Friday, October 3, 2008

Time Change Strategies (again)

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I have had several questions about what to do with the time change, so I am posting the link to the post for all to see. The time change (for all who participate) will be Sunday, November 2, 2008. You will move your clock back one hour, so what is now 7 AM will become 6 AM. I find the fall time change to be the harder time change for baby. See the following post for ideas in making it a smooth(er) transition:

Time Change Strategies:


Amy said...

Hi there,
I am not sure if this is the place to ask a question, but I'll try it anyway. I have been reading your blog and enjoying it, thank you! I have a question about my 6 week old boy. The last couple days he has been waking early out of his nap, like after 30 or 45 min. Do you think it's a growth spurt? Sometimes I can tell he's really hungry and I feed him, and other times I'm not sure.

My other concern is that he seems to be able to stay awake longer than your 1 hour recommendation for his age. He can stay awake for 1 1/2 or 2 hours! Is that too long and should I try to put him down earlier for a nap? I have been looking for sleepiness cues like you said, but sometimes he doesn't show them! For example, I put him down at 11:10 this morning because he had been up for an hour and a half, but really wasn't showing any signs of being tired. What do you think? Thank you!!

Christina said...

Wow, I totally forgot about the time change! Thanks for this post to remind me and get me thinking of my game plan with Rowan!!

fothupdate said...

Thanks for the post - time change sounds stressful to me. Though I think my baby would do fine (she loves to sleep!) I have situation with the coming time change and I would love some help! I live in the Central time zone. Two weeks before the fall time change, we will be in the Eastern time zone (visiting family, conferences, etc.) So, we'll be in CT for a week, ET for a week, back in CT, and then the fall time change the following week. I thought about just keeping my baby on the ET for the week after we get home and she'll be set when the time changes, but I'm not sure that's the best idea. What would you do?

Plowmanators said...

Amy, 6 weeks is a normal growth spurt time, so I would definintely treat it like a growth spurt right now.

2 hours is most likely too long for him. He might be able to do a bit longer than 1 hour, but babies that age are pretty consistent in their needs.

If he doesn't show cues easily, you might have to time it to find the perfect length. See this post:

Optimal Waketime Lengths :

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome Christina! I really don't like the fall time change.

Plowmanators said...

Fothupdate, it can be stressful for some babies. For others, it is nothing.

I would definitely just keep him on ET for the week. No use in giving you both more work than necessary!

Amy said...

Thanks for the info. I definitely think he's going through a growth spurt so I'll just plan on feeding him more. As far as the waketimes go, I can also shorten those as well. I was wondering what you do when someone else is watching your baby? I have a feeling they won't want to put them down and let them cry....

Joelle Webster said...

A question from a working mom...I am concerned about the upcoming time change. My baby wakes up at 6:45 or 7 AM. I feed her and head off to work. My husband takes her to daycare. I can't wake her up and feed her any later or I'll be late for work. So that makes the suggestion of pushing her wake time 15 minutes later difficult for our family. Any suggestions for a working mom about how to prepare for the time change?

bethers21 said...

Joelle, I'm in the same boat. I think I'm going to put him to bed 30 min late on Fri night and hope he sleep 30 min late Sat am. Then I'll either try to push everything back by 30 min during the day or put him to bed late again to see if he sleeps until the new time. Have no idea if it will work!!

Plowmanators said...

Amy, the only people who watch my kids are my parents and my husbands parents. I am pretty firm in wanting them to follow my methods. For DH's parents, this isn't really a problem because his mom did CIO. For my mom, I know she doesn't love it because she never did CIO, but she totally respects it and does her best to keep things consistent. I try to not leave my kids during CIO training if at all possible (even with just DH--lol) because I know all of the cries and what they mean.

If it is a once in a while thing, I wouldn't worry about it. If it is every day, I would try to have someone watch your kids who will respect your wishes. See this post for possible help:

Daycare/Childcare and Babywise :

Plowmanators said...

