Four S Wind Down Ritual


The Four S Wind Down Ritual - setting the stage, swaddling, sitting, shush-pat

Once baby is ready for bed (see sleep cues) the Baby Whisperer suggests her Four S wind down ritual. This consists of setting the stage, swaddling, sitting and if necessary the shush-pat.

Setting the stage:
Remove baby to a calm setting which will most likely be his or your room. Get the room ready for sleep by closing the blinds, turning on music or doing
whatever it is you do (see some of the ideas in pre-sleep routine). Try to keep things low key to help your little one calm down and transition for sleep time.

Swaddling:
Swaddling is absolutely essential to help your young baby sleep better. See swaddling.

Sitting:
This is the really important part where a lot of people start throwing in "accidental parenting" techniques and sleep props to get baby to sleep. After you have set the stage and swaddled baby you sit with baby in your arms in a vertical position--preferably with his face tucked into your neck or shoulder so he doesn't have any visual stimulation. Next you sit nice and still (that's right, no wiggling, jiggling or rocking) with baby until you start to feel him relax and maybe jerk a little too as he tries to descend into sleep. Some babies may even cry for a few minutes during the sitting as they try to settle themselves down. The "sitting" may take 5 or so minutes but will vary depending on the baby. Once you feel baby relax and his breathing gets slower and deeper you place him into his crib, ideally before he falls asleep. As you place baby in his crib say some comforting goodbye words to him that also let him know what is happening (e.g. "Your going to sleep now. I'll see you when you get up") As long as baby stays calm you can leave the room. If he is fussy or crying move onto the shush-pat below.

Generally the "sitting" length decreases as baby gets older and more used to going to sleep on his own. As he gets older, the sitting is more of a calm down time before sleep, rather than a time for him to get drowsy like it was when he very young.

Shush-pat:
The shush-pat is suppose to be used in babies under 6 months old that are fussy or cry when transitioning for sleep or when you place them in their beds. If a baby is over 3 months old and the shush pat doesn't work then you can move onto P.U./P.D.

Additional Tips not from the Baby Whisperer
  • Many people I know use this method but instead of doing the shush-pat do CIO (cry it out). The length they do CIO varies with the age of the baby, how their baby responds, and how comfortable they feel with CIO.
  • I have noticed that sometimes calming your baby down with the shush-pat instead of letting him cry for a couple minutes during the sitting stage actually prolongs your routine and how long it takes baby to calm down. Some babies will fuss on and off for 30 minutes if not more while you shush-pat them every time they fuss/cry (remember that they are getting more over tired every second they are up) but if allowed to cry for a couple minutes will quickly stop fussing and be ready for sleep.
  • If baby gets really fussy before this routine or even during it I might throw in several seconds of movement to help calm him (i.e. do knee squats a dozen times--works wonders in a fussy baby) and then I will continue with the sit down routine. I try not to overdue this movement. If you put baby to bed with good timing not much of it should be necessary, except for maybe in the evening newborn fussy periods.
  • Adjust the 4 s routine to what works best for you and your baby. If your baby doesn't like to be held vertically, hold him horizontally. If your baby is one that has a hard time relaxing before sleep, feel free to walk around or rock for a few minutes before you sit still (you should work on weaning from this as baby gets older and better at transitioning from one sleep state to the next). With one of my newborns I walked around for a few minutes before sitting and then I would rock and pat (partly to get any lingering burps out, partly because it was an unconscious action) for a short time before sitting totally still and continuing my singing/humming. Then I would put the baby down. Both of my boys eventually started to resist the sitting and would get more upset, so after we'd read a book while snuggling, it was right to sleep. One of them started to be ok with sitting and snuggling before sleep as he got older while the other one never did well with that again.

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75 comments :

  1. thanx! very useful information!

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  2. Replies
    1. This is gold!! Followed this to a tee, and he was out cold in 30 seconds into the sitting stage.. Thank you so much

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  3. Dear Rachel, I have recently found your blog. Your writing is extreamly helpful and together with reading one or two books it helps to complete the full picture and get on with educating ones baby. I just wanted to thank you very much for putting it all together.

    Regards from Tokyo.

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  4. Anonymous,
    So glad you have found the blog helpful!

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  5. Hi Rachel...Last question, I promise. I can't seem to find why pick up, put down isn't recommended for a baby under 4 months old. I'm fine to not do it, I was just wondering why you stick with just the shush-pat. Thanks again!

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  6. Lisa C,
    She doesn't recommend P.U./P.D. for babies under 4 months bc it will very likely overstimulate them with all the up down stuff. Plus, if a newborn gets overtired (which might happen with P.U./P.D.) he will have a really hard time going to sleep.

    I have done a variation of this with a newborn where you hold until sleepy, then put down (instead of just when they stop crying) then pick them back up again if they cry and hold until sleepy. It has worked pretty good with the few babies I have tried it on. But once again, overtiredness can be a problem with this approach too.

    You are fine to ask questions. No worries :)

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  7. Ahhh....that makes sense. Trying to figure out this sleep thing is all consuming. I started off with just doing what worked in the moment since I was so sleep deprived and now am seeing I need ot make some changes now before the habits get worse.

    If you're ok with it, I do have 4 last lingering questions:

    1) We've been doing the baby whisperer's routine - eat, activity, sleep. Now, let's say what ever method we decide to use (whether crying it out or the four s's) what do we do if the baby has not gone to sleep before his next feeding time or if he won't sleep the entire time we're trying to get him to sleep?

    2) What other routines do people use besides the eat, activity, sleep route?

    3) When we do start whatever method we decide is best for us to start sleep training, is it better to start it at night or first thing in the morning on the day we pick?

    4) If we are doing sleep training because of a sleep prop issue is there a better method to use over others?

    No worries if you can't answer all of these - I hope I'm not taking too much of your time. I am just desperate to end our babies sleep prop addiction since I know it will only get harder to break the habit as he gets older....and sleep will be hard on us. (although he does sleep for a loooong time in it). You're a lifesaver! Thank you!!

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  8. Lisa C,

    1) With a newborn you probably only want to try for a relatively short period of time (I do like 15 minutes but some people will do longer) then help them go to sleep or they will get too overtired and never be able to sleep. I also help newborns go back to sleep when they wake early from naps. Might give them a few minutes to see if they can do it themselves, but if not, I help. With an older baby some experts like healthy sleep habits happy child says to try for an hour for a nap. Some people will try the entire nap. If baby sleep bad for a nap he will need to go to sleep much earlier the next nap, especially if he is under 6 months or so. There is good and bad about both methods. If you give up part way through a nap then help baby he may learn slower. If you keep going through the entire nap he may get so tired that he can't sleep at all--then again he could get so tired that he will eventually sleep. really depends on the baby and his age. Sorry I don't have any exact advice to give you. It is very personal.

