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4 month old won't sleep

(17 Posts)
larlemucker Wed 08-May-13 01:21:15

I really hope someone can help because I'm losing my mind.

4 month old DS won't sleep, naps for half an hour in day and won't nap any longer unless in car/pram.

At night he feeds every hour, I've been in bed since half 9 and the longest I've slept is an hour. He just managed a whole 10 mins between transfer and waking.
He does sometimes wake in pain so have been rubbing anbesol in gums.

He is ebf and I have given up caffeine (so no more chocolate) and fizzy drinks and I'm drinking camomile tea as recommended by a lactation midwife.
When he wakes in the night I offer both boobs, although at the minute I am struggling to stay awake long enough to do that.
We have also started having set nap times during the day and a bedtime routine.
We get up about 8, he naps at 10,1&4 and bedtime routine starts at 7.

I really don't know what else to do, I'm at my wits end and really not enjoying being a mummy at the moment. DH is working so can't really help much at night and DS always seems hungry. I don't really have much other family to help, my DM and DFIL have both passed away and my DF has Parkinson's so can't look after DS by himself.

Does someone please have any advice other than it will get better as that little nugget is really not helping atm

LittleFeileFooFoo Wed 08-May-13 01:34:21

I also have a 4 month old. I found that for daytime naps he did much better when I put him in a dark room, fed him to sleep and had a white noise machine on (we like the crickets chirping). I also found that making sure he was dressed warm, or well blanketed with some weight or swaddled helped hugely for naps.

For night time I am cosleeping, and it was terrible last week, I didn't sleep much at all, but he had a cold, and is now over it and seems to be sleeping better. I think he actually went about 4 hours!

I don't really have a routine, I just try to do things about the same time but it's not always the same. My Ds comes to work with me so his schedule is not consistent at all. But we've figured out the naps, I think!

LittleFeileFooFoo Wed 08-May-13 01:35:31

I'm sorry you're struggling, it is hard. My DH is around, but he can't do much as Yunior is ebf as well.

larlemucker Wed 08-May-13 02:15:22

Never managed to swaddle as he kicks so much. He sleeps in a 2.5 tog gro bag at night.

We used to do the white noise thing all night, maybe I need to try that again.

HV said to start weaning at 20 weeks to see if that helps, as he feeds all night, but that's still 2 weeks away hmm

TallGiraffe Wed 08-May-13 02:56:03

There is a hideous sleep regression at 4months, if you have a scam down the board here there are untold numbers of people at the end of their tether at this point. For most it only lasts a few weeks so hopefully you will get there soon - little consolation I know.

I'm unconvinced about weaning early to improve sleep. We have a terrible sleeper (7mo) and food made little difference at 6mo. There are more calories in milk than food, but do what you think is best to stay sane!

My only suggestion is to get someone to for you breaks during the day so you can sleep. You have my total sympathy flowers

Verynearlytea Wed 08-May-13 07:47:37

Hi there, have you tried giving a bottle of expressed milk last thing at night?

I have a three month old who could only manage two hours between feeds at night. I started giving an expressed bottle at around eleven pm and she managed a four hour stretch last night (woohoo). Maybe worth a try?

I also tried not feeding when she woke everytime in the night, so I give her a cuddle and see if she'll settle, obviously if she squeaks after that it's feeding time.

Good luck, I really feel for you. I thought two hours was tough but every hour...

MrsRadicchio Wed 08-May-13 09:55:07

How was he sleeping before? It does sound like a sleep regression, v common at four months!

Another thing is, if he is just sleeping for half an hour I wouldn't do set nap times...or do more than just three. My ds is a bit older than yours but does on average two hours awake before he needs to sleep again, sometimes more like 1.5 hours. If he has a day of short naps he needs at least four naps!

Is it possible to resettle him at all when he wakes after half an hour?

Fwiw I have read that short naps are common between 3 and 6 months so he may grow out of it naturally.

You have my sympathy though. My ds1 was a thirty minute napper. I was able to extend this by 7 months or so by rubbing his back 20 mins into the nap to get him through the sensitive half hour period. Or walking him in the buggy.

I see that your ds does nap in buggy longer. Perhaps you could try doing one buggy nap a day so he is not getting overtired. Then perhaps move towards getting him to sleep in a stationary buggy?

I also second co sleeping but appreciate its not for everyone!

larlemucker Wed 08-May-13 09:57:43

Hi verynearlytea we have given him expressed milk. Unfortunately I can't express more than 3ozs so it doesn't seem to make much difference and at the moment I'm too exhausted to express.

larlemucker Wed 08-May-13 10:08:54

He does sometimes re-settle when he wakes. He hates going to sleep and screams blue murder the minute you lie him down in your arms. I thought it could be reflux but he is fine when on his mat/in pram.
We co sleep from about 6am but not sure if I can do it all night. Might not have a choice though as he does seem to sleep better with me.

His sleeping has never been great but we seem to have reverted back to his newborn sleeping pattern where he fed every 40mins. I didn't go to bed for 3 days when he was a week old!

Meringue33 Wed 08-May-13 10:52:17

Sorry to hear you are going through this sad

I have temporarily stopped trying to force my four month old to nap in cot as have run out of energy. Instead I just take him for a walk in pram or drive somewhere so I know he'll sleep, or feed to sleep and let him nap on me. I know this is unsustainable in long run but it gets me through the day and means he is much less cranky.

