4 month old sleep...please help

(28 Posts)
LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 04:45:32

My 4 month old's sleeping is sporadic and unpredictable. During his 3rd month he was really doing well and he slept most nights for 7 hours. For the past 2 or so weeks he's been up every 2, 3 or (if I'm lucky 4) hours. Sometimes he feeds like he's starving, other times its as if he just wants to be picked up.

I've heard people say I shouldn't pick him up every time he cries, but I can't just leave him there crying, in case he's hungry. Also I thought it might be growth spurt but as I said its been 2 weeks now.

Last night my mum took him so I could get a solid night's sleep. He slept in her room in the Moses basket (he's almost too big for it) rather than in his cot, and he slept 6 hours!! I thought maybe he'd settled back into his routine but tonight he's been up every 2 hours again. He's awake now...he didn't want a feed so I've put him in his cot where he's wide awake cooing and smiling away. We sleep in the same room so its impossible for me to sleep when he makes all these noises.

I know he's only little and things are going to be this way. I know this won't last forever. I'm just on here to have a dead-of-night, exhausted moan...and you never know, I might just get some practical advice from one of you!

He's now asleep...but for how long? Still, its nice to know he can self sooth I suppose...

Any thoughts, encouragement, ideas, advice would be appreciated...

jaggythistle Mon 07-Jan-13 05:31:21

Sorry can't link on phone, but there is commonly a huge growth spurt\sleep regression thing at this age. It is thought to be a developmental thing.

If you google `wakeful 4 month olds` or even search this site for 4 month sleep regression you will find a lot of other sleepy posts!

It does pass eventually...

jaggythistle Mon 07-Jan-13 05:31:57

smile

FuriousRox Mon 07-Jan-13 06:26:02

Yes, sounds like dreaded 4mo sleep regression. As far as I know the best cure is time and patience. I hope you can maybe manage to doze during a day time nap.

There are regressions at ?6 and ?9 months too I believe....... It's that baby thing - just as you think something is sorted, it all changes and you have to adjust, but definitely feel free to vent on here!

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 06:42:41

Thank you, good to know its not just my baby being weird! I've basically been awake since 3am. He's slept half hour here and there...he seems to wake every time I drift off. I've had a total of 2 hours sleep tonight...not sure how I'm gonna function today...

At least I know that this is normal so thanks for replying.

I've googled it and some websites suggest this is a good time to sleep train. Not sure about this, like I said, if he's hungry I can't just leave him to cry can I??? I can't bear him crying anyway, so not sure I could cope with controlled crying. Anyone got any advice or thoughts on this? Should I start stressing about sleep training, is now the right time??? I'm clueless...

jaggythistle Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:33

Noooo. I have to admit that I don't do sleep training anyway, but baby is too young really.

As furious said, sleep patterns will keep changing for a good while!

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 11:44:41

Ok thanks thistle, I thought he was too young. I'm just going by his cues really...I just try and make sure as soon as I see signs of tiredness, I give him the opportunity to sleep by putting him in cot / pram. And I feed on demand (he's exclusively on formula) What else can I do really??

jaggythistle Mon 07-Jan-13 13:01:45

Bugger all really grin

I have an 8mo at the moment who still sleeps fairly randomly, but I am more relaxed as he is my second baby and i keep telling myself he'll get the hang of sleep eventually!

jaggythistle Mon 07-Jan-13 13:04:37

(I didn't stress lots with DS1 but i did wonder when I'd get a decent sleep again!)

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 13:18:32

He's asleep now after spending the majority of the day crying inconsolably.

Half of me (the chilled out pre-mum) wants to just let things take its course and just see what happens naturally.

The other half of me (the worrying, sleep deprived mum) thinks if I don't take routine and sleep training seriously, I'll regret it.

I lean more towards just relaxing about it, and then I get so tired I just think, I've got to sort this out.

I'm so tired at the moment my brain can't compute. Hence asking on here!

FuriousRox Mon 07-Jan-13 13:25:03

Don't sleep train yet! Way too young, IMHO.

Personally I think it's just about trying to find patterns, responding to their needs as best you can, and doing everything you can to not worry when it all goes completely pear shaped. (easier said than done though, eh?)

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 13:33:55

Thanks Rox that's what I'm trying to do at the moment, so its good to hear someone say its ok. It's bloody hard though... I was never a worrier until I became a mum. Just never know if I'm doing the right thing. And don't get me wrong I love being a mum, and I didn't expect anything else but the reality is tough!!

SquidgersMummy Mon 07-Jan-13 13:39:18

My dd went thru this for about 2 weeks or so at turn of 4 months then she went back to her normal pattern of feeds 1/2 a night. Again it was growth spurt and her increasing my milk. I went to bed at 9 with snacks and a flask during those weeks - only way to survive - hopefully it won't last long. Good luck x

SquidgersMummy Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:25

Sorry, I too wouldn't sleep train - don't think it would work during a regression/spurt and you'll just get frustrated - best to try and be relaxed but sleep whenever poss!!! smile

DrMcDreamysWife Mon 07-Jan-13 13:44:40

I feel your pain. My dd is 4 months and waking up every 2 hours, sometimes to feed, sometimes just a cuddle. Driving me insane. Won't do day naps in her cot either so I'm struggling to catch up in the day sad. I posted about it in sleep section and was directed to book/ app called the wonder weeks...all about when babies can be most fussy/restless. It's all linked to development and 4 months is a big one.

