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4 month sleep regression- how to capitalise on this hell!

(3 Posts)
RedLemonade Mon 28-Nov-16 15:03:32

DD2 is 17 weeks and as expected the past week or two has seen her sleep erm.... develop?

She's taking an age to settle into her cot and needs to be fed into sleepy oblivion in order to get her back down after her many night wakenings.

So, given this is a time of significant change in the nature of her night's sleep, how should I use it? I'm up for a bit of work (for now). Should I be aiming to get her into the cot a teeny bit awake after feeds? And then if she pings back awake should I try rocking/shushing in cot or arms?

At the mo I'm just putting her back on the boob if she frets in the cot but I can see I'm setting up a major feed-to-sleep association so I'd love to get some advice on alternatives. Any input sleepily gratefully received!

FATEdestiny Mon 28-Nov-16 18:27:09

Feeding to sleep in the middle of the night is pretty inevitable, since this is meant to be a time just sleeping. The aim of any night wake is get to baby quick, meet the need (feed or comfort usually) and get back to sleep all as quickly as possible.

Improve the quality of babys sleep simply by getting baby sleeping as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

During the day you could work on independant sleeping methods (ie going to sleep on her own). The idea is to make independant sleeping as easy as possible. Use every independant sleeping tool you can think of, not just one. Some ideas:

- Movement. I favour bouncy chair for daytime sleep. It allows for bouncing to sleep and gently bouncing back to sleep when first waking. Pushchsir works the same. Or rocking to sleep in your arms (although this is less independant)

- Sucking. Babies get natural comfort from sucking. The parental comfort would be feeding to sleep. Independant comfort would be dummy or sucking thumb.

- comforting presence. That's likely to be your presence, so eye contact and attention. Also introduce a comforter snuggle toy for independant comfort when older. You won't see much bonding for many months to come (9-12m ish) but at least it's being introduced ready for when needed.

- Quiet and calm. Reduce stimulation, switch tv down, wind down for nap time, none of this singing, music, lights etc.

- full tummy. Lots of frequent feeds through the daytime to calorie load through the daytime.

- avoid over tiredness by limiting awake time to about an hour.

I like the EASY daytime structure from this age. It seperates feeding from sleeping by feeding upon waking (not going upon going to sleep). It also ensures regular feeds and sleeps. Basically it just means you follow a repeated cycle all day. But it's baby led.

E - Eat. Full feed upon waking. Note the time.
A - Activity. This might just be a bit of floor time at this age. Limit awake time to no more than an hour at this age, or until baby gets grumpy. Expect 40-60m awake time at this age. It will lengthen with age.
S - Sleep. Use the independant sleeping methods above. Include settling to sleep time in awake time, so reduce activity time accordingly.
T- You time while baby sleeps. Short 20-40 minute naps are normal. Just keep them frequent.

Always try to resettle when first waking, using your independant comfort methods. I would reinsert dumny and gently bounce in bouncy chair. Or whatever you use. At 4 months old resetting mostly won't work, once awake baby will probably be awake. But keep practicing and he should learn to link sleep cycles and so sleep for longer stretches without waking.

RedLemonade Mon 28-Nov-16 18:54:06

Thanks FATE. I'll just try to feed her to sleep ASAP for tonight's wakes so. V helpful to know this is the aim.

Sling naps are great for her all through the day (not v independent though) but I'm working on her first morning nap being in the cot for expediency (back to work PT) so I think I'll use that one to encourage more independent methods over time.

Thanks as everflowers

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