Author Topic: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline Confused New Mom

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Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« on: September 19, 2017, 19:48:52 pm »
Hi All,
My daughter will be 5 months tomorrow, about 4.5 months adjusted (she was born 2.5 weeks early).  We were doing EASY okay until life happened -- 5000 mile road trip, grandparents who would rock her to sleep an hour before bedtime, nursing problems, etc.  And now we have a hot mess.  As far as I can tell we *should* be on 4 hour EASY.  But she doesn't seem to have an appetite in the mornings, and doesn't nap for very long.  Every morning I start out trying to get us on a schedule using clock/cues and by nighttime I have an overtired mess on my hands.  Today is pretty typical, so I'll post what today has been like below.

Other info: She can self-settle.  She's just transitioning out of the swaddle because she's starting to roll -- that has been relatively smooth.  I probably overfeed, but she's in the 4th% for weight, so that's why.  Anyway, here is today so far:

Wake: 7:50 (she woke at 7:30, then went back to sleep for a bit)
Eat:  8:00 (crappy -- wasn't hungry even though she last ate at 3am)
S: 9:50 -- I put her down when she started rubbing her eyes at 9:30, minimal fussing, but didn't actually fall asleep until 9:50.  Woke a few times and put herself back to sleep but woke for good (happy, chatting) at 10:35.
I've tried keeping her up later; she falls asleep faster but wakes after 30 minutes max.  I've tried putting her down earlier, seem to have same issues.
W: 10:35
Eat: 11 (because she was fussing so I assumed hunger given crappy first feed, but again she didnít eat well)
S: down at 12:25, minimal fuss, asleep 12:35; movement at 1:03, 1:15 woke and fussed (angry jabbering at 40 min mark; tried feeding and she was ravenous; fed her half asleep at 1:20)
E: 1:20 (in middle of nap)
A: 1:45
E 3:20
S: 3:35 (ish Ė fell asleep while feeding, woke briefly when I put her down, went right back to sleep)

She was overtired for this last sleep, which confuses me because that's a *shorter* awake time and I thought they got longer as the day went on?  We had a low-key day today.  Just a walk, playing on a blanket in the playroom yard, some books... nothing big

If previous days are any indication, she will wake for good around 4 and refuse any more naps.  I'll end up putting her to bed early, at like 6:30.  She'll wake every couple hours angry and crying, each time wanting to eat, and then fall into a good sleep finally around 2 or 3 and sleep until 8-ish.

I know there's lots here that needs fixing, but I don't know what to fix first!

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 20:24:31 pm »
A couple questions first...
How many night feeds does she take? Does she feed well at night?

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 20:42:26 pm »
So, this has varied a bit (she was sick and nursed more) but in general, she'll feed at 10 and 3, and she'll feed very well.  Better than in the day, actually.
If she goes down overtired, she'll wake more, and she also woke more when we took away the swaddle. 

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 20:44:44 pm »
p.s. but after 2 or 3 a.m., she usually calms down into a good sleep and sleeps until 8, no matter how overtired she is when she goes down

I should also say that since posting this, she woke around 4 and I decided to let her fuss for ten minutes before getting her... she fell back asleep!  This is a first!! Maybe I need to be on a 3 nap a day schedule and try to push the awake times toward 3 hours to accommodate it?  Then the big thing still to fix would be the feeding times
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 20:47:06 pm by Confused New Mom »

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 23:22:52 pm »
The 4h EASY is designed with the idea of 2 longer naps 1.5-2h and one short 40 min cat nap.

That being said this is a common age for nap disturbances and short naps are not unusual at this stage. I definitely found it important to figure out difference between baby's mantra cries and real crying. I found that if I intervened during the mantra cries I did more harm than good as she was just working on settling or resettling herself.

Have you been feeding at the extra NW or just sticking to the 10 and 3 (with exception to sick baby)?

I also struggled with feeds when I first moved to 4h EASY, as a mother to a smaller baby EBF I understand the worry RE baby getting enough food. Interestingly enough this is the stage when my baby finally started eating better. I found when I stretched the daytime feeds 4h apart, in no time my LO was eating more per feed. I am sure not all babies will respond the same but I am sure Tracy had something in mind when she suggested 4h EASY at 4 months.

2h is around the avg AT for your baby's age and up to 2.5h at 5 months. Not all babies fit the avg mold, but most will. But as yourself and other posters have mentioned, not all AT will be the same. Some may be shorter or longer. It does seem that most babies on this site seem to like longer AT later in the day. That is by no means the rule, my LO always liked longer AT in AM.

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 09:49:51 am »
"The 4h EASY is designed with the idea of 2 longer naps 1.5-2h and one short 40 min cat nap."

Right... but I guess when she's used up all 3 naps by 3pm I try to insert another.  I guess what I should do instead is try to keep her from using them up so quickly?

What is a mantra cry? 

