Author Topic: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare  (Read 632 times)

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Offline Tabyria

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2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« on: May 28, 2018, 18:07:59 pm »
Hi there,

My 6.5 month old DD has mostly transitioned to 2naps and bedtime is absolutely awful. Is this part of the transition period? It's been taking us between 1h and 2h30 to put her down at night. During the day, we put her in her cot, leave the room and she settles fine. At night, we constantly have to come back and do PU/PD forever and obviously she gets OT in the process and it gets ugly. We thought it could be teething, or separation anxiety (I do a lot of peek-a-boo etc during the day) but for nearly a month, and only at night??? I suspect there's more likely something wrong with our schedule. She had been going to bed at 7pm for the last couple of months.

She's on 3h A time.
She tends to start the day at 6am, which makes it harder re: naps. We aimed for a 7am wake up but she has other ideas...
Third catnaps are nearly impossible to get except with sling in a pitch black bedroom which I can't often do, and timing is tricky as she won't go to bed at 7pm if she naps after 4.30 (which is often when she would need a third nap based on her A time).

To compare successful/unsuccessful days:

FRIDAY: great day
Woke up at 5.20am but left in cot, went back to sleep at 6.30 until 7am
A 7.00
S 10.00
A 11.30
S 14.30
A 16.30
S 20.00 (we had put in bed for 7.30 but had to do PU/PD for 30min)
Slept through the night for the first time!!!!! (until 6.30am following day)

SUNDAY(horrible day)
A 6.00
S 9.10
A 10.30
S 13.30
A 15.00
S 20.30 (tried early bedtime at 18.00 but fought for 2h30!)
Then proceeded to wake screaming 00-1h30 then again 3am.

Today, she woke from her nap at 14.30 and was rubbing her eyes at 16.30 but we can't do a nap then or that pushes bedtime back. We shouldn't do a 4.30pm bedtime right? We tried for a 18.00 bedtime but she fought until 7pm (and in the end we had to be really hands on, literally pinning her down to the mattress for her to stop getting overexcited).

What are we doing wrong? Could it be that she needs less A time in the evening? Don't think it's more as we've tried 4h with the same result.

I haven't put the feeds down but could it have something to do with it? She's thriving but her feeds have been all over the place (she's EBF): used to be every 4h then down to 2h (growth spurt, heatwave etc.) and now anytime between 2-4h. She seems to get into a snacking habit and I'm not too sure how to get out of it, but maybe it's just because the weather is a bit warmer and she's thirsty. We're starting solids this week (we've had first tastes but nothing regular).

Anyway, thanks for any piece of advice!



Offline creations

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2018, 09:00:15 am »
Hi
I think as you are still in 3-2 nap drop that your LO is just getting a bit OT at the end of the day.
I'd probably aim for more like 2hr 30 A time before BT. It might mean BT is very early.  Sometimes LOs will surprise you and just sleep right to morning and have a super long night, if not she might have a "normal" length night and be awake too early the next morning but if you find this you might have more time in the day to squeeze in a short cat nap to get her through to BT.

she woke from her nap at 14.30 and was rubbing her eyes at 16.30 but we can't do a nap then or that pushes bedtime back. We shouldn't do a 4.30pm bedtime right?
I'd think 4.30 is probably too early but if you were to start her BT routine and do BT at 5pm she might manage.  I know 5pm sounds really early but like I said you might be surprised, sometimes LOs pull off an amazing 14hr night and really surprise us!  If not though then the next day could have a short CN.

hope this helps


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 06:02:27 am »
Thanks Creation! I'll try.

Yesterday, I was very excited as we recreated the 3h nap time that led her to sleep through the night but we ended up getting an awful night with wake up at 5.20 this morning  :-\ That's the third time this week, and this time she didn't go back to sleep. I know early wake ups are often linked to A being too short in the morning but I don't think that's the case here. And I don't think I should make the first nap shorter either (1h30)? So that might just be because she's OT from the previous day? We have blackout blinds (in an attempt to make her sleep until 7am, ahah, how futile).
A 6.30
S 9.30
A 11.00
S 14.00
A 16.00
S 20.00 (bedtime aiming for 19.00 but we had to PU/PD for 1h)
And then feed at 0.00, screaming at 1.00 and 2.00, cries at 4.00 and up for the day at 5.20  :-[

So maybe all of this would have been avoided if I had tried to put her to bed at 18.30 instead of 19.00 yesterday... Will try.

I need to get into London today and am stressing so much about not being able to give her proper naps (she doesn't sleep at all in the pram or sling now), I'm thinking of cancelling. But then I've cancelled everything last week and yesterday so that she could nap... We didn't even go out in the countryside as planned when it was so hot last weekend because train times didn't fit around her naps. I basically don't sleep at night and don't have a life during the day, it's not really sustainable. I don't know how other people who are out and about during maternity leave do it.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 06:29:02 am by Tabyria »

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 09:48:12 am »
Yes I agree with your thought that the early wake up is likely linked to being OT at BT.  You can't always avoid these things so don't beat yourself up over it. The routine is pretty much perfect!!  Look at those times!!

Again with trips out, you can't always avoid going out.
I avoided most things which didn't fit around naps because for me the most relaxation I could get was when mine was asleep in his cot.  When I tried to go somewhere at the wrong time he didn't sleep, just screamed, I did try to get him used to it but in the end I preferred the calmer routine and doing less.  Mine would eventually sleep in the car seat if I left the house at the right time which gave me some level of ability to get out although I still had to time it.

