Author Topic: 7.5 week old (now almost 10 weeks old) - help with naps and bedtime  (Read 2531 times)

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Offline bohbizzie

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Hi there!

I have a 7.5 week old. We've been trying to follow roughly a 3h EASY routine for the past 2 weeks or so.

E 7/730/8
A
S 9/930

E 1030
A
S 1145

E 130
A
S 230

E 430
A
S 530 (hard to get her down for a nap at this time)

E 6/630
A
S between 730 - 830

E between 2-3

E between 5-630

*cycle repeats*

Admittedly, she has been a "victim" of accidental parenting and we have typically fed her just before sleep, and held her to sleep until she's in deep sleep before putting her down for naps, and helped her to resettle by doing the same when she gets up mid-nap so that we can lengthen the nap.

Past week or so, we have been using 4 S and eliminated the before-nap feed, instead using the pacifier to let her suck to soothe while holding her and sitting down. We then put her in her crib when shes calm and continue patting until she seems to be in deep sleep. However, often she wakes at about the 30-45 min mark. Sometimes we'll put the pacifier in and she takes it and resettles; often we have to hold her again or tap her while using pacifier before she resettles.

1) As we are mindful of not creating more unhealthy sleep associations, we would like some.advice on what we may be doing wrong, and also how we might be able to lengthen her naps.

2) Also, sometimes we take so long to ressettle that it crosses over into the next EASY cycle. Should we wake her to feed at the "designated" time or do we let her continue her sleep?

3) Just to note also that for bedtime, we typically feed her to sleep and put her down when she's we'll and truly asleep.

Thanks very much in advance!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 03:08:58 am by bohbizzie »

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 03:43:58 am »
It sounds like what you're doing is pretty good actually. If you have a series of day that look anything like that routine, you're doing amazingly for 7.5 weeks.

You can help her resettle by being there at 25min and 40min and just watch for her stirring and shush/pat then rather than waiting til she's awake and having to resettle from there. That can help teach her to link the sleep cycles better...

At this age, I'd not spend more than about 10-15min resettling a short nap - just feed and get on with the next A time but make it a smidgeon shorter so she's not OT for the next nap.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 09:54:37 am »
Thanks for your reply and the pointers! It's very reassuring to hear that  we're on the right track, especially when we had loads of sleep issues with my DS 4 years ago.

We're still dealing with short naps, and sometimes it does cross over into the next EASY cycle. Strange thing is that even then she doesn't seem to be very hungry. I've cut down on latching because she gets easily distracted and doesn't suck much so we're never sure how much she takes. But with the bottle, it is a struggle to get her to take more than 75-80ml per feed. This seems like an awful small amount for a 7.5 week old to take...wonder if there are any tips on this as well as my mum as been saying that she might not be entirely full, and that could be the reason why she is unable to settle down well for a long nap?

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 20:55:27 pm »
BF babies don't increase their intake as much as FF babies because the composition of the milk changes... have a read here: https://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

Its a bit strange to me that you're wondering if she's not gull enough to sleep a long nap when she's not hungry when she wakes.

Is she making plenty of wet nappies? Happy during the awake times? Putting on good amounts of weight? These are better measures of whether she's getting enough to eat.

She's only been out in this world for 7 weeks. Give her a chance to learn that her bed is a safe place for her to sleep, etc. and she'll get there. Getting to sleep is a skill, as is staying asleep.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 18:56:07 pm »
Thanks for your reply! I guess I forgot to mention that she used to take 100ml bottles at each feed but suddenly started taking a fair bit less. That coupled with advice from family that that is the reason her naps are short, have made me wonder whether she is full. But you're right, her nappies etc are on track so I shouldn't overly worry.

