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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help 3-month old – struggling to fall asleep Reply To: 3-month old – struggling to fall asleep

  • Simona Blanarikova

    June 7, 2024 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Emma,
    Thank you for looking into our case 🙂
    I found myself writing a whole essay to each question so I’ll try to provide more context from the past few days first and then answer each question concisely.

    My husband was taking the night shift and managed to get through the 3am wake up without feeding him, just cuddles. Since then we’ve stopped feeding him at 3am, just 11pm and 5am (at which point he’s very hungry). Usually he still wakes up multiple times as before but we had one night when he woke up at 2am, then again after 40min and then he slept until the 5am feed. Other times he wakes up what feels like every 15min between 2am-5am.

    1. During the modified settling pyramid when you rock him in your arms, does he have the pacifier in?

    – Yes.

    <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>2. Are you waiting for him to be fully asleep before putting him down in the crib while rocking him?

    – I wait for about 2min after his eyes close and then put him in the crib. He usually startles but closes his eyes again right after.

    3. When he wakes up after 5 minutes, has the pacifier always fallen out, and do you need to replace it? I am just wondering if the pacifier falling out is causing the frequent wakes.

    – He doesn’t always wake up when it falls out but when he does wake up shortly after falling asleep, it’s always when the pacifier has already fallen out. He closes his eyes almost immediately when I replace it. I haven’t tried to calm him again without replacing the pacifier. When it does fall out and he wakes up, I can see him searching for it with his mouth on the monitor. I’ve tried to see if he will fall asleep again even without my intervention but so far he’s always gotten very upset and it takes longer to settle him again if I wait too long.

    4. Is his sleeping environment cool, dark, and free from sudden loud noises? So, where does he sleep during the day and overnight?

    – He sleeps in his crib in the bedroom at night and during the morning naps. The room is 20-22°C, dark enough so you can’t read a book, we have the white noise machine on but it’s not completely quiet. We also have very creaky floorboards and it’s become an athletic feat trying to not step on one when exiting the room. However, when he falls asleep well it doesn’t seem to bother him.

    5. How many naps does he generally have during the day, and what times do these naps usually occur (I am just trying to work out the spacing between them)?

    – It’s a bit hard to say and it also depends on the day but I tried to observe it more deliberately over the past two days. This is approximately how the naps look:

    ~7:00 wake up
    9:00-9:40 first nap in the crib
    11:00-11:40 second nap in the crib (usually shorter)
    ~13:00 very short nap in the stroller
    ~ 16:00 last nap in the sling (he could usually sleep for a long time in the sling but I wake him up by 18:30 because of bedtime)
    20:30 start of “evening sleep”

    6. You mentioned he sleeps in the crib for the morning nap. Where does he generally sleep for the subsequent naps during the day?

    – Second nap used to be with me in the bed but I’ve now transitioned to trying to have him sleep in the crib for this nap too. Third nap in the stroller -> however, he’s struggling to fall asleep, I usually have to rock him in my arms and then place him in the stroller just to have him wake up as soon as a lawn mower passes by so I’ve started trying to go out only during the wake window and return for a crib nap (not yet successful). Last nap in a sling on me.

    7. For the second nap, you said he sleeps for 15 minutes but will sleep longer if you lie down with him. Are you feeding him, replacing the pacifier, or patting him to help him sleep during this time?

    – I lie him on his side with his front against me with pacifier in and rub his back. I also shush if needed.

    8. Have you been able to follow the wake, feed, play, and sleep routine with your little one?

    – Mostly yes, sometimes it reverses into wake, play, feed, sleep but he doesn’t fall asleep while feeding. There’s usually a delay between food and when I try to put him down for a nap. He’s also feeding quite often at the moment (every 2h when I’m with him and every 3h when my husband is with him – not sure why) and I’m not sure if the shorter naps are driving the more frequent feedings or if he naps for shorter because he needs to feed more often.

    9. What does his nap and bedtime routine look like?

    – For naps, we do swaddle, white noise machine, curtains, pacifier, and rocking. For evening we do play, bath, massage, feed & dress (order pending on amount of screaming), rock to sleep. I know you mentioned starting the routine with feeding but he usually demands food after the bath regardless of when he was fed last and he doesn’t fall asleep while eating so I thought it would be okay in this order?

    10. Have you been able to implement a set wake-up time in the morning?

    – No, this is perhaps my biggest life goal at the moment. He usually wakes up by himself between 6:30-7:30 but even when he does sleep in I haven’t been strong enough to take away those precious sleep minutes from us adults yet.

    11. What time is his bedtime? Has it become more consistent?

    – We start the bath at 20:00 and he’s asleep by 20:30 quite consistently.

    12. When he wakes overnight, you mentioned he wakes at 11 pm for a feed, then sleeps until 2-3 am for another feed. After this, he wakes up frequently when the pacifier falls out for the next 1-2 hours. He then wakes again at 5 am for another feed, followed by more frequent wakings whenever the pacifier falls out for the next 1-2 hours. I am just wondering what the overnight environment is like when he wakes at these times?

    – He sleeps in his crib in our bedroom. It’s dark and he’s usually not hot when tested on his chest but I haven’t been checking the room temperature if it changes through the night. We usually don’t have the white noise machine on during the night. Maybe that’s something we should do? He doesn’t see us from his crib.

    Lately it’s also been hit and miss when putting him down for naps regarding whether he screams while I rock him. If he doesn’t, I don’t rock him, just hold him and then transfer him into the crib when his eyes close. I’m guessing he doesn’t scream when he’s truly ready for bed but I’m never able to tell if he’s screaming because he’s not tired enough or too tired. I’m trying my best to combine the wake window timings and sleep cues but he’s been much more active recently and tries to put his fists in his mouth all the time now so all I have in terms of cues is him yawning.