Tuesday, August 4, 2009

McKenna Baby Summary: Week 18

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This is a summary for McKenna ages 17-18 weeks old--her 18th week. This week was good overall.

Nuring is still the same. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how she would pull off and talk to me instead of eat. I quickly got her back on eating straight without much social interaction until done. When Brayden was this age, I would wait until he decided he was done, so nursing too us about 45 minutes to complete even though he wasn't eating long. When Kaitlyn started doing this at this age, I would let her talk for a minute or two, then I would put her back to finish eating. She quickly got over the social thing and just ate in about 10 minutes and then socialized. That is much preferable for me. So I did the same thing with McKenna.

Waketime length stayed the same. I wanted to point out how ultra-sensitive her first waketime length is. It absolutely cannot be over 50 minutes. If so, she wakes early and has a hard time going back to sleep. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child says to keep the first waketime very short. Since she is so sensitive to it, I have to watch her in the video monitor so I know exactly when she wakes up since she will often wake up and look around for a while before making a peep.

She started extending her nights again, then we went camping. While we were camping, she would wake around 4 AM and talk to herself (which she had been doing for a few days, but would always go back to sleep). I didn't want her waking Brayden and Kaitlyn, though, so I fed her so she would go back to sleep. When we got home, she quickly extended her nighttime sleep again, up until vaccinations. Vaccinations happened the last day of this week.

This age is a time where a lot of physical skills improve. McKenna loves to stand, sit up (both with help), and is getting really good at using her hands. She loves to grab things. Gone are the days that she will sit in my lap at the table and not try to grab my plate :). She is starting to hold toys for short periods. She is also very adept at rolling over from front to back. It is a big time in life!

McKenna seemed interested in solids, but I am not really interested in starting them yet. It really adds a lot of time to the day, and we are quite busy right now. So I decided I would do a solids prep. I mixed up a teaspoon of cereal with several teaspoons of water (boiled and cooled). She liked it and ate it all. I did this after she took a full feeding, rather than between sides like I would if I were really trying to start solids.

I just want to satisfy her desire and also slowly get her used to eating from a spoon. I am not concerned with moving to three meals a day. I think I will stick to one meal a day until she is five months old, and then move to three a day. We will see :) I might stay with one beyond that, I might move to three before that.

McKenna is not ready to drop her fourth nap yet. Brayden and Kaitlyn both had by this age, as do most babies. She is not ready, however. She did skip it one day this week. I keep her up before the fourth nap until she gets fussy (instead of watching waketime length and putting her down prior to being fussy). My desire is for her body to slowly get used to not sleeping at that time of day. So I put her down and she sleeps anywhere from 30-90 minutes. It is typically 60 minutes. If she wakes earlier than feeding time, I get her up and have her play until it is feeding time. I then feed her and put her in her PJs and straight to bed.

Most days, it is pretty much like it was last week. The camping days, she ate at 4 AM instead of 6ish. Some days, she went until morning waketime. So I will just put the same schedule as last week since it is a medium:

5:30-6:00 AM--eat from one side
8:00 AM--wake and eat
8:50 AM--nap
11:00 AM--eat
12:00 AM--nap
2:00 PM--eat
3:00 PM--nap
4:30 PM--eat
5:45 PM--nap
7:00 PM--eat and straight to bed
10:00 PM--dreamfeed

Our notable event of the week was camping. It was a long drive to get there, and McKenna was not pleased with it. She will only take short naps in the vehicle, and by the end of the 4 hour drive, she was done. We did stop about half-way for a feeding and diaper change. I think that being in the carseat makes her gas worse. She seemed really uncomfortable and in pain.

While we were camping, she took awesome naps. They were all perfect and long, and this was with lots of kids running around screaming and riding 4-wheelers. My aunt said that her aunt told her babies sleep better in higher altitude. True? Who knows. It was for McKenna (not that I am saying it was the high altitude that did it. Maybe it was the singing birds? Who knows).

As I said earlier, she would wake up at 4 AM and talk, so I fed her so she wouldn't wake Brayden and Kaitlyn. Overall, she did really well and bounced back quickly afterward.



Anna said...

