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Please help: 4 month sleep regression?

(11 Posts)
DreamsOfWaves Mon 13-Feb-17 18:48:40

Hi everyone, really hoping to get some advice here. DS has just turned 4mo and, since Christmas, his sleep has been deteriorating. Before Christmas, he would go down at 7:30/8ish, wake for a feed at around 1am, again at 5am then sleep until around 7. So far so good...there were even two nights he only woke once. Bliss! Since Christmas, however, things have gone seriously downhill. He returned to 3 feeds a night, then moved to waking every 2 hours to now...which is literally waking every 45 mins (apart from his initial sleep at 7:30ish when he'll sleep for 2 hours, waking after 2 hours on the dot). We have a Ewen the Sheep and the white noise helps him settle. Other times, he doesn't and becomes upset so I pick him up as soon as he is upset and give him a cuddle, which helps him get back to sleep. Other times, usually later in the night, nothing seems to work and I have to let him sleep on me after a feed on his boppy pillow.

A dummy works to get him to sleep during the day for naps accompanied with white noise. I have to hold it in his mouth as is instantly spat out. This also works to get him to sleep initially when going down in the evening but does not work during the night. He clamps his lips together and won't allow me to put it in his mouth, becoming distressed and thrashing his head from side to side. I don't want to make it a battle and ruin the day time nap success with a dummy!

DS has approximately 4 naps during the day lasting 30mins - 1hr generally. These are in the pram, car or in his carry cot with white noise/dummy. He usually finishes his last nap at 5pm then into bed at 7pm. I try to make sure he is not awake for more than 2 hrs during the day. His bed time routine is bath at 6pm followed by jammies and some soothing songs then into sleeping bag in the darkened room and a final feed, when he usually falls asleep at the boob.

I am sure it is relevant that DS has also been diagnosed with reflux and is prescribed 1ml renitadine 3x daily. This does not seem to have any impact and he is sick regularly throughout the day. He is nonetheless gaining weight and has actually jumped from 75th centile to 75th/91st. He is EBF and tends to feed around every 2 hours, every 3 hrs during the night. DS also regularly seems to be troubled by passing wind and I have no idea what to do about this as it clearly causes him pain and wakes him up during the night. Finally, the renitadine caused constipation so he is now given lactulose as and when required. My concern about returning to GP is that more meds will be given that mess up his poor digestive system more than it already is.

OK, I think that's everything! If I am doing anything wrong, please please tell me! I just want the wee man to be happy and he just seems unsettled most of the time although wants to smile and laugh. If it's normal to be waking every 45mins, then I will suck it up and hope for more sleep in the future. Sorry for the essay...

seeingdots Mon 13-Feb-17 22:11:45

Your DS sleep habits sound similar my 5 mo DD's the last month. I'm sure for her it's mostly about not transitioning between sleep cycles properly now her cycles have changed. 45 min sounds about right for this being the issue with your DS. We ended up co-sleeping just to get some rest but now I've just about got my shit together enough to have a proper crack at getting her to resettle herself. I think it's the feeding to sleep that's the main issue, so I'm trying to get her in the cot before she's totally dropped off says she with a sleeping baby in her arms.

DreamsOfWaves Tue 14-Feb-17 08:18:31

It's brutal isn't it, seeingdots? Yeah that sounds right...transitioning between sleep cycles and he doesn't know how to settle himself back to sleep. The question is, how does he learn?? Thanks for replying, good to know I'm not alone. It sounds like you have your shit together way more than me!

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 14-Feb-17 08:22:29

BF babies do go through phases of waking much more frequently, generally when they need to build supply in preparation for a growth spurt.

He's far too young to do any kind of sleep training so your options are get him to sleep whichever way you can every time he wakes or boob to sleep. Personally, I always boob! So much easier and always been a guarantee to get mine to sleep. Do you BF lying down? If so, co-sleeping following the safe co-sleeping guidelines is your friend.

It is a phase, it will get better!

