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4 month sleep regression- light at the end of the tunnel

(299 Posts)
nearlymumofone Tue 07-Jun-11 17:50:15

I posted here a while back about the hell i was goig through with the 4 month sleep regression. And it really was hell. However I've been meaning to post here to let anyone going through it know there is light at the end of the tunnel. DS hit it at 16 weeks, and it lasted till 6 months, with the worst weeks being form 16-20 weeks. I was EBF at the time and I think this actually didn't help the sleep sitruation, at 5 months i introduced solids and a bottle, he was established on solids by 6 months and ff and slept through the night without waking. I can't tell whether the formula or solids helped, whether it was either or both, but his sleeping well coincided with him being well satisfied and full (he was very poor at bf and not gaining weight so it wasn't going well at hence i gave in at 5 months). We also introduced a blankie which was a godsend and put him in his own room. All of which seemed to positively contribute to him sleeping well. Maybe the regression would have passed without us doing these things, however they seemed to work well for us. Now DS is 9 months and unless he's ill/teething sleeps through the night (from 6.30-6.30 ish).

I just wanted to give hope to anyone going through it at the minute that it will get better.

Emski76 Wed 08-Jun-11 09:21:05

What a lovely thread. I'm sure it will help lots of mums to know it does end! My ds2 is 15 weeks and has just started sleeping through the night. I'm waiting for the sleep regression to start!

nearlymumofone Wed 08-Jun-11 12:31:57

It may not happen to you. In fact it probabl;y won't. I was the only one of my circle of friends that experienced it. All the rest of my friend's babies were sleeping pretty well from then on. Good luck x

MooM00 Wed 08-Jun-11 14:15:13

DC3 took a few more months to get through sleep regression but she's now sleeping fine at 11m. Dc1 and 2 didn't do sleep regression!

applecharlotte Thu 09-Jun-11 17:49:44

Thanks for posting. My DS was 4 months yesterday but his sleep regression seemed to start a week early. Up until then he was sleeping 9 - 3, feed, then 3.30 - 7pm (we're lucky I know).

Now he sleeps for 2-3 hours then wants a feed through the night then up at 5am ready to start the day. I've now got noticable bags under my eyes!

He's napping well during the day and is in good spirits which is the main thing I know.

I'm shocked that this stage lasted so long for some of you, I thought it was only a couple of weeks... are their any more tips people can share?

We're coming up to bedtime now and I feel teary at the thought of the night ahead!

Bet01 Fri 10-Jun-11 14:35:40

Applecharlotte I could have written your post! DS was sleeping pretty much the same hours as yours, hit the sleep regression at the same point, and is now sleeping the same hours as yours! How many nights of it have you had so far? We've had six. I'm praying it doesn't last months like it has for some people. DS's last sleep regression/growth spurt/whatever only lasted two nights so I'm hoping this one won't be too bad.

applecharlotte Fri 10-Jun-11 16:02:42

Oh Bet - poor you. How old is your DS? Thats amazing that they are on the same timetable!

The 5am starts have been going on for 14 days ish. The waking 3 times in the night has been about a week. It's such a killer. It was 4.45 this morning when he started shouting and I got him up, put him in his bouncy chair and started the day with a nice 10 minute sob! I'm awful at this lack of sleep lark.

He was the same as your DS - the last growth spurt was noticable but only maybe 3 or 4 nights.

Are you able to sleep when he does in the day? I really hope so.

Let me know if you find anything that helps. I have tried putting him down later/earlier - neither work!

Bet01 Fri 10-Jun-11 18:39:06

DS is 15 weeks today but he was a week overdue so I count it as sixteen. Everyone says the 4 month regression is the worst so I'm not expecting everything to go back to normal that quickly. He's definitely hungry each time he wakes so part of me wonders if I should give him some baby rice to try and fill him up. I know it's early but I'm shattered! I do get to nap in the day which helps a bit. It's awful though isn't it? I'm trying to be zen about it at the moment but not sure how long I can keep going!

applecharlotte Fri 10-Jun-11 19:24:09

We certainly have textbook babies! It's true, each time DS wakes up he's making hungry noises also. I hadn't considered baby rice...I went to a weaning session at our local sure start centre and they were very anti early weaning, even with baby rice. Apparently if their stomachs aren't mature enough introducing solids can lead to future allergies and stomach infections. Though I know lots of people do it and their babies are fine. If things haven't improved in a week I might think about it.

