4mo sleep regression - feed to sleep or no? Really at wits' end :((25 Posts)
We have always settled at night by bfing DD to sleep. This worked well, and she previously slept 6.5-8 hours straight each night after a bf.
Now she has hit the dreaded regression. At first I thought she was growing so dutifully fed her each time she woke. Tough, but I thought it was what she needed. It would pass in time if I gave her plenty of milk and cuddles.
But last night I read something saying that if you do this, it becomes a permanent sleep association and it's making a rod for your own back
Wtf to do???
Right now DD feeds to sleep at 8pm
I stay with her till 9 to make sure properly settled
Sleeps on own till normally about 11.30-midnight
Cries and feeds hungrily, often in a cluster feeding way, till about 1am
Then up again 2.45/3, 4.30/5, 6.30/7, then up for day around 8. Some nights it is every hour from midnight till getting up, for at least half an hour a time.
It's fucking killing me. I can't co sleep as I don't feel I'm safe to do so. Will it just pass if I stick it out? Or am I making everything worse by feeding her?
Please help - returning to work soon in demanding job and really worried about performance/safety
I doubt you are making things worse by feeding her. I think if I remember rightly, the 4 mo sleep regression sometimes coincides with growth spurts so you may have to wait it out.
May I ask why you don't feel safe with cosleeping?
I don't judge anyone for CS but I always felt it wasn't for me. I sleep deeply but am also very active in sleep, thrashing about etc, getting dressed and undressed without being aware.
Nonetheless I tried CS in the very early newborn days as she was EBF and people said it was safe if you followed guidelines.
I woke up rolling onto her the other night I brought her into our bed for just one feed, not to sleep - and woke up with my hand over her nose. She could breathe fine but wouldn't have been able to in a slightly different position. Sheer luck.
Plus I find the CS position for sleeping very uncomfortable.
I fed to sleep from birth and DS grew out of it himself so don't worry about the rod and back crap.
DS was pretty much like your DD at 4mo and it was hellish. We co-slept but can see that's not for you. Only advice I have is grit your teeth and do what you have to do to survive! Take it easy during the day, go to bed early yadda yadda. It doesn't last forever -in fact I'm sure it was only a week or two(!) that DS was at his worst. Mind you, it felt longer
I'd keep bf to sleep and do what you need to survive! That said, I'd try to make sure you give as much milk as possible during the day. They get easily distracted around 4 months and combined with the sleep regression it's easy for them to get into the habit of feeding more at night than in the day. Feeding in a dark room during the day can help to reduce distractions.
Feed to sleep, every time for me. It works for a reason!
I'd do what you need to do to get through the next few weeks. And then stop the bad habits you've got into by sleep training when they're old enough (normally not before 6 months).
Feed to sleep if it works! Whatever gets you through the night. We are just starting to wean off it at 13 months at DD is starting to self soothe.
Agree, do whatever works. I got myself into a tizzy before going back to work at 10months as my DD had only ever fed to sleep and I was working 9-9/nights occasionally. Turns out she will go to sleep happily for her daddy. If she wakes overnight and I'm here I still feed her back to sleep (13 months now) if I'm not she will usually settle for my husband. Apart from one night where she just wouldn't so he made her cheese on toast at 4am!
Ignore anything that mentions rods and backs - it's always bad advice.
Go on feeding to sleep and all will be fine. You can stop later if you want. Your baby IS growing, mentally and physically, and that chaos often translates to disrupted sleep. Do whatever works!
I' have a four month DD2 who I am feeding to sleep, it works and gets everyone back to sleep. My DD1 grew out of it naturally. I don't believe all this Baby Whisperer/HV 'rod for your own back' rubbish anymore, it just causes the mother more worry.
Thanks all - big relief!
I don't do well without sleep, but I was managing as I thought it was just a stage and I was helping DD grow when she needed it.
Then after I read that, I thought, shit, I'm actually prolonging the agony!!
Will persevere for another couple of weeks and then reassess.
The only guaranteed way to make a rod for your own back is to make things harder now in the hope it'll make things easier in the future!
Revoltingpeasant - you totally have my sympathy! Im currently experiencing this apparent 4 month regression, I made a thread just recently about perhaps doing cc. Anyway, like yourself I am/was concerned about feeding her during the night, out of habit I feed to sleep because its just easier. She will have 2 180ml bottles in the night and im sure its having an effect on how much she is consuming during the day now! Shes becoming less and less interested in feeding during the day, in fact this morning she didn't want a bottle until 11am!
All I can suggest is keep doing what your doing, do whatever you need to make life abit easier. I think we spend too long trying to get things "just right" when really its the simple solutions that work best. Our little ones are still...little... I doubt any bad habits are forming now. Ive resorted to co sleeping for part the night just to get by. Its working in the sense that shes sleeping in slightly longer stretches but still wanting 2 full bottles.
ive come to the conclusion that all we can do is ride it out! /hugs
Thanks Mari! Are you also going back to work soon? That's what worries me most!