Joelle, your only option will likely be like bethers said she was going to do. That is, you wait until the time changes and try to move things quickly and all at once.

Another option if you want to take it slowly is to get up, pump, leave the bottle of milk and have DH feed her later.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Bethers! Good suggestion.

Lauren said...

I am in desperate need of help, and I welcome anyone's experience or advice... this will be long.

My son is almost 18 weeks old, and was a great BW baby for the first 11 weeks. We had a few challenges, but nothing I couldn't work through eventually. He started STTN at 8 weeks, and it was magic: he just started doing it. He was a great napper, and had mastered self-soothing during naps and in the night. We were very pleased with BW and the structure it brought, as well as the happy baby it made our son.

Then at 11 weeks, he started having night waking at about 5am. I reread the book, and followed all your posts about night wakings. We started by trying to feed, thinking it might be a 3-month growth spurt. It continued, and day time eating didn't increase to support the growth spurt theory. I knew it must be habitual, so I tried CIO for several nights. It did seem to improve a little, but he never went back to sleeping until wake time. At about the same time, naps started to suffer. It appeared the 45min intruder was here, and here to stay. Since 12 weeks, he has had short naps for EVERY nap, EVERY DAY. And, his are more like 30 min instead of 45. I can predict to the minute when he'll wake. Again, I went to the book, to your blog, and to BW friends for support. I tried everything you suggest in your 45 min intruder and nap issues posts. I kept a log, monitored wake time activities and duration of wake time. I paid attention to environmental factors, darkened his room, tried white noise, with paci, without paci, with swaddle, without swaddle, finishing naps in swing, CIO, CIO, CIO... and to this day, he still just naps 30 minutes, no matter how long he was awake and how tired he is or should be. I think he has maybe one or two decent naps in a whole week's time, and believe me I try to recreate whatever resulted in a good nap, but it never works twice. As I type, he has been down only 25 minutes and is starting to stir. And I just want to scream.

And, to top it off, the night waking has worsened again. It has moved back to 5am, sometimes as early as 4:30. Again, I have tried everything BW and your blog suggests. Feeding, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, dreamfeed, no dreamfeed, CIO, CIO, CIO. I am literally sick seeing my son so sleep deprived from insufficient sleep all day and now again at night. And I feel like a failure because I don't know how to help him.

So, this brings me to some questions/conclusions:

* He is almost 19lbs at 4mo and eats 6-8oz at each feeding. Today is his 4-mo well baby visit, and I think she is going to give me the go ahead for starting cereal. I have been praying that will be the miracle... I have read in Baby Whisperer that for a baby with my son's stats, she too recommends starting solids. He already gets between 30-40 ounces a day, and at his age it isn't appropriate to offer more feedings, assuming this has anything to do with hunger. Consequently, the times I have fed due to early waking at night, he eats well, but then won't eat well the rest of the day. It throws his metabolism off (at least that's my theory.)

*Even at 18 weeks, he only sleeps 8-9 hours at night, on a good night. It doesn't matter what time he went to bed, and it doesn't matter if he got a dreamfeed.

*Due to his short naps all day long, he is exhausted by 7pm and cranky. But, the dilemma is that if I put him to bed that early, and if he only sleeps 8-9 hours, that still has him waking between 3-4am. I've tried keeping him up later to, and it makes no difference in when he wakes. It just means he goes down in a bad mood, which I hate. And, again, dreamfeed doesn't seem to play a part b/c the result is the same with or without.

*When he wakes early from naps, 95% of the time he wakes happy. Even after just 30 min of sleep. From much of what I read, that seems to be an indicator of restedness, but of course 30 mins couldn't be enough, could it??? And, by 7pm it catches up with him and he finally acts out with his overtiredness. And, waking early does not = a longer nap the next cycle, not for my baby.

