11/1/11

Is Cry It Out (CIO) Harmful?


I'll get more into talking about CIO and my thoughts on it later, but until then, here's a great article by the author of the book Bedtiming on CIO (more articles listed at the end of the post). I suggest you read it if you are thinking about trying CIO or have already tried it. I also suggest this article to those of you who have very negative feelings toward
any form of CIO, although I have a feeling it won't be well accepted by you despite the research behind it. That's how it goes sometimes.

Please don't take me citing this article to mean that I think all parents should be doing CIO. I don't, especially as a first resort. It isn't for everyone, baby or parent. Some methods work better for some people than others. Parents also prefer different sleep arrangements (and sometimes they are forced into them... but that is a different post). See Sleep Training - Choosing an Approach for more on how to choose a sleep training approach.

Here's a synopses of the above article...

Parents that consider or do sleep training that involves CIO often worry if it will damage their child in any way. (How can you not? A child's crying is anything but pleasant and leaves many of us with a feeling of guilt and worry and stress--the list goes on).

The answer to this question is not a straightforward one although many experts {cough} Sears {cough} and various other people make it seem so. If there was a clear and straightforward answer don't you'd think we'd all know about it?

After much well done and properly conclusive research (something that is often not done on this, as well as other subjects) the author concludes:
My best answer as to whether it harms a child when we let her cry for a while when sleep training is: It depends, but it probably doesn't damage children in any significant way (long-term outcomes, self-esteem, bond with parents, etc.)
"It depends" includes things like super sensitive children, Moms that are more prone to postpartum depression when their children cry etc.(see article for extended list).

Fifty-two of the best sleep studies out there were reviewed by the Journal Sleep and 1)"there were no appreciable differences in the effectiveness of the top 5 sleep training methods assessed (from CIO methods, to Ferberizing, to more gentle methods like "positive routines" or faded bedtimes)" 2) "NONE of the studies showed negative effects, even the CIO ones" 3) "infants who participated in sleep interventions were found to be more secure, predictable, less irritable,and to cry and fuss less following treatment." 4) "Mothers indicated that behaviorally-based sleep interventions had no effect on maintaining the practice of breast feeding or on infant’s total daily fluid intake." WHOA. Did you catch all that? Pretty impressive. And I want to point out again that these reviewed studies are well done and reputable.

A couple other things mentioned that are worth noting are that excessive colic-like crying in young children is not harmful in the long run unless there are other problems present in the child's life (take a deep sigh of relief if this applies to you. Take another sign of relief if you've made it through a colicky baby in one piece) and, listen closely because this is one of my favorite statements, "PROLONGED high levels of stress (that are often, but not always, accompanied by lots of crying) lead to loads of poor outcomes for children. But again, this is PROLONGED stress -- over months and years often -- NOT crying that happens over a week or two and that lasts for short periods, relatively speaking...the serious negative long-term outcomes associated with chronic elevated levels of cortisol are WORLDS away from even the most die-hard forms of CIO. And this is where I get on my soapbox: People who call themselves experts who cite this body of work as rationale for never allowing your child to cry (alone or in your presence) for some prescribed duration of time during sleep-training are seriously misrepresenting this body of research." Ummm, what more can I say than AMEN to that.


Articles that address this and similar issues:
Pediatrics CIO Study (trust me, you'll want to look at this one!)
Of sources and straw houses: The annotated Dr. Sears handout on CIO
Does CIO Harm Kids?
http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825


201 comments :

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you so much for keeping this blog! It is amazing and has been such a wonderful resource for me as I am currently OBSESSED with getting my 2 month old on a good schedule and forming good, healthy sleep habits. I know that I have already started a poor sleep association with rocking my baby to sleep and putting her down asleep. I am interested in a gradual CIO method. My daughter will be 10 weeks old in a few days. Do you think this is too young to start this method? I just don't want to go through the stress if it will not prove effective due to her age, but I am desperate to break this habit and have a baby I can put down in her crib at the right times and walk away. I just don't want to further continue what I know to be a bad habit. What do you think?

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  2. Sarah

    I do not think your daughter is too young for a gradual CIO method. In fact, I think you can even do some CIO with a newborn although I would certainly limit it and be sure your baby's needs are met (well, you always do this but I would be even more careful with a young baby). Gina Ford's Crying Down method is an example of this.

    A gradual approach sounds like a great idea since your daughter is so used to being held to sleep. Before doing this though, I would look over the posts: waketimes, sleep routines, possibly the 4 s wind down routine. It is so important to have good timing with sleep and a good sleep environment. You certainly may already be doing great at this but I just wanted to mention it. You want to set the stage for good sleep, especially if you are working on some sort of sleep training.

    As for the exact method of doing your sleep training, you will have to decide what works best for you and your baby. You could continue what you are doing but hold your little one for less time each few days before setting her down. If she cries when set down you could leave her for whatever time you feel is best (it really depends on what you feel comfortable with and how she responds, but realize that going back to check continually can really backfire for some babies). Some people will go into their babies after so many minutes, calm them down and get them sleepy (not asleep), then put them back down again. If they start crying they will leave them for so long again and then go in and do the same thing. It can be tiring but most babies over time will learn to fall asleep on their own with this method. You could even incorporate the baby whisperer's shush-pat method for crying and gradually fade that out. But realize that this method is sometimes sort of like substituting one sleep prop for another with some babies so it might not be too helpful.

    Just remember that whatever method you choose to do, whether you allow crying or not, will be tough and take a lot of energy and perseverance. You and baby will have up days and down days. But things overall will get better with time. It really is such a great thing to have a child that can be put down to sleep in a matter of seconds and goes down with no tears or whining. Just keep this in mind when you are having a rough day. Good luck!

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  3. hi Rachel! thanks for this post! and i apologize in advance for the upcoming LONG comment.. i started babywise late with my LO at 8 wks and prior to that one pediatrician thought he had colic because he cried a lot when he was 6-8 wks old and i was BF'ing on demand every 1.5-2hrs and likely made him a snacker by doing so. i didn't believe he had colic and i believe this is true because when he fell into a 3 hour routine sort of on his own, ((that's when i found out about babywise (i had not read it prior to his being 8 wks old) on valerie's blog) he was a totally different baby! he hardly cried... until we made him CIO at 8 wks old at bedtime first. the first night was the worst - over 1 hr of crying (but not all of that was bad, hard crying - maybe 45 min), the 2nd night 25min, 3rd night 14min... it seemed successful. then i tackled CIO with naps at 9 wks before i went back to work. at 12 wks he began to go down well usually for naps and bedtime - no more than 5min of crying or fussing (and usually the latter and over half of the time with NO crying/fussing at all) but we had issues with transitions. now at 14 wks old, he is better at the transitions during naps - most of his naps now are over 1 hr long with an avg of probably 1.25/1.5 hrs. his bedtime sleep however has been a problem i'm hoping you can help me with. he has NEVER slept through the night. he used to wake up every 3 hours to eat until he was about 10-11wks when he would go 4 hours and he only did this a handful of times regardless of when the dream feed was. since he was 12 wks old till the present time, it's almost as if he developed a witching hour but i'm not sure that's what it is because it's not the same time every day but it coincides with whenever his bedtime is, if that makes sense. whenever i put him down for bed the last two wks (6:45, 7:30, or 8:30) he has slept for 30-40min then woke up crying for 5-10min before settling again to sleep for 20-30min, then crying 5-10min. and he does this for about 1-1.5 hr before finally settling down to sleep and then he wakes up every 2-3 hours and i feed him on every 3rd hour and try to give him paci or CIO if he wakes up in between. i thought it was a growth spurt so i tried feeding him more often during the day (combo 2.5/3hr schedule and cluster feeding at night but it does not seem to help). so i guess my questions are these.. 1) what do i make of these cycles of crying and sleeping at bedtime - growth spurt? developmental issues? witching hr? 2) how do you know if your baby is truly hungry at night or if it's a bad habit i've created feeding him every 3 hours? (he always nurses total time of 10-15min on average, day or night) 3) if he's not truly hungry at night, when is it okay to let him CIO through those periods?? 4) when do you think he will start sleeping through the transitions with no fussing or crying at all? thanks so much in advance for your time! =) btw, he was 7lbs 5 oz at birth and is now 13lbs 4 oz and he was born 9 days before his due date.

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  4. Hunniebee530,
    It isn't uncommon for kids to wake up shortly after going to bed when they are overtired. So look into that. Make sure the time before bed isn't too long. Some kids will have witching hour problems until closer to 4 months old so that could be part of the issue. You might want to try going in before he wakes to soothe him back to sleep in anyway possible, even nursing. Maybe even try stuff to keep him asleep, prop or not, to get his body used to sleeping during that time and to help you evaluate what is really going on. Will he not sleep regardless, or just not if he is alone etc.

    2) this is hard to tell because a baby may be hungry by habit, but doesn't actually need to eat. this very likely may be going on. In this case, I think it works well to slowly increase the time baby goes between feeds. Increase the time every few days and don't back track. Hold baby off by holding or whatever, but no feeds. Since this has been going on a couple weeks I doubt it is a growth spurt issue. You do want to be watchful of that though. Monitor his eating when he does eat at night and monitor during the day. Does he wake extra hungry during the day too? Make sure all the feeds are full ones. 3) I usually help baby skip the feed before moving to cio. either way, do it gradually and be consistent. 4) You mean transitions at naps or at night? At naps, It is hard to say, most babies get better around 6 months. At night, that is also hard to say. it might happen after 4 months of age. Really, it sounds like there is something not quite right with wake time or overstimulation etc. when that is fixed, other things will fix themselves.

    On a side note, maybe try extending his routine out a again to see if that helps. sounds weird, but sometimes it helps the night time sleep too.

    good luck!
    Rachel

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  5. hi Rachel,
    i'm really so thankful for moms like you and Valerie - your blogs are just so valuable.

    thanks for the thought that he might be overtired. i'm pretty good at reading his cues but i will make sure the time before bed isn't too too long -perhaps that waketime really should just be bath/bedtime routine in like 30min? i've been doing maybe an hour.. so i'll try that. and yesterday, his evening nap went back to an hour and then we did bath/bedtime routine and he was in bed by 7:40p. he woke up at 8:25p (45min intruder?) and cried/fussed 4 min til 8:29p, then 8:35p he cried and at 8:40p i went in there thinking he might be hungry (though i had fed him at 4:30/6:30p to try cluster feeding - should i even try this??) and after nursing he went to sleep and stayed asleep! so i inadvertently did what you advised last night =) at 11p i decided to have my husband give him a dreamfeed of expressed breastmilk and then my LO slept till 3am! i nursed him then and also at 6am when he woke again. to answer your question, i think he does sleep in between fussing/crying when he does that for an hour at bedtime..

    2) i will try to slowly increase the time he goes between feeds.. is using the paci okay? because i'm exclusively breastfeeding i just am always wondering if he's eating enough and gaining enough weight. he is a very quick nurser which also makes me nervous bout my supply, etc. the thing is i know he can go longer because during the day, he sometimes goes 4 hours without eating if i didn't wake him or keep him eating on schedule... he isn't starving during the day when he wakes up if you know what i mean. i try to make sure all his feeds are full ones but he's already started getting distracted which is a hurdle i'm just beginning to face! =)

    3) okay i will try to lengthen the time between feeds before moving to CIO. i just let him fuss/cry sometimes because i can tell he's trying to get back to sleep.. does that make sense?

    4) i mean transitions both at naps and night - i guess i'm wondering when CIO will "end" with him going to sleep and staying asleep without ANY fussing or crying =)

    and your suggestion at the end - you mean just putting him back to 3 hour schedule? i can do that =) it is weird. i feel like he can go longer during the day than at night without eating but maybe that's just because he can be distracted by playing, etc when he's awake...

    thanks SOOO much for your help! what a blessing!
    ~melissa

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  6. hi Rachel, i was just wondering about something you said - extending his routine? did you mean do another eat/wake/sleep cycle? then he'll have 5 naps? thanks!

    ~melissa

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  7. If he is only up for an hour. it is possible he might need an even longer wake time at this time. Some babies will fuss on and off if they aren't tired enough. Many babies do longer in the evening. But some babies do shorter. Both my kids went back and forth with this. It was weird. There were a few months with both of them where it was difficult to figure out the wake time before bed. I'm not even sure there was a perfect wake time for them, they just seemed to go through a phase where they had difficulty settling.

    Anywho, keep in mind that cluster feeding and the dreamfeed backfire with some babies so keep that in mind and keep track of everything. There is a post on keep a sleep log if you look in the index.

    Maybe try one less nap and an early bedtime.

    2) i think the pacifier is a great tool to extend feeds as long as you aren't going through a growth spurt. Sounds like you will do fine with feeds during the day (but continue to monitor) and the pacifier will be useful at night. Ah, distraction. It seems like once the nursing gets down good, distraction starts! And don't worry so much about if he is getting enough. Just go by his cues and make sure his diapers are fine. and go to your regular checkups. listen to mommy instinct. Then you will be fine. I obsessed the first time around about feeds too :)

    3) I get what you mean. I think it is a good idea to leave baby when he wakes to see if he'll go back to sleep. Try to do the same yourself. If you go back to sleep, so did baby. If he doesn't, you'll know and be up for him :)

    4) With some babies it ends early on. Some don't stop for several months. Some stop and start up again on and off. Sorry. Not a good answer, but it's how it goes. Overall, most babies improves dramatically over a relatively short period of time.

    My second son was the same way about eating at day and night. He would be fine going forever during the day bc he was distracted. at night if I was near he wanted to eat constantly. It made vacations difficult and tiring but he would get back to normal when he got back into his own room. And yes, by extending routine I mean back to 3 hours.

    glad I could help!
    Rachel

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  8. hunniebee530- by extend routine I mean extend from e/a/s every 2.5 hours to every 3 hours. so no extra nap. maybe one less nap and an earlier bedtime. Oh, and if he isn't waking at 7 am, you might want to try that. sometime moving the whole routine forward helps. (though it isn't fun to wake up early!)

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  9. hi Rachel - thanks so much for the quick feedback!

    okay i will try a longer waketime before bed and see how he does. it does seem elusive to me though.. but yes he definitely for the past few weeks seems to have a lot of difficulty settling for bed. and yes, i do keep a detailed sleep log and i noticed cluster feeding doesn't seem to help but the dreamfeed, if it's expressed milk in a bottle, helps him go longer than if i nurse him.. maybe because he nurses halfheartedly for the DF since he's asleep? how do i make sure he nurses enough for the DF? does that mean the DF isn't working? if he drinks from the bottle, i notice he goes 4 hrs instead of 3 with nursing..

    2) okay i will use the pacifier to extend feeds at night then.. he only otherwise uses the paci at naptimes and spits it out a few minutes after settling himself and then continues sleeping without needing it reinserted... i usually insert the paci in the morning too if i want to stretch him to my desired waketime of 7:30-8am.. but it sounds like you think maybe an earlier waketime of 7am might help? and yes, i'll try doing the 3 hour schedule instead of the 2.5/3 combo.. thanks!

    3) sounds good =)

    4) yes i guess it's like valerie says, progress is a spiral. i feel like he's regressing but i think overall he's progressing right? haha.. it's hard to tell when you're right in the middle of it.. it all seems hard =) guess i'm looking for validation that he is learning to self-soothe.. i definitely think he has learned tho.. just the bedtime thing is unsettling, no pun intended..

    thanks for sharing about your second son. my LO has been in his own room and crib since 8 wks old but i definitely see that he can go 3-4 hrs between feeds during the day but wakes up every 2-3hrs at night making me confused if he's actually hungry.. another thing i guess i should mention is that i work and instead of pumping, i'm trying to go back home every 3 hrs to nurse him because i noticed my milk supply or ability to pump decreased significantly after going to work (due to stress, not eating/drinking at work, etc.. i work as an infectious disease doctor rounding at multiple hospitals during the day) but obviously some times i am delayed but i am always within 30min of 3 hours.. do you think that he's maybe learned to go longer than 3 hours during the day because of this? and is reverse cycling at night?? i really do make it back home in time every 3 hours 80-90% of the time though so i don't feel like this is the issue...

    thanks so much for your input!! i'm sorry if i'm bothering you... i am just so grateful to have someone to ask questions to and not feel like i'm going crazy or becoming overly obsessive with a type A personality! =)

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  10. Also one quick question...in trying to keep him on a 3 hr schedule..if his naps happen to be shorter, should I wait to feed him at the designated time? And if naps go longer, should I wake him to stay on schedule? Thanks!!

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  11. hunniebee530,
    With my oldest I had to pump for the dream feed otherwise he wouldn't eat. Some kids are like that. You will have to decide if it is worth it to you to pump, just nurse (with shorter sleep period0 or wake up at night longer.

    2) yes, an earlier morning time might help. might not, especially because the is so young, but some babies around this age really benefit from it

    3) progress is a spiral, especially with some kids! It has to do a bit with phases the kids get into too that make sleep and life in general a bit tougher sometimes. The fact that days are going pretty well is great. Nights will come eventually. It'll happen :)

    Have you tried making sure you always wait at night to let him settle before feeding him. This is especially important if you are sharing a room (and extra hard to do!). In the least, try putting him farthest from you possible to sleep. Turn on a sound machine. Make sure it is real dark.

    I think you are ok if you go more than 3 hours sometimes during the day. I don't think it will cause things to switch up at night. I think night time wakings are likely habit linked. Some sleep experts actually suggest going 4 horus between feeds during the day around 6-8 weeks to help increase night sleep. Anyway, not saying to do this, just saying that a little longer than 3+ at times is likely just fine.

    Fun job. I thought about doing that once. Still interests me, but when I get my np, it'll probably be in icu.

    Good luck. you are not bothering me. I wish I had more time to spend answering everyone's questions. So many others have helped me in the past it is nice to be able to do the same.

    Rachel

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  12. hi Rachel,
    i understand what you mean about the dreamfeed. he will nurse but definitely will drink more with the bottle - my fear i guess is that i usually put 4 oz of breastmilk in the bottle for him whereas when he's nursing i'm pretty sure he's not drinking 4 oz and usu at that time when i pump i'll get either 2.5-3.5oz depending... so i fear that i'm "behind" then. i don't want to supplement with formula because i think it'll affect my supply. do you suggest the DF bottle i give him just have 3 oz perhaps?

    2) okay i will try the earlier wake time.. he's been getting up at 6:30a these days with the time change. i usually give him the paci which may bring me anywhere from 7-7:30. is that okay to do that? or should i just start at 6:30?

    3) yes the days are definitely better than the nights - that's when i feel like i know his sleep training/CIO has actually helped him soothe himself!! today his first two naps were 2 hours (the 2nd nap i had to even go in and wake him, he was in such a deep sleep at the 2 hour mark). his 3rd and 4th nap were 45min-1 hr. i put him to bed earlier tonite after extending the waketime like we'd discussed by about 10-15min and he slept well 45min and then woke up and fussed/cried for 10min. i nursed him and put him back down awake and now he's been fussing/lightly crying on/off (not crying hard/screaming) for the past 20min =( maybe the waketime was too long? (i was usually doing the waketime before bed about 1 hr 15min, tonite was about 1 hr 25min and the last 10min he was pretty fussy. his 1st wake time is about 50-55min, 2nd is 60-70min, 3rd is 70-80min, etc..) should i shorten it and see what happens? thanks for the reassurance that the nights will come eventually. it seems like they never will haha =)

    and at night, you are right, i don't think i'm waiting to let him settle. i usually rush in there and feed him because i feel like i don't want him to wake himself up. but he has shown before at naptime that he can cry for 5-10min (and really bad crying!) and then go to sleep... if i go in to comfort him or pat him, it's usually worse. we don't share a room with him but we are sleeping in the bedroom next to his, whereas our master bedroom is actually down the hall but i wanted to be closer to him just in case anything happened but perhaps we should go back to sleeping in the master? in his room, i have the blackout blinds and a white noise CD going on repeat as well as a space heater with an automatic thermostat so i've tried to make it ideal for him to sleep. but if you think us moving down the hall from him would help, my husband would certainly not object to that! =)

    and i could try going 4 hrs between feeds during the day to see if it helps, the only thing is i think he wouldn't have enough to eat i feel like. also, i don't think i'd be able to stick to the e/a/s routine then because his naps aren't long enough. his 1st/2nd nap are usually 1-2hrs, and 3rd/4th nap are 30min-1hr. do you think he's getting too much sleep during the day??

    congrats on you for working on your np =) icu is fun =) my husband is a pulm/crit care doc...

    again, i'm very appreciative of your help and for "listening" =) of course now that i'm done writing this comment, my LO has settled himself to sleep...for now! =)

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  13. hi Rachel, i just thought of something while perusing through your blog (which i LOVE =) btw).. since my LO's 3rd and 4th naps are sometimes pretty short (30min-1hr) perhaps the reason why he's having such a difficult time settling at bedtime is because he's overtired by that time.. how do i get around this? i've been trying clusterfeeding like i told you - nursing him whenever he gets up from his 3rd and 4th naps but that obviously hasn't helped since this issue has been going on for almost 3 weeks now. perhaps i need to make the waketime right before bed short? because i tried to lengthen it as i described in my previous comment and he just got fussy and wouldn't even listen to "Good Night Moon" which we read before every nap and bedtime as part of our routine. just a thought... i have noticed that we haven't been able to read him that book lately at bedtime because he just seems so "wired" and unwilling to listen like he just wants to go to bed already!

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  14. hi Rachel.. so the last few nights, i've been trying to lengthen his night feeds to every 4 hours instead of 3 and i don't think it's working. last night i nursed him at midnight, he woke up at 2:40a so i had my husband go in and put the paci in and pat him back to sleep and LO would quiet down but as soon as my husband left, he would start crying in. after a few times of this, my husband was fed up. i don't blame him - we are on call for work so much that it's so hard not to have sleep =( and we need sleep for what we do of course. so we let him CIO which he did on/off but couldn't self-soothe so i fed him at 3:30a and then he went back to sleep til 6:30a. i reinserted the paci and he slept til 7:45a at which time we began our day. this is kind of how it's been going these past few days. we used to have him CIO so i don't know if going in and patting him/giving paci is such a good idea. maybe it's making him cry longer?? i feel like we are regressing and in the process, the past few days he has become overtired and cranky - all things he hasn't been for over a month. should i just go back to feeding him every 3 hrs at night just so we can get some rest? or just let him CIO? because everytime we go to soothe him i think we just get so frustrated as it doesn't seem to help and we cannot be up for hours at night soothing him - we haven't had to do that since he was 8 weeks old and we had him CIO. and i can tell he's getting SO overtired because of all the crying at night which actually seems to be more than what it was before i tried to lengthen his feeds. do you think it's still habitual waking every 3 hrs for his feeds? should i try wake to sleep? i'm scared to do that for fear of waking him up.

    during the day is a different story most times. for example i put him down at noon for a nap and at 1p he starts moving around a lot in his bed and cries out once or twice and then continues to move around for about 10-15min during which time i think he's trying to go back to sleep and settle and he's able to do it sometimes - no crying. sometimes he moves a LOT for a long time without crying just trying to go back to sleep i'm guessing. he doesn't do this for all naps but i would say maybe half? i wonder why he can't do it at night? maybe by that time he's just so overtired??

    thanks again for all your help!

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  15. hunniebee530,
    just try pumping for a few minutes after the milk flow. this should up your supply a bit after a few days. Babies also get out at least an extra 1-2 oz than you can pump, so don't worry too much about this. 3or4 oz is ok. sounds like 4 works better so maybe do that.

    2) if you are trying to get a routine nice and figured out, it is a good idea to just start with the morning wake time (as long as it is reasonable and not too early).

    3) you'll just have to keep playing around with that wake time. It is a common tricky one for babies this age. It might be related to the evening fussies too.

    I think moving down the hall might help. You'll hear him if he's crying. A mom can't help but do that. Especially a first time mom.

