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Six month sleep regression?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know there is a fabled four month regression period, but can it extend all the way to six months?

Mar has never been a good sleeper by mainstream standards, she's only STTN maybe five times (and she's an icky FF baby too). We're totally okay with that, it's not a big deal to roll over and feed her (we co-sleep) and one or two wake ups a night are easy to deal with.

Since hitting five months (and she'll be six months on Thursday) her sleep has gotten progressively worse. Last night, she was down at 8:00 pm. I do need to say we are very blessed by the fact she goes down like a champ. She slept solidly, not a peep, until 11 p.m., then she woke up screaming. She was still asleep, and it took a good five minutes of holding, bouncing and shushing to actually wake her up enough so that she's stop screaming. We changed her, fed her (she took half a normal daytime bottle), and down she went, easy peasy. But then, up at 1 for a snack. Up at 2, screaming and wouldn't be settled until she just went back to sleep. Fussed at 3, settled with the paci. Up at 4, for an hour, nothing was working. Screams at 530 and 630 and up for good at 730.

And this has been nightly for over a week now. She started getting worse around five months of age so we felt it was time to introduce solids and did so at 5.5 months. She's on avocado and sweet potatoes (homemade purees and chunks.) She eats breakfast and lunch and naps with no problem. At least, none of the problems she exhibits at night. So I don't think that food is a problem, but it certainly hasn't been the miracle cure people told me it would be.

When she wakes up screaming, it seems as if she's in the midst of a nightmare. Won't be settled and has to be actually woken up - she's not awake when she's screaming. But this has been going on for so long now, I can't imagine she's having nightmares every night. We thought teething, but there are no signs (she's been drooling and hand chewing since three months) and her daytime moods are normal. We broke down one night and gave her Tylenol "just in case" it was teething and it seemed she slept even poorer that night!

This is just worse than the newborn stage, because at least then she'd feed and go back to sleep. Now, nothing works and most of the time, she just ends up screaming herself to sleep in my arms. Neither her dad, nor I (nor our upstairs neighbor) is particularly happy with this stage.

We have our six month pedi appointment on Thursday and we'll bring the issue up with him. I'm sure his response is just going to be to let her cry, but that is absolutely not an option. Is this really just a stage, and if so, when does it end? Or does it sound like a physical problem? She poots sometimes and burps sometime, but neither with regularity. And if she does do either of those things, it doesn't seem to bring her relief as the crying continues.

I just, it just breaks my heart to hear my sweet girl in what seems like just agony to me.
post #2 of 7
I read somewhere (maybe someone will post a link) that the 4 month sleep regression can seem like it goes on for 2 months because between 19 and 27 weeks, there are so many huge developmental milestones going on for a baby.

It *could* improve after 27 weeks . . . .

(I personally am not holding my breath for that one, though. )
post #3 of 7
She sounds JUST like my dd (who is now almost 9 months and STTN as of about a month ago) at that age. The screaming in her sleep thing we determined were night terrors, and I had to take dd into another room with a light on to jolt her out of it, I would sing to soothe her and walk around until she would sort of shake, open her eyes, stop crying and often give me a big grin. It was awful (the crying, not the grin). It lasted until about 6-ish months.
Also, I know that we part-time co-slept and around the time this was happening I cut back on the co-sleeping and that seemed to help her a lot, but my dd has always had a strong independent streak so likes her own space for sleeping. I'm assuming she won't nurse when she's panicking and screaming? That helped sometimes too if I could get her to latch.
Oh, and a big thing was that it happened more frequently when she was overtired. If she napped well during the day it was less likely to occur at night.
Hope it improves soon, I know it just broke my heart to hear that sad little cry
post #4 of 7
My DD did the same thing - on and off actually for a while. She's 7 months old now. We were putting her to sleep in her crib but bringing her to bed with us when she woke (45 min. to an hour later). We co-slept from birth but tried transition to crib for a while. Anyway, we thought it was night terrors lbut then I read about separation anxiety manifesting in this way at about 6 months of age and it made sense that she was upset because she was waking up alone in her crib. I stopped putting her in the crib and I'm considering using it as firewood. She's teething now so sleeping still isn't perfect, but she doesn't wake up screaming anymore. I know it's so heartwrenching but it WILL get better.
post #5 of 7
Sounds like what my DS did for 3 weeks when he popped 2 teeth, could that be it?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
thank you all mamas - it's just nice to know i'm not alone in this.

if it's teething, should tylenol help? or is motrin better? we only used it one time and didn't see any improvement, so that made me think it isn't that. but we may try that again.

if it's separation anxiety, wouldn't she stop if she was sleeping with us? that's what has me puzzled is just that it doesn't matter if she's in the bed with us, or on her crib mattress on the floor next to us (we have a platform bed so when she's on her mattress, it's about the same height as our bed.)

i'm just so very puzzled.
post #7 of 7
My DD cried in the bed with us too for a while. It still could be separation anxiety. I think they just have to grow out of it.

My Dr. said motrin is better than tylenol - works better, lasts longer, and is easier on the tummy. Good luck!
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