Author Topic: Help with naptime shush-pat for 3 month old.  (Read 1197 times)

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Offline Rainbowthunder

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Help with naptime shush-pat for 3 month old.
« on: November 06, 2017, 18:31:05 pm »
LO is 14 weeks old. Sleeps great at night in his crib (11 hours straight last night). He is also a great mapper—but only if I hold him (or we’re in the car). No matter how asleep he is when I put him down, he wakes in 5 minutes. This has been happening since he was 4 weeks. I want to get him napping in his crib, so I’ve been working on shush-pat.  I can put him in his crib awake and shush-pat him to sleep with no problem (today it took 7 minutes with some fussing but no crying). I keep shush-patting for 7-10 minutes after he falls asleep). The problem I have is that he jolts/jumps every 2.5 to 4.5 minutes. I read about “hold through the jumps” and have tried to do that. I put my fingers on his shoulders and can sometimes manage to keep him asleep (sometimes he wakes all the way up and I have to shush-pat again). Because he jolts so often, though, I have to keep my hands on him the whole nap. Today, for example, I kept my fingers on his shoulders through the 45-minute mark. Only then was he asleep enough to take my hands off of him. He slept for 15 minutes and woke, at which point I ended the nap. I have tried different wake times but it still happens. Is this normal and will improve if I persist? Am I doing something wrong? It’s physically excruciating to lean over his crib for an hour-plus. 

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with naptime shush-pat for 3 month old.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 20:41:09 pm »
Hi, welcome :)

Can you post your EAS? Its much easier to see why he may be startling and give you advice if we know when he's eating and sleeping.

Are you swaddling him? It may help - if night sleep is ok and unswaddled, you can just swaddle for naps - there's not rule you must swaddle for all or none of his sleep.

If you want to keep doing HTTJ, can you put a chair by the crib and put your arms through the bars? That might be a bit better for your back rather than leaning over the rail.

It sounds like you've got a pretty good sleeper there (plenty of mums of much older babies would be delighted to get such long night sleep) and what you're doing with shush/pat is fine to help him learn to sleep in the crib for naps.

What are you doing for wind down? I wonder if he's so jolty because he's a bit overstimulated... For mine, I found even just having the TV on for company (not watching it) was too stimulating at this age.

I totally understand doing things for your child at your own expense. Can I just say though, that its really important to look after yourself too, physically and mentally. Try to allow him an easy nap or two each day where you can enjoy him rather than associating his sleep with pain and anxiety. Letting him sleep places other than his crib will be more necessary as he gets older and it will make life easier for you if he will sleep outside of his crib too. Sometimes we mothers with young babies idealise schedules and forget our babies are little people, not robots and things will change from day to day, week to week, month to month. EASY is meant to be a routine - just that E, then A, then S happen in that order for predictability for baby and easier trouble-shooting for you.

Offline Rainbowthunder

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Re: Help with naptime shush-pat for 3 month old.
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 18:14:25 pm »
Thanks for the response. Sorry it took so long to reply. To answer your questions:

1.  I don’t run a perfect EASY and I am a little late to the game. I got into the habit of feeding him to sleep and am working on breaking it. That said, this “awake after 5 minutes” problem happens even if I feed him into a totally limp-limbed state. Rather than a true EASY, I follow a routine based on his awake times/sleepy cues (which are practically nonexistent except for getting fussy). Lately, he wakes up around 7 am. He’s usually ready for a nap between 8:30 and 9:00.  I aim for 45 minutes to an hour here. Then he’s awake for another 1.5 to 2 hours, and I try for a 2 hour nap, but I have to nurse him to sleep and hold him. Then another 1.5 to 2 hours  awake and another 45 minutes to 1 hour nap. Sometimes he needs one more catnap to get to bedtime. I nurse him to sleep at night, and he usually does at least one 6 hour stretch (sometimes 8 or 10).  He breastfeeds on demand and tends to want to eat every 2 hours, so it’s hard to separate naps from feeding. 
2.  My current nap wind down is: Book in the living room. Go to his room. Change diaper and put on sleep sack turn on white noise and turn off lights. (Room is dim but not pitch black.) . Hold him and sing two songs. Then into the crib. I shush pat with him on his back because it’s too hard to get him to stay on his side with his arms out of the swaddle. He usually fussed for about 2 minutes and is asleep in 4 minutes.
3.  I’d rather not swaddle him. I just broke him of the swaddle at night because I go back  to work in a month and daycare won’t swaddle him for naps. The “awake after 5 minutes” was a problem even when he had arms in the swaddle, though.  If also prefer not to black out his room for the same reason.
4.  Right now, I’m only trying shush pat for one nap a day—morning, when he should be sleepiest. It’s just too nerve-wracking and draining to do it for all naps. Plus, I really believe his good night sleep is a product of his good day sleep, and I don’t want to sacrifice that.