    I wouldn't jump to the 4 hour feeds. just throwing in that you likely don't have to worry too much about doing 3 instead of 2.5. Sorry if that doesn't make sense. I don't think he's sleeping too much during the day. Check out the total sleep posts. THey will give you a good point of reference.

    Let me know if I missed anything.

    rachel

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  16. hunniebee530,
    Sorry, just saw the other comments.

    Maybe try doing a super short wake time before bed. Like get up from nap, take a bath, put on pjs, nurse, book, bed.

    He does sound a bit overtired. If doing checks at night doesn't seem to work, maybe you will need to go back to straight cio like you were doing before. He's about 4 months right? He doesn't need to eat every 3 hours at night. Yes, he will likely need to eat 1-2 times, but more than that and I think it is a habit or a call for physical attention, not a need for food. Just keep in mind that extending feeds might be harder at first but will likely get better with time. You need to keep the end goal in mind :) Maybe a better method for extending feeds for you guys would be shortening the feed time rather than extending the time between feeds. Just shorten how long you nurse or only nurse on one side. Eventually you cut out the feed.

    GL!
    RAchel

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  17. hi Rachel,

    thanks for the tips regarding milk supply. i will try doing that. i know - when i hear of other babies drinking 5-6 oz of expressed milk and know that i'm giving my LO only 4oz here and there, i feel nervous that he's not drinking enough. but since i'm nursing 95% of the time, i'm not totally sure how much he's taking in but i think he's growing okay.

    yes i'll stick to the 3hour schedule and only do 2.5 if i think he's hungry or if he wakes up from nap early. speaking of the routine and naps - his 2nd nap of the day for the past 3 days has been super long.. 2.5+hrs. i think he could sleep 3 if i don't wake him up.. not sure if this is because we've been doing the lengthening of the feeds at night so he's overtired and trying to make up for it... should i wake him up at 2 hours to keep him on schedule? or let him sleep 2.5 hrs? or until he wakes up on his own? thanks!! otherwise he'll be going 4 hours between feeds at that time.. he's in such a deep sleep i can tell... and i know sleep begets sleep so i'm not sure if i should interfere?

    yes i'll keep playing around with that waketime after the 4th nap. i'll try moving down the hall and also trying a really short waketime with just the bedtime routine.

    he's 15 weeks this coming tuesday, so not 4 months yet. you still think he doesn't need to eat every 3 hours at night right? he weighs about 13.5lbs. yes the extending the feeds has been hard but thanks for the encouragement that it will get better. i'll see how tonight goes but yes, i was thinking about maybe just nursing him on one side or shortening how long i nurse and see how that goes =) just a thought - if he wakes at 2 and 5am for example and i shorten the feed times of both, which one should i cut out first? thanks soooo much!! i feel so much better already just having "talked" to you =)

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  18. Hunniebee 530,

    With my second I expressed much less milk than with the first and he always ate barely anything from a bottle but ate more when bf. Many babies are like that.

    Since you are trying to get the routine figured out, I might try to not do more than 2 hours of nap right now. Of course, if it back fires go back to what you were doing before. It is hard to know how all babies will respond.

    I still think he can go more than 3 hours between feeds :)

    I would work on shortening just ONE feed at a time. Once a feed is eliminated you can work on shortening another. Take it slowly, waiting at least 2-3 days between any changes. You would be ok phasing out either feed, but I think phasing out the first might be best. THen you'll probably get a feed time that pops up between the new and later one or possibly just a feed at the later time.

    Good luck! Try not to get too discouraged when bad days happen bc they'll happen :)

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  19. hi Rachel,

    thanks so much! yes i noticed stretching the feed is helping him eat better too during the day - longer duration of nursing period. i guess i'm just so worried he's not eating enough - is eating 6 times a day okay for a 14/15 wk old?

    today that 2nd nap was 2.5 hrs and so he went 4 hrs between feeds then. but i agree, since i'm trying to get him on a better routine, i will wake him at 2 hrs and see what happens. but you are correct - he has shown he can go more than 3 hrs between feeds at times. it's hard also because his evening naps are so short - the 3rd and 4th naps - that the schedule ends up being 7:30 or 8/10:30 or 11/1:30 or 2:30 (because of his monster 2nd naps now!)/4:30/6:30 then dream feed at 10. is this okay? if i wake him at the 2 hr mark it'll be more like 7:30/1030/130 or 2/4:30/6:30. is this okay? i don't even think he's totally hungry at 4:30/6:30 feeds but he wakes up from the naps early. otherwise the last feed i could move to 7:30 right before bed and just do a small activity right before putting him in bed..?

    thanks - i will shorten the first 1/2am feed first.

    thanks for the encouragement and the help!
    p.s. today i did what you said this evening and after the 4th nap i made the entire waketime in his bedroom after a quick bath, winding down, massaging lotion on legs, reading books and he has been sleeping better until the dreamfeed whereas before he'd been crying on/off for an hour before the DF could come. thanks for the tips/advice!!!

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  20. Hi Rachel,
    I am beside myself...something is wrong..last night was even worse..reminded me of his newborn nights where he woke every hour and a half to two hours and he is wide awake. Its taking him a long time to settle himself, and no matter if we go in to give him the paci, check and make sure heis okay and not cold or wet, he just cries. Nursing helped a little but he was still wide awake. I feel like youre right, he is waking up for attention or to play, because as soon as I start putting him back in his crib, he starts crying like he knows he is supposed to sleep but doesnt want to... I just don't know what to do..im exhausted. I feel like he is sleeping so good in the day but maybe he is sleeping too much during his naps?? Im just not sure anymore. What do u think is going on or what am I doing wrong? Maybe not consistent enough? Should I just let him cio and not help him transition? Has the paci become a prop? I feel like something is not right here but not sure how to fix it...help? Thanks!

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  21. hunniebee530,
    I always nurse right before bed. Hasn't ever caused issues for me or my kids.

    I wonder if he is at a wonder week time (http://www.thewonderweeks.com/images/stories/Book/WW_info_chart.pdf) --adjust for due date-- or is ill or something. He could even be getting teeth. some kids do at this age. Sometimes there are just bad days in there. Think about yourself. sometimes you sleep horribly for who knows why. The pacifier can defiantly be a prop. It has it's good and bad attributes so you have to decide what is best for you guys. Remember to go by your gut feelings too. Maybe go back to how things were and see if things settle down then try working on stuff again.

    GL!
    Rachel

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  22. hunniebee530,
    oh, and it is ok if some e/a/s cycles are longer than others. some babies prefer longer naps at certain times and have longer wake times at other times. Just see what works for you guys. just try not to make it too different right now as you try to get things stabilized.

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  23. hi Rachel,

    thanks for your thoughts. i don't think he is ill or teething.. i know you said to go with my gut feelings, and i think he might be going through a growth spurt. what do you think? i dunno... i just feel like at the night feedings, he is definitely taking full feeds. i do have the wonder weeks book and i know there is a wonder week at wk 12 but his adjusted age is 13 wks - i don't know if a week will make a difference. but yes, i agree - i think it is a wonder week thing or a growth spurt haha.. i guess that's what i'm trying to say. yes i'm thinking of weaning him from the paci soon altogether but i think i will continue using it just before nap/bedtimes/after midnight feeds and then not reinserting it at all afterwards. we'll continue to see how that goes. just a question - how did you know when your boys were going through growth spurts and how long were they for them? for my LO, i felt like the first 2 months was one huge growth spurt and he didn't really have one until maybe now... thanks!

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  24. hi Rachel... i thought i would pick up my wonder weeks book again and read it.. and i started reading ahead to the 19th wonder week and i just saw that it says that the fussiness for this wonder week begins around 14 to 17 weeks old. my LO is right there! i'm wondering if that is what is happening. i just didn't think he was at the 19 wonder week so i didn't think that was it but now i'm thinking it might be! a lot of the fussy signs in that chapter seem applicable and right on! i guess i just wait it out huh? =) thanks again for the help!!

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  25. Hunniebee530,
    The wonder week timing can sometimes be a couple weeks off, too so you pretty much have to consider some of the early time open for any wonder week issues :) Either way, it is just nice to know that there are tough periods and it isn't your fault!

    Even if he is having a growth spurt, he should still be able to go longer at night. Not saying you should push it now because it will be a tougher time to change things. He is used to eating at night and is getting his calories in then. Instead, he should be eating more during the day during these times and possibly (depends who you talk to) an additional feed at night. The problem is that it is hard to eat more during the day when you are still eating more eat night. You often have to force a decrease in eating at night before they will make up for it during the day. I hope that made sense. Anyway, just something to think about when things settle down.

    Neither of my kids have changed tons when they had growth spurts. They nursed a few minutes longer I think. They woke a little bit early from a nap to eat but not terribly early and only occasionally. They both had a couple weeks in the evening as young babies where they defiantly wanted to go every two hours between the last couples feeds before bed. As for waking at night, I never noticed much of a different. It is possible they woke up a little sooner or something, but it was insignificant enough that I can't remember it right now. I always had a good amount of milk when they were young so if they needed more they could eat more at a time rather than more often. Some babies will also need to eat more too, but mine didn't really need to.

    Many people recognize the growth spurt by eating longer, eating more and/or shorter naps and waking very hungry.

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  26. hi Rachel,

    yes it is nice to know that the tough periods aren't always my fault!! though i'm always thinking of what i should do differently!

    and thank you so much for what you wrote about growth spurts. you are right, he should still be able to go longer at night. i don't think he's so much day/night confused as that he is just so used to eating at night. i think because i had so much worry about him gaining enough weight and worry about my milk supply that all this time, i've just fed him at least twice a night that he is not used to it and is not eating as much as he should during the day. but you're right and i need to come to grips with it - he should be able to go longer at night! so the way to force a decrease in eating at night is to just hold him off 15min at a time? it has been so hard doing it especially with both of us working. should we just hold him for 15min while we hold him off? even if he's just crying in our arms the whole time? last night was another bad night. we did straight CIO and i think he cried on/off for a long time. he just couldn't settle. i didn't think he was hungry but after it had been about 4 hrs since he last ate, i fed him and he didn't nurse well. also the second time i went to nurse him because he was crying, he also didn't nurse well though he was wide awake. i'm just not sure about how to proceed. his first two naps of the day are so good - almost too good - no crying at all not even at intruders and he sleeps about 2 hours for each one. since his 1st waketime is short, he is still on a 3hr schedule after the 1st cycle but since his 2nd waketime is longer, when his nap is 2 hrs, he goes 3.5hrs between feeds. should i try hard to keep him just on a 3 hr schedule? or move him to a 2.5hr schedule to help him get enough feeds during the day so i know he will not be crying from hunger at night? also during the day i notice that he can settle himself with CIO much easier than at night though i'm doing the same thing with both - extinction. do you have any idea why?

    thanks for sharing about your kids with growth spurts. yes i have noticed that he nurses a few minutes longer certain times than others. or he seems hungrier than usual when he wakes up. during the day i do feel like i still have milk but he's done drinking so hopefully it isn't a supply issue.

    so i guess wonder week and growth spurts aside, what should i do if he continues to cry on/off all night? i wish my husband or i could comfort him and hold him more but i think that would make habits worse and we really can't do that now that i'm also back at work =( i notice his sleep during the day is so much better but probably because he's crying all night! do you think he is sleeping too much during the day? for some reason, i don't think he likes sleep and has never been a good sleeper and maybe doesn't need as much sleep or want as much during the wonder wks (however i have never seen him sleep well since he was born). he needs sleep though! =)

    i'm not sure if my LO, like yours when they were young babies, likes or wants to nurse every 2 hours between the last couple of feeds before bed but i have been trying to do that in order to tank him up and it doesn't really seem to help the nights - he is still up and crying on/off for HOURS at night. =( it breaks my heart but i know if i go in there, it won't be good and he'll just cry harder and longer if that's even possible at this point.

    thanks for any advice you can give me on how to proceed.

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  27. hi Rachel,

    i just wanted to expound on why maybe he is getting too much sleep during the day? i'm kind of confused because i looked at your blog on naptimes/daytime sleep and gina ford says 3 hrs and HSHHC says 3.5 hrs i think.. and my LO is definitely sleeping more than that during the day. his first two naps almost could exceed those time expectations for daytime sleep since they're 1.5-2hrs each most times. and then he has a 3rd and 4th nap where he sleeps anywhere from 30min to 1 hr during those naps. so that's why i'm wondering if maybe he's sleeping too much during the day. BUT i also know that sleep begets sleep so please let me know your thoughts.

    thank you so much for your blog and for answering my questions. as thanksgiving is nearing, i am truly thankful for moms like you helping other moms like me!! =)

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  28. "i think because i had so much worry about him gaining enough weight and worry about my milk supply that all this time:

    Good thing to worry about and I'd rather have you be more extreme in this than in getting him to sleep. But there comes a point when you realize everything is ok here and you want some sleep now!

    "just hold him off 15min at a time"
    This is one way to do it. I prefer only nursing on one side or decreasing the time nursing and giving a pacifier the second I am done nursing so baby doesn't get (usually) upset. check out some of the nigth waking posts for ideas too. You can also do a wake to sleep. Just make sure to take things slowly so he and you guys can adjust. And yes, if you decide to do the hold off method, you don't feed him even if he is upset in your arms. Try to sooth him of course, though.

    "i notice that he can settle himself with CIO much easier than at night though i'm doing the same thing with both"

    Not uncommon. Children know the difference between these times and sometimes act different for them.

    Your schedule sounds ok to me.

    Kids often don't do so well with cluster feeding before bed at this age, at least the ones that aren't used to eating every 1-2 hours during the day.

    If he continues to have issues at night, make sure to rule everything out and then choose a sleep training method and stick firmly to it. Some kids improve quickly, others take a while to improve. He has shown he knows how to go to sleep and that he likely doesn't have anything wrong with him (sickness wise etc) since he can sleep during the day. That is a good start. His nap lengths are probably ok, but some babies do need them shortened a bit to sleep longer at night so that is worth a try. Just make sure you keep track of how he reacts to things, especially after doing them for a few days (because over tiredness may take that long to really set in so you can see the affects of stuff).

    GL!
    Rachel

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  29. Hunniebee530,
    Yes, some people will suggest less sleep than others. That is why it is tricky to figure out and often easiest to start off with a stable routine early one and then adjust slowly later on as baby changes--it is tricky to start out of nowhere with varying opinions and a baby that is often tricky to read! Many babies do well with how much sleep he is getting. I know of many who get more. But I also know of some babies whose sleep improved once they had less day sleep so that is worth a shot. He might be a little fussy at first during the day, but many babies get used to this and act fine soon (assuming this sleep change is what he needs and doesn't make things worse).

    Good luck.

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  30. hi Rachel,

    so sorry.. one more thing... thank you for your patience. i'm still working on that evening waketime before bed. not sure what's going on... but my LO is still waking up about 45min-1hr after going to sleep soundly with screaming and crying. it breaks my heart. should i console him? but then he'll cry for 5-10min and quiet down for 10min, then cry again, then quiet... do you still think it's just the waketime issue? i haven't made that waketime extra short as in 30min but do you think that will help? the shortest i've done is 50-55min but maybe that's too long because he's still doing this cyclic crying thing... should i go in and help him? it's so confusing! and i just looked at my sleep log and i can't believe it but he's been doing this for over 3 weeks now! what am i doing wrong? i feel like a horrible mother for letting this go on and not knowing what to do about it.. i used to go in and pat him and put the paci in but it wouldn't help too much. i would go in and nurse and still it didn't help. i've picked him up and made bedtime later and that didn't work - it just pushes the cyclic crying back later. i let him CIO now and it still cycles although sometimes now he seems better at settling himself than before.. i am confused. thanks for any insight as to what i am missing...

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  31. thanks for your responses.. yes, i actually do not mind feeding him two or three times a night if he would also go back to sleep and stay asleep in between but he doesn't... he might sleep an hour or two after eating and then be up an hour on/off crying/fussing... is it gas pain then? feeding him, to me, also makes it more complicated as to why he is crying.. =(


    i think i would also prefer nursing only on one side or decreasing the time nursing and giving a paci... but he just wakes up 1.5 or 2 hours later crying..??

    why do children this age not do well with clusterfeeding? just curious. i think i read that in TBW solves all your problems too.
    well and sometimes i just end up doing it because he wakes up from his afternoon/evening naps early but should i just hold him off and keep to feeding him every 3 hrs instead of when he wakes up? like today it was 7/10/1:30/4/6 (those are the times he ate)

    yes i will continue to keep my log and keep track. i honestly couldn't believe it when i looked at my log - there are VERY few nights where he went to bed and woke every 3 hours to eat without crying in between those hours.. =( and we've been doing CIO since he was 8 wks old. do you think maybe CIO is not working with him?

    and yes i will see how things go first before i try lessening his day sleep. i don't think he's getting too much day sleep either but i'll see.. oh and just another question.. you don't think i should drop the 4th nap do you?

    thanks again!!

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  32. hunniebee530,
    I agree, it is a bit confusing. I am trying to figure it out but honestly I don't have a perfect answer for you. This is something that I hear happen with parents with kids of varying ages, many around this age range. EVery so often there is a simple fix (like don't keep the kid up for 4 hours at a time during the day, put to bed at a decent hour) but often there aren't good ones and it is hard to fix. Often it goes away eventually. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do to fix it (because I know it is frustrating, I've even had it happen to me with my kids before) but all I can do is offer some possible helps and hope that something will be useful. Sorry I can't be more useful with this.

    "i've picked him up and made bedtime later and that didn't work - it just pushes the cyclic crying back later"

    If this wasn't the case, I'd say maybe start at the late bedtime and slowly move it forward every few nights.

    If you have ruled out ear pain, teeth problems, hunger (you are feeding him before bed if I remember right) then I would probably treat this as you treat a night waking.

    Maybe try dropping that 4th nap and making bedtime really early. Sometimes really early bedtimes don't work great for this age group (it is better when they are a bit older) but it might work well and solve some of the problems. Give it some days before deciding it does/doesn't work.

    Probably isn't' waking suddenly with gas pains unless he has always struggled with this. Gas usually gets better with age. He likely would have gas issues while awake too.

    If nursing on one side causes him to wake up sooner, then you might have more luck with the extending method.

    Remind me of his bedtime, morning wake time, and total nap time during the day so I can see if I can find issues there.

    Rachel

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  33. hi Rachel,
    thank you so much for helping me try and figure it out. i don't think there is a simple fix here. but you have definitely been useful in your advice.

    through randomness and most likely God's mercy, the past few nights have not been ideal but have been a little better. again, he goes down to bed easily and i tried a longer waketime vs a shorter one and so bedtime went from 6:45/7 to 7:30/8p and for some reason, that seemed to help and there was no cyclic crying. that being said, even if he was put to bed at 7:30 or 8p, he cannot make it all the way to the dreamfeed at 10 without waking up and crying. do you know why this is? i can't imagine that he's hungry?? i feed him before bed around 6:30/7p. so it seems like the cyclic crying in the beginning of the night has stopped for a while but he still can only sleep about 1.5 to 2.5 hrs before he wakes up crying before we can reach the DF. i'm not sure what to do.. i usu just feed him if it's close to the DF... do you have any suggestions? i'm thinking he's waking up early because he's hungry. i'm having serious doubts about my supply again. many times during the day i feel like my breasts are still heavy with milk even when owen is done nursing. i feel like he gets frustrated and stops eating or he gets full and feels fine or he gets distracted and doesn't want to eat anymore. my husband also when he sometimes gives the DF by bottle with expressed milk tells me he feels like our LO is waiting to eat and wakes up before the designated DF time and then after 4oz, sometimes seems like he wants more... should i nurse instead of bottlefeed at the DF? i just feel like he doesn't nurse as well... but during the day he goes 3 hrs or longer between feeds so it's just super confusing. how do i know if he's getting enough? i feel like his weight gain has been slowing down this month... should i try and get one more feed in during the day? right now he gets 5 and the DF and then 2 feeds usu during the middle of the night for a total of 8 feeds. how do i fit more feeds during the day? or should i concentrate on having him feed longer during each nursing period? he pulls on/off so often though already - it's hard to get him to nurse longer than 7-8min on each side.

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  34. i don't think he is having ear pain. as for teeth issues, he is drooling but i think it's because he has more saliva and not necessarily teething.

    we haven't tried dropping the 4th nap yet because i think making bedtime really early would not work for him. i think it would backfire with the too long in bed problem. i feel like owen isn't a 12 hr night sleeper though i could be wrong =)

    agree with you re: gas since he definitely burps easier now. during the day, if i just sit or stand him up sometimes he burps before i can even pat him on the back.

    yes i think nursing on one side sometimes causes him to wake sooner so i will try the extending method. sometimes i will try to use paci or pat him to extend the times but he will still cry until i feed him - is this okay? should i extend by 15min only each time? or can i go longer?

    recently, bedtime has been between 7 and 8 but mostly at 7:30p. his morning wake time is 7:30am most days - he usu wakes up multiple times at night - most commonly before the DF at 10/10:30p and then at 2:20a (on the dot sometimes), then 5/5:30a but he also wakes up in between sometimes at 1:30a or 4a and cries and has trouble going back to sleep. one night my husband at 4a told me he felt like our LO was so wired that he unswaddled him and held his arms down until he relaxed and then he fell back into a deep sleep... he then usu wakes up himself around 7:30-7:45a to start the day. he takes 4 naps a day - 1st one is 1.5hr, 2nd is 1.5-2hr, 3rd is 30min-1 hr, 4th is 30min usually for a total of approx. 4.5-5 hrs i would say.

    thanks so much for helping me troubleshoot and figure this out. do you think he will eventually outgrow all this though? thanks!!!

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  35. hunniebee530,
    Glad the later bedtime helped this time around.

    Weight gain slows dramatically from this time out. The breasts also usually stop having that full feeling so many moms get confused and feel like they don't have any milk, especially if baby seems distracted while eating (also normal at this age). Most babies start to eat a lot quicker at nursing at this age too. Some only need to nurse a few minutes per side. I would focus on fuller feeds (they might already be full ones) rather than adding more feeds. I really doubt adding an extra feed in would help things, in fact, it very well might make night wakings worse. I would just make sure he seems satisfied after eating and has a good number of wet diapers.

    You might want to try feeding him a little extra milk at bedtime to see if it makes a difference with the dream feed. Try giving him a top off with a bottle. If it makes a difference you have your answer. If it doesn't, it is likely a sleep issue, not a food issue. Some kids will get into the habit of waking for the df and feel hungry at this time more out of habit than need.

    I think nursing at the df or a bottle is fine. If he doesn't seem to nurse well at this time a bottle might be better.

    I think it might be worth a shot to see if a super early bedtime works. It miraculously solves so many sleep problems for kids. If it doesn't work, then you can go back to how things were before.

    "sometimes i will try to use paci or pat him to extend the times but he will still cry until i feed him - is this okay?" I think this is fine, but whether you are fine with it is something else :) I would see how he does with extending. If he does really well, maybe extend more than 15 minutes. Most babies can't do much more than this without being too uncomfortable. THen again, he should be able to go closer to 6-10 hours at this age (one of mine even went 12 at this age) so he might be able to make a big leap forward.

    Some babies will outgrow the stuff on their own in months, others will have issues for years if you don't work with them.

    Try waking at 7 am and going from there (would create an earlier bedtime too). This is another fix that works for many babies, although it sounds like it shouldn't.

