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4 month old(21 Posts)
I'm new to this but I just feel a bit lost and confused. My 18 week old son was sleeping really well until a week ago when I believe the dreaded sleep regression hit. He now wakes up earlier in the night for a feed and then several times after. His naps are poor unless he's in my arms. He will not be put down drowsy but awake, he just screams and screams until hes choking and sometimes sick. I haven't done any sleep training yet but sleep deprivation is taking over now. He also needs to transition out of his swaddle but he has not adjusted well to that so we have left it for a while. Health visitor has been basically non existent due to this pandemic and I find such conflicting advice on the internet. Feel at the end of my tether and not enjoying being a first time mum at the moment.
Does anyone have any advice on what I should do? Is this just something I have to muddle through?
We had exactly the same OP. In the end we co-slept for two months as it made it easier to feed with minimal disturbance. DD was also swaddled but we transitioned to a sleeping bag when she started to roll- no advice there unfortunately, we just went cold turkey until she got used to it. We also relied on white noise a lot, have you tried that?
Unfortunately we just muddled through until about 5/6 months when she started sleeping better. DH helped out by getting up at 5am and taking DD to another room with a bottle of expressed milk, so at least I was able to get a couple of hours uninterrupted sleep, which meant I could at least function. Could that work for you?
I read a thing which made sense to me!
The sleep regression is your baby learning to sleep like an adult so every 45 minutes to an hour thirty baby's cycling up into 'light sleep', waking up, finding its different to how s/he fell asleep and then waking fully up.
The advice I got was to make sure baby falls asleep in a way that when they inevitably wake up they don't freak out thinking 'why is this different to where I fell asleep'.
Some suggestions - these might not work for you but worth trying:
- if baby falls asleep in your arms/on the boob (mine does lol 'sleepy but awake' is not a thing in this house), try a hot water bottle in the cot before you transfer him in. Put bum in the cot first, then legs then head last. Lots of white noise throughout. Use a dummy to replicate the sucking motion that makes them fall asleep. We've used sleeping bags since the get go with this one so sadly no advice on that front.
I've been trying to give DC2 a kiss once I've put down - enough to wake a little bit, see me, be reassured and go back to sleep fully. That said DC2 was up every forty minutes last night so this definitely isn't foolproof.
Cosleeping as PP said can work, that's what I ended up doing last night, I think they're still at the stage that they'll grow out of it.
Sorry OP reading that back it might not be the most helpful! I never found the sleepy but awake advice helpful but thinking about it in a way that's more 'how can I create a situation that's safe and comfy to fall asleep in that will be the same in 90/180 minutes' felt more doable to me...
Good luck. They'll grow out of it!!
These (https://www.sleepingbaby.com/?fbclid=IwAR0-oC5qas1PZcYf3ZDeWvjVK3hM1oD7gNXUYLSBY2rnBUfVCQ78JoRJ8po) might help with the transition from the swaddle.
Thankyou for the replies and advice! He has a white noise machine on all night, we have black out curtains, he has a bedtime routine (bath, massage, feed, book) and he usually goes off to sleep. Unfortunately my partner works long hours, so responsibility falls on me for all night duties really.
I think I'll have to just muddle through and go cold Turkey on the swaddle front. Fingers crossed it passes sooner rather than later!
I am in this situation too! Mine is only 13 weeks but seems to have all the same signs of the sleep regression- he was a great sleeper (as far as babies go!) up until a couple of weeks ago. I have no advice, just solidarity
I remember with DS1 his sleep was sorted out by the time he was 5 months old, but that feels like a loooong way off right now. We just muddled through.
@MrsMaglev you have reminded me to try the hot water bottle thing again though. Anything is worth a try at this level of sleep deprivation!
Thanks @Porcupine83 It's odd, but it helps to know I'm not the only one going through this!
Can totally relate here. Our little one is nearly 5 months and we thought we had gone through the sleep regression (a couple of weeks of disturbed naps and bedtimes etc just before baby was 4 months). Now after being so good going down for main sleep, baby is waking every half hour or so and crying so frantically. Also waking and grizziling through the night so co-sleeping to get through We're on night 3 of this 😳
Anyone experienced similar?
How are you getting on, @Mio1994? Any better? We had a better couple of nights - he slept in his bed (though still woke every two hours or so!) but at least went down in between wake ups. Then last night back to another horrendous night where he wouldn’t sleep at all unless he was being cuddled. Not crying much though, more just grizzling.
