4-month sleep regression hell - help on where to go from here????(13 Posts)
DS is 4.5 months and has never been a fantastic sleeper but has been fairly good until the last 2 wweeks.
He used to do something like the following (might be shifted an hour either side):
8pm bedtime, either settled or fed to sleep
11pm wake, feed, nappy, feed to sleep by 12 ish
2am wake, feed, nappy, feed to sleep by 2.30
5am wake, feed, nappy, feed to sleep by 6
6.30 wake, play, brief naps when feeding 7.30ish, play
9-9.30am feed to sleep nap on me
11-1pm feed, sleep (could be put down)
2-3pm feed, nap on me
4.30-5.30 feed, nap on me either fed to sleep or settled
7-8 feed repeatedly, possibly a nap
Now he keeps the 8pm bedtime but will only sleep on me during the day, usually not for more than 30 mins (see below), and will only feed to sleep. Night wakings are every hour - some will be feed, nappy, feed; others will be very brief feed & back to sleep; often there will be "it's playtime!!!!! WHEEEE!!!!!" usually around 4am and he won't go back to sleep other than catnaps until he gets totally overtired and sleeps on me for 3 hours some time in the middle of the day.
I get here's a 4 month sleep regression and that we're right in the middle of it.
What should I do now to try to sort out the messed-up sleep?
Needless to say I'm a biit tired so would like to improve things before teething/ weaning start...
Also, what would you have introduced at 4 months to promote good habits? Self-settling, naps at particular times, kinds of things?
I probably wouldn't worry about changing his nappy through the night unless it was dirty. It is just one more sleep disruptive thing.
I already don't unless it needs changing - though he is a supersoaker so even so he gets through 3 a night
Just go with whatever little one wants. It's horrible and you won't sleep and it feels like forever.
After its over they'll settle into a new routine.
I'm afraid I don't think there is a magic solution to this but I am in exactly the same place as you so you're definitely not alone. Especially at 4 in the morning!
My only plan is to hunker down and ride it out. Sorry, not helpful at all.
With the four month sleep regression, because it's the brain rewiring itself for sleep/awareness etc there's not really much you can do.
It's, hands down, the hardest regression though if I'm honest and if you can cope with this you can cope with anything. ❤
Have you tried a bigger nappy on one of the plus nappies for more absorbency? I never change my six month olds nappy at night i just feed him in the dark so he knows it is definitely still night time!!
I have a similar routine to you and ds has gone through a similar stage of waking up hourly at night and only napping on me etc. I would say just ride it out because ds has now gone back to that routine again on his own and i can now put him down for two of his day time naps. He still only sleeps for 30-40 mins at a time in the day but j think that will naturally change until he has fewer but longer naps. At least that's what happened with my dd - i didn't do anything particular but she got there in the end and then from age 1 she consistently slept through the night and had two decent naps a day in her bed or in the car.
You have my sympathies though - i am permanently exhausted right now!!
No magic solutions but after an overtired day where he looked like a sugar-fuelled crazed toddler with ADHD, and 2 hours of fighting dropping off to sleep, he slept 9-1, 1.30-5.30 and 6-7.30 and is now asleep again! I feel amazing!!!! (probably won't continue but just one night works wonders...)
(obvs not in UK before you question whether I have lost any sense of time of day... ;-)
I would try and keep or start good habits like:
Encouraging self settling (this might take months. Decide how you are going to help baby settle - does he have a dummy or suck his thumb? Does he have a lovey?)
Trying to settle without feeding back to sleep at every night waking
Regular naps to avoid overtiredness - it doesn't matter how naps happen as long they're happening. If his naps are always short, make them more frequent.
Set bedtime and waking baby at more or less the same time in the morning, no matter how awful the night has been.
Stick to a daytime routine. Yours sounds good, though awake time might be a bit long if he has such short naps.
I would definitely stop changing his nappy at night. Try the next size or different brands.
Ditto crumpets on the nappies. Are you using disposable or cloth nappies? 3 soaked through a night sounds unusual?
Re night wakings, keep lights low, no conversation and minimal eye contact. Make the feed functional and not interactive, i.e. feed then place baby straight back to bed. Also we keep a low level light on during night so that we dont have to change lighting when baby wakes in order to see what we are doing. Having a constant low level of light means baby knows it's night time on waking and doesnt get startled awake by us suddenly switching on a light. HTH
Thanks for the suggestions. Using cloth nappies & night feeds/ changes are all done in the dark (seeing by moonlight or light pollution if it's cloudy). Was already doing the no interaction night feed thing, though that is hard to maintain when DS is chatting and giggling and grinning at 4am and you know that ignoring will only make him louder/ upset...
Things will get better. Last night amid all the hourly wakings he did a 4.5 hour sleep, so we do know he is capable of it.
Some of the sleep problem may be food allergy related as well... (whole other thread...)
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