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  36. hi Rachel,

    okay so the later bedtime seems to help with the cyclic crying that was happening for an hour or so at the beginning of the night but i agree with you that the night awakenings are still occurring despite the later bedtime - so if i understand you correctly, you want me to wake him for the day at 7am and try a super early bedtime (like 5:30? 6? or 6:30p?) to see if that helps the night awakenings, is that right? it is definitely worth a shot. i'm afraid the cyclic crying in the beginning of the night will return though and if we put him down super early there will likely need to be 2 dream feeds right? because he will eat at approx 7/10/1/4 and then the 7p feeding will be a DF and then another DF at 10?

    tonight i fed him at 6:40p when he awoke from his nap and then again at 7:40p before i put him down at 8:10p for bed. his waketimes are getting longer and he's been waking up at 7:45/8am these days so therefore everything is getting pushed later... i will try topping him off with a bottle - it's hard because i'm not sure how to pump for this. should i top him off with 2oz, 4oz? do i need to add a pumping session? i feel like when will i be able to do that?? =p

    i also wanted to run a few other things by you which my husband was also wondering what your opinion would be =) the past 2-3 days we noticed that he has been sucking on his fingers a lot more (even right after nursing), drooling, and crying at my breast in the middle of feeds (day and night) when he never used to do that. i tweak my nipple to see if there's no milk and thats why he's crying and milk comes spraying out each time so i don't think it's that. i burp him and sometimes he burps and seems to feel better but i wanted to know what you thought of why he cries in the middle of feeds and then i have to coax him back on though he usually readily comes back on and then pulls off crying again over and over. i haven't changed my diet and have cut most all of the dairy, caffeine, chocolate, veggies, etc from my diet in case this is causing it. i know they get saliva around this age too so i don't know if he's teething really. i wonder if he wants a faster letdown because he seems content during the letdowns.

    yes he'll be 16wks on tuesday and still hasn't slept more than 2.5/3 hours in a row without waking up/crying!!! i know he has gone 4hrs between feeds but he hasn't actually ever slept more than a few hours at a time. i definitely don't want to have issues for years so whatever you think will work, i'll try and work with.

    i will try the waking at 7a tomorrow. thanks so much for the tips! i'll let you know =)

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  37. Hunniebee530,
    My guess for the crying during feeds is frustration with milk flow or mouth pain. Kellymom.com might have other guesses.

    If the cyclic crying sopped with the later bedtime maybe it was a matter of wake time and a phase (since a later bedtime isn't help at irst) rather than him not being able to fall asleep until a certain later time...so I don't think an early bedtime with an appropriate wake time prior would cause issues. If it does, jus switch back after a few days. With the early bedtime I would try feeding right before bed, event if itt has only been a couple hours. Then I would feed around the normal df time(if he'll let you). The goal is that he'll be hungry at that df and will eat well then give you a god stretch of sleep. Eventually you want to lessen this df amount, but in your situation I wouldn't worry about this yet.

    Feed baby as much as he wants with each feed, that includes the top off. Try pumping for the df longer each night. Pump after here is no milk to see if you can get your body to increase supply at this time. Sometimes you can't at this time, in which case you can pump after the first feed in the morning when you usually have the most milk. Some people give a top off of formula rather than breastmilknso they not have to deal with the pumping issue.

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  38. hi Rachel,

    i will try the earlier bedtime for a few nights like you said but so far tonight - it is not good =( ugh, his crying is horrible to hear. we skipped the 4th nap and put him down early at 6:30p (since his 3rd nap was actually pretty good- almost 2 hrs) and i nursed him at 4:50p when he woke up from his 3rd nap and then at 6:20p right before he went to bed. he woke up at 7:45p screaming/crying and has been doing so for the last 20min. he can't be hungry right?? obviously he didn't last till the DF. i just don't know what is going on. i will try the early bedtime like you said for a few days and see.. before with the late bedtime, i'd nurse him at 4:50p just like today but he'd go down for 4th nap for 30min and wake up at 6:45p and i'd nurse him then and then nurse him right before bed again at 7:45p before putting him down around 8p. then he would sleep til DF around 10. yesterday he went to bed at 7:30 and i DF'd twice - once at 8:30 and at 11p but he still woke up at 2:30 and 5:30 to nurse.

    oh as i'm finishing writing this, he finally stopped crying after 25min of crying on/off and is asleep. also the crying during feeds has lessened so who knows what that was. also, he'll be 4 mos next friday - what do you think about giving him rice cereal at the last feed to see if he'll go longer?? just a thought. otherwise i was going to try and not start solids till 5 or preferably 6 mos. but if you think it might help him sleep a stretch longer, i could try it. also i noticed when he sleeps less at night, his naps are better during the day =(

    so far i've been DF by nursing just because it's so much more convenient and i'm exhausted from work and lack of sleep. okay nevermind about him being asleep, he's crying again =( i'm just not sure what's going on here... should we let him CIO when he does this cyclic thing? going in seems to make him stop crying but then he cries as soon as my husband leaves. the paci doesn't help either. if he's crying for attention or to play, what do you do? and when he cries, he wets the sheet around him with his tears and saliva =( should we keep trying the earlier bedtime?

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  39. also, so with the earlier bedtime, i'm cutting out an extra feed as you can see above... because i was sneaking an extra one to top him off before with the later bedtime for a total of 7 feeds including the dreamfeed but it didn't matter - he would still wake up twice more to feed for 9 total feeds/24 hr period. it just seems like he shouldn't need as much by now...

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  40. i just remembered you saying something, Rachel, about how extra feedings like that might actually make night wakings worse. so maybe that's better i don't do that. so far he cried that 30 min on/off and now is still asleep at 9:30p so hopefully we can make it to the DF at 10p. also this morning i overslept and didn't wake him at 7a so he woke up himself at 7:40a. i just wondered why the earlier waketime at 7a is supposed to help? just because i prefer a later waketime of 7:30 and i wondered if you think that half hour makes a huge difference. thanks!

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  41. Hunniebee530,
    With the feeds at this age (and only to an extend, obviously) I think you are dealing with less food more frequently. He can go longer and eat more, he just prefers to eat,ess more often.

    I know there are those rare babies out there that really do need solids much before 6 months of age, but as a general rule I do not recommend it. Study after study has not shown it to not help with sleep (although you will hear about how it worked for so and so--placebo affect? Or maybe they are an outlier?) and I feel it is not worth the stress on baby's digestive tract. So much health-wise is related to the GI tract. Also, most of the time people want to use rice cereal to fix sleep, the sleep problems have very little to do with food, as is likely your situation. Anyway, there's my soapbox;). The feed and sleep things ough. Ou want o make sure baby has enough food but you don't want o wake up frequently if it isn't necessary. Just monitor your sons diapers and general health and well being and you should be fine.

    I would try to give the earlier bedtime a few days. You really can't judge anything off of a day. Of course, if your mommy instinct says otherwise, then don't do it.

    Many babies do better with a 6:30-7 wake up, even if they will sleep later. It is weird but that is just how it works with biological rhythms.

    With the crying, just decide what you want to do and stick with it. I would try to keep contact at a minimum though. You could try checking in shortly after a few minutes then not going back in, or, going back in shortly at an interval. See what seems to help and hurt the situation.

    Sorry you are so worn out! Often it takes more effort than previously to fix things, but in the end it s usually worth it.

    I think he may sleep longer at night with bad naps bc he is overly exhausted. Usually doesn't last when that continues to Go on. Just in case, monitor nap length totals and compare them to averages I've list to make sure too much daily sleep isn't an issue.

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  42. hi Rachel,

    yes i think you're right - he can go longer but it seems he just prefers to eat less more often.. what do i do about that? =) i think maybe it's because the first 7 wks of his life i didn't know about babywise and so i fed him every 1.5-2hrs "on demand"...

    i hear what you're saying about the solids. i've been reading valerie's babywise blog and how she did solids at 4mos with 2 of her kids and 5mos with the youngest because then you don't have to rush and can take your time with solids. i would rather wait till later but was just wondering if it might help him sleep a little bit longer though i know the studies show it doesn't help with sleep. but you are right - i think my LO's issue is a sleep issue not a food issue. i topped him off today with 2oz formula at the bedtime feed and he still couldn't make it to the DF... =( he's doing his cyclic crying now at 8:30p after being put to bed at 6:50p. i'm going to keep trying the earlier bedtime. is 6:50p still too late you think? yesterday was 6:30p without a 4th nap but today i put him down for his 4th nap at 4:45 because he couldn't make it past that - you don't mean for me to put him to bed at 4:45p do you?? is that what you mean by earlier bedtime?

    so yesterday he went down at 6:30p and didn't make it to the DF - he cried 8-8:30on/off and then slept til 9:45p so i just fed him since it was 15min away from the 10 oclock DF. then he woke up at 12:30am and my husband put the paci and moved him in his crib because when he cries there's a wet spot by his face since he sleeps with his head to the side. he slept till 1:30a and i fed him but i'm trying to cut back on this feed a few minutes every few days. then he woke up at 4:30a and i fed him from one side because i wanted to make sure he'd take a full feed at 7a. then he woke up at 6:45a and i put the paci in because 6:45a is just too early of a waketime for both my husband and me and then i woke him up at 7am to start the day. should i have just started his day at 6:45a?? but that's really not convenient for us =( for our work days.... what do you think? i wanna help him sleep thru the night but don't want to be a slave to a schedule that both my husband and i just hate adhering to...

    with the crying right now i know he can't be hungry because he started crying at 8:30p and i put him down at 6:50p and i topped him off too! so we just decided not to go in - because it seems not to help the situation at all and i think he really will cry all night if he thinks someone will come get him.. =( it's so hard in the middle of the night to hear him cry though... it seems easier to just go in and nurse him! but i really want to help him sleep! i think he's been confused because sometimes we let him CIO but sometimes we go in and move him around in the crib or give him the paci or pick him up and reswaddle him etc... we should be consistent right?? is this why it seems like CIO hasn't been working??

    i think he's not getting too much sleep during the day but do you think having him in bed from 6:30p-7a is okay? that's not too long?? i have no idea if he's a 10 or 12 hr sleeper since he's never slept thru the night but it seems a long time to stay in bed.

    another thing - how do you know if he's teething? he is drooling an awful lot and putting his fingers to his mouth a lot now but we don't feel any teeth or bumps at all.

    thanks so much for your help! (so the crying on/off lasted 30min just like yesterday again and he rotated himself 180 degrees in his crib!!)

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  43. hunniebee530,
    To help him go longer between feeds you will have to encourage full feeds and likely hold him off a little every few days so he gets used to being more hungry and wanting to eat more at once.

    With a 7 am wakeup, I would likely try for a bedtime between 5:30-6:00, certainly latest 6:30 in your situation. this is assuming no later 4th nap because then he might not have enough wake time before bed and resist sleep. The super early bedtime doesn't usually go on forever. You end up being able to move it back a bit later.

    I would feed for df or in am if it is 30 minutes or less before feeding time. So even 6:30 am I would start with the day. And if he wake a bit early for the df feed him. If he wasn't having sleep problems and you weren't trying to extend the night time feeds I would feed much earlier for the df if he woke up earlier on occasion, but that isn't the case. Since you are trying to get things figured out and fix problems you will have to be more strict with stuff right now and somewhat of a "slave" until things are more stabilized. You really want that first nap of the day to be figured out since the rest of the day follows that and if you leave him in his bed for a period of time before you get him up int he morning this can mess with you trying to figure out the right timing for stuff. Once you have things figured out and he is more stable, this wouldn't be a bit deal. But for right now it has the potential to get things off track. Now, sometimes he might wake earlier in the morning, really early and not go back to sleep and it'll mess with the routine and you just have to do the best you can.

    "it's so hard in the middle of the night to hear him cry though... it seems easier to just go in and nurse him!" I totally agree. This is why it is especially important to have a plan set that you have both agreed to follow beforehand when you both have your heads on straight:). It is also why it is ideal to try to "start as you mean to go" so the longer sleep happens more naturally without any crying. But this isn't always possible. There are babies that are much more difficult and there are situations that don't allow this to happen. That is life :)

    Your lack of consistency may be why the bio hasn't worked. I would make a plan and stick to it. Do something you will feel comfortable with. At this age I prefer some checks since he is still pretty young, but you have to see what works best for you guys.

    Most kids this age, especially if they are waking at night, will go 12 hours. You get the 10 hour sleepers, but from my experience they don't seem to show up until a bit older and once more night feeds have been dropped. More than 12 hours at night will likely be fine since he is overtired.

    How to know if he is teething. this can be hard to tell at times. Like you said before, the extra saliva at 4 months is natural and not related to teething, as is the hands in the mouth activity. But some kids do teeth at this age, although it isn't extremely common. I would monitor the gums, look for red cheeks, random crying for no reason during the day, loose bowls. You could even try oragel one time on the gums to see if it makes a difference.

    I am curious if a slightly longer wake time might help out. You might want to try that out a bit. Try one nap at a time.Be careful with the morning nap since many kids don't do well with too much wake time here.

    Good luck. I know this is tough! I wish I had a magic fix. He seems like he is a bit sensitive and maybe a bit stubborn. Like my first son :) Nothing has ever come along easily for him. But his wild spirit has so many pluses too that shows more and more as he gets older.

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  44. hi Rachel,
    okay i will try to encourage full feeds as much as i can and continue holding him off/extending the night feeds.

    thanks for clarifying the bed time - we will try that without a 4th nap. and yes, this super early bedtime would not be convenient longterm. how long do you think it will last and when can we begin to move it back? just wanting to know =) what to expect... it helps me stick to it if i know it won't be forever.

    okay so if it's 6:30am, we will start the day, but what if it's like today - 5:30a?? i just fed hiim from one side and put him back down and he did go back to sleep until i woke him up again at 7am but he did not nurse well then. what if i wake him up at 7:05 or 7:10 some days? should i really try to be a stickler for 7am on the dot? sorry i have so many questions. i just want to do it "right" =)

    yes his 1st waketime seems to be always be 50-55min - then he will sleep 1.5-2hr for his first nap. but yes, i will try a slightly longer wake time for the 2nd nap and 3rd naps to see. how would i know if it doesn't work? if he wakes up early from his nap? his 3rd nap (and 4th if he has one) has been pretty abysmal- he sleeps usually only 45min or an hour at the most which is rare.. should i let him CIO to see if he will go back to sleep then? if he would go back to sleep during that 3rd nap, that would make it easier to drop the 4th nap if you know what i mean. when his 3rd nap is 30-45min only, then he starts getting tired at 4:30p and then i have to give him a 4th nap... that's my dilemma... if he needs a 4th nap at 4:30/4:45p should i let him nap and then push the bedtime later? if so, should i only let him nap 30-45min? and if so, what time should i push the bedtime back to? sorry i just need details =) would this be an ideal schedule?

    7a wake up/nurse
    7:55-9:55a nap
    10a nurse
    11:15-1p nap
    1p nurse
    2:15-4p nap
    4p nurse
    5:30p bedtime

    but i know he can't make it from 5:30-10p sleeping wise so he likely will wake up between 7 and 8p should i feed him then and put him back down? and then again at 10p for dreamfeed? that way he'll get at least 6 feeds in 24 hrs. also like i said above, that 3rd nap is usu 30-45min so he wakes at 3p and then has to nap at 4:30p-5:30p and then bedtime becomes 6:45/7p... is this okay??

    and yes i think CIO hasn't worked because of our lack of consistency. i know he is young and checks would be better but i think it doesn't help because that's what we have been doing. last night i bit the bullet and i did hardcore CIO when he woke up at 12:30am and he cried on/off for 30-40min and then went back to sleep. then i fed him at 2:50a and 5:30a when he woke up.

    thanks for addressing the too long in bed problem - yes you're right more than 12hrs should be okay esp since he still has a few night wakings and since he is CIO for some of the time and not sleeping the whole time.

    thanks for the teething tips. i don't think he is yet.

    i have a nanny during the day but have been coming home every 3 hrs between rounding to nurse him directly and i read to her what you said that he seems a bit sensitive and a bit stubborn and we both just laughed because that is totally him and probably not just a bit but a lot of both!! thanks for the encouragement!

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  45. hi just wanted to add.. yes that 3rd nap is definitely not good.. he only sleeps 45min and is up at like 3:30p.. should i keep him up 2 hours and just put him to bed at 5:30p even if he gets fussy around 5-ish? thanks!!

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  46. sorry.. also if he wakes up at 3:30/3:45p should i nurse him again (he last ate around 1p)? and then nurse at 5:30p again right before bed? or just nurse him at 7p and 10p - both acting as DFs?

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  47. okay last one before you reply i promise =) so we put him down at 5:30p and he woke up at 6:10p - maybe the waketime was too long?? and so i nursed him at 6:15p since i had nursed him around 4p and evening milk supply might be low. i am hoping he'll make it to at least 9:30p close to the DF from now... was that okay to nurse him? i think he thought it was a nap. he was WIDE AWAKE when i nursed him and put him back down...

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  48. sorry.. he stayed up after i nursed him from 6:30-7p in his crib just turning his head from side to side and then started crying for the last 15min BAD from 7-7:15p on/off... is this right?? yesterday when we put him to bed at 6:30p after having a 4th nap, he was WIDE AWAKE at the 5:30am feed too... =( i hate hearing him cry =( my nervous system goes haywire!! i know this post says CIO doesn't damage the baby but it sure feels like it and me too!!

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  49. Hunniebee530,
    If he wakes before 6:30 consider it a night time feed. I would normally say if it is close to 6:30 to begin the day at 7:30 instead of 7, but for right now you might want to only do like 7:15 because you are really trying to get things figured out right now.

    Yeah, trying pushing that second nap back a bit (only work not he second now, take it a nap at a time). Do it for a few days and see how he reacts (has a harder time falling asleep(not good), sleeps longer(good), sleep shorter (likely not good) etc. That is really how you can tell if it is working or not. Remember you have to give it some time to see if results are more than just random.

    It is worth leaving him for several minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep with the nap. Some kids will start to at this age, others won't until a bit older. You could always try wake to sleep or wait a few minutes, give the pacifier, and if he doesn't' fall asleep after a few more minutes get him up.

    With the fourth nap I covered a bit of that in our email. If it is going to push bedtime back tons, then don't' let it be much longer than 45 minutes. Waketimes after that will be similar to what you have done before. It is tricky because the nap is short prior(and the previous one that may lead to over tiredness), but wake times are often longer at this time. So wake times might end up being similar to the other ways. I know I say this a lot, but you'll have to test and see (don't you just hate it when I say that now!)

    You know, as for doctors often having more stubborn children, I think it has to do with their genetics a bit. I mean, doctors often have some certain attributes that got them to where they are. Most are far from layer back in my experience, and their children are just following in their footsteps. Just tonight I was telling my husband how I have the worst attention span in the world. He said "You can explain that to all of Joshua's teachers when he is bouncing off the wall. I'm sure they'll want to know where the heck he got it from!"

    i like to nurse before bed. It just helps babies relax so well for the night and I think it is a special time for mommy and baby. this is just my thing though :) With shorter naps and as the get a bit older the EASY routine gets a bit out of order. Just do what is easiest for the two of you.

    As for the bedtime hour and 4th nap, we covered that in the email I think. Let me know if something wasn't covered.

    Rachel

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  50. hunniebee530,
    I forgot to add that if it ever seems like you can't do the cio bc it is too much for you, then don't do it. Support is helpful, but sometimes that isn't enough. There are some parents that can never handle it. And there are some times in your life when you can't handle it at all. I haven't mentioned this yet on this blog, but I had ppd with my first. The crying drove me utterly insane with my colicy baby. Because of this, I literally couldn't handle my next child crying for a second. I felt myself getting to a bad point and knew it wasn't good for me so I didn't allow it at all. Now that he is older he'll protest sometimes with sleep for a few minuets (and of course have some tantrums here and there) and it is fine. My hormones and emotions can tolerate that now. Couldn't then though. Or at least I didn't want to risk it causing something negative for me.

    Rachel

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  51. hi Rachel,

    okay i will work on pushing the waketimes back and see how he does. if he sleeps shorter, does that mean i put him down too late, and if he has a harder time falling asleep then i put him down too early?

    i might try wake to sleep as well for the 3rd nap since it still is only about 30-45min. what's been happening is that his 4th nap then is a bit longer - an hour because i think he's tired from the short 3rd nap.

    last night we put him down at 7:30p and the 4th nap was a little over an hour and he slept til about 9:15p and was crying so i nursed him then. he went back to sleep and woke up at 12:30a and cried about 10min and then fell back asleep til 3am! i nursed him then and he went back to sleep til 5:45a and cried about 10min and then went back to sleep til 7:20a! this would be ideal for me without the crying at 12:30a and 5:45a =) one feed at 3am and a start time of 7-7:30a. i guess something is working?? haha or maybe a random thing. it seems like he still needs the 4th nap for now?

    yes i agree what you are saying about doctors and genetics. it is so funny what kids inherit from us!

    thanks for the info on cio and your own experience with crying. i feel like i can handle it unless it's for an inordinate amount of time because then i feel like it's not working. basically i don't want the baby to cry just to cry - only if it's necessary crying to allow him to learn to soothe himself without any sleep props whatsoever. the times in the night at 12:30a and 5:45a when he is crying - i make sure to look at the monitor and see that he is okay and i can tell if the crying will stop or last a while but he seems to be learning that he should go back to sleep =) and i noticed he is eating better (couple minutes longer on each side and less popping on/off the breast) during the day esp that first morning feed too!

    thanks again for all your help!

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  52. hunniebee530,
    That's great that there seem to be some improvements!

    I would only work on pushing back one wake time at a time otherwise things might go a little crazy and you won't be able to tell what is causing what. Often putting down late means a harder time falling asleep (crying hard right away) and a shorter nap, but not always. Too short of a wake time can lead to problems falling asleep too. some babies will cry right away, some will sit and play for a while then cry, or just play for a while then fall asleep. Keep in mind that it is normal for babies to take several minutes to fall asleep. At this age, most fall asleep pretty quickly, but some may need several minutes to fall asleep no matter what. I would try the wake time for a few days at least. He may need time to adjust to a new wake time even if it is good for him :) After a few days, evaluate if things seem better or worse.

    If the fourth nap is going well, then go ahead and keep at it.

    "I don't want the baby to cry just to cry - only if it's necessary crying to allow him to learn to soothe himself" I definitely agree, which is why cio with a colicky baby is often not the best idea (as well as other situations) unless you are leaving them alone for a bit bc you are overwhelmed-but that isn't really cio. Just try to keep an objective view of what is going on. Sometimes your frustration may make it seem like it isn't helping when in fact it is. And remember that progress is a spiral. Also, keep in mind that there are always other methods of sleep training you can do if you feel you can't handle the cio, but if you do cio, keep as consistent as possible (assuming you have ruled out any issues that might not make it work--sleep environment problems etc) so that you will have results sooner and not backtrack as much.

    That is great that he is eating more during the feeds. Told you it would happen :) It is scary to do, even when you are told it will be fine, because you want to make sure baby is always getting enough.

    Now let's hope he doesn't suddenly start to teeth or get ill and cause a halt to the progress!

    Rachel

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  53. hi Rachel,
    yes improvement for sure. just wanted to let you know what happened last night now! his 3rd nap yesterday was 45min and his 4th nap ended up going an hour again. my husband and i went out to dinner with friends and my parents watched owen. well since he woke up from the 4th nap at 6:40p, they put him down for bed at 8:15p. he cried at 9p for 5min and took a paci and went back to sleep. we got home from dinner at 11p and i dreamfed him (i couldn't believe he was asleep when we got home!! i had given my parents expressed breastmilk to feed him because i didn't think he'd make it to the DF at 10 because he usu doesn't!). i brought the video/audio monitor to bed with me and i completely forgot to turn up the audio part on the monitor. well i heard him crying at 5:15a!!! i could not believe my eyes. i felt so horrible - i wasn't sure if he'd slept the whole time or cried at some point but i didn't hear him?? so i nursed him at 5:15a and he took a long feed. and i put him back in bed and he tossed/turned for about 10-15min - no crying, just eyes wide open, lying there and moving his head back and forth. then he went back to sleep until 8am when i woke him up! he took another long full feed at 8am - and then he spit up which he never usually ever does. do you think it's maybe because he took such full feeds at 5:15 and then 8a? i couldn't believe he went over 6 hours without a feed!

    well today his naps have been totally off. his 1st waketime which is usually 50min was fine and then we put him down for his 1st nap and he cried in the middle of the nap for 5 min until we gave him a paci but he slept 2hrs total then. his 2nd nap which usually is a good 1.5-2hrs was only 50min and his 3rd nap which is usually less than an hour was also 55min. i'm wondering - is this because he slept better at night? or should his naps still be pretty good? i guess i'd rather have him sleep during the night than have longer naps during the day if i had to choose but i'm wondering if he woke up from the 2nd nap early because he was hungry? i nursed him a little earlier than usual but he didn't take such a full feed.

    again, hope whatever happened last night wasn't a fluke or some random event. just wondering what your thoughts were and what you thought about his short naps today. thanks!!

