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16 week old struggling with 2nd half of the night

(2 Posts)
HP07 Mon 23-Jan-17 09:31:29

Hi,

I have a 16 week old son who has never been the best sleeper. As a newborn he used to wake for his feeds and then fall back to sleep ok but that didn't last for long and then he started to cry in the night and wake multiple times even when he didn't need to feed. He is breast fed and for the first 3 months we struggled with reflux but since the new year this has improved dramatically.

I never intended to co-sleep but this seems to be the only way to cope and get enough sleep through the night. He usually goes down around 8pm with a feed and then (until a few nights ago) would sleep til around 1 or 2am, feed then sleep for 1-2hrs, feed again then it was impossible to put him back down as he would constantly wake crying so I would bring him into bed. Now he is waking earlier for his first feed and I am bringing him into my bed earlier too. He is in a next to me cot at the moment which I'm hoping to use til 6 months then move him to a cot in his own room. I am worried that he will continue like this once he is in his own cot and I will get even less sleep getting up and down.

Is this just a phase? Is it the 4 month sleep regression? Can I break his habit of Co sleeping or am I destined to have my baby in my bed and or crying for the next few years?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks

FATEdestiny Mon 23-Jan-17 12:44:58

Sleep biology changes significantly at tgis age. So does calorific need, not just a little bit but lots.

In the "fourth trimester" stage (first 3 or 4 months), babies ususlly sleep for longer chunks because their sleep is passive, as it was in the womb. So as long as all needs are met, baby will be asleep as their passive state.

Once out of this stage, you get to what some people call the 4 month sleep regression. Its not really a regression, it's a perminant change to sleep biology.

From 3 or 4 months old baby's sleep matures and develops into sleep cycles - whereby there will be brief periods of light sleeping every 40 minutes or so, between sleep cycles.

Sleep also becomes active, not passive. So baby (and parents) have to actively work to get to sleep. Babies who already have active "getting to sleep" mechanisms (like movement and dummy) may not "regress" at all at 4months old, they may quickly learn to link sleep cycles. Most babies though do take some steps backwards at this stage.

The stage will last as long as it takes for you to establish a way to settle baby to sleep. That might be parental help (feeding to sleep, cosleeping, rocking) or independant settling (like dummy, pushchair walking, bouncy chair).

I'm In addition to sleep changing, feeding changes too. Calorific need significantly increases - both in terms of bigger feeds and more frequent feeds. Calory loading through the daytime by very frequent 2 hourly full feeds may help with night hunger.

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