I am in desperate need of some suggestions. My son is 4 months + 1 week. We have been going through what I assumed to be the typical "4 month sleep regression" for 7-8 weeks now. It's gotten so bad at this point that after about midnight he is awake and restless (NOT crying and NOT sleeping) for the rest of the night, until I give up and get out of bed with him around 4-5 am. We are all exhausted at this point. He isn't getting enough sleep and is usually very cranky and fussy in the morning until he gets a decent nap. I am worried he's not going to be able to do all the growing and developing he should be doing without adequate rest. I am bleary-eyed and feel like a zombie-mama, just trying to get through the day. And my husband is surviving on caffeine at work. We have done our reading and we are not comfortable with CIO techniques. We do like many of the suggestions in the No Cry Sleep Solution book, but haven't found a way to address the 5-7 hours of straight wakefulness in the middle of the night.
He is EBF, he co-sleeps with me and husb from day one. Months 1-3 he slept soundly nestled next to me, enjoying a few meals throughout the night, then peacefully going back to sleep. In the early days we were in bed from about 9pm-8am. When the restlessness began I thought that he may be ready for his own sleeping space (in case it was actually my movements that were keeping him up) so we've tried moving him into a bassinet (snuggabunny rock n play) next to our bed for the past 3 weeks. He starts the night out there but always wakes up crying when he realizes he's alone. Usually after a few wake ups it becomes very difficult to lay him down to sleep in it and he ends up back in our bed with me (sometime between 9:30-midnight). After reading No Cry Sleep Solution we adopted a relaxing bedtime routine and an earlier bedtime. He is typically asleep by 6:45-7:30pm (either while nursing or while being rocked). Then he usually wakes up twice before midnight (about every 90 min-2 hours). After that he is awake and laying there kicking his legs, waving his arms, generally trying to be playful. While he's awake and wrestling around I try to "play dead" (so as to not encourage the activeness) and struggle to go back to sleep. Sometimes I'll try to get him to latch on hoping that he'll fall asleep while nursing, but he doesn't seem interested. Occasionally he will fall back asleep, but very lightly for only about 5-20 mins at a time.
We did enjoy co-sleeping b/c all three of us were sleeping well, but now we're ready to consider different arrangements. If possible we would like to have him moved into his crib around 6 months, but for now I'm happy to have him sleep wherever he needs to in order to actually get the rest he needs.
Other background info: He has never liked to be swaddled. He screams and cries and then kicks his way out of it (so we quickly ditched that idea). He is in good health (particularly no ear infections). He also takes 2-3 naps during the day, between 45 min-2 hours. Our room is dark, quiet and we use a white noise machine.
I know there are many suggestions regarding getting your child to fall asleep peacefully (esp eliminating the need to be rocked or nursed), but I'm wondering if there are any suggestions regarding the fact that he's awake and restless for majority of the night? Do we need to change our bedtime routine? His sleeping location? How we handle the awake time? Any good resources or books to read? Thanks so much for your thoughts!!
IS he trying to hit some mile stones? He might need more space just to roll over and play around. It is normal for babies to do these things and have a hard time sleeping at night. IS there another bed you and the baby can share that gives him more space with comfort? We actually put two queens together and I sleep with SO and then go to baby when he needs me. We tried the bassinet and crib but they just were not enough space for my wiggle butt baby.
I promis this will pass we had a similar issue and around 6 or 7 months he finally started to sleep better.
How do you think we should respond when he wakes up and plays in bed for hours...move away and ignore him?
We're in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression too. Swaddling and loud white noise (rain/static) have really helped as well as DD sleeping sometimes in her swing. I have been doing something to help DD learn to fall asleep without nursing and rocking etc but right now we are just doing whatever works. She seems to be hungrier too maybe because of increased distraction during the day while she is nursing so I try to give her a big bottle of expressed milk as a dreamfeed before I go in to bed. This helps settle her for the rest of the night.
When she has a wakeful period (hers is usually around 3-5) I try to nurse her or just lay next to her quietly and she'll eventually fall asleep. Sometimes I put her in the crib to watch her mobile and she'll fall asleep.
She does seem to do better at night on the days where she does a lot of rolling too.
We just have to wait it out! But try different things and see what works.
Me 32, loving him 33, more each day. Rad boy, 7/12/10 & Cool gal 4/28/13
I'm a biracial, atheist, humanist, pacifist, anarchist, bibliophile, and educator.