4 month sleep regression and feeding to sleep

(13 Posts)
Marghe87 Thu 07-Jan-21 16:03:20

My LO is 18 weeks and we have been going through the dreaded 4 months regression.
She started to fight naps during the day (and only has very short naps, which is new for her) and, at night, it has become increasingly harder to put her down “drowsy but awake”. She falls asleep whilst feeding so she either goes down fully asleep or, if we try to do so while still awake, it’s inconsolable cry until she is fed to sleep again.
Now, I know all the theory and I know her issue is that she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own and that being at the breast has now become the only way she can drift off and I have to wean her out of this etc etc... i know, i know but let me tell you - it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do so! At least right now. There was a time when she was smaller when we practiced putting her down half awake and she would drift off - this is no longer possible unfortunately. We keep trying but it always ends in tragedy so I have to feed her to sleep every time.
Did this happen to any of you? Is there a chance she will naturLly grow out of it when she is older? I don’t believe in any form of sleep training that involves crying and don’t actually mind feeding her to sleep. I just wonder if I am making things harder for myself for the future (is she going to keep waking up 3-4 times a night wanting to feed when she is 1yo?). Please share your experience. Sometimes I feel I am doing it all wrong, others I am confident I am just following my instinct and just giving her what she needs.

OP’s posts: |
Poppy709 Thu 07-Jan-21 19:25:15

My 4 month old is also fed to sleep, I have never even tried to put him down drowsy but awake, I don't know how I would do it - he falls asleep on the boob when he's tired so I'd have to wake him up and he has to be in a really deep sleep when transferred to his cot so it definitely doesn't work. He will fall asleep with my husband rocking or cuddling him sometimes but he's never gone down 'drowsy but awake'. At the moment it works for us and instinctively it just feels like the right thing to do! He's also started to fight naps more and is getting hard to put down until later at night, trying to get a routine is really tricky!

Caspianberg Thu 07-Jan-21 19:29:05

8 month old here. He fed to sleep every night for 6 months. Then gradually over the last 2 months he has started not needing to.
At first he started not feeding to sleep every few days, or only half asleep and I would put down.
Now he rarely falls asleep feeding, usually he’s a little drowsy but sometimes wide awake, and I put in cot and he settles himself to sleep. It’s just taken time

Lemonnhoney Thu 07-Jan-21 19:32:03

Of course she will grow out of it. She's not going to be 15 and feeding to sleep.

Its so hard not to worry though, especially with sleep deprivation!

I fed my first DS to sleep until he was about 1.9months.. We only stopped because my milk dried up as a was pregnant.

I have a 1 year old that I feed to sleep now and the bad news is yes she is still up 3ish times in the night. I just feed her again and go back to sleep though so don't find it too bad. I know it isn't forever which helps.

I'd love them to go to sleep on their own and wake in the night but like you I didn't want to cry it out and just found it easier to give them milk.. Soo try to relax about it as you can either do some sort of sleep training or just go with it and know it will end one day 😬

Marghe87 Thu 07-Jan-21 19:44:58

@Poppy709 mine also started to fight naps since a couple of weeks. She has always had naps in the sling (here is another “bad” habit that always worked for us) but now it takes ages for her to drift off and, most of the time, she only naps for 30 min or so. It’s impossible to get her to sleep in the cot during the day, we tried infinite times.
I also feel that feeding her to sleep is the right thing to do so will continue to do so.
She wakes up 2-3 times (sometimes 4 times on a bad night) to feed and then drifts off - most of the time she will spent the second half of the night in bed with us (she is in the next to me cot anyway) and this way I seem to get more sleep. We will have to move her to a cotbed in a couple of months though and there is no space for that in our bedroom so will have to try and move her to her own room, which worries me!

OP’s posts: |
Marghe87 Thu 07-Jan-21 19:47:33

@Caspianberg can I ask you how many times a night is he waking up now?
According to all “experts” the issue with feeding to sleep is that they will always need you to fall back asleep when they wake up at night. Mine is still eating 3 times a night on average.

OP’s posts: |
Caspianberg Thu 07-Jan-21 20:03:18

@Marghe87 - sorry, he’s still fed 2-3 times overnight. I think he’s still hungry for those feeds ( roughly 11pm, 3am, 6am). In bed roughly 8pm-7.30/8am

At 4 months he woke hourly...


Marghe87 Fri 08-Jan-21 09:05:38

@Caspianberg so after a few weeks he just went back to waking up less? Did you do something for that? We just had a very hard night where she woke up a lot and nursed for over an hour at some point. I need to know there is light at the end -_-‘

OP’s posts: |
Caspianberg Fri 08-Jan-21 11:31:23

@Marghe87 - yes basically. He was literally waking every 1-2 hrs, and feeding. I tried dh settling him without feeds so often but he just screamed and I couldn’t take it so gave in and fed ‘again.
The last 2 months he’s started solids, and he’s very gradually getting better.
I think last night was something like:

Feed 8pm, then he fell asleep in cot alone ( I just lay on our bed in same room and read kindle whilst he does)
Woke 11.30pm -fed
Woke 1am - dh settled quickly
Woke 5.45am - fed, resettled in our bed
Woke 7.30am

It’s not miracles, he still wAkes when I have been told he should sleep through. But I’m getting so much more sleep

squirrelnutkins1 Fri 08-Jan-21 11:47:45

I'm glad I've found this. I find all the advice online soooo overwhelming and there's so many different bits of advice that you don't know what to follow!
My baby is 5 months old. She'd been sleeping thru the night for weeks and weeks 9-12 hours and then nearly 4 weeks ago she stopped and has been waking up in the night and absolutely will not settle unless fed back to sleep.
The worst night she was up 6 times. Now it's 1 or 2 times.
We've tried leaving her a bit. Then rocking the crib. But 9/10 I have to feed her back to sleep.
I'm happy to do it as I feel she's still so tiny and needs me, but I've thought the same as you OP, am I making a rod for my back?!

Caspianberg Fri 08-Jan-21 11:55:16

Oh and, ds slept a dream from newborn until 3 months. Literally 9pm-3am, fed, then morning. And so it went super downhill for say 3 months, then gradually getting better.

Who knows if it’s making a rod or not. But I just couldn’t leave him upset. I’m happy with the direction it’s going now, and hope in another month maybe he will be down to one feed

Marghe87 Fri 08-Jan-21 12:48:08

@Caspianberg thank you for sharing this. DD was also not bad until 3 months (at some point she even did a 6 hours stretch at the beginning of the night. Now it’s 3 hours if we are lucky).

OP’s posts: |
Caspianberg Fri 08-Jan-21 13:00:26

@Marghe87 - for me, the best way through it is to just decide what to do each evening. Then the next evening, decide again. You don’t have to do something the same forever.

Now, my ‘rule’ is I try and only feed after 3+ hr gaps. So anything in between he gets resettled without feeding. But I didn’t start that until 6 months

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