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  54. okay so his 2nd and 3rd naps were short today 50 and 55min each, and we put him down for the 4th nap at 4:55pm and he is still asleep over 2 hrs later and he's still sleeping!!! i was just laughing to myself now because what the heck? should i have waken him earlier? does he think it's bedtime?? he did cry out once or twice in the middle but then he quickly went back to sleep both times!

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  55. hunniebee530,
    Yeah! Some improvements.

    The improvement at night may have been due to changes you made. It is possible it is a fluke, but hopefully not. Sometimes kids will act differently when others put them to bed too. Not so much as this age though.

    I think if you can hear him without the monitor maybe you shouldn't be using one. Of course, I don't know how hard it was to hear him. One of my friend's mottos is that if the baby cries hard enough, she will hear him. She doesn't mean anything mean by this, she just means that if he is crying rather than fussy a little or crying lightly for a moment she won't hear him and it is probably best that she doesn't (for both their benefit). If her baby start to really cry, she always hears him. It is hard to be a mom and not.

    I'm not sure why he spit up. It might have been the bigger feeds. It is hard to tell. I wouldn't worry about it too much right now. If it starts to happen a lot then evaluate it more.

    The short naps may or may not have been random. Do keep in mind that if he sleeps better at night he will be less tired upon waking and might need a slightly longer wake time. Also, be mindful of that 8 am waking. Maybe it doesn't cause issues now and maybe it won't ever cause issues, but it often does so be careful of it :)

    You want to aim for a particular bedtime. Varying a bit from it is fine.But try not to get it much later than usual. So if a nap is happening that is going to make bedtime much later (just add up the future wake time and see) then I would wake baby up. A later bedtime often causes many issue with kids (much more as he gets older) and you want to preserve that. No big deal though. As for whether he thinks it is bedtime, possibly. It likely is just a fluke. My kids randomly will sleep super long sometimes, often if they are overtired, have had an especially eventful day or if they are ill.

    Hope things keep moving in the right direction!
    Rachel

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  56. hi Rachel,
    haha okay i think it was a fluke haha!! last night i had the monitor on and he woke up at 2:15 and 5:30 as he usually does. i fed him at 2:15 but at 5:30 i put the paci in but i had to do this 3 times over an hour and then he slept til 7:45am. do you think i should just leave the monitor with the audio off?? i hear what your friend is saying... i'll likely hear him if he's crying hard enough but i'm paranoid now that we're down the hall in the master bedroom which is definitely farther than where we were sleeping before... i'm thinking maybe he did cry that night but i just didn't hear him until he was crying at 5:15a?

    we're back to long naps today - maybe because he woke up multiple times as he usually does during the night and did not get enough rest at night? odd thing is that since the nanny had him today, his 2nd nap he woke up after 45min and he cried and i know i or my husband would have gone in and tried to help him to no avail but she lets him cio and he cried bad today for 12min according to her but then he did go back to sleep for another 45min-1hr.. she does cio better than us!! should i be doing this for the 3rd nap too?

    he is doing his long 4th nap thing right now - it's been an hour and a half. i'm going to wake him soon. i realized today that the paci stayed near his mouth so during the 4th nap when i was watching him on the monitor i saw he woke up after 40min - his eyes were wide open but he found the paci and sucked on it a few min until he went back to sleep... is this good or bad? =) this is the 3rd day in a row that his 4th nap has been over an hour and almost two hours in length! i think it might be because he's overtired since his 3rd nap is so short!! argh! should i do wake to sleep for the 3rd nap? or any other ideas how to lengthen it?

    thanks!!

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  57. hunniebee530,
    Well, certainly don't leave the monitor off if you don't feel comfortable with it. Most moms easily wake up if they hear their baby cry, especially when they are young. You could always test it out with your dh is at home to see if what you can hear from your bedroom, or have him sleep with the monitor by him so you can't hear it and see if you can always hear baby when he cries (of course give yourselves a short time to actually be able to hear it and wake up).

    The last nap for the day (with is typically a 3rd or 4th nap) is often short, so if you are getting two good first two naps, then I would consider a shorter 3rd an ok length and maybe wouldn't try cio to fall back asleep at this time. IT is much less likely to work. But you could try it at other times. Once baby figures out how to go back to sleep he usually improves at it quite quickly and you no longer have crying, or it is for a very short period of time. If he is doing a long 4th nap after the third, then trying to lengthen it is worth a try. You can try leaving him, wake to sleep, adjust wake time.

    As for the pacifier, that is a tough one. It sounds like a prop. I really think with most babies it turns into this. IT did with mine. But it wasn't too bad of a prop and I made him wait a few minutes before reinserting it and it turned out that he could go back to sleep without it after a few days of doing this. He put it into his own mouth around 7 months I think, right after he was unswaddled completely. So you have to decide if you want to keep at it until he can reinsert himself and end up reinserting it when needed or with conditions (wait a few minutes, only reinsert so many times etc) or if you'll end the habit. There will likely be some complaining if you end the habit. I would get a pacifier toy of some sort that holds the pacifier and makes it easier for baby to put back into his mouth. I'm about to do a post on them. I will try to do it sooner than planned so you can see what I'm talking about and view different kinds.

    RAchel

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  58. hunniebee530,
    How are things going??

    Rachel

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  59. hi Rachel!
    wow.. so a lot of things have happened in just a short period of time... last week i decided to start the day early with owen to see if that would help and i played around with shortening some of his naps to see if maybe he was sleeping too much during the day. it was very interesting. so a few days we started his day at 6 or 6:30am because that's when he awakened. before that i would give him a paci or feed him on one side and he would sleep in until 8am and i was considering that still part of his night time sleep. well when we started his day earlier (as painful as it was), he started to lengthen his 3rd nap to 1 1/2hrs and dropped his 4th nap! the other thing that happened was his waketimes between naps became increasingly longer! so his 1st waketime still is only an hour but his 2nd and 3rd ones are now 1 hr and 30-40minutes and then after his 3rd nap we've been keeping him up about 2-2 1/2 hrs until bedtime. a few other things we did was wean the pacifier (for the most part at bedtime/naptime) and weaned the swaddle! he was able to stick his fingers in his mouth to soothe himself a few times. he is still getting the hang of it. i took him to the peds office for his 4 month shots and he seems to be gaining weight okay which made me feel better about my milk supply though i know that is an ongoing thing =)

    so the past few days i decided to just do CIO and turn off the audio part of the monitor and trust that he could go a 6 hr stretch. i also noticed that when he would cry at night, we were always doing something - paci, or feed or diaper change and so i decided i would wait till he was calm/quiet/sleeping to feed him so he wouldn't associate his crying with being "rescued". and last night he went to bed at 7:20p and cried bad from 9:15-9:50p on/off then calmed a little. at 9:55p i nursed him and he slept!! i could see him toss/turn/scratch the sheets here and there but he did not cry. i went in at 3:55a to feed him after the 6 hr stretch and he was already stirring so i nursed him. then he slept until 8am! hallelujah! i couldn't believe it. hopefully it wasn't a fluke. the night prior i had done about the same thing but he woke up a few times and cried during that 6 hr stretch but i didn't go into help him because i just knew he was associating crying with someone coming in eventually...

    so all in all, he is still doing that cyclic crying at the earlier part of the night but i'm hoping that will stop eventually... we'll see =) but thanks for all your help! i'm hoping tonight will go as well as last night! as long as we stay consistent and he's not dependent on the paci or associating his crying with being rescued, i think that's the best we can do!

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  60. Hunniebee530,
    I'm so glad there have been some improvements! And it sounds like you are really getting confident at troubleshooting stuff on your own. That is a hard step to get to so congrats!

    Remember the spiral and don't get too frustrated when it happens in the wrong direction :)

    "as long as we stay consistent and he's not dependent on the paci or associating his crying with being rescued, i think that's the best we can do!"
    I agree. I think you are ok with letting him cry if he is hungry rather than crying out for other reason. But I guess he is in the habit of eating throughout the night so it might be a blurry line with that right now for him anyway. Best of luck! Hopefully you'll get a long stretch of sleep for Christmas :)

    Rachel

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  61. hi Rachel,

    yes progress is a spiral. the night before last he was up and crying here and there. but last night was some great progress! i spoke with a sleep coach here in my area (she gives seminars and does consultations, etc) and she took one look at owen and said "he does NOT need 3 feeds at night! =) he is a chunk!" (i think he is not chubby but he has thighs!) it seems like everything i've been doing was on the right track except i was so nervous that he wasn't eating enough or my supply was down so i kept going in to feed him when he woke up and cried.

    well i stopped going in and she suggested like you did to use a bottle to nurse him right before bed so i did that and last night he slept from 7:30p until 2:15am and at 2:15am i am the one who woke him up to nurse him!!! then he slept til 6:25am =) and we started our day. so tonight i am going to let him sleep and see how long he can sleep before i need to nurse him. and we have shortened his daytime to sleep to between 4 and 5 hours so that it doesn't cut into his nighttime sleep. he is still getting used to that part =)

    but yes, we just might get an even longer stretch of sleep before Christmas! =) PTL!!

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  62. hunniebee530,
    Worrying about your supply and baby's health and trying to work on night sleep at the same time can be tricky. It sounds like you are starting to feel confident that he is getting enough food so you can feel a little worried about stuff and start working on sleep problems in a more effctive and confident way. Great news!

    I hope he slept well for you last night and that things keep improving overall. You will get there. Some kids struggle more than others. Just make sure you stay with your methods when things get off track so you don't have to start things all over agian and so that things don't get even more difficult to fix than previuosly. I have a feeling he'd pop right back into his old ways quite easily and quickly if you let him!

    ReplyDelete
  63. hunniebee530,
    "and we have shortened his daytime to sleep to between 4 and 5 hours so that it doesn't cut into his nighttime sleep. he is still getting used to that part =)"

    Forgot to comment on this. Some babies that are heavy day sleepers really do need to have some nap time taken out, even if they seem to need it. It is kind of tricky to work with though. And it seems weird to be taking it away when they seem to need it, but they adjust over time and night sleep often improves. I am finding, more and more, that this is an issue since peopel are becoming more knowledgeable about sleep and trying to let their children have an adequate amount but then end up not decreaseing the total sleep amount enough as baby gets older in their attempt to make sure he gets enough sleep.

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  64. hi Rachel,

    so update over the last week... my LO has been going from about 7:30p bedtime to about 7:30-8am waketime to start the day... without a feed! he cries out here and there for a few min but then settles back to sleep. it was actually unnerving the first few days.. i would get up to feed him when i heard him cry but i would watch him on the monitor for a few min and he would be sucking on his fingers with eyes closed by the end of the few minutes so i didn't go in to wake him to feed. incidentally, we dropped the dream feed in that fashion too because i felt i was waking him up fully when i went in there! so now he is nursing about 5 times a day which is scary to me but i'm still pumping right before i go to bed and once in the early 3am/4am hour and am growing my frozen milk supply back up again! i hope he is eating all that he needs during those 5 feeds though - sometimes when i give him a bottle, he drinks about 5-6oz of expressed breastmilk so hopefully that is what he is getting when he is nursing? (although he nurses so fast! like 5 min/per side??)

    so he's been doing this for a week now but i totally agree with you - he might pop right back into his old ways easily and quickly but so far even with his Christmas schedule being off and waketimes being longer than usual, he has be doing quite well! i'm just waiting for the teething to start.. =)

    oh yes, and we are still keeping the daytime sleep to 4-5 hours though usually it's closer to 5 on most days. and you're right i'm still playing around with the waketimes and the naps. i guess because he is getting more consolidated sleep at night, the waketimes and naps are kind of funny - did you notice that the naps and waketimes changed after the baby starts sleeping through the night? what is the usual pattern? also do you think his waking up at 8am is too late? should i be starting his day earlier? it was kind of weird - the first few days of sleeping through the night, i had to wake him at 8am myself because he was still sleeping but he had times where i would be pumping at the 3/4am hour and see him wide awake in his crib sucking on his fingers trying to go back to bed with eyes open but no crying... so i thought maybe that's why he was sleeping in so late? then his bedtime began to be later and later too.. like 8:30p but now he seems to like to go to bed at 7:30p the past few days...

    hope you had a very merry Christmas with your family!!

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  65. Hunniebee530,
    I'm so glad things are going so well!

    He should be fine with five feeds. Most babies are fine at this age. If he is healthy and happy and peeing well, you are good. As for the short bf sessions, you are likely fine. Most babies get much faster at this age. If he is content after. The Feed you should be good. Some babies will start to prefer one feeding method over another and not feed as well at the other method. Doesn't sound like this is happening though. You likely don't need to pump except at the df, but maybe you are just doing that to build your freezer supply.

    Yes, wketimes can change a bit once sleep consolidates at night. Usually they lengthen a bit.

    With the morning wake time, he may do fine with it. Some kids do. I would just monitor it and consider making the wake time earlier if sleep problems occur. I wonder if he is using this time to get over his overtiredness that may have been present from his difficult sleep in days past. Just something to watch for. If this is the case, it won't last, or doing so will cause problems. And I would restrict how late you let it go so it doesn't keep getting later and later.

    The waking early in the am might not mean anything. It is possible it is causing him to wake later. It is also possible that sleeping too much dying the day is causing these wakings.

    Good luck with things!
    Rachel

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  66. hi Rachel,

    okay so here is our schedule...

    8am - wake up/nurse (i usu wake him up)
    9a-11a nap (usu have to wake him up)
    11:15a nurse
    12:30p-2:30p nap(sometimes this nap is 1hr 45min and sometimes i have to wake him up)
    2:30a nurse
    4p-5p nap (this nap is anywhere from 30-60min, i wake him at 60min)5p nurse
    7:30p bedtime and nurse right before

    i am noticing that he does not nurse very well at the 5p or the one at bedtime.. he has been crying and kind of fussy at the breast lately. usually at those evening times but today i noticed it was at every feeding time. i don't see any teeth though he is drooling a ton and sucking on his fingers the majority of the day now even when awake. also he used to go from his 3rd nap at 5p til 7:30p bedtime okay but this week he seems extremely fussy around the 6:30pm mark... i'm not sure what's going on with that. i think he is getting enough milk but i'm not sure why he's so fussy at the breast =( i'm still pumping at the df and early am just to build up my freezer supply and will likely drop the early am pumping session when i start him on some solids.

    i haven't seen him doing the early am wakings when i'm pumping but last night i went to bed late and saw him tossing/turning from 12:15-12:40am. he didn't awaken, just tossed and turned... would that be an awakening? or just normal?

    thanks!

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  67. oh yeah so i wanted to ask.. do you think instead of doing the 5/5:30p nursing (when he wakes from 3rd nap) and 7:15p nursing (right before bed) that maybe i should just do one feeding at like 7p?? because right now i feel like the 5/5:30p and 7:15p nursings are so short and he doesn't seem happy with them and i feel like i'm not having much milk at the 7:15p nursing if he just ate at like 5:30p....

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  68. Hunniebee530,
    The tossing and turning late at night might be normal for him. My oldest was/is like that.

    Hmm, fussing at the breast at this age. Babies change a lot at this age. They start to get a bit more personality and they start to be more aware of things. They often don't nurse well all the time, especially if much is going on, because they don't want to miss a thing. The gumming and increased saliva happens naturally at this age, but occasionally some babies will teeth now too. I wonder if he needs to extend the feeds out a bit, closer to 3.5 hours ish. And I wonder if waketimes might need to be extended a bit sooner to keep good naps and good night time sleep. Keep an eye on that.

    Yes, try moving the feeds around a bit to be farther apart. You can move most of them a bit later so that there isn't such a long distance between the last feeds of the day without that 5 pm feeding.

    Sorry for the late reply. Busy season!

    Rachel

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  69. hi Rachel,

    thanks for the reply. how would extending out the feeds help? just wondering =) and yeah i'm trying to fit the 5 feeds in 12 hours so that's why i am finding it difficult to extend it out a bit. how would i extend it and keep those 5 feeds in?

    and how do i know how to extend his waketimes? it's weird. this week he started waking up earlier instead of me having to wake him at 8am. but today i saw on the monitor at 6:54am his eyes were open and then he stayed awake in his crib sucking on his fingers and fell back asleep around 7:25a and then i had to wake him at 8am. i wonder if that was happening before and i just didnt know? he then stayed up til 9:30am! usually that first waketime for him is an hour. do you think he may have caught up on his sleep and that is why he is waking up earlier?

    thanks!!

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  70. hunniebee530,
    extending feeds ends up sometimes helping in various ways...sleep at night, day time feeds etc. Baby eats more at each feed which helps them get used to taking fuller feeds and make some babies more content because they like the fuller feeds.

    I can't remember at the moment, are you doing a dream feed? Seems like you are, or at lest recently were. If so, that counts as an extra feed so you would be ok with 4 daily feeds and that. What often happens is that you feed every 3-4 hours during the day, sometimes only 2 hours before bed to fit in feeds and have a feed rigth before bed. May or may not work for you. You will have to see how they would fit in, if you want to try it.

    "do you think he may have caught up on his sleep and that is why he is waking up earlier?"

    Possible. and maybe his sleep has been rearranging itself. My son often wakes in the morning and goes to sleep for an extra sleep cycle. Some kids will even wake up around this age for a bit then go back to sleep and the phase goes away. But it can be a sign of them napping too much.

    With waketimes, you increase them slowly. Just one nap at a time might be best. See how baby responds. May take a few days to really see how he is doing with the waketime.

    Rachel

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  71. hi Rachel,

    totally makes sense about extending the feeds though it is difficult because i gave up the dreamfeed when i gave up the swaddle and paci. i felt the DF was actually interrupting his sleep... and as you saw our schedule, it's hard to fit in the 5 feeds, if not impossible, but i feel uncomfortable dropping it to 4. especially when he's started nursing a lot less than he used to at this moment in time!! i'm worried he is going to lose weight! but he doesn't seem interested in eating much and cries...

    i do believe you're right about his sleep rearranging itself. this morning, he woke up at 4:15a and went back to sleep. then at 5:30a i heard him stirring again (yes with the audio on the monitor) and i saw his eyes wide open, sucking fingers, tossing/turning and he did that for about an hour and was real quiet. babbled/whined slightly here and there but no crying. then went back to sleep at 6:35am and woke up at 7:30a with a bit of crying so i picked him up then. do you think he is napping too much? i guess i'll just have to wait and see..

    okay we will try extending the waketimes slowly... thanks!

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  72. Hunniebee530,
    It is very possible he is napping too much which is causing the night wakings. But I would wait a bit before changing things. things might jump back to how they were in a flash. Either way, keep in mind that wake time is a continually changing thing so you will always be adding some to their day every now and again, at least at this age you do it relatively often.

    Hmm, that is tough with no df and wanting the extra feeds. You could try it on 4 feeds and see how he does. If you feel worried, weigh him. If he is content, then he is likely getting enough. Many babies do fine with 4 feeds at this age. But he may end up needing one extra feed and wake in the middle of the night. This might be preferable to messed up naps and unhappy meals during the day. You will have to think about it, see what you want to try, and see what happens. Just move into things slowly.

    Rachel

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  73. hi Rachel,

    so i waited a while before changing things and things were still going well. for over a month it seems he has been sleeping thru the night, about 12 hours (tho i'm not watching him all night). sometimes he cries out here n there but very shortlived and then goes back to sleep.. well i tried giving him rice cereal (he's almost 5 1/2 mos) yesterday and today and he grabbed the spoon to put it in his mouth but seemed to want to just gum at the spoon and ate very little cereal. ended up mostly on his bib and i had watered it down a lot with breastmilk. i don't think he ate very much of it. but yesterday he cried on/off 10min around 10:30p (can u believe this is an abnormal occurrence now?? =) ) and then he went back to sleep although i considered going in to make sure all was okay.

    well tonight we put him down at 7p and at 8:40p he woke up and began crying on/off for 25min so my hubby went in and checked on him. everything was okay, he said, but he felt our LO was having nightmares and seemed scared. so he calmed him down for 7-8min and then put him back down. well then he stayed awake (and is still awake) over 2 hours later!! he has been tossing/turning/dozing/fussing the entire time.. =( i'm not sure what to make of this.. is it nightmares? hunger tho i don't think so? i'm wondering why he's unable to soothe himself tonight =( i don't see any teeth coming in or feel them either. maybe napping too much during the day? but i really haven't changed anything with the naps. in fact, sometimes he seems to be sleeping less during the days recently than he used to... thanks for any advice... it was nice while it lasted though =)

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  74. Hunniebee530,
    Sadly, things often don't stay perfect with babies. Some babies will stay pretty consistent regardless of what goes on, especially if they have a strong foundation in sleep before disruptions occur, but other babies are easily thrown. You have to keep trying to go with the flow, problem solve constantly, change things ups constantly (as you get used to this it will happen naturally and you'll hardly realize you are doing it) and expect things to go amiss every so often. Wish it wasn't so :)

    As for solids, I always hear the advice to water rice cereal down like crazy. It has never worked for me. I find new eaters do better with a thicker consistency. They can learn to manage it better this way, instead of just having liquid in their mouth that they can't do anything with. Just my experience :) You are wondering if the cereal caused the night waking?? Likely not, but can't say no for sure. Sounds like he is going through some sort of issue. Don't know exactly what it is. Maybe it will show up soon if it hasn't already. Sometimes you never know what in the world is going on. It is a wonder week time

    http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2012/01/when-are-wonder-weeks.html

    Since it is unusual behavior, I would certainly check on him and comfort him if needed. I would give as much comfort as seems to be needed but try not to go overboard and introduce too many props or you may have some work for yourself once issues resolve :) The nice thing about a sleep trained baby is that when they wake up unusually, you know something is probably wrong, rather than they are just waking for your attention or bc they can't sleep on their own. I doubt it is night mares or terrors at this age.

    Rachel

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  75. hi Rachel,

    yes, i had realized it was the beginning of another wonder week as well =) and the night after that night, he slept great - his usual 12 hours and then last night he was up from 10:40p til 12:40am.. just hanging out in his crib =) he doesn't have these night time awakenings every night (or at least that i'm aware of!) but a few times a week. perhaps his naps are the issue? he is still usually sleeping 2 hours for the 1st and 2nd naps and the 3rd nap is 30-60min long. and yes, going with the flow seems to be the main theme =) things are changing always and i'm guessing sometimes when you troubleshoot, you don't always find out what the issue was... i doubt it was the cereal as well as we'd only given it to him once or twice...

    also regarding the solids, the day before yesterday i made it thicker, and he ate most of it!! yes, everything i read says to thin it down like crazy too!! but i agree with you - i think he knew better what to do with it when it was thicker. is it possible to make it too thick? is 1 tbsp cereal to 1 tbsp breastmilk too thick? thanks! =)

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  76. hi Rachel,

    so i added mashed banana and he seems to like that a lot better too.. he definitely seems to like things not too liquidy...

    that being said, our sleep is wack again! =) i noticed him having 1 or 2 night wakings the last month tho he was sleeping thru the night well, approx 12 hours. but even if he was awake, he would just hang out in his crib and eventually go back to sleep. well this week he has been crying sometimes - 25-30min on/off which he has not done for over a month. when he cries, he wakes himself up fully and then lays in bed for 1.5-2 hours before going back to sleep. =( today he rolled from his tummy to his back - his first time. i'm wondering if these sleep disturbances are developmental. i don't think it's a growth spurt or teething but i guess i could be wrong. do you think perhaps he's sleeping too much during the day? i was thinking of shortening the 1st nap to 1.5 hours and so i did that yesterday and today and it did seem to make the 2nd nap seem smoother - he was waking up in the middle of his 2nd naps but able to go back to sleep within 20min for another hour. when i shortened the 1st nap to 1.5 hrs, then he didn't wake up fully during the middle of his 2nd naps but they were still only 1.5-1.75 hrs.

    thanks for any advice! (i'm so confused =P)

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  77. Hunniebee530,
    Yes, when you troubleshoot sometimes the issue is resolved without a definate solution!