    2)If baby take short naps or eats every 4 or so hours but cannot stay up very long they you might do eat/play/sleep/play/sleep/eat....repeated over and over. Many people just nurse whenever baby fusses whether he is hungry, bored, tired etc. That is sort of a no routine method. Pretty common. Just keep baby up, feed him whenever he seems hungry and help him go to sleep whenever he seems sleepy. Either way, as kids get older you'll move out of the eat/wake/sleep routine and have normal eating times (breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1-2 snacks) with scheduled naps.
    3) As for when to start (this is on a to do list for future posts:) many people will start with naps bc then you are not a zombie in the middle of the night. but at the same time, then you sort of have a limited time to train with each nap bc it is time to get up and eat. At night there is no set time (well, baby should be asleep by the time they need to eat again!) sometimes that makes it easier. Since it sounds like you are tackling both at once, I'd probably start during the day when you have more energy.

    4)Well, a gradual withdrawal of prop will probably result in less upset from baby, but it will take a lot longer. If you tackle things with a little more force things will be quicker most likely. As for which method will work best, I can't say for sure. They will probably all help to break the sleep prop either way. Some will just work quicker than others (like cio will possibly be quicker).I'd suggest trying a more gentle approach first since it will be easier on the both of you and some babies respond very well and quickly to this. If it doesn't work then maybe try something a little more---not as gentle :) I didn't really answer this question well. I guess I don't have a good answer to it. No sleep methods have been proven to work better than others, some just require more time/work than others and work better with different kids. I think this also holds true in regards to what kind of sleep prop issue there is. There are definitely different ways you'd do gentle sleep prop methods to work with a prop issue (I mentioned these in an other comment) but if you are doing more hard core methods it probably doesn't make a big difference.

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  9. Thank you so very much. I truly appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. You're wonderful! Now...time to get to work on all this.

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  10. Lisa C,
    You are welcome. Good luck!

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  11. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for a very helpful blog! With this 4S approach, when does feeding happen- before Setting the Stage? Should it be done in the same room? During feeding, should the room already be ready, i.e blind closed etc? What about swaddling? Should the baby eat already swaddled? Thank you in advance!!

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  12. Dear Rachel, I am sorry, of course I meant to say, "Dear Rachel", not Lisa!

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  13. Marina,
    Lol about calling me lisa. Someone called me the name of the previous person who commented the other day too :)

    The baby whisperer does a eat/play/ sleep routine. So baby get up in the morning and eats then play for a bit then goes down for a nap (hopefully a long one). When baby gets up you start the routine again. So keeping with what she does, you would feed long before you do the 4S routine, with the exception of maybe bed.

    But if you don't do any kind of feeding routine I think this can still work. What you do will depend a bit on the age of your baby and when you do it. I think it is fine to set the stage and swaddle before you feed baby before bed at night as long as it doesn't cause any problems. If baby is used to always eating to sleep, you might want to do the same thing at nap times too, trying to make sure that baby isn't fed to sleep but just gets drowsy. Over time I would try to put feeding before the swaddling and setting the stage. This is especially important as baby gets older and into more habits. One of the main focuses of the baby whisperer is to have baby get used to going to sleep without any sleep props, feeding being one of the most common ones. You want to eventually be able to walk into baby's room and have anyone be able to do your super quick pre-sleep routine with her, lay her in her bed then walk out with her falling asleep quickly and easily on her own. BUT if you plan on always feeding baby before sleep then I think this approach is still really helpful because as most babies get older they don't feed to sleep very easily any more--at least not unless they are way overtired.

    Hope that response answered your question :)

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  14. Hi Rachel! I just finished the book TBW on sleep, although wondering: Is four S suitable for an almost toddler, swaddling definitely not, and sitting? My son is almost 1 year and our wind down bedtime ritual developed into breastfeeding, followed by laying next to my son in our bed until he falls asleep. I would like to teach him to sleep alone and also to switch the last feeding before the bath. I don't want to do CIO or similar, I am ready for gentle, more time consuming method. Is PU/PD suitable?
    Nap time is either at home with prop (rocking) or in a pram, where he falls asleep easily. I'd be thankful for any advice! monika

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  15. Monika,
    I think it is suitable for a toddler. He will probably fight you quite a bit if you do this and no bg/laying but if you keep at it he will get better. Just keep in mind that he will likely cry and that it is not a cry of death but a cry of protest :) If he is really laid back he might not protest, but I think this is unlikely.

    Pu/pd will very likely involve a lot of crying even though you are there by your child's side. Just fyi.

    The no cry sleep solution methods might be a better fit for you (see index) since it includes a more gradual approach with no crying. You will slowly phase out props you are using.

    Regardless of what method you do, you do want to have a good sleep routine in place that includes other things besides nursing and lying next to your son so that when you take these things away he has something else that signals sleep to him. It is also a good idea to incorporate some sort of lovey right now so he has it to comfort him when you are not there.

    Adding in something right after bf before bed (like reading) can help out when you stop the bf then.

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  16. Hi Rachel
    Our 12wk old son is having trouble with his naps. He used to go down for 1.5hrs but it was always hard to get him to sleep, and sometimes we had to hold him til he fell asleep and then put him down. Now we have gradually weaned him off that and he has 3 - 4 regular naps a day. But they last only 40 - 45mins. I try to resettle him when he wakes, but sometimes it can take up to 45mins to get him back to sleep.
    He simply lies there mushing his head and keeping himself awake. I have rocked him back to sleep before but I would rather not as he's already a big baby (7kg at 12 wk) and is heavy enough as is.
    We're on a 3/3.5 hour routine e/p/s, so this can also sometimes completely disrupt it. He is on the breast only.
    Some other stuff that might help:
    - falls asleep without issues for naps and night time
    - at night sleeps 7.30pm - 3am - 8am
    - uses dummy for naps only, never at night
    - has not been swaddles for 2 weeks now (on advice from maternal health nurse)
    Any advice is most welcome.
    Cheers from downunder.

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  17. Eva,
    If you haven't already, Look over the short nap post. I would especially be aware of overtiredness and environmental distractions. There may not be much you can do at this time, it is often developmental. Check out the nap extension tips too which may or may not work. Will he fall asleep with a dummy reinsertions (if you rush in right as he wakes or after you leave him a bit to see if he'll go to sleep)? Hope the weather is lovely there!
    Cheers,
    Rachel

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  18. Hi Rachel,

    I have a 5 week old son and I am struggling with his naps and sleeping in general. We do a lot of the 4S's that are recommended - swaddle, set the stage (close curtains, turn on white noise) and I will rock him for a few minutes although I think I am going to start sitting still now.

    Anyway, I will do all of this and he is still not drowsy so I will lay him down anyway. He will cry for the first two minutes that I leave. Unfortunately, after this he just continues to stay awake, not falling asleep. What can I do to get him to sleep? If I didn't have a video monitor I would think he is sleeping as he is so quiet but I can see his eyes wide open looking around. I try and look for sleep cues with my son so I try and put him down by a max of 60 minutes (I have tried 30 and 45 minutes as well) nothing really seems to make a difference. Any suggestions are appreciated....thanks!

