Author Topic: 11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?  (Read 517 times)

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Offline kristeno

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11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?
« on: May 24, 2018, 16:02:38 pm »
Hi there!

We've been doing EASY with LO since he was born, he's 11 weeks old now. We've swaddled since the beginning, but in the last month, when we do our wind down routine before any sleep time, he cries really hard when we put him into the swaddle & help him settle to sleep. I'm thinking the wind down isn't long enough or relaxing enough. I'm not really sure where to go from here. I suppose I could be reading him wrong & he's actually OT, but he usually signals his morning nap with a yawn at around 45 min of awake time.

We typically shoot for 1 hr awake time, then starting the routine (total of 1 hr, 20 min). Routine: read book (only part of it, he gets irritated part way through), swaddle, snuggle & sing a soothing song, pray, snuggle until drifting, lay in bed, Sh/pat to sleep. We do have to cover his face during the day because he's so distracted, he can't relax, so I'm wondering if the routine is too stimulating for him too. Or maybe I need to start before he starts showing signs he's tired?


On a second note, I'm wondering when is the time that we need to switch from laying him down drowsy, but awake & Sh/pat to sleep to laying him down awake & wait for mantra to respond? It feels like he's starting to rely on the Sh/pat + paci to fall asleep.

Thank you so much in advance!

Offline kristeno

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Re: 11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 21:09:49 pm »
I'm commenting on my own post to add that typically, I can work him through a 1.5-2 hr nap every time, but he wakes up frequently, even with WTS. I guess I'm having a really hard time being able to tell if he's OT or UT, but it's got to be something like that. Not to mention, everytime he wakes up, he cries until I calm him down. He has never woke up happy.

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Re: 11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 09:18:25 am »
LOs all like different length wind downs. Mine liked a short wind down and when I tried to extend it into a "full" wind down he kicked off big time.  To me it sounds like your LO is crying when you swaddle because either:
- he isn't yet ready for the nap. Try a change of activity instead of moving straight to the wind down routine when you see that first yawn, perhaps read the book as part of his A time rather than WD?  So lengthening the active part of A time but reducing the activities that take place in the WD? He would still go to sleep at roughly the same time.
or
- he is super tired and wants to be put directly to bed without all the WD activities which delay his sleep.  You might try swaddling quickly and putting him right into bed and do the shush/pat to see if he wants to go right to sleep.  Crying hard can be a sign of wanting to just be put right to sleep and because you've been using the routine and methods since he was born he's had plenty of time to get used to it and might be more confident and ready to sleep than you think.

I realise that these two options totally contradict each other.  I've experienced both with my DS which is why I've mentioned both and really I think the only way to work it out is by your own observations and experimentation.
If for example you were to try the second option of just getting him right down quickly and he just doesn't settle then you could get him back up, say "OK, sorry, looks like you aren't ready yet" and go back out of the room for an additional 10 mins or so A time then try again.

My DS would hurry the wind down along by putting his hand over my mouth to stop me singing when he wanted to get into bed so at times he'd have the same song 3 times if he needed lots of help that day but other times I'd barely start the song and he'd cover my mouth, fussing, he wanted to get in bed and get to sleep and just didn't need the amount of help I was offering.
I also experienced times him screaming his head off (generally when someone wouldn't put him to bed when he needed it) and when I got hold of him he wanted no wind down at all, literally he was screaming for sleep, I put him straight in his bed and he stopped crying instantly, even gave me a smile then turned his head and nodded off.  It can feel very odd to put a screaming baby down in bed, I felt pretty awful doing it, but when you see the result it makes sense.  It doesn't mean you can't go ahead and pick up again if it doesn't work out.

With the shush/pat it sounds like you just need to start weaning it now.  If it turns out your LO wants to be put down much earlier than you are currently doing (not shorter A time but faster to bed, with less WD) then put him down awake (like I described above sometimes mine was awake and screaming but he wanted his bed) and do what is needed in the cot (which might be zero patting).  Otherwise though, if he is still being WD in arms it is fine to continue to shush/pat to drowsy, this isn't a problem, it's pathing the way to sleep.
The part you reduce is when in the cot. Begin as normal, same rhythm and weight of pat that you usually do and then you mix it up a bit, slow down, pause, stop, start repeat, change the weight, lighter then return to usual weight then lighter repeat.  The rhythmical patting is what sooths so when you mix it up he might not go to sleep quite as quickly as you make changes but the idea is to aim to be either hands off when he nods off or no patting but just a hand on him (it could be a firm hand, this can be reduced a few days later). There is no strict timing on this, and with each step you take you can always go back a step, if he gets upset increase back to your usual rhythm and weight until calm, then reduce/change again.  If you keep your goal in mind rather than automatically patting to deep sleep then you will probably just reduce this over a few days.  Hope this helps.


Offline kristeno

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Re: 11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 15:52:02 pm »
Wow, thank you so much!! That relieves my mind a little bit, knowing that we're still headed on the right track. I'll work with him on the wind down to see what he needs. My daughter was a VERY difficult sleeper & gave no hints. We had to wind her down for half an hour everytime. I guess I was stuck in that frame of mind, but this one is a much more laid back sleeper. That didn't even occur to me.

Thank you!!!

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Re: 11 Weeks Proper Wind Down Routine?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 17:58:47 pm »
Good luck. Let us know how you get on.