Hey there! I am sorry to hear you're having some struggles. You probably have heard about the infamous 4 month sleep regression. They are so very busy developmentally that it can really mess with their sleep. I think it can be so frustrating because when you're not sleeping you want help NOW! But you know your baby best and what she is doing day in and day out that may be affecting her sleep. I very well may not be the best source of advice as I have a crappy sleeper and often wonder if it's all my fault......but I would say to just keep trying to creatively tweak things and hang in there. It definitely is a good strategy to keep things simple in terms of what you expect to accomplish on a daily basis, I know that I get a lot more stressed when I have a long to-do list and things don't get done. On the other hand, I know that life does go on and I have to learn to be functional, it seems like it's taking me so long and I'm not adapting gracefully this time around. It is soooo hard at times. The baby really forces his sleep to be my priority because if he's unhappy, we're all miserable. If he doesn't get a good morning nap for instance, we're stuck at home all day. So I really, really work at it and it kind of sucks a lot of the time! I usually am not one to pine for the future when things are different but I have to admit I do that a lot these days.
It's going horribly here at the moment! I wouldn't say Luke is a good sleeper in general, although things are terrible right now I can't say they were ever great. Just varying degrees of badness. Haha. He exclusively nurses to sleep now, he is quite adamant that it is the only method he will accept! Generally that part works out pretty well. My older son was a much worse sleeper than Luke so I have experienced the hell of sleep deprivation before. My daughter was much better. Anyway, to answer your questions-
Oh and Luke is on the younger side, just turned 4 months a few days ago.
How many day naps? How long?
Luke takes 3 naps - morning, afternoon, early evening. Until recently they were 1.5 to 2 hours during the day and 45 min to 1 hour in the evening. Now that he's been sleeping so poorly at night, they are all over the map and often he will have trouble settling into a deep sleep until the evening nap.
What time do you aim for for bedtime? I recently read if you put los down earlier they will sleep longer? Has anyone had experience with this theory?
I could write a novella on this one but will spare you! Luke's bedtime was 8:15 or so for a long time and then around Christmas he started treating that as a very late nap, "fake bedtime". and not falling out for the night til around midnight. It kept getting later and later, so I started pushing his bedtime back later by giving him a long bath when he started to show signs of tiredness...that worked for exactly one week and now he is back to treating his bedtime as a fake bedtime and wanting to fall asleep at midnight...then is out of sorts all day. I don't think an earlier bedtime would buy us anything, I am truly stumped at the moment. I haven't had this work with my other two children either, when they were tired they went to sleep and I've never been one to try to have a baby sleep when they're not tired. Frustrating.
What methods do you use for "helping" get to sleep? Swaddle? swing? sucking? Rocking? Nursing?
As previously mentioned, nursing is the only thing that works right now. I haven't even been able to get him to sleep in the Moby in ages and he just cries when we try walking or bouncing or the swing. We never swaddled him and he won't take a pacifier.
How many hours of sleep at a time are you all getting at night?
Currently, about six hours of extremely broken sleep. It's terrible. Like midnight or 1am he is finally deeply asleep so I can fall asleep and then he wakes at 2,4,6,7 until 8 and then at that point I can try to go back to sleep or just give up and get up since my husband and older two are then awake. This has just developed in the past few days though with the return of the fake bedtime. Prior to that, we'd usually get a 3 or 4 hour stretch right off the bat and that was enough to make me feel functional. We were also in bed, although not sleeping, for 12 hours total (9:30-9:30). So I was feeling pretty good up until a couple of days ago. Prior to 3 months of age he used to almost always do a 5-6 hour stretch at first. Trying not to cry as I type that out. ;)
Do you feel its time to transition from one type of sleeping to another ? (ie. swing to cosleeper?)
Since we have so few options I feel like we're stuck with what we're doing, all I can do is keep playing with his bedtime. For his naps I have mostly transitioned him from sleeping against my chest on the boppy to sleeping on the bed so I can unlatch him and slip away but that has meant staying glued to the monitor and slipping back in a few times to nurse him back to sleep.
Is ANYONE napping while their babe does during the day?
Hahahahahaha. Although I am not a great napper (takes me forever to fall asleep during the day) I often think that just 20 minutes would really help in many ways. My 4 yo daughter is home with me all week so it's not an option then and a noisy household usually prevents it on the weekend as well.
Is ANYONE feeling the exhaustion catching up to them?
Absolutely. All it takes is two bad nights in a row and I feel like I am hitting bottom. I have to give myself a LOT of pep talks and it takes a great deal of effort to control my mood as I feel really impatient and bitchy. My family deserves better so I bite my tongue a lot and soldier through!
Edited by Gracecody - 1/30/12 at 5:56pm