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  19. Roxy T,
    While some babies don't get sleepy in the arms very quickly or easily and need to be put down to do this, I think your problem might have to do more with either overstimulation while awake (too much activity, noise, faces close to his) or too little waketime. What you might want to do to figure out timing is do whatever works to put him to sleep (car, bouncing) so that you can see when he easily falls asleep. Some babies will easily fall asleep in the car at this age even if they are up for 5 minutes so just keep this in mind to make sure he isn't one of them if you do this. Good luck. This stage can be tough with some babies--both of mine included :)

    Rachel

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  20. Dear Rachel, thanks for responding my question from February. It was quite helpful and encouraged me to try PU/PD, actually only PD since my son was standing up himself. I must say that it went surprisingly smoothly and fast. There was also not so too much of cry. As you said, it was clearly cry of protest and since I was still with my son, it wasn't heartbreaking at all. We are happy that our baby likes his cot for bedtime and naps. Although he still needs our presence when falling asleep, this doesn’t bother us for now, and we can work on it slowly. However, recently we started to have problems in the morning, please if you have time, I’d be interested in your opinion (section early morning awaking). Thank you

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  21. Hi Rachel! So glad I found your blog! I just tried this for the first time today and my daughter cried the entire time she was supposed to be sleeping. My hand feels like its going to fall off and my lips feel like they are stuck permanently in the "shushing" position! Is this normal? Any suggestions? Any advice would be VERY welcome! Thank you! Kellie

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  22. Kellie,
    I felt the same way the first time I tried to do this! I think this is why tracy hogg encourages getting others to help with her sleep training so much (not that any form of sleep training is easy both emotionally and physically all the time) I ended up using a sound machine instead which worked pretty good for my kids. And I changed how I did things a bit to work better for me. For you, I would work on making sure the wakeitme is just right with not too much waketime stimulation, especially if she is a newborn. Is she in her crib when you are doing this? If so, I would probably take her out after so much time and calm her down in her arms if she is really young. She might be getting so worked up that she can't calm herself down with the shush-pat and she needs a bit more body contact. Once calm, I would put her in the crib again and try again. After so much time with newborns, I will help them go to sleep so they don't get too overtired. This is me, not tracy hogg speaking though ;) Look at the short nap post for more information on this. I am about to go out of town for several days so if you have a follow up question I will not be able to get to it for a while.

    Good luck
    Rachel

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  23. My l/o will be 3 wks on tues...he used to feed then would sleep after that. Now after I feed him he dosent want to go down...very fussy and cranky but i know hes tired...I was going to try the shush/pat method...but Im not sure how it works. Can someone help..Im so exhausted! I cant nap if he doesnt nap!

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  24. Christina Marie,
    There is a link to the shush-pat post on this current post that will tell you how to do it.

    Rachel

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  25. Dear Rachel,
    Your blog has been amazingly helpful in understanding my baby and his sleep habits. Thank you so much!!!
    I have an 11 week old baby. I’ve been doing the four s wind down ritual for the past two weeks. He always cries during the sitting part. I stand up and do a bit of movement like you suggested and he immediately stops crying. After sitting down/standing a couple of times I then put him down and he fusses for a few minutes. I do the shush/pat once or twice and he falls asleep. My question is: Will he ever not cry when I sit with him? I've already experimented with adjusting waketimes and it hasn't helped. Also, have you posted something about pacifier use? Will it become a sleep prop if I use it during the wind down ritual? Sometimes it seems like he desperately needs something to suck on. I’m not sure if I want him to suck on his hands/fingers… I’ve seen too many children that can’t stop sucking their thumbs until they seem way too old to do so. Thank you!

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  26. Marisol,
    Babies go through all kinds of phases ( cry when going to sleep, then don't, then do it again) but generally they cry less over time. Some babies will cry more if held before sleep and will stop crying when you put them on their beds--just something to look out for. I know of some moms that try to fight this characteristic in their babies but it just results in more tears.

    Pacifiers can become a prop but they are easier to control and get rid of than a thumb or other fingers. If you don't use a pacifier, you might end up with finger sucking so you have to weigh your options. At 11 weeks many babies do need it to soothe themselves so I would be hesitant to take it away at this age.

    Rachel

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  27. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much for all the great info onthis site!
    I have a few questions about sleep training...our current sleeping situation is a total nightmare and I am desperate for some help. I have a 7 1/2 month old girl that will only fall asleep if rocked. She will sometimes fall asleep while nursing, but I have to wait a long time tomake sure she is in a deep sleep before I can put her down in the crib. She was a colicy baby for the first 3 months and cried for hours at a time, so I resorted to rocking her tocalm her and put her to sleep.
    She currently takes 3-4 naps all 30 mins long and sleeps 6pm-6am for her nighttime sleep. She wakes up every hour at night, sometimes more often and I have to rock her back to sleep, or bf her. When she goes to sleep at 6pm, she then starts to wake up every 20-30 mins until 9pm and then every hour or so. I also have a 2.5 year old and I am at my whits end. My husband insists I put her in the crip and let her cry for as long as she will, but I am against that. I am ok with some crying, but this child can go on for 1 hour or longer. I tried the Ferber method, and after 2 20minute crying periods, she was only getting more frantic and I gave up. I was feeling like a monster and a horrible mother.
    PLEASE offer some suggestions on which problem I should work on firs, naps or nighttime, and which sleep training method may work best(some crying is ok. Another problem I have is I cannot let her cry too long at night bcs she will wake up my older daughter. Please offer some suggestions, the sleep problems are too big for me to tackle on my own! THANK YOU!
    Vesna

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  28. Vesna,
    First off, I can't imagine how worn out you are! I'm so sorry. Being a mommy sure can be tough. Adn no sleep doesn't help the situation.

    First off, make sure to look at the post, choosing a sleep training approach. Sounds like you have an idea of what you can handle.

    Work on a good presleep routine. Sounds like you are doing an early bedtime which is good.

    Nigtht time often works best to start with first. I personally like to do all at once if it is manageable. You will have to see what you think you can handle. Look over the short nap post and the night item waking post to see if there are things you can do (outside of prop use, which is obviously going on) that might help out.

    Next you will need to decide what sleep training method you need to do. Sounds like you are defiantly at the point where you want to try something. I doubt things will change too much at this age unless you do some sort of method, although the things mentioned above that I had you check out might help a litte. If you don't want much crying, you could always go in and check every 5 minutes and sooth shortly then leave. Some people that do this method will stay until baby soothes then leave right away, some will just stay for several seconds each time. Either way, most people say not to pick baby up. Sorry, I don't have a post up on this method right now. This still may take a long time though, althoug baby won't be left a long time crying, so it may not be up to you.

    The no cry sleep solution might be something for you. There are several posts in this in the sleep training section. It will likely take longer than some sort of cio, but if you can't handle the cio, then certainly don't do it.

