Sleep(suit) Regression

Yup. I’m back with more sleep issues. It is sad that I yearn for the days of newborn sleep, but it is true. I’m mean not brand newborn, as she was eating every 3 hours at night. But by 6 weeks Muppet was sleeping 6-7 hours at night! That went on for a blissful 10 weeks. Now I miss it dearly.

The Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit worked…at first. For about a week we went back to 5 hours of sleep and I was so sure we were and the beginning of sleeping through the night. Then everything went back to how it was before the sleep suit. She is waking every 1-2 hours, by moving her arms around and pawing at her face. The only thing to get her to go back to sleep is to put the binky in her mouth. Something I hate doing because I don’t want her to feel like she has to have a binky to sleep. That would be another sort of nightmare. J took the night shift last night because after 4 days of this new schedule I was dead on my feet. Yet here I am, early in the morning, with Muppet by my side, far earlier than she should be up.

So I don’t know what to do. He thinks the suit isn’t working anymore and that we should go back to swaddling. I think that won’t help as she was wiggling with the swaddle as well and she has to get used to controlling her arm movements eventually. Part of me wonders if this is 4 month sleep regression hitting a bit late (she is 20 weeks). I’m also questioning if I am putting her to bed too late. I usually put her down around 9pm. I don’t know now, though, if I should be trying for earlier and maybe she is over-tired. But her last nap is at 5pm and usually lasts a few hours…

So now the question is…what do I do from here? Do I sleep train? Do I wait it out? Do I stick with the sleep suit? I just don’t know anymore. Anyone with any insight will be loved forever.

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18 Comments

Filed under Baby Girl, Growing Up, Just my luck, Motherhood, Sleep training, Stay At Home Mom

18 responses to “Sleep(suit) Regression

  1. Mary

    I would put her down for the night earlier. If she’s sleeping for “a few hours” starting at five pm and then she’s waking every couple of hours overnight, I think the schedule might need some adjustments. I think I’d make the goal to stop the last nap between five forty-five and six thirty and then try for bed around seven or seven thirty.

    Or is there something you’re doing very differently at five pm vs. nine pm? How much sleep is she getting total in a day?

    • I’m thinking I’m gonna shoot for 8 tonight and then hopefully move it up to 7 or 7:30 within the week. She has been sleeping from 5-7 in the evenings but I could probably get her to nap around 4:30 instead and maybe wake her by 6 at the latest.

      She has been getting between 14 -15 hours a day of sleep, but this is of course with the frequent night wakings.

  2. She-beat is sick, resulting in a very rough night for her and the adults last night (He-beat had a great night so he’s the only one who’s happy at the moment). Hence I feel your pain.

    I was also going to suggest putting her to sleep an hour earlier. That last nap may not be needed if you transition into bed for the night. As far as the arm flaying, it’s something she’s going to have to learn to self-soothe with. He-beat still wakes himself up by kicking his feet in the middle of the night, but he’s learned how to soothe himself back to sleep so we rarely need to intervene. I’d recommend doing some research in sleep training and pick something you and J are comfortable following.

    Thinking of you and wishing you a fast resolution.

    • Thanks sweetie. I’m going to try for 8 tonight and go from there. I also adjusted her naps so hopefully she won’t be sleeping quite as long during the day. I’m definitely not ready to give up on the sleep suit. Swaddling her again would be a big step backwards.

      I hope little miss feels better soon!

  3. I wanted to add that my girl twin had a NASTY 4 month regression that lasted 5 weeks unfortunately. And I knew that’s what it was when I tried EVERYTHING to get her to sleep, and nothing worked. She was crying in my arms, crying out of my arms, just fussy no matter what. We too used our sleepsuit and then stopped using it again when nothing worked. But it’s not because the suit isn’t good – it’s because she was going through the regression and there was nothing you could do. I agree on moving bedtime earlier, and checking out the “Teaching your baby and toddler to sleep” board on babycenter.com, which is where I learned how to make my babies’ schedule and how to sleep train.

    If Muppet is going through her regression, you can’t sleep train right now because she just has to work through it. But you’ll know it’s ending when all of a sudden, she’s a little calmer, or a little less fidgety, or in our case, my daughter stopped screaming bloody murder 24/7. THEN it’s time to sleep train.

    And when we sleep trained at 23.5 weeks, we ditched the swaddle for good and I put her back into the sleep suit, which she now loves.

    I do recommend some form of sleep training, but the most important part in my opinion is to do it when she’s ready. If something else WORKS right now, like you rocking her for example, then she might not be ready yet and you just have to hold on until it’s over. But if NOTHING keeps her sleeping, it might be time.

    As for what form – you definitely need to do what makes you feel comfortable. And then take cues from Muppet. CIO with extinction (not going in to comfort at all) wasn’t for me. And it wasn’t for my daughter because she is comforted by my presence, not the other way around. So we did CIO with checks – and the longest she cried was the first night, for about a half hour. And that wasn’t straight – I went in every few minutes to shush her, put the paci back in, calm her down. It worked. And there are many other ways as well.

    So try to really analyze her nights and wakeups – what does work, if anything? Then visit that board, I swear, the experts on there work miracles!

    • Thank you so much for this post. It really helped. I’m going to push forward with the sleep suit, move her bedtime up a bit and checkout that board. I feel like this is just something to power through but it helps to know that others have gone through it and come out on the right side!

