Author Topic: 3 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps & How to Shh/Pat w Back sleeper?  (Read 827 times)

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Offline Infinitdee

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Is there anything more maddening than trying to figure out a little one?! AAAAAHHHH.

The Good:
 - Been on EASY (well technically the babywise program) since birth. Great 3 hour schedule, 7/10/1/4/7.
 - BF great and takes 6oz/feed (over-ate like crazy so I weigh him before/after every feed now), gaining over 2oz per day which is bonkers. Still takes a solid 30-40m to eat though.
 - Sleeps AWESOME at night - 8pm to 7am, occasionally wants to eat at 5/6am but skipped that the last two nights!!(INSERT CARTWHEELS HERE). He does wake at 1am, 2am, 3am and squirms/whimpers a bit but will take a paci for 5min and settle back down.
 - Napped easily and anywhere for 1.5-2hrs from birth to 5wks, then it got ugly.

The Bad:
 - I didn't set up a great wind-down routine until 5weeks so we're still perfecting it and he HATES the sit portion of the 4s - headbutts, roots like crazy and now starts screeching in frustration. I've started turning him around and doing a partial cradle/upright position facing out, putting the paci in and he kicks a few times and then closes his eyes and wants to be put down. I feel like if I don't sit at all then he's too revved up but sometimes the sitting revs him up more. I'm guessing I just need to do something shorter but still restful?

 - He NEVER ever sleeps past 45 minutes and now I feel like its habit. I've tried Wake-to-sleep but he will still wake right at 45 minutes. If I put a hand on his chest and head and hum his 'go to sleep' song then he'll settle back to sleep for 2 minutes, wake, resettle for 2 minutes, wake, repeat. He gets more and more difficult to resettle each time and eventually starts crying in frustration (which makes me want to cry in frustration).

 - Awake time - He doesn't seem to be able to go past an hour MAX (from wake up to eyes closed), 45m for the first awake time, even though when he wakes and doesn't cry it makes me think he's UT. For his first nap today I tried to push him to an hour awake and then he thrashed around squawking and making little cries for an hour before finally sleeping for 20min and waking up screaming. Second nap he had gotten no sleep before this so I kept it to 50m and then did his wind-down which he wanted super short, slept immediately and woke right at 45m. Now he's thrashing around and squeaking but not full on crying yet.

MWF if I do 45m A for first nap he'll go down for 45m, then we spend 30m in the carseat dropping his brother at school, back home to do wind-down again for another 45min and it works beautifully. Second nap I do an hour max A and then its the same 45m, wakes up crying, settles for 2-5m, awake, repeat - I'll spend over an hour in his room with my hand on his chest doing a hum/shush/pat situation over and over again. By the time we get to the afternoon he is beside himself with tiredness and its very hard to keep him awake to eat. Half the time he gets to the point where nothing will settle him and I basically have to let him cry (usually in my sling or my lap) with huge zombie eyes that break my heart.

He is clearly a touchy baby and easily overstimulated (bath time and bedtime massage are both 'tread carefully' events for him or he can't go to sleep for awhile after), so I keep things pretty quiet and keep stimulation to a minimum.

My questions are - what the heck am I missing? I've read both BW 'baby' books and have adjusted A time back/forwards like crazy. Our routine is good I think, his room is dark and has white noise, he's comfortable (other than a little gassy some days - NOT reflux just gas). I honestly feel like he doesn't KNOW he's supposed to sleep longer at this point. How in the heck do I teach him?

ANY HELP appreciated. I have to go back to work in two weeks and am panicking about it.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 15:26:53 pm by Infinitdee »

Offline deb

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 08:44:55 am »
Touchies especially can be tricky to figure out. Been a while since my Touchies were babies, but here are my thoughts:

If he doesn't like to sit, then don't. If it's part of what's riling him up and overstimulating him, it's OK to leave it out.

Something else that often goes with Touchy babies is reflux, and it's not always obvious. In our case it involved copious fountains of spit-up milk, but in others it might just be enough acid up the esophagus to hurt. A pacifier can help, though.

