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18 week old - evening "Rage"

(10 Posts)
MissObsessed Sat 04-Mar-17 08:30:48

My DS is now 18 weeks old so I know we're probably in the midst of the dreaded regression but could anyone offer some advice on his late afternoon/evening "naps" please? I'm not sure if I'm doing something really wrong to cause his meltdowns or if it's totally normal for his age.

We follow the EASY routine and I find it works really well during the day. All naps (when we are at home) take place in his pram with his dummy and white noise. I limit his awake time to an hour (max) and he is fed every 2 hours, if not more.

Lately he has been taking less milk than usual (sometimes only 3oz) so I offer it more often, sometimes splitting the feed so he has milk before and after an activity. I follow this pattern all day, from whenever the day starts (even if he wakes at 6am.) This is fine until around 5pm.

Yesterday he went to sleep around 5pm and woke at 5.45pm. My DH came in from work at 6pm and we had dinner, ready to get DS back to sleep around 7pm. He had his bath at 6.30 and then we had a meltdown getting his pjs on. Attempted to get him to sleep and offer milk but he just screamed. Pushed him in his pram with dummy and white noise. After about 25mins I offered milk again (which he refused) and tried to get him back to sleep. No luck!! This carried on until my DH took him at 8pm to give me a breather.

DS finally had some milk (around 4oz) at 8.45 and went to sleep. By this point he had been awake for 3 hours, which I know led him to be overtired but he just would not sleep!

I then took him up to bed as I was exhausted. He woke at 11.30pm for milk. Then at 2.30am (refused milk), 4am (fed), 5am (refused milk) and then we got up at 6am. He took 4oz and was back to sleep by 7.15am (he has just woken up now at 8.20)

This generally happens every evening, fab napping during the day until around 5pm and then meltdowns, etc.

Can anyone see anything I'm doing to cause this or is it just a normal change in behaviour? He refuses to sleep in his bouncy chair, screams blue murder and tries to fling himself out, so pram is the safest 'hands off' approach.

He used to sleep from 8.30pm to 7.30am with one feed at 3am.....those were the days! grin

Comealongpond89 Sat 04-Mar-17 08:37:22

I feel for you. When dd was about 3 months old she used to scream in the evenings for about 2 hours. Nothing seemed to soothe her. I even took her to the doctors. Dr said that this is very common with young babies. They just cry on the evenings. It's unsettling but nothing to worry about. Dd stopped doing it after a few weeks. Their routine can change a lot in the first year. You just gotta roll with it. We're all winging it! Sorry it's not a solution buy I hope it helps smile

MissObsessed Sat 04-Mar-17 08:41:33

Thank you, good to know it's not just DS. Winging it is my mantra! grin

FATEdestiny Sat 04-Mar-17 10:00:13

Some people call it "The Witching Hour", it can go on for longer than an hour though.

Being unsettled around the tea time / early evening period is a fairly normal thing. Not all babies have this, but enough for it to be a well known phenomenon. It might be to do with over tiredness or "hanger" (anger due to hunger). I have also heard mentioned the idea that it's a biological protection mechanism, to gain lots of calories and cuddles to see them through the night.

Whatever the cause, from what you describe you're doing nothing wrong so dont best yourself up about it.

My only suggestion would be to stop the battle. If baby isn't wanting to be put down to slerp at this time, just cuddle on your lap and on-off feed and cuddle for a few hours.

Instead of getting anxious about it, remember that the rest of the day is great so if baby wants extra mummy-time through the witching hour, work things out so that you can be available to just sit on the sofa with baby for these few hours.

You'll notice after a while pf not stressing about it and just cuddling, that at some point baby will calm down and can then be put down.dobt rush though, if baby needs you at that moment, baby needs you.

Over time the length of time The Witching Hour lasts will reduce, until it is no more.

MissObsessed Sat 04-Mar-17 11:46:50

Thank you so much FATE I'm glad to hear it's quite normal. I thought maybe I was mistiming his bath or bedtime, we tend to get ready for bed anytime between 6.30pm and 8pm depending on his mood, naps etc so I thought not having a definite "bedtime" was doing it too.

I think me getting stressed isn't helping either. When I've been with him all day I can feel my patience waning towards the evening (when I just want 10 mins alone time) and I guess that's not helping either. Just need to accept this is how it is and go with the flow more. I think knowing that a night of disturbed sleep causes me stress too but the irony is that my stress about sleep is probably causing the bad sleep!

Another issue is that his sleep and his feeds aren't always in sync anymore and we sometimes need to do Eat, Play, Sleep, Play, Sleep, Eat as he is spacing out his feeds.

Sorry, I'm rambling now grin

FATEdestiny Sat 04-Mar-17 12:05:38

Another issue is that his sleep and his feeds aren't always in sync anymore and we sometimes need to do Eat, Play, Sleep, Play, Sleep, Eat as he is spacing out his feeds.

That's not even an issue. In the nicest possible way, stop stressing over nothing grinflowerscake

The great things about your parenting style:

- You are encouraging lots of sleep...
- ...while also adapting to baby's needs at any given time
- You are encouraging frequent daytime feeds...
- ... while also being flexible to baby's needs at any given time.

The idea of EASY (or any other baby-led routine) is that you provide structure, but also listen and respond to baby's needs. This is what makes modern routines different to the ridged Gina Ford-type routines of 15 or 20 years ago.

So if baby wants Eat, Play, Sleep, Play, Sleep, Eat, let him do it. He clearly likes bigger, less frequent feeds right now. Maybe next month it'll change any he'll want frequent feeds. But that's not a problem when you are baby led in your routine, you just alter the structure accordingly. Be flexible and accept that routines will change constantly. It's no biggie.

MissObsessed Sat 04-Mar-17 14:11:13

That's not even an issue. In the nicest possible way, stop stressing over nothing grinflowerscake

This gave me a much needed laugh! Thank you smile

When DS was first born I just fed him when hungry and he slept when he was tired but lately I've got too focused on it all. I suppose that's what sleep deprivation does for you! grin

Aliveinwanderland Sat 04-Mar-17 14:33:30

My DS is 18 weeks too and his feeding habits are changing. As he starts becoming more interested in toys and what is going on I have found he is less interest in food. We do EASY too but it often ends up being in different orders, or sometimes EASAS!

He does 90 mins to 2 hours awake at a time. Has a half hour nap in morning, 2.5 hours at lunch and another half hour in afternoon. Timings depend on when he wakes in morning, sometimes it's 7am, sometimes 8:30!

We do bath at 6:30 and bed at 7. Some nights it's half hour later if his afternoon nap was late but most nights it's on time as he is always ready by 6:30.

During the night DS wakes every 2 hours to bed fed but then goes straight back down after a quick feed.

MissObsessed Sat 04-Mar-17 15:51:26

I think distraction might be my DS's problem at the moment too and teething, so everything goes in the mouth (even when he's trying to feed!)

Just when we think we have it all sussed they go and change the game plan grin

Aliveinwanderland Sat 04-Mar-17 16:54:47

Yep teething here too. I am always having to pull his fists out of his mouth while I'm feeding him.

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