  4. Mo

    It could very well be sleep regression, but it could be a dozen other things. Teething, overstimulation, under stimulation.
    I think you should start by not stressing too much about the binky. It’s not the end of the world if she needs it to fall alseep. It’s ok to try to get her to stop with the binky at a later date. One thing at a time.
    I agree that maybe playing around with the schedule helps. Bunny is a bit of a night owl. She sleeps best when we start the night routine at 8pm, and she easily sleeps until 7:30-8am with a dream feed. Any earlier and she wakes up a dozen times during the night. And I’m sure things will change once we put her in day care and her day routine changes. There’s no “right” way. Each baby has their own sleep pattern. The best way is trial and error until you find what works best. Maybe she’s napping too much during the day? Not enough? Maybe she’s not getting enough activity during the day? Too much? Just play around with things for a while until you settle on something that works.
    (But I would stick to the sleep suit for now. Again – one thing at a time 🙂 )
    Good luck!

  5. A&L are only 16 weeks so I’m no expert. From my short time as a mom, I think a nap that late that lasts a few hours is too close to bed time. It probably seems like part of nighttime sleep. A&L do sometimes nap around 4, but only for about an hour. If they sleep for two, I wake them up. We get ready for bed by 8. L usually wakes around 1-2am. Then they both are up at 5. Hubby and I go to bed around the same time as them to maximize our own sleep. It doesn’t make for a fun adult life, but it’s working for now. I hope you get something figured out. I’d be so exhausted waking every 1-2 hours. Maybe try a larger swaddle blanket that she cannot get out of? Do those exist? Lol

    • Shortening her naps is a good idea, I’ve been doing that today so we will see how it effects her sleep tonight. All I can say is bless you, I can’t imagine doing this with 2!

  6. Glad to read that others have suggestions for you. I don’t, but wanted to let you know I’m right in it with you! 5-month old baby B is having a wicked regression currently. We’ve got a sleep doula coming to work with us in a couple of weeks. I’ll be sure to pass on any helpful strategies!

    Good luck, mama. I’ll be thinking of you tonight at 2:00 AM, then 3:00 AM, then 4:00 AM…:)

    • Yes please let me know how it goes! I’m willing to try anything if it could possibly help! I’ll be sending patient vibes your way tonight if you send them to me 😉

  7. I concur with an earlier bedtime. I think around 4 months we moved ours to 7-730. On a 3 nap schedule they napped about 9-1030, 1-2 and a cat nap from 4-430 or so. We use pacis for sleep and it’s not my favorite but I figure there are worse things.

  8. Noemi

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but haven’t commented before. However, after IF, i have 2 little ones at home so i thought i’d offer what i did. My first nursed/fed/woke-up every 2 hours until we sleep trained her at 9mo. My second we sleep trained at 6mo. They were both swaddled until we trained. So my 9mo old required a large blanket for the swaddle. I recommened aden & anais. The eldest slept through the night the first night of training. The little one took longer. Find a method that works for you because you have to feel comfortable. The 4 mo sleep regression messed with the little ones good sleep. She was sleeping 6 hr stretches and they became 2-4 hr stretches. That continued until we sleep trained. I highly recommened “healthy sleep habits, happy child” best book on sleep out of the dozen or so i read. I didnt use his method because i found it too harsh for me but inappreciated the knowledge he shares about infant sleep. Your little one may be ready to ditch the evening map for early bedtime or she may not be. My girls where usually in bed around 6. They both at 3 yrs and 18mo sleep through the night. Swaddle and use the binky or suit until you want. The main thing is that you/she get some sleep so the days are easier. This is coming from a mom who was VERy sleep deprived. I waited to train because i thought they were too little and I was not comfortable. It does get better. I promise.

  9. lara

    I also love the book “healthy sleep habits, happy child”. It’s an easy read, because you can skip to the section that deals with a specific age or specific issue. Consistent with this book, I think an earlier bed time may be in order. My little one slept great from 6 weeks to 6 months – and then woke to eat twice a night from 6 months to over a year! Hang in there.

  10. I highly recommend ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ too. I still consult it for my twins who just hit 8 months yesterday. Also, I’m quite familiar with the night waking for the binky. Both my babies went through that stage. It lasted for a long time…maybe 7 months with my son. My daughter was much easier and didn’t need her binky as much . I too didn’t want either of them to feel like they needed the binky to fall asleep so we tried sleep training to wean them off. And it just didn’t work. They would cry and cry for hours at a time at night. They wouldn’t stop and fall asleep from exhaustion or anything else so we consulted our pediatrician. She said they just weren’t ready yet, so we will try again when they are older. They still fall asleep with them in their mouths but they don’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore if they lose them. Such a great feeling — it will get easier for you too, it might just take some time. 🙂

  11. I had a similar situation with my son around his fourth month. I swaddled him and he slept really well all through the night. Then all of the sudden he started waking up multiple times during the night acting like he is trying to get comfortable or escape the swaddle or roll over. I am a first time mom so I had no idea what to do. In doing research I notice that someone recommended a Zipadee-zip to transition their baby out of swaddling. I did more research and realized that my child had simply outgrown his swaddle. I thought it was some thing more dramatic and serious. I hope this helps!

  12. swaddle transition suits works great! They are essentially a wearable blanket. I too bought mine from SleepingBaby.com they make the Zipadee-Zip 🙂 It brought about a significant change for my little child. Basically its helped bring consistency to her sleep cycles.

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