    Teh baby whisperer (also posts on this in index) might be another good path for you. She is a good in between with cio and pantly.

    Either way, try to get some support through all of this. It is super tough whter you are sleep deprived or doing sleep training and having crying. One of my sister in laws actually has my brother do the sleep training when they get to a certain point. My brother just stays with the baby through it adn it lasts 2-3 nights. But that is what works for them. She doesn't think cio will harm baby, but she'd rather not be there if my brother will.

    Anyway, good luck. Let me know if there is anything I need to clarify on.

    Rachel

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  29. Hi I've recently started the baby whisperer routines after reading her book and deciding it was much better than contented baby book!! In BW she says not to let baby go to sleep longer than a normal span between feeds during the day (3 hours) and to wake baby up if this happens. I woke my son up earlier as he had been asleep for 3 hours, gave him 15 mins to wake up properly, changed his nappy and then fed him. Straight after finishing his feed he began yawning and getting very agitated so didn't get any 'activity' done as he was showing signs of becoming over-tired and was getting quite upset. So I put him down in his Moses basket as his eyes were dropping. He was awake for about twenty minutes, a little fussing but sent himself off to sleep eventually. My main concern is that he is not staying awake enough during the day as it is becoming common for him to be very tired after a feed and becomes agitated if we try to keep him awake/stimulate him within a matter of minutes!! We don't always have to wake him for a feed, he is usually waking up every 2-2 1/2 hours between feeds but still becomes easily agitated regardless of this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thank you :) x

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    1. Kayla
      I do like the contented book under some situations--but not as a sleep method unless you cannot get your child to sleep any other way. Anyway, I'm not sure how old your son is. I'm guessing a newborn. Most newborns are barely awake long enough to eat and have a diaper changed. Your playing is pretty much holding baby during the show time he is awake. He will be awake longer very soon. As long as you are sure he is awake enough to get a full feed in and isn't just falling asleep after that initial sleepy milk episode you are fine. I wouldn't try to keep him up longer at all. Here is a post on wake times to guide you a bit...
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/02/wake-time.html

      And if he can settle himself to sleep on his own he is doing FABULOUS in the sleep department :)

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  30. Hello

    SOOOOO happy I found your blog! I have a 6 week old baby with Acid reflux. He usually drink 3 and a half oz of Similac sensitive with 3 tsp of oatmeal cereal (per Dr recommendation) and Zantac twice a day. Finally after lots of crying and switching of formula etc Baby seams to NOT be in pain and has actually started smiling and staying awake longer during the day...BUT also started waking for his 2am feeding and staying awake for 2 and a half hours just taking in the scenery until he gets bored and starts to cry.. sometimes he will stay awake till next feeding.
    I came across your blog while searching for a solution to said problem. I read up on the cluster feeding and started it yesterday. Baby had formula at 5 then first cluster at 7pm. As soon as he was done with the bottle he projectile vomited. Not just a little spit up down his chin or on his bib, I'm talking about over my lap hitting the couch type vomiting. This was the first time that has ever happened. He did not cry he only looked at me with wide eye (probably mimicking the look on my stunned face) 10 minutes later he was turning his head looking for the bottle. I did not feed him, instead i bathed him at 8pm and at 830 or 845 ( cant rem) i gave him a bottle and put him to bed.

    Baby slept from lets say 9 to 1:30am he had his bottle of 3 and a half oz with oatmeal and come 3am he was till asleep. When 4am rolled by he started grunting a little moving around and trying to eat his hand. I tried feeding him and he had 1oz all the while asleep. I changed his diaper and put him back down. His daddy woke up got ready for work and at 7:22am he called me to ask what time baby had last bottle because he was trying to feed him and he was not drinking, he would suck on the bottle and keep the milk in his mouth,he was still half asleep. He also woke to explosive poop. I cant say diarrhea because it was not watery just very wet, not pasty but not watery either, he had two of these.
    I recently (4 days ago) changed him form ready to feed to powder formula and this may be the cause of that..but since i started the cluster feed, and with him having that one projectile vomiting and sleeping for so long. I am a tad worried and would REEEEALLY appreciate your input.

    Could Acid reflux babies handle Cluster feeding?
    Could the powder formula cause the very loose stool?
    WHY DO I FEEL SOOO guilty?

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  31. I should add Baby is 22inches and weighs 11 pounds 6oz. So I know he wont starve over night.

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  32. Adding to the posts above.. My sister ( who cared for Baby while i work) let me know that Baby has been fussy all morning. He cries when you put him down and drank 4oz of formula and Oatmeal and she fed him another oz shortly after because he was "acting" hungry (putting hands in mouth, turning head) I'm a tad worried now that i may have screwed up his tummy with the powder and the cluster feed... eeeeek

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    Replies
    1. Maritza Tacoronte,
      I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to this sooner. Maybe things have changed a lot....

      It is hard to say what has caused what because you have had several changes. Plus, it is always hard to make any conclusions after just one time.

      I haven't heard of cluster feeds causing projectile vomiting for a reflux baby (in fact, it is really common for a reflux baby to cluster feeds), but if you are feedings more than usual and/or he is extra fussy and sucky, this may have caused the issue.

      A change of formula could cause some changes in stool for sure. But so can growth spurts and just developmental changes and sicknesses. I wonder if the sudden extra sleep at night and fussiness the next day had something to do with a growth spurt.

      As for waking int he middle of the night fully awake, at this age I'd mainly work on having him not sleep longer than 2-3 hours during the day and making wake time bright and night time quiet and dark with minimal stimulation.

      Hope some of this info is still useful now. Good luck with everything.

      Rachel

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  33. Thank you for getting back to me.. YUP some of these issues are still going on.. He has been throwing up (id like to say spitting up but its a lot) at least once or twice a day.. Last night i finished feeding him and did not hold him the recommended 30 minutes .. i put him in his sleeper and about a minute later he started throwing up.. Poor little guy, it came out of his mouth and nose...
    Im trying different steps to prevent it... and i will def take your advice.. Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck dealing with the acid reflux Maritza. You probably already know this, but you may need to move those feeds closer and make them smaller to help with his reflux. Here is a helpful site. THey used to also be on babycenter/community but I'm not sure they are there anymore.
      http://refluxrebels.com/

      If his vomiting every increases dramatically, make sure to let your doctor know in case another condition needs to be ruled out.

      Best of luck,
      Rachel

      Delete
  34. Im happy to say that the vomiting has stopped. I did not change anything so I'm not sure how or why it stopped. I'm just VERY happy it did. I usually feed him every three hours up until 4pm. I start feeding every two hours from 4 to bedtime (8pm)Really he only gets two bottles at the every two hour cycle. Then he sleeps from 8 or 8:30 till 130am .. and then he starts waking every three hours after that. He just turned 2 months old and has his fussy moments but i think i can see a silver lining...

    Thank you for your response..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martiza,
      I'm glad you've had some progress and that the vomiting has stopped. I hope the progress continues (with some up and down days, of course).

