So last I left you, we had ourselves a STTNer. And we did, consistently from Feb 13 – March 7, A slept from 7-7 (give or take 30 minutes).
His nighttime routine consists of: bath, diaper, lotion/massage, (sometimes) story, nursing, burp, crib/sleep.
Then BAM, out of nowhere last Thursday, A had a nighttime waking.
Actually, when I heard him crying on the monitor, I thought he had startled himself and was up a half hour early (630am) from his normal wake time. He normally doesn’t cry in the AM. So I went over to the nursery, grabbed him, brought him to bed to nurse, was confused because my boobs didn’t feel full, then checked my phone to realize that it was actually only 130am!!!!!! WHAT A SHOCKER.
After I inadvertently nursed him, I put him back to sleep in his crib and he subsequently woke up at 330 and 5am. DREAD. I nursed him both times and woke up completely exhausted and confused. Then as I woke up out of my groggy state, I knew immediately that this was probably the 4 month regression that I had often heard about from mamas and online parenting boards.
A has always hit most of his growth spurts earlier than average wks, so I wasn’t surprised when he’d hit this at just around 3.5 months/15 weeks.
I frantically googled, twittered, hellobeed — and was bewildered that there wasn’t an answer. Even though most baby-related things are definitely custom to each individual baby, there were usually guidelines, books, and just a plethora of information on the web. Nope, not on sleep regressions. While I read thoroughly on what they were, how wonder weeks are associated to them, etc. I couldn’t find anything about a cure!
Aside from “time/this too shall pass/he’ll grow out of it,” the only resolution that most parents choose is to sleep-train if/when regression hits. However, this didn’t apply to us. A has always been good at putting himself to sleep and staying asleep. We’d also night-weaned.
Boy, was I confused as to what to do–
And so for the first time in my 3.5 months of motherhood, I left it up to the sleep gods, said a quick prayer each night (seriously) and hoped that we would be lucky enough for him to grow out of it (and quickly!)
We still kept up his normal bedtime routine and put him to bed at the same time (7/730) or earlier, even through Daylight Savings Time.
This is what A’s sleep has looked since last Thursday night:
Thursday – down at 730pm, awake at 130am (nursed), awake at 330am (nursed), awake at 530am (nursed)
Friday – down at 730pm, awake at 3am (pacied), awake at 500am (pacied), awake at 7am (nursed) (up for the day)
Saturday – down at 7pm, awake at at 545am (new time, so tech 445am) (nursed)
Sunday – down at 730pm, awake at 4am (pacied), awake at 7am (nursed) (up for the day)
Monday – down at 7pm, awake at 520am (nursed)
Tuesday – down at 7pm, awake at 650am (nursed) (up for the day)
I’ll let you know how the rest of this week goes, but it’s gradually gotten better and back to his normal sleep routine. Let me also add, that during this past week, his naps haven’t been affected by the regression. A’s not a great napper and we’ve never pushed since he sleeps so well at night. Usually takes 1 long nap and several catnaps (30-45 min) throughout the day, most days. The days that aren’t marked with an “up for the day,” usually meant that I nursed him on both sides and made him sleep longer in bed with me (at least until the sun was up).
I don’t have any tricks or secrets. I do know that I’m glad we stuck to our routine and didn’t change his bedtime routine or time. I’m also glad that after the first night of fluke nursing, I was able to use the paci to get him back down to sleep. And it wasn’t just popping in a paci and him magically falling back asleep. It usually took at least five minutes for him to take the paci and sometimes we’d pat/shush him back to lala-land. He wasn’t ever hungry, but more alert and fidgety with his hands. I didn’t want to get stuck in night nursing again and am so grateful that A didn’t let his sleep regression hinder his eating schedule. (5-6 times a day/25-30 oz. daily)
So here’s to hoping that last night’s trend keeps going and we get settled back to our regular sleep schedule.