I try not to feed at night wakings unless it has been long enough that I think she may be genuinely hungry.  So for instance last night I had last fed at 6:00 and when she woke at 9 I fed her.  Then I fed her again at 2am.  Then she woke at 5:30 am (odd for her, but I think it has to do with the swaddle transition) and I went in and fed her in an attempt to get her to sleep longer.  She ate really well at all those feeds.

Thanks for the help!

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 10:48:17 am »
Right... but I guess when she's used up all 3 naps by 3pm I try to insert another.  I guess what I should do instead is try to keep her from using them up so quickly?

Nap transitions are super challenging b/c you get to the exact stage you are at now. When baby is still short napping the timings don't quite work out.

When she does all short naps you can try to squeeze in an extra short cat nap to avoid OT at bedtime. You can also try an earlier BT, ir combination of those things.

Ultimately we want her to learn to nap a bit longer for her first 2 naps.

As described by another poster ... "A Mantra cry is a cry that a baby lets out when tired that, literally, sounds like a mantra - monotone & rhythmic, over and over again."

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 16:27:38 pm »
So I started another thread on this too, but now the train seems totallly off the track.
Yesterday I was euphoric!  Everything went exactly as it should, and I got (more or less) two two hour naps with a two hour awake time. It was a thing of beauty.
Today I tried to replicate it and nothing works!! She took a crap nap.  I gave up resettling, waited two hours, put her down again, and she's just been fussing for the past half hour.
Finally at 12:30 (2.5 hours after last nap) she went to sleep.  It's not possible to go from a 2 hour awake time to a 2.5 hour awake time in one day, is it?

Could feeding solids have anything to do with the bad naps?  The only thing I can think that was different yesterday was that I didn't get a chance to feed her solids in the  morning because I had errands and the timing (right after breast feeding) didn't work out for me to do it.

I was so happy... and now I'm just lost!!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 16:31:58 pm by Confused New Mom »

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 16:51:37 pm »
Hang in there!
It can take a few days to see a consistent change, even if you had a day if success.

It is possible more adjustments will be necessary (certain AT  during the day being different) but if you don't stick to it for a few days you may not know for sure what your next steps should be. It can take a couple of days to see pattern.

I am so glad you had that good day. That means we are moving in right direction.

As for solids, I can't say for sure if there is a relationship. If baby had some gastro upset due to food or was hungry maybe.

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 17:14:06 pm »
Thanks!  I will keep logging everything and I think I will stop feeding solids for a couple days just to rule that out as well.  For now, keep with roughly the A-times that worked yesterday, even though it's taking her 2.5 to fall asleep today?

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 09:23:22 am »
p.s. Lara, what is your take on how to respond to the fussing, etc?  Others are saying that I shouldn't ever let her cry; now I'm just totally confused.  Because letting her fuss some has what has gotten me some success with sleep/naps....

I posted on the other thread that I feel like I just need a plan: something very specific to try for the next nap/next early waking, like put her down after x amount of time if she's showing tired signs, or only go get her if she's doing x when she wakes up but not if she's doing y.  Otherwise I'm just going to become more and more of a wreck.   Here's the last 3 days:

9/19

A: 7:50
Eat:  8:00 (crappy)
Nap: down when she started rubbing her eyes at 9:30, minimal fussing, but didn't actually fall asleep until 9:50.  Woke a few times and put herself back to sleep but woke for good (happy, chatting) at 10:35.
A:10:35
Eat: 11 (because she was fussing, but she didnít eat well.)
S: down at 12:25, minimal fuss, asleep 12:35; movement at 1:03, 1:15 woke and fussed (uhappy jabbering at 40 min mark; fed at 1:20, sort of slept through this)
E: 1:20 (in middle of nap)
A: 1:45
E 3:20
S: 3:35 (ish Ė fell asleep while feeding, woke briefly when I put her down, went right back to sleep)
A: 5:15
E: 6:10
S: 7 (down, didnít sleep until 8, probably due to swaddle issues)
E: 9, 2, 5:30

9/20

E: 5:30
A: 7:45 (??)
E: 8:50 (3hr 20 min, ate well)
S:  9:35 (9:30 down, minimal fuss, started rubbing eyes at 9:15) woke 10:15 but stayed quiet, went back to sleep after about 10 minutes)
A:11:25
E: 12:50 (this doesn't seem right.  I think it would have been more like 12:30)
S: 1:30 (I got stuck at the mechanic, couldn't get home to get her down, she fell asleep in her carseat.  We got home and I fed her and put her down, and she slept until 3)
E: 2:00
A: 3:00
S: 5:30  (5:05 down, few sleepy signs, fussed a bit, finally nursed to sleep
A:5:48
Bed: 7:20 (down in 5 minutes)

9/21
E: 6:00
A: 7:15 woke
E: 8:50
S: 9:30 (down at 9:00, started rubbing eyes 8:30-8:45)
A: 10:00 (screaming, wouldnít settle)
E: 12:00
S:  12:30 (down at noon)
A: 1:00 (screaming, wouldn't settle)
E: 2:50
S:  3:11 (3:00 down Ė started to fuss before I put her down. 3:33 woke. From here, took her for a long walk in the stroller, then a car ride, etc.  She finally fell asleep around 7, then woke at 8:30, fussing that escalated when I did my usual, which is to go in and comfort every few minutes.  Woke again at 10:30, 2, and 4:30, but just to eat.)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 10:27:44 am by Confused New Mom »

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 11:39:15 am »
I think you are right that you need a specific plan. Consistency is key! Especially when making routine changes.