You mentioned that she was sleeping through the night up until vaccinations. My 4 month old also had vaccinations last Tuesday and was up for THREE nights (one with a fever). By the weekend he was back to STTN. However, on Sunday night around 9:20 I heard him in his bed just talking away...he had rolled himself over (he sleeps on his tummy and will not sleep on his back). I gave him a pacifier and rolled him back over and he went to sleep. The same thing happend around 11. I had not caught up on my sleep from the previous week (vaccinations) so I decided to put him the in the cradle that is still in our room. I thought that he would have less room and not be able to roll over. I was wrong. I had not even crawled back into bed when he rolled over again. I rolled him back and he rolled right back over. It was becoming apparent to me at this point he was playing a game. I put him back in his crib and decided we were going to cry it out. He cried....and cried...and cried until I could take it no more. (My husband was also not very happy about having to start CIO on Sunday night at midnight) I finally rocked him into a deep sleep and was able to get a few hours sleep before he woke early the next morning. Monday night was better. It seems that the newness and fun of rolling over had passed...until naps today :) Most of our waketimes today were spent practicing how to roll from back to tummy. We'll see what happens tonight!

stephanie said...

Anna- I feel your frustration. My little one is not quite 4 months, but loves to roll onto her belly. Thw past 2 nights going down for the night at 7ish has been miserable. She fights to get on her belly and then screams once she's there. We' re all going crazy..it confuses her sister who is almost 2 as they share a room! She really hasn't been solid STTN anyway and I'm not sure if she's not ready for bed or over tired!! Tonite I'm camped in the living room with the pack n play as so annoy the fewest people.... how do I fix this???!?

hopeful said...

my 17 week old daughter has lately been struggling to go to bed. we are on a 3 hour schedule starting at 7am with bedtime starting at 7pm. she's been great with her naps during the day--with the 4th nap after her 4pm feed being the only inconsistent nap. she gets fussy at the end of the day, so sometimes she will nap at that time, sometimes not. sometimes i don't even bother trying to put her down for the nap because i can tell she won't sleep. previously, this inconsistency with the 4th nap didn't seem to affect her bedtime, but i am wondering if it is now...

for the past few days when i put her down for bed, she will fall asleep only to wake up again. then she will cry hard. i wait 10min and then go in to soothe her crying and stay with her until she starts to drift off to sleep, then i leave. she will sleep for a bit and then wake up crying again. this goes on sometimes until almost her dreamfeed. so far, she sttn after her dreamfeed--so there's something wrong going on at her bedtime...

i have to add that i exclusively bf, and i use a pacifier for her naps and bedtime only. i'm pretty sure the pacifier isn't affecting her bedtime because even the pacifier doesn't console her. she isn't yet rolling over.

Jade said...

This blog has been so helpful, thank you!
I read Babywise before my 9 month old was born and wanted to follow it. He has followed the eat/wake/sleep schedule very well during the day. His nights have not, however. He was waking at 1,4 and 6 to feed but some nights are horrible. Last night was every 2 hours! He did get vaccines on Monday and had a fever for a short time. But even before the Vaccines he was not sleeping as well as I had hoped. I do regret that he seems to be addicted to the pacifier but doesn't even want that in the night. I am not sure what to do?

Jade said...

I meant to say 9 week old!

Shelton said...

I was wondering how you plan on helping McKenna reach the desired waketime in the morning? My son who is 4 mo does the same thing. I dreamfeed around 10-10:30 and he wakes anywhere between 5-6:15. Also, are we supposed to wait to drop the dreamfeed until we've reached the desired waketime?
Thank you!

hopeful said...

hi, i just wanted to add an update to my earlier post. my daughter woke up after her dreamfeed! now i'm really worried because previously she was at least sleeping after her dreamfeed. last night she woke up at midnight! any suggestions as to why and what i can do to help her sleep again at her bedtime?

katie said...

Hi! I have a question about waketime length. I have a 3 week old. Baby Whisperer says that naps for a newborn should not be over 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Do you agree with this?? I looked at your sample schedule and I think that some of your newborn's naps were longer than 2 hours at times and she still slept through the night. I'm trying to find a balance between waiting too long to put him down and not putting him down soon enough. Eating is taking 45 minutes, so if I put him down after 45 minutes of awake time, he would only be able to eat and hardly fit in a diaper change!! :) Any help would be awesome! Thanks!!

Michelle Prisk said...

