Friday, 15 August 2014

Four month sleep regression?

Hi. So, I'm tired. Joseph should be tired, too, but instead he's happily trying to roll over on the floor whilst I express milk for his tea. He's wearing his Bruce Springsteen t-shirt from H&M and I'd really love if he did actually roll so I could write a post called Rock n' Roll, for the lolz.

So here's why I'm tired...

After hearing from Sammi that her son, Casey, has been sleeping from 7pm-7am for the last few weeks (and is almost four weeks younger than Joseph) we thought we'd be brave and try dropping Joseph's 11pm dream feed. For the first couple of nights he slept right through! Woohoo! He woke up a little earlier than normal (6.30am) but that's manageable. On the third night Joseph woke up at 2.30am but I suspected he would, because he didn't have his usual amount before bed, so I had a bottle ready for him and he went straight back to sleep until 7am. Then on the fourth night he woke up hourly from 2am!! I couldn't put it down to lack of food this time as he'd taken the 'right' amount during the day, plus he didn't seem hungry - he'd just bite down on my knuckle rather than suck, but I noticed he was bringing his knees up to his chest. He settled each time when I put a dummy in his mouth but he seemed to then wake up when it either fell out or he'd spit it out (I guess). We started giving him Gripe Water, in case it was gas, after each meal using the syringe in our Summer baby care kit but he'd just dribble most of it out so I'm not really sure how much of it he actually got. Last night we re-introduced the dream feed but he woke at 5am then 6am - still really sleepy but just whiney so I didn't think he was ready to start the day so, again, I put the dummy in his mouth and he seemed to settle (although I was laying awake). Then when he woke up again at 7am, Ruari got him up for the day. 

After posting about it on Instagram, someone suggested that he might be going through 'four month sleep regression' (Joseph will be four months old on the 19th), which I had no idea was even a 'thing' and linked me to this article by The Sleep Lady (who I had no idea existed).

Here's an extract:

This (very common) sleep regression is characterized by a distinct change in your baby’s behavior. Some indicators that you’re experiencing the 4 month sleep regression are:
·         Increased fussiness
·         Multiple night wakings (especially if your baby has just begun to sleep longer stretches during the night)
·         Reduced naps or “disaster naps”
·         Changes in appetite

Parents often can’t figure out why their sweet baby is suddenly a sleep deprived, fussy, cranky, overtired baby overnight. They begin to question if it could be an ear infection, teething, lack of supply (for breastfeeding moms), or maybe he’s got reflux…the list goes on. What parents don’t often realize is that around this time your baby’s sleep rhythms have also changed (just to throw more into the mix of their little world changing).

What The Sleep Lady says really resonates with us and, the thought of an ear infection had crossed my mind as I noticed Joseph touching his ear this week for the first time, so wondered if he was trying to tell me that it hurt. He's also been sucking on his lips and fingers a lot and trying to put blankets in his mouth, so I wondered if he was teething. Then, as mentioned earlier, there's the gas suspicion. Sort of unrelated, but a new thing this week, is how vocal Joseph has become. 

In terms of indicators she mentions, aside from the night-waking, Joseph has never been a good napper, but even after his near sleepless night he barely napped.... and I was beat! He also seems to want back the ounces of milk I cut back on a couple of weeks ago (he was dragging out his morning feeds for hours, almost up until he was due his next feed) and for a week it worked well but now he seems to be looking for it again so I've met him in the middle and have increased his morning feeds up to 6oz as of today (for a while he was on 7oz then back down to 5oz as that was where he'd stop and then drag out the last 2oz).

What is comforting is that The Sleep Lady says that all of these are all just healthy signs of growth and development. She also offers tips to help parents through this time (snugggles and reassurance are my number one) and she also says that it's around this time that baby may roll over. So maybe before the day is done, Joseph will have rolled in his Bruce tee!


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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x