    I am thinking that maybe too much day time sleep might be the culprit. See if reducing that slightely helps.

    Too thick. Hmmm. I suppose that is possible, but I doubt it would happen. You would know if it did. It would be like dough and not manageable. What you are doing sounds good. Glad my tip helped. I'm still wondering who made up that "keep it super thin" advice :) Maybe it was for 4 month olds?

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  78. hunniebee520k
    Sorry, here's the response to the second post :)

    Yes, keep working on the cutting back on the naps a bit. If they are 1.5 hours you are still good. I would try to keep that afternoon good if you can. Maybe you will need to drop that evening one somewhat soon.

    Make sure bedtime is still nice adn early.

    Tummy rolling can defiantly cause issues. Sometimes it last a few days, sometimes weeks. Hopefully you will be quick! Remember to give attention when it is needed, but try not to go overboard.

    And be careful with giving too much banana. It makes some babies constipated pretty quickly, especially if fresh :) I doubt he is having enough at this age, but you never know.

    Rachel

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  79. hi Rachel,

    okay so we're back to sttn 11.5 hours and i'm not complaining.. he used to go 12/12.5 but i think it was likely he was catching up and now he's been doing 11.5hrs the past two nights. i agree, i still think the few crying/wakings we had were due to developmental leaps/rolling over/wonder wk issues. and then i did shorten the first nap from 2 hours to 1hr and 40min so i think that might have helped too - i didn't notice any long time wakings in the middle of the night so far this week but we'll see.. =) always changing as you know..

    and yes i'm still wondering too who made up that "super thing" advice!! he definitely likes it thicker! =) and yes i'm watching the bananas and constipation. i'm giving him at most 1 tbsp during the whole day of bananas and i actually noticed he pooped once a day after starting solids whereas before he was pooping every 3-4 days on just breastmilk alone. if he's constipated, i heard prune juice (in breastmilk) or prunes is okay tho i haven't introduced it yet. will it be obvious? i hear straining sometimes and then he farts but haven't noticed him to be in any abdominal pain or discomfort so far.

    oh and when you said "make sure bedtime is still nice and early" i have been putting him to bed at about 7-7:30p. i noticed his waketimes have also been getting longer this week.. the first waketime is 1hr15min, 2nd 1 hr 30min, 3rd is 1hr45min or 2 hrs some days and then the 4th waketime is 2hr30min usually. does this seem about right for his age? he'll be 6 months old in like 10 days.

    thanks so much for the reassurance about the "thicker" solids and the shaving off daytime sleep.. i had suspected that and done those things and either way, so far, it has helped! =)

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  80. Hunniebee530,
    You will be able to tell when he is constipated simply by the stools. Maybe he will show other signs, but I have found stools alone say alot. Not one stool in particular, but the pattern. I never did prune juice but that should work. I did probiotics and olive oil and oatmeal (instead of rice cereal) and was fine. Even now, whenever of my kids have stools that start to get harder than usual I give probitocs and they are normal again right away. I am a huge probiotics fan :)

    Is he still waking later than 7am? By early bedtime if naps are going well, I mean 7ish. Earlier if naps aren't so well or other issues.

    Waketimes around 6 months often start going near 2 hours, maybe shorter in am and longer in pm. You seem alright. If he is sleeping well right now I woudln't change things. Keep in mind they will keep getting longer.

    Good luck!
    Rachel

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  81. hi Rachel,

    how timely! today was his first constipated poop for sure.. he looked like he was straining a little and something less than liquidy came out. so oatmeal is okay to start at 6 months and that helped? what kind of probiotics did you give and how long? did you stop giving them probiotics once their stools are normal again?

    no he doesn't wake earlier than 7am - i would say 99% of the time it's between 7am and 7:30am the past few weeks. he's been going to bed at 7:30-7:40p recently but i think tonight will have to be earlier since his 2nd nap was only 1 hr 20min long.

    thanks!

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  82. okay so he just vomited twice in less than 2 hours - not a lot and it didn't seem to bother him - but since he was never a spitter upper, it concerned me. he ate 1tbsp of cereal in the morning and 1 tbsp of avocado mixed with a little mashed banana this afternoon. he has been eating all three of these foods for about a week now. could this be an allergic reaction? or do you think the constipation is causing his GI tract to be backed up leading to the vomiting? thanks! interestingly, when he vomits - only milk comes out? or perhaps it's cereal? it's white... thanks!

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  83. I give almost any food at 6 months of age. It will depend on who you talk to what foods they say ok. I think oatmeal is just fine. I believe most experts say it is fine too.

    I buy children's probiotics at natural food stores. They are usually refrigerated. My brother says you can give a baby part of an adult capsule (and he develops probiotics, among other things) but I feel better using just for children dosages at this young age. I give probiotics everyday the first couple months thy are taking solids. Really, I think they at good for every day but I always forget and they are also expensive. I for sure give them to the kids whenever there is any kind of stomach issue. They really make a difference, although it seems that half the doctors are for them and the other half think they aren't helpful (or dont think enough research has been done to prove their effectiveness to sugget them).

    When they are older I give them half a capsule of Nu Skin probbiotics. This is a great brand, but I mainly use this brand because I get them for free from above brother or my dad. :)

    There have been issues with an early bedtime in the past right? Before long you will probably want to drop that last nap and move bedtime earlier. Just do what seems to be working for now so you don't break what is working ;)

    I doubt it is an allergic reaction. It seems unlikely that the constipation would lead to the vomiting at this stage. I'd keep monitoring the situation. Often it turns out to be nothing, or at least nothing serious and very short lived. I hope the issue resolves!

    Rachel

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  84. hi Rachel,

    thanks for your input on solids. sounds good, i will try giving oatmeal - so that is less constipating than cereal but it's still constipating, right?

    thanks for the input on probiotics. in ID, we use them obviously for c diff colitis prevention - there are a few good studies with certain probiotics, but i've never heard of them with kids. i might just give them a try! =)

    and you are right with issues with an early bedtime! it seems like if i put him to be before 7pm, he has night wakings. today his 2nd and 3rd naps were shorter though so he was pretty tired and i put him down at 7p. he cried out a few times around 9:30p but otherwise has been sleeping with some tossing/turning here and there. i'm guessing all that is normal =) and i'm not complaining. and because i have the monitor, i can see him, otherwise i wouldn't even know =) and yes, i plan on dropping the third nap probably around 8-9mos but i'll see how he does. so far, he definitely needs it! and yes it seems to be working.

    i agree with you about the vomiting. i'll keep an eye on it. it seems to occur mostly if i put him on his tummy or lift him up a lot within half an hour of him nursing. the funny thing is i get nervous bc he's nursing so quickly these days (sometimes 10min or less!!), i feel like i'm always trying to get him to nurse more/longer and i don't know if he's full and that's why he is vomiting??

    thanks!!

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  85. Hunniebee,
    Rice cereal is constipating and oatmeal provides roughage to help keep things regular. But get whole grain oatmeal. I can't remember at this moment which brands sell it.

    He is still new to sleeping so some crying out is defiantly not unexpected. Some kids will continue to do this for some time, especially if they are overtired.

    10 minutes of nursing at that age isn't unusual. But I get what you mean about worrying that they are full.

    Some babies will overeat and vomit. I have noticed this mainly if they are fussy or overly hungry when they start the feed. Babies that do this at this age seem to usually be bottle fed rather than bf. But this is only what I've noticed, I'm no expert in the matter. Either way, it seems to be more of an issue with the pyloric sphincter immatury and stomached pressure. Like spitting up but a little more intense. So just avoid the things that cause it. Doesn't seem abnormal to me, but of course double check with your ped if it is worrying you :)

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  86. hi Rachel,

    okay so i did purchase the whole grain oatmeal today, earth's best organic brand. we'll see how he does =) he did have another poop today and again, definitely harder than usual...

    yes the crying out at night is more like a "wah" here or there, usually i think when he's transitioning... tonight he's having a few more "wah's" but again, i usually hear him doing it during transitions and then he finds his fingersand starts sucking and tossing/turning and then usually goes back to sleep. is that from being overtired? or will he learn to transition more smoothly as he gets older?

    i wonder if he overate... just because i keep putting him back on the breast over and over. he did not vomit at all today. funny.. yes it was definitely vomit yesterday though - this is gross but since u're medical too, i could just smell the acid on his breath. =p

    thanks!

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  87. Hunniebee,
    Harder than usual poop is fine, just not constipated or hard poop.

    I can't say for sure what the crying is from at night. Sorry.

    Good. I'm glad no more vomit today. And it takes a lot to get me grossed out. So no worries about that!

    Rachel

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  88. hi Rachel,

    he's definitely constipated.. he was crying in a weird way off/on this afternoon/evening and then started straining.. poor guy. i switched to oatmeal today so i think that helped. he then had a massive poop and was happy again =)

    the crying at night is usually during his transitions.. i think he still surfaces at those times and then cries out and then finds his fingers or falls back asleep. they're usually shortlived - one or two cries or less than 15seconds usually...

    he did awaken himself again last night and was awake from like 10:05p to 10:45p but NO crying, not a peep actually. i wouldn't have known if i hadn't looked at the monitor for no good reason! i think i should just be okay with that...

    and yeah no more vomit and he's starting to really eat better! yay!

    oh i did wanna ask you - ive read that sometimes keeping a baby on a 3 hr schedule when they should be moving to a 4hr schedule can worsen sleep. why is that? and how do you know if they can? for example, my LO goes 3 hours between feeds the first cycle but that's only because ive started waking him earlier from that first morning nap otherwise he'd go 3.5 hours. the 2nd cycle though, he is up longer and naps longer usually so it is sometimes 4 hours between feeds. then the 3rd cycle is like 2.5 hrs because his nap is only like 30min. then i nurse right before bed. just wondering.. =)

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  89. hunniebee,
    I guess you would know if he was constipated. I forget who I am talking to sometimes :)

    haha, yeah, I think there is a point when you decide you are ok with it. It is good enough...and maybe even normal.

    Ah, the 3 or 4 hour thing. It is still a bit confusing to me, I admit. My knowledge comes from some books that swear by it and parents that made the switch and it fixed their issues. I moved very naturally with the waketime with my kids. I didn't ever really have to think if our cycle was too long or too short. What I understand is that longer cycles are encouraged when appropriate for age because 1)if you are on the eat/wake/sleep routine it will help you extend the waketime within the routine time. EX. if you stay on a 3 hour rotuie and your baby is up for 2 hours, you aren't going to be able to get a good nap in. 2) some experts suggest keeping feed lengths not too short during the day to encourage the longer time between feeds at night--weird how this works, but when done age approapriately it often works.

    If the feed times you are on are working for you then keep them. Just do what works with you and your baby. And as your son gets older you'll probably move out the cycle you are on, just doing naps when yoru son needs them and feeding three meals a day with snacks as needed in between.

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    Replies
    1. hi Rachel,
      so he didn't have a poop for like 4 days =( so yesterday i didn't give him any solids and today he had a massive poop but it was liquid like his usual ones where as 4 days ago he was having these hard little nuggets. i think this is probably not a feasible plan - to just stop solids everytime he is constipated. i called the peds - they said to give 4 oz prune juice. to me that sounds like a lot of juice for a 6 month old and i don't really wanna give him sweet juice but perhaps i can dilute it with breastmilk or water??

      yeah i decided maybe i should just be okay with it... haha.. he didn't have any awakenings in the night for a long time... until yesterday - i saw he was awake at like 5:20a then when i looked at 6:15a, he was back asleep... hmph...

      so i shortened the first nap to 1hr 40min and when i wake him, he is NOT happy. and i thought it might lengthen the 2nd nap but today and yesterday he woke up after 20min (YES! 20min =( ) into the 2nd nap and then he lies awake in his crib, not crying, for a long time... so i pick him up after 30min of lying there, play with him for 30-40min and then put him back down and he sleeps another 30-40min. i don't think this is a good solution either. i suspect something is happening - either teething, developmental, perhaps the constipation?? bc he is fussier than usual too. crying during the day which he didn't used to do since like 4 mos ago. well so now that his 2nd nap is destroyed (used to be 1.5-2hr =( now on/off for like 1 hr), his 3rd nap ends up being longer like an hour and i hafta wake him up...

      yeah the whole 3 or 4 hour thing is totally confusing to me too... i am going to keep our feeding times for now..

      Delete
    2. Hunniebee,
      I apologize for the late reply! I wouldn't really stop solids with the constipation now (unless, of course, he was having major issues), but I would consider introducing them more slowly. Some babies really need this, and at 6 months, there isn't' a huge rush (although you may feel it) to get them eating a bunch of solids right away. I really feel that variety is more important at this age. As his body gets used to the solids he'll probably have less constipation issues. If he is having issues now, he'll very well might have them when he gets off of breast milk too. Just a warning :)

      I don't think diluting the prune juice would help, you might as well give less prune juice kwim? (unless of course he prefers it diluted). Before doing the juice route (although it isn't a huge issues to do this), I like to do the food route and offer foods that are somewhat laxatives. If you do juice, just start small and see what helps and increase as needed. Maybe you won't need the 4 oz, but if you do, then, well, I guess you do :0 Here is a link to my baby food blog that has constipation food. It should be on the first post (this isn't a very comprehensive blog, just stuff I wrote down so I wouldn't have to look it up in multiple places with each child).
      http://mybabyfoodguide.blogspot.com/

      The night wakings, with no cause, are also a common thing that kids do that happens even when things are perfect. Even healthy sleep habits, happy child mentions this as normal and a phase. So, if things seem to be going well, no worries.

      Some kids will be really unhappy if they are woken up during the wrong time in their sleep cycle--that may be going on. Then of course, if they are still tired they may be unhappy. Sometimes they may be tired but need some time to get used to sleeping less at a certain time. Most of the time the morning nap is dropped shorter and it eventually goes away and you are left with just the afternoon nap that moves earlier. But some kids will do better with a morning nap that stays long, a shorter afternoon nap that eventually gets dropped, and the morning nap moving later and turning into an afternoon nap. I hope that made sense! So I wonder if this may be the case. Also, simply waking him from the morning nap maybe at 1 hour 30 minutes may work better and adjusting the wake time after. Normally I'd say waking after 20 minutes if overtired, but if he woke and just sat there, he may have been under tired.

      Then you have the extra fussiness going on. Teething or illness or wonder week--who knows. Often you don't know until it passes, if you ever know! It is hard to know if this extra fussiness is having an effect on his sleep or if that is purely due to other stuff you have changed around. Until you know that, it might be best to keep the sleep at what worked before until things settle down.

      And, one last thing, if the 3rd nap ends up being longer, keep in mind that if that nap gets too long or too late, bedtime issues might occur--so if you end up having them, you know the possible culprit!

      Good luck! Once again, sorry not to get back sooner. Some of your issues may not even be issues anymore,
      Rachel

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  90. hi Rachel,

    yes i decided to introduce the solids more slowly. i am giving him about 2 tbsp of food twice a day and that's as much as it seems he wants. i have started green veggies - he loves peas and green beans! and will start yellow veggies soon. my peds said he didn't really need cereal/oatmeal and that i could give a vitamin with iron and just sprinkle cereal in veggies and fruits if needed. but thanks for the reassurance - their bodies do get used to the solids right? he won't always be this constipated? =( even with no cereal, he still has more solid stools. so you're also saying that when i move him to cow's milk at a year old, he will have constipation issues again?? =(

    i haven't tried the prune juice route just yet but will try avoiding constipating solids like you said which i'm more comfortable doing. thanks for your other blog site!

    funny thing - we took owen to mammoth this weekend and had a blast! his sleep schedule was a bit off but he did very well and all our friends commented what a great baby he is!! when we got back sunday evening, i thought monday would be bad - well monday and tuesday, he slept 1h 40min for the 1st nap (we woke him up early) and his 2nd naps were 2 hours long!!! but then his 3rd naps were also long - i had to wake him up after an hour both days bc i didn't want him sleeping too long! well last night i happened to awaken at 3:45am and saw his eyes open but again, he was quiet lying in bed. at 5:30a i startled awake again and saw he'd gone back to sleep and slept til i woke him at 8am. so you're saying these are normal and should go away on their own? well then today's 2nd nap he woke up after 30min and lay there awake 20min tossing/turning but no crying and then went back to sleep for another 1 hr 10min. weird huh? do u think he was making up from lack of sleep from over the weekend?? i would've thought it would make his sleep worse bc he was overtired!

    yes we are waking him early from the morning nap after 1 hr 40min. i know what you mean about the morning nap maybe being the one that turns into the afternoon nap later on. how do you know if this pattern will happen? his morning nap is definitely his best nap, unshakeable! he will sleep thru trash trucks, barking dogs, garage door openings =) the morning nap is our dependable one!

    okay so how long should the 3rd nap ideally be? maybe 30min? should i not let him sleep longer than 45min/1 hr? also yes i realize too much sleep can be disrupting his sleep - did that make sense? =) some nights i saw that he slept over 12 hours, but he had some night wakenings so it was hard. but i think i will not let him sleep over 12 hours - and probably more like 11.5 hours to see if that helps his naps. i thought all this might be a developmental thing but it seems to be persisting for a long time...

    thanks so much for your thoughts!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      I have known of a handful of kid that have had constipation issues for a couple years with solids, but that is really uncommon from what I can tell. Most kids improve dramatically with a little time and digestive maturity. Cow's milk is notorious for causing constipation (as is cheese) so he may be fine with it but starting slowly would probably be a good idea.

      He may have been making up for lost sleep over the weekend. As kids get older they often get better with handling over tiredness. Many will go to sleep fine and sleep fine and often little longer. Some kids are always like this. With mine I've noticed that this goes back and forth. What I mean is they tolerate over tiredness better at different ages but overall, do better as they get older.

      Some short night wakings can be normal. I can't really say they are for sure normal in his situation and not related to something else (like too much napping) but honestly, I wouldn't stress too much about them. You are likely to get just as many new problems trying to fix this possible issue kwim?

      "how do you know if this pattern will happen" Well, sometimes it happens by itself. In your situation it would probably be led by you. Or maybe when you try to decrease the morning nap and extend the afternoon nap he fights it and is super cranky so you decide to do the opposite. Not a really good answer. Pretty much evaluate the situation and see what would be best.

      Third nap will vary a lot at this age. Some kid start to drop it now. You want to make sure bedtime doesn't get too late or issues often (but not always) pop up. So if a longer nap is making bedtime too late, then consider shortening it. If he normally wakes at 45 minutes then I would probably let him wake naturally instead of waking at 30 minutes--I try to avoid the waking if I can. Keep in mind that in general, a shorter nap or no evening nap but an earlier bedtime is better than a longer nap and a later bedtime. Night sleep is more restorative than daytime sleep.

      As long as he is getting to bed at a decent hour (and you don't notice that it causes other issues) then I don't think it matters if the last nap is longer. It is pretty normal to make up sleep in one nap if it was lost in another.

      Remember that babies have off days and that you can't judge what is "going right and wrong" off of just a day or two and that they will always vary a bit from day to day. Just do what you think will work best at the time with the loads of information you now know :) Often you'll get a gut feeling about something too.

      Rachel

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    2. hi Rachel,

      his constipation issues r much better now that i stopped the cereal. one of my peds friends said they don't really need the cereal/oatmeal, there are other ways of getting iron.

      yes i think he was making up for the sleep lost during our mini vacation bc now we're back to shorter naps. that 2nd nap is only an hour now these days. is that okay?? the 1st nap we are waking him 1 hr 40min into that nap. should i stop shortening the 1st nap and just let him sleep? why do you think the 2nd nap is not lengthening? i was shortening the 1st nap bc he was having some night time awakenings. the night awakenings r becoming early morning awakenings like between 5:30-6:30am which is fine with me and most days he'll go back to sleep til 7:30am-ish.. the third nap has consistently been an hour but i think it's because his 2nd nap is so short.

      also his wake time before the 1st nap is still 1 hr 20-25min and before the 2nd nap is 1 hr 35min. do you think the one before the 2nd nap is too short and that's why he's waking up after only an hour of sleeping?

      even with the longer 3rd nap of 1 hr - 1hr 15min, he has been getting to bed around 7:30-8p usually which doesn't seem too late to me.

      i'm just not sure what to do. i would like that 2nd nap to lengthen but i have a feeling it may be the morning nap that turns into the afternoon nap. i feel like maybe i should just let him sleep the first nap as long as he wants but i'm not sure. i hate waking him up from naps unless absolutely necessary too... thanks!

      Delete
    3. Hunniebee,
      The short afternoon nap may be because 1) the first nap is too long to get a longer second nap 2) there isn't enough wake time after that first nap 3) a rhythm his body is falling into.

      Yes, consider a too short of wake time as the culprit.

      As for the bedtime, once again, having a later bedtime (yours, for his age is slightly late) can often cause those early morning wakings. You have had issues moving it earlier in the past. But just pointing this out in case it is the cause now--if there is one. If you thought it may be the problem, you can always shorten the last nap to 45 minutes (around the sleep transition) and then put to bed a little earlier.

      You'll have to make the call on the nap situation. I think you will be fine either way. Sounds like you are leaning towards keeping the morning nap so I say go ahead and do it. You'll just want to evaluate a lot for over tiredness in the evenings. I've noticed it can crawl up on you a bit more when things are done this way.

      Rachel

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  91. okay so this is what i'm thinking... today his 2nd nap was 1.5 hours (1st nap 1 hr 40min as usual then i have to wake him up) and so bc his 2nd nap has been shorter, i see that his 3rd nap now is turning from 30min into an hour... is that okay?? thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hunniebee,
      If it works, then that is fine. But you may end up with issues as you are trying to drop the third nap. I wonder if the issue will resolve with a little more wake time before that afternoon nap.

      Rachel

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  92. hi Rachel,

    okay.. so update on the naps haha...

    his 2nd nap is more often than not still 35-40min.. then he will stay in his crib for about 45min - just playing or sucking on his fingers. rarely, he will go back to sleep and sleep another 45min-1hr. i have increased the waketime before this 2nd nap to about 1h 45min to 2 hr and i know he's tired but doesn't seem overly so. is it possible he needs a longer waketime than 2 hours?? that being said, his 3rd nap has now turned into a LONG 3rd nap.. longer than 1 hr.. in fact i think he would sleep 1.5hr if i didn't go an wake him myself. it seems like the 3rd nap is turning into the 2nd nap and the 2nd nap is short as the 3rd one should be... not sure what it is.. i don't think it's hunger because why would he only be hungry during the 2nd nap and actually the feed before this nap includes 4tbsp solids whereas the feed before the 3rd nap does not have any solids included. do u think his body is just used to this cycle now?? once a week, his 2nd nap will be 1.5 hr long but the rest of the time it is still 35-40min.

    do you think perhaps he needs to drop the 3rd nap and be up still longer between the 1st and 2nd naps - longer than 2 hours??

    thanks!!

