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4 month regression or something else?

(12 Posts)
Bayoubaby Wed 25-Oct-17 08:14:58

Hi everyone,

My DD is almost 20 weeks old. Since 12 weeks, her sleep has gone to pot and is getting worse. She used to sleep 10-2 then wake every few hours after that.
But now she wakes every 2 hours or less all night. Last night she was awake every single hour. She sleeps in a snuzpod but it's not attached to my bed. When she wakes, I've tried to put her dummy in and pat her chest but she just cries. To get her back to sleep it's usually putting her back on the boob where she will either feed or just nod straight back off. I haven't had a decent stretch of sleep in almost 8 weeks and I'm exhausted. I've read others talking about the 4 month regression but a lot of people say it only lasted a few weeks for them. She goes to bed around 7-7:30. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

whataconundrum Wed 25-Oct-17 08:25:25


Sounds like it could be. It lasted around 5 weeks here but I know it can be longer. Just keep doing what you are doing and trying to establish a routine and it will get better.

Can someone else help in evenings so you can get a good stretch?

Bayoubaby Wed 25-Oct-17 08:32:17

Thanks for replying. She is EBF but my husband has started introducing one formula feed as her last feed at around 7. She doesn't always take it well though and usually will only have 2oz or so. After that, the only thing that seems to settle her is the breast which puts it all back on me 😩

tomatoandcheese2009 Wed 25-Oct-17 09:30:55

It does sound a lot like the sleep regression. We are just coming out of it here and DD is 21.5 weeks.

One thing that improved nights for us was being careful about daytime sleep - she does best with two 1.5 hr naps and one 0.5 hour nap and no sleep after 4pm. On that she will now sleep through but if she naps poorly (or too well) or has a micro nap in the sling during nursery pick up she'll wake up every couple of hours. She also sucks her thumb which has been a lifesaver in terms of getting back to sleep on her own

Bayoubaby Wed 25-Oct-17 09:38:57

Ah thank you tomato. That gives me a bit of hope. My other problem though is that as well as night time sleep changing at 12 weeks, so did her naps. She only naps for around 30 minutes at a time no matter what I try. I try to get her down for a nap every 90 mins or so. How long did the regression last for you?

tomatoandcheese2009 Wed 25-Oct-17 11:50:13

I think it started at around 14 weeks for us. Not every night but got progressively worse. Naps also got short but we were usually able to extend them with a dummy so she got enough sleep. She still wakes up every half hour during a nap now but will cry out once or coo a bit and then go back to sleep with her thumb

Bayoubaby Wed 25-Oct-17 12:00:04

Ah thank you so much. Fingers crossed she starts to improve soon.

Lallypopstick Wed 25-Oct-17 13:01:05

Think I’m going through similar though we’re only at 13 weeks. I’m driving myself mad looking at what I should and shouldn’t be doing! Seems like everything is wrong!

Bayoubaby Wed 25-Oct-17 13:43:41

Ah Lally sorry to hear you're going through it too. It's hard. When did it start for you? I'm the same trying too looo for answers and feeling I'm doing things wrong.

Lallypopstick Wed 25-Oct-17 14:34:26

Last weekend which seems very early so I’m not sure it is the 4 month regression. I’ve rang the health visitor for advice but not holding out much hope for an answer.

This article sums it up I think!

tomatoandcheese2009 Wed 25-Oct-17 15:22:51

Lally lol to that article. Sums it up perfectly.

At risk of adding to your confusing reading list... I believe there is a wonder week at 12/13 weeks? We had short term sleep disruption at 12 weeks, them it got better, then the sleep regression started! It's done from due date so if your lo was a bit late they'd be in it now

FATEdestiny Wed 25-Oct-17 18:42:00

My other problem though is that as well as night time sleep changing at 12 weeks, so did her naps. She only naps for around 30 minutes at a time no matter what I try

There is a change that happens to the physiology of sleep at around 3-4 months old. This is a perminant change, sleep will never go back to how it was. So this phase lasts as long as it takes you and baby to adapt and find sustainable fleet habits. That's a couple of days for some people, many months for others.

The first 3-4 months are often called the "fourth trimester". It's a continuation of the slerp structure that happened in the womb. So sleep in the womb is passive, so sleep in the first 3-4 months is passive. As long as all needs are met (hunger, comfort, security) then baby will be in the passive state of asleep. Baby then wakes as a need is unmet and once it's met, go back to sleep.

After this fourth trimester period, sleep matures and becomes an active endeavour. It now becomes hard work for baby to get to sleep, requiring active effort from you to help. This is because going to sleep is now an active state, not passive.

Sleep also develops into cycles with periods of deep sleep and light sleep and brief 'environment check' semi-conscious wakes between cycles. Therefore staying asleep is also an active endeavour.

Sleep will never go back to being passive, hence it's a perminant change. Some people will find a method that works to get baby to go to sleep and stay asleep quickly so this phase is short for them. Others will just wait and wait and no improvement happens.

That's the science. My suggestions:

- persevere with a settling method that doesn't involve feeding

- if you want baby sleeping independantly, start getting baby to go to sleep where he will stay asleep. Be that a bouncer, pushchair, in the cot. This is much better than moving an already asleep baby into the cot

- INTRODUCE A DUMMY. If you haven't already that is. Dummies are key to no crying independant sleep.

- linking sleep cycles is developmental. 30-45 minute daytime naps are normal. To avoid over tiredness reduce awake time. I would aim for 60m awake time at this age
90m at the very most. If it takes you time to settle baby to sleep, include this time I'm awake time

- sleep cycles at night are usually longer (more like 2h ish) and not unusual to need to resettle. The less over tired baby is, the less chance of waking between sleep cycles. Fast and effective settling methods can mean baby can resettle back into a deep sleep without properly waking up, which leads into...

- Don't assume baby is always hungry when waking in the night. That would have been the case in the passive sleep early months. But now, baby is more likely to just need some help getting back to sleep. If your only effective way to do this is feedibg then you'll end up feeding frequently through the night. Better to develop an alternate method.

- but night feeds may still be needed. Ensuring baby is very well fed through the day will reduce the need to night feed. Big feeds given frequently in the daytime with minimal distractions when feeding. This will 'calorie load' through the day.

- remember to wind well. Especially important at night when lying flat.

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