Author Topic: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old  (Read 313 times)

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Offline LauraE

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Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« on: July 12, 2018, 06:49:09 am »
Hi Im hoping for some advice - we would like to start EASY with our 11 week old and I am anxious about the S in particular as we have some accidental parenting to fix!

Id like to know if the Independent sleep teaching (shush/Pat) is recommended only if they are in their own room or if you think it is still worth starting if he is still in our room in his mini next to me cot? We were thinking we wouldnt move him into his own room and the big cot till he is around 4 months.

For info he is EBF but will also take a bottle of expressed milk. At the moment he is falling asleep on the breast or in our arms or the sling/pram and will only stay in the cot peacefully if we put him in when hes in a deep sleep so this is really only at night at the moment. We would like to help him learn to fall asleep independently but Im a bit confused if the shush/Pat method means you get to the point where they will self settle or if I will always need to shush/Pat to sleep till you get to PU/PD age?

He has just started sleeping a bit longer at night for the first section of his sleep (around 6 hours) so dropping one feed but will then only go for another 1.5-2 hours or so before waking again, usually hungry.

During the day his nap times are quite short - often they only last 40 mins or so then he wakes up quite unhappy and is difficult to re-settle. His mood is generally quite calm though despite not sleeping as much as wed hope but Id appreciate any thoughts on how we could try to extend his daytime naps?

Im trying to get him onto a 3 hour feeding routine but up till now I have been feeding on demand.

Here is a sample day in case this helps with the picture:

07.30 Wake up & A (last feed was at 05.25 so nappy change and dressed before feed)
08.10 E
08.40 A
09.30 S (35 mins in my arms then trying to re-settle)
10.25 E
10.50 A
11.55 S (45 mins in my arms then trying to re-settle)
13.05 E
13.35 A
14.45 S (35 mins in pram)
15.20 E
15.40 A
16.50 S (30 mins in sling)
18.05 E
18.55 S (15 mins in my arms)
19.50 E
20.50 S (on the breast then put down in cot after 40 mins)
02.30 E (dream feed)
02.50 S
05.30 E
05.45 S
07.45 wake up

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 10:27:05 am »
Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

Here's a great thread with lots of information if you haven't already found it:
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=186622.0

Id like to know if the Independent sleep teaching (shush/Pat) is recommended only if they are in their own room or if you think it is still worth starting if he is still in our room in his mini next to me cot? We were thinking we wouldnt move him into his own room and the big cot till he is around 4 months.
You can absolutely sleep train with LO in your room. SIDS guidance is to keep LO sleeping in the same room as you until 6 months.  I believe Tracy would have altered her advice given more recent research but she is not longer with us.  My LO was sleeping independently at around 8 wks old and slept in a baby hammock by my bed for nights and in a travel cot in the family room for day naps. At 10 wks he refused the travel cot so from then all sleeps were in his hammock.  He moved to his own room and into a cot-bed at 9 months.
I think cots by your bed are great, you can put a hand out to reassure without having to get up and LO learns to sleep in their own space.

We would like to help him learn to fall asleep independently but Im a bit confused if the shush/Pat method means you get to the point where they will self settle or if I will always need to shush/Pat to sleep till you get to PU/PD age?
PUPD is for much older babies and a last resort method. We don't advise it's use unless all other avenues have been tried.  Shush/pat is a method of reassurance which is gradually weaned, it's the go-to for any time your LO needs extra help. Even once they are independent sleepers there will be plenty of times when they need more help so this method is returned to or adapted to suit the LO.  Sleep training the BW way is a gentle respectful way which takes time, shush/pat itself doesn't "teach" independent sleep but rather it is a way to help sooth and reassure your LO.

During the day his nap times are quite short - often they only last 40 mins or so then he wakes up quite unhappy and is difficult to re-settle
40 mins is how long a sleep cycle lasts. If your LO is used to being rocked, held or fed to sleep then it is hard for him to transition from one sleep cycle to the next (they wake and then go back to sleep) without having the same soothing method going on.  He doesn't know how.  If you begin to sleep train you can help him link those sleep cycles by using W2S which is to use the shush/pat method through his transition from one cycle to the next to help him learn. This is done in 3 day cycles but if you use it every day it can also be gradually weaned by patting lighter, less.
Here's a link to W2S
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=223809.0
Have a look at naps option 1.  You need to continue through to deep sleep.