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  93. oh also.. i was wondering when your two boys dropped their third naps and what their waketimes were around this age? owen will be 7 mos in a few days... =) thanks!

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  94. hi Rachel,

    so i think i forgot to mention that his left lower tooth is also coming in but i know this sounds weird - he's been dealing with this short 2nd nap for a while but i don't think it is from teething. i don't know why but my gut feeling is that it's not the teething... do you think that is the reason for the short naps though?? i'm at a loss.. every day this week he had short 25-40min 2nd naps. do you think i should stop shortening his 1st nap to 1hr 40min and just let him sleep 2 hours? i'm confused... thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hunniebee,
      You are probably right that it is not the teeth since there are only issues with the afternoon nap. If there are issues with afternoona and evening I'd say maybe (bc many kids will sleep better for that first nap), but as it is, unlikley. And gut feeling is always a good way to go!

      Yes, he may need more than 2 hours. He may very likely need less first thing in the morning but need more in the afternoon.

      I think it is fine to try 2 hours with the first nap. You may need to increase waketime a bit more after if you do this. If you can get that afternoon nap to turn out good too, it might work out well to try dropping that evening nap and doing an early bedtime. I think we dropped it a little after this age for my kids. I can't remember exactly when though, although it is written somewhere at home. With my youngest he dropped it himself. With Joshua I can't remember right now what happend (not too helpful am I, huh?). Either way, when you drop it will depend upon your child, but most people will suggest dropping it not too late so bedtime doesn't end up too late. Most kids seem to do better with a dropped evening nap and an early bedtime. I know my kids (and others) have gone back and forth with wanting a short and long evening nap so that isn't too terribly unusual. Some kids always take a longer nap until it is dropped, although this will lead to a very late bedtime with most kids. Just fit the naps in the best you can with bedtime until you seem to find the sweet spot where he sleeps a bit more consistent.Waktime for my youngest was a little over 2 hours later on in the day at this age.

      You will only know what works best when you trial it out. There are multiple ways to get this to work for you guys which are all good.

      Delete
  95. hi Rachel,
    thanks for the reassurance about the gut feelings. yes, i will keep tweaking the naps. for example, yesterday we had 2 1hr 20min naps and the third nap was 1 hr 30min. today we had 2 1hr 40min naps and then the third nap was 40min. i extended the waketime between the 1st and 2nd naps which i think was helpful. i don't think he is quite ready to drop the 3rd nap just yet.

    i wanted to ask you a few things about the breastfeeding though. he cut a tooth last week and it's in the process of coming up. he started biting a few days ago and i, obviously, was nervous that i'd have to give up breastfeeding =( well i just said no firmly a few times and the past two days have been bite-free. well i also started watching him more intently and when he pulled off, i did not put him back on because that seemed to be part of the problem - prior, i had put him back on multiple times to encourage him to eat until he started biting and now he just looks at me with a mad face and yells if i try to put him back on. the only problem is that he is nursing like 3-4min on each side and then REFUSING to go back on the breast. the thing is, he is eating every 3.5 hrs and despite the short nursing periods, he is making it thru and like i said today, his naps were good (to me! i'll take 1hr 40min, 1 hr 30min and 40min for today's naps! and that 1st nap i shortened). i am debating about letting him sleep 2 hours for that 1st nap as you suggested. i'm so scared he'll shorten his 2nd nap again if i do that although he was shortening his 2nd nap all last week despite me shortening his 1st nap for him. is this okay for him to be nursing so short?? 3-4min on each side?? thanks so much! oh and he's eating twice a day, about 4 tbsp per meal. thanks!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      My kisd have also gotten to a point where they will yell at me if they are done nursing and I try to put them on again :) Some babies will only nurse that long and be fine. If he is gaining weight fine, seems content, doesn't seem hungry more during the day then you should be fine. Some babies will also get distracted and not want to eat much because play is much more fun. But they will then get hungry soon or wake up more at night to eat bc they aren't getting the food during the day.

      Delete
  96. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for the input. He seems fine and happy and hasnt been waking up in the middle of the night. I was wanting to ask you bout the time change. now, he has been sleeping 830p/845p to 830a and it seems okay and so far this wk, his 1st nap has been 1h 40min, 2nd is 1h 30min and third is 40min. Should I be moving his bedtime back earlier? I do prefer this 830p to 830a schedule. Also I have had to wake him at 830a this wk too..thanks..

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    Replies
    1. hunniebee,
      ahh, if he is fine with 830 then there is no need to fix something that isn't broken. He'll probalby move ealier as time goes by at his age anyway. Just be on the look out for issues.

      Rachel

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  97. Haha what do u mean by issues? Lol ....today I put him down for third nap and he didnt cry but it took him twenty min to.go to sleep so that pushed bedtime back twenty min so then he didn't go to bed til a little after 9p!!! Should I still start his day at 830a? R these the issues ure talking of?? :)

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    1. Hunniebee,
      Well, if it was from the daylight savings change, there would be new issues :)

      And kids sometimes take a little extra time to fall asleep as they get older so keep that in mind. Might be a normal thing :)

      Delete
    2. I am just working around the question, aren't I! It is hard to know what is causing what sometimes!

      Delete
  98. hi Rachel,
    okay that sounds good... haha. yes, i think it's probably normal that he's taking a little extra time to fall asleep. he usually can go to sleep in 5-10min but 20min isn't that far off... yes it is hard to figure out what's causing what. well he went to bed later than usual last night and today was up at 8:30a again so we'll see! thanks! =)

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    1. Hunniebee,
      You can always see if waketime or stimulation or room environment makes a difference with the falling asleep. But even a too long of waketime can end up making kids fall asleep super quick so that could be confusing to figure out. You are getting good at figuring out what is going on and I'd just look at the situation and use your knowledge and gut feelings to help you decide what needs to happen (if anything at all).

      Delete
  99. hi Rachel,

    so things r still going with the 8:45/9p going to bed and waking at 8:30a. there have been some night wakings but he just goes back to sleep. also his 2nd nap now has been longer than usual which i'm really happy about! in fact today, i had to wake him from his 2nd nap at 2 hours bc he was still sleeping. i had a few questions. 1) should i just let him go as long as he wants to sleep at this 2nd nap or wake him at 2 hrs? 2) should i still be shortening his 1st nap to 1 hr 40 min? 3) today he slept 1 hr 40min, 2 hr and then when i put him down for the 3rd nap of course, he played in his crib for about 30min! - rolling back n forth, scooting around his crib, then plopped down after 30min and sucked his fingers to sleep.... does he really need this 3rd nap now?? otherwise he woke up from his 2nd nap at 4p... can i just keep him up til 8p/8:30p, his bedtime?? thanks!!! (oh and thanks for your vote of confidence in me! i think i am getting the hang of it haha and knowing how to troubleshoot and all!, also i'm thinking if his 1st/2nd naps are so good then he likely doesn't need the 3rd nap.. i just wanna make sure if i keep him up 3-4hrs before bedtime, that waketime isn't too long - what do u think??)

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    1. Hunniebee,
      If she sleeps good for those first two naps, he may not need a 3rd unless it is pushed later which may interfere with a good bedtime hour (which, is a little different right now but seems to be working). Some people really stick to their routine no matter what. I am more flexible, especially the less naps there are because it is easier to be flexible. I would probably let him sleep as long as he wants with that afternoon nap and then drop the 3rd when needed--assuming no issues pop up by doing this. Put him to bed very early if you don't do that 3rd nap. Waketime will be longer than usual, but not too much longer or you'll have issues.

      With the shortened morning nap, I can't really say for sure what is best to do. Some are fine with it longer that this age. Many babies start to need it shorter to take a good second nap and to sleep good the rest of the day. You have to try it out to see what happens. But I don't know if I'd want to mess around with things too much right now since you just got that afternoon nap going :)

      Delete
  100. sorry had some more thoughts - sometimes that 1st nap, he wakes up at 1h 30/40min on his own so i'm not always shortening it myself. and i realize that some days he may not need the 3rd nap but if the first 2 naps aren't good, then he may need the 3rd nap. i'm just thinking if he doesn't need that 3rd nap, how long can his waketime be before bed? (i know this depends on the kid too... but just wanted to know if 3-4 hrs was okay... bc i put him down for his 3rd nap after 2 hours and he played in his crib like i said for over 30min.. so i am pretty sure he can do 3hr okay.. but i would still like his bedtime to be around 8/8:30p...)

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    Replies
    1. Hunniebee,

      I am trying to remember his exact age right now. 7 months ish? He will probably be ok with 3 hours but you will be the best person to see if he is doing well or not. Check how is sleep and mood are with the waketime. Post to double check with (just suggestions, but it helps to know averages I think :)

      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/02/wake-time.html

      Delete
  101. hi Rachel,

    i took a look at your waketimes post, thanks =) okay so the 2nd nap has not been totally consistent. has been around 1-2 hours. but the morning nap now has also sometimes been short here and there. i believe it's because he's teething now because even at night a few times this week he woke up crying for a few minutes, which he hasn't done for a while, and then he would suck his fingers back to sleep and i noticed his teeth have erupted even more. he is 7.5 months now.

    okay, i definitely don't think he is ready to drop the 3rd nap at all but i am playing around with the waketimes which i believe is helping the 3rd nap situation. sometimes he still plays for a little bit in his crib but he goes to sleep - sometimes his 3rd nap is 30min, sometimes an 1hr and i have to wake him and i think that depends on how his first 2 naps have gone.

    i was thinking bout letting him go and sleep 2hr the first nap but you are right.... i just got him to lengthen the 2nd nap so i think i will just continue to shorten the nap at our odd time of 1hr 40min =) haha... i know it's hard for you to comment on what i should do because it's very baby-dependent hahaha... i just wanna know i'm not doing anything WRONG by shortening that morning nap... =) so far it has been okay.. and the weird thing is his bedtime has been 8:30 to 8:50p and he wakes up at 8:30am to start the day and has been napping okay so is it okay to continue these bedtimes/waketimes even though they are a bit later? i prefer this later time for my work schedule as well. i know he still has some early wakings or nite wakings bc i see he has moved in his crib but i honestly don't hear him crying so im okay with it as long as he seems happy and most of the time, he is! =)

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    1. Hunniebee,
      If the wake time and bedtimes are working, don't worry about it. Just keep a close eye on things and consider this the possible cause if problems prop up.

      Delete
  102. hi Rachel,

    so yesterday his 1st nap was a bit longer than usual.. 1h 50min and then his 2nd nap was only an 1h long. then today he woke up on his own from the 1st nap after 1h 15min and then his 2nd nap was 2h 15min! so i think i am going to continue to shorten the 1st nap to 1h 40min.. thoughts? =)

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    Replies
    1. Hunniebee,
      Shortening the morning nap is a common and normal method to help with the afternoon nap. If doing that works, then good. Most people end up doing it eventually if baby doesn't do it himself. There are no exact rules with all of this. If it works for the two of you and baby is healthy then no worries.

      Delete
  103. hi Rachel,

    okay we're having issues.... that didn't take very long, did it? =) so now all of his 1st and 2nd naps this week were completely different and off... for example, his 1st naps ranged from 1 hour to 1hr 40min and his 2nd nap ranged from 45min to 2h 15min. i'm so at a loss of what to do =( is it the bedtime that is too late, 8:30p to 8:30a? i'm not sure if it's his waketimes that are the problem?

    i just know these things... that first waketime, he cannot be up longer than 1 hr 30min. also nighttime, i hear him cry at transitions when he stopped doing that about a month ago but now it's started up again. his first two teeth are still erupting - could it be the teeth?? also i'm not sure what do to about his feeds.. he's been on a combo schedule, usu 3.5hrs during day but in the evening i've been feeding every 2-2.5hrs because i'm trying to fit in 5 nursing periods. is this making things worse?? remember how we talked about keeping the baby on a schedule where they eat more often than they need to?

    it seems like he has been shortening his 1st nap himself recently but then his 2nd nap hasn't really always been consistently longer (i.e. today's 2nd nap was 45min!) and then usu he compensates with the third nap but today's 3rd nap was only 30min as usual. i'm going to put him in bed earlier tonite - 8p instead of 8:30p.

    thanks for any thoughts, Rachel!

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  104. hi Rachel,

    okay so we had nap issues for the last three days. basically all 3 of his naps were about 1-1.5 hours for the past few days. and i really tried to figure out what it was and just wasn't sure. well today he slept 1 hr 40min for the 1st nap and the nanny woke him up as usual (when he would sleep longer, that is). and then for his 2nd nap he slept 2 hours!! and we did not do anything different! not sure what it was? maybe today was a fluke but i hope not! now i'm not sure whether he will need the 3rd nap. i guess i will play it by ear... do you think he is too early to drop the 3rd nap? should i just wait and see if he gets really fussy and then lay him down?

    one thing i noticed is that he has been taking a really long time to fall asleep for the 3rd nap - like 30min or 45min. he will just lie there and suck his fingers and then eventually fall asleep and sleep for about 30-60min (depending on how good his other naps were that day). does this mean he is ready to drop it?

    thanks again!!

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  105. hi Rachel, sorry to bug you.. i am not totally sure he is ready to drop the 3rd nap. yesterday his 3rd nap was 15min but he could not really make it to his usual bedtime (i put him to bed 30min earlier but he was NOT happy. maybe an hour earlier would have been better?). i'm not sure if that means i just need to put him to bed much earlier or if that means he isn't ready to drop the 3rd nap. my inkling is he is not ready to drop the 3rd nap yet... i'm just not sure if he's getting too much daytime sleep??

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    1. Hunniebee,
      I am not at all surprised about the change in naps for a few days. This will always happen on and off as they go through wonder weeks and other developmental things and illnesses. I try to adjust the day as needed and then keep things the same. I will do some mini evaluating to see if there is anything obvious going on. I will only do some deep evaluations and consider changes if it goes on for more than a few days, if not several days.

      At night he may have been waking crying from either over tiredness or teeth. Don't be scared to put him to bed 1 hour early if he seems to need it :) Most kids will do fine with this. If he doesn't do well with this, take him on a walk or something instead in the evening or give him a long bath--do something that is relaxing and will reduce whining and tears and will stimulate him little.

      There is usually a period of time where kids are not quite ready to drop the third nap but they aren't doing very well with it. You may be in one of those times. Putting him to bed later for the third nap (because he needs more waketime before or maybe he just doesn't sleep well after a certain hour unless it is bedtime) may end up making bedtime too late. Skipping the third nap may cause over tiredness and make bedtime little too early (if he is waking early in the morning). I think you are fine keeping the third nap now if you feel like he needs to keep it. Work on moving the waketimes around a bit. If he sleeps extra long for the afternoon nap consider dropping it for that day. If he is sleeping well day and night, don't worry about the too much sleep during the day issue.

      Delete
    2. hi Rachel,

      thanks for your reply and thoughts. i truly appreciate it! yes, i agree with you completely about going with the flow and doing mini evaluations without completely overhauling things for just a few off-days.

      i agree with you about the crying at night as well. he has stopped that as well =) although he moves a LOT!! haha i've seen him asleep at night on his back, on his side, both arms in the air, one arm in the air and many times in the morning i see that he has moved 180 degrees from the direction i had placed him at night! is this all normal?? =)

      his waketimes are still the following - 1.5hr, then 1st nap, 2 hr, then 2nd nap, 2 hr 10min (these 10min help him fall asleep faster i realized!), then 3rd nap, 2.5 hr then bedtime. i was reading online and see a lot of babies with longer waketimes, esp since my baby will be 8 mos next week!! i guess he just can't be up for longer... will this lengthen again? is this normal?? =)

      hahah i guess i am wondering if this is all normal lol... and yes i am definitely sure that he still needs that third nap right now.

      thanks again so much!! and i am not going to shorten that 1st nap anymore. i am going to just let him do what his body tells him =) hope you and your family have a happy Easter!

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    3. Hunniebee,
      The moving in bed is normal. It will happen more with some kids when they are overtired, but some kids (like my oldest) always move around a lot. He probably got it from me :)

      Waketimes will keep lengthening. If he is sleeping well at night and day, I wouldn't worry about it. As he starts to not fall asleep as easily for naps or, less commonly, starts to have short naps, consider that you need to lengthen them. If he has issues at night then consider that he needs an increase in waketime during the day. Many kids at this age will end up sleeping less during the day when they need less rather than sleep more and then have night sleep influenced but it can happen. He is normal for him. Many babies will have crazy long waketimes because people don't realize (or they can't get them to) they need to sleep longer for optimum health. Listing waketimes of others is just a good reference point. If he is doing well where he is at, don't worry. No need to fix something that isn't broken ;)

      Have a great Easter too.

      Rachel

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  106. hi Rachel,

    thanks for reassuring me that the moving around in bed is normal! yes he is definitely napping better now. yesterday his 1st nap was 1 hr (got cut short due to barking dogs and vacuuming house cleaners =) ) and then his 2nd nap to my surprise was 2.5 hrs! well today his 1st nap was 2 hrs (i didn't shorten it to 1h 40min like i usu do but i still had to go in and wake him up at 2 hrs), and his 2nd nap was 1.5 hrs. but bc his 1st nap was 2 hrs today, his waketime afterwards was 2hr 15min and since his 2nd nap was shorter, his waketime afterwards was 2 hrs. i guess i'm wondering this - it seems like if he naps longer, he can stay up longer so if his 1st nap is longer then the following waketime is longer but is that okay? i know that as the day progresses, his waketimes should lengthen not shorten as a general rule. or should i just do the 2 hours awake, 2 hours nap rule? but he seems like if he sleeps 2 hours or longer that he can stay up longer... thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. Hunniebee,
      Sounds like you are doing things well. The waketime trend and 2 for 2 and 2 3 4 nap trends are all just trends and not every baby will follow this. Some babies sleep better if they are sleeping at a certain time so check to see if you ever notice this happening--I guess what I'm saying is to watch for this if issues pop up with him going back and forth with the nap lengths.

      Rachel

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    2. hi Rachel,

      here is our schedule roughly..
      8:30a wake and nurse
      10a nap
      11:30/12p wake up and nurse
      1:30/2p nap
      3:30p/4p wake up and nurse
      6p catnap, 30min
      6:30p wake up and nurse
      8:30/9p bedtime

      well today both naps his were 2 hours long and so he woke up at 4p and at 6p he did NOT want to go down. he lay in his crib talking to himself for 20min and i didn't want his bedtime pushed back later so i picked up him and then he went down to sleep at 8p. i was surprised he wasn't all that fussy from 4 til 8p but i think this waketime obviously is too long. maybe that rest time in his crib helped??

      what to do u think i should do? i don't think he's necessarily ready to drop the 3rd nap but i'm just not sure. this is the first time he's completely skipped his 3rd nap. 4 hours until bedtime is really too much waketime right? tomorrow i'm sure he'll be up earlier than 8:30a since he went to bed earlier. so perhaps this is really a non-issue since the schedule will be pushed back earlier and then he will have time for the third nap before bedtime but this seems like a weird cycle. just wanted to see what your thoughts were... thanks so much!!!

      Delete
    3. i guess also i should add this.. usu he doesn't sleep a full 2 hours for both naps and so he's more readily able to take that catnap. but today since he slept a full 2 hours for both naps then he didn't seem tired enough to take the catnap.. does that make sense? =)

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    4. Hunniebee,
      So did he end up waking earlier in the am? Many kids will wake up at the same time when they go to bed earlier for one reason or another so it doesn't usually end up messing up the routine.

      4 hours does seem a bit long for him although some kids are fine with it at this age. I would probably just put him to bed a bit earlier than that if needed. I'm sure the rest time in his bed did help.

      So if he takes two long naps, sounds like he'll probably not be able to take a 3rd nap so you'll end up with an earlier bedtime (normal when a nap is dropped) instead of it. and Hopefully he'll wake up the same time the next morning.

      Delete
  107. hi Rachel,

    so he woke up at the same time in the morning, around 8:15am. then the rest of this week he took his 3rd nap though it is taking him about 20-30min to fall asleep for it. he will just lie in his crib or look around sometimes for 20-30min and then finally go to sleep for about 30-45min. is this okay?

    yesterday he did the same thing though, took almost 2 2 hour long naps and so didn't wanna go down for his 3rd nap so he was up for 4hours and then went to bed but woke up a little bit earlier than usual today - like maybe 30min earlier. today his 1st nap was almost 2 hours but his 2nd nap was only 40min?? he will definitely need a 3rd nap today. is this normal to always be changing? ahhaha.. i know he's not a machine so i'm guessing yes?? not much choice but to just go with the flow... is this normal, all this change before the 3rd nap is dropped? thanks!

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    1. HUnnieber,
      He is probably taking a while to fall asleep for that last nap because he may need a little extra wake time or he no longer sleeps easily that late in the day.

      There is a lot if change (or crankiness) with som babies as this nap is dropped. And some babies are certainly less consistent with sleep than others. He my be changing his daily slep each day because he gets his fill one day, then needs less the next then is a little overtired from not quite as much the previous day so sleps more again--or something like that. When you don't force structure more with one kids this will happen. With my 4 year old i had to completely drop his nap because he was getting worse sleep and getting overtired when I allowed him to nap whenever he fell asleep--every few days.

      Delete
  108. hi Rachel,

    yes... i think it may be that he needs a little extra waketime but he's just so FUSSY when he's getting near his nap time that it's hard to keep him up haha...

    and yes i totally think what you described is what is happening. his daily sleep is changing each day because it's a vicious cycle... one day he'll need more, next day less, then he's overtired, etc.. how do i break this cycle with my LO? he's 8.5 months old. this past 5 days, his 1st nap has been 1.5-2hrs (usu 2 hrs) and then i normally have a 2 hr waketime and then back down for the 2nd nap. well he's been taking a little bit longer to fall asleep for that 2nd nap and then when he finally falls asleep it's a short 45min nap!! he doesn't wake up crying. he just plays in his crib until i'm ready to go get him bc i figure playing is his crib is a lot less stimulating than out of the crib. do you think he's changing the amt of WT he needs before the 2nd nap? should i try 2 hr 15min? his waketime before the 1st nap finally went from 1.5 hours to 1hr 35min (lol! yes i extend by 5min each time just to see bc i don't want him to be overtired!) and that has given us our 2 hour morning nap back but now the 2nd nap has become short. i guess my question is this - should i shorten the morning nap? or just extend the amt of WT between 1st and 2nd nap to perhaps 2 hr 15min?? thanks so much!!

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    Replies
    1. hunniebee,
      Sorry for the late reply as I was out of town. If he seems fussy and tired for that last nap but won't sleep I wonder if he actually needs less waketime, more waketime but has to get used to it, or if he is tired enough for a nap but his body won't sleep that late in the day. Sorry, not too conclusive!

      do you think he's changing the amt of WT he needs before the 2nd nap? This is very possible and he will always be changing all these wakeitmes as he gets older so you'll need to keep adjusting them when he seems to need it. If he has a short nap or difficulty falling asleep suddenly, consider this as a reason. Review the short nap post or waketime post when this happens and hopefully you'll be able to tell what you need to do at that time.

      Either methods (shorten morning nap or extend waketime before afternoon nap) works but since you are struggling with the third nap right now, it might work best if you extend both those waktimes, keep the nap the same and then drop that third nap and do an early bedtime. If the afternoon still suffers with more waketimes (now or later) I would consider decreasing the morning nap (very common around 12 mothsish). If bedtime gets pushed back too late because waketimes and nap lengths make it so, decrease that first nap length. Night sleep is more restorative than day sleep.

      Rachel

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    2. Hunniebee,
      I forgot to mention that to get more of a consistent routine you may need to control it more yourself. For example, if she goes from 1.5-2 hours for the morning nap you may want to always wake after 1.5 hours. But you may instead be able to adjust the waketime for the second nap to make it work with different first nap lengths and then figure out how to organize bedtime or the third nap with different first and second nap lengths. There are a lot more factors to consider (with some kids, at least) when you allow them to sleep as long as they want to for each nap. some kids go with the flow easily so it isn't a big deal if nap changes around a bit, other kids really struggle.

