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4 Month Sleep Regression- What the Hell!?!
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CoffeeAndCurls · 01/07/2022 18:13

Like many babies, my DD was the most perfect sleeper until we hit 3.5 months. At the moment she is 4 months old and we are in the mother of all sleep regressions and I actually feel like I have nothing left to try with her.

She will not sleep anywhere ever, she won’t feed to sleep, rock to sleep, sleep in a carrier, the pushchair or the car, she won’t be alone in the crib, she won’t go to sleep with the crib rocked, she won’t be shushed or patted to sleep. And for all my reservations against cosleeping, I even tried that and it still doesn’t work. She either screams the place down or plays for ages and THEN screams the place down.

She is now constantly overtired and will basically only be fed to sleep when completely exhausted and will only ever sleep for half an hour day and night. So at night she’s up every half and hour and the only way she goes back to sleep is being fed to sleep which is obviously not a great habit especially so many times a night. By 4am nothing and I mean NOTHING I do can get her back to sleep for at least another two hours.

I cannot work out how to end this overtired cycle before we can even think about any good sleep habits, but in general I keep the same routine for all naps and nighttime sleep, story, dark room, feed, crib.

Shes not against her crib as it’s actually where she sleeps the best but at this point that is only half an hour at a time.

I even tried just holding her while she sleeps to get her to have longer but she just squirms and cries every few minutes.

I’m always on the lookout for sleep cues and wake windows and I catch them every time but it makes zero difference. Laying her down drowsy but awake is NOT a thing because she’s immediately wide awake either playing or screaming.

Has anyone come out the other side of this??? Has anyone managed to overcome the overtired cycle ?? I’m willing to let her catch up on sleep any way possible but it seems like there just is no way. Please don’t come at me saying she’s still so young because I know that and I’m not enforcing sleep training or something she’s not ready for but she absolutely needs more sleep because we’re just stuck in the cycle now and I don’t know what to do. It’s affecting her developmentally too because she’s stopped doing some of the things she used to do like rolling over.

if you’re still reading then thank you.

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Topjoe19 · 01/07/2022 18:17

Oh my sympathies, this sounds extremely tough. It sounds like you've tried lots of things! Does she have a dummy? Is she too warm/cold? Do you use white noise? Sorry for lots of questions, just trying to think off the top of my head things I've tried before in desperation!

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User0ne · 01/07/2022 18:33

It's called a regression because it goes back to normal afterwards.

I'm sure you're doing everything possible (except possibly accepting it for what it is -normal)

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CoffeeAndCurls · 01/07/2022 18:35

Thank you for replying!
no she doesn’t have a dummy, I’ve tried that too but she hates it and spits it out.
it’s definitely warm at the moment and we cool it down as much as possible but she always feels a good temp when she’s down.
I should have added that to the original post - I’ve tried white noise, shushing sounds, lullabies, heartbeat sounds , rain sounds and meditation music. I’m fairness with this one I think because we never used it as a newborn she now has no association with those sounds which is my mistake but we just never needed it because she slept amazingly

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CoffeeAndCurls · 01/07/2022 18:37

User0ne · 01/07/2022 18:33

It's called a regression because it goes back to normal afterwards.

I'm sure you're doing everything possible (except possibly accepting it for what it is -normal)

I mean I am accepting it 😂 but I can’t just continue to let her be so overtired all the time it’s not good for her

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User0ne · 01/07/2022 19:01

You really don't have much choice, she'll start sleeping normally again when her brain let's her.

It's hard work and horrid for them but it's really unlikely that anything you do will make a difference to her sleep. Though you might feel better for trying and that's perfectly legitimate

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Lazypuppy · 01/07/2022 19:05

OP it sounds like you have tried a lot of things in a short space of time, you need to pick 1 or 2 things and try them for a week or 2 and see what happens, then try something else if it doesn't work.

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AluckyEllie · 01/07/2022 19:18

We are going through the same thing but not to the same extreme. She gets overtired and becomes almost frantic- kicking legs and flailing arms which in turn stops her resting. I find putting her in the sling so she is pressed against me can help. There’s nothing to look at, she can’t throw herself around and sometimes I rest a hand against her legs to stop them kicking. She screams for a minute or two and usually then drops off because she’s so exhausted and can finally get a pause. However I do then end up trapped with her in the sling because putting down is impossible.

Its so hard and I’m very excited that my husband is going to do the night shift tonight and has promised me 12 hours off (except feeds.)

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CoffeeAndCurls · 01/07/2022 21:00

Lazypuppy · 01/07/2022 19:05

OP it sounds like you have tried a lot of things in a short space of time, you need to pick 1 or 2 things and try them for a week or 2 and see what happens, then try something else if it doesn't work.

Yeah I say this to myself knowing it’s true but it’s hard when she’s screaming the place down I’ve got to keep trying other things

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Tigerteafor3 · 01/07/2022 21:03

Stick at it & do whatever you can to look after yourself. It's awful but it ends. For ages I slept in 30 min blocks and it seemed endless.

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ImNotBossyImtheBoss · 01/07/2022 21:07

White noise, on the whole night, so when she wakes back up after half an hour it's still playing and the room is pitch black.

Take turns. If you have a partner then do half the night each so you can both get a chunk of sleep and stay sane. Sleep mask and white noise in headphones so you can actually sleep and aren't woken up by her when you're taking your turn to sleep.

Not a silver bullet for us but it did help.

It's really hard, you will come out the other side!

