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4 month sleep - need a pep talk!

433 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MeepyCat

Our darling boy is 4 months today. He's lived through a lot of stress in his short life - most recently a house move, last week. His sleep has been fairly consistent and good - only waking twice or 3 times on a bad night. He's always been a crappy napper. That has all changed in the last fortnight.

There's so much going on for him. He's in an unfamiliar place, his Mama is stressed, he's teething, he's newly rolling...and he's 4 months!

He spends the whole night practicing his new trick (rolling) and thus kicking us in the ribs, repeatedly. He's constantly latching on and falling off while he tries to roll and eat. He is not napping during the day except for 10 minute catnaps on the boob or in the wrap carrier.

I know that he's dealing with a lot and I'm doing my best to focus on him and settle him and make him feel secure but I'm tired and not having many of my own needs met and need some encouragement and ideas to help him along and get me through it. I don't want to sleep train but it's looking pretty seductive right now.
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I reccomend focusing on nursing/napping in a dark room and using white noise. Thats the gentlest solutions that have worked for me. We also use an arm's reach co-sleeper. It helps wih space. Baby was rolling in his sleep a lot for 2 weeks or so but stopped, so hopefully that will end.
Wow, you have a LOT going on! Hang in there, this too shall pass. That's about the best advice I have. It's not much, so I'll just offer a hug too!
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It gets better. DD was a bear to live with at 4 months, not napping, not sleeping for more than a 2 hour stretch, refusing to sleep without a boob in her mouth, etc. But it passed and now we're both much happier
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Oh mama! You're all stressed from the move, and it sounds like your babe has hit the four month sleep regression! All of a sudden, the world is so exciting during the day that he wants to do all his eating at night, and also, there's that rolling thing.

(But at a guess, he's probably not all that stressed out - you are the foundation of his universe, and you're still handy. For a kid his age, stability is all about the source of the breastmilk. He may be picking up on your stress though, and fussing accordingly.)

I have a bunch of suggestions, take what works for you and leave the rest.
- Might swaddling help? It might make it harder for him to roll and kick you at night. Alternatively, would a crib or bassinette in your room (or down the hall) help you all sleep? I would try swaddling first - I know that the books say it's just a thing for the fourth trimester, but my son needed to be swaddled to sleep for eight months so I kinda think the books aren't always right. The crib or bassinette option is harder on you in one sense (more getting up), but easier in others (less kicking).
- During the day, can you try and nurse him someplace dim, quiet and boring? This is one of the standard recommendations for getting through the sleep regression. It makes him more likely to eat during the day and therefore less likely to be hungry at night.
- Have a glass of wine, take a hot bath, do whatever it is you do to mellow yourself out.
- Call in help if you can - sometimes someone fresh and energetic can work wonders, whether it's taking the baby for a walk so you can nap, or actually getting the baby to nap.
- At around this age, we found that an evening walk put our son right to sleep. In either the stroller or the carrier, the rythym of movement and the fresh air would combine to put him to sleep. (For some babies, fresh air has an incredible effect. My DS would literally stop screaming the *moment* we stepped onto the porch. He's two and it still sometimes works. Also, while I love babywearing, the stroller has a huge advantage in that a baby asleep in a stroller can be left in the stroller - and effectively supervised by anyone quietly occupied in the same room. So if the walk thing works, you could get in some time to read, or netsurf, or unpack, or lie on the sofa next to the stroller and take a nap.)
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