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Offline Jlamarie

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Help with 5 month nap schedule
« on: October 31, 2017, 19:21:30 pm »
I need some advice on how to get my 5 month old LG back on track with her naps. We're caught in a bit of UT/OT as I thought she was showing me signs of wanting more A time, and even fighting the evening CN, but the past several days have been extra weird. I know this is a bit of a screwy time for them as A times are increasing, but she's really throwing me for a loop!

Overall we've had a bit of a rough 10 days or so, starting with last weekend when we had a ton of family in town for her christening. She got completely overwhelmed/overstimulated and her naps were practically nonexistent all weekend. After everyone finally left we had one good normal day, and then she decided to roll over back to belly in her crib and sleep went out the window for several days while she learned how to deal with that. Now she's back to sleeping through the night, but the naps are all over the place.

Her morning wake up started creeping earlier and earlier (7am to 6:50 to 6:30 to 6:15am), so for the past few days I've been trying to extend that first A time from her usual 2h, to 2h15, and she fights that extra time the whole way (started with 2h5, then 2h10, both ended in UT naps), as if she's completely exhausted, but then will only sleep 40-70 mins. That will then throw all the remaining naps out of whack - she'll either cat nap all day and be caught in the UT/OT cycle, or will end up taking a super long catch-up nap at the end of the day and then want to party until 9pm. We had been on a decent 7am-7pm schedule, but she's always seemed to need more A time than average. How do I handle the first A time? I feel like I'm reading her cues, and she gives really good ones, but then ends up in a UT nap. And, could she possibly be ready to drop the CN or is it more the UT/OT cycle throwing her off at the end of the day?

Really appreciate any advice. Thanks!!

Here are a few days of EASY:

Sun:
WU: 7:25am
E: 7:35am
A: (tried for 2h15 A time, major eye rubbing and extra cranky those last 15 mins, but then only napped 1h10??)
S: 9:40-10:50am
E: 11:00am
A: (was going to try for 2h15 again, but she was sooooo tired and was asleep in under a minute once I laid her down)
S: 12:40-1:00pm (she fell asleep on her back, then woke up and flipped to belly and just would not settle)
E: 2:10pm
A:
S: 3:00-4:55pm
E: 5:45pm
A:
BT: 7:30pm

Mon:
WU: 7:15am
E: 7:20am
A: (tried for 2h10, based on yesterday's performance, but she was practically asleep on me by the time we got to our wind down)
S: 9:15-10:40am
E: 11:00am
A:
S: 1:10-3:15pm
E: 3:20pm
A:
S: 5:50-6:15pm
E: 6:40pm
A:
BT: 8:15pm

Here's today so far:
WU: 6:50am
E: 7:00am
A: (aimed for 2h10, again really struggling to make it, practically falling asleep on me, but then not getting the 2 full sleep cycles in)
S: 9:05-9:50am
E: 10:55am
S: 11:00am-12:00pm (she fell asleep on me while breastfeeding! I thought she was UT from the last nap?)
A: (again, tried to go past 2h AT but she was so cranky and rubbing her little eyes so hard :( )
S: 2:00-3:15pm

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 11:23:05 am »
Hi :)

Its probably not quite time to drop the CN but it is time to increase A times. 2hr is great at 4 months but A times increase by an average of 10-15mins per fortnight from 4 months to 6 months, so average at 5mo is 2:15-2:45 depending upon which end of 5 mo she is.

Babies can look and feel tired out of habit and if she's still had 2hr A times into her 6th month, she will probably be one who falls into that category - try changing up the activity and see if she settles back down again and can increase A time that way. Either way, I'd be doing no less than 2:15 and aiming for 2:30 based on what you've said here. 2:00 minimum if she's had a short nap. You're right, she's still doing UT naps on 2:15. You're also correct that the WU creeping earlier means she needs more A time in the AM.

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 14:14:48 pm »
Thanks so much for your reply!

So to finish out yesterday's schedule, she did:

S: 2:00-3:15pm
E: 3:30pm
A:
S: 5:35-5:55pm
E: 6:30pm
A:
BT: 8:00pm

This morning, though, I heard her crying at 6:15am and she had managed to get herself completely smashed up against the front of the crib, so I'm not sure if that was an EW or just her being frustrated by her position?? My hubs & I tried to get her back down, but after 25 mins I just fed her and she passed out on me and took nearly a 50 min nap! Maybe she was treating it like a NW? Once she woke, I treated that like her WU time and tried to keep her up for the 2h15, but she was asleep by 2h10. So I should just keep working to get that first A time to 2h15, or am I aiming for 2h30 over the next week or so? She just turned 5 months yesterday.