First of all, thank you SO much for your blog. It has given me some pretty valuable info as I muddle my way through this parenting thing! :) I have a question for you about dropping that fourth nap...my daughter Avery is 14 weeks old and pretty much on the same schedule as your infant -
8:00 AM Eat
9:30 AM Nap
11:00 AM Eat
12:30 PM Nap
2:00 PM Eat
3:30 PM Nap
5:00 PM Eat
6:30 PM Nap
8:00 PM Eat, then straight to bed.
11:00 PM Dreamfeed

Avery does great with all her naps except the fourth one! She always cries and typically only sleeps 45 min at the most. I have then been getting her up and playing with her until the 8PM feeding. Do you think she is ready to drop that nap? My question then is, how does that work to drop the nap and still remain on a feed/wake/sleep cycle? Because if the nap was gone, she would eat twice with no nap in between, right? Maybe I am just confused. I don't think she is ready to stretch longer than three hours between feedings...she typically wakes on her own at the end of each nap ready to eat. Sorry if that is confusing or unclear!

Anna said...

I wanted to update my earlier comment on rolling over-Stephanie this may help you. I let William cry for about 20-30 minutes when he rolls over, enough to tire him out (Previously I let him cry longer than this and I have discovered that he is not going to CIO on his back) I then go into his room and without talking to him I flip him over and leave the room. He cries softly for a few minutes and then goes to sleep. Today is my first day to do this and so far it seems to work.
I am also having some trouble with the 4th nap. I have discovered that if William doesn't take this nap he wakes up 45 minutes after I have put him down for the night. We have a bedtime routine which should signal to him that it is bedtime and not naptime. I may be putting him down too early (6:00) but most nights he goes down at 6 and sleeps until 3am feeding and then until 7. (He won't do a dreamfeed so for now I am still feeding him at 3).

Plowmanators said...

Anna! That does not sound fun. Is your strategy still working?

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, you are in a better situation. It seems to be easier to roll from tummy to back than back to tummy. She will most likely be able to learn to fix this herself soon. See the post "Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Crawling, Standing, etc."

Plowmanators said...

Hopeful, you need to figure out why she is waking. Is she in pain? Is she swaddled and no longer wants to be? Is she having gas pain? What has changed recently? It also might be the 19 wonder week (see the wonder week link above).

Plowmanators said...

Jade, how is his daytime? Does he have waketime after his feedings? I assume so since you said he did well in the day.

Does he have reflux or gas pain or something? See the post "Nighttime sleep issues" for guidance on reasons for this.

Plowmanators said...


My plan was to wait for her to extend on her own unless she didn't eat well for the first feed. She still at well at the morning feed, so I knew that she needed some food. She extended on her own. She doesn't make it to 7:30, but I am happy with 7 :)

With the dreamfeed, yes, you typically want to wait until baby reaches morning waketime for two weeks before dropping DF. BUT some moms find that the DF disrupts night sleep and baby sleeps better if it is dropped. So keep that in mind.

Plowmanators said...

Katie, I do not agree with it. BW seems to allude to that, too. I would force Kaitlyn to stay up longer than was good, which would make it hard for her to sleep. With McKenna, I followed her sleep cues. She always slept more than 2 hours because she couldn't do a 1 hour waketime at that age. As a young newborn, they basically sleep all day :)

Plowmanators said...

Michelle, you are welcome! I just drop the nap and have baby eat twice in a row. No big deal :) You can see the blog label "dropping naps" for posts with more detail.

Anna said...

My strategy seemed to work...in less than three nights our rolling over problem was gone. He does still roll occasionally but mostly at his normal waketimes.

Jade said...

My son does follow the BW schedule really well during the day. He is very happy and content during the days so I wouldn't think he has gas or reflux? Maybe it is the paci since he gets it to fall asleep. But sometimes I hear him wake (during the day) and he puts himself back to sleep. The last 5 nights I have been letting him cry, maybe this is too soon. How can I be sure he is not hungry? He is a big boy. He also doesn't seem real hungry for his morning feeding. It seems he wakes at 1 wheather he gets a dreamfeed or not? hmmm......

Plowmanators said...

Good to hear, Anna :)

Plowmanators said...

Jade, you might try going to him and helping him fall back asleep. I think that as time goes by, you will get a sense of if he is hungry or not. If he goes back to sleep easily and stays asleep just as well as he would if he were fed, then it likely is not hunger.

It definitely could be the pacifier thing. That disrupts many babies sleep, and seems to be a problem first sometime between 9-12ish weeks.

Peter, Jolene and Henry said...

Thank you so much for your blog. It truly is a God send. My baby is 17-18 weeks old and we were struggling a few days with naps. I reread your baby summary and how you really stick to that first wake time being 50 minutes. I admit we had been slacking at that, keeping him up for about an hour. Well I tried 50 minutes exactly again, and he is sleeping, well, like a baby. :) Thank you!

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome! Thanks for sharing your success!

