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21/22 week sleep regression??!

(7 Posts)
LittleLionMansMummy Tue 25-Apr-17 05:17:50

I've spent the past two nights awake every 2.5 hours with dd. She's gone from doing 8 hour stretches to being hard to settle at bedtime and awake every 1.5 hours - seemingly unable to find her off switch. She's rolling from back to side, has discovered the consonant 'b' and is practising blowing raspberries. All of this wouldn't be so bad but it quickly escalates into exhausted, frustrated tears - at midnight, 1.30am, 3am, 4.30am, you get the idea. I've previously resorted to the boob but it's doing nothing for her reflux so I've ended up cuddling her back to sleep just now. Even now her little legs keep twitching and she's only in light sleep. I daren't put her down! She's normally a great sleeper - awake once for a feed, straight back off again. I thought we were over the 'big' regression but this is the worst she's been. Anyone else have any experience and advice before I finally crack?

FATEdestiny Tue 25-Apr-17 10:01:50

Anyone else have any experience and advice before I finally crack?

There's a huge change on baby's sleep around this age. It matures from being quite passive (in that as long as all needs are met, baby will just go to sleep) to developing into sleep cycles and having to actively work to get to sleep and then stay asleep through the light sleeping phase into the next sleep cycle.

Cuddling her and feeding her to sleep are not helpful ways to encourage independant sleeping, she's likely to need these each time she enters a light sleeping phase - which then causes more wake ups.

In-cot settling is ideal.

There is no comparison between what she used to need to ger to sleep (when sleep was passive, so easy) and the fact that she now needs lots of help. It's just the way of things now because her sleep has matured. Her sleep development isn't going to go backwards; she's not going to go back to how she was. This new phase will last as long as it takes to develop new settling techniques that actively help her get to sleep and stay asleep. You might still be in this phase by 12 months, you might be through the phase within a month.

So, active settling techniques. Some are independant (can be learnt by the child once child has the fine motor skills when older) and some are parental (need a parent) . Some of the ones that need a parent can be easier to wean off than others.

- dummy to comfort suck
- nipple to comfort suck
- rocking in arms for rhythmic movement
- hands-off rhythmic movement like bouncy chair, pram, rocker (for daytime sleep)
- cuddling in your arms to sleep
- cosleeping for cuddles
- sidecar cot or cosleeper crib for cuddles
- firm hand on chest for reassurance (while lying flat)
- patting, shushing, stroking while in cot
- when older, the introduction of a comforter toy.

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 25-Apr-17 15:50:42

Thanks. I'm very fortunate that dd has always been very good at self settling with very little help from me and I'm pretty certain that she's already been through the sleep stage transition because about a month ago her naps temporarily became shortened to 45 mins before improving again (now upwards of 1 hour at a time, pretty textbook three naps a day with the final one being much shorter and at around 4/ 4.30pm). So I don't think settling and resettling herself is the problem. This seems more like overstimulation from trying to do too much. I think it's developmental and the reason she's waking is to practice certain skills, so she literally can't 'switch off' and is waking to attempt to roll, chat, sit up etc at night time. She's a little more difficult to settle at nap times, but invariably goes off in the end with a little reassurance. I've only resorted to feeding her/ cuddling her to sleep at night time these last two nights because she's exhausted (and so am I!) I know she's capable of self settling though when her mind and body aren't quite as active! But this is the very worst she's ever been at night, she's extra cranky and clingy during the day too - normally she's the kind of baby you can take anywhere and she's more than happy kicking around on her blanket or activity mat and with her toys for ages.

FATEdestiny Tue 25-Apr-17 16:05:31

The cranky clingyness in the daytime is likely to be related to the fact that the amount and quality of her night time sleep have reduced. She would probably benefit from more daytime sleep to catch up on the over tiredness.

LittleLionMansMummy Wed 26-Apr-17 05:27:36

I'm putting her down for sleep when she's tired in the daytime and letting her sleep as much as she needs.

Another awful night - hourly waking, no way of getting her back to sleep except holding her - she starts jiffling in her cot and it soon escalates into full blown tears. When I get her calm again and put her down the whole cycle starts again. I'm so tired and frustrated I'm beginning to worry I'm going to lose my temper and hurt her. She won't even take a bottle so I can't even get help in that respect or I'd ask someone to help during the day so I can catch up.

I have absolutely no idea what I can do to get her to stay asleep. Even a 2 or 3 hour stretch would be heaven.

Littlelegs19 Fri 28-Apr-17 03:08:49

I'm in your boat OP. DS slept through the night until about 5 weeks ago but has decided waking every 2-3 hours is the done thing! He had his injections, was teething and was poorly and on antibiotics when he first started waking up through the night so I put it down to that. Now he is better and both bottom teeth have finally cut through and he is just has bad. He is 22 weeks and I pray every night as I'm putting him to bed I'll get more than 2 hours sleep! Feels never ending and this is the worse since he was born! Hope it gets better for you

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 28-Apr-17 08:32:00

Thanks Littlelegs. The last two nights have seen an improvement. After feeding her and putting her to bed at 7pm she's going until about 1am - so I've gone to bed early to get a few hours at the start of the night. She's settled better at bedtime and naps too - very little fuss. But she struggles from that first 1am wake up onwards. I've discovered that I can settle her for another couple of hours (eventually) by giving her a lovey, which she seems to put over her face! When she wakes again a couple of hours later, she seems genuinely hungry so she has a full feed but then won't resettle. So at that point she comes into bed with me and tends to settle meaning I can get another couple of hours. Obviously I don't want to create bad habits long term but she does seem to be getting gradually better again and the fact that she can do an initial 6 hours again and settles well for naps without intervention suggests she's not too reliant on me.

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