Here's today so far:

WU: 6:15am
E: 6:40am
S: 6:45-7:35am
WU: 7:35am
A:
E: 9:20am (just a small top-off)
A:
S: 9:45am - (still asleep)

Offline Mommyadel

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 00:08:56 am »
Just went through this and still kinda am with my little guy!! My little guy has longer then average activity time for his age. He just turned 6 months today and we are at about 3hrs for activity time. Trust your gut and if he is really tired and ready for a nap, ( for him anyways) it shouldn't take to much to get him to go down. I still really do the 5s for him and we will sometimes sit in the couch with his soother and will give him a bit of a cuddle if he is fighting it a bit. Today he woke at 6am.. resettled until 7am ... down for nap at 10:10am.... slept til 12:15pm and then I tired for a quick cat nap and I had to try really hard to get him to sleep for 30 mins and bed time by 7:15pm. Not everyday is the same and sometimes if he won't do the cn focus on the early bedtime instead. There were some days where he would be in bed by 6pm. I would definitely try to extend his activity time even if it means carrying him about the house for a few minutes in you arms to extend it.
Also I have a "zipadee zip" it gives them enough movement but just enough restriction so they are not flopping about.

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 09:32:28 am »
I think aim for 2:15-2:30 and see what you get - at the moment, most of your naps are UT but given they're 1:15ish long, your A time is likely close to optimal, so if you can push that little bit, you may get some OT wakings for a few days but you'll then get long restorative naps again.

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 13:09:56 pm »
Thanks for the replies!

Yesterday I really thought we had nailed it with the naps (she took two 2-hour naps!) until we got to the CN & BT. We almost always do the CN in the stroller, it gets us out of the house, take the dog for a walk, etc., but then a fire truck went by and so she only got about a 12 min nap! I thought to keep the last A time very short and she was really displaying all her sleepy cues at around 1h30, so we did our full BT routine, and into her crib by 1h40 and it was just...a nightmare. I'm not sure what went wrong but she was just screaming, this is super unusual! It took quite a long time to settle her, and she finally went to sleep at 8:10pm, after 2h15 A time. And then she STILL woke up this morning at 6am! So now I'm not sure what's going on at all :( I did treat this morning's 6am WU as a NW though, and kept her in the nursery with lights off, fed her, and she went back to sleep for another 40 mins. But, how do I now handle the A time before her first nap?? Should I try for the 2h20 we did yesterday, or less because maybe the 40 mins was more like a nap?

Are the EW's more associated with her being OT by bedtime? I'm really not sure how to balance her increasing A times and squeezing that CN in without pushing her BT closer to 8:30pm most nights :(

Here's yesterday's EASY:
WU: 6:40am
E: 7:00am
A:
S: 9:00-11:05am
E: 11:10am
A:
S: 1:35pm-3:30pm
E: 3:45pm
A:
S: 5:42-5:55pm
E: 6:40pm
A:
BT #1 attempt: 7:30pm
BT #2 attempt: 7:45pm
Final BT: 8:10pm

Here's today:
WU: 6am
E: 6:05am
S: 6:40-7:30am
A:
E: 8:40am (quick top off so she doesn't go 5 hours between feeds if I stick to my 7/11/3/7 routine)
A: ??

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 22:27:51 pm »
Ok I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong here. She took 2 UT naps today, so I thought I should keep A times short in between. We went out in the stroller now for a CN, I was hoping she'd be out around 5pm, instead she literally screamed her head off for an hour!! I kept stopping to pick her up and as soon as I got her out of the stroller she immediately stopped crying, but then I was stuck in the middle of town, far from home, not knowing what to do. I ended up putting her back in and running all the way home, I felt so guilty for her crying like that! She has NEVER done that before, she always sleeps in the stroller on our walks. So now her AT is at 3 hours, I'm nursing her currently and of course she's falling asleep on me. Trying to keep her awake and then I guess it's just straight to bed?! Every day I keep trying to get us back on track but I just don't know how to handle the AT after UT naps, and this CN is such a pain in the butt. If she's only taking 20 min CN's, do I keep AT at 2 hrs? Shorter? Longer? I just don't know anymore.

