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4 month old sleep going wrong

(4 Posts)
Loobiloo17 Sat 08-Jul-17 17:05:35

Hi all,

Not posted here before so hopefully this is in the right bit and some experienced MNs can give me their advice.

I have a 4 month old DD who doesn't sleep in the afternoons and I''m not sure if there is anything I can do about it. She is EBF on demand and her play/feed/ sleep is baby led (when I can work out what she wants!)

Here is her sleep pattern:
7-7 sleeps with one or two wakes for feeds but feeds pretty quickly and then back to sleep straight away - never cries or wants to play in the night.
7-8 plays
8-9.30 feeds and sleeps
9.30-1030 plays
1030-1130 feeds and sleeps
12-3- we usually go out and she will have a nap at some point
3-7 no naps.

My problem is that she gets more and more tired as the afternoon goes on, but I can't get her off to sleep. By bed time she is a bit hysterical and most nights end badly. Some days I do get her to have one final nap and its brilliant, but mostly not.

So is this just the way it is? She's getting a lot of sleep at night and in the morning so overall is not sleep deprived I don't think? I reckon she sleeps for 3 hours in the day. She just has a bit of a rough afternoon/ early evening. I wonder if its because she's just not tired enough to sleep? Or if she's totally overstimulated because we are out / have been out in the day.

I'd be so grateful for any thoughts

FATEdestiny Sat 08-Jul-17 19:02:54

You will know from yourself that there are degrees of tiredness. Think of an adult. From the point when your own body has just got tired, you could possibly go at least another 2 hours before you start thinking im really tired now and showing outward signs like yawning. But even then you coukd kerp going. Maybe another hour before you are exhausted and will be showing multiple outward signs of being tired - red eyes, eye rubbing, bad temper. Say you powered through the exhaustion, you eventually get your second wind, this is when you are so over-tired that you take on a wired look, but lack concentration, probably are emotional or touchy.

This whole process in an adult, could cover 4-6 hours or more - a massive chunk of time with varying degrees of tiredness. It's the same with baby. Only the more tired baby is, the harder he will find it to get to sleep (you get the "fighting sleep" stage - this indicates you are way too late putting baby down for a sleep)

The best time to get baby to sleep is at the just got tired point. There will be no outward signs of tiredness at this time. It's almost like your are predicting, anticipating when baby will need a sleep.

I would estimate at this age that just-got-tired is about 1h after waking up from he last sleep.i certainly would not recommend an awake time longer than 90 minutes.

The more tired baby is, the harder getting to sleep will be. Anything mire than 10 minutes to go to sleep and baby should have been going to sleep earlier. So if you get to that point don't sweat it, just offer more help to get to sleep. But use the knowledge to inform future decisions and know to put baby down with less awake time.

The method of going to sleep becomes important post-4 months. Promoting independant sleep (ie going from awake to asleep in the place they will stay asleep, not your arms) is a good idea now, if that is your parenting style. The dummy is absolutely critical for no-crying independant sleep, in my view.

FTM85 Sat 08-Jul-17 21:33:11

Have a Google of the 4 month sleep regression. Everything goes to pot a bit but it gets better x

Loobiloo17 Sat 08-Jul-17 22:10:01

Thanks Fate, that all makes sense. I think that what might be happening is that when we are at home in the morning I get her down for a nap around 60-90 minute mark, in her usual sleep place (my bed we co-sleep) and it goes pretty smoothly but when we are out she has to contend with a lot more distractions and its a bit more hit and miss. And that means she gets over tired.

FTM - will google it now, doesn't sound good! She's always been a great night sleeper so if that stops I will be pretty miserable sad

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