Author Topic: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?  (Read 2485 times)

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Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 20:19:49 pm »
Still lost...
So today I tried my best to keep her up longer.  Last night I put her to bed at 6:30 because of all the catnaps.  She woke at 8, I shush-patted her, and she woke to feed at more or less her usual itmes.  She woke at 7:25.  I kept her up till 9:35; she went down calm and happy; played and fell asleep at 9:50. woke happy at 10:27.  I took this as an indication I didn't keep her up long enough, sp intended to  put her down at 1 for nap 2. In spite of my best efforts she fell asleep at 12:40 and woke crying at 1:20.  Kept her up as long as I could again, until 3:37; she woke crying at 4.

not sure where to go from here.  When she wakes crying I shush pat which only seems to make her totally wide awake

today:

9/23 (ate overnight at 10, 2, 5)
A: 7:20-ish
E:8:40
S: 9:50 (Down at 9:35, calm, but took 15 min to fall asleep)
A: 10:27 (relatively calm)
E: 12:30
S: 12:40
A: 1:20
E: 2:30 (seemed hungry.  Ate well but spit up a lot)
S:  3:37 (down at 3:33)
A: 4:00

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 21:53:10 pm »
I know it seems hopeless right now but you are smack in the middle of the "4month sleep regression" it is a very important developmental time for baby as they leave the newborn sleep phase and move into more adult sleep cycles yay!!

Well doesn't seem so exciting for us, but now baby likely has a 40-45 min sleep cycle and they have to learn how to connect them. This is partially out of our control.

 We can help by providing routine/trying to find appropriate AT and help settling, when they accept it (my LO was like yours "oh hey mamma, what ya doing patting me on back"... I eventually shifted to back or tummy rubbing)

With good routine and independent sleep skills some babies will show improvement in couple weeks, others could take longer.

You are doing pretty much all you can. Stick to your current routine for another couple days if you are not getting slightly longer naps or seeing signs that your baby wants to settle for longer nap  (head down, eyes closed, less alert etc.) Then you can try another AT push.

You are doing great! Sometimes the only answer is baby being a baby.

Offline Katet

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2017, 23:31:09 pm »
I notice you follow times a lot. With my boys i had one that did ok with timed and one that it was a diaster... temperament is a big factor. With my spirtied/grumpy child his sleep would change if it was a sunny day or rainy, if we stayed home or went out for an hour or went out for 3 hours, if it was a day he did 2 poops of a day he did one his signs of tiredness changed dramatically. I found with him it was 100% him getting to know the pre nap ritual.  Some days hed yawn and rub eyes after an hour and id try a change of activity and he'd give clenched fists and hed sleep 1 hour... some days hed last 2hours plus and sleep 2hours and othrr days he'd catnap for me... by 9mo he was much more predictable.
That was all a  nightmare for me as I was an older Mum who was a type A with a love of organisation... I struggled so badly with PPD because of the sleep that I had counseling and that hrlped me find the mental ability to stop clock watching and realise my child worked best by me learning to see his tiny communication cues. Something I am eternally grateful as I parent him as a teen.

My other son was completely different for the first 5 months hed sleep at the drop of a hat, He was so textbook..which was ironic as I was
as he also we flexible and the fell into a ' routine that duited me and his brother that was loads of cat nsps and a big nap... all 'wrong' for textbook lol ...by 9mo that went to pieces and it took a while to work out he was awake and lying in his cot from 4 or 5 am but didnt tell me he was awake until 6 or 7am.

What Im trying to say is to really look at the at the communication from your baby rather than follow the clock. Use the clock as a guide but look for facisl signs clenched fists, turning head from stimulus as signs and then time is a guide to think bored or tired. Textbook babies trive on routine and clock watching works sadly as I was told (true too I think) the more type A Mums who need a textbook baby rarely get them.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2017, 11:22:42 am »
Thanks for the encouragement, Lara.  I just feel like things are getting worse instead of better.  Seems like she's getting less sleep at night, waking earlier *and* napping worse.  I will keep trying.

Katet, I'm trying to do a combo of signs/clock because for a long time I just did signs.  Problems with that are what led me to research standard wake times in the first place. She's A/B temperament (8 B and 12 A on the test) and she has or had very distinctive sleepy signs.  It was rubbing her eyes three times.  The first time could be an accident, any longer than the third and I was in trouble.  But by following that she was going down after an hour awake at 4 months old and not sleeping longer than 20-30 minutes, so I knew something had to change.  So I read up on awake times and tried to follow that.  I'm logging the times super carefully but I'm change up the time I put her down a little (not a lot) based on her signs.  Only now her signs seem to be changing as well.   Now it's just fussiness.  Or sometimes nothing. Yesterday at the mid-day nap I fed her when I thought I still had a good window before I needed to put her down and she fell sound asleep while eating and didn't wake when I put her down.  And last night I didn't put her down even though it was past her standard awake time by the clock because she seemed alert and happy.  I put her down the minute she started to fuss but it was already too late... it took forever to settle her.  I think both her signs and her awake times are in flux right now.  I'm trying to be attentive to them but I haven't figured it out yet.