      Rachel

      Delete
  35. Hi Rachel

    I am trying out 4S with my 12 wk old son, to wean him off the swing and nursing as sleep props. But during Sitting, he cries angrily, thrashes and whimpers for 5-10 min. Later, when placed down, it might take 20min - 1 hr and several pick up/shh pats to get him to sleep.

    A few questions:

    Is this reaction normal and is this process hurting him (emotionally)?

    You mentioned previously that if 4s doesn't work, you'd "help him go to sleep to prevent over tiredness". Does that mean reverting to an old prop like nursing? And if so, how does that affect your progress with the BW training?

    This process has also made bedtimes irregular and tiring. Should we stop?

    Also, he protests when being put into the Swaddler because he knows it's 4s time. What can I do to minimize his anxiety?

    Thanks for all your wisdom and time...!!
    Catherine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cat,
      It is normal for some kids to be upset during te sitting part. Minimizing over tiredness will help (review wketimes).

      Is it hurting him to cry? That is a hard one to answer as experts vary in opinion. I think not. I highly doubt a colickly child or very gassy child ends up having emotional problems forever due to crying as a newborn--but some people think the birth process alone (and I don't agree with this) causes psychological problems forever so...

      I will help baby go to sleep using a prop that is least addictive and requiring me as Little as possible. Yes, it causes issues with the sleep training process, but many(maybe most) babies will not have much success at this age if they are too overtired so it is a matter of weighing both issues and yor baby's response.

      The swaddling protesting will likely come and go with time. Most babies will overall improve with time. Sometimes swaddling outside his room can help

      Delete
  36. hi Rachel,
    I have a 6 1/2 month old baby. She used to sleep anywhere between 6-8 hrs at night... but from past a few weeks she has started to wake up a lot during the night... some days she wakes more than twice upto 5 times, and most of the days twice a night. I have no problems with the number of times she wakes up, but she cries a lot when we try to put her back to sleep. She has a good nap schedule which goes like this:
    wake time - 7.45 aM to 8 AM
    first nap - 9.30 AM to 11.30 AM (varies 30 mins here or there)
    Second nap - 1.30 PM to 3 PM(varies 30 mins here or there)
    Late evening nap - 5 to 5.45 or 6 PM
    Bed time - 8.30 PM

    I have tried to cut down the late evening nap.. but she seems tired by the bed time.. so sometimes i allow her the late evening nap.

    She falls asleep on her own... but when she goes to sleep at night, she wakes sometimes 1 or 2 hrs after that, which is around 10.30 .. and then again at 11.30 or 12... she takes more than an hour to go back to sleep with my husband rocking her to sleep initially and then we resort to feeding her to help her sleep... She sleeps for 3 hours after that and wakes up again around 3.30 AM... She again takes around an hour and half to go back to sleep again following the same process... Her doctor has told that she is gaining weight well and she should be able to sleep without any feeds for 8 to 10 hrs at night... this is becoming very stressful on both myself and my husband..
    The doc also advised us to increase her solid intake during the day from 1 to 3 times.. So I give her solids at breakfast, lunch and dinner.. She takes her last solid feed at around 7 PM and then followed by 3-4 oz bottle at 8.30 PM right before the bed time...

    What are we doing wrong? What can I do to make things better for us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roopa,
      I don't think solid intake is very related to this. Maybe she needs one feed right now until solids increase, but that would cause constnt night wakings, particularly early on. Do make sure to give her full feeds during the day(generally how much she is asking for and not just a set amount) and right before bed.

      I'm not sure why she is suddenly waking at night frequently. She seems to be getting good sleep. Bedtime is a bit late. I wonder if she needs a bit less wake time then or If you drop the last nap and do bedtime around 6 or 6:30.

      6 months is a time when children learn to protest cry. If you respond to this then a greater habit can form. I would consider treating night wakings as prop type wakings. She needs to learn to put herself back to sleep by herself at night. Use what methods you've used in the past, if any or look over the leep training post, including the book review ones.

      Good luck, rachel

      Delete
    2. Thanks Rachel... Finally last night, my baby woke up just twice and is still sleeping as I type this :-) ... I fed her the first time she woke up and the second time, did a PU/PD and shush/pat.. She went to sleep on her own.... What I changed in the routine is.. I cut her late evening nap totally, the second nap in the day to 1.5 hrs making it a total of 3.25 hrs... Took her for a evening walk where she fell asleep.. I woke her up , kept her talking to me :-) ... I also changed the bedtime to 7.15PM.. She woke up at close to 11 PM, took a feed and slept ...
      I am going to be consistent with this routine for a couple of days and see how things go.. if it doesnt work, i will make changes ... All I can do now is, wait patiently :-) !!!

      Delete
  37. Hi! First, I want to say thank you for taking the time to write about these hot topics that so many new moms inquire about! Second, I'm struggling with a couple of topics myself. I have read TBW and Babywise and having been following the e/a/s routine since around four weeks. My daughter is 11 weeks old and is a very happy, alert baby! She is also a notorious 45 min. napper... However over the past week she has extended her morning nap to 1 1/2 hrs :) we go through a pretty similar nap routine: dim lights, sleep sack, white noise, hold still... But she doesn't get "drowsy" unless I give her the pacifier. Her ped. says I should continue to offer it because it helps her self soothe but all the books say not to offer sleep props. I'm not sure what to do. She uses it during naps and sometimes spits it out and stays asleep and other times wakes immediately. At night she may go down initally with it but doesn't wake when it comes out. So, first question, should I cont. using the paci and if not, what's the best way to get rid of it at this age. Also, if I get rid of it, should I just put her in her crib awake-not drowsy but yawning..?

    Second issue, the 45 min. nap, which as I've said has improved, do you think it's due to overstimulation? 1hr 20 min-1hr 40 min wake time. How do I know if I'm over stimulating her?

    I appreciate your input!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda,
      "How do I know if I'm over stimulating her?" Try to read her body signs. You'll get better at this with time. It also involves a lot of trial and error and problem solving. Keeping a sleep log can help with this. Glance at the average waketime at this age if you haven't already (see post in index).

      Many babies around this age won't really get very drowsy when you hold them before sleep. They end up needing to do that in their own beds. You end up being stimulating to them and keep them up if you hold them too long. So being drowsy isn't a prerequisite for getting into the crib. You will eventually not have your child ever really drowsy when they go down. Tried, not drowsy.

      Whether or not to do the pacifier is up to you. It sounds like it may be a bit of a sleep prop at times. You can always not go in to replace, only go in once, or do something like what I mentioned in the post here (I did something similar with Jacob when he was young and it helped immensely for him with the pacifier).
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2012/09/the-limited-crying-solution-baby-sleep.html
      There are a couple posts I talk about my pacifier use. Those might be helpful too.

      Rachel

      Delete
  38. Rachel,
    I've spent most of the day reading your blog! You have a wealth of information on here. I love how you've summarized so many different methods. It's an incredibly helpful way to get information to a group of sleep deprived people!