In our case, when my LO woke at 45 minutes, it was because her paci had fallen out. We learned to get in there just before the 45-minute mark to wait for her to spit it out and then we reinserted it before she woke fully, and after a few days of this she began extending her naps naturally.

Another key in our case was a night waking around 5AM: she would eventually go back to sleep for another hour or so but wake up not fully rested, which was why she could only manage an A time of an hour max even at 3 months for her first A time, and then 45 minutes wasn't enough rest to keep her going past another hour. We addressed this with a dream feed to help her get thru the night.

Offline Infinitdee

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 14:11:30 pm »
Thank you so much for your reply!

Hmmm that is all great food for thought. I hadn't been putting the paci in until his squeaks changed to cries (hoping he would resettle himself without it, as he'll go to sleep without it about half the time) but thats a good idea to wait until he drops it just before waking and then reinsert.

We started with no dream feed because I go to bed so early (9pm or even 8:30 these days) but I did reintroduce it at 6weeks for a week and it just disrupted his sleep cycle too much. He wouldn't wake for the feed but after a 10/10:15/10:30 asleep feed (I kept adjusting timing trying to find a sweet spot) he would wake every hour from there on out. Then after so much disruption he'd want to eat multiple times. I thought it might have been a growth spurt at the same time but he had no change at all during the day. So.. I might try a dreamfeed again but you can see why I'm hesitant!

Offline deb

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 16:54:27 pm »
Just to make sure we're on the same page, he isn't supposed to wake for the Dream Feed but stay asleep through it.

Is there someone else who can try a DF around 11PM so you can sleep, from a bottle? Might be worth considering at least. Yours IS younger than mine when we did a DF tho, so that might be part of the difference.

Not sure where in the world you are, but clock changes are approaching where I am, which will shift his sleep schedule with respect to school dropoffs and work schedules and so on, so bear in mind that even if YOU change nothing now, the whole apple cart might get upset - or maybe put right! - when that happens.

Offline Katet

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 00:38:53 am »
Firstly the volume a BF baby takes shouldnít be compared to that of a formula fed baby and they can never over eat...  they should feed until they stop and not worry about volume. I had big babies both who were super chubby and put on loads in early months... lean teenagers now! I wonder if you let the feeding be more controlled by your baby and less worry about over feeding you might get more of the relaxing chemicals into your milk.

It is not abnormal for babies under 3/4 months to struggle to get longer naps and connect sleep cycles... tbh I think given you have good night sleep, itís possible that itís developmental.

Just re reading your post, you sound quite A type and needing structure, which can  trigger anxiety in a mother when it doesnít happen, that can then flow through to milk and baby. I (having been there myself) know itís super hard to let go of the need to have a more relaxed approach, but I do know (also from experience) that looking at what is going well and focusing on that and rolling with the problems as being Ďthis too will passí is beneficial. When you look at the first 3-4 years Naps change so much, but night sleep lasts a lifetime.

I definitely agree if the sit stage doesnít work, donít do it. My eldest was a shocking 45min napper until nearly 5mo  then improved, in hindsight, it was around 4.5mo that I (due to very sick husband) stopped worrrying about his naps... could have been different child, but with my second, I was far less concerned and I rolled with naps for DS2 and while he never had textbook A times or naps (he was low sleep needs) I rolled with it and in many ways it worked in our favour, he had catnaps in a sling on me when I took the eldest to the park if he didnít nap long enough.

I know itís not the answer you want, but I suspect do nothing or keep trying things, youíll have a iot of improvement in a couple of months, so in many ways the answer is just in your baby growing older.

dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Infinitdee

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 00:11:36 am »
Hi Katet, thanks for your message!

I should clarify that by 'overfeeding' I meant he was taking 10oz feeds and then spitting up and having a ton of gas pain between weeks 3-6. I think I was reattaching him too much after he'd doze off. Our ped suggested the scale and to let him eat until he was content but try to keep it under 7oz, which seemed to make him happier overall and definitely helped with the tummy issues. I'd happily let him pig out if it wasn't seeming to hurt him so much.

