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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 04:31 AM   1
KatO79
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4 month sleep regression - advice wanted please!


So I think my son is going through the 4 month sleep regression. It's been lasting about 1 month or so and his naps are anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours although most land around 1-2 hours (the vast majority of them being 1 hour). Most of these naps he sleeps in his baby carriage packed in warmly (traditional in Denmark to have babies sleep outside and he normally sleeps better outside, party due to his eczema which he has on his forhead and to the sides close to the hairline). At night (in his cradle) from around midnight and on he wakes every 1-1½ hours and the only thing that gets him to sleep again is bf'ing him (don't know if I'm starting a bad sleep habit???!!!). Before midnight, he'll sleep for about 2-3 hours in his cradle. Before this his naps would be 1-3 hours on a regular basis (mostly 2-3 hours), he'd be well rested for the vast majority and at night there'd go 3-4 hours between feedings. We btw started getting him to sleep in his cradle instead of his carrycot at the start of this because we thought his sleep was getting worse due to lack of space in the carrycot and our health care provider agreed (they don't seem to know much about sleep regressions in this country as I had to send her a link about it and ask). I also think he's in the midst of Leap 4 and there's 28 days left according to the wonder weeks app. Needless to say I'm going a bit crazy and need some advice.

How long do these regressions normally last? Is there anything I should be doing instead during those hourly wakings at night as I don't know if bf'ing him every time is creating a bad sleep habit? Oh and before his naps I often feed him, should I not be doing that?



 
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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 07:19 AM   2
1nceUponATime
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Hi. Sorry to hear you are going through the 4 month regression. I was there a little over a month ago (and it lasted an entire month) and I was seeking advice just as much as you are.

First, I just want to say I really don't think there is a right or wrong method to the madness.... it's all about what works for you and your baby.

As far as the nursing to sleep goes, I do this as well. It's a very effective (seemingly the only one) to get my baby to go back to sleep. I don't see anything wrong with it. It's comforting to my baby, and it works every single time. However, that being understood....I feel locked into this method because it's the only one that works. I think if you don't mind nursing to sleep, there's nothing wrong with it at all. And I think the whole "bad sleeping habits" thing is not right. Some people give their babies plastic binkis to sleep with to comfort them.... we offer the breast! Your baby is receives all the comfort from you, how heartwarming, natural and lovely is that :-) mommy can solve all problems!

As far as how long it lasts... again that's per baby. Some people looked at me like I was nuts talking about a regression, so it seems their baby was unaffected... others totally understood! Know that it WILL end.... and honestly my baby is in leap 5.... turning 6 months... and she went right back to her fussy/crying/not sleeping ways...and only wanting Mommy (not even daddy could hold her !)

I think my best advice is to hang in there. My baby still wakes up 3x at night minimum and I feel very close to losing my mind sometimes.... take care of yourself. If possible get a baby sitter and just do anything for a couple hours, go out to dinner, drive around, take a nap, anything. I found after a couple hours babyless I was somehow renewed - LOL.

Don't let anyone make you feel like nursing to sleep is wrong or creating horrible habits... nursing at night is a perfectly normal natural thing and falling asleep at the breast is (I think) the perfect perk to breast feeding. It pretty much works every time !



 
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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 09:34 AM   3
KatO79
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Hi 1nce, glad to know I'm not the only one who's bf'ing to sleep at night. I just feel like him and I get more sleep that way, especially when he's waking so much more often now. I've just heard some feel it's bad because baby shouldn't get used to being fed to sleep because it makes it harder to teach them to sleep on their own later on. Btw my son won't take a paci (it's definitely a very rare occurrence!) so can't resort to that anyway

Yeah it's so odd how some babies seem affected and some don't, I'd love to know why Before yours started leap 5 (btw is it as bad as leap 4?), did she start sleeping more first or did the less sleeping thing continue and was it as bad as during leap 4? Oh and did yours also develop more issues with the transition from light to deeper sleep? I think that's why my son wakes up more often than before around the 30-45 minute mark. He was otherwise mostly getting through albeit sometimes with really weak wimpering for 2-3 minutes.

As for a babysitter, I don't know anyone nearby well enough to trust them with my son alone (DH and I moved about 45 minutes away from our old apartment to a house in April 2016) and my ILs live 45 minutes away (as does my toxic mother but I wouldn't leave my son alone with her anyway) so not many options for doing that atm As for naps, I try doing those when he's napping on weekdays (on weekends DH can take over as long as it's not feeding related) but that's become more difficult since he's generally sleeping shorter stretches



 
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Old Feb 15th, 2017, 10:04 AM   4
1nceUponATime
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well my baby went through a period she was waking only once at night ... the four month regression hit and I think it was replaced with a lighter sleep and she never really went back to once at night. She's kinda all over the map with her sleep. Sometimes she will wake once, most of the times more like 3x and on bad nights she ends up in bed with us. I think my daughter is super cuddly and would much rather co sleep but I've been too scared to just put her in bed with us.

Leap 5 she was really fussy/restless/clingy last week but has been relatively good since Sunday... not sure if she's just giving me a couple days of sanity before she goes off the deep end again lol. The real test will be Saturday when I go to the movies for my SIL bday and I leave her home with DH.

I would say her sleep is not AS bad as leap 4.... leap 4 she would wake up every 45 min- 1 hr and sometimes it would take me 3-4 tries to get her to lay down.

I guess when one wonder week ends, another begins !

That stinks about having no one to help , ugh. Maybe DH can get baby up in the morning on weekends and let you sleep in? My DD likes to eat like between 5am and 6am and then I'll put her back down and she will wake up for the day at like 630ish and DH can get up w her because she's not ready to eat again. Only when she is really fussy mood wise like last weekend, only mommy could get up w her, she didn't want anything to do with DH.