    I have a 13 week old boy who is a decent sleeper, but I've come to realize he won't go to sleep without one of our props - the swing, nursing to sleep, or sucking on my pinky (weird, I know, but he refuses to take a paci and a nurse suggested it when I was at my wits end!). Today I tried the 4S routine for the first time. We were already doing the first 2 steps and my question relates to the sitting step. It says to hold baby vertically, but I tried holding him this way for at least 15 minutes and he never really calmed down. I then held him horizontally in my arms and he calmed down. I then out him in his crib drowsy but he was immediately playful (he does this whenever I put him in his crib awake, no matter how many tired signs he gives me!)

    So, my two questions are:
    1. Does the "sitting" step need to be done vertically? If so, why?
    2. What do I do if baby always seems to wake right up when I put him in his crib?

    Ah, and I just thought of a third question! It says that you should shush pat until they are in a deep sleep. I tried this today as well and he fell asleep but then woke up right away when I stopped (I obviously needed to wait a little longer). But isn't putting him to sleep this way another prop? If he gets used to being shush patted to sleep, won't he always need that?

    Thank you so much for putting all this information out there. I can't imagine the number of moms you've helped at this point!

    Caren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caren M.
      1) No, it doesn't have to be this way. It was the baby whisperer's suggestion to reduce outside stimulation, but it doesn't work well for some babies, mine included. They have generally liked the side lying better.

      2) Two main things you can do with this, you put them down more awake (putting almost asleep or just asleep often results in a jolt awake when they are put down which makes them pretty wide awake) or you shush-pat a lot i the crib until they get drowsy again. It's something that he'll get used to with time and get better at. Make sure to work on having signals for sleep-a presleep routine- so those make him sleepy too.

      3) yes and no. It depends on the child. Some will stay asleep, and slowly need the shush-pat less. Others will continue needing shush-pat long term and wake up frequently needing it. I personally usually suggest to try to shush pat until drowsy, but this doesn't work with all babies.

      Delete
  39. Dear Rachel,
    First of all, thanks for all your tips and advice!
    Our 3 months old son refuses to sleep on his own. Therefore we have been doing the 4S method consistently for the last 2 weeks, for every nap and at night. But the sitting seems to be a big problem. He gets completely hysterical and keeps on crying. So it is impossible to put him in his crib 'almost asleep'. So when we put him in his crib he is still very upset and unhappy. The shhh-pat takes a lot of time after that, but seems to be starting to work (most of the time).
    But by now each and every time we put him to bed he gets hysterical before we get him to sleep, he now even starts to cry already when we swaddle him. I'm afraid that his sleep-association will be very negative if it always includes this panic-phase.

    Do you have tips? How long should we do the sitting part with him crying? I have never waited long enough for him to calm down while sitting, because even after 8 or 10 minutes he only gets more hysterical. I get him out of this state with some knee-bends like you suggested, but it seems impossible to put him in his crib in a relaxed state of mind.

    How long should we apply the 4S before it works (for him to sleep by himself)? Until now we always have to shhh-pat for him to fall a sleep.. so it seems he still isn't learning to sleep on his own.

    And now his naps are also getting shorter, with a max of 30 /45 minutes for the last 4 days.. So after half an hour or more doing the shhh-pat, in half an hour he is up and crying again..
    By now I'm kind of exhausted.. hope you have some advice!

    Thanks!
    Ellen (the Netherlands)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Rachel,

    I have a couple of questons about the 4 S wind down ritual. First I'll set the scene with my bub. Anderson is 8 months old and we had accidently got into the habit of b'feeding to sleep at naptimes and daytimes therefore I think he has lost the ability to self settle (was previously able to do at naptime and sometimes at night). He is very active and crawls around the cot and pulls to standing.
    I have started using the 4S wind down ritual in the last few days and have managed to get him off breastfeeding to sleep at naptime so we have been able to get back to an eat/play/sleep routine. I'm working on bedtime but its really hard to keep him awake.
    If I get him calm/drowsy but not asleep and put him in the cot and he rolls over to his knees and either crawls around or pulls to standing (but doesn't cry) what do I do it makes it hard to shush/pat? If I try and lay him down again then he cries - is this when we do the P.U./P.D. or do we go back to sitting (as in wind down ritual). When I go in in the middle of the night he has already sat up or pulled to standing therefore hard to shush/pat do I pick up and do wind down again?
    Thanks in advance, Claire

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Racheal,
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It's actually help me a lot with my motherhood.
    I would like to ask for your advice, my son resists the Sit stage stronger and stronger each time. I have used it for 2 weeks. Before he protests it a bit, but as time goes by, now as soon as We enter the Sit stage, he cries hysterically. I just worry that he might think and associate sit stage as a horible experience. He would cry for 40 minutes continuously. As you said here, we can rock him a bit before entering sit stage. So I would like to ask, should I pace him until he calm, no more crying, then sit down, without him crying, but still awake then slowly enter drowsy stage, then I put him down for shhh-pat if he cries? By doing this way, my son will stop crying, and I feel less horrible. If doing so, how can I wean him from pace, and when ? The last question, by applying 4S's with the mentioned modification for my son when he will be able to sleep by himself? Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Dear Rachel-
    I just discovered your blog and wish I had found it when my 2 year old daughter was a newborn! I have a 3 week old baby boy and have been consistently doing the 4 S routine and then putting him down awake. He always cries one to three times (it's a full-on, red-faced cry, not just fussing) before falling asleep. I have been letting him cry for no more than a minute before I shush pat him to sleep. I'm not against letting him cry a bit, but he's still so little and I'm wondering how long you suggest letting a newborn cry before intervening with the shush pat. Thanks! Courtney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. unknown,
      I double 1 minute of crying, if it is a full on cry, will really be enough to help him either settle on his own. If he was fussing a bit, for some babies it might be enough. So in your case, if you want almost no crying, I would just intervene when it turns into a cry, rather than a fuss. This method is really made for that, unless baby is doing a settling cry, which is something you'll have to learn of time. You can look at the newborn sleep guide post for some tips on the sleep training for babies this age. It mentions crying.

      Delete
  43. Hi Rachel!! I am so glad to find your blog!

    I have a 4months old baby boy. Due to colic in the early months, our PD recommended to have more small meals instead. And due to feeding on demand, I have been breastfeeding my baby almost every hour (latching on about 10mins each time). I couldn't get my boy to latch on longer. If I want him to latch on longer, he will turn his head away. If I persist, he will starts to arch his back and scream. I want him to latch on longer to get more milk, so I can have longer intervals in between the feds. Is there any ways that I can help him to latch on longer?

    Due to all the small feds during day time, he too wakes up in his sleep wanting to be latch on every 2 to 3 hours. He sleeps at midnight, sometimes even later, and wakes up at 10am or later.