Luckily he has been sleeping 5-7 hours at a stretch at night since about 9 weeks old. We also give a bottle of formula at night as this allows me to go to bed early and DP feeds and settles him. Like you I found it really hard to express and I do feel bad, would much rather ebf, but it has saved my sanity.

KatAndKit Wed 08-May-13 11:06:06

4 months was hell on earth for me - I actually thought I had post natal depression at that stage but really it was "just" extreme sleep deprivation.

What helped was getting DP to take over a chunk of the night. You could use expressed milk but at that point we gave formula some nights as I was so tired I couldn't be arsed spending nap times expressing milk each day. Just because your DH is working in the day does not mean he gets all the sleep and you get none. You both need to be able to function. Break up the 10 hour overnight period from after dinner to when your DH has to get ready to leave for work into 2 lots of 5 hour chunks. Most adults can get by on 5 hours sleep temporarily especially if they get little sleeps while baby is sleeping during the other five hours. My advice is to feed your baby right after dinner and get him ready for bed. Clear off to bed yourself around 8pm. Use earplugs if neccessary or go to sleep with a relaxation cd playing on headphones.Go into a spare room. You are OFF DUTY till 1am. Your DH should be able to get some sleep in this time by kipping while your baby is asleep but he deals with the night wakings. After 1pm he gets the earplugs and the spare bed if necessary and can have at least 5 hours until 6am. If he doesn't get up that early then he is lucky, he will get a 6 hour sleep and he should be able to get on with his day just fine on six hours.

Remember you are working in the day too. You are doing a bloody hard job with no lunch break. It is not reasonable to expect yourself to be on 24 hour duty.

It sounds like you have a good nap routine. The 30 minute sleeps are, unfortunately, common at that stage. I agree with buggy or car nap once a day so that he isn't overtired although I am still having to do that at 12 months which has become a bit of a pain. At least he sleeps in the buggy though so I am not stuck at home.

okthen Wed 08-May-13 13:06:38

Just wanted to give a bit of hope, if not magic solutions.

At 4mo our ds's sleep was awful. AWFUL. Much as you describe.

I'm afraid it lasted for a while (probably 14 weeks-24 weeks, sorry), but now at 6mo he tends to go down at 7pm, with feeds at 10/11 and 3ish. Up at 7ish. Stays in his cot all night. It's amazing, compared to previous form!

Things that I think helped are
- starting solids at 5m
- going into his own room and big cot also at 5m (not the done thing I know- but I felt our ad hoc co-sleeping, with me knackered, was more of a risk)
- him learning to roll over- he now sleeps on his tummy and sleeps so much better- actually I think this was the key factor.
- simply growing older and getting through the dreaded 4m sleep regression!

I did also say to my dp that I needed some more help in the night, to try to settle without feeds if ds woke before 3 hours had passed since last feed. Ten mins of cuddling and shushing isn't going to make him so exhausted he won't be able to function at work.

Good luck! It's hell but it passes.

larlemucker Thu 09-May-13 19:24:15

Thank you everyone for your advice. Last night was horrendous to start, woke up everytime he was put in cot so ended up co-sleeping and he was only up twice!! Looks like that's our solution at the moment so that I can function!!

okthen Fri 10-May-13 07:50:56

Yes just get through it! Fwiw, we ended up cosleeping every night and I was worried about rods for backs etc- cosleeping long term is not for us. But somewhere along the line he stopped wanting to cosleep (wanted to play instead when in our bed...groan grin) and by 5 1/2 months he was in his cot all night. Not sleeping through by any stretch, mind you, but in his own cot. Small victories!

BadgerFace Fri 10-May-13 19:10:22

Can I join in? I am going through a similar hideousness! My DD was sleeping fairly well, 4 hours between feeds at night and regressed about 10 days ago at 16 weeks. She will settle between 7pm and 8pm and then sleep until midnight or 1am and is then up around 3am, 5am, 6.30am and then up for the day. Although last night she also slotted in 10pm and 11pm feeds as well!

Have people had any success with waking their baby for a 10 or 11pm feed and then the baby sleeping longer? I am a bit too scared to try it in case DD then doesn't settle! And it certainly didn't help last night when she woke herself.

She is also taking over an hour to settle after some of the feeds. The last two nights I have ended up with her sleeping on my chest and me dozing propped up (which I know isn't ideal but I was desperate!). She usually doesn't have a problem sleeping in her moses basket but is now screaming when I put her back down in the middle of the night and I am worried about her waking up the neighbours! I am wondering if she's suffering from wind problems again. Or has developed silent reflux.

CreatureRetorts Fri 10-May-13 19:16:17

Yes cosleep! My god is saved my bacon with my second. With my first I nearly died from lack of sleep trying to get him in his cot and he woke every hour. With my second we coslept until she was 9 months and now at 17 months she loves her cot!!!! So no rod for my back.

You mentioned reflux - why did you suspect it? He won't be upset every time he lies flat if he has it.

Also try using a sling for naps when you take him out. Again with my two I used a sling with great success. Then by about 5 months once I could have them semi reclined in a pram, they'd nap that way instead. By 6 months, dd went from 20-30 mins naps in her cot to 2-3 hour naps.

mrsannekins Fri 10-May-13 19:28:18

Thankfully the 4 month sleep regression was a good year ago for us, but I'm very much in favour of the 'Do Whatever Gets You Through the Day Approach' be it co-sleeping, LO napping on you, feeding to sleep...whatever it takes.

Don't worry about setting bad habits or rod for your on back (hate hate that phrase as its soo unhelpful)...its a phase (hopefully) and will pass.

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