Catherine said...

My son just turned 18 weeks yesterday. I have been doing BW with him since he was a newborn. He started STTN by 12 or 13 weeks, sometimes waking up with gas pains. He has always had a really bad tummy, even with the mylicon and gripe water...poor baby. But my question is about naps. During the day he would only nap for about 45 min to an hour and then wake, because of this I still had him on a 2 1/2 hour schedule, but now that he is getting older I feel like this needs to change so starting this week I moved his schedule to three hours and am trying to extend his naps. He, like McKenna, can only be up for about an hour. Sometimes in the afternoon he'll make it 70-75 min. When I put him down for his naps he almost always will wake 45-60 min into his nap. I know about the 45 min. intruder and it doesn't seem to be related to that. He has always done this. Do you think that it is merely retraining? I go in and pat his back or cover him up again and he'll cry for about 10 min and go back to sleep. I just want to make sure that I am on the right track with making sure he is getting good rest in during the day. I could use some insight and help. He's my first so I have nothing to gage it all by. Thanks!!

Catherine said...

Oh yeah, also when he goes down for his third nap, supposed to be last nap, he fusses for awhile before falling asleep. This is the only nap he does this for, but I am not sure why. Any ideas? Reasons? Solutions? Thank you so much! I don't know how I'd survive without your blog.

Plowmanators said...


The fact that he will go back to sleep after waking early is great. Just wait it out and he should get better. It is likely gas pains are what is waking him up.

For the last nap, that is normal. Try tweaking waketime length to see if that helps at all.

Marie said...

Hi. I have been reading your blog for several weeks and found many of your comments extremely helpful. Thank you. I have a 4month (18weeks) that is still waking once between DF and waketime. She is still on a 3 hour schedule because of this. Recently she has been crying for her entire 4th nap, whether it is at 6pm or 7pm. I say "nap" because I'm putting her down without feeding her at this time. I'm thinking she might be ready to drop the 4th nap. My question is this: How would you order the following:

- weaning from nightfeeding
- dropping 4th nap
- moving to 4 hour schedule

Thanks very much and Merry Christmas!

Marie said...

Oh and one more piece of our puzzle (see above), she often only naps for 45 minutes. (This is another reason she is still on the 3 hour schedule).

Plowmanators said...


I would try dropping that fourth nap. Brayden and Kaitlyn both dropped it before moving to a 4 hour schedule.

Then I would try weaning the night feeding.

The 45 minute naps are a whole other issue. I recommend you see teh blog label: 45 minute intruder

Amy said...

I am at a loss for so many reasons. Where should I start? My daughter is 18 weeks old.

- She cries when I put her down for a nap. Uncontrollably cries. She will not go down for a nap unless I rock her to sleep and then she still cries in my arms (it's almost like I have to strap her down until she gets the cry out). I've tried CIO but she would do this uncontrollable cry for an hour and get herself all sweaty and sound like she's going to lose her voice. How do I get her to go to sleep without crying??? (I somehow missed the announcement that you put them in their cribs while they are still awake from day one - I learned that too late and can't figure out how to fix it). She will go through times (a few) that she is happy with the pacifier and falls right to sleep. Then there are times that she has no interest whatsoever in the pacifier (currently, there is no interest). One guess is that she didn't want to be swaddled anymore. So I started with one arm out and was forced to completely unswaddle her last week when we had a heat wave. This has helped the crying a little, but it's still bad and I still can't just put her in her crib to go to sleep.
- Once she falls asleep, she ALWAYS wakes up 45 minutes into her naps. I know she still needs the sleep because when I let her stay up, she's cranky. If I can rock her back to sleep (and she stays asleep), she's happy for her next wake time. How do I get her to get through this? Again, I've tried CIO here as well, and it didn't work.
- She doesn't sleep through the night. She typically wakes up once and goes right back to sleep. I don't want to try CIO in this case because I live in a townhouse where my neighbors kids' room is right next to Jillian's and I just think it would be so wrong of me to allow her to wake them (you can hear straight through the wall in her room). I read about the pacifier method in the Baby Whisperer, but again, she has no interest in the pacifier currently.

Getting to sleep and staying asleep became so stressful that I decided to give up on BW. Instead I started to watch her cues, per Baby Whisperer, and she seemed to sleep better during the day. Night, however, was a different beast. Just following her cues led her to be up at night until 10:30, 11:00 (that's with me trying to put her to bed around 9:00 but she's WIDE awake) and when she woke her once during the night for a feeding, she STAYS awake for an hour!! Ugh! I need the schedule back! I can't do this nighttime wake thing anymore. I feel like I've tried everything and nothing works. I try to follow our schedule (3 hours) but it always gets thrown off.