I don't know how other people who are out and about during maternity leave do it.
Honestly I think most people struggle with something or other but it's not necessarily seen from the outside.  Most of us look like we are managing brilliantly when actually we are exhausted.
During my DS's phase of 40 min naps I would put him down in his bed at home for a nap and then run around the house like a crazy woman getting things ready for when he woke, packing a bag and getting the sling on me, then I stood by his bed wearing the sling a few mins before 40 mins so that the second he woke I could get him in the sling, pick up my bag and leave the house. Walk him in the sling to my car (a block away), get him in, drive to the park, get him out and back in the sling, walk as fast as I could to a bit of grass, lay out a blanket and put him down. Then change nappy, feed. Stare at the trees for a few minutes, get some fresh air, look like I had all the time in the world, look like I had a perfectly happy baby who never cried... but my eye was on the clock and I had to time our trip back perfectly to avoid the screaming melt down.  We only had an hour at the park, if that. At one time I had to make sure we were back in time to get him in the cot for the next 40 min nap, at another I knew I could get him to nod off in the car if I was driving at the right time but then I had to sit in the car until he woke, in those days he wouldn't transfer from car to sling or sling to cot.  At another time (older and heavier) I'd managed to get him to a point where I could transfer him so he could nod off in the car and if I spoke constantly to him I could lift him from the car into the sling and transfer him - which meant carrying a heavy baby plus bags a block or two from the car then up 3 flights of stairs to his bed before I could put him down and tell him to stay asleep!  I was always exhausted but from the outside it looked like everything was a breeze.
I'm not saying I had it worse or better than anyone else, only giving an example of how it can look wonderful from the outside when really it is very very hard.  You're right it's not sustainable but babies get older, things do generally ease off, the A times get longer and we get some of that Y time we all need.

Have you started solids now?  Just wondering if you are offering solids in the evening? It might be something you can skip in the evening in case it's causing any gas or tummy pain during the night.  Offering solids earlier on in the day can give them a good amount of time to get past gas etc before BT.


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 18:25:23 pm »
Hi Creations, Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me all this, it really helps. You're right, you don't know what goes on at home and it always looks easier from the outside. I bet people who saw me in London thought I looked so at ease with my baby ahah.

I've tried 2h30 A time tonight and she's been screaming her head off for 2h30 now. It's horrible to hear, she just won't calm down. We've even given calpol just in case it's teething but she won't stop screaming even in arms and she makes herself sick. It's getting worse each night and is very distressing. She's never ever done that. She doesn't have a temperature. Maybe 3h A time is too much on her and I push her too much during the day?? I'll keep on trying.

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 19:01:01 pm »
I bet people who saw me in London thought I looked so at ease with my baby
Yep, they'll have been thinking you are out all the time and it's all such a breeze :)

Sorry to hear BT was so bad tonight.  What were naps like today?  Could she have been over tired? Over stimulated?  Any new foods today which might have upset her?  Did she get a good milk feed before BT?

The only other thing I can think (if not OT/OS, food or teething) is that she is somehow UT.  It would be quite unusual because you've done 3hr A time and she was still screaming.  Have you tried taking her out of the room to see what happens, if she calms down for instance?


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 12:25:02 pm »
Thank you. Yes, she calmed down every time we left the room, which is what I ended up doing: took her into our guest bedroom, had some quiet talk/cuddle/very light stimulation on the bed with low light, and then brought her back to bed after 15min. She fell asleep fine. So maybe she was UT, which is strange...

I still struggle to determine how much she needs in the evening. The screaming was a one-off but we still have lots of crying whether I do 2h30, 3h, 3h30 or 4h. She behaves entirely differently from naptime, where she often giggles (sweet!) when I leave the room and falls asleep within 5min. She eats only at lunchtime so don't think it's food/gas related.

I also really struggle to feed her properly in the evening, which might be related: she won't take a full feed whatever I try. It's a bit of a battle during the day but nothing as bad as in the evenings. She will look very hungry and eat avidly (EBF) for 2-3min but then she unlatches and is totally uninterested. She pushes the breast and gets upset if I keep offering. But if I put her to bed, she'll start crying and if I come back after 5min to put her to the breast, she'll act as if she was starving, but only eat for 1-2min and then the whole cycle begins. Now that I know that, I do little pauses during the feed (in low light), to have a cuddle, then to read a book, then to sing a little lullaby. Every time I put her back on and she eats happily for another minute or so. It took 1h yesterday. I thought I had nailed it but nope. There's teething going on at the moment (first tooth poking out) so we gave her calpol but after 20min she wasn't calming down so I tried just in case and she had a massive feed, falling asleep at the breast! That behaviour has got progressively worse since she started getting distracted around the 4month mark so I don't think it's linked to teething making sucking uncomfortable. And she falls asleep on her own (I managed to wake her up gently yesterday before putting her back into bed) so it's not that she needs the association in the evening. I wish I understood why to avoid all the crying in the evening!

I'll ask the question on the "Breastfeeding" board too as it might be more relevant there.
Thanks again for the help!

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 20:37:20 pm »
As the BT routine appears to be feeding related causing some sort of delay, crying, feeding on and off, I don't think you are likely to find a sweet spot on the A time.  I would aim for 3hrs roughly.

Yes please do post about your evening feeds and the problem at BT in the BF board as I have no experience of BF (had to stop when mine was a few weeks old) and there might be some tips or advice which could really help with that.
It sounds like you're going about it in the right way for now though with offering a few times before BT.


Offline Tabyria

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Re: 2-1 transition and bedtime nightmare
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 15:11:09 pm »
Thanks!