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 13:47:19

Squidge...flask and snacks at 9, very good idea. I really have to force myself to do that tonight. I find that by the time he's going down for the night (8 or 9) I'm wide awake and overtired, and just want to have some time to watch tv and relax with my other half. And then I always miss my son's long sleep stint. Stupid really but I find I just can't switch off at that time and just lie there awake, waiting for him to wake up!!

LylaLils Mon 07-Jan-13 13:50:09

McDreamy...have you tried letting your LO sleep in the pram for day time naps? Weirdly, my son will only really sleep in his pram in the day. I think he likes the upright position, and he can feed in it and look around at same time. I just give it a little wiggle while I'm feeding him and he usually nods straight off.

Stixswhichtwizzle Tue 08-Jan-13 20:50:39

Saw my HV about this today. My DD is 4 months and is waking every hour for a comfort suck (she's BF) and the occasional feed. HV recommended sleep training : soothing after 3 mins, then 4 and so on upto 30 min max. DD screamed herself into choking frenzy and puked EVERYWHERE after 11mins sad sad I felt awful!

LylaLils Thu 10-Jan-13 01:46:55

Glad to report that my boy seems to be getting back to his old routine. It's no where near his old 7.5 hours, but I'm only getting up with him twice in the night and today he even slept til 7am...joy! He's also sleeping well in the day, today I was actually starting to worry, he slept so much (will I ever stop worrying?)

I didn't make any major changes to his routine or feeds, I just make an effort to not stress.

Only problem is, he's now sound asleep and I'm bloody well wide awake. And trying not to cough lest I wake him.

Thanks to everyone for replying. Hope those of you who are having sleep problems find a solution soon. X

jaggythistle Thu 10-Jan-13 04:24:52

:-) good stuff.

DS2 is not too bad for being up, but is still taking ages to settle at night.zzz

LylaLils Thu 10-Jan-13 06:57:58

Wow, did I speak too soon. After I posted that last message he was up 5 times and now he's up for the day. I've a splitting headache to boot. Argh so tired

jaggythistle Thu 10-Jan-13 11:45:03

Poo. sad

I am also tired as I am working a 6am start this week. yawn.

Littlecherublegs Tue 15-Jan-13 10:27:02

I was just about to start a thread about my 4 month olds (rubbish!) sleeping pattern! Now reading this I feel alot better - knowing its not just me going through this! Also knowing that its common at this age for sleep regression, growth spurts, and teething to start.

It is driving me a little crazy though!! DS has never been a good sleeper - just doesnt seem to need / want that much, even from day 1??!!
He has only ever slept longer than 4 hours twice and longer than 3 hours about 5 times!!
He hardly naps during the day - maybe 3 x 30 mins if Im lucky - and these usually have to be in his pram or the car seat on the go (although I am trying to get him to sleep in his (none moving!) pram or cot now).
At night he still wakes at leastevery 2-3 hours, sometimes he wakes as often as 30-40 minutes! I feed him (he's EBF) if its been around 3 hours since his last feed, otherwise I ssh/pat him back to sleep although this doesnt always work.

Just to give you an idea of an average nights sleep, last night DS slept as follows:
8.00 - 8.40pm (40 mins)
9.00 - 11.00pm (2 hrs)
11.20 - 00.20am (1 hr)
00.35 - 2.15am (1hr 40)
2.30 - 4.45am (2 hr 15)
5.30 - 7.00am (1 hr 30)

I wake up like I've slept for about 5 minutes!!

So its nice to hear it wont last and for now I'll just have to get on with it and cope as best I can!!

Angelico Tue 22-Jan-13 00:58:09

DD is 4 months / 17 weeks today. She was sleeping brilliantly for over a month and now for the last week and a half it has gone back to feeding twice a night (roughly at 3 and 7am - but then she doesn't go to bed till 11pm) and random wakings / thrashings about. Am completely shattered. Tonight she just won't settle at all and I had to walk out of the room. DH is with her.

She was doing from 11pm - 11am roughly with one feed at 8am. Oh to think I took it for granted! How long does this horrible stage last? She is exhausted and screaming but will not sleep. Have swaddled, rocked, given her dummy, white noise on - all the fool proof tricks - and none of them are working. She is just too shattered. And I'm too shattered to do it (not helped by winter vom bug over the weekend).

LylaLils Tue 22-Jan-13 08:47:42

Hey, I started this thread on 7th Jan, after over a week of rubbish sleep (my boy had been sleeping brilliantly before this too)

Things have got slightly better, but I'm afraid to say he's still not back to what we had before. Where he was sleeping 7.5hrs, then feed, then 3hrs every night, then for about 2 weeks he was waking for feed every 1 or 2 hours. Now he sleeps in 3 hour bursts. I've just started to do a "dream feed" which helps. So say he goes down at 9, when I'm ready for bed , say 11 or 12, I'll take him out of the cot and feed him while he's still basically asleep. This means I get 3 hours until he wakes again. The reason this helps for me is that I'm able to go straight to sleep as I'm ready for it. Before, I'd lie there waiting for him to wake, unable to sleep. So at least I get some sleep! It helps. Also occasionally when I'm just too tired, I go up to bed when my hub gets in. He'll then bring boy up at whatever time he's going to bed. I'm not really a fan of this though, as it puts boy out of sync and also I find it hard to sleep during the night (wide awake). But sometimes I just have to do it.

I think, as hard as it is, you just have to get on with it and remember it won't last forever. Take help wherever you can get it. Sleep during your LO's day naps wherever possible. Grab rest whenever you can. You'll get through it. X

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