    During day time, he seldom naps. Or I can say, he refuses to nap. He has all sleepy signs, but when I put him on his cot, he will start screaming and kicking. I will either swaddle and rock him to sleep, or bring him out from the room and starts to play with him again. I was hoping that it will makes him more tired so he can nap the next hour. But it seems useless. He is use to swaddling and rocking and walking around, or even latch on to sleep. Sometimes when my boy wants to be latch on, I am confuse whether he is hungry or sleepy.

    Due to those issues I mentioned above, my husband decided to use CIO method 2 days ago. He will ask me not to interfere and let my boy cry to sleep at night. Its heartbreaking to see my boy to cry all out. I know I have to do something.

    I know my boy do not have the routine E.A.S.Y. Is it ok for me to introduce the 4/4 routine to him straightaway? During the 4hrs, if my son wants to be latch on after the feed, should I continue to distract him to play for the next hour and make him sleep the next 2 hrs? As I mentioned above, he only latch 10mins each time, and I guess it wont be enough for him to last through 4hours. Then when its nap time, instead swaddling and rocking (which my husband strongly refuse), should I try the PU/PD method?

    So I should carry my boy up when my boy starts screaming and kicking, or I should wait till he cries? If I hold him up and he is still still screaming or crying, should I rock him to stop and how long can I soothe him before I put him back to his cot?

    Please advice me what I should do. I know I am not a good mom, but Im still learning and trying to be better. Thank you soooooo much in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Rachel!! I am so glad to find your blog!

    I have a 4months old baby boy. Due to colic in the early months, our PD recommended to have more small meals instead. And due to feeding on demand, I have been breastfeeding my baby almost every hour (latching on about 10mins each time). I couldn't get my boy to latch on longer. If I want him to latch on longer, he will turn his head away. If I persist, he will starts to arch his back and scream. I want him to latch on longer to get more milk, so I can have longer intervals in between the feds. Is there any ways that I can help him to latch on longer?

    Due to all the small feds during day time, he too wakes up in his sleep wanting to be latch on every 2 to 3 hours. He sleeps at midnight, sometimes even later, and wakes up at 10am or later.

    During day time, he seldom naps. Or I can say, he refuses to nap. He has all sleepy signs, but when I put him on his cot, he will start screaming and kicking. I will either swaddle and rock him to sleep, or bring him out from the room and starts to play with him again. I was hoping that it will makes him more tired so he can nap the next hour. But it seems useless. He is use to swaddling and rocking and walking around, or even latch on to sleep. Sometimes when my boy wants to be latch on, I am confuse whether he is hungry or sleepy.

    Due to those issues I mentioned above, my husband decided to use CIO method 2 days ago. He will ask me not to interfere and let my boy cry to sleep at night. Its heartbreaking to see my boy to cry all out. I know I have to do something.

    I know my boy do not have the routine E.A.S.Y. Is it ok for me to introduce the 4/4 routine to him straightaway? During the 4hrs, if my son wants to be latch on after the feed, should I continue to distract him to play for the next hour and make him sleep the next 2 hrs? As I mentioned above, he only latch 10mins each time, and I guess it wont be enough for him to last through 4hours. Then when its nap time, instead swaddling and rocking (which my husband strongly refuse), should I try the PU/PD method?

    So I should carry my boy up when my boy starts screaming and kicking, or I should wait till he cries? If I hold him up and he is still still screaming or crying, should I rock him to stop and how long can I soothe him before I put him back to his cot?

    Please advice me what I should do. I know I am not a good mom, but Im still learning and trying to be better. Thank you soooooo much in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Chantel ang,
    If you want him to eat longer at each feed, he is probably going to need to be hungrier. If you want him to be hungrier, he is going to need to wait for longer between each feed. So I would slowly work on extending that out. by maybe 15 minutes every few/several days.

    I wouldn't jump to 4 hour feeds right away. that is going to be a little too much for a baby that is used to eating hourly. I would work on extending out the feeds, then you can work on sleep more. He will not sleep well if he is hungry, and then cio will not be very effective and purposeful. You can do pu/pd if you want instead of straight cio. It is really up to you and what you feel will work well for your family. look at the pu/pd post for tips on how to do it.

    Babies like to suck when they are tired, so it can be confusing whether they are hungry or sleepy. Taking note of now long he feeds and whether he is just sucking or really sucking and swallowing can help you figure out. I would write this down to keep track of it for now.

    You are a great mom. Every mom feels confused about what to do now and then and every child is hard to take care of in one way or another. Just because things are going as you like, doesn't mean you aren't doing an awesome job! As long as you are showing plenty of love and doing your best, that's the important part.

    best,
    rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would also look over the following post for establishing good sleep before jumping into sleep training:
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/01/how-to-set-stage-for-good-sleep-tear.html

      Delete
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  47. I'm glad I found your site. You have lots of great information and tips. I'm hoping you have advice for my situation. I have a 10 week old and a 2 year old. My 10 week old is now sensitive to his environment. He indeed needs a quiet place to fall asleep. The problem is, my 2 year old is not quiet lol. The 2 year old needs supervision so I'm finding it hard to have time to adequately work on my newborn's sleep.
    Today I did the 4 S routine. My little guy actually did quite well with the shush-pat. However, the process took about 20 minutes. Then he only slept for 15 minutes. I patted him again and he fell asleep again. And he woke again, after 15 minutes. This cycle happened for each nap. I was at a loss at what to do with my 2 year old, so I let him watch some educational videos. But at the end of the day, I felt guilty for being away from my toddler for so long in order to work on his brother's sleep. I could do this for a day or two, or three even, but I have a feeling, this whole process will take longer.
    Do you have any suggestions for sleep training a newborn while also parenting a toddler? I would really like to keep going with the shush-pat method because he seems to respond to it, but I'm not sure what to do with my toddler while I'm caring for my newborn. Outsourcing the toddler to grandparents and/or daycare/sitter is not an option right now.
    Similarly, I know it is best to start the pre-sleep routine at the first sign of tiredness and definitely before he is a cranky mess. However, taking care of my toddler makes this challenging. How do I balance carrying for toddler while making my newborn's sleep a priority?

