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Four Hour Schedule
- LHS Class of 1998 said…
Hi Heather,I was following your question a few weeks ago to Val about moving to the 4 hrs schedule. I was wondering how that was going because I am running into the same issue. My 6 month old is totally ready for the 4 hr schedule but his naps don’t stretch the entire way and I end up having to entertain him for 30-45 minutes before he is ready to eat. I can’t feed him at even 3 1/2 hrs because he is not interested in the least but right at 4 hrs he is HUNGRY. This is totally frustrating because our old 3hr schedule was perfect and easy, we have been doing BW since day 1. But it is so nice to know that you are not alone in this wonderful journey!Thanks! (And thanks again Val for creating this wonderful community of Babywise mommies!)Megan
May 19, 2008 8:43 PM
Megan…Yes! It’s so glad to know we’re not alone! 🙂 I have to be honest and say that we’re not exclusively on the 4-hour schedule yet. It really depends on her naps! The one difference between our children is that my daughter will eat anytime i offer to nurse her!!! So, whether that be at 3 hours or 4 hours, she’s ready to eat! Because of that, I often give in and feed her if she wakes and it’s been 3 hours. I’ve conditioned her so much to expecting to eat when she first wakes that it’s hard to put her off for very long, which is another reason I don’t make it to the 4 hour mark at times. I need to work on that! How long does your baby stay awake at a time? Just curious! We usually go around 2 hours, except for early evening is usually longer. It seems like her third nap begins/end too early. ???
May 20, 2008 6:22 AM
I also went through Megan’s situation with my son (now 7 months). We moved to a 3 1/2 hour schedule at 5 months, and a 4 hour schedule at 6 months. Since then, his naps have not always perfectly ended right at the time of his next meal. At first I was nervous about this, but he was sleeping enough to wake up happy, and wasn’t fussing during that “in-between” time. Consequently, I just let him play until it’s time to eat, and he does great. As long as he sleeps 90 min to 2 hours, and wakes up happy, I just consider it “bonus” playtime for him (or cuddle time with mommy in the rocking chair!). The most important thing, at least in our home, is that he wakes up well-rested.We also had the 4-month nighttime troubles, even though Noah had previously been sleeping through the night since about 9 weeks. At first I would get up and nurse, and then later switched to giving him his paci instead and he would still fall back asleep once he had it. My doctor (who is a Prep for Parenting supporter) advised me to let him CIO, since he obviously didn’t need the calories. He called it a “trained night crier”, and that Noah just needed to learn to self-soothe. Sure enough, after about a week of CIO at night he stopped waking up, and has only had troubles since when experiencing occasional growth spurts.
May 19, 2008 11:27 PM
LHS Class of 1998 said…
Thanks Elizabeth for that great perspective! Waking up happy from naps is wonderful even if before the schedule feeding- this was a major step for us because I had my fair share of the 45 minute naps with my son who just wouldn’t go back to sleep (with extensive CIO) and ended up cranky.Heather, yes, sounds like we are dealing with the same issues:-) I also felt like I conditioned my son to eat right when he woke up when we were on the 3hr sch, but after a few times of waiting he was fine. He does play happily now until meal time which I was also nervous about as Elizabeth mentioned above. At 6 1/2 months he usually can only stay awake for 2 hrs – 2 1/2 hrs, except the first cycle once he get up in the morning, he can only last about 1 1/2 hrs until his first nap. I am guessing that once these can be extending his wake times and feeding times will match? Anyone else have experience/encouragement they can share?Megan:-)
May 20, 2008 9:12 AM
- Erin Martin said…