You are probably also right that I should give her time to settle into a proper rhythm and learn her sleeping skills :) Fingers crossed, and we'll try our best to be consistent on this front

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 19:13:29 pm »
Did you only recently start with bottles? Just wondering if you caught her in a growth spurt and she's reduced a touch?
I wonder if you have a fast letdown and she doesn't need to suck much when feeding straight from the breast. Did you switch to bottles when she was crying hungry a lot perhaps 2 weeks ago? There's a big growth spurt at 6 weeks/2months and a few mums I know stopped BF at that age because they were worried they didn't have the supply.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 23:38:58 pm »
We've had her on bottle at night feeds since her first week, and latching (with bottle when I am not around) in the daytime - till about 2 weeks ago.

In terms of letdown, in the first few months or when my breasts are full, then the letdown is very fast. I'm not sure if she has been used to that fast letdown so when the breasts started stabilising and the flow wasn't so fast....that she "lost interest" in breastfeeding. It could have been at a growth spurt period because this was about 2 weeks ago, you're right and that's when I started pumping more to feed from bottle instead.

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 19:46:09 pm »
In terms of letdown, in the first few months or when my breasts are full, then the letdown is very fast. I'm not sure if she has been used to that fast letdown so when the breasts started stabilising and the flow wasn't so fast....that she "lost interest" in breastfeeding.
I know with mine when my supply settled a bit I thought he was not working as hard but he was still getting lots of milk. He wasn't gulping as much to cope with the flow so the swallows were much quieter and I thought he wasn't swallowing. Its also hard in a GS because they scream for food more frequently and seem hungry all the time which can certainly make you wonder if you've suddenly stopped making milk. If she's refusing to latch because its all too hard, you can try breast compressions and/or hand expressing to achieve letdown so she's not waiting. They also do get much more efficient so if its that the time she spent feeding was shorter, she may just have learned a way to cope with the flow and get it all in faster.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 01:56:53 am »
Thanks for the tips! It was really getting too hard to settle her down for a proper latch during her eating times so now we bottle feed her EBM, while I try to keep up with my supply by pumping. Occasionally I comfort latch, but usually top up with a bottle still.

On the naps front, because she is a slow eater / snacker and can be drinking the entire A period, she usually drinks herself drowsy then we put her down when she's full - sometimes awake, and sometimes asleep. The short naps are still there, but we are usually able to extend them once we resettle her. Not sure if that's something that they can naturally do with age (ie consolidate and lengthen naps) but am sure hoping so!

And grateful for any tips or suggested adjustments to what we are doing.

Our EASY routine is still quite similar to what I posted earlier, thanks!

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 01:18:07 am »
Hope things are still improving?

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 04:58:45 am »
thanks for checking in! :)

we are still dealing with shortish naps...usually it goes either like this -

(1) 30/45 mins nap, then we resettle her 1-3 times (where she sleeps about 5-10 mins each time), then she takes another longish 30/45 mins stretch
(2) 5 mins, then we resettle her 1-3 times, then she takes another roughly 1 hour stretch

resettling usually takes less than 5 mins and we either put the paci in or pat her calm in her bed, and try our best not to take her up from her bed.

we're still pushing through with this approach and hope that in time to come she will improve at linking her sleep cycles herself.

On the eating front, she is drinking a bit faster so is usually able to finish feeding before her bedtime.  and we are still sticking to about 1h20mins - 1h30mins A time (although she does start to fuss and show sleepy cues barely 1 hour into A time, then we start the wind-down process from there).

hoping we're on the right track here - she is now 9 weeks 2 days old - or whether there may be some things we may need to change.  thanks! :)

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 09:20:17 am »
She may need a bit less A time if she's really sleepy still, you don't necessarily need a 15min WD... It sounds like you're on the right track though.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old (now almost 10 weeks old) - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 03:26:24 am »
thanks for your reply @becj86 :)

we have been dealing with some very bad napping (especially afternoons) in the past few days since my last update. not sure if its because its one of those "wonder weeks" as my wonder weeks app suggests, but it has been extremely hard to get her to nap past the 15 min mark and resettling takes very long and we pick her up and hold and pat her because she's crying so badly. after that we can't seem to put her down for more than 5 mins. yesterday it took an hour of on-off crying by which time she was hungry and ready for her next feed.

