Wednesday, March 23, 2011

two steps back. or, twenty steps back. whatever. i haven't slept.

Sleep has become a rare commodity in our house these days.

About three weeks ago, Baby Girl started waking up more often during the night.  She had been sleeping from 10:30pm or so until 5-6am very regularly, and I figured her wake-ups came from the fact that we started putting her to bed about 8pm.  Surely, I told myself, she is adjusting to this new schedule and will get back on track soon.



The apex of the whole sleep-thing (well, the first apex anyway) came on March 11, when we took her with us on an overnight and she did not sleep more than 45 minutes at a time all. night. long.  Given that she never even did that as a newborn, it threw us off entirely.  (Those of you who have been dealing with this kind of broken sleep all along: feel free to laugh at my complaining about one bad night.  Spectacularly bad, and the night before I had to spend all day teaching 30 junior high kids, but still.)  Since then, she's been waking up at least twice during the night: around 2am, again around 4am, and then back to sleep until 5:30 or 6am.

This. Will. Not. Do.

(I know.  Insert laugh here.)

Last night, she would not go to sleep.  We did everything we usually do: we put on pj's, nursed, read books, bounced on the ball, shhh'ed and sang songs.  We did this for nearly two hours - it usually takes no more than 30 minutes.  She was finally asleep about 9:30pm, and then up at 11:00pm. And 1:00am.  And 2:00am.  And then 5:30am.  (Woo hoo!  Three hours!)  Now she's down for a "nap," which lasts about 20 minutes.

Today's parenting theme around here: WTF?

In my frantic online research, I finally found a site I like.  It suggests that most kids go through a sleep regression at 4 months old.  That there's so much development in their little brains, they simply can't settle down for sleep.  That they'll get over it.  Eventually.  That it's not my fault - the one time I held her for a nap, or nursed her to sleep out of desperation, or let her cry it out for awhile because I did not know what else to do - all those things have not ruined my child forever and ever and ever amen.

Thank heavens.

I had more to say, but it's been twenty minutes. And she's up. Again.


This too shall pass.



  1. It will pass, but it will feel like hell until then. I'm sorry. I think as soon as you feel confident, as soon as you think you have something figured out, as soon as you brag to another that your child does *insert amazing thing here*, well then everything changes. That's my experience, anyway.

    And I totally feel you sleepy pain. IT is awful to feel so tired, and deal with a fussy baby all night. Truly one of the toughest things in my life. But it will pass. Hang in there!!

  2. Ummm...are you in my house right now? I am going through the EXACT SAME thing with my 4 month old right now. Exact same even down to an overnight we did on the 12th which lead to 45 minute wake up calls. Maybe I shall copy and paste your post on my'll save me time inbetween these 30 minute cat naps.

  3. We