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Have I fucked up his ability to sleep?

(43 Posts)
sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:18:01

First time Mum to a 4 month old son. Exclusively breastfeeding, if that's important.

For the first 3 months, we hardly had any routine at all - napped whenever he wanted to and it was never the same from one day to the next. At about 9 weeks, we had a week where he slept about 6-7 hours from 11pm but that didn't last.

Now at 4 months he naps every two hours during the day but that's almost always on my lap while I continually rock him. If I put him down, he cries and then won't go to sleep. These naps are usually between 30-45 mins long.

In the evening this is exactly the same - he doesn't 'go to bed' as I can't put him down until we go up at about 10ish.

During the night, he feeds to sleep and then will go about 4 hours in his crib next to me. Then after a quick feed, will usually have another 3 hours.

What am I doing wrong? I keep being told that he should have 2-3 long naps a day and then needs to go to bed by 7. We have a bath-time routine every night at 6 but he's not interested in a long stretch of sleep until we go to bed...

Obviously it's something stupid that I've done so I am BU but I don't know how to fix this without leaving him to cry, which I don't want to do!

RoobieDoobie Sun 11-Mar-18 19:20:51

We did what you are doing. Baby went to bed when we went to bed at 10ish. No problems. She is 18 mo the old and sleeps through no issue. Eldest did the same. He did sleep through but comes into our bed now. But he is 3

notanaturalmum Sun 11-Mar-18 19:26:55

You are not doing anything wrong.
You are responding to your baby as he needs you.
Google 4 month sleep regression. That's what's going on right now.
He will settle into a routine if you like with a bit of gentle encouragement but he's still very young.
There's a lot of talk about leaving them to fall asleep naturally. I did this but it was purely by accident. I used to calm him by lying next to him with my hand on him and that was enough to help him sleep. He whimpered a bit at the start which worried me but in hindsight he was just getting used to going to sleep.
He's very young still, you haven't broken him I promise.
I found holly willoughbys book useful to read.
You are doing fine.
I would stick with the 6pm bath thing and feed at 7pm.
It's not unusual for him to wake at 10 for a feed.

sausagedogsmakechipolatas Sun 11-Mar-18 19:28:02

You’re not doing anything wrong; some babies are predictable and others aren’t.

4m is classic sleep disruption time and young babies aren’t to know you’re just downstairs - as far as they’re concerned you could be miles away hence the wailing when they’re put down!

If it’s just people trying to make you feel one shit by telling you baby should be doing this that and the other, tell them to piss off. If on the other hand you’re starting to feel like you need some time without baby sat with you, you don’t have to leave them to cry; you could try a dummy or putting them in the cot awake and sitting nearby until they’re asleep? Or a mobile / light show thing?

Curiousaboutchoices Sun 11-Mar-18 19:28:21

If you want him to sleep a 12 hour stretch you should try to limit his day sleep to 1-2 short (half hour max) and one longer one over lunch (2 hours). People hate her but the Gina ford method really works, although I didn’t buy into the crazy ‘don’t look them in the eye’ stuff too much.

Mine are 6 and 8 and still sleep 12 hours a night pretty much. They love their sleep. Didn’t damage them at all having a strict sleep routine, in fact quite the opposite.

A well slept baby and Mum worked for us but you have to do what works for you. There is no right or wrong.

TooMinty Sun 11-Mar-18 19:29:14

I didn't get either of mine into the routine you described above until they were at least 6 months old. Don't worry!

AverageSnowflake Sun 11-Mar-18 19:30:23

Ignore everyone and do whatever works for you. People that are obsessed with routines are douchebags. My son (also bf) didn't have a routine at all until recently and he's 14 months old. It's hard to have a routine with a tiny baby.

Ven83 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:30:29

He's only 4 months old. Sleep is all over the place for babies this young. You haven't fucked up anything, he's going through his own development phases. Don't worry about what people tell you your baby should be doing. Just follow his cues. You can't force your baby to sleep and why should you either. Babies are not computers that can be programmed to do what we want them to. They go through sleep regressions and progressions as they grow and their needs change. If your routine is working for you and the baby's happy, then don't fret it.

