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Aww, look at this little angel. Sleeping like a baby for his daytime nap. Well OF COURSE HE IS. HE’S FREAKING EXHAUSTED FROM BEING UP ALL NIGHT!
Yes, don’t let that picture fool you. He’s no angel. He has been waking his mother up every 2-3 hours at night.
This from a child who used to sleep twelve hours every night with no nighttime feedings. Obviously, I got used to sleeping through the night. Until it was rudely snatched away from me.
It started around 3.5 months and a quick Google search turned up something called “the four month old sleep regression.” I’m sure it happened with my older two, but who can remember that sort of thing? I probably blocked it out.
According to experts, the four month old sleep regression happens because it’s a time of big developmental changes in the baby. I know that’s true here– around the time this was happening, we also experienced lots of cooing, smiling, reaching, and rolling over from our son.
Rolling over meant the end of swaddling for us, too…which is just as well, because he needs to learn how to sleep without being swaddled.
So what was my solution for this hellish period?
Well, I actually just dealt with the sleep deprivation for a month and hoped that it would go away on its own. But it didn’t.
Then a friend recommended this book to me– The Baby Sleep Solution: A Proven Program to Teach Your Baby to Sleep Twelve Hours a Night by Suzy Giordano. It actually is designed to be used from birth to set your baby up to sleep 12 hours by 12 weeks of age, but still has methods for you to use if you start at a later age.
The first step is to get your baby on a schedule of eating four times during the daytime hours (every four hours). I started that on Sunday– a schedule of 7:00, 11:00, 3:00 and 7:00. Let me tell you that just doing that first step has already caused my son to stop waking as frequently. It’s like magic.
I guess he’s eating more at each meal and his body is getting used to the schedule of when it’s “eating time” and when it’s “sleeping time.”
Since we started that, he has only woken up once each night (at which point I am nursing him). I haven’t gotten to the step of cutting out the nighttime feedings yet, but I will update this post as I move through the steps.
And just in case you’re wondering, you also have the lovely 18 month old sleep regression to look forward to. Now that one I remember.
More reading on the four month old sleep regression…
- 4 Month Sleep Regression: What It Is and How to Fix It
- Surviving the Four-Month Sleep Regression
- The Myth of Baby Sleep Regressions
- The 4 Month Sleep Regression SUCKS!
I’d love to hear what worked for you during this awful hump known as the four month old sleep regression…leave a comment below!