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sacklunch · 02/07/2022 09:35

CoffeeAndCurls · 01/07/2022 18:37

I mean I am accepting it 😂 but I can’t just continue to let her be so overtired all the time it’s not good for her

Do you ever put her in a sling? Mine slept in there a lot. They just want to be on you. If you've not let her be on you she might just be really wary of going to sleep because they need to know they are safe and without being on you that's difficult. That's why they cry when put down. These first few months are so important and all we really need to do is feed them and be with them. It shouldn't be this hard. It's only usually hard when you try to treat a newborn like they aren't a newborn.

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MolliciousIntent · 02/07/2022 11:27

The only thing that works for mine (4.5m) at the moment is the baby carrier with the rain hood up, striding around like a military commander, smacking her firmly on the bottom. She screams like a banshee for 5min and then passes out. I keep walking and patting for another 10 minutes, and then I can pretty much sit and chill. If she wriggles I resume walking and patting til she's fast asleep again. We sometimes get 2hr naps like that. At night, we're pretty much cosleeping on the boob, which is killing my back.

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MolliciousIntent · 02/07/2022 11:30

@sacklunch I'm sure you meant to be helpful, but that post was pretty catty. OP has very clearly stated they're doing everything right (including trying holding the baby and cosleeping, which she's said doesn't work), and I can't see any evidence of inappropriate expectations, just concern for a chronically overtired baby.

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minipie · 02/07/2022 11:33

Honestly as someone whose baby slept like this from day 1 to 5/6 months old I feel envious of those who experience a regression!

Sorry not helpful but just be grateful for those good sleeping months you got, it means you’re in a decent state to ride this out.

My best advice is to try to avoid creating sleep associations that are going to be really hard work to keep up, like avoid rocking her back to sleep or feeding her back to sleep each time. Although in reality I know people will do whatever works

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CoffeeAndCurls · 02/07/2022 11:48

Maybe the only way is just to ride it out, it just concerns me how overtired she is and that it becomes a cycle.
Last night was awful, crying every half an hour until 2am and then wide awake until 5am. But then I did manage to get her to have a 2hr nap on the bed with me this morning so maybe it’ll just be hit and miss for a while

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Womeninthesequel · 02/07/2022 12:27

I really cannot recommend a sling highly enough.

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Nosleepclub16 · 22/07/2022 14:59

Hey! I'm curious to know if you have come out of the other side of the regression yet? My LO just turned 4 months and we have been having 30 minute day naps, several night wakings and 4am wake ups / 5am starts for past 2.5 / 3 weeks, absolutely shattered and feel like it's been 3 Months of this, he's never been a great sleeper to be honest due to silent reflux but it's the day sleep with 30 minute cat napping and screaming/fighting to sleep which is slowly making me lose my mind 😫

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CoffeeAndCurls · 22/07/2022 16:29

Nosleepclub16 · 22/07/2022 14:59

Hey! I'm curious to know if you have come out of the other side of the regression yet? My LO just turned 4 months and we have been having 30 minute day naps, several night wakings and 4am wake ups / 5am starts for past 2.5 / 3 weeks, absolutely shattered and feel like it's been 3 Months of this, he's never been a great sleeper to be honest due to silent reflux but it's the day sleep with 30 minute cat napping and screaming/fighting to sleep which is slowly making me lose my mind 😫

No! We’re still very much in the regression I’m sorry to say, DD turned five months today and we’ve been here since 3.5 months and I’m literally losing my mind.
Bedtime takes hours and hours, naps are hit and miss and I feel like I’m on house arrest as otherwise she won’t nap at all!
she absolutely won’t nap in the carrier, car or pushchair so it’s literally a whole lot of bouncing and rocking for hours on end and lots of wakings when put in the crib! I can’t even give in and let her nap on me because after a few minutes she’ll squirm and cry.

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Nosleepclub16 · 22/07/2022 17:04

I feel for you @CCoffeeAndCurls, I would be losing my mind by now too, and I'm only in week 3 and he started at 3.5 weeks too, They do say it can last up to 6 weeks however so fingers crossed you will be on the other side of it sooner than later! 😴 Keep us updated! I have my fingers crossed for you 🤞

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CoffeeAndCurls · 22/07/2022 17:26

Nosleepclub16 · 22/07/2022 17:04

I feel for you @CCoffeeAndCurls, I would be losing my mind by now too, and I'm only in week 3 and he started at 3.5 weeks too, They do say it can last up to 6 weeks however so fingers crossed you will be on the other side of it sooner than later! 😴 Keep us updated! I have my fingers crossed for you 🤞

I hope you come out the other side of it too! I’ll cross my fingers for you Mama.

it’s a shame because it makes it so hard it enjoy the good things because DD is such a happy, lovely baby but it’s so hard when I know it won’t be long before I have to battle her to bed again!

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Sophfreddie · 23/09/2022 09:14

How are you going on @CoffeeAndCurls? (I appreciate its been a while!)
My baby is nearly 5 months, weve been having the exact same since 3.5 months..
I saw every hour on the clock last night 😫 really hoping you'll tell me there's light at the end of the tunnel soon!!

I wouldn't really mind the constant wake ups throughout the night if he wasn't so grumpy all day!!! X

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Endlesslaundry123 · 23/09/2022 16:35

We did everything possible to get DD (now 3) sleeping a bit longer again after that regression (also started around 3.5 Mos). Dark room, white noise, lovey that smelled like me, cosleeping, anything that could be done was done. I was desperate to avoid sleep training my baby but nothing helped. We ended up sleep training at 5 months because I was absolutely shattered. She slept like a dream after that. We used the e-book Precious Little Sleep. It was really helpful. I now have a 3 month old and I'm dreading the coming sleep regression and already doing some gentle sleep training (e.g. no cry shush pat back to sleep in cot after night feeds) in the hope we'll fare better this time 😬

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