Yes RP in about 3 weeks!! Im shitting it tbh because Im struggling to see how ill cope with no sleep and long shifts
I have just finished feeding DD to sleep, shes been conked out since 7pm, but has already stirred twice and needed dummy plugging back in. Judging by the past week she will likely wake at 9.30 wanting a feed! I dont know whether I should try holding off on that and stretching the feed out til 10.30-11pm.
When your DD wakes hourly do you offer boob everytime? Does she feed a lot or just sucks? Does she have a dummy?
Am following with interest as I have 4.5 month old twins who are behaving in a very similar way. Were going from 7-3am previously but now wake at 10pm and hourly from then on. Breastfeeding them back to sleep seems to be the only thing that works. My two year old is often in our bed so co sleeping isn't even an option. No advice I'm afraid but I share your exhaustion. Hope you have a peaceful one tonight!
My god she has already woken 4 times now in 1hr 30mins... each time very drowsy and will happily have her dummy and drift back off, but 4 times? She used to sleep solid until atleast 10pm...
Do you get this Revolting?
I've had a similar experience with DD2 who started out sleeping very well for 6-8 hour stretches & completely regressed at 4 months. Never got back to her previous sleep & even now at 8 months wakes 4-5 times. Now we are at the end of our patience & so sleep training her. Also stopped all night feeds altogether. If I could do it again I would avoid feeding to sleep. Sorry, no great advice here!
So what we do is settle her to sleep with a long bf, 8-8.30. I stay in room with her (our room as she's in a bedside crib still) and shush her if she stirs. Till gone 9.
Then 9-11.30, our bedtime, DH is on call. Sometimes she will not call him up at all. Tonight, twice! He obvs doesn't offer breast ()
Then after we are in bed I try shushing her with dummy and my hand on her tummy if she wakes but tbh she basically wants milk. She'll cry lustily till picked up and fed. So I feed her!
This will be anything from 2-5 times between our bedtime and getting up.
Before this she did 11pm-6.30 am every night straight for two months
Last night I bf her to sleep and then settled her in her cot, 8-9pm.
She called DH up twice, 10.10 and 10.30. He settled without feeding.
11.30 she called out so I fed her but put her back in her cot, awake, at midnight.
Midnight-2.30 asleep - 2.30 woke, fed her to sleep out of cot, resettled.
Fed till 4.50 out of cot, back in cot and settled
Woke at 6.45 and brought her into our bed for feed, cuddles, light sleep till 8am
It is not precisely sleeping through!!! But a better night than before and I'm trying to put her down just-about-awake after bf. Let's see!
Ladies, 2 loooong threads here that may give you hope....
Been where you are, it was hell, co slept & fed to sleep til 11 months. Short stint of learning to self settle, now goes in cot awake & falls asleep in seconds at 7pm til 6am. I NEVER. EVER. thought I would say that.
This too shall pass....
But argh, till 11 months? That's how long the regression took to pass?
Cannot hack seven more months of this.....
I think a sleep regression is the worst time to try getting 'tough' with a baby; when my DS moved to his own room he slept brilliantly until the 9 month regression when I went back to feeding him to sleep whenever he woke and bringing him into bed as he seemed to develop a cot allergy.
Think it's a great idea for DH to try and settle and worth trying a cuddle first before automatically getting the boob out (that's how I stopped night feeds around 7mo) but at the end of the day, isn't one of the great things about bfeeding that you can just feed them and it works?
sleep regressions are evil, hope it passes for you soon
It didn't take that long to pass, I contributed to it by not tackling it but it was the right decision for me. I didn't have the energy to tackle it & from my research I thought ds was too young to sleep train. I tried a few people recommended on here but it didn't feel right to me.
It did get better after about 6 months he slept a bit longer at a time & we co slept from 4 months which made it easier. In the end at about 9 months I decided after he went down at 8 or whatever & I went to my own bed, he wouldn't be fed again/co sleep til midnight then extended that to 1, 2, 3 etc til we got to 6 am. It took 2 months but was frustrated by illness/starting nursery/ me going back to work. One day he just decided to sleep......and that was that.
I got advice from an online/email USA based company who gave me personalised step by step guidance at my own pace. It was bloody invaluable. I never thought it would work but it did.
I never thought I'd sleep again! Last night he went to sleep at 7 in his cot alone chatting to his bear for a few seconds & I had to wake him at 630 for nursery.
I guess I'm saying that you do what you need to in order to get through it and deal with the consequences after! I did everything wrong' but it's all resolved now
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