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Sleep regression?

  1. #1
    CFM
    CFM is offline Registered User
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    Sleep regression?

    Hi folks,
    Am grateful for any advice and help you can offer about this....
    My baby is almost 5 months old (born at 37 weeks and only 2.2kg) and is exclusively breastfed. She is doing well, gaining weight (now at approx 6.6kg) and is a very contented, happy baby who rarely cries, if at all.
    Since newborn she has been a brilliant sleeper - even at her worst we consistently got 5-6 hours after putting her to bed at night. However, for the last 3 weeks our night time sleep has gone to pot! We have a solid bedtime routine (bath, massage, feed, story, bed) and she puts herself to sleep usually within 5 minutes of being put in her cot. I do not stay with her - she is able to put herself to sleep fine. She used to sleep for 7-8 hours, wake for a feed then straight to sleep again for another 4-6 hours. Now she is waking (and crying) every 3 - 4 hours (sometimes 2 and 1/2). She feeds well at each waking and goes straight back to sleep each time.
    Initially I put it down to a growth spurt but now it is going on 3 weeks and this new pattern seems to be 'routine' which scares me a bit! I have read a bit about sleep regression but not really sure if this is what is happening...? Can a growth spurt go this long? Also, is it possibly linked to motor skill development? She learned to roll over about 4 weeks ago but can only go from back to front and not back again. She is desperate to crawl and seems frustrated that she is not yet mobile!
    Anyway - just wondering what you all think - am I allowing her to learn bad habits by feeding her at night or should I just hang in there and know that my great night sleeper will return one day?!
    I would LOVE any help - thanks!

  2. #2
    bloominginHK is offline Registered User
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    It could be a growth spurt, it could be her development, could be teething. Has your daily routine changed at all? It could also be that they're ready for solids. My youngest two were great sleepers from the beginning and then around 4/5 months starting waking again. It wasn't until I started them on solids that they went back to their normal sleeping patterns. My two were big babies though, 4.5/4.3k to start.

    I personally don't think a growth spurt would last that long, though if they are teething, it could take awhile (dealing with that at the moment with my youngest) but you're right that you don't want to start habits.

    If you are afraid it's habit, you could try giving her a few minutes to cry it out and settle on her own.. I actually just did this last night with my daughter and she settled in just a few minutes and went back to sleep but our routine has been a bit off in the past few days. If she continues to cry, I wouldn't hesitate to feed her though.

    I wish I could be more helpful but all babies are different. Things you might want to ask yourself are... Has your daily routine changed? Is she chewing on everything and drooling (signs of teething)? Is she actually eating at night or soothing herself back to sleep? Is she watching you eat, sitting up? (possible signs of being ready for solids) I started my daughter on solids around 4 months. She wasn't sitting up but she was grabbing at my food and waking every 2/3 hours after she had been sleeping through the night for at least 2 months. Though I know there's a lot of views on when to start solids, this was the only thing that changed her sleeping habits... and trust me I tried it all!

    Hope you are able to get some rest... I know it's difficult running on interrupted sleep!

  3. #3
    CFM
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    Thanks Bloominginhk, lots to think about! There has not been any routine change...infact the opposite - I'm trying to keep it really consistent! I have considered teething as there is a lot of drooling and hand chomping lately. Last night she woke at 9.20, after last feed at 6.10 and out like a light by 6.30. I left her for a bit and she was trying to self-soothe by sucking fingers, wrist etc but not working. I comforted her but decided against feeding. She was working really hard to self-soothe but it wasn't working for her, so I really wonder if it is teeth. It took until 10pm for her to be fully settled and back to sleep. I picked her up and cuddled twice in that time frame. There were some bouts of crying, but mostly more of what I would describe as sleep moaning. (which is why I didn't feed) Lots of shhh-ing, head rubbing, gentle talking and eventually I just did some shushing from bed and she did drift off. She woke again at 12.30 at which time I fed her, straight back to sleep adn then awake again at 3.30. I fed her again and straight back to sleep. Nappy change at 7am but no feed, then back to sleep until 8.15 when she was awake and hungry! Perhaps I should not have fed her at 3.30.....but it is so hard to know what is right when you are half asleep!
    I really wonder now if it is teething and she just has trouble re-settling herself after 3-4 sleep cycles.
    Will try helping her settle again tonight and see what happens!
    Anyone else with advice???

  4. #4
    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    I'm not sure but it sounds like baby has gotten herself into a pattern and is using comfort feeding to settle again. My boy did that and it wasn't until I stopped breastfeeding at 1 year old that he started sleeping through the night. I think once she is a bit older and you are sure that she is eating enough during the day (they say around 6 months old) you can start to feed her water at night when she wakes instead of milk so she isn't relying on the breast to soothe her back to sleep. That's just my 2 cents worth. Good luck! :)

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