Your current routine has pretty long A times. If it is from the BW book, that's only an example and I'd suggest you cut back on his A times to see if it helps improve the naps, here is a link to guidance A times:
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=84884.0
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=248483.0
At this age I would aim for 1hr 20 total A time.

Hope this helps.
We're here if you have more questions.


Offline LauraE

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2018, 00:44:52 am »
Thanks so much for your reply, this is so helpful! Ill see how we go with the naps and shush/Pat and will try W2S if he is still waking st 40 mins

We plan to make a start tomorrow bedtime so we can do 3 nights with both my husband and I around to help relieve each other, we will also be doing the shush/Pat for nap times so its consistent. Can I just check that I feed as normal at night when he wakes up and then just burp him and place him back in the cot? He is mostly asleep during these night feeds anyway

Thanks

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2018, 08:33:15 am »
Can I just check that I feed as normal at night when he wakes up and then just burp him and place him back in the cot? He is mostly asleep during these night feeds anyway
Yes.  Night feeds as normal.  There's no A time in the night, just feed, burp and back into bed.
During the day it's advised to feed on demand when BF.  It's okay to look towards regular feeding times for consistency in the routine but it's also okay to have extra feeds for comfort, pain relief etc.  In general just aim not to feed to sleep to avoid that habit/prop.

I'd usually recommend starting sleep training with naps so that LO has some practise in already before BT but really you can start whenever you are ready.  Some people choose not to sleep train all naps but to do one per day in the cot and the others in the stroller or sling, if you choose this I recommend doing the same nap each day as the cot nap (eg always first nap) rather than chopping and changing as LOs get into habits so can learn nap 1 is in the cot and nap 2 is in the stroller etc.

Good luck, let us know how you get on :)


Offline LauraE

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 06:14:18 am »
Ok here is what day 1 looked like yesterday - there were a lot of tears especially towards the later part of the day where DS literally screamed as soon as we put him in the cot but quietened down as soon as we picked him back up. DH went off course a couple of times and let him fall asleep in his arms rather than the cot as we were trading in and out with the re-settling and in the end BT was the usual routine rather than the new one so I feel like we failed at day 1 😢.

DH thinks were just teaching him that if he cries we will pick him up rather than how to sleep in the cot - Im following the advice on this thread and picking him up when his cries reach a certain point to continue shush/Pat in our arms till hes quiet again, am I missing something? https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=26672.0

The overnight stretch was brilliant and the longest DS has ever slept for, he wasnt quiet the whole time but was not upset till 5am when i fed him. Trouble is that was using the old routine of being rocked to sleep in our arms then put in the cot when in a deep sleep 🙈

SAT
04.45 - F
07.05 - wake up & activity talking with DH
07.40 - E
08.05 - A nappy change, dressed, talking
             08.30 - nap routine started
08.50 - S (20 mins S then in to resettle for 30 mins)
09.40 - S (20 mins S then in to resettle for 25 mins which didnt work)
10.35 - E
11.00 - A nappy, talking
          11.20 nap routine started
11.40 - S (38 mins S then in to resettle for 40 mins)
13.00 - S (8 mins S then awake)
13.20 - E
13.45 - A
            14.00 - nap routine started (went to sleep in dads arms then put in cot)
14.20 - S (1 hour S then in to resettle for 20 mins which didnt work)
14.40 - A
15.55 - E
16.25 - A
            16.45 - nap routine started (went to sleep in dads arms then put in cot)
17.10 - S (15 mins S then in to resettle for 40 mins but cried every time we put DS down so abandoned)
18.05 - A - we all needed a break
18.45 - E (kept falling asleep at the breast)
19.15 - S for 10 mins then started bath time routine
19.35 - bath
20.00 - E
20.30 - A emergency nappy change!
20.40 - S in dads arms as DH thought DS really needed to sleep, then into cot after 30 mins (8h 20 S - this is the longest DS has ever slept o/n!)
05.00 - E
05.15 - S
06.25 - E
06.45 - S
07.10 - wake up

