Just when I thought we had the whole sleeping thing down, Gemma hit what I’ve come to learn is the four month sleep regression. You can read my original nap time post here.
At around three and a half months Gemma started sleeping through the night. She would wake up once every few days, but only for her pacifier or to be turned onto her back again. It was amazing. Then, all of the sudden, she would wake up every night between 12am-2:30am and cry until she was fed and rocked back to sleep. She started fighting her naps, taking only a few a day and usually for no longer than thirty minutes!
Get the wabbunub pacifier > here.
It’s not forever.
The biggest thing I had to cling to in the past month is the truth that this will not last forever. Gemma was hitting a growth spurt (physically and mentally) and she was in the beginning stages of teething (which, sadly, she is still going through). So every late night waking and every missed nap I held on to that truth. These days will soon be behind me and I know that I will miss the cuddles and the sleepy milk grins. Some days when I really felt the lack of sleep or when Gemma was fussy and refusing sleep, I would just do what I needed to do. I’d give her another bottle to soothe her to sleep or let her cuddle with me in bed.
Invest in a Sound Machine.
There’s been a huge difference in her sleep since we got the sound machine. It did not magically make everything better, but it helps her sleep longer. I don’t have to flinch at every little sound, praying it won’t wake her up. Instead, I use the machine every nap and through the night. I feel like it helps get her ready for sleep and blocks out any noises that might wake her up. A good sound machine >> here. (Similar to ours).
Try a Routine.
Okay, this is thin lines. I’m a big advocate for a strong routine. Babies (in my opinion) do much better with structure. We all do, in a way. However, I think you also need to be flexible because our little one’s don’t always follow the routine down to the minute! I always try and put Gemma down for her nap after she’s been awake for two hours. Sometimes I am successful. Other times, I am not. But I still try. I also push for the same 7:30 bedtime.
Lolli Living Crib Sheets can be found >> here.
I try to be as consistent as possible. When Gemma wakes up in the middle of the night crying I go into her room and put her on her back, stroke her face and give her the pacifier. Then I turn around and walk out. If she cries again, I repeat everything but add some soft shushing, and usually stay a little longer. If she still continues crying, I get a bottle (she’s still young enough to need to eat during the night) and rock her silently while I feed her.
I never waver through that routine. Some nights she goes back to sleep immediately. Other nights I have to give her a bottle and rock her back to sleep. It just depends.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
The one thing I’ve really learned is to not beat myself up. Sleep regression is a very real and very difficult thing. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do! I have spent many of Gemma’s naps cuddling her in my own bed because it was the only way she’d fall asleep. I never planned to let that happen, but somedays it was the only thing I felt I could do.
Gemma jumped from her four month sleep regression right into teething so we’re still struggling with sleep. (I feel I should clarify this is a struggle for US. Gemma has and still is a great sleeper compared to most babies!). However, we’re moving along and I am growing in patience and gentleness.
Do you have any other sleep tips? Leave them in the comments!