      Delete
  109. hi Rachel,

    thanks so much for your thoughts.. it's so helpful, really.

    so we have extended the waketimes and that "fixed" the 2nd nap. he began to sleep 1.5-2 hrs for both 1st and 2nd naps, yay!!!

    well then the last 3 days we put him in the crib for his 3rd nap and he wouldn't nap. he would cry, play, rest, talk, roll but no sleeping. so after 20-30min, we'd just pick him up and move on to dinner, etc.. the 2nd day we put him to bed around the same time and he awoke at 7am and talked for 40min then went' back to sleep until 8:30a (his usual waketime for the day). so last night i put him to bed earlier 8, instead of 8:30p and he slept til 8:30am today. so i'm wondering if he really did in fact drop his 3rd nap... should i still try to put him down in the crib for 3rd nap even tho he isn't sleeping altho it seems like he is at least resting? we are leaving on vacation in a few weeks and it would be great if this nap was dropped as that would make it more flexible but of course i don't want him to be overtired. because his 1st 2 naps have lengthened, i think that's why also he will not nap and what you said - it's pretty late in the evening hour since his waketimes and naps have BOTH lengthened. today his 1st nap was 2 hr 15min. now his schedule is as such
    8:30 wake and nurse
    10:05 nap
    12:05 wake and nurse
    2:30p nap
    4:15p wake and nurse
    615-645 rest (i'm not sure, does he still need this??)
    8p nurse and bedtime

    i guess i'm wondering how will i know if this isn't working and he still needs that 3rd nap? and because there's no 3rd nap, i'm not shortening either of the 1st two naps at all. i'm guessing this is okay?

    also on vacation, i'm guessing things might be different since we'll be on a cruise ship. so i'm thinking if naps aren't so great then we'll just add the 3rd nap back in, no biggie. as long as he needs it, i'm obviously for it. another thing is i've been putting him in a pack n play for a few of his naps to get him used to sleeping in one for the cruise. anything else i can do to make it more comfortable for him? thanks for your input!

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  110. also, i should say that i am still sneaking in a nursing to the above schedule so he really nurses at 830, 1230, 430, 630, 8... i'm sneaking in that 630p one bc i'm scared for two reasons - 1) that my supply will decrease if i drop that feed, 2) he will awaken hungry in the middle of night if i drop that feed. i did skip that feed once or twice over the last few wks bc we were out or i couldn't make it back in time to nurse him at 6:30p, and he did just fine. i still pump before i go to bed at 11/11:30p also and will likely not stop this even i drop him to 4 nursings just so i can keep up my supply as well. do you think it would be okay to drop to the 4 nursings and then i'll continue to pump right before my bedtime as well? oh, he is eating solids twice a day, 6-8tbsp each time. and he nurses so fast - 6-8min TOTAL, 3 min each side. i'm nervous he's nursing so little but he seems to make it four hours?? i don't have another peds appt for another month or so. but he seems happy.

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  111. haha, hi Rachel, spoke to soon. his 2nd nap the past few days has been 45min. his 1st nap is anywhere from 1h 45min to 2h 15min but his 2nd nap shortened. i guess when he has a longer 1st nap i think he can make a 2.5 hr waketime until the 2nd nap. he did okay a few days but now his 2nd nap is short. do you think that means he can have a longer waketime in between?? or he's overtired and i should go back to 2/2hr 15min waketime? well bc his 2nd nap is only 45min, he def needs a 3rd nap which he will take for 30min but then bedtime of course is pushed back.

    how do u know if the 3rd nap needs to be dropped? i'm guessing a short 2nd nap means he isn't ready to drop the 3rd nap =)

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    1. With the pack and play, they sell sheets that are slightly padded that you can put in them. I don't know if it makes a huge difference, but it is softer to me and I'm sure some kids really notice the difference. I bought mine at babies rus. Keep the pre-sleep routine the same and have a lovey. Maybe put something by him that smells like you if you aren't right next to him.

      You will probably be ok with 4 nursing and one pumping. .Most moms seem ok with this. You have to keep monitoring your supply though. Does he seem full is he growing well etc. You can always weight him on your own scale by weighting both of you together then taking the difference from just your weight. That might give your one piece of mind. Some kids really only need the few minutes nursing. I wish this was the case with mind. they always took a while to nurse :)

      A lot of people will give the 3rd nap when needed for some time until it is complexly dropped. IT might be a good idea for you. You can always put him to bed early when he doesn't sleep well for the first two naps, but you can only do it so early and cause so much over tiredness at this age so sometimes a 3rd nap makes more sense. Some kids do better than others going back and forth between 2-3 naps while others have difficulty. He seems to do ok with switching back and forth.

      I'm not really sure if he is over or under tired from the lack of the third nap. Although the wakeitme before bed is a little long (you might want to consider a slightly earlier bedtime and see how he does) he is getting great sleep. Try the earlier bedtime to see if it helps. Since you noticed the second nap shortening as the first gets longer, I'd say it may have more to do with a need for longer waketime. Trial and error to see what works best.

      Have a great cruise if I don't hear from you by then.

      Rachel

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    2. hi Rachel,

      yes i did end up buying a very nice soft velour sheet for the pack and play and i think it makes a huge difference as well, thanks.

      thanks for the tips about nursing and weighing him too!

      okay so this 3rd nap issue is really frustrating. =( it seems like if he slept a total of 3 hours or more for the first two naps, then he won't sleep for the 3rd nap. whereas previously, when he did sleep 3 naps, he slept closer to 4 hours a day. i'm not sure how to consistently lengthen the first two naps to 2 hours each tho. that being said, i don't think he is doing very well switching back and forth between 2-3 naps. today he had only 2 naps, each 1.5 hrs and tonite i put him to be half hour earlier and he slept fine until about 3 hours after bedtime, he woke up and cried for about 20min which is very unusual for him and sounded like a bad nitemare so my husband went in and consoled him but it took a long time to do so. i hope we're not creating a bad habit by doing so but we had to check and make sure nothing was wrong. i'm not sure what to do. i think trial and error also is the way to go. just not sure how to proceed. should i try a way earlier bedtime, like an hour earlier if he skips the third nap? or should i just try to keep the third nap and just put him to bed later. i know you said nighttime sleep is more restorative but i feel like if he sleeps 12+ hours at night then his naps are not good and before if he went to bed at 9p and woke up at 8:30am, his naps were a bit better bc he wasn't sleeping so long at night. does that evven make sense?

      thanks so much!
      p.s. i'm thinking it was either a nightmare or else maybe he's really not ready to drop the 3rd nap and was overtired?? =(

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    3. Hunniebee,
      Good idea to check on him when he woke up. He is doing pretty well with sleep now so when he wakes, you will likely want to check on him. If it becomes common (and he seems fine), adjust the plan and consider it a probable call for company. Likely from over tiredness (or any old random thing) not nightmare at this age.

      If he isn't doing well going back and forth between 2-3 naps then I'd choose one method (for now, it will change soon--ahhh). I would being doing like an hour earlier bedtime, but if you notice that doing less causing over tiredness and night wakings and doing 1 hour causing issues with naps, then it sounds like keeping the 3rd nap and a later bedtime might be the only way to go. But it sounded like at the beginning that you can't get that nap in if he has 2 good naps---soooo, may an evaluation of the wakeitmes with or without the third naps might help with you figure out which method will work best.

      You don't need two 2 hour naps. I know you really think you do;) but if he doesn't need this with his night sleep, there is no point in robbing his night sleep so he can get more nap in (assuming he functional in the day and gets enough restorative sleep periods). He is his own little person. He doesn't need to do what another baby does. He needs to do what works best for him. I think you may be getting stuck on some little details and not looking at the whole picture. I say this in the nicest way. I get too detail focussed too and can't see the big picture. Sorry for the late reply. I seem to be either visit family or they are visiting me lately and things get behind.

      Rachel

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    4. hi Rachel,

      thanks so much for your reply. and no worries bout things getting left behind. please, your family is much more important than the blog of course! =)

      and yes i think i definitely get detail oriented and lose sight of the big pic so thanks for the reminder! it's horrible!

      so the past week he has been crying on/off, not for long periods but just a few seconds here and there throughout the night and just tossing/turning, fitful sleep.. i wasn't sure what it was. today he barely nursed - 4min only on one side each time, that's it! then this afternoon i was watching him and i saw them - the two upper front teeth cutting through! not only that but he started to crawl last wk and he LOVES to stand.. and this week he started blowing raspberries. so if that's not enough to disrupt sleep, i don't know what is! =)

      and thanks for letting me know i don't need 2 2 hour naps. i think owen is good with 3-3.5 hrs of daytime sleep. sometimes its 30min and 2.5hr. sometimes it's 1.5 hr each nap. but i definitely think he does better with just 2 naps vs the 3 naps and later bedtime. he seems to just sleep longer at night - 12/12.5hr instead of 11.5 hr with the later bedtime.

      anyways i know - he is his own little person =) you are right, thanks so much for being patient with me! we are leaving on the cruise soon and i'm not bringing the monitor and i'm not going to worry too much about his naps! we will have some sleep training i'm sure when we get back but we are going to enjoy our vacation! =) thanks again!

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    5. hunnbiebee,
      I am going out of town for a few days without the kids soon and it intensifies the sleep worry doesn't it. I will get to the rest of your post in a bit.

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    6. Well said, hunniebee. You just gave some good advice. It is so important to remember every child so different. That is one reason sleep advice can be so difficult to give at times and I'm sure my multiple suggestions to parents are frustrating ;)

      Have a wonderful trip! Don't be afraid of early bedtimes on rough nap days!

      Rachel

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    7. hi Rachel,

      okay so the first few naps and nights on the cruiseship were not so great but you know what? overall he did amazing to me! =) he got into a routine of being awake 2, 3, 4 hours before each nap and bedtime (little bit longer than he usually is up) but he took 2 naps (2 and 1.5 hrs each) and slept about 11-12 hours at night. i could not have been more happier. we had more protest crying before each nap and bedtime but not too bad. and we had an amazing trip! =)
      (oh and those top two teeth are definitely out!)

      now that we're back.. haha.. we're back to kind of the old routine where his waketimes are 1.5, 2.5, and 4 hrs before naps and bedtime and it seems like his naps and nighttime sleep r the same (2 and 1.5 hr naps (sometimes these r switched) and 11-12 hrs at night). so it's a pure mathematical fact/problem bc he's not awake enough during the daytime.. does that even make sense? =) i'm not sure how to proceed. should i see if he can lengthen the first two waketimes a little bit? (on cruise he did 2, 3, 4hr but i think those are a bit longer than he prob is comfortable doing) but i don't want to mess up his naps. but i want to see if he can lengthen the waketimes by just 15min or so each.. would that be okay?

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    8. oh and the reason i say it's a mathematical problem is he goes down to bed earlier bc of the shorter waketimes and obviously i don't want him in bed for 12.5-13 hrs (he doesn't sleep this whole time, i've noticed he's been waking up in middle of night or early am again - so this is my question - is this bc he doesn't have enough waketime during the day?). i hope i've made sense to you =) thanks so much!

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    9. Hunniebee,
      It looks like the extra sleep in the day migh be causing the night slep changes. Try adding in a little wake time. Add a little at a time and wait a few days in between. I'd probably focus on the last two wake times more. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you!

      Delete
  112. okay having trouble with that darned 2nd nap again... it's been 40min the past week. the 1st nap is still 1.5-2 hours. so when his 2nd nap is short, i.e. 40min, i've tried putting him down for a third nap but he won't have it and i don't blame him. i tried extending that 2nd nap waketime up to 3 hours and it still hasn't helped. the 2nd nap waketime used to be 2.5 hrs but when it resulted in a short nap, i tried to extend it. is it just a wonder week thing? teething? (the lateral teeth on the top are coming in) sick? (he had fever this past weekend but it has broken) but why only the 2nd nap? thanks!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      If extending wake time isn't helping and you've given it at least a few days then you may want to try limiting the first nap. Wonder week etc could be causing things, but I'm leaning more towards something else. Maybe he is still overtired from the trip?

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  113. hi Rachel,
    hope you had a good time with your family =) and don't even be sorry for not to me sooner.. i totally understand!

    okay so u hit the nail on the head... he had a fever this past weekend! the first time he's been sick!! so the latter part of last week when we started having trouble with the 2nd nap i think had something to do with that. i know it's weird but i think it had a lot to do with it bc he was really irritable this past weekend as well and he's usually not at all. then he had a rash yesterday so i'm thinking roseola (well the ID dr part of me is thinking that while the mom part of me was just so worried, period! could be any viral exanthem though). anyways, fever broke and he's back to his usual happy self and naps are back to 2 hr and 1.5 hrs each with longer waketimes before both naps. so i think it was a combo of things - extending wt, being sick, wonder week, being back from vacation, etc. he started cruising and babbling a lot (mamama, dadada) this past week too. thanks so much!!!

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    1. That's great to hear that things are back to normal hunniebee! Isn't the babbling and cruising fun! I LOVE watching children learn and do new things! It's amazing, right?!

      Rachel

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  114. hi Rachel! haha nothing stays the same for this guy!! =) it is amazing! he took a few steps yesterday and is standing more often without holding onto anything already! but his naps are bad again lol... now his 1st nap is short! i think he's teething. i guess i have a question - if his 2 naps are not so good, is it better to try to put him down for a third nap or better to put him to sleep for bedtime early? thanks so much!!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      An early bedtime is usually better than an extra nap that will put bedtime a bit later.

      Delete
  115. also i guess i'm wondering how much daytime and nighttime sleep is he supposed to have at this age, 10 months? i feel like there's a certain number of hours he will sleep in a 24 hour period. so for example i put him to bed 8:10p last night and he slept til 8:30am today but i had to wake him up bc i had to go to work, so he slept 12+ hrs overnight and so sometimes he doesn't sleep as much during the day. does that even make sense? i thought sleep promotes sleep but i feel like if he sleeps longer at night, he doesn't necessarily take longer naps.

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    1. Hunniebee,
      Yes, there are a total number of hours that kids will sleep during a day, if they have too many during the day, they may sleep less at night. Your little guy seems a bit more sensitive to this than others. See this post and the related ones at the bottom of the post for more
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/02/total-sleep-whats-average.html

      Delete
  116. hi Rachel,

    thanks - i thought the same thing about putting him to bed early rather than giving him a third nap. that being said, he was usually 8:30p to 8:30a sleeper so sometimes i would put him to bed 7:30p bc he woke up from his 2nd nap at 3:30p instead of 4:30p. sometimes he would sleep from 7:30p to 8:30a, other times, like today, he would wake up at 7:30a/7:45a. this is fine except his first naps have been 40-50min (before they were usu 1.5-2hr long) and i'm not sure what's going on. i think it might be teeth (the 2 lateral top ones are coming in). sometimes when his 1st nap is that short, his 2nd nap will be 2-3 hr long. well today and yesterday his 2nd naps were only 1.5hr long meaning he only slept 2hrs total of daytime sleep which seems not enough for him. and it's only 2:30p so there's no way he can stay up til 7:30p or even 7p! but i can't imagine putting him to bed at 6:30p - there's no way he'll sleep til 8a. i'm just not sure which is better - for him to sleep longer at night (7:30p to 8a) and deal with only 2 hrs of sleep during the day or to try to even it out a bit more?? every day is different and so dependent on his naps so bedtime is somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30p every night. is this always how it will be? or just until he gets older? or just thru this transition? sorry for being so crazy with all these questions. is this normal though? i feel like i can't be consistent with him when i feel like he does better on a consistent schedule. i think what happens is somewhere along the way, he becomes overtired and doesn't sleep as well and then this vicious cycle ensues. does that make sense? thanks so much, Rachel!!! i always appreciate your advice. i know he's not a robot, but it makes things very hard to plan - when i can go to work, when to pump/nurse, babysitters, etc...

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    1. Hunniebee,
      You may have the best luck giving a 3rd nap on some days but not others. You will just have to go with what seems and feels like the best thing to do each day. 2 hours sleep very well may be too little for him during the day right now.

      Will bedtime vary this much always? Not always, but it may for some time yet. My youngest isn't as consistent a sleeper so bedtime, even now that he just turned 2, still often varies. Not by tons, but by some. In fact, I still vary the bedtime of my 4 year old if he woke super early in the morning or if we are doing tons of physically draining activities that day. Some kids will be ok if you keep bedtime the same no matter what (some even do best with this) but most will need it to be a bit earlier if they sleep badly for one reason or another. As he gets older he'll be on less naps and that makes everything much easier to figure out and much less likely to vary form day to day.

      I get that it gets really tricky to do baby sitters etc with the varying schedule. Maybe if he wakes earlier with the earlier bedtime you will be better off putting him to bed later regardless of naps, or at least not as early as you have been previously. Or maybe giving a 3rd nap on these days will fix the issue. You may want to always wake form naps after a certain time so bedtime doesn't end up later than usual and it keeps the average day and night sleep more consistent for you.

      Delete
  117. oh and yes, he's very sensitive =) haha i guess, like his mother!!! hahaha... i can tell when he's gotten good sleep or not just by his temperament, very easily...

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    1. Sensitivity is such a blessing and a curse at times ;)

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  118. hi Rachel,

    yes, i agree that 2 hours is too little for him during the day right now. so i think in some ways i need to limit how long he sleeps at night too sometimes. because if he sleeps 14.5 hours in a 24 hour period and he sleeps 12+ hours at night, then we're gonna run into naptime issues, no? i think if he sleeps 11.5 hours at night then we can have 3 hours of sleep during the day. consequently, last night i put him down at 8p which is a good bedtime for us, and he was quiet for about 10min but then started crying bad. after about 10min of this on/off i wanted to make sure nothing was wrong and he was really getting worked up =( so i went in there. it took him a while to calm down and so he didn't end up falling asleep until almost 9p. then he woke up early - with crying bad, which hasn't happened in a while at 7:30a so that's when we started his day. that being said, his 1st naps the last two days were 2 hours (compared with 40min half of last wk) and then his 2nd nap was about 1 hour. is this okay? thanks for sharing what you do with your kids - haha yes sensitivity can be a blessing and a curse =) yeah i think maybe if he sleeps only a total of 2 hours with the first nap, i will try giving the 3rd nap instead of trying to get him to bed early and wanting him to sleep 12+ hrs. thanks so much!!!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      It's ok if he sleeps more for the first nap if that works better for you. But if the first nap varies in length, you may end up wanting to shorten to help keep the day consistent.

      Delete
  119. okay i think i see what might be happening here.. those nights that i think he's sleeping 12+ hours, may not really be that. i noticed sometimes over the past few weeks, that he is awake in the middle of the night or early in the morning and more often that not, he eventually goes back to sleep. for example this morning, i noticed he was awake at 6:15a but i went back to sleep. at 7:30a i thought we'd have to start our day earlier than i'd like because he was awake in his crib but quiet and at 7:35a he'd gone back to sleep. (he fell asleep the night before around 7:40a) and now it's 8a and he's still sleeping, thus we get what looks like 12+ hours of sleep but really isnt. i'm not sure what to do - if he falls back asleep do i just let him sleep? i usu don't let him sleep in past 8:30a and if he wakes early and doesn't go back to sleep, then we start our day as early as 7:45a. thanks again!!!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      Some kids will wake up occasionally at night and go back to sleep and usually it isn't a big deal. It may make morning wake up a bit later but I probably wouldn't do more than 30 minutes later if the night wake up is close to morning wake time. Too much daily sleep sometimes results in those nightly wake ups and you'll have to monitor that to see if it is the case. A too late of bedtime can cause these night wakings, but they are usually more frequent and result in an unhappy baby at wakings.

      Rachel

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  120. hi Rachel,

    i think this boy definitely thrives on consistency but every week is something different! =) so last week we were back on track with naps - 1st nap 1.5-2hrs, 2nd nap 1.5 to 1 hr respectively so he was having about 3 hrs daytime sleep and then 11.5 nighttime sleep which added up to what i suspected is his daily requirement for sleep - 14.5 hours. so i'm still playing around with his waketimes a little bit. and over the past few days he has been sleeping like this - 1hr 20min and 1hr 40min for both naps - sometimes the 1st is longer, sometimes the 2nd is longer. is this okay? or should i shorten the first nap like you said? it's funny because if i shorten the first nap (which accompanies the shortest waketime of the day), then he eats about 3, 3.5 hr after he's woken up and then goes longer without eating after the 2nd nap... does the E/A/S schedule even matter much at this point? he's almost 11 months. =) can you believe it? i cannot! i'm planning his 1st yr bday party as we "speak" =) thanks!!!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      is this okay? or should i shorten the first nap like you said?--Up to you. You know your options, do what you think works best for the two of you ;)

      does the E/A/S schedule even matter much at this point?--No, Not really. It matters less as they get older. If you find naps make an eating period much longer than 3.5-4 hours and your son gets hungry then give a little feed before the nap.

      Wow! Almost a year. Time has flown!!

      Rachel

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  121. hi Rachel,

    sorry it has been a while!! =) have been so busy with work and summer activities! you are so right with your answers above though!! =) my LO's first nap has still been really long, much longer than his 2nd nap (usu 2 hours compared to 1 hour) so i will start to shorten it when i think he needs to go down to 1 nap. otherwise i won't sweat it ;)

    other things... he turned 11 months old this week and took his first steps a few weeks ago so now he has been walking/stumbling around like a fool! =) hahaha.. he loves it. of course, him being sensitive, it did lead to a few disruptions at night where we had to go in but it was only a few nights and then it stopped =) also, been trying to transition to a sippy cup. he drank 3 oz today from sippy and the rest from bottle. he is SO sensitive! lol..

    also, i got my period today!! haha i can tell my milk supply is much decreased even just today! and he did not like nursing very much so i don't know if my milk is not to his taste.. i'm pumping right now since he won't eat. i'm not worried that he won't drink though, he looks very healthy to me!!

    yes, i can't believe it's been almost a year!!! thank you sooo much for your help!! i can't believe i've made it almost a year, exclusively breastfeeding/pumping. just another month, and we will have made our goal of 1 year! and though he's sensitive, i think he is a good little sleeper hahaha... thanks again!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      That is great to hear that things are going so well. Sure, you are transitioning through some things, but that will always happen on and off with kids. I'm very impressed you made it pumping/nursing this long with work. That is hard work and commitment!

      I wouldn't worry either if he decreases his intake for a couple days as long as he still seems hydrated (which without V/D he would most likely be).

      Have fun with the first birthday party!!

      Rachel

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  122. hi Rachel!

    my LO will be 1 yo on thursday. things are continuing to go well! still nursing exclusively 4 times a day. and he is sleeping so well. haha almost too well.. i have had to wake him up in the morning and from naps lately bc his bedtime is becoming too late. (can u believe i'm complaining about this??) well i'm not really complaining but just wondering what your thoughts were...

    since his waketimes have been lengthening, his bedtime has been pushed back later and later to the point where he goes to be around 9p and on the weekend will sleep til 9am!! during the week, it's a bit late for me to start my day so i have to wake him up at 8:30a. that being said, he will be awake from 8:30-10:30 then nap from 10:30a to 12:30p (i wake him if it's been 2 hours) then up from 12:30p to 4p then 2nd nap from 4p to 5p (i have to wake him up here otherwise bedtime will be too late!) then up from 5 to 9p then bedtime 9p.

    so here are my questions..
    1) is 9pm bedtime too late for a one year old??
    2) is it okay that i'm waking him up from his naps??
    3) i don't think he's ready to go to one nap just yet. do you? would this help the situation? one 3 hour long nap?
    4) i think he sleeps about 3 hours a day, and 11/11.5 hours at night. is this too much?
    5) is 2 hours of waketime in the morning before the 1st nap too short of a waketime for a 1 yo?

    thanks so much!!!