Offline Katet

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2017, 12:13:37 pm »
Sounds like she is a bit like my eldest, where the only thing that worked was him getting older. I know from having my second it wasn't that I didn't find the magic routine it was just that he was so influenced by what was going on around him he wasn't predictable. Thinking about it even now at 14 he will go to bed at 10pm and wake at 6 am one day the next go at 8.30 and wake at 7.30 am and another night it might be 10-7am and it's not related to the day he had as days like yesterday 5 hours out in the sun playing sport he was up until after 10pm, up at 7 then today.... he used to be really predictable but now he's in a growth spurt with puberty he's unpredictable... honestly as a teen he's like as a baby lol. 
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2017, 13:57:45 pm »
Okay, I have still more questions.
I've been assuming I need to push her awake times based on her age.  But there are sleepy signs and there are sleepy signs.  Moderate sleepy signs are rubbing eyes.  But if I ignore that, she'll fuss and arch her neck (she likes to sleep with her head tilted back) and rub her eyes.  If I get to extreme sleepy signs, even if it's way early to put her down, I should put her down... right?  This morning she woke at 7:45 but was really showing a lot of sleepy signs after only an hour and 45 minutes.  I delayed as long as I could but put her down at 9:37 and she fell asleep within seconds.
She woke after 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 50 minutes.  The first two times I was able to hold her tightly and shush her back to sleep, the second time she wouldn't settle and was super agitated so I picked her up and nursed her and she fell back asleep.  We are now at the 2 hour mark and she's still sleeping.

So I put her down overtired, right?  Seems OT, but I'm confused because her A time was so short.

In case this is relevant: this morning she rolled from back to front for the first time, twice.  Would this make her more mentally tired or something?

p.s. Afternoon nap exactly the same as the first.  She got angry tired after an hour and a half awake so I stopped fighting it after an hour and 40 minutes and put her down.  Repeat of above, except she woke for good, happy, after an hour.  And am I creating a new dependency by nursing her back to sleep when all else fails?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 18:19:16 pm by Confused New Mom »

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2017, 22:03:51 pm »
It does sound like your LO is starting to accumulate some OT.
And yes... Learning new skills can affect sleep for sure!!

You have a few options...
You can take a step back, follow those earlier sleep cues and let her catch up on some sleep. As PP said some babies thrive on the clock others are super sensitive and need a bit more adjustments.

 It does not mean you will be out of the woods necessarily she could still be learning to connect sleep cycles so you end up with some 40 min naps again, better than 30 ;) 

You could persevere with your chosen AT but make adjustments to the timings if those naps depending on when your LO wakes and make use of early BT if needed.

As for feeding to sleep... A couple thoughts on this.... Yes it can become a sleep prop for sure (but that can be fixed in future). You have to decide what is more important right now. Some mammas will use a prop like nursing to get baby onto a solid age appropriate routine, then address that prop later. My thought on that, is that your routine is not awful and you are not too far off age avg AT, so maybe only nursing to sleep so LO can catch up on some sleep occasionally, but not making a habit of it may be another option.

I feel like a rambled through those last thoughts... Do they make sense?

It probably does not help, but I don't know anybody who fully escaped short naps and UT/OT loop around this stage (I am sure these unicorns exist somewhere), so don't be too hard on yourself!

The most important thing is that mamma and baby are happy, and mamma doesn't go too crazy!

Offline ZanesOTmom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2017, 23:59:30 pm »
Hi there. I just wanted you to know I'm following your thread as our LOs are very similar. He was also small for his gestational age (under 5th percentile I believe) and only 3 weeks older than yours. I'm also like you that I thrive on having a definitive plan/routine. It wasn't an easy road but we finally got to a place I can accept And grateful for, EWs and all. UT/OT loop is a constant battle and I've had to APOP several times a week. I wish you all the best. Everyone here is great and really helped us get to where we are (still work in progress of course).

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2017, 09:10:11 am »
Thanks to you both for your support!  I appreciate it.

I think there is something else going on beyond the sleep regression.  Yesterday she wanted to nurse constantly and was very fussy -- she's usually a very happy baby.  Sucking on cold things seemed to calm her down, so I wonder if maybe she's teething.  She woke up a lot wanting to nurse in the night too.

I'm going to just put her down when she seems tired and nurse her as much as she wants for awhile, I think.  Poor little girl seems to be going through a lot right now.

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2017, 14:02:35 pm »
Poor thing!!
She could be having growth spurt, teething, illness. I hope she feels better soon!!!

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 18:48:01 pm »
Just wanted to update and get more thoughts.  I've been keeping a good log of her naps (see attached graph). 