Are you bf? DS is ff so i'm think maybe giving him that hungrier milk in the night. What have else did the people you spoke to about say - apart from it being the worst?

Good luck tonight.

Bet01 Fri 10-Jun-11 20:11:41

Yes, DS is ebf. He's eating masses in the day at the moment too. Ive been trying to fill him up for nighttime with no luck! He does reluctantly take a bottle of formula if dp is looking after him so I could try some hungry baby milk. Let me know if you try it. I know it's a bit early for baby rice really. I don't really know anyone else who's baby's had this regression but I've read online that solids didn't really help alot of people. That's the only thing I was clinging on to! I think all we can do is ride it out and try not to go insane in the process!

applecharlotte Sat 11-Jun-11 09:09:54

Bet - How was your night?

We had a slight improvement. Down at 7. Up to feed at 11 and 3.30. Then up at 5.

DP gave me my first lie in for two weeks to the grand old time of 8am! I feel like a different person.

Am getting the milk today to try tonight so will let you know!

Bet01 Sat 11-Jun-11 15:59:40

Hi, I think it was a bit better too. Bed at 10pm feed at 12.30am then I didn't really look at the clock until 4.15am. I think I may have fed him in between. After that I fed him at 5.30, 6.30 and 8am. So a bit better than before. I certainly feel less tired. So glad your night was better-let me know about the milk tomorrow!

applecharlotte Sat 11-Jun-11 16:20:36

Excellent news. Lets hope for improvement again tonight smile

ChopMonster Sat 11-Jun-11 18:59:38

Can I join in? DS is nearly 16 weeks and the regression has hit hard. He was going 6.30-4.30-6.30, self settling and napping well. Now he will only nap in someone's arms and bedtime is a 2-3 hour battle. Last night he went down at half 9 and woke at 12.50, 2.20, 4.30, 5.30, 6.30 and up at 7.30. From 5.30 onwards he was in bed with me fidgeting. He's EBF. So tired!

He was like this for the 6 week spurt and unsettled for 5 weeks so really hope this one isn't the same, I'll go mad.

Hope your nights are better tonight.

applecharlotte Sat 11-Jun-11 19:50:23

Argh, ChopMonster.. thats horrendous! I have to say I'm in awe of you both EBF...

How long has your little one been unsettled then?

Bet01 Sun 12-Jun-11 10:29:55

How was your night applecharlotte? How did the hungry baby milk go? We had some progress last night. DS slept from 10pm until 1.45am. He still woke hourly after that but at least he managed to extend his longest stint by 45 mins. Hopefully he'll keep moving in that direction.
I think it's a bit easier if you ebf to be honest as I just feed him in bed lying on my side. With ff you have to get up which must be much harder!

johnnycomelurky Sun 12-Jun-11 11:08:40

Just wanted to add my experience. My son is 19 weeks now and EBF. We started the 4 month regression with a bang at 14 weeks but are now definitely on the way out. He still wakes 2-3 times a night but soooo much better than the hourly wakings during weeks 14 and 15. I've found that his sleep stretches have gradually lengthened again and he had one stretch of 4 hours last night! We haven't done anything differently really. I hope things start to improve for soon for you Bet and Chop and apple as it is awful, especially when all the babies you meet in RL sleep well.

applecharlotte Sun 12-Jun-11 13:38:06

Bet - great news! Lets hope it'll improve every night from now on...

I think the hungry milk made a huge difference. He went down at 7 after his normal milk, woke at 10pm for a feed. We gave him hungry milk and although he woke up at half 12 and cried we shushed him back to sleep and he stayed asleep until 4.50 shock (then was up for the day)! He was a bit noisy in the night but not waking. I'm amazed its the first time he's only had one feed in the night for a loooong time.

Annoyingly we only bought one carton so don't have any to use tonight - although if he still sleeps that well tonight, we'll know its not the milk but him just improving.

JCL - thanks loads for sharing your experience. You're right it does help to hear others stories. I only really have my sister in RL and her LO slept 7-7 from 9 weeks so she's no use!

Can I ask, did your LO start sleeping in later as he improved? I have a dissertation to hand in on the 13th July so am hoping things are better soon as my brain is too fried to write at the moment.

Chop - how are you doing?

