Hi Ladies, I'm feeling a bit desperate...my 5 month old daughter's sleep has totally gone to pot...since about 4 months it hasn't been great but it just got a whole lot worse...at 4 months she went from sleeping at least 8 hours to waking every 3...I then stopped feeding her at every wake apart from 11 and 3 and then she started just waking at those times...I could deal with that...she's now started waking every hour pretty much, I might get a couple out of her after I feed her but then every hour! She has also gone from napping pretty well and settling herself for her naps to needing to be fed or rocked to sleep...I am so exhausted and me and hubby keep arguing probably because we are both so tired and taking it out on each other...it's horrible. She has started doing a few new tricks, grabbing her feet, almost rolling over, pushing up on her hands and lifting her belly off the floor and sitting up (for a few secs!)...so I put it down to that to start with but it's been about a week now and it's just getting worse! I don't get anything done in the day and I'm not sleeping at night. To make things worse she has a cold at the moment and she is on antibiotics for a skin infection...probably not helping I'm sure! I am also due to have a night out this week...my first since she was born and tried to give her an expressed bottle today to practice and she was having none of it...previously she's been ok but haven't tried for a couple of months...have I made an error not trying her with it more regularly?! Sorry for the rant, just feel like everything is going from bad to worse! Thanks
Sounds like sleep regression that happens eg when teething is happening or a new skill is being progressed / learnt.
She isn't too badly by the sounds of it as she is only wee.
Come and join the sleep regression thread. I think the main advice is keep doing what you're doing, it will pass eventually.
If your husband is working can he sleep elsewhere? My Dh is as it made no sense to have us both exhausted and he was suffering with broken nights and long days at work, especially as he can't help with night feeds anyway.
Oh sympathy to you it's hard isn't it? So very hard. You just reach the end of your tether and wonder how you can go on.
When they get ill it really does disrupt their sleep. So along with the development changes I'd guess that's the reason behind your LO's bad sleep. Could she be teething? I think my 5 month DD is teething, she's very irritable.
I also sympathise on the bottle. My DD has always refused the bottle. I've not spent longer than an hour away from her. Social life, what's that?? Luckily I'm too tired to care I would advise persevering. Think it's really common for them to take against the bottle. Even if you keep on with it!
I have no other advice I'm afraid, but don't be afraid to talk to the HV and get their help. And of course, get all the help you can in RL. Yes our babies may only be acting like babies, but we should never underplay just how damn difficult it is on us!
Thanks for your replies...I will take a look at the regression thread!
First wake up this evening...9.40pm, having gone to bed at 6.30pm...so a bit later than last night but still far too early! I guess I just have to ride it out. Yes she could be teething too, she has been on/off for a couple of months now, no flush cheek at the mo constantly chewing on one side so Possibly causing discomfort...is there any time in the first year when they don't have something going on that disturbs sleep or feeding! That's probably one for the regression thread...thanks x
Things have got a whole lot worse! Last night she woke every hours (if not 30minutes) it was horrific! She didn't take that long to settle back off but I was up and down like a yoyo...today she had a 30min nap at 8am and then a 90minute nap at 11am and then nothing all afternoon (well about 10mins when she fell asleep feeding about 3pm) I have just put her to bed (about 5.45pm as she was so knackered...she fell asleep having her last feed so don't think she really ate...she didn't feed great all day as I kept trying to feed her to sleep this afternoon as was getting desperate and she would feed for a few minutes then stop so I think she's just snacked all afternoon (my fault but was hoping to just get her to take a nap!) I feel like a total failure...she was so tired but I just couldn't get her to sleep and now she's going to be up all night I bet (definitely in an hour or so for a feed as she didn't eat much earlier). She is 24 weeks I really thought the 4 month regression would've passed by now?! She was teething earlier in the week I think but I don't think she is now. I am meant to be going out tomorrow night but if I have another night/day like today then I don't know how I will...also worried about leaving hubby with a bottle that she won't take it! I feel so upset...all my antenatal friends babies seem to sleep well day and night so what am I doing so wrong!
You're doing nothing wrong it's just the regression. Your antenatal friends are probably lying
They're very distracted when feeding at this age and I've had some success feeding mine every 2 hours in a quiet dark room. So you could try that.
You are so NOT a failure! But I understand that feeling. I get it a lot too. When you're so exhausted you lose faith in your instinct and ability to help baby sleep. Especially when you are bombarded with advice! I had no idea how hard it would be to get a baby to sleep. Or how much science is involved!
Totally get your point about your antenatal friends. I'm in a new mums group, and all the babies in that sleep freakishly well. Although quite a few have been hit by the regression! I don't think they are lying - it's just luck really. Nothing to do with your ability as a parent. Really!