Updated EASY for today:

WU: 6am
E: 6:05am
S: 6:40-7:30am
A:
E: 8:40am (top off)
S: 9:54-11:09am
E: 11:15am
A:
S: 1:37-3:00pm
E: 3:05pm
A: was aiming for 2h AT, but that didn't happen :(
E: 6:08pm, and dozing off on me right now :(

Offline Mommyadel

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 23:17:55 pm »
I don't he same for early waking, I try to resettle til about 7 or 6:45. This will include em going into the room to feed him or pop the soother in if he can take it. If he sleeps 20mins or more then I start the day with the time he wakes. I see that you use the stroller for cn... could it be used as a prop now and she has caught on? It also may be too much stimulation as she is getting older. But I totally get it as I am in the opposite delima with my little guy. I try to squeak in the cn in his crib before getting his sister from school as the most he naps in the truck is 30mins. Maybe try the cn at home?
Try not to get hung up on what happened the previous day as each day is different. Some days they nap longer and some days it's shorter. I would say if the first nap was 30 or less then see how she does trying to stick to the activity time, try the wind down routine and see how baby does. Could there be teething as well?

Hopefully baby settled for the night so you can get some well needed me time and rest.

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 01:17:39 am »
Thanks, Mommyadel! I thought for sure she loved the stroller walks, but maybe you're right and now she's caught on. I'll try the CN in the crib tomorrow. It was just so odd, she is such a great independent sleeper and went to sleep beautifully for her first 2 naps today, then it's like all hell broke loose!

I was thinking maybe it's been due to too much OT by the end of the day, but maybe teething as well? I gave her a dose of Tylenol tonight to see but haven't noticed much of a difference.

She FINALLY settled for BT but it was a real struggle. As I mentioned, she fell asleep on me while nursing but then popped back awake after 16 minutes. I immediately started our wind down and BT routine, which is bath, jammies, book and bed. She was rubbing her eyes the whole routine but the minute I set her in the crib she started screaming - no mantra cry here! Same as last night. I tried every APOP trick in my book, DH even went in and tried for a while, finally I gave up and nursed her to sleep and she ended up with 1h50 AT.

Tomorrow I will try the 2h30 AT before her first nap and fingers crossed that sets us on a good track. I'm so worried as this weekend is also Daylight Savings, and she's already not getting a full 11h of sleep at night!!

Final EASY today:
E: 6:08pm
S: 6:23-6:39pm
A:
BT #1 attempt: 7:20pm
BT #2 attempt: 7:45pm
E: 8:05pm
S: 8:25pm

Think I'll skip the dreamfeed tonight since she just ate 45 mins ago. I normally DF at 10.

Offline Mommyadel

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 01:48:01 am »
do you exclusively bf and just breast or will baby take a bottle too. If babes will take a bottle maybe try that for her bedtime routine so she is nice and full? If her nap ended at 3pm and she had a good nap 1:20/1:30 she should be ready for bed at 5:30 ( ish) in that instance I would try for a catnap 45mins or less. Then when baby wakes I would feed and do bedtime from there. 5:30 is a tad bit early bed so try for that catnap in the crib if you can. Then when he wakes say 6ish she should be able to do 2 hr activity. Mind you that would consist of feeding, bath wind down and top up again. My guy went through a bit of that too and you just have to go with it and try not to get to wrapped up in the whole is he getting enough sleep/ why won't he sleep combo.
Don't worry too much about the late cn at 5/5:30 that will disappear in a few weeks once you lengthen the activity time. She is settling around 8ish the last two nights, so you are kind of in that in between stage of some days needing the cn and some days you can get away with it depending on the last nap and how late it ended. And to avoid the whole OT I would do what I had to do to get the cn in, rocking etc. As I knew he would fall asleep independently for the other naps and night time sleep I wasn't to worried about it being a prop
good luck!!

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2017, 02:30:49 am »
I ebf during the day, and give her one 2 oz bottle of formula as a top-off only per day, and that's usually right before bed.

Sounds like my LO is right in that sticky stage you mention, I've been trying to get that CN in somewhere between 5-6pm, depending on the 2nd nap of the day. She does go to sleep independently for the first 2 naps, so I also wasn't worried about using the stroller as a prop for the CN, but will try that in the crib tomorrow and see how it goes.