*I have just about reached the point of accepting this as your friend and guest-poster described of her chronic short-napper. But the difference for me is that my son's night sleep IS affected (maybe they're related, maybe not... but both are a problem.) And, the way I see it, it is a vicious cycle. He is always too tired too early in the evening to be able to shift his sleep. He always wakes early from naps, which completely bombs my schedule every day. I can have no consistency because there are so few variables that remain the same every day. And he wakes early every morning which starts every day off on the wrong foot. I know sleep begets sleep, but he can never get enough sleep to help him sleep better.

*And, now I face the time change, which without a consistent bed time or wake time, will not be managed with your strategy. He'll just be waking at the same time, but it will be one hour earlier than it is now.

I'm at a loss. I'm so discouraged and even frustrated. I hate being frustrated about my baby - he is just stuck and nothing seems to be helping us get past this. I hate seeing him so tired, and I know it is potentially risking good development. Are we beyond BW??? Is there any way or hope of getting back on schedule and back to good sleeping? Is there any end in sight?

KJackson213 said...

Lauren, just out of curiosity, how many feedings are you giving your baby daily and what is your schedule (or appx schedule)?

Also, plowmanators I wanted to say congrats on your pregnancy! I just read about it yesterday as I was looking for more info!

KJackson213 said...


I dont know if this will help, but my baby started waking early from naps at around 8 weeks once in a while, then it got progressively worse throughout the day as she got older (she still slept at night fine though). I treated it as a growth spurt almost for a month which lead my to feeding every two hours!!

One thing I read in Babywise (after she was older...12 weeks) is that to maintain stabalization, their has to be a SET schedule at first...then you can be flexible. So what I started doing with my baby...actually just 5 days ago, is letting her cry for the remainder of her naps. Eventually shed fall back asleep. That kept us on an exact time schedule (3 hrs). I also didnt get her up until she stopped crying (bvut then again shes never been a huge crier so it only took her around 10-15 minutes to get back to sleep). I basically had to FORCE the schedule bc she wasnt having it. She was really upset for the first night...woke up 4 times, but then the next night woke up once, then didnt on the third night and now her naps are as long as I want them to be bc she knows their not over until I say so. If he screams alot, let him eat at the next time, and then put him down even earlier for second nap. Also, its not unheard of for a 4 month old to still be on a 3 hr schedule if he needs it. I tried to take my baby down to 5 feedings yesterday, and guess what she woke up after 8 hrs (shes 13 weeks). She will do 11 with 6 feedings a day, and the last two spaced very close together (1.5 hrs).

That is what I did, I dont knwo if it will help you or not! I hope you get things back to normal soon, Im sorry for your problem!

Lauren said...

Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it. My son has had 5 feedings a day for the past 5 or 6 weeks. At the time his sleeping problems started he was still getting a dreamfeed consistently, so was having 6 feedings every day. Now, the dreamfeed doesn't seem to help, as I have experimented with it to see if the sleep disruption was a result of the dreamfeed as Val has suggested in some posts. He takes in 30-40 ounces a day, and is in the 95 or better percentile for height and weight. He is a big boy, and the pedi says there is no way he is waking in need of food every night, except in the case of a growth spurt which wouldn't have lasted all this time.

Before all this started, and even after it started, I tried in vain to maintain it, our schedule was a combo: 7:00, 10:30, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:00. I sometimes tend to be on the rigid side (which is probably why I'm freaking out about this instead of just rolling with it) so I am one to stick to the schedule whenever possible. I really feel like things were consistent, and even in the middle of this, I try to stay as consistent as I possibly can.

About 70% of the time when he wakes, now that I have been through the many weeks of problem solving with no success, I just leave him. Sometimes he just talks to himself, squeals, or fusses, but I try to leave him. Sometimes he does go back to sleep, but it takes him awhile. Sometimes, if he is especially fussy I'll move him to the swing or help him once with the pacifier. The remainder of times, depending on how long before the next feeding, I'll go ahead and get him up. I prefer to leave him in bed because I agree - nap time is over when I say it is. The problem I have run into with that is he would sometimes wake up 1 and 1/2 hours before the next feeding, and by the time I do feed him, he has already been awake too long, and I'm faced with putting him down too soon, then he's up even earlier before the next feeding. It starts to interfere with the eat/wake/sleep pattern.