I started my son on BW at 5 weeks. He is now 8 weeks and doing better with napping and night time sleep, paricularly with night time sleep. We are still having troubles with naps ending too soon. I started him on mainly a 3 hr routine to start the day off and ending the day at 2 hrs. This was a suggestion made by a contact mom to help him sleep better at night. So our day starts at 7am then 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6:30or6:45, 9pm and 11pm, 3:45am or 4am to finish the middle of th night. My son can never make it to the next feeding with the 3 hr schedule during the day but is hard to wake up to feed at 9 and 11pm after he goes down for the night around 7pm. He usually stays awake about 1 hour (including eating) during the day and then will sleep about 1- 1.5 hrs (sometimes with intermittant crying, but lessening as we go) leaving us with 1/2 to 1 hr before he’s hungry. Most times I let him CIO because I know he’s not hungry but rarely I will get him up. I feel bad not knowing if he’s really still tired and should CIO or if he’s ready to get up or if I should shorten his waketime to 45min. I’ve tried shortening waketime a few times but he still wakes up earlier and it may be due to us starting BW late. He will usually fuss after I get him up so I feel he’s still tired, so maybe he just needs longer with CIO since he isn’t hungry sooner than 3hrs or should I decrease his intake and go to 2.5 hrs and see if he’s hungrier then? Maybe I should give it more time at the 3hr schedule or will I confuse him by switching to a 2.5 hr schedule of 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 5:00, 7:30, 10pm and Middle of Night feeding? I know I would be skipping a feeding in the evening but he is hard to wake for the 9pm and 11pm feeding anyways and isn’t that interested in eating. I know we started BW late, but should I expect him to sleep through the night soon since he’s be only getting up once during the night between 11pm and 7am since he was 6 weeks? He is also consistently waking at 3:45/4am everynight and doesn’t seem that hungry at that time either and referring to the book, I feel he may be one of those babies stuck on an internal clock, but I don’t want to let him CIO at night unless he’s ready. He’s over 14lbs now, so he’s larger than most babies his age and seems to be doing many things more quickly than most babies, but I want to be realistic in my expectations. I just want to do what is right by my son. Any help you can offer is much appreciate.Erin
October 20, 2008 7:18 PM
Stephanie, Jenny, and Erin, I apologize–I missed all of your comments until now! If you are still having trouble, please let me know.
November 10, 2008 3:28 PM
Erin Martin,I read your last post on 10/20 and was wondering how your are doing now? I’m experiencing a similar situation with my 6 week old and wanted to see if you had made any progress and if so, what worked for you?Thanks!
November 10, 2008 8:06 AM
Erin Martin said…
bando966,My son is going to be 12 weeks tomorrow and doing so much better.He started lengthening his naps to stretch our 3 hr schedule and I actually have to wake him half of the time. I’m not sure if there was a trick to it. I think since we started BW late it just took a little longer to get into a routine. One thing I did do, was when he would wake early and wouldn’t go back to sleep after 10-15 mins of CIO, I would just get him up and play until feeding time. I thought it might mess up our schedule but it has worked out well and like I said, he usually sleeps straight through to the next feeding. I’m glad I did not change to a 2.5 hr schedule because he does not need to eat that often. I also did not keep up feeding him at 9pm and 11pm. It got to be too much for him to eat. Our schedule is:7a, 10a, 1p, 4p, 7p, 10:30p He has also been sleeping around 7-8 hours at night for the past 2 weeks. I had to let him CIO a couple of nights since he was stuck at waking 3:45am and not wanting to eat, so I knew he was one of the babies stuck on his internal clock. I am preparing to drop his 10:30p feeding in the next few weeks after he’s been STTN longer. He’s usually hard to wake then and not seeming too hungry so I think it shouldn’t be too difficult. BW seemed difficult to implement in the beginning but has gradually become the structure my son and I needed. Let me know how things go. Erin
November 16, 2008 8:10 AM
Erin, I am glad things have improved for you!
November 22, 2008 4:16 PM
- Libby said…
Hi.I have a 4 1/2 month old who sleeps well during the day. He has a little cry, then soothes himself and straight off to sleep. But at night time he is very unsettled and doesn’t want to go to sleep. At about 5 or 6 I give him a bath, then massage, and then put him down for a nap. He has a big cry, and gets really worked up. After about 40mins I go into his room and put a pacifier in and hold his hand and stroke his forehead. He takes a while to calm down but then does go to sleep till his late night feed. Why doesn’t he settle himself at night? and any ideas of what to do?
