Author Topic: Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night  (Read 515 times)

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Offline MamaF

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Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night
« on: January 31, 2018, 00:31:11 am »
Hi there, well I thought I might escape sleep issues this time around (Ha!) as my DD is a very settled bub and generally sleeps well. Our only issue is getting her down at night. We can leave the room and she will usually play for a good length of time (15-20 mins) but then eventually gets distressed and we have to go in. We don't need to pick her up, we can usually settle her by placing a hand on her (removing it once she's calm) but she then takes a long time to wind down and we need to stay by her cot until she's asleep. It's frustrating because for naps, I just go through her wind down routine, put her in with her comforter and dummy and she rolls over and goes to sleep as I leave the room!

She is on a four hour EASY and it looks roughly like this

6/6.30 Wake
E: 6.30/7 breastfeed
A  8.00 Breakfast then play
S  9/9.30 NAP (1.5-2 hrs)
E  10.30/11 Wake and Breastfeed
A  12.00 Lunch
S  1/1.30 NAP (1-2 hrs)
E  2.30/3.00 Breastfeed
A  5.00 Dinner
A  5.45 Bath
S  6.00 Breastfeed, 6.30 start wind down 7.30/8 asleep until morning

I know she is overtired by the time she FINALLY goes to sleep. We have only just dropped the 3rd nap and I had hoped that would solve the problem but not so far. Even if I try move her schedule earlier (like b/feed at 5.45), she still ends up going down well past 7. She is falling asleep on the breast during that final feed and I'm having to rouse her to read a story and go through her routine. If anyone can shed any light on how we can move past this stage, I'd be so grateful! We have shush/patted her to sleep in her cot since she was about 7 weeks old so I know she can do it. I should add that I also have a 25 month old son so I would struggle to get bub down much before 6 as I need my husband home to occupy my toddler. It's a pain because I'm sure I put my son to bed at 6/6.30 when he was this age...

Perhaps we need a gradual retreat strategy? I just worry we are stimulating her by being in there with her but I don't like leaving her to scream - a tired cry is fine but she eventually just gets too worked up to leave her. I should add that she has only recently started properly rolling and is getting stuck on her tummy (so we are practicing rolling to her back a lot!) but when she's lying in her cot awake at night she's generally on her back just kicking her legs.

Looking forward to your ideas, thanks so much!

« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 02:53:48 am by MamaF »

Offline jessmum46

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Re: Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 08:38:33 am »
I wonder if she needs that final feed moving even earlier?  I'm just thinking at the moment she is falling asleep during the feed, and I wonder if that's just recharging her enough to stop her settling off to sleep properly?  That final stretch of 3.5-4h between waking up from nap and starting wind down just seem a bit too long for a bub who has only just dropped the catnap  :-\  The other thing you could possibly do is try to move her second nap a bit later - do you think she'd handle that?  It looks like that second A time is possibly closer to 2.5h or so rather than 3.....if that's the case giving her a bit more A time there might (a) get you a consistently longer nap and (b) have that nap finishing a bit later so that she can handle being awake to bedtime a bit better.  I'd aim at any rate whatever you decide to have her in bed for the night no later than 3h after waking from second nap, or 6pm if second nap finishes earlier than 3pm.  It's tricky with a toddler I know (been there!) but perhaps you could bath them together, then feed LO while you read a story to bigger one? 
***Katherine***







Offline MamaF

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Re: Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 08:54:55 am »
Thank you so much for your reply! I have a feeling you helped me when I was desperate with my spirited son a few years ago, I can't tell you how grateful I am for all your help. And apologies for not being in touch sooner, both kids have been sick this weekend.

Anyway, before I got your reply, I actually did two nights of feeding her BEFORE her bath and on both occasions she was asleep roughly 20 mins after going into her cot. I think I also managed to get her into bed a bit earlier so that no doubt helped. Is it ok to feed before bath? She has always been inclined to stay on well past when she needs to during that final feed and even night feeds when she was younger. I've always had to pull her off when I think she's done. So I feel like feeding her earlier means she has a good feed then uses the bath as a wind down and can go into bed with the same routine as we have for naps. I don't know why I'm second-guessing myself here; I had to do something similar with my son as he had reflux and we needed plenty of time between his last feed and bed...I just know it's not the norm, particularly when breastfeeding (my son ended up on formula). And I hadn't thought about that little doze whilst feeding recharging her and being the reason she was fighting sleep so hard when she doesn't during the day - makes so much sense! Regardless, I feel like we have had some improvement - I hope we can keep it up once she's feeling better.

Offline jessmum46

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Re: Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 19:56:16 pm »
Hope your kids are now recovered?  Mine have both had it too this week :(

Has the better settling continued?  It's absolutely fine to feed before bath if that works better for you both!

Let us know how you're getting on x
***Katherine***







Offline MamaF

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Re: Almost 7 month old naps great but struggles to go down at night
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 07:58:58 am »
Thank you so much for checking in, we've been away, followed by MORE sickness and I completely missed your reply! All better now though thanks. I hope yours are all well now too.

Well we have had some improvement but it's a bit hit and miss. Certainly the feed before bath works. And the earlier bedtime (3 hours after nap or 6pm). But we find she either goes down without a peep and then wakes hysterical after 40 mins so we have to go in and calm her then stay with her until she's asleep. Or she's hysterical right off the bat, we stay with her and once she's down she doesn't wake again. It's very rare she'll go down easily and stay down. Occasionally she will resettle herself but not often and as it's quite elevated screaming, we are hesitant to leave her for long.

She is cutting her first tooth this week but I feel like we've been dealing with this too long for teething to be the cause. When she's hysterical, she's clearly exhausted - the second you pick her up, her eyes close but she starts screaming again the second you put her down. Pick up/Put Down just seems to make it worse, so a few times lately we've had to get her to sleep in our arms. The last two nights I've been able to calm her in the cot by patting her back, but even that feels like a step backwards when we know she can do it herself! I'm now just hoping that as she is able to put herself to sleep consistently for naps, that she'll just eventually learn to do it for bedtime as well. But if you can think of anything else I should be doing please let me know.

I should add that we aren't getting consistent naps either - generally one long and one short (40 mins) each day and it switches which is the longer one. I think you said it should be more consistent with the longer A time but I'm not too worried unless you think this is wrapped up with her bedtime issues. Thanks again for your help x
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 09:52:21 am by MamaF »