Sleep regression - self settling achieved?

(9 Posts)
TrippingDaisy Sat 27-Feb-21 11:57:54

Hello - we’ve been going through the dreaded sleep regression with my 4.5 month old for the last 4 weeks. She went from waking twice a night for feeds, to waking around every 1.5 hours.

I’ve been doing some (very) gentle sleep training. I’ve tried putting her to bed ‘drowsy but awake’ with varying results, but generally I still feed her to sleep as I quite enjoy it.

However, she now generally manages to sleep:
• 8pm to around 1.30am when she wakes for a feed.
• 1.45am to 4am when she wakes for a feed.
• 4.15am to 7am.

Although she’s not getting to sleep when she first goes to bed by herself, so you think she’s now managing some level of self-settling as she’s going between sleep cycles without crying? Or is this just a lucky spell?

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sat 27-Feb-21 16:31:36

Does she have long cot naps (90 mins plus)? Daytime naps are your best guard for how linking sleep cycles is going.

As for self settling - if you're feeding to sleep then she isn't self settling, clearly. She could still be linking sleep cycles tho.

TrippingDaisy Sat 27-Feb-21 17:25:36

Thanks for your reply. Re-reading my original post, I don’t think I explained myself very well! My question was more around linking sleep cycles, as you say. Aware she’s not self settling to sleep, I’d just read they wake up between cycles, so was classing linking cycles as ‘self settling’.

She doesn’t nap for 90+ mins in the day, but she’s always been a short napper, usually between 30 and 60 mins.

I guess what I’m asking is, as she’s no longer waking up every 1.5 hours, does this signal the end of the regression, or is it quite common for them to regress again?

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sat 27-Feb-21 19:30:51

Independant sleep begins with baby going to sleep independently (ie self soothing), and you aren't there yet.

Linking sleep cycles can happen without the ability to self sooth. For example cosleeping babies and toddlers can less frequently, but are the opposite of an independent sleeper.

(I'm aware this probably wasn't what you wanted to hear when writing the thread)

FATEdestiny Sat 27-Feb-21 19:31:50

...can *wake less frequently...

Keha Tue 02-Mar-21 23:14:01

You'll find sleep is up and down for months and years to come. It sounds like you've got quite a good routine there if she is sleeping a few hours at a time. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about self settling, linking sleep cycles etc as long as you are getting enough sleep.

Etherealhedgehog Fri 05-Mar-21 05:26:13

I don't think that being in the regression means they are unable to link any sleep cycles. We're 8 weeks in and counting (suspect we might be those people for whom it never ends confused) and have only had a few nights of waking every 90 mins. Most night she does a couple of stretches lasting 3 hours, occasionally she does one longer one. But sleep is still way worse than it was and she can't be put down after about 4.30am so it still feels pretty regressy to me! So basically, if she's sleeping in a way that works for you then great! If not then commiserations. 'The regression' as a period presumably just refers to the length of time that sleep is crap for after their sleep cycles change, so somewhat subjective and dependent on how they were sleeping before.

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TrippingDaisy Sun 07-Mar-21 06:14:42

Thanks Keha. As a FTM it’s hard not to hold yourself to the standards of what you read your child ‘should’ be able to do, so nice to hear someone say not to worry too much!

Etherealhedgehog - makes sense when you put it like that! Hope you manage to get some longer stretches of sleep soon. How old is your LO?

Unfortunately the last few nights have been terrible due to teething. I can see/feel her bottom two coming through and she’s been screaming and crying through out the night, pretty much every hour. The only thing that settles her is feeding, even after using gels, pain killers etc so just defaulting to doing that straight away now. Hoping I’m not making a rod for my own back but willing to take the risk to make sure she’s as comfortable as can be now.

Certainly a lesson in the ever changing life of baby sleep!!

OP’s posts: |
Keha Mon 08-Mar-21 20:30:22

@TrippingDaisy The teething is tough, and this is what you'll find, teething, sickness, dropping naps, changes in routine (like starting nursery), big development leaps (like walking) and sleep will go to pot for a bit. I'm a FTM, but my DD is now a year old and I think what I have learnt over the last year (from a lot of worrying and then researching) is babies genuinely vary quite a lot in how they sleep and what works for them. A lot of the 'advice' available is based on not much research and a lot of research is quite flawed and is interpreted differently by different people. Some babies do and can learn to self settle properly quite early on, with others it seems to be an upwards battle and will take a lot longer. If it was easy you wouldn't get so many people posting on mumsnet about it! I do think babies develop sleep associations but most parents are not aiming for this to happen and it is because it isn't simple/easy to do anything else. Sleep training is an option and for some babies is quite effective but doesn't seem to work for all. Sleep is also very "cultural". In Asian countries, such as Japan cosleeping is very normal and people report fewer baby sleep problems - possibly because they don't see a baby being dependent on their parent to sleep as a problem. In some societies people don't have one overnight sleep, they have two with a break in between or just nap across the day and the night - so the idea of "sleeping through" wouldn't make sense in the same way. You really just have to work out what matters to you and experiment and try different things. But don't hold yourself up to a certain standard or think things have to be a certain way.

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