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 14-Feb-17 08:29:09

seeing Just to say feeding to sleep isn't an issue unless you're not happy with it. I spent months trying to get DD to go to sleepy without feeding, in her cot, blah blah. It was miserable.

BF babies are supposed to fall asleep whilst feeding, it's what BF is designed to do. So I just wanted to say if you're ok with it, don't feel like you have to battle it. It isn't the 'rod for your own back' thing people think it is.

5 week old DS just boobs all day and night and I'm enjoying him so much more!

seeingdots Tue 14-Feb-17 09:01:03

I know what you mean tea, there's not a snowball's chance in hell I could get her to sleep at bedtime without the boob at all. It's not so much a problem for me but the lack of sleep is so I've been trying to change her sleep associations so that she falls asleep on the boob but is transferred to the cot soon enough for her to stir and drop off again in there. Pantley's metaphor of falling asleep in your cosy bed only to wake up cold on the kitchen floor made an impression on me!

Dreams part of me thinks the self settling thing is all black magic and they'll do it when they're ready anyway. It does absolutely ruin you though. I've been reading the No Cry Sleep Solution which is quite good for ideas but like me it sounds like you already have a good routine and sleep environment in place. I also definitely think phases have something to do with it like tea says. It was night after she rolled for the first time that things went from bad to worse for us so I think part of it has been her working through these leaps.

Strangely enough, we've had 2 pretty great nights on the trot having decided to leave her to sleep in her own room in her own at the weekend. Was planning to wait til 6 months but she's almost there and we've got so much kit to monitor her she's perfectly safe. Last night between 10:15 and 6:15 she only woke twice! Naturally, I'm like a new woman this morning skipping about joyfully like I'm in an advert for sanitary products or something grin. I can only assume that she was getting distracted by the smell of milk. Here's hoping it sticks!!

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 14-Feb-17 09:53:55

Seeing For me you've hit the nail on the head- they'll do it when they're developmentally ready (or they'll do it before but it's a battle/there'll be tears!)

Good luck with Pantly. I didn't get very far with it but at about 8 months I just accepted the way things were and embraced co-sleeping. I was going back to work at 9 months and DH worked away all week and co-sleeping gave me the most amount of sleep. We then waited until DD was ready to sleep independently without BF to sleep and since 18 months, she's slept through every night (unless she's ill!) in a full size single bed in her own room- never thought it would happen but it was very easy because we waited.

So I'm co-sleeping with DS from the start and so far, I'm getting more sleep than I ever did with DD. I know 18 months sounds like a long way off, but if the long game is for you, it can be great! smile

DreamsOfWaves Tue 14-Feb-17 19:06:42

Thanks for your replies everyone! He is definitely doing lots of new things just now so, yeah, perhaps is working through the big leap at the moment. It's good to hear that boobing to sleep isn't the wrong thing to do...it's really just survival at the moment anyways! Fingers crossed for more settled nights soon smile

seeingdots Tue 14-Feb-17 19:11:51

Tea I kinda envy those that get on well with co-sleeping. I've often resorted to it because it gets DD some sleep but I can't ever seem to fall asleep while she's still attached, and I don't do so well with not being able to pull covers up around my shoulders. You're right though, whatever gets everyone the most sleep!

Aliveinwanderland Tue 14-Feb-17 19:15:41

Is it Ranitidine you are using for reflux? If so that sounds a very high dose. My LO was prescribed 0.5ml twice a day and is 16 weeks old. We were told it could be increased to 1ml twice a day if needed but to start small and work up. Could you cut down on it if it is upsetting his tummy?

DreamsOfWaves Tue 14-Feb-17 21:07:31

Thanks Alive, yes it is. He's on that dose based on his weight - he is almost on 91st centile so is a big boy! It is a total dilemma whether to keep him on the medication as I'm not sure how much it is helping...plus I don't feel confident in the GP's decision confused We actually tried to reduce his dose before because he was so constipated but the vomiting was horrendous. It's so hard to know what the right thing is! Thank you for replying.

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