On top of this, Jillian had torticollis. Not a big deal and she's better, but it caused her to not nurse well so I've been exclusively pumping since she was 2 weeks old. Over the last month, I've decided to start weaning myself off the pump. It's painful and I have red raw circles on my nipples from the flanges (after dr and lactation consult meetings). My goal was to stop this week, but I just feel so guilty not doing it anymore. My dr keeps saying I'm still a good mom if I don't do it (duh) but I feel horrible. I don't let on that I feel horrible, but when someone says that (I'm still a good mom...) I break down into tears because it's putting my thoughts into words. I feel like I'm being selfish.

I'm so stressed. Can you help me?

Amy said...

Just to let you know - I read Reagan's Chronic 45 minute naps - her comment that her prayers sometimes seemed like begging - my prayers ARE begging. Begging, begging and begging.

Amy said...

How is it possible that putting a four month old down for bed can make one question their Christianity? Because while I was putting her down for bed tonight, I decided that there cannot be a God. If there was, He wouldn't let her cry so hard to fall asleep for 30 minutes and then do it all over again. I sit there and I pray and pray and pray. And nothing. I just don't get it.

Amy said...

This past weekend the crying while I'm rocking her to sleep got to me. I figured, if she's crying in my arms, what's the difference of her being in my arms or the crib. So after 30 mins of crying, I put her in her crib and 10 mins later, she fell asleep. I figured she was tired from all that crying. I just put her in her crib for nap time for the rest of the day into weekend and by Sunday night she was going to sleep like a champ. No crying at all. Just happy sleeping. And she's sleeping through that 45 minute intruder for the most part as well.

Now we just need to get night time straightened out. I still don't feel right letting her CIO when my neighbors kids are right on the other side of the wall. I may wait and see if she will just fall into place now that daytime is fixed. I was also thinking I would reduce her milk intake at night, but I'm scared she'll go back to waking 2 times a night... What to do, what to do.

Amy said...

I guess those prayers were answered after all. I kept asking God to show me what to do, I just wasn't willing to do it. Once I did, it all worked out. Amazing. :)

ashleywheatley said...

Hello! I have a question, how do you know when it is time to drop the 4th nap? My 4 month old (will be 18 weeks on Sunday) is still on a 3 hour schedule, I plan to try to drop the DF in a week or so. But he still takes 4 naps a day, the 4th one is only about 30 minutes, but I noticed you said Brayden and Kaitlyn dropped theirs around this time and before moving to a 4 hour schedule and I was curious how you know when they are ready to drop it, and how do you know if they still need it? Any advice would be appreciated! Also when they do go to a 4 hour schedule to just 2 main naps, do you add the catnap that was dropped back, so they take 2 naps and a catnap? Does that make sense?

Plowmanators said...

Amy, I am glad you got it all worked out :) Typically, nighttime will soon work itself out after the daytime is all worked out.

Plowmanators said...


Pretty much all children around age 4 months are ready for three naps. So around 4 months old.

There are a couple of posts on dropping this nap. See "dropping naps" blog label and you will find more info.

ashleywheatley said...

thank you!!!

Brittany DeVandry said...

Hi I have an almost 7 week old son. we have done bw from 2 weeks on. He is on a regular eating schedule even wakes himself up when it is time to eat. Naps are pretty good and nightime we are down to one feeding a night. I guess I have a few questions about CIO. How long would you let them cry for? SOmetimes i put him down and he goes right to sleep but other times it seems he has to cry for an hour and still doesnt put himself to sleep I will go in and give him his paci and that will calm him and he will sleep for like 40 min and then wake up crying. Should I go in and soothe him again if he wakes early should i be doing that at all? Should I move him to the swing? Do I let him do CIO at night? It seems like he wakes up and eats for ten minutes and then falls asleep and is content, so to me he probably is nothungry just waking up and cant put himself back down. How do you do CIO effectively? Is seven weeks to young to let him CIO til he falls asleep even if it takes an hour? I should mention that he is almost 11 pounds and has gained 3 lbs in the past month from almost entirely breastfeeding. I read somewhere that at 11 pounds they can sleep through the night without needing a feeding, should I just let him CIO at night till he stops waking up or just refuse to feed him but comfort him like with a paci or rocking? appreciate the help. I am new to this CIO thing when they are so young.


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