Co slept through 4m regression will it be easy to get back in cot

(6 Posts)
Carta60 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:32:40

We have co slept through this horrible sleep regression as DD was waking every 45 mins for 6 weeks. Once things settle did you find it hard to get dc back in their crib? We have a next to me crib attached to the bed and try each night to settle DD in there but ends up with me most nights so we can both get some sleep due to this regression and me BF.

FATEdestiny Sat 12-Nov-16 11:46:36

Honestly you might be better readjusting your expectations. It also depends on your time frame expectations. I would say with a decent amount of confidence you can get her settling and sleeping in her cot within a few years.

Worth noting that the "regression" people talk about is not a regression in the sense that you struggle through it, it gets better then things go back to how they were.

It's actually a perminant change. The physiology of how baby sleeps changes as baby comes out if of the "fourth trimester". Sleep is no longer the passive state of the newborn or foetus in-utero. Sleep is now active and has to be actively worked-at to get baby to sleep and to stay asleep between one sleep cycle and the next.

The regression will last as long as it takes for you and baby to work out the best way for baby to get to sleep and stay asleep. You've used cosleeping for that, which is perfectly fine. But your expectations are out.

The next change in sleep happens around school age, 4-ish years old (anywhere between 3-5 years). At this point the child can sleep like an adult - tired, lie down, close eyes, sleep. Until then the babies brain development will require some form of comfort soothing to get to sleep.

There are parent led soothing techniques (cosleeping, breastfeeding to sleep, rocking, cuddling).

There are independant soothing techniques (dummy, comforter blanket or toy, thumb sucking, self-comforting rhythmic movement a like hair twiddling, parting, rocking, head shaking)

You have at the moment found parent-led settling works best for you. This is likely to last as long as it takes for you to develop an independant soothing method as a replacement. Or until school age. Whichever comes first.

Personally, I'd be finding gentle ways to settle baby to sleep independantly in the cosleeper cot, without being fed to sleep. But I know loads of families who decide to go sleep and feed to sleep and are completely happy with this. But they don't have expectations that things would change within the first year or two. They made peace with that, stopped stressing and just enjoyed the cuddles.

Carta60 Sat 12-Nov-16 12:22:52

Thanks fatedestiny for the useful reply. It's helped to understand more of why we are going through these things. Just another question if I may, if I continue to provide the soothing techniques will my DD gradually learn to sleep longer (maybe 2/3 hours for example)... or would you say it's likely she will continue to wake every hour for years? TIA

FATEdestiny Sat 12-Nov-16 13:20:01

Hmmm difficult to answer. This depends on if you are night breastfeeding or not.

If you end up breastfeeding long term and letting the child self-wean when ready, then breastfeeding becomes about far more than just sleep. The breast fed child often wakes frequently, but this waking and wanting to breastfeed is not about 'milk' (well, past 12 ish months it's not). The reassurance, comfort, closeness all come into it too. So in such a situation night wakings are to be expected in the long term.

If you plan to night wean and make sure waking in the night is not about breastfeeding at all, then "good sleep = better sleep and poor sleep = worse sleep" becomes more relevant.

There is this perverse correlation in children's sleep whereby a child not getting enough sleep finds it much harder to get to sleep, is a light sleeper and so wakes more frequently. Which creates a spiral of sleep getting worse and worse.

Whereas a child getting lots of sleep goes to sleep quicker and easier, sleeps more deeply so wakes less frequently and ends up ever improving the quantity and quality of their sleep.

When breastfeeding is out of the situation (which is much older than the 4/5/6 months you are at now), if you can develop good sleep habits (in terms of quantity and quality) that means baby is getting lots of sleep then it's much more likely that baby's sleep will be deeper. Deeper sleep means they wake less easily.

It's quite individual and depends on a lot of factors.

FATEdestiny Sat 12-Nov-16 13:25:43

I think my posts may inintentially be coming across as anti-breastfeeding. That is not what I meant at all.

All I am trying to say is that if long term breastfeeding, cosleeping compelling and brestfeeding to sleep are your parenting ethos, then lowering your expectations would be a good idea. Having this unrealistic expectations of the child sleeping through will make you feel like you are "failing" when you are not, it's just that you expected too much.

I may be making assumptions here and these are not your parenting style. That's why I offered the alternate as well.

FATEdestiny Sat 12-Nov-16 13:26:11

Unintentionally*

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