supposed to happen on average??

Thanks again in advance!!
Alex



Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 02:48:50 am »
So you've had a couple of 1:10 naps, that's good. That suggests 3hr A time is close but still a little short for her. She's connected sleep cycles on her own to achieve those, so you know she can do it if she's tired enough :)

I think your path from here is to increase A to 3:15 or so and see how you go.

1) When she takes two short naps and it´s impossible to resettle her so that she sleep less than 1 hour in total during the day is it ok to put her down for a last CN after only TWO hours A time?? Or shall I stick to the original plan and accept that she´ll just sleep less for some days?
Better to bring bedtime a little earlier rather than adding a catnap.

2) Is her WU too late and would you recommend me to wake her up every morning at same time even she´s beautifully sleeping ?
WU being too late is a call you make based on how it affects the rest of your family. Some babies do wonderfully with a 6-6 routine (up at 6am, BT at 6pm) and some do just as well with 8-8 or 9-9. 7-7 is just the one that fits with most people's lifestyles what with having to get kids to school, parents to work, etc. If she's sleeping a 14hr night (eg. 7pm til 9am with some NFs), maybe just hold your A times at 3hr - this might just be her way of catching up and she may go back to waking around 7 again in the next few days.

If nothing else, this should give you confidence that if you need to make WU later, you know you can increase her first A time and it will drag WU later.

3) Is there any chances that she´ll learn to connect sleep cycles by simply stretching her A time or am I supposed to resettle her until she´s ready to do it on her own? When is this supposed to happen on average??
This happens reliably generally around 5-7 months after the 4mo sleep regression but if LO has never done it, you may need to do some resettling to help her learn. Having the right A times is pretty important though because otherwise you're trying to teach her to stay asleep when she's not tired enough.

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2017, 19:32:12 pm »
Hi and once again thanks for your time and advices.
I've been sticking to 3 h A for 10 days now and things have improved. The morning nap seems to be consolidated, LO  sleeps now between 1 and 10 min and 1 and 25 min, with no need to resettle! The pm nap is often also 1h and 10 min long even if sometimes we're back to those 32 / 35 min with no chance to extend it   :( 3rd CN is gone! For us this has been a big improvement!
Now, there are a couple of things I'd still need help with: first, we can't get over that 1 h and something... shall I increase her A time again? How much? She's exactly 7 months and one week tomorrow if this can help.
Secondly, nights are getting much worse these days, loads of NW and the last two nights LO ended up in our bed at 4.30 because we were all getting crazy.
Finally, LO eats approx every 3,5 h (sometimes even 4 but it's not the rule)this means that many times she's supposed to eat shortly after having falling asleep. This kind of messes up everything.
I do think I need to tweak my routine and would really appreciate if you could lend some help on that.

This was yesterday:
Night/ morning feeding: 7 ish
WU: 8.47
E: 10.10
S: 11.39-12.33
E: 13.48
S: 15.42-16.58
E: 17.05
E: 19.15

Thanks very much and sorry for another long post!!

Offline becj86

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2017, 01:39:50 am »
Ok, so that's great. I think if you increase your A time to 3:15 or so and see how that goes, the naps should lengthen out a little more.

Can you give some more detail re: NWs? When in the night are they? How long for? Is she happy/upset? Are you feeding?

So something you can do to sort the feed issue is to doe solids/milk topup an hour after the main feed, so something like this (shift the routine to suit of course):

7 - WU, feed
8 - solids/milk (EBM/formula in a sippy cup/bottle or BF)
10:15 - nap
11:45 - wake, feed
12:45 - solids/milk
3 - nap
4:30 - wake, feed
I'd avoid solids in the evening as it can lead to NWs with LO not really used to the sensation of solid food going through the gut.
7 - BT milk
7:30 - BT

Offline alesmora

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Re: Almost 7 MO and still catnapping - any advice?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 17:42:23 pm »
Thanks and sorry for the late reply.
NWs: I can clearly see a pattern every night; she sleeps straight for 4/5 hours then a first "agitated sleep" happens around 24, she doesn't really wake up because I rub her head and replug the paci several times until she calms down and sleeps further. Second waking happens usually between 3 and 4am, LO is awake, maybe cries just once and then tosses around. She's beeing like that for 1 hour the last 3 nights, although I took her in my bed. Is not upset and most of times neither hungry, I tried with milk but most of times wasn't very excited. Then again wakes up between 5 and 6, after turning around for a while ends up in our bed and mostly I treat it as a night feeding.
By all wakings she's never upset neither wants to play, it looks more like she's restless and reminds me of me when I want to sleep but have some thoughts in my mind and keep on turning from side to side looking for some rest, if you know what I mean.
In addition to that we were travelling on Monday and she only slept 50 min in the whole day; the day after she was with my mum who kind of messed up all our schedule :'( as a result she's back to short naps unless I lay near her: in this case she does jolt a couple of times but feels or sees me and keeps on sleeping up to 1,5 h. I decided to try again with nap extension when we're back home next week. Until then I'm trying to lay near her at least by one nap so that she takes at least a decent sleep in the day.
I see it took very little to screw up all my efforts, which means I'll need to stick to nap extension much longer :-( also, when we're out and about there's no way to resettle her.
If you come to any ideas just let me know ;-)

Thank you!