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    1. Hunniebee530,
      Eeek, I'm sorry this got lost in my inbox!

      1)It'll cause problems with most kids that age but not all. Trial and error will tell.
      2)Yes,sometimes it is the only thing to do to keep sleep going well. I hate doing it but I've always had to on and off. You have to choose the worse of the two evils. Waking my 3 year old from a nap was better than him going to sleep at 11 pm ;)
      3)One 3 hour nap may help or decreasing the length of one of the naps
      4)If he's fine with it then I wouldn't worry.
      5) It is just fine for many kids. Some are very sleepy then. And if he is napping well after and not waking up super early in the morning as a result then I wouldn't worry about it. Some kids even have less at this age then.

      Once again, sorry it took so long to respond! I'm going to go search my inbox for other comments I may have missed now.

      Rachel

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  123. hi Rachel,
    no problem!! i saw your most recent post so i know it must be tough to answer all these questions, including mine!

    that being said, things have been about the same - no issues except bedtime is still around 9pm. when you say issues, what kind of problems are you referring to so i can watch out for them?

    thanks sooo much for your help!!! i am so thankful for you website and your answering my hundreds of questions!


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    1. Hunniebee,
      By issues I mean sleep problems--night wakings, early morning wakings, tired despite adequate hours of sleep.

      Happy to help when I can ;)

      Delete
  124. hi Rachel,

    haha oh man.. it seemed like right after i wrote you, "what types of issues?" then they occurred... that being said, he is pretty much exactly 55 weeks old which of course is a wonder week!!! the other ones sometimes affected naps but not bedtime so much but this past weekend, it was his nighttime sleep that was affected bigtime. early morning wakings, night wakings, crying for no apparent reason and inconsolable despite us going in to reassure him. i have not nursed him at night since he was 4 months old but that is the only thing that helped last night. he was seriously inconsolable like never before. he went back to sleep after i nursed him but still awoke early. i'm unsure what to do. should i just put him down for 1st nap early since he didn't sleep well at night? should i let him nap as long as he would like to make sure he gets enough sleep?

    he has been going to bed earlier the past two/three days because he woke up earlier to start the day with all these nighttime sleep disruptions but it's not really helping. seemed like things were better with the late bedtime but i have a feeling this is unrelated to the bedtime and more to do with his developmental changes.

    thanks for your thoughts!!!

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    1. With big changes like this, I bet it's developmental or illness, pain, too.

      Do what you need to do to make him comfortable. Try to see if he'll be calmed with some words/a pat, but if not, then go from there. And be careful with how quickly you rush in. I know if I leave my son for a super short time he'll usually go back to sleep when he's ill but if I get him up, he's up sometimes for hours (not the best for either of us).

      I'd do an early nap if he slept badly. And you might want to let him sleep as long as he will. You'll have to try it and see if it backfires. I do this only sometimes and I'm not always right at guessing the right time ;) It's hard to know, and you have to know your child well to know how they usually respond.

      Rachel

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  125. so last night i put him down at 7:45p because he woke at 7am and he slept til 7:45a this morning. his 1st nap (usually 2 hrs) was 45min past two days but today went back to 1.5 hours and his 2nd nap was 1.5 hours as well so everything seemed better. well tonight i had guests over so i would have had him in bed by 8p but he went to bed more like 8:20/30p and woke up 45min later screaming and wouldn't calm down at all! =( i tried to nurse but he was not having it. he calmed down in my arms but when i put him down he was unhappy and cried for 15/20min but then went to sleep and has been asleep for about 1.5hr so far quietly. something is definitely going on. i feel like it might be some separation anxiety as well. my hubby went in at first tonite but it was only after he was in my arms that he calmed down and usually he does well with either of us.

    thanks for your thoughts. early nap sounds good if slept badly at night and yes, let him sleep as long as he will sounds good. hopefully this too shall pass...soon!!

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  126. hi Rachel!

    things have been going relatively well until this past week. he was previously waking at 8:30a, 1st nap from 11-1p, 2nd nap from 4:30-5:30p and then bedtime at 9/9:15p. well for the past week, he was having early morning wakings, anywhere from 6:45a to 7:45a where he would cry out every so often and just be rolling around his crib, kicking out, etc. i don't think he's ready for 1 nap just yet. but i'm not sure what's going on. i do think it was a wonder week last time i checked last week but it's still going on today. also, he is definitely teething but is there anything i can do with that? will this pass soon? he's about 15.5months old. thanks you!!!

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  127. btw, i remember you saying that these issues might come up with such a late bedtime.. is that it?? i feel like my gut says it isn't since he has been doing that for the past 6 months or so. thanks again!

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    1. Wow, almost 16 months old! He is growing up so much! I guess that is expected as times passes, but still, it always amazes me!

      I wouldn't completely rule out the bedtime, but you are right, it isn't the first thing I'd think of. It is still possible though as a late bedtime causing issues can pop up at any time.

      Teething might be the issues. when he gets into light sleep in the morning it may be bothering him. I'd kind of expect him to have issues at the earlier hours of the night, but it doesn't always happen. Some kids will wake go through a sleep cycle in the am and they can be roused and stay awake easily. I'd say this is a possibility but not extremely likely, especially if he's not at a lot of distress at other parts of the day. To help, you mainly have to wait it out. You can't really medicate int he middle of the night. THere are amber necklaces, but you'll have to see if you feel ok having him sleep with one of those. They usually aren't very long.

      you can try the wake to sleep method

      I wonder if he needs a little less day sleep or a slightly later bedtime until his nap is dropped or weaned more.

      Rachel

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  128. hi Rachel!! yes, how time flies, right?? =) thanks so much for your quick reply! honestly, he is a pretty good sleeper overall, now that i talk to some other moms more regularly =) lol... but yeah i didn't think it was the late bedtime because i have sorta changed when he goes to bed - i.e. put him down earlier or later and it still resulted in early wakings the past week. the reason i thought teething might play a role (either a little one or a large one) is because he's definitely been drooling more, sucking fingers more, and more clingy. some of the clinginess and sleep issues i thought might be the wonder week too but usually it only lasts a week and this is seeming a bit longer. the other thing is the morning nap is almost always 2 hours and hasn't been totally affected. only the afternoon nap that one time and then the early wakings. but yeah i was wondering the same thing - if he needed less day sleep. and because i don't want to put him to bed too late, he's not really up for a long time between 2nd nap and bedtime. if i decide to shorten naps, should i shorten the morning or the afternoon one? i know you can do it either way. how do you decide though? thanks!

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    1. Hunniebee,
      keep in mind that the wonder weeks often last longer as children get older. So that could still be adding to things.

      He has always been sensitive with his sleep amount hasn't he. So I wonder if that is the going on again. I shorten which nap a child will wake up better from, which one works around my routine better, which one makes the most sense for the future etc. It depends a lot I suppose and is done on individual circumstances. In your situation, it might be pretty tricky to get that last nap shorter. I know some kids do fine with it, but mine didn't do great with like 20 minutes and then I had to worry if they took longer falling asleep and wonder if they were only asleep for like 5 and what affect that would have. BUT, you are getting closer to dropping down to just one nap, so maybe that is the one to wean and eventually go as you move the morning one a little later to get it closer to an afternoon nap. If that doesn't work and you shorten morning instead, then it'll probably lengthen out a gain when you totally drop the afternoon/evening nap.

      Delete
  129. hi Rachel,
    hope you had a great thanksgiving! okay i'm beside myself. this has been going on almost 3 weeks. bad naps, crying out at night a few times every night, early wakings. i still think he's teething but is this normal behavior? i tried pushing back the first nap and sometimes he'll sleep 1.5 hours and sometimes 2 hours. the 2nd nap sometimes he'll go down easy and sleep 1 hour and i have to wake him and sometimes he'll fight it but eventually fall asleep. whenever he sleeps for his 2nd nap, i usually have to wake him bc it'll push bedtime back too late. i let him sleep an hour usually for the 2nd nap. but today he cried 15min HARD before falling asleep for his 2nd nap. as soon as we said, naptime, he threw a FIT, cried his eyes out! we calmed him down but when we said naptime again, he threw a FIT. i'm not sure what to do. he only slept 1h 40min in his 1st nap today but he seemed REALLY tired. couldn't make it to bedtime if no 2nd nap in my opinion. what do you think i should do? should i just try dropping the 2nd nap and see how he does?

    he used to wake up at 8:30, 1st nap around 11/11:15a, then 2nd nap at 4:30p then bedtime at 9:30p. now when i put him to bed at 9/9:15p, he sometimes doesn't actually sleep til 9:45p and then we have been going in at least once during the night most nights because he's crying and then he is awake anytime from 7:30a-8:30a. i feel like 9-10 hrs asleep at night is NOT enough for him. he was a consistent 11hr sleeper before this at night. i know you know he's sensitive to the amount of sleep he gets at day/night. do you think it would have changed so drastically from 14hrs/24 hr period to 12/13 hrs?

    i am afraid to shorten the first nap because it seems like today he shortened his 1st nap himself to 1 hr 40min and then refused to go down for his 2nd nap. the other thing is, it might just be him throwing a tantrum more than not needing the sleep. it's so hard to tell. he's been throwing more fits lately - when he doesn't get what he wants, when he's being scolded, and today, when he was told it was naptime.

    so what did you do with your boys? did you bite the bullet and just drop the 2nd nap cold turkey and deal with the overtiredness until they got used to only 1 nap a day?

    thanks so much for your help...

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    1. i was thinking more about what you said. i think given the circumstances, dropping the 2nd nap would make more sense as it seems to be later and later to me - like 5p some days! i'd rather put him to bed earlier than have him take that nap and wake up at 6p. when your kids went to 1 nap, was it 2 hours - is that enough??

      Delete
  130. okay he just woke up crying 20min after sleeping =( gonna go get him. early bedtime for sure today!

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    1. Well, this night wakings could be due to the difficulty napping. Everything causes issue with everything else!

      It isn't too uncommon to drop a nap once you get to 45 minutes/1 hour. Going less than that can be tricky for a lot of kids. If he wont' fall asleep for that second nap, even really late then I think pushing the first nap later and moving bedtime a bit earlier might be your best bet. Give it several days. You can always go back to how things were before if you need to. Around this age my kids struggled with the 2 naps too. Most kids do fine with 2 hours of sleep. My oldest slept 3 hours or so for a couple years but my youngest did 2-3 hours (some 1.5 hours in there every so often too) during the transitoin time then mainly 2 hours after that, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less.

      Delete
    2. hi Rachel,

      thanks for your reply. yes, i agree with you - the poor naps were likely affecting the night wakings and early morning wakings. so we went to the peds thursday and she confirmed that he could/should go to one nap. so the past 3 days we did that and he did surprisingly well! his 1st and only nap is now approx 2hrs long (yest it was 2h 25min) and he goes to bed still at 8:30p but will sleep until 8:30am. in fact, yesterday and today he woke up at around 9 am. is that okay? to let him sleep in? or should i wake him at 8:30a? one of the mornings, I slept in until 9am and woke up and was startled how late it was but he was still sleeping so i went in and woke him up. i've been tired lately i guess.

      Delete
    3. Hunniebee,
      If you feel like the nap is established nicely, then I don't think it is an issue if he sleeps in a little. If you are still trying to get the nap stabilized, I'd keep morning wake time the same. That's great news that he's transitioned so nicely!

      Rachel

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  131. also, we had some small crying here and there at night but seemed like it was in his sleep because it would only be 2 or 3 cries and then nothing. but no more early morning wakings so far! =)

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    1. Hunniebee,
      That might be from him getting a little overtired as he transitions to one nap.

      Delete
  132. hi Rachel, hmm.. not sure the nap has transitioned so nicely. today the nap was slightly less than 2 hours which i think is too short for him but we went with it anyways. put him to bed a bit earlier than usual but i could tell he was tired - he wasn't acting tired but more teary/crying than usual. he woke up 2.5 hours after being put down for bed and was crying so we went in there and he was beside himself. kept crying for about 10 min and finally slowed down and we were able to put him down and leave. does this mean he's not ready for 1 nap bc he's TOO overtired for bed? or does this mean i need to put him to bed even earlier?? one of the problems i think is that after three hours of being awake in the morning, he is showing signs of being sleepy - so i put him down for his nap but even with a 2hour nap, that means there's 6.5 hrs till bedtime and that's a long time! should i try to put him down later for the nap even though he's showing me sleepy cues (yawning, tired eyes)? (that way he's not staying up like 6 hours until bedtime??) or is this just the transition period and i need to stick it out?

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  133. hi Rachel,

    okay i'm officially confused. we have been doing one nap a day for the past 4 days. today his nap was only 1h 35min. he doesn't wake up crying but just talking to himself. does that mean he is ready for one nap a day? i'm not sure what to do - stick with the one nap? last night he cried twice - 2.5hrs (took a long time to console) and at 3.5 hrs (we didn't go in, stopped after 30sec) after being put to bed. likely due to overtiredness. i am still letting him sleep in which means 9am the past 3-4 days. should i wake him earlier? he's been going to bed around 8:30p. thanks!

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  134. so i took him out to a playdate this afternoon and of course he fell asleep on the way home =) slept for about 30-40min since his 1st nap was shorter than usual. i'm guessing if his 1st nap is 2+ hrs he'll be okay but if shorter than 2 hours, then just have him take a 2nd nap, right? =)

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    1. Melissa/Hunniebee,
      I'd keep up with that one nap. I think time and a little adjustment is all you need. Move it a bit later in the morning. Move it slowly. Get him to at least 4 hours. Then as he gets a bit older, you'll move him even later as he he has a harder time falling asleep in the am (trust me, it'll happen, I had a sleepy morning guy, just like you).

      You are likely right about the cause of the night wakings.

      Make bedtime earlier, even if he naps those 2 hours. Sounds like he needs it. He may only need it for several days/couple weeks as his body and the nap adjusts. If he takes a short nap, I'd make bedtime even earlier. At this point, an extra nap probably will hurt more than help and it may not happen anyway.

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  135. hi Rachel!!

    first, happy Mother's Day!!! hope you had a wonderful day and i'm so appreciative of what you do for other mothers! so thanks!

    it's been a while! we have been on one nap a day and he usually sleeps 2-2.5 hours and sleeps about 11 hours at night. he is 21 months now! AND we are expecting again another little one, a girl, in 3 months so they will be two years apart. i don't think he totally understands that a baby is coming but nevertheless it is exciting and crazy!

    well sleep has been pretty good - we went on a cruise last month where he slept in our room and we didn't want him to CIO so if he cried, we would tell him it's nightnight and go back to sleep and usually he would until around 4/5am then he would wake up and want to come in bed with us. he has not slept in our bed at home EVER but alas, it was vacation so we let him come in =) haha for 2 weeks on that cruise! we came back home and after 3-4 days of sleep training and a little bit of CIO, he was back on schedule. well i started him in daycare a few wks after that and i can't believe it, but he naps there for 2 hours mostly! and he hasn't cried once! he's adjusting quite well but he started crying again at night - about 1-2x/night. sometimes it'll be afew days in a row around 2:30/3am or around 5:30/6am. i try to let him CIO and see if he'll go back to sleep but most times, he's REALLY upset and so i go in and pat his back but he doesn't stand up like he used to for me to hold him. he quiets down and i just pat him on the back for a few minutes and walk out and he goes back to sleep eventually. in addition to vacation 6 weeks ago, starting daycare, and the new baby coming, we are MOVING! and we started that about a month ago so the house looks different, more barren. next week we will officially move to the new house and sleep there but for now we are just slowly moving out.

    you're probably thinking i'm crazy for asking because i'm sure any one or all of these things could be affecting him but he's been crying out at night now for about 3-4 weeks. i just want to make sure this is all normal. and what i guess i can expect when we officially move next week. he's still in his crib (he has not attempted climbing out yet thank goodness!) he goes to bed around 8:30/9p (it's so hard to get him to be earlier esp now that it's summer and parties and bbq's galore =) ) and he wakes up around 8am. he naps around 12-2/2:30p.

    anyways, i thought i'd say hi and update you! i just hope this crying out at night will stop some day haha. maybe it's just the insomnia, getting up to pee twice a night, and lack of sleep that's talking.

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    1. Good to hear from you hunniebee! Congrats on your soon to be baby girl!

      You are right, likely all those things you mentioned are making him having some issues with sleep. My guess is that he might also need a little extra sleep right now because of extra fatigue form new stuff--so a bedtime like 30 minutes earlier may help. I would work on offering less support as you go in. So pat him for now as you tell him everything is ok and it's time to go back to sleep (or whatever you say) and then start to pat less and just say something. Then touch once then step back and say something. Just do less as time goes on. He might resist a little at first, but make the change slow and he'll likely calm down quickly. If this was just several days I'd say go along with it, but it's been going on for a good month so it's time to help him ease out of this. Oh, also give some extra 1:1 time with him and each of you each day to see if that helps. Maybe make the pre-sleep routine a bit longer without making the good bye drawn out--that just lets him know there is something to worry about. Good luck with the move and baby and all the crazy things going on in life right now!

      Rachel

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  136. hi Rachel!!

    i heard the good news - you are expecting a third? congrats! well i had my baby girl last month and now she's 3 weeks old. i'm reading all of Valerie's posts again on CIO and all that. i'm not sure i'm ready to start - only because i see all the success Valerie has but her children seem like such good sleepers and then i see all the people posting how their kids are crying for hours without success and it worries me. i don't want to do it wrong - if that make sense. i want to sleep train her meaning i want her to successfully self-soothe. i try to put her down drowsy and a few times she hasn't cried at all and will just fall asleep (sometimes it takes 15-20min though). i'm trying to keep track of wake times and all as well - she usually yawns. something i noticed is that i'll start the nap routine around 35-40min because i know the waketime is usually 45-60min at this age. but when i swaddle her, esp if it's a really good swaddle where she can't move her arms much at all, she gets soooo mad. she could be happy as a clam and then i start the nap routine and i swaddle her and her face gets beet red and she starts fussing/crying and getting pissed off. i know she sleeps better with a swaddle so there's no way i'm NOT swaddling her but what do i do about this ? is this normal? i feel like i can't put her down awake and all pissed off like that. so i try to calm her down and sometimes it takes me 30-45min!!! i'm exhausted! if by 45min she still is not drowsy or asleep, i put her in the swing because of the sleep hierarchy Valerie describes on her website. baby should get some sleep that cycle or else be overtired. i feel like the last few days i've been trying really hard to see if she can go to sleep drowsy on her own but in the meantime, she has gotten overtired over the last few days =( so she's not even sleeping as well at night (she would go 4-5 hrs between feeds at night! and she's gaining weight well!) what do you think i can do to help her at 3 weeks old? thanks so much for your thoughts! we finally are moved into our new house but things are still crazy! lol...

    ~melissa

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    1. Hunniebee/melissa,
      So I'm not really one to leave a brand new baby crying for long periods. Everyone has their own comfort level. FInd yours and be ok with that. It doesn't have to be what someone else does--it needs to be what works for you and feels good to you. And keep in mind that every baby and parent is unique. Some babies sleep about a million times better than others and some parents are more talented at helping their children sleep through experience and also natural talent. I'm guessing that you're a little like me and like to be good at whatever you are doing and the idea that you might not be as good at reading and responding in the most ultimate way to your daughter is down right frustrating and madding--but you can't be perfect at everything and your kids may also have a bit more spunk than many other children.

      Don't worry about doing it wrong. That never helps things. Just try to take things day by day. You are full of loads of knowledge and just try to examine what is going on every now and then and take it from there.

      Getting mad with the swaddle happens for quite a few babies. It sometimes has to do with the swaddle, it sometimes has to do with baby knowing it is time to settle and go to sleep. I really don't like putting a baby down upset either. Sometimes swaddling outside the room and walking around the house for a few minutes before going into the room works. Sometimes holding in a carrier for a few minutes before sleep to calm helps. And sometimes if you put baby down it is the quickest thing--working on soothing can end up keeping them awake and fighting longer and longer. My 'sleep hierarchy' is a touch different-- I more balance mom's needs(emotional, physical), baby's sleep needs and baby's sleep habits equally. You have to continually evaluate where you are at and see what needs to be focussed on. Sometimes that means sleep habits are neglected a bit for now, and that is ok. You can work on it more later when baby is a bit older and has a more mature system and doesn't get so overtired. It ends up being ok whatever happens.

      rachel

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  137. hi Rachel,

    thanks for your input - always so insightful and helpful really! well since I left you that comment last week, I was just putting my 3 wk old down and so I had swaddled her and said "nitenite, nap time "and I had to walk away since my 2 yo was screaming at me to come help him with breakfast. I brought the video monitor with me and I could hear her fussing and then begin a light on/off cry/whimpering. well by the time I finished with my 2yo, she had stopped crying and put herself to sleep. I think it was under 20 min. I decided, let's try this today which worked out since I was home with both kids that day alone. well lo and behold, each time she fussed/cried (more fussing than crying) less than 20min and went to sleep. it was almost to good to be true lol. so anyways, we've been doing that for about 5 days now and she's been doing good. it's a roller coaster, and some days we have short naps and finish them off in the swing. and some days we have great naps! she seems to have a fussy period at least once/twice a day (the time varies) but overall is sleeping in her crib for the most part (or swing) and putting herself to sleep without any rocking on my part. like you said, I kinda wanted to do it but didn't want to make her cry just to cry. but I feel like I do know her a lot better now. we even made it through the 3/4 wk growth spurt earlier this week =) and now she's actually going 3 hours between feeds (previously she had not regularly been doing that). and now at 4 wks old today, her waketime has increased a little bit too after the growth spurt. hopefully this will continue =) thanks again for reminding me to continue to trust my instinct. as days go by, i'm beginning to know her better and better =) she still hates being swaddled but is getting used to it. and with my son when we did CIO, I could not go in at all, or he would cry louder/longer, but with her, I can go in, reswaddle if needed, and she will still put herself to sleep.

    anyways, thanks again! haha I hope to update you later with better news - no fussing/crying before naps at all!

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    1. That's great that things are going well for you Melissa. Hopefully she's start to settle to sleep quickly and without tears soon!

      Rachel

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  138. hi Rachel! i wish i was writing a success post =( it has been 10-11 days since we started CIO and she is 5 wks and 2 days and i'm not certain about anything anymore! i think Valerie's kids are just great sleepers haha. mine alas are not. i think part of the issues is i'm still playing around with her waketime lengths. that being said, the nights are not going well either and i think it's because she's overtired from the "sleep training". she cries for less thatn 15-20 min on/off and goes to sleep but wakes up 20min into the nap - hence the overtiredness. i then put her in the swing and she can sleep about an hour to two hours more! i'm just not sure what to do at this point. i've been reading Valerie's website for encouragement and guidance and some readers have also said you just need to stick it out but i'm just not sure. where do you think i should go from here? should i just try CIO at a later time? should i just have her catch up on her sleep debt by having her sleep naps and bedtime in the swings and solidifying when her wake times are? the perfect wake times for her are still a mystery to me. haha you'd think i'd have more confidence the second time around knowing how well CIO worked for my son. just wanted to hear your thoughts. should i just do the swing thing, bc it's better than rocking/nursing to sleep, and then just know that i'll have to sleep train her and get rid of the swing later? just the prospect is freaking me out lol. thanks Rachel so much for your thoughts!

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    1. sorry one more thing, Rachel. there are some naps where she goes down without a single tear/cry and she's fairly drowsy but again it may be from the overtiredness. but she goes down drowsy and falls asleep so then i get hope again. i'm just confused. Valerie says progress is a spiral and that it can take 8 weeks. feels like an eternity. it's not like she's even been screaming her head off for hours. i'm just not sure where to go from here because i know she's overtired.

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