Am I Type A? Sort of (but definitely when writing a post summarizing so much detail :). More progress-driven and he's my only 'project' right now so I'm guilty of obsessing. Plus the inconsolable screaming, sad baby face when he's overtired has, frankly, caused a panic response in me so I'm going a bit batty trying to avoid it.

I was also blessed with a textbook/angel baby #1 without know it, so I just did as Babywise suggested, swaddle, put down and he'd sleep exactly as long as was needed. God gave us Baby #2 so we'd realize it wasn't good parenting skills so much as a super easy kid to start with!

So the consensus is to chill out and stop stressing. I'll give that a try (*sigh*). And buy earplugs for the tough evenings...

Offline Infinitdee

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 00:14:53 am »
Hi Deb,

Yes, we did the DF asleep, although I did breastfeed as he still isn't great with the flow from a bottle, so he was picked up, nursed and then put back down which causes him to be semi-conscious, squirm and grunt to get back to sleep. I think it was just enough to throw him off.

Thanks for the reminder about the time change.. I'll have to buckle up for that soon too (with the 4.5 year old especially!).

Offline Infinitdee

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Re: 2 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps (also hates the Sit in 4S)
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 15:13:45 pm »
UGH - we're now at nearly 3 months old and he still NEVER takes longer than 45m. He's sleeping pretty well at night (wakes 3-4x for a 5min paci fix) but the days suck so badly. We're doing a max 1hr10m A for the first nap as anything longer and he's a back-arching, angry squeaking mess during WD and then only goes for 30min and wakes screaming. If I do 1.10 A he'll generally hang out for about 5m and then go to sleep independently just fine. 45 min later to the minute he's crying. He'll do a little grizzle cry that I usually just watch and then works up to a full cry after about 7-8m. I've tried sneaking in to replace the Paci without him seeing me and that works sometimes. Tried WTS with no success.

Shh/pat is just a hot mess. I can't figure out how to do it on a back sleeping baby. He just gets mad, I can't reach him well and its a mess. He stops crying when I go in there usually but grunts, kicks both legs (sometimes gas pains at work), thrashes around and arches his back. If I pat his shoulder (awkward w hands swaddled in front) or tummy he just thrashes harder. If I put a hand on his chest while shushing he will sometimes settle but rarely closes his eyes to sleep no matter how long I do it.

After that our day gets worse and worse because he's up so early from each nap that by the time its Eating time its just basically feed, 10m awake and down again as he's clearly exhausted. He's getting too little stimulation and far too little sleep but if I keep him up so he gets stimulation then he's a screaming mess from being so tired and he will NOT go back to sleep. We get zombie eyes, crying and his desperate little pain/tired squeeking. Its awful.

If we just 'do our best' thru the day he's crying while nursing by mid afternoon from exhaustion.

How the heck do you do Shh/pat with a back sleeper? This whole 'turn on his side' thing is just awkward and he feels like he's going to fall over or lose that arm he's resting on. Not a good way to calm him or me :/

I keep thinking he'll eventually figure out a transition like he does at night but dear God I'm losing my mind, and, frankly my milk supply because I can't pump after feedings when I'm spending all my time soothing this baby or taking care of my 4 yr old.

PLEASE HELP
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 15:32:54 pm by Infinitdee »

Offline Katet

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Re: 3 Month Old w Chronic Short Naps & How to Shh/Pat w Back sleeper?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 21:18:00 pm »
We're doing a max 1hr10m A for the first nap as anything longer and he's a back-arching, angry squeaking mess during WD and then only goes for 30min and wakes screaming.

30mins is often an under tired nap. I'm wondering if he's just needing a change of scene at that time rather than actually needing a nap. What are you doing in that A time?

I didn't really Sh Pat with mine, (didn't know BW with Ds1)  I found stroking DS2's head down across his eyes worked better as he'd close his eyes as my hand hovered over his eyes & that helped induce sleep. I did a bit of patting of the nappy/diaper region around the hip at times.

I also found with my younger, it was often easier to try & have naps fitting around activities for the 2yo & nap in the stroller/sling /car seat rather than trying to settle in the cot & being stressed by it... somehow carrying a hot mess baby in a sling at the park was far less stressful than when it was at home over a cot.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05