I know that nursing him to sleep is not ideal, but for now I’d be happy if I could just put him down for more than 5 minutes. I know he can sleep in the crib.

Finally—over the last two days, I’ve kept at it, and he keeps flinching or startling every few minutes. If I have a hand on him, he doesn’t always wake up. If he does wake up, I can shush pat him to sleep pretty quickly until we’re about 45 minutes in. Then he’s just awake. Not crying or mad, but awake andstaring at me like I’m nuts if I shush pat him.

Any ideas about why he startles so much? He startles when I hold him, too, but more like every 10-20 minutes.

Offline becj86

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Re: Help with naptime shush-pat for 3 month old.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 00:54:34 am »
1.  I don’t run a perfect EASY and I am a little late to the game. I got into the habit of feeding him to sleep and am working on breaking it. That said, this “awake after 5 minutes” problem happens even if I feed him into a totally limp-limbed state. Rather than a true EASY, I follow a routine based on his awake times/sleepy cues (which are practically nonexistent except for getting fussy). Lately, he wakes up around 7 am. He’s usually ready for a nap between 8:30 and 9:00.  I aim for 45 minutes to an hour here. Then he’s awake for another 1.5 to 2 hours, and I try for a 2 hour nap, but I have to nurse him to sleep and hold him. Then another 1.5 to 2 hours  awake and another 45 minutes to 1 hour nap. Sometimes he needs one more catnap to get to bedtime. I nurse him to sleep at night, and he usually does at least one 6 hour stretch (sometimes 8 or 10).  He breastfeeds on demand and tends to want to eat every 2 hours, so it’s hard to separate naps from feeding. 
Ok, so this is all fine - you're doing what you should be - BF on demand, A time seem reasonable and nap lengths are reasonable also though we'd generally suggest 3 x 1.5-2hr naps would be better than the 45min-1hr naps here and there. One thing re: wanting to eat every 2hr is that my son's sleepy cues were actually rooting for the breast. He slept much better if I put him down for a nap without the feed though - something to consider. I had a crazy oversupply and overactive letdown so he was getting lots of milk and once we sorted our feeding out, he slept much better.

2.  My current nap wind down is: Book in the living room. Go to his room. Change diaper and put on sleep sack turn on white noise and turn off lights. (Room is dim but not pitch black.) . Hold him and sing two songs. Then into the crib. I shush pat with him on his back because it’s too hard to get him to stay on his side with his arms out of the swaddle. He usually fussed for about 2 minutes and is asleep in 4 minutes.
Sounds like a dream.

3.  I’d rather not swaddle him. I just broke him of the swaddle at night because I go back  to work in a month and daycare won’t swaddle him for naps. The “awake after 5 minutes” was a problem even when he had arms in the swaddle, though.  If also prefer not to black out his room for the same reason.
Fair enough. How will daycare get him to sleep?

4.  Right now, I’m only trying shush pat for one nap a day—morning, when he should be sleepiest. It’s just too nerve-wracking and draining to do it for all naps. Plus, I really believe his good night sleep is a product of his good day sleep, and I don’t want to sacrifice that.
That sounds fair. I'm not sure the morning is when he'll be sleepiest but it sounds like you're finding a balance for you both. Just so you're aware, his night sleep may well go out the window when you go back to work - sleep at daycare may be suboptimal and just not having you around all the time will potentially mean he wakes more for feeds and hugs with you through the night.

Finally—over the last two days, I’ve kept at it, and he keeps flinching or startling every few minutes. If I have a hand on him, he doesn’t always wake up. If he does wake up, I can shush pat him to sleep pretty quickly until we’re about 45 minutes in. Then he’s just awake. Not crying or mad, but awake andstaring at me like I’m nuts if I shush pat him.
I think at that point, I'd just get him up. I wonder if A times closer to 2hr rather than 1.5hr might help, he sounds like a little chap who may do better with more A time than average. I'd call that 45min nap UT which might be part of why he's waking more easily. I presume you have white noise that runs through the whole nap? I recall we've had a few babies around here that wake bang on the moment the white noise turns off...

Any ideas about why he startles so much? He startles when I hold him, too, but more like every 10-20 minutes.
It sounds normal to me. All babies jolt a bit through their sleep (https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=64515.0) and I think maybe you've just been more observant than most; or his jolts are a bit more pronounced than average; or he wakes with them and struggles to get back to sleep.