I know BW does talk a lot about flexible routine and following sleep cues but BW also recommends some structure when developing/adjusting routine.

Keep in mind that baby also learns "to be tired" at certain times even if that is not the case. So the sleep cues that used to be so reliable become less so. Frustrating I know!!!

So pick an activity time for now... There will be an adjustment period no matter what you choose. I don't know much about adjusted age... But 2.5h is normal for a 5 month old. So you can start there if you like. Keep in mind (even if this is the perfect AT for your LO) your baby will need to adapt. You may see spots of success, but you may also end up with an OT baby.

If you are happier with set plan then you will need to be prepared for the adjustment period and stick with it. You may need to help settle a few OT naps and  You may need to have earlier bedtime if you get a bunch of short naps.

BW does have some gradual options as well but when routine is really wonky it can take a long time to get to goal state.

This is notoriously a rough stage. But I found once through it and on a good steady/successful routine I learned so much about my LO and I had the tools to make the appropriate judgements and age appropriate routine tweaks. With the help of the wonderful people here at times ;)
p.s. Lara, what is your take on how to respond to the fussing, etc?  Others are saying that I shouldn't ever let her cry; now I'm just totally confused.  Because letting her fuss some has what has gotten me some success with sleep/naps....
Yes BW does not support leaving baby to cry... But the "fussing" you are describing may just be mantra cries, which BW does support. A real cry will escalate from fussing, sound quite upset, have tears etc. The mantra cry is part of the self settling process... What do your instincts tell you?

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2017, 11:57:15 am »
Thank you!!! Just having someone to bounce ideas off of helps.

This is my plan for today.  I will try for 2 hours 10 minutes awake time, putting her down at 2 hours.  That will be a little more than before without being a ton.

When she wakes up early and moves beyond jabbering to something that sounds upset or hungry I'll either feed or shush/pat.  Otherwise I will try to see if she resettles.

She woke up happy, so that's a good start!

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2017, 19:27:51 pm »
Okay, so now I have more questions.

1. The end result of shush/pat is supposed to be sleep, right?  So if she wakes up from a nap crying and I shush/pat and end up with a child who is calm and wide awake and looking at me like "whatcha doin, mom?" then I just get her up?  If this is the result does that mean that I put her down too early?

2. She fell asleep in the car before she was scheduled to go down.  She woke up when we got home and I put her down, calm.  She played quietly for 20 minutes then fell asleep for 15 and then woke up, wide awake. Does this mean she wasn't ready to go down, or just that the 10 minutes in the car sufficiently recharged her that I should have left her up longer before trying to put her down for real?

3. Her feeding schedule is messed up and she's always had reflux -- the happy spitter kind.  I've noticed that many times when she wakes up crying she's also spit up significantly.  Other than trying to time her feedings so she doesn't eat right before she goes down, is there anything I can do about this?

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2017, 21:30:34 pm »
. The end result of shush/pat is supposed to be sleep, right?  So if she wakes up from a nap crying and I shush/pat and end up with a child who is calm and wide awake and looking at me like "whatcha doin, mom?" then I just get her up?  If this is the result does that mean that I put her down too early?

For my LO yes... If she woke early and I could not resettle her in 15 min, then I threw in the towel. I could usually tell if I had a hope. She would intermittently put her head down and close her eyes (so I knew she was tired). But if she woke up as you described, it usually was not worth the stress of continuing. So generally any nap 40-80 min is usually considered UT unless of course baby is unwell or hungry etc. The exception to  cutting short the shush pat would be if you have never sleep trained and baby is still learning independent sleep.
. She fell asleep in the car before she was scheduled to go down.  She woke up when we got home and I put her down, calm.  She played quietly for 20 minutes then fell asleep for 15 and then woke up, wide awake. Does this mean she wasn't ready to go down, or just that the 10 minutes in the car sufficiently recharged her that I should have left her up longer before trying to put her down for real?

This is the worst :( you basically answered your own question. I was always nervous to drive alone with my LO near nap time. I used to have to make this awful noise that she hated to keep her up to avoid her falling asleep.

I don't know too much about baby reflux, aside from keeping her upright for a period of time after feeds to avoid spit up.