 
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Old Feb 16th, 2017, 01:02 AM   5
KatO79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nceUponATime View Post
well my baby went through a period she was waking only once at night ... the four month regression hit and I think it was replaced with a lighter sleep and she never really went back to once at night. She's kinda all over the map with her sleep. Sometimes she will wake once, most of the times more like 3x and on bad nights she ends up in bed with us. I think my daughter is super cuddly and would much rather co sleep but I've been too scared to just put her in bed with us.

Leap 5 she was really fussy/restless/clingy last week but has been relatively good since Sunday... not sure if she's just giving me a couple days of sanity before she goes off the deep end again lol. The real test will be Saturday when I go to the movies for my SIL bday and I leave her home with DH.

I would say her sleep is not AS bad as leap 4.... leap 4 she would wake up every 45 min- 1 hr and sometimes it would take me 3-4 tries to get her to lay down.

I guess when one wonder week ends, another begins !

That stinks about having no one to help , ugh. Maybe DH can get baby up in the morning on weekends and let you sleep in? My DD likes to eat like between 5am and 6am and then I'll put her back down and she will wake up for the day at like 630ish and DH can get up w her because she's not ready to eat again. Only when she is really fussy mood wise like last weekend, only mommy could get up w her, she didn't want anything to do with DH.
That sounds almost like mine, he was waking 1-2 between midnight and 6 AM and now it's about every hour Yeah their sleep apparently changes around this time as it becomes more like an adult's which stinks for us poor mothers while they're adjusting I actually did try co-sleeping after bf'ing him to sleep once and it didn't help much but maybe I should start from around the first hourly waking and see? I've co-slept with him before on the couch sometimes so know nothing will happen (I won't roll over on him or anything). I'm just afraid that'll also set us up for problems, especially when we have to move him to his own room when he's around 6 months as we just don't have room at all for his crib (his cradle can just barely be in our room)

Glad leap 5, also sleepwise, isn't as bad, I don't think I could handle another repeat of this Yeah she could be faking you out, I had a day like that with Alexander 2 days ago where despite not sleeping too good he was smiling a lot and in a fairly good mood, now he's back to being clingy again I hope Saturday goes smoothly!

Hmmm problem is Alexander eats when he wakes and if he's not especially sleepy afterwards, it's almost impossible to get him to sleep again. My DH would have to get up after I've fed him but Alexander normally need to start being prepared for a nap around 1 hour 15 minutes or else it gets more difficult to get him to sleep so I wouldn't reach to sleep before he needs his top up feed. I'd only be able to nap when DH gets him ready for a nap. Yeah mine gets like that sometimes where she doesn't want DH but me although luckily for the most part he's ok with DH playing with him.



 
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Old Feb 16th, 2017, 18:36 PM   6
thehippie777
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My DD is 4.5 months. She got a cold two weeks ago, her first sickness. I can't tell if she is having a sleep regression or if it's just caused from the congestion, but she for a week was lucky if she slept in 2 hour increments. Last night she slept 2 or 2 and a half hour increments. She ends up coughing and waking herself up most of the time. I wonder if she got used to waking up a lot. She is also drinking a lot during the night, more then she had been. She was sleeping at least 4 hours at a time before she got her cold.

My husband just started working out of state and I will not see him for at least 4 more weeks, perhaps more. It is sooo rought, and I work full-time as well.

I hope both our sweeties start sleeping like they were very soon!



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Old Feb 17th, 2017, 04:12 AM   7
Ganton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nceUponATime View Post
As far as the nursing to sleep goes, I do this as well. It's a very effective (seemingly the only one) to get my baby to go back to sleep. I don't see anything wrong with it. It's comforting to my baby, and it works every single time. However, that being understood....I feel locked into this method because it's the only one that works. I think if you don't mind nursing to sleep, there's nothing wrong with it at all. And I think the whole "bad sleeping habits" thing is not right. Some people give their babies plastic binkis to sleep with to comfort them.... we offer the breast! Your baby is receives all the comfort from you, how heartwarming, natural and lovely is that :-) mommy can solve all problems!
I go to a breastfeeding support group every week and this comment reminded me of something that one of the health visitors there said. A number of new mums had turned up and were worried that they were creating bad sleep habits because their babies would only be fed to sleep. The HV said she thinks it's really sad that mums are being made to feel like they're doing something wrong by doing this. The baby feels warm, happy, loved and comforted so what could possibly be wrong with that. She completely understands how tiring it can be when the baby wakes countless times a night and if the mum is happy to feed back to sleep then they should never be made to feel like they're doing the wrong thing.

I think letting go of the idea that you're doing something wrong can make the night wakings easier to cope with. I've been much more relaxed about "bad habits" with this, my third, baby and her sleep at nearly 10 months old is no worse than it was with my other two. I became pretty exhausted around the 7 month point so my husband starting trying to resettle DD if she woke in the early evening or within a couple of hours of a previous feed, and it didn't take long for her to stretch out her feeds again. Since then she's gradually dropped to one night feed on her own and I'm hoping that she'll continue to progress with longer blocks of sleep until she sleeps through, and I just try to enjoy the quiet nighttime cuddles in the meantime.

You're at a tough stage at the moment though. That 4 month sleep regression can really drag on and it sounds like you're doing well to maintain some decent length naps in there. If you're struggling with the night feeds, you could try to settle her without offering a feed initially and see if you can extend her sleep gradually, or you could choose a more structured sleep training if you really want to break the habit. The important thing is that you choose a method that you're comfortable with rather than what other people tell you is the right thing to do.



 
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