I've been treating awake times as the holy grail, trying to get them just right, but it's very hard.  She has clear over-tired signals (eye rubbing, fussing) but it's very hard for me to see any tired signals.  Seems like she goes directly from laughing and playing to fussing.  I know when I get it right because she goes down happily with no fussing and goes right to sleep, but it's really a crap shoot whether I achieve that.  But I'm wondering if I'm focusing on that TOO much.  Today I hit her window perfectly for nap one but I missed her window for nap 2 and put her down when she started fussing; she fussed a few minutes and went to sleep, but she's having a great nap.

What jumps out at me from the attached graph is that all her good naps seem to coincide with a wake time of about 1hr 50 minutes.  Some bad ones coincide with that too, but no good naps have occurred keeping her up past 2hrs. 

Some other changes I have made: I'm working on not feeding her when she's getting tired.  If I have to feed early to do that, I do.  I also am working on cutting out night feedings.  She puts herself back to sleep great at night, or at least she does after midnight.  She wants to eat a lot between 8-midnight, and I let her.  But the past couple nights she's gone from midnight or 1am to 8am without feeding.  She wakes up occasionally but puts herself back to sleep.  I find it virtually impossible to get her to take a final catnap if I put her down in her crib.  But if I put her in the stroller and take a long walk sometimes she will sleep there, so I'm settling for that for the last nap of the day for now.

I should add that this has been a big week for her.  She learned to roll from front to back AND from back to front, she has some teeth developing, and we had to drop the swaddle because of the rolling.  Lots of changes for a little person.

Offline LaraAndrea

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2017, 23:29:56 pm »
It looks like you are really learning a lot about your babe! If there is anything positive about this sleep regression you learn a lot about your baby and yourself.

Sometimes you have to go with your instincts. Not all babies fit the same mold.

Sleep cues can be such a puzzle too. They also change, which may be what you are experiencing now. Eye rubbing/fussing was a regular sleep cue for my LO. Now, her cues are much more subtle and I cannot rely on cues alone.

Go with what is working for you now, but remember the "2week rule" although the 2 week timeline is not finite, it represents a very real sleep phenomenon. Whatever is working now is unlikely to continue working for more than a week or 2. Babies and their needs are constantly changing.
I found it hard to keep up the first 6 months, but it got much easier to be prepared for changes and to implement them.

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2017, 16:36:37 pm »
yep! Just when I think I'm making progress, it all goes to heck.  Today is a hot mess so far, even though I put her down at meticulously the right time (1 hour 55 minutes after she woke).  She played happily for half an hour.

Here's to hoping that sleep is like everything else (milk oversupply, undersupply, etc etc) that I've worried about in her short life.  I'll just make sure to avoid sleep associations and have a consistent routine, and maybe the other stuff will work itself out with time.

Offline Confused New Mom

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2017, 17:17:12 pm »
So I'm still trying to comprehend this and I've been reading the 3-2 transition board. 

1.  Am I right in understanding that she might seem super angry tired and yet still need to stay up longer because she feels tired out of habit?  Right now it seems like I get a good nap like once a week and I'm wondering if that's just from OT accumulating so much.  So is the idea that I try pushing awake times 15 minutes and put up with OT naps for a week or so, hoping that she adjusts?

2. Most baby schedules out there recommend that the first nap occur 2-2.5 hours after waking, even when the awake time for the second nap moves longer.  But on this board it seems like people generally do the same awake times for both?  Is that correct?  Is there a big benefit to doing it this way?

3. I'm still confused on the average appropriate awake time for a 5 month old.  I know everyone is different, but I need a ballpark figure.  I'm treating her as turning 5 months on Saturday, since her due date was May 7.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 17:19:17 pm by Confused New Mom »

Offline Katet

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Re: Any thoughts on how to straighten out this crazy schedule?
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2017, 11:09:21 am »
By 5 months you'd work on her birthday rather than due date unless she was more than 5 weeks early, anything less than 3 weeks early would normally be considered term, so no adjusted age. So 5 months would be from her actual delivery date not due date, unless there was a medical reason why not eg failure to thrive.

From about 2-3months babies do get 'bored' with the same stimulation, so yes they can get cranky when they need a change of scene. So if the A time is considerably Shorter than that expected for a 5mo, then it's worth doing something like a walk around the house or garden, or sitting and singing a song or reading a story to extend it to around the average time, then look for tired signs.
Another rule of thumb is babies tend to fall asleep a bit earlier with motion, so if a walk in the stroller or car trip is 30mins before their sleep time and the fall asleep 15mins in, the you'd probably think you had the right time., but then some babies don't like to sleep in the car, so that doesn't always work.


Babies sleep in early months is strongly influenced by temperament and there are different schools of thought on routines from different parenting books/people. My DH is the accountant for an organisation that deals with post natal support, it has a sleep 'hospital' with 4 day stays to help parents with babies sleep. Their advice based on research is a bit different to BW, but it doesn't mean one or other is correct, just that babies are all different, low sleep need, high sleep need, and loads in between.
https://www.tresillian.org.au/advice-tips/daily-activities/3-6-months/

If she's doing
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05