Help following EASY?(8 Posts)
My DD is 3 mo and is a great night time sleeper (we started getting 6 hours by 6 weeks and now she goes 8-11 hours straight. Bliss. In case it's relevant, the way I got her to go through the night was to do everything I could to teach her that daytime was playtime and nightime was for sleeping only (up only at night for a feed and change, these with reduced eye contact and in a darkened room; rocking her basket for hours shushing rather than getting her up, etc).
However I am now trying to follow a day time routine as this has from the start been haphazard at best. I am trying to follow EASY (eat, then activity, then sleep).
I was in several bad habits including nursing her to sleep and getting her overstimulated - I have been watching her signs more carefully and I can see that I was usually getting her overtired and overstimulated during the day. So now I am trying to watch her carefully, put her down when she makes tired signs and then feed her after a nap. However she seems to only take 30 mins or so before she is making tired signs, if I miss these (which I frequently do as I can't believe that she's actually tired already) then she cries and it takes me 2-3 cycles of crying to get her down for her nap which she eventually does, but whenever I get her down she only naps for 20-30 mins. So I am a bit confused. When she wakes after 20 mins I have tried leaving her until she cries, and then doing a pick-up, put down every 5 mins but it's horrible - she just screams and will not go back to sleep.
Any suggestions about how to extend the nap? I feel the short activity periods must be related to the short naps, but I cant work out how to get her to nap properly. I use white noise, dark room, her basket where she sleeps so well at night. She self settles during the night but refuses to during the day. I have tried keeping her awake for longer before the nap and that doesn't seem to work either.
Also, I am confused about how an EASY routine will give her enough feeds, if I could get her to have 3 naps during the day with a feed after each and then a morning feed then that's only 4 feeds... she's putting in 1 extra at night time which I am hoping to eventually phase out but even with that it's only 5 which doesn't seem enough. or do I have this wrong...
I am grateful that she's such a good sleeper at night but I can't help feeling it's only because she's exhausted from the day.
I follow the EASY routine with DD2 who is just over 4 months. It works fine for us in terms of feeds because she is also a cat napper, unfortunately, so each sleep is typically around 30 mins and she has at least 4 of these a day, after being awake 1.5 to 2 hours. Generally she has 6 feeds a day (on waking, after each nap, before bed) and then a dream feed, which is more than anyone would recommend, I'm sure.
I can't offer much help on getting to sleep though. Personally I don't look for sleep cues (she will randomly yawn from half an hour after waking sometimes but I ignore that), just know that she will need a sleep again soon after 1.5 hours from waking. For my DD it is a case of putting in her dummy and maybe stroking her face for a few minutes and she is gone- though not for long enough!
In terms of short naps, I understand this is the length of their sleep cycle and some babies are not good at transitioning through it. Mine, like yours, can do it fine at night but not in the day! I have tried everything I have read or heard about to improve it but have virtually given up for the time being. She seems to be managing on around 2 hours worth of naps without being too grumpy, and she lets me sleep well at night, for which I count my blessings! Do let me know if you find the answer, though....
Thanks missmidden - maybe that's just how she sleeps. I guess we all sleep differently so why shouldn't babies. I'll keep persevering with the EASY routine for now. I just feel that I'm doing everything at high speed (with an eat, activity, sleep cycle every approx. 2 hours). But maybe these will naturally lengthen as we get the hang of it... Or maybe she really does have a ridiculously short attention span - now that will be fun as a toddler! Your DD sounds like a dream to get to sleep though - enjoy!
I wouldn't worry too much about being so strict with it. DS1 is 14 weeks and I try and follow EASY as best I can but he naps for 30-40 mins every 1.5 hours (no issues getting him down at all) and feeds every 3 hours....so the maths doesn't work there! Sometimes it works that I feed him as soon as he's up but sometimes I don't. I do try and avoid feeding him to sleep though. He doesn't sleep through the night though, I so wish he would....I'm so tired!
Also, for daytime naps, I just put him in his crib, put dummy in, switch Ewan on and in 5 mins he's asleep. The dummy is a bit of a sleep aid for him, I try not to use it unless it's sleep time.
Thanks Heatherbell. I guess I'll keep experimenting and seeing what works, and chill out about how long any cycles are. It's not that I am trying to force her into 4 hour cycles or anything, it's just that it seems the micronaps aren't enough - by late afternoon we have hours of overtired tantrums which are just horrible for both of us.
Mismidden - I have finally got some longer naps, well sort of anyway, at least I am getting her to resettle. If she wakes after 20 mins I have been putting a muslin over her eyes and shushing her back to sleep (then gently removing the muslin as I don't want it to go over her nose/mouth). It seems I have to be able to remove the visual stimulation otherwise it's all too exciting and she refuses to stay down! I am hoping that if I keep doing this she'll eventually get the idea and resettle herself. Even if she doesn't end up doing this on her own I have found that the second cycle of sleep is longer and she seems more refreshed so it's still worth doing.
Of course all this playing around with her daytime sleep has confused the poor thing and she's now waking up during the night....
Thanks Heatherbell. I will give that a try, as I find that as soon as she sees me on waking she starts smiling and being excited, so maybe visual stimulation is an issue.
The last couple of days I gave resorted to letting her have one nap on my lap and manage to lay her down after about 45 mins, when she then sleeps on for another 30 mins or so. Far from perfect but at least I feel like she is getting more sleep. A friend has also leant me a white noise device which I will try tomorrow....working my way through all options steadily!
Hope you get better night sleep again soon- DD's has been a bit iffy the last few days but am hoping it's just the cough and cold she (and the whole family!) have got at the moment.
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