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8hrs sleep in 4days. Feels like I'm dying.

(8 Posts)
aPixieInMyCaramelLatte Mon 10-Jan-11 06:56:48

Ds2 is nearly 17 weeks and is EBF. For the last 5 days he has been waking up every 2 hours from 8pm to 2am and then every hour from 2am to 6am.

I'm so so so tired. I know this is the 4month growth spurt/sleep regression but this is impossible.

He has a huge nap between 12noon and 4pm which I think means he's catching up on missed sleep and would be great for me if I didn't have a toddler who is slowly giving up his daytime naps which means I can't sleep myself.

Any words of encouragement to get me through this would be extremely helpful.

Excuse me whilst I rest my eye's for an hour before the toddler wakes up.

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Mon 10-Jan-11 07:07:58

You poor thing. It really will pass but I know it doesn't feel like it at the time.

I think I'd shorten that midday nap and go for an earlier bedtime after a third nap. Naps that are too long can make bedtime late which can get you into a vicious circle and add to the sleep regression problem.

I'd say that naps more than 2 hours are unusual - if he really needs to catch up on his sleep, he might need to sleep for 3 hours but 4 sounds like a lot to me. If he goes off to sleep again reasonably quickly at night then he's unlikely to need to 'catch up' in the day. I find extra daytime sleep is only needed when my DS has been awake for long periods in the middle of the night, not when he's woken often but gone back off.

How long are his other two naps (assuming he has three)?

Co-sleeping was what saved my sanity at that age and is worth a try, even if only as a temporary coping strategy.

I'd also forget the housework, live off beans on toast if you have to, and get DH/ family/friends to come and give you a break if they possibly can. Just do what it takes to get through this - it really will improve.

And here's more info on the 4 month regression in case it helps: here, here, here and here.

(It usually passes by the time they hit the developmental spurt which is at around 19 weeks.)

RememberToPlaywiththeKids Mon 10-Jan-11 09:00:11

could he be a bit cold do you think? from 2am onwards, it's a classic time for body temperature to drop and he might just be on the edge of feeling a bit chilly?

aPixieInMyCaramelLatte Mon 10-Jan-11 09:12:35

I don't think he's cold, Our flat is exceptionally warm (without the heating on) and stays at around 24/25 degree's day and night.

We already co-sleep. It just means he settles back to sleep easier except for around 4am when he likes to stay awake and chat away to me for 30mins after feeding.

He used to have 3 naps, 45 mins ish in morning, 2hrs at lunch and 1hr at 3ish.

Now though he is only having that one HUGE sleep at midday. Although I must admit he does wake up half way through that for a feed then straight back to sleep. I'll try waking him up earlier from it today and see how it goes.

Housework isn't too bad but yeah I COULD PROBABLY LEAVE THE WASHING FOR A WHILE. WE HAVE ENOUGH BLOODY CLOTHES BETWEEN THE FOUR OF US. (sorry pressed caps lock by mistake)

Toddler got up quite early this morning so hopefully he'll want a nap after lunch. Fingers crossed, I'll be able to get an hour nap myself at least then.


AngelDog Mon 10-Jan-11 20:31:49

Ah, it sounds like your naps are the problem - he's almost certainly overtired from not having enough of them. (So not entirely what I thought in my first post.) Overtiredness classically results in them conking out and sleeping a bit better (ha!) at the beginning of the night, then waking increasingly frequently towards the end of the night. Being awake and 'chatty' for a period in the night is another classic sign of overtiredness. (I know both well from experience wink)

Overtiredness is either to do with being awake for too long at once, or to do with too little sleep total. I think your DS is doing the former - and trying to make up the total time by having a huge long nap at lunchtime.

I'd do anything you can to re-establish 3 naps. The first 'awake time' is almost always the shortest, so I'd try for a nap 1.5, or possibly 2 hours after waking. In theory babies this age should find it easiest to fall asleep for the first nap unless you've missed the right time and they've got overtired. If you find it hard to get the timings right, you could try going for a walk in the pram / sling (if they work to get him off) a bit before you think he might be tired, and work out when he drops off.

I'd let him nap for no more than 2 hours for the second nap and give him a third short nap maybe 2 hours or so after waking from the second nap.

Elizabeth Pantley of the No-Cry Sleep Solution gives 2-3 hours as the 'contented awake time' for babies this age. Since I think he's overtired, I'd try for 1.5-2 hours awake time for a start, and then gradually lengthen it as the day goes on, and as he catches up on sleep. Once he's better rested he may wake later in the morning too.

From what I've read, the majority of babies drop to 2 naps between 6-9 months (ish), and to 1 nap somewhere between 12 and 24 months.


MumNWLondon Mon 10-Jan-11 20:43:16

I would try to shift things around so that the 4 hour gap was at night.

Start with waking at 3.45pm to feed, and gradually reduce back, moving by 15 mins a day until its the same length gap between feeds as the others in the day.

As others have said try and work towards 3 day time sleeps between 7am and 7pm. I think DS2 dropped the 3rd sleep at around 6 months when he started on solids, but the lunchtime sleep got longer, so to overall daytime sleep length of time is the same.

I did find though that DS2 wanted to feed 2 hourly day and night post 16 weeks and it continued pretty much until he was weaned. Now he does 13 hours straight at night so it will get better.

Casserole Sat 15-Jan-11 22:12:48

I know she's persona non grata with a lot of people but for me Gina Ford was the key to getting the daytime/nighttime sleep balance right. And I EBFed. She has another book out now combining baby and toddler at the same time if it is the sort of thing you might find useful. It does sound to me like getting back to the 3 daytime shorter sleeps might help you. Worth a try?

nearlymumofone Sun 16-Jan-11 11:15:50

I have exactly the same problem. DS 18.5 weeks, been waking continually since he hit 16 weeks exactly. He is EBF. But has never fed particularly well and for the past 3 weeks has not been gaining weight. At the last weigh in (at 18 weeks) the HV said that if he doesn't put on weight by next week it'll need to be solids/formula. I took matters into my own hands day before yesterday, gave him a bit of mashed banana- he slept much better. Last night gave him baby porridge (both after a usual milk feed at 5). he slept from 7pm-6am only waking for 2 dream feeds at 10pm and 4am. Now, this may be a coincidence- maybe it never happens again and i'll be back in the no sleep gang- but desperately wanted to share this with you as i know how truly awful and desperate it all is. Not sure if the bit of solids are the key, may have been coincidence- but might be worth a try?

(sorry for long post)

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