Author Topic: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps  (Read 412 times)

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Offline meld16

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16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« on: September 11, 2017, 19:01:43 pm »
My 16 week old son has a hard time self-soothing, and as a result is waking up every 2 hours during the night and is taking 30-45 minute cat naps during the day. He was previously able to sleep 4-6 hour stretches during the night, but was taking 30- 45 min naps during the day. He inconsistently has napped for 1.5 hours, and we can usually put him back to sleep for another 45 mins (by rocking/holding) if he wakes up after 30 or 45 minutes.

For naps, we had been rocking/holding to sleep as he had a very difficult time settling. We have recently started shh/patting for naps with some success. We have to hold him and pat his bum until he is settled, then lay him down and pat his bum in his crib. He usually fusses/cries a bit but will eventually settle and sleep. He has occasionally napped for up to 1.5 hours with this method, but still sometimes only naps for 45 mins. We try to keep a close eye on his sleepy cues and aim to have him asleep by 1:30-1:45 minutes after waking. We have a wind down routine for naps which includes quiet play in his room, swaddle, walk around his room with song.

At bedtime, we have a consistent bedtime routine (bath, pjs, book, nurse) and he falls asleep while nursing. Previously this didn't seem to be an issue as he would stay asleep for 4-6 hours before waking again, but now it seems as though nursing is a sleep prop. He started waking every 2 hrs during a growth spurt and was taking full feeds. Now it seems as though this is a habit. Last night we were able to re settle him with rocking and shh/pat and only fed him twice so we believe that he is not truly hungry at each waking.

We try to keep him on a EAS routine but he has never had a consistent schedule due to short naps. He wakes around 7 am for the day and we try to have him asleep for first nap 1.5 hrs after waking. He is exclusively breastfed and nurses every 3-3.5 hours. He was in the habit of nursing every 2 hrs until recently, which likely contributed to grazing throughout the day & night. He is gaining weight appropriate for his age and has enough wet/dirty diapers in a day.

We try to get him to sleep for the night around 7 but the timing varies depending on when his last nap is. He tends to fight bedtime and often has 2 hrs of awake time between his last nap and bedtime, and sometimes longer. Lately he has been falling asleep for the night around 8 or 9, waking after 45 minutes to feed, and then falling asleep until 12 or 1.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Offline becj86

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 04:12:47 am »
Hi, welcome to BW :)

It sounds like you might need to give LO a bit more A time and he may sleep a bit better. Having said that, there's a lot going on developmentally around 4 months - a growth spurt (lasting up to 2 weeks though more usually 5-7 days) which has them waking more often for feeds, a sleep regression in which even LOs who could transition between sleep cycles suddenly can't and often some physical milestones on the go as well.

It sounds like you're doing well with most things, I'd suggest that you concentrate on trying to have about 1:45 or 2hr awake times throughout the day and work on shush/pat as a soothing technique. It is easy to reduce your assistance if you start with shush/pat.

In terms of NWs and whether to feed, I'm a firm believer that most babies will go back to waking less frequently one the GS is over but there are a few who don't. If you resettle without feeding and LO is awake again within 45min, they're generally hungry. Its much easier on you sleep-wise to just feed unless you're sure LO is not hungry.

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 17:00:33 pm »
Thank you for the reply and suggestions. Last night he settled easily with rocking & shh/pat for the first wake up at 1 am, and I fed him when he woke up again at 3:45 (last feed was DF at 10pm) so we think he is over the need for more feedings during the night and possibly a habit has formed for waking at that time?

This morning he woke up at 7:15 and started to yawn after being awake for only 1 hr 15 mins. We started to wind down and started shh/pat in his crib at about 1 hr 30 mins. He fell asleep by 1 hr 40 mins but then woke up after 30 minutes. He was happy and cooing in his crib. I'm having a hard time figuring out if he is over tired or under tired for naps and how to best time the wind down routine for him. Any thoughts?