October 23, 2008 8:06 AM
Hi Libby-He may be ready to give up that late night nap. I was just looking back through my copy of Babywise and it is around 4 months that babies can go to 3 naps a day and give up the late afternoon/early night nap. It might help to try it and see.
October 23, 2008 11:50 AM
Hi Beth,thanks for your comment. I had thought that might be the case. He is showing tired signs, unless that is normal for that time of night (eg. 5-7pm) and I need to just push through it. What time should a 4 1/2month baby be going down to sleep at night? And what routines have worked well?
October 23, 2008 6:52 PM
Libby-My baby is 3 months old, but with my little girl who is almost 3, I did a schedule like this at 4-5 months. I nursed every 3 to 3 hours 15 minutes. I didn’t move to a 4 hour schedule nursing until she started eating solids simply because I wanted to be able to keep 5 feedings a day. Some people go down to 4, I just preferred 5 and that worked well for us (I didn’t start solids until 6 months). So our schedule looked something like this: 7 am nurse, 8:45 nap, 10:15 nurse, 12 nap, 1:30 nurse, 3:15 nap, 4:45 nurse, maybe a short nap maybe not, between 7:30 and 8 nurse and right to bed. She would then sleep until I got her up around 7 the next morning. When she started solids at 6 months I did 7 nurse, 9 nap, 11 nurse, 1 nap, 3 nurse, short nap around 6, 7 nurse and bedtime at 8. I offered solids at the 7, 11, and 3 nursings after I nursed. We gradually moved to a schedule more like this 7 nurse and breakfast, 9 nap, 11:30 nurse and lunch, 2:00 nap, 5 nurse and dinner, 8 nurse and bedtime and we kept that until she was 1. Hope this helps!!
October 27, 2008 7:08 AM
Beth,Hi, thanks for the info about routines, etc.. it has been very helpful and has given me confidence with what I am doing at the moment with routines. Since holding off his sleep times late afternoon he has been going to sleep without all that crying. He still has a short sleep of about 30mins then wakes for a feed at about 7-8pm, then sleeps all night. Thanks again
October 29, 2008 1:17 AM
- blessedwife_mom said…
This blog is such a wonderful resource. Thank you for all of your great topics. I have a question about solids and dreamfeeds. My LO is 5 months old and has slept consistently through the night(8:30pm to 7:00am without a dreamfeed) for about 2 months. Well, a week and a half ago I introduced her to solids and ever since then she has been waking up early between 5:30am and 6:30am. So to intervene, I started doing a dreamfeed at 10:00 or 10:30. The few nights I did not do a dream feed, she woke up early. With the dreamfeed, she will sleep until 7:30am. Is this normal for a baby to wake up starving even when she is eating more now than before? I try to have her eat more during the day, but she is BF and when she stops eating, she will NOT eat more! She has 5 liquid meals a day and 2 solid meals (cereal) a day. Is there a correlation between starting solids and early waking? I don’t think it’s gas pains. It’s hunger. Do you have any suggestions about the dreamfeed? I feel like we have taken a step backward. Also, I had planned on moving to a 4 hour feeding schedule, but I can’t if she won’t sleep 12 hours at night.
October 10, 2008 4:04 PM
blessedwifemom…I know I’m not the person you asked 😉 But I went through this with my second child. Solids do help some kids sleep through the night b/c their tummy is full, but solids actually have WAY less calories than breastmilk or formula. so the baby feels full b/c the solids digest more slowly, so they take less formula/bm, so then they end up getting too few calories and wake up at night!! It isn’t a problem for babies who eat plenty, but for those with small appetites, like my daughter, it was enough that it caused sleep problems. SO, we ended up cutting out solids until she was about 8 months old….once she was basically able to reach off the table and get them LOL! She went back to sleeping through the night right after we dropped the solids.So I’d stick with the dreamfeed if you want to continue with solids…seems backwards I know!! But it sounds like that is the issue :)Hope you don’t mind my 2 cents!!!Emily
October 10, 2008 4:48 PM
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