    ReplyDelete
  48. I thought I would update for your readers. I decided that the shush-pat method was too time consuming to do since I also have a toddler to look after. Instead I decided to practice putting my baby down drowsy but awake. At 2-3 months old, he can stay awake happily for about an hour. I start a timer when he wakes from a nap, and when the time nears 45 minutes, I put him in my mei tai and carry him around a bit to help him start to wind down. When I see that he is indeed sleepy, I take him upstairs, take him out of the mei tai, swaddle him, sing to him, and put him down in the crib awake, but very very sleepy. He may cry and fuss for a few minutes (five or less) and then is alseep. He still only sleeps for 20,30, or rarely 40 minutes. If he really seems like a cranky mess after a 20 minute nap, I put him in the baby swing and let him dooze a little more. Perhaps not ideal, but it's where we are currently at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noa,
      Thanks for the update. I think what you are doing is great. Many babies at this age benefit from extra snuggling before sleep to calm down. I also think that if you or a swing are needed to hep extend a nap at this age that is totally fine. It won't be like that forever. It is a good short term solution to ensure good sleep for baby and sanity for mom :)

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  49. Hi Rachel,
    I hope you have some advice on PU/PD for me! I have a 15-week-old. I have been doing the 4S's since 8 weeks and it is less and less effective, with my baby now fighting and arching her back throughout the entire sit-still and shush-pat part, and shush-patting won't calm her down anymore, I have to rock-bounce-shush-pat. So I am going to start PU/PD. After setting the stage, my baby starts fighting me and arching her back as soon as I swaddle her. Where do I go from here? Immediately PD and PU again? (When she fights me as soon as she is swaddled, she doesn't calm down when I put her down in the crib.) Today I experimented and did PU/PD for her naps and bedtime and it felt like a disaster, endless PU/PD because she wouldn't calm down in my arms or in the crib. Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for your website and the wealth of knowledge that you have here, has been really useful so far. I am at my wits end trying to make my 7 week old nap. She sleeps well in the night and goes down immediately after the last feeding (after a series of cluster feedings in the evening). I have started doing the shush Pat technique to make her nap in the day. When I swaddle her, her immediate reflex is to find her thumb and during the sitting phase of the prenap wind down, I hold down her hand and she resists it and cries for a few minutes and starts settling/getting drowsy, so I put her down and start the shush pat. She goes to sleep but gets up soon thereafter and starts looking for her thumb again. I hold her hand down, she cries harder and finally goes to sleep with a lot more shush pat. I leave her and she gets back up in less than 10 minutes and this process repeates. This morning, it went on for almost 2 hours after which I got so tired and fed her to sleep. Do you think it's normal in the beginning of doing the shush pat? Should I continue the shush pat routine till she is in a deep sleep? I went through your short naps post and it could be the case that she gets overtired. She is capable of taking long naps because she naps fine if I wear her in a carrier or rock and hold her but I don't want her to get dependent on those things. Please help.

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  52. Since the beginning my 5.5 week old doesn't nap during the day. I try to follow the E,P,S routine and for the past 4 weeks he eats every two hours. When I start to see him get sleepy, I take him to his room. He cries so I give him a pacifier and we rock until he calms down. Then I hold still until he's just starting to fall asleep. I lay him in his crib or bassinet. One of three things happen, he sleeps for 3-8 minutes and then wakes up either crying or just lays there awake, he immediately opens his eyes but will lay there without crying for 5-10 minutes, or starts crying. When he cries, I've tried the route of patting him, putting the pacifier back in and shushing him but I've never successful gotten him to sleep. I've also tried picking him back up, rocking him until he's calm, stopping movement until he's starting to fall back asleep and then putting him back down. Once again, he does one of the three above. He's only napped less than 4 or 5 times and at most about 30-45 minutes with one hour nap.

    He will nap in his car seat for an hour to an hour and a half when in the car or if I take him for a walk but as soon as he stops moving he wakes up. I've also worn him in a carrier for a nap but they are always fitful and never more than 30 minutes.

    Except for a couple of times, he sleeps good at night. He currently sleeps in a bassinet in his room. For about the past week he's gone to sleep for the night about 7-8 pm. He goes down right after nursing. He may give me one 4 hour stretch between feedings but all others are 3 hours on the dot. He'll only go 2 hours after the feeding between 4-5 am and is usually awake between 6-7 am. If I need to change his diaper during the night I always do it first. Then we nurse, burp and I lay him right back down. He goes to sleep without a problem.

    I feel like he's overtired during the day and very fussy in the evening as a result. I don't know where to begin to start helping him take naps. Do you have any suggestions? Not having time to do anything during the day when he is sleeping is a struggle.

    I did read about setting a specific wake time and am going to do 7 am. I'm scared to move it earlier with day light savings coming.

    I'd so appreciate any advice you can give me.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Big "thank you" with greetings from Poland :)

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  54. Hi,

    At what stage of sleep do you start the 4s routine, after the first yawn? What if they don't yawn at all? My son seems to not yawn first thing in the morning. We are currently trying to wean off the swing and transition to the swing. Plan to use shush pat when we go to crib.

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    1. Start right when baby starts to get tired or maybe a bit before (depending on your baby). You may want to use the clock to let you know when to start the routine, or your baby may have certain sleep cues to look out for. Take a look at the sleep cue post. Some babies won't yawn at all, some will just get fussy or rub face etc. Good luck with the transition!

      rachel

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  55. So my baby is currently 9 m and has kinda gone into a sleep regression..he gets up several times a night and doesn't go back to sleep without feeding...he is teething continuously since the past months... When he gets up, we try to pat him , doesn't work pick him, n and then when he wails feed him...what should be done as per you..we CO sleep..initial months he slept for 5 hours straight which now is 2-3 hrs max..how do I get him to sleep through the night..

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  56. What advice do you have for mothers who start becoming upset and angry at the baby because they can't out the baby to sleep?

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    1. Chew, that's a hard situation, but it certainly isn't uncommon. That's probably the first thing to know, that others experience this too and there's nothing wrong with you for feeling this way. I've found that knowing that things will get better soon helps. This rough stage won't last forever. Have someone watch baby for a while. Go out and do something fun. See some friends. Get a treat. Try to get some rest. That can be hard to do, but getting some sleep and rest can make the entire world seem different and can do wonders for patience. If you are someone to pray, I'd do that too. I'd monitor your emotions to make sure something like depression or anxiety isn't getting out of hand and see your doctor if it is (and talk to someone about your feelings which can help). Lastly, take some steps to start helping your baby to sleep better. It'll get easier with time.

      rachel

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  57. Hi Rachel

    I'm so glad I found your blog. My little one just turned 5 weeks today and we have had no routine. I have fallen victim to using my breast as comfort for all her needs. We typically feed play then before she sleeps I will give her more "food" so she essentially falls asleep in my breast. I usually awake her and put her down awake but sleepy but the feed before sleep is always required. As a result of this she has recently started to sleep less per nap. 1 hour sometimes 30 min and sleeps only max 3 hours mostly 2 or 1 hours at a stretch at night. I've also had more issues putting down for naps sometimes spending 1 hour to get her to sleep. I'm about to embark on the EASY routine and the 4 s and have a question. I've been trolling through the blog but couldn't really find the answer. During the sitting phase if my little one is rooting and I know she is not hungary what do I do? Should I give her a pacifier or should I walk around it should I just let her be? I have also recently introduced a pacifier to help her to become less dependent on my boobs.

    Also how long should I try the 4 s for? I think I read somewhere 15 min? If she is still having difficulties after 15 min what should I do? Do I do anything at this point to now get her to take that nap?

    Thank you so much

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  58. Hi Rachel

    Should i follow the 4s for naps too. Should i be sitting for naps too.

    Thank you

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