I'll also aim for 2 hours AT after her CN; I probably tried to put her down way too early tonight and I guess she just wasn't ready for bed, even though she was rubbing her red little eyes the whole time!

Thanks again!

Offline Mommyadel

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2017, 17:16:08 pm »
Yes the last nap of the day is tricky! I had the same issues with the babes too and after the cn which was around anywhere from 4-5:30. I kept him awake for his regular activity time after that so for you it would be about 2:30hrs.  Sometimes a 30 min nap can be UT as well. I suspect she was OT as she fell asleep nursing and then UT for final bedtime. Hope today is better!

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2017, 21:13:34 pm »
I did treat this morning's 6am WU as a NW though, and kept her in the nursery with lights off, fed her, and she went back to sleep for another 40 mins. But, how do I now handle the A time before her first nap?? Should I try for the 2h20 we did yesterday, or less because maybe the 40 mins was more like a nap?
So if you treated the 6am waking as a NW, you take her A time from when she woke from that sleep, so 7am or so.

Are the EW's more associated with her being OT by bedtime?
No, they're more typically from chronic OT or not enough A time first thing in the morning. It is pretty reasonable for the NW to be related to hunger too, I can't tell from your posts if she is feeding overnight. It would be normal at this age to still feed 2 times overnight. I see you're doing a dreamfeed at 10 - that will possibly be disrupting her sleep as it should be ~3hr from when she goes to sleep for the night. It may be worth considering dropping the DF and she may wake around 4 instead of 6, allowing you to feed as a proper NF with longer sleep thereafter and giving you a better idea of when she's wanting to wake naturally in the morning.

I see that you use the stroller for cn... could it be used as a prop now and she has caught on? It also may be too much stimulation as she is getting older. But I totally get it as I am in the opposite delima with my little guy.
My little guy screamed in the stroller if he couldn't see out - he would still fall asleep when he was ready if he sat up but as he got older, he wanted to see rather than being laid flat... Would you consider a baby carrier/sling/wrap for walks? At least you still have your hands free and can have her upright and close to you.

I'm so worried as this weekend is also Daylight Savings, and she's already not getting a full 11h of sleep at night!!
There will be times that the night naturally ends up shorter just before dropping a nap and longer again once the nap is dropped. This is fine, please don't tie yourself in knots over night length in these transitions. Easier said than done, I know.

It might be worth considering alternate days with and without the CN - it can really only be done if you've a reasonably flexible schedule yourself but alternating EBT with no CN and CN with later BT can help. I think your best bet will actually be to abandon the DF at this point and see if she wakes naturally earlier in the night, letting her get back down for more good quality sleep rather than dozing the last few minutes of her night. You can then be more confident in WU time for the day and run with a decent A time without worrying as much about it. I think from what you've written, you probably need to run 2:30 A time minimum in the morning and stick to it for 3-4 days then see what happens with your naps after that. If you don't stay consistent with A times, LO has less chance of self-regulating and taking the sleep she needs.

Hugs, you're in a tricky stage and handling it really well. This too shall pass.

Offline Jlamarie

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2017, 00:40:25 am »
I can't tell from your posts if she is feeding overnight.

Sorry, I definitely didn't make that clear! She does not wake up for any night feedings at all, and sleeps from the dreamfeed through to her morning WU, which for the past week is anytime between 6-7am, but used to be around 7:30am. You bring up a good point though, I didn't realize the DF had to be 3 hours after her BT! Tonight I'll try dropping the dreamfeed and just handle any NW as they come up, feed her, and then we'll get a proper WU time. You really think I should drop it cold turkey? I was planning to phase it out within the next several weeks, as we just started solids and I wanted to wean it out anyways.

I'll definitely continue to try for the 2h30 A time first thing in the morning and hold for 3-4 days, as you say. This morning was weird, she woke at 6:45am so I thought to treat that as our WU time but then she fell asleep on me while feeding for 15 mins, so I wasn't sure whether to base the A time off 6:45 or her new time of 7:20am...I went with 7:20am, she fell asleep at 9:20am and only slept 33 minutes! Hopefully tonight with no DF I'll get a better idea of her WU time for the day and can keep pushing for 2h30.

Thank you, thank you, for the suggestions!! Hopefully we'll be out of this soon.

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with 5 month nap schedule
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2017, 01:29:46 am »
You really think I should drop it cold turkey?
Yep, its not at the right time anyway, so if you were to reduce the volume, you'd be disrupting her sleep for even less gain.