Thanks again!

Offline becj86

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 06:20:19 am »
Babies can get tired out of habit in the day just as they wake from habit at night. I really think you need to extend that first a time especially. Generally a 30min nap suggests OT but in this case where your baby is not managing even the low end of normal A time range for his age, nap length is unreliable.

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 16:36:46 pm »
Thanks, I will try that.

Any thoughts about the 45 minute wake up after he is put to bed? I feed him at that time and he usually falls asleep nursing. He used to cluster feed in the evening and not fall asleep until 9 or 10, so I figure he still needs to feed then. Should I resettle with shh/pat at that wake up instead? I'm worried it is counterproductive to feed to sleep at that time, after working on shh/pat to sleep.

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 17:07:56 pm »
Today he went down for his first nap after 1 hr 55 minutes and still woke up after 30 mins happy and cooing. Do you think he needs even more awake time before his nap?

He generally resists the wind down routine for naps and cries a little while trying to settle him by rocking/patting in my arms before putting in crib and doing shh/pat. I always assumed this was because he was overtired, but maybe it is because he is undertired.

Offline becj86

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 07:39:24 am »
He generally resists the wind down routine for naps and cries a little while trying to settle him by rocking/patting in my arms before putting in crib and doing shh/pat. I always assumed this was because he was overtired, but maybe it is because he is undertired.
Yes, it may well be UT.

Keep in mind that it can take a few days of increasing A times consistently to see longer naps. I wouldn't push too far beyond 2hr at this stage, perhaps if you're still getting 30min naps and cooing when he wakes in a week's time, then it would be worth considering.

Offline ginger428

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 15:10:11 pm »

Re: 16 week old cat naps
Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 16:00:53
Quote (selected)
Thanks for your reply. He is feeding every 4 hrs, but our schedules isn't typical EAS because of short naps. Yesterday looked like this:

Wake up 7:15
E 7:30
A 1 hr 40 mins (first yawn was at 1 hr 15, started wind down & shh/pat at 1 hr 30)
S 9:00-9:33 (woke up happy)
A 1 hr 15 mins (fell asleep in the stroller, woke up happy)
S 10:40 - 11:10
E 11:30
A 1 hr 30 mins
S 12:40 - 1:10 (woke up happy)
A 1 hr 40 mins
S 2:50 - 3:20 (woke up happy)
E 3:30
A 1 hr 50
S 5:00-5:25 (woke up crying)
A 1 hr 50 (started bedtime routine - bath, pjs, nurse, book)
E 6:30
S 7:10
E 7:40 (woke up after 30 minutes but fell asleep while nursing)

11pm - resettled with shh/pat
3 am - nursed
5:30 - woke up due to gas, resettled with shh/pat
7:30 awake for the day

The day before yesterday, his first nap was 55 mins (woke up happy) and his second nap was 1 hr 20 mins with 1 hr 40 awake time in between.

I'm wondering if he is maybe under tired to begin with, but as the day progresses he becomes over tired?

Offline ginger428

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 15:53:36 pm »
Like PP suggested, I would work toward a longer A time. 

I think you're right that he's tired by the pm WHEN he takes short naps all day. He didn't get any restorative nap, so when this is the case, I would shorten the last A time before the last nap.  Waking within 3 hours of bedtime indicates tiredness. But on days when he has any nap of 1 hr more, keep to the regular A times and bedtime.

The morning naps at 9:00 and 10:40 suggest he could've elongated his morning nap. Morning yawns so early are a bit deceptive... it could be his body still waking up so I would suggest to hold on to at least 1:40 in the am.  Stretching it to 9:15 nap time eventually. 5 mins a day or two would be a gradual adjustment. Just keep morning activity active yet calm, and maybe do stroller walks right after he wakes and eats as opposed to closer to his next nap time.