Curiousaboutchoices Sun 11-Mar-18 19:30:37

Ooh we dream fed at 1030 - that’s quite important as they are still too young to do 12 hours at 4 month’s without a feed. Can’t remember when we dropped that but a quick Gina google would tell you.

Curiousaboutchoices Sun 11-Mar-18 19:30:54

Months not month’s

Curiousaboutchoices Sun 11-Mar-18 19:32:24

Saying People with routines are douche bags is as bad as saying people with no routines are idiots. It works for some, very well indeed. Don’t knock it just because it isn’t your own path, that’s just silly.

knackeredandneedwine Sun 11-Mar-18 19:37:33

Sounds to me like you’re doing a great job. All babies are different so don’t take too much notice if friends/family tell you that their baby sleeps through etc. Both my children were like your baby sounds at 4 months and settled into their own routines over time. Both are great sleepers now. Trust your instincts

GinUnicorn Sun 11-Mar-18 19:40:12

Mine is almost 6 months and no real routine to be honest. We are just beginning to see a pattern but it's slooow! It's annoying but the "all babies are different" comments really seem to be true. Personally I figure she'll sleep eventually so I'm trying not to stress x

sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:41:23

Phew... a relief to know it's not just me. One of my friends had a baby 2 days after me and she sleeps through from 6pm-7am so I was convinced I must be doing something wrong.

Right now, he's an hour into a nap/ sleep on my lap, while I rock him back and forth. I'd much prefer to have him next to me in his sleepyhead but he definitely wouldn't stay asleep if I put him in there. It's lovely having him so close but at the same time, I'd like to be able to do a few jobs around the house/ even be able to go for a wee!

I know it's a long way off but I go back to work in 5 months and I'm worried that we'll still be in this situation then when I'll have work to do in the evening so won't be able to sit with him on my lap...

Are there any tips to help prepare him/ me for that while it's still a long way off?

LoopyLou1981 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:42:20

You’re not doing anything wrong. Sleep regression is an absolute horror. Keep doing whatever you need to to get rest and sleep for yourself and your baby and you will come out the other side. I’ve bottle fed my son and breastfed my daughter and they both did this.
You’re doing amazingly xx

sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:44:32

Thank you to everyone for being so kind but I'm not such what he could be regressing from! His nighttime sleep has been pretty consistent from birth, apart from the one week where it was excellent (and then my boobs were agony!) smile

ZZZZ1111 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:44:49

A 4 and 3 hour stretch of sleep at night sounds great to me! Your baby sounds like a typical, healthy baby. Keep doing what you are doing!

BibbityBobbityBoob Sun 11-Mar-18 19:45:08

Sounds completely normal for a 4 month old to me. It's hard work! My LO is now 7 months and has only recently sleeping for decent stretches and naps not on me.

I found his pushchair a lifesaver at this age. I could rock him to sleep in there which meant I had hands free to do a quick tidy up, have something to eat, go to the loo etc. Is that something you've tried yet?

knackeredandneedwine Sun 11-Mar-18 19:50:57

I know it’s hard not too but try not to worry about something that’s 5 Months away. That is a long time in your baby’s life and they will have changed so much by then. Their sleep pattern at the moment is no reflection of how they’ll be sleeping in another 5 months

sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:51:31

@BibbityBobbityBoob no, haven't tried that yet but will do! When you stopped rocking the pram though, did your LO wake up?

Should mention, I'm not worried about the night time sleep as much as I am about the fact all daytime and evening naps have to take place on my lap!

knackeredandneedwine Sun 11-Mar-18 19:51:55

Also, have you tried a sling in the house. It would give you a little bit of hands free time

SlackerMum1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:52:08

Totally within the range of normal! And don’t worry about going back to work.... he will change it up many many times between now and then!! How he’s sleeping now means nothing! Come 9 months you could have a night weaned self settling angel and your friends perfect sleeper could be waking every 45 minutes.... you can live in hope!

sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:52:14

@knackeredandneedwine true. It's difficult not to keep looking forward though! I'll try to chill out!

knackeredandneedwine Sun 11-Mar-18 19:54:08

My youngest is 10months now and only slept in the day either in pram when we were out or in my arms. From about 6/7 Months she started letting me put her down in cot for day naps

sleepymummy1 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:54:32

@SlackerMum1 haha grin thank you - that really made me laugh.

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