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 08:54:39 am »
I feel like we failed at day 1
You didn't fail, not at all.
LO has known one way of falling to sleep for 11 wks (and prior to that he was snuggled up inside you).  It will take more than one day to learn how to sleep another way.  He didn't know this change was coming and is unsure of it. That's normal.  Over the coming days he will gradually get more used to it, he will learn that you are still comforting him and that it is safe to fall to sleep and stay asleep in the cot.  it's a gradual process of reassurance to get to independent sleep, it's not expected to happen in one day or even 3, although if you continue you will likely start to see some changes in a few days or a week. That doesn't mean "job done" in one week, but some progress will motivate you to continue.  Just keep in mind he is very young and this is all new to him.

DH thinks were just teaching him that if he cries we will pick him up rather than how to sleep in the cot
This is a very normal and common belief...and he is correct.  You ARE teaching him that when he cries you will be there for him. That is the trust bond you are reinforcing.  You are teaching your LO that it is safe to sleep in his cot because you will always always return to him when he needs you, that when he cries you will be there and comfort him either by taking, shushing, patting, putting a firm still hand on him or picking up (talking is verbal reassurance and depending on the stage of sleep training this can replace shushing or for example might be used from outside the room, that can come later).  You do not want to teach your LO not to cry, crying is his way to communicate and from this day and throughout his babyhood, toddler hood, childhood (and actually adulthood too) you would want him to communicate a problem to you that he needs help with, so that you know to respond and give him help.  So it is perfectly right to increase the support when he asks for it, when he cries or calls out.  The idea is not then to stop him crying but to teach him that Mummy or Daddy will always always respond.  This increases his level of trust, his feeling of safety, and confidence.  When he is confident you will be able to given a regular length wind down, good night kiss and pop him into his cot, then you'll leave the room and he will not panic instead he will feel perfectly confident to go to sleep alone.  When he wakes in the night he will know he is still safe and will go back to sleep (unless he is hungry, ill, teething, or having a developmental stage of separation anxiety in which case he will call out for you or cry and you will return).  By responding every time he needs you he will actually need you less. (the same is true with toddlers, their confidence is not increased by being pushed away and forced into the world alone and pushed away when they cry but rather by giving them a safe base (you) to which they can always return and seek safety and support and letting them step out from this safe base in their own time, this is covered in the toddler book but can help you make sense of the baby aspect of confidence in you too).
Make sense?
So here:
DH thinks were just teaching him that if he cries we will pick him up rather than how to sleep in the cot
Your DH's belief does not need to change.  Maybe he can see it as a positive thing you are both doing for your LO rather than a negative thing.
I believe this level of confidence and trust in you is a wonderful gift you give to your LO, a gift which is not easy to give as it takes time, patience and can be very hard work.  I can tell you from my own experience it is a wonderful feeling to know that your child feels so confident in you that when you lay him down he smiles and when you leave the room he just turns his head and nods off peacefully.

picking him up when his cries reach a certain point to continue shush/Pat in our arms till hes quiet again
There is no time aspect to sleep training so you don't need to wait for him to cry a certain amount or certain volume. If he needs to be picked up you can just go ahead and pick up. Calm in arms (shush/pat or adapted) fully and then return to the cot and continue in the cot without stopping.  At the beginning you will likely need to shush/pat all the way to sleep and beyond (into deep sleep) and that's fine.  Shush/pat is weaned over time, just getting LO to fall to sleep in the cot is a big step in the right direction.

hope this helps.  Don't forget if it turns out to be too much to do all naps in one go there's info above about doing one at a time.  You need consistency, same nap each day, to see results otherwise LO will be confused about what is expected and fuss (cry) for longer.


Offline LauraE

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 07:04:18 am »
Thank you so much this is just what I needed to hear! We are going to keep trying!

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Re: Help! Bad sleep habits and short naps with 11 week old
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 08:24:46 am »
Hope you have a good day :)