His nights look better, no? Agreed with PP also about GS.. usually they go right back to usual routine, but the 4 mo can be a tricky time. Keep up with the shh/pat with the goal of doing less and less so that he can try falling asleep independently.


Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 18:15:27 pm »
Thank you both for your input! His first A time today was 2 hrs but his nap was still only 30 mins. He woke up happy but then started to fuss and cry and seemed tired. I was not able to extend it even though it seemed like he wanted to keep napping. I will keep A time to 2 hrs for a few days and see if anything changes. Should subsequent A times stay at 2 hrs after 30 min naps?

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 14:53:21 pm »
So, please help me make sense of our night. Yesterday looked like this:

Wake up & E - 730
A - 2 hr
S - 9:30-10:00
A - 1 hr 35
S - 11:35 - 1:00
A - 2 hr 45 (tried to settle and wind down at 2 hrs but could not settle and was hungry, so fed and changed diaper to put some time between nursing and sleep)
S - 3:45 - 4:30 (woke up crying, resettled with shh/pat and slept again 4:45-5:30)
A - 2 hr 30 (took longer than anticipated to fall asleep using shh/pat)
S - 8:00- 8:50 (woke due to overtired?) - nursed and fell back asleep quickly

2:30 - woke up and nursed, burped, and settled in crib. Then he was awake and crying again 20 mins later and could not be resettled again until 4:20, when he finally fell back asleep with shh/pat. He slept after that until waking at 7:30.

Is the long awake time in the night due to the prolonged bedtime, or from awake times in the day? I know they were very inconsistent yesterday but they tend to get thrown off after that first nap.

Offline becj86

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2017, 06:54:02 am »
Ok, so maybe a longer A time first up given he's capable of a longer nap when more tired.

Has he recently been through a GS? Just wondering if he was dealing with a bit of gas pain at that 2:30 waking? Sometimes when you haven't fed for a while, your milk can come out faster and that can cause LO to gulp more air in. That's presuming he was unhappy the whole time. If he was happy most of that time, it may be another sign the first A time needs an increase. Hopefully things have been better since?

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2017, 17:30:29 pm »
The past couple of days we have kept 1:50-2:00 hrs awake time between each nap and before bed. He is settling for naps and bed time with less resistance using shh/pat now, but continues to have difficulty transitioning sleep cycles for naps (which I understand can be developmentally common at this age). I was able to extend the first 2 naps of the day yesterday, which resulted in 1.5 hrs for each.

He still wakes up 30-55 mins after bed time though. I also think he may have just started another growth spurt, as he seems hungry more frequently during the day and started waking up hungry twice in the night again. He woke up at 12:50 and 5:45 last night, and 1:45 and 6 am the night before and was clearly very hungry each time. He settles fairly well after each feeding and continues to wake up for the day between 7:30 and 8:00.

I'm hoping the naps will continue to sort themselves out with the ~2 hr awake time and that the night wakings will reduce once this growth spurt is over. Thanks again for your input!

Offline becj86

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2017, 10:39:48 am »
That's great progress :)

Offline meld16

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Re: 16 week old waking every 2 hours at night and short naps
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 17:32:39 pm »
Things have gotten a little worse over the past few days. We've kept ~2 hrs awake time between each nap and before bed. At this point he is settling for most naps and bedtime in his crib on his side with gentle patting and sometimes just a hand on his back. Yesterday his first nap was 1 hr 10 mins and he woke up crying and tired. He slept for another 45 mins after being held in my arms and placed back in his crib with shh/pat. His next 2 naps were 30 mins and could not be extended. He seemed pretty tired & cranky after each.

We put him to bed at 7:30 and DF at 10. He woke up at 8, 11:30, 1:30, 3:30 (fed at this time and went back to sleep easily), and woke up for the day at 6:45. He was very easily resettled at 11:30 and 1:30 with a few pats on his side/bum.

Is it possible that 2 hrs of A time is too long now? Any suggestions on the night wakings?