Friday, June 11, 2010

4 Month Sleep Regression

Like the title says, that's what we're in right now. My good little sleeper is waking up every 3 hours (sometimes less). It's like she's a newborn again.

At first I didn't know what was going on. She had been sleeping through the night, averaging 9 hour stretches, for quite a while. Then she snapped. It helped when a friend led me here & I learned how there's a lot going on in her little body & mind right now. I also found some good information here.

But how long is this going to last? And is there something I should be doing to get her back to sleeping through the night? Do I need to change our routine?

Shaylin still sleeps in our room. Quite frankly I'm having a hard time letting go. I'm just now getting to the point where I'm not checking to see if she's breathing every night. It's just nice to have her close to me, but especially while she's waking up at night. But I'm starting to consider moving her to her room to see if that may help. A couple friends have told me that when they moved their baby to their own room that they slept the best. So it's under consideration.

So I'm asking for help & advice. We've had 7 nights in a row of her waking up constantly. Last night she did give me a 4-hour stretch so I'm hopeful that's she moving in the right direction.

My sleeping angel


  1. I am not giving advice pretending I know much of anything. My 1 year old just started sleeping consistently through the night a few months ago.
    Anyway, she never slept in our room. So I don't know about moving her and how it will go, but she may be on to you. She might realize that you're right there and you'll be there as soon as she cries.
    By four months it would be okay to let her cry it out, I think. This was EXTREMELY hard for me. Sometimes I went to the basement while Ryan listened to her. K had to learn that we wouldn't get her every time she cried. It sounds heartless, I know. We ended up doing the method where you go and check on her at set increments.
    Like I said, she hasn't been sleeping consistently long, but those crying it out sessions helped. We traveled a ton through the summer, fall, and winter, and I think that just kept messing her up.
    I hope you can figure it out! I know how frustrating it gets!

  2. First of all, let me say that my boys were both still waking up that frequently at 4 months but there was no regression (that's what they did all along), so I think you're pretty lucky to have gotten some weeks of full sleep in this early!

    Here are a couple of ideas for what could be causing her disrupted schedule:
    ~She could be growing and just be needing to eat more because she's using all her nutrients up growing. Or she could even be having growing pains that wake her up; it's just hard to know because they can't tell you.
    ~She could be teething. Teething always, always messes up sleep schedules (even adults who are getting wisdom teeth experience this).
    ~If she had 4 month vaccinations, that could cause temporary sleep problems. You could try giving her infant tylenol before bed if you suspect that she's teething or having growing pains.
    ~Or she could have just figured out that you'll give her a snack when she wakes up and likes having that option. :)

    Here are some ideas based on my experience:
    ~I *had* to move each of the boys out of my room when they were about three months old. They were waking me up unnecessarily, and I was waking them up too. After the first couple of nights of adjustment to a new sleeping place, we all slept better when they weren't within arm's reach. I just leave our doors open and get up when they need me; we've never had any problems with the arrangement. (I'm such a light sleeper that even monitors would wake me up, that that's a matter of personal choice.)
    ~Eventually you do have to just let them cry it out like Amy said. And like she said, it's REALLY hard! When you decide to do this is up to you. Ian was so tiny (5%-10% in weight) that I felt like if he wanted to eat it was good, so I got up to feed him and put off the crying it out longer than I did with Liam (plus he was my firstborn, and I was a little more paranoid of letting him cry it out). When the right time to do it for you is completely up to you and Jeremy; it's different for each baby, and I believe that God give parents wisdom for their own children.
    ~The boys really started sleeping better when they began eating solid food. Once again, when you introduce solid food is entirely up to you.
    ~You could try providing some white noise (like a humidifier or fan) to block out other little noises that might be waking her up. When the boys are having a particularly hard time sleeping, a couple of nights with white noise sometimes helps.
    ~Make sure that she's warm enough. Liam likes to sleep very warm, so if he's the least bit chilly he wakes up. If you're concerned about using blankets with Shaylin, use blanket sleepers and make sure her bed is away from drafts.

    Anyway, this is a whole lot of talk. I hope it helped and isn't overboard. : )

  3. This is a rough period ;-p
    With Z, I had issues w/ waking up myself to make sure he was breathing. Eventually I got so tired it didn't matter, unless he cried (then I would wake in a panic after he'd slept several hours).
    There are certain times, as parents we just need to let time pass. We can try what we will, but growth is just that and we need to let it happen. Know that this rough period WILL end. Suddenly it will be 2 months later and you will realize things are going much smoother.
    Sometimes knowing why and that there is an end can help. I wish I had better advice to offer (other than if she is drooling a bit or gnawing on things, give her a bit of tylenol before bed b/c of teething). Even if you don't see active signs of teeth, they can be feeling the pressure big time. For Z, he would drool a ton and gnaw (then be fine for 2 months and BAM a tooth came up).
    Read a lot, get peoples opinions. Take what feels right to you (when you are in a "good" mood) and throw away the rest w/o reservations. It sounds like the above posters know their stuff, and I agree w/ it all. In the end, you know your child the best (and you know you!) so do what makes you feel the most comfortable. We let Z CIO a bit (but I found it VERY difficult). Is Shaylin a pretty easy going baby, or more moody? If she is easy going, you may have good luck w/CIO & consistency (as was the case w/ my DS). I can't offer any opinions on more challenging temperaments (sorry) b/c I don't have any experience w/ it.
    This too shall pass. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  4. Me again. :) Do you think Shaylin is teething? I just want to pass along something that was SO helpful to us. We used teething tablets. I found them at Walmart and I've seen them at grocery stores either with teething stuff or in the organic section. They're homeopathic, so it was a little better than Tylenol if the only problem was teeth pain. She loved them and they helped quickly.
    Just a thought.... There you go; you've now seen the extent of my knowledge. :)