I've no advice I'm afraid. After a 4 hour awake period last night during which I did everything I could to settle her, I'm dreading tonight. I'm guessing she won't take a bottle either? Neither will mine. I do not have an evening social life. Hell, I don't have an evening! What helps me is my DH taking baby in the early morning before he goes to work, where possible. It really helps, knowing I have at least a couple of hours to sleep.
Come hang out in the 4 month regression thread. Plenty of us there who get what you're going through.
Repeat after me: This too shall pass!!
I also go to bed when she does. At first it was hard to fall asleep that early but I've got used to it. Even if I just get a couple of hours, it helps me deal with the rest of the night a bit better.
Oops realised I previously replied and am repeating myself on some points. Sorry! Blame the sleep deprivation...
Thanks ladies...I've just had full on melt down and your messages were all really nice thanks! She has woken three times already since I put her down! Hubby has rocked her back off but can't keep doing this all night. My bro has told me to sleep train her now...is it too early she's 24 weeks? Was going to move her in her own room at the weekend to see if that makes a difference but wasn't going to sleep train yet... was kind of hoping things might improve a bit on their own first so I'm only having to coach her through a few wakings not like 10!
My understanding is that you just need to be consistent now so sleep training probably won't help. Mine was up last night for hours but wasn't crying or anything so I can't even see how sleep training would work in that scenario. I'm not keen on training (ask me again in 3 months though!) I think the key is to find strategies to help YOU cope through this rather than getting them to sleep.
Work at getting her to take a dummy. Great for long-term independent sleeping (and settling, soothing, generally calming down)
I've tried feeding more but she won't take it. Have never given her a dummy but I am starting to think about it! She is consistently waking every hour again this evening! Hubby said he'll take over tonight but he has to go to work (& he cycles to train station) so I'm not comfortable with him being that tired. He is doing the evening shift though. Even though people say you've done nothing wrong it's just a regression or just the type of baby you can't help but feel like it's your fault, you've missed something or are just getting it all wrong!
You'll hear lots of people talking about the 4 month sleep regression. You'll hear lost of people saying their baby didn't come out of the "4 month" sleep regression for several months. You'll hear people saying this will pass in a way that suggests you don't need to do anything different, just wait it out.
I don't agree with any of these.
Two significant things happen at 4 months old:
- Baby leaves the newborn phase of being designed to just eat and sleep. You have to start working hard to get baby to sleep.
- Baby quite suddenly needs lots more calories. You have to start working harder to ensure baby gets plenty of milk.
My DD's milk intake went up (permanently) by 25% at 4 months old. That is not just a bit more milk, it's loads and loads more. But this comes at an age when babies get distracted easily. So parents end up having to work at getting the milk into baby when previously it came easily and they could just 'go with the flow'.
Likewise sleep. From the newborn who's basic biology is just to sleep, so milk sends baby to sleep. Suddenly the world is far more interesting (like being distracted when feeding) and you have to start working hard to getting baby to sleep, rather than just 'going with the flow'.
So I don't agree with the concept of the 4 month sleep regression. Well I do. Babies definitely get harder work somewhere around 4 months (as they leave the newborn phase). But it's not a 'regression' and it is not something that just happens and you wait it out.
It is just a time when lots of changes happen - possibly the first time in baby's life that significant developmental changes happen - and those who carry on as normal and don't change tactics along with their baby are likely to wait a longer time to come out of the other side.
OP - From your posts here, your baby isn't getting enough daytime sleep. Good sleep promotes better sleep and poor sleep spirals to cause worse sleep. If your naps are short then aim for no longer than 90 minutes awake between naps. Short naps are fine, as long as they are frequent.
The EASY structure will help encourage frequent naps and feeds. I would follow a 2h-2.5h EASY cycle at this age:
Eat - Full Feed
Activity - No more than 90 minutes from waking, more like 60 mins if it takes a long time to get baby to sleep)
Sleep - I favour dummy and bouncy chair for daytime naps. Aim for 30-45 minutes, or until baby wakes naturally.
You time - then when baby wakes start again with Eat, Activity, Sleep, You. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I agree that feeding more will help. I feed every 2 hours during the day. Sometimes I have to use white noise to get it into her though.
But I've also read they need to nap for at least an hour for it to be restorative so 45 mins probably isn't enough.
Just to throw a different idea in as my DDs problems started at that ages aswell it's very hard so I know what you're going right through!! Have you tried giving some porridge made with you milk before bed to full her run a bit more? As this always helps my DDs first of stretch of sleep last a fair bit longer x
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