there have also been some tweaks to our EASY routine...posting updated one here (which happens on a good day)

E 8
S 930

E 11/1130/12
S 1/130

E 3/330
S 430/5

E 6ish / 630
S (usually no more catnap unless she has had terrible naps before)

E 730/8
S between 730 - 830 (For this, we usually feed to sleep)

E (DF) 11/1130

E Around 4, sometimes she wakes around 6-630 and feeds for a short while (eg: DL 3 mins) before going back to sleep

I have a couple of questions:

1) we find that about half the time, she takes half her feed upon waking, then plays, then gets cranky and sleepy and will only finish her other half of feed when she's sleepy/drowsy (sort of like dream feeding) - is that something that we should discourage? Any tips on how to get her to finish full feed, so that she doesn't feed to sleep?

2) When we have days of short naps, what should we do?  If it is not feeding time yet and she is not hungry, it will inevitably lead to her being hungry and sleepy around the same time, so again, she might feed to sleep.  How do we change up our routine on such days?

thanks in advance! and i really appreciate your responses so far!

Offline becj86

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Re: 7.5 week old (now almost 10 weeks old) - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2017, 08:38:56 am »
Wonder weeks can certainly be an issue. 15min naps suggests pain or overstimulation may be an issue - perhaps she is suffering with wind or reflux or there is a bit too much going on? I found even something as simple as me having the TV on for background noise so I didn't go quite so crazy was enough to overstimulate my DS.

1) we find that about half the time, she takes half her feed upon waking, then plays, then gets cranky and sleepy and will only finish her other half of feed when she's sleepy/drowsy (sort of like dream feeding) - is that something that we should discourage? Any tips on how to get her to finish full feed, so that she doesn't feed to sleep?
How is she fed? BF/bottle? Wondering if she's actually sleepy and would go down fine without another feed - my DS' most reliable sleep cue was rooting for the breast ::) It took me ages to realise he was just tired and he had in fact taken sufficient milk when he woke up. Keep in mind though that its important to feed on demand, especially whilst LO is this young to establish supply. My DS was far more settled when I stopped feeding just before a nap and his wind issues were much less thereafter.

2) When we have days of short naps, what should we do?  If it is not feeding time yet and she is not hungry, it will inevitably lead to her being hungry and sleepy around the same time, so again, she might feed to sleep.  How do we change up our routine on such days?
I would just feed on WU, TBH. I used EAS as a routine (as in the activities happen in that sequence) not a schedule and as DS grew older, things ironed out on their own. Feeding to sleep here and there is not that much of an issue - its more if you do it for every nap and she doesn't have the chance to learn how to get to sleep any other way. I personally found it very helpful when I had a really upset baby who wouldn't go to sleep to be able to feed him to sleep, eg. when he was sick. That's really your personal choice but I'd say it is handy to have some accidental parenting methods up your sleeve for when independent sleep is just not happening.

Offline bohbizzie

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Re: 7.5 week old (now almost 10 weeks old) - help with naps and bedtime
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2017, 06:04:52 am »
Thanks again for your reply!

She is being bottle fed...we tried not feeding her the other half of feed before sleep, and we realise thatís when she is especially hard to settle. So I reckon she really needs to complete a feed before she can sleep properly. Thankfully she drinks a lot faster usually so we donít feed to sleep much.

Unfortunately we are still plodding along with the naps that require quite a number of times of resettling each nap, and arenít really sure what changes to make because it seems like our gentler methods of paci n patting n holding arenít doing her favours. Iím just not sure whether this approach will steer her on the right path as she gets older or whether the patting and paci are becoming too much of props.

Grateful for any guidance on what can be done? Getting increasingly fatigued day by day 😩