I do believe this works, and I have seen it work in my baby. I just wish I knew how to make the most of what I have to work with at this point. Thanks again for your response - and if you have any more thoughts, please share!

Plowmanators said...

Lauren, it sounds to me like you are at the point when it is time to accept naps as they are and expect it to be that way.

If it gives you any hope, Brayden took short naps until he was 6.5 months old. He didn't STTN until he was 6 months old.

I am not suggesting you give up, just try to enjoy the moments you have with your son right now.

You could try putting him down for a catnap around "bedtime" then getting him up, feeding him, and allowing some waketime (not a lot). That might buy you more time until morning. Brayden had a really late bedtime like that until he was STTN.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks KJackson!

The Traveling Turtle said...

Oh my... sorry for being so vague with my first question. Here is the issue:

time change coming up. we have been working on moving our daughter later so she will be "on schedule" when the time changes. However, no matter what time we put her to sleep (6:45 OR 7:45) she always curretly wakes up at 7:40(ish). so when the time changes that will be 6:40(ish). How do we get her to finally make it back to sleeping until about 7:15 - 7:30 (on the new time change)again? She seems "stuck" at waking a certain time of the morning no matter what time we put her down.


Lauren said...

Thank you for responding - I still can't fathom how you keep up with all this, your children, and your pregnancy. You are a blessing!

I am actually relieved to know you think it's time to just accept it and move on. It is kind of like, although I knew that in my heart, I needed to get permission to let go of the problem solving, and the obsessing about something I know I can't actually control. I just didn't want to give up if there was something I was missing or not doing right, but if I have really pulled every trick out of the bag and nothing is working, then it's OKAY to let it be and just relax. So, thank you for helping me get over it! And, it DOES give me hope to know that about Brayden. I had read before that he was a short napper the first 6.5 months, but I wondered if it was just some short naps, not all. Either way, it sounds like one day he may just wake up and decide he is willing to sleep again, so I'll just try to wait patiently for that day.

I do have a bit of good news to report: his nights seem to be extending a bit. He's still waking frequently, but he seems to be able to sleep later in the mornings, which will be really good when the time changes. I still can't hardly seem to keep him up later at night, but at least he's getting a little more rest in the morning. With interruptions, his nights are stretching to 10-11 hours now - woohoo!!

Plowmanators said...

Traveling Turtle, no problem.

That is one of the greatest problems with the fall time change. Most young children will still wake up at normal time even if they go to bed later. That is the reason you can't let focus be starting with bedtime. It has to start with morning time.

My suggestion would be to at least wait 10-15 minutes before you get her or before you feed her in the morning if she won't wait for you to get her. Once the metabolism is changed, her sleep should follow. Then keep shifting back. It is a process. But you can take it slow on the other side of the time change (afterwards) just as you can before. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Lauren! I don't keep up with it as well as I used to, but I do my best. I guess it is good training for us all for when I have a newborn. I am sure it will only be worse :)

Brayden was that way for every nap until 6.5 months. He literally one day just started sleeping 2 hours and never looked back. I didn't know what to do with myself at first! I am not sure what sparked the change, if anything. We changed a lot of things with him around that time (moved him to his own room, bought him a real highchair instead of a highchair/booster seat and he then started eating a lot more solids because it was more comfortable for him, etc. He is where I get most of my ideas for problem solving naps).

I am glad you are seeing some success!

Alex said...

Hi, I am about to travel to another country with a 2 hour time difference. My lil' girl is 10 months old and functions really well with her current schedule. We are going for 3 weeks.... SO, should I change her entire routine and adjust to the 2 hour time zone difference? It's backward, by the way....So instead of her bedtime being 7:30pm, it would be 5:30pm. What should I do?


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