@Firstbaby2019x Do you think the crying frantically could have been an upset tummy? Hope that has passed for you now and that you are over the sleep regression!
Just wondered how you manage co sleeping practically? We don’t have a spare room and DH doesn’t feel comfortable being in the bed when baby is too - scared of squashing him! - but sleeping on our uncomfortable, small sofa is not a long term solution. Do your DHs stay in the bed with you?
@Porcupine83 so things have settled down to DS going to bed at 8pm, waking around half 2 for a feed, then sleeping until 6ish. He is in his own bed unless he wakes at 5am, then I bring him into our bed as he struggles to settle. His night feed used to be a lot later, around half 4am, I don't know if that's anyway of encouraging a later wake up for night feed? Last 2 days his napping has been awful, making him grizzly!
We have DS in a next2me chicco cot so that he's close but safe. When he's in our bed DP stays in bed too but he is aware he is there. I also usually have him on my side, not in the middle just encase and I have my arm round him so he won't fall out.
@Firstbaby2019x exactly the same here - 18 week old. Was doing really well and would put herself to sleep for night and naps, have now had three nights cosleeping and naps on me in the day just to get her to go longer. Feels like a big step backwards!
@MoorGirl I also feel like I'm going backwards. He won't nap unless I'm holding him, wakes up as soon as he is put down in his crib. He is dribbling an awful lot and more cranky so wondering if its teething as hes 19 weeks tomorrow.
I haven’t managed to read all of your thread just yet as I’m in a similar position to you with a 15 week old baby that won’t nap unless in my arms and with a reluctance to sleep in his crib anymore 😭
Re the swaddle have you tried love to dream swaddle bags? They have a transition version where you can take off the arms (they suggest one to start with then the other a few days later) when they start to roll over. The swaddle bags are shaped so they are swaddle but have room to move their hips and can keep their arms up high. It’s not a great description but I’m a very tired mum today! Hope you had a good night/day naps yesterday. 🤞
Ugh, it’s awful isn’t it?! Mine is still only sleeping on me at night after his first ‘big’ sleep (which is now only from about 8pm to 10.30pm now). Daytime naps are only lasting between 20 and 40 mins.
Just have to keep reminding myself: this is just a phase. This will pass.
@Porcupine83 Our situations sound so similar! We had from 7.30pm-11.30pm (with a few wake ups and cuddles in between) in the crib this evening then screaming at 11.30pm and now will only be cuddled/feed to sleep but won’t be put back down. I’m finding the new waking up every 90 mins/2 hours so hard and now there’s screaming added to the mix. I’m a first time mum so nothing to compare it to but praying it doesn’t last months. We’re already around 11/12 days in.
Wondering if LO has trapped wind as when this all started he went from 5/6 dirty nappies a day to 1 every 24/48 hours. Not sure what I can do to help. Or teething? No teeth have cut through but his molars at the bottom look really white and he keeps putting his fingers in his mouth. Sorry for the rambling post but I’m just desperately trying to find a reason why my normally happy and well-rested baby is finding night times so difficult...
Hope you’ve had a better night x
Sorry to hear it’s such a hard time for you... just thought I’d share my good news so it might bring you some hope! After about 3 weeks of this madness my boy slept through, in his own bed, with only one wake up last night! No idea if it’ll happen again, but I do feel human again after a good night’s sleep.
We did the following - don’t know if it’s why he slept, but worth a try?
A) white noise on, a bit louder than usual
B) hot water bottle warmed his bed
C) a used breast pad either side of his head ( I read online that this helps to comfort if they wake up, they can smell mummy)
Fingers crossed you get a better night soon. It might be tummy issues, it might be teething. Who the hell knows!
On the point about transition from swaddle to sleeping bag I have sewed poppers into the arm holes on my sleeping bag which I do up at night so her arms are kept inside the sleeping bag like a swaddle. Due to the nature of the sleeping bag she has more wiggle room than when swaddled but she isn't completely free!
@Mio1994 I know an old post but I could have written you original post myself! My DS is 16 weeks and the dreaded sleep regression has hit... did you find anything that worked for you in the end? Or did you just muddle through?
@Mummysarah12 if I'm honest I think I just muddled through but he would only contact nap in the day until around 10 months. He also would come into bed with us at around 4am most nights. I know people judge this way of parenting but tbh you have to do what gets you through and get some sleep as well! Currently going through a complete refusal of naps at 13 months now, the fun never ends!