I'm crossing my fingers for us all tonight smile

Bet01 Sun 12-Jun-11 15:33:01

Applecharlotte thats brilliant news about the milk. I've read lots of people saying solids/hungry baby milk didn't work for them but I think when your baby is really obviously hungry like ours are, filling them up must be of some benefit. Let's hope it carries on. I'm going to try DS on some baby rice next week as he'll officially be 4 months old. If he starts improving loads before then I'll reconsider.
Im going to see how tonight goes and if it's worse I'll get some hungry baby milk tomorrow and give it a go!

WeAreBorg Sun 12-Jun-11 21:02:03

Apple and Bet, my DS sounds very much like yours. He was reasonable from about 7 weeks and progressively went longer stretches until he did around 9pm till 3am, then up 2-3 hourly after that which was great. This randomly stopped at around 12ish weeks and we have been rubbish ever since, and seems to be getting worse! Had 5 nights last week of getting up hourly, or sometimes after 30mins. Last night he went to bed at 745, up 945, 1115, 1ish, good spell till 4am then around every 45mins after that.
I don't know if it's the 4month regression as it started early but it must be some kind of regression as he was doing so well!
I can't think what has changed. He is a lot more alert I suppose and is more difficult to get him to nap in the day (occasional 2 hour naps but usually 30mins-1hour).
I'll wait and see how you found the hungry baby milk; I'm a bit frightened to try it as he poos all the time anyway so I don't think he could handle it and he certainly couldn't manage food at the moment so just waiting for it to pass really......

applecharlotte Mon 13-Jun-11 05:55:12

Morning. So the milk seems to work, for me anyway... last feed at 6pm then didn't wake for another feed until 1.45am! I feel lucky that things seem to be better and he's no longer waking hourly. Still need to crack the early mornings - been up since 4.30am. Just cannot get him to sleep in longer.

I think I need to accept this is as good as its going to get and I should go to bed at 7pm as well.

How you all doing?

Hi weareborg, waking every 30 mins five nights in a row?! Oh my lord. I think I would have walked out the old is your DS now..?

Also - is it just a coincidence that we all have boys?!

Bet01 Mon 13-Jun-11 08:38:00

Morning all. Well, a much better night for us too. DS in bed at 10pm and woke at 2.30am, had a tiny feed, then asleep til 4.45am. Managed to keep him in bed until 8am with dozing and feeding, which I'm fine with. So he's almost back to normal except I need to try and get him back in his cot for the 10-4.45am stint rather than in bed with us!
Applecharlotte, great news that the milk is working for you. I'll see what happens over the next few days buy I may not need to use it after all crosses fingers, toes and everything else.

WeAreBorg Mon 13-Jun-11 13:05:54

Hi there,
glad you two had a better night. We were reasonable - bed at 745, resettled quickly at 830, up at 1130, 130, 4 then 615. He seemed strangely hungry at each wake up so maybe a growth spurt? Unless he decides not to feed through the day!
Apple DS is 17 weeks, the 30mins thing was a killer! The good thing was he was "sleeping" until 9am then so at least I sort of had a lie-in. Poor you with the early wake up - mind you I can't remember the last time I went to bed and it was actually dark outside! the 6 till 145 is brilliant though, do you think he would go to bed later?
Bet DS has been in bed with me too, I don't think it matters much to him but it's easier for me. DH is back on day shifts so he will be back in his cot tonight (DS not DH that is). It's good if yours had a little feed at 230, maybe he'll start to miss that out?

Well, I'll see how he feeds today, if he is not feeding much I'll be fuming!

ChopMonster Mon 13-Jun-11 15:01:05

Hi all, sorry, have been at my parents for the weekend. I think we are coming out the other side, fingers crossed. We had 2 nights of that horrendous waking but last night was better. Down at 10, up for feeds at 3, 5, 7.30 and up for the day at 9 (I brought him into bed with me at 7.30). And today he has been napping in his cot! He's been unsettled for about 2 weeks.

WeAreBorg that sounds awful, you must be so tired. Last night's stretch was much better though, hopefully it'll continue to get longer for you! After DSs night of hourly feeds he refused a feed for 6 hours the next day. I was not impressed!

Great news that the hungry baby milk has worked. Onwards and upwards eh?

Chica31 Mon 13-Jun-11 15:46:25

This thread has made me feel a bit better. DD2 is 17 weeks and last week started her sleep regression after a hard growth spurt.

She is EBF and I am shattered

Not sleeping in the day at all so really grumpy, night sleep not bad, just waking once in the night for a feed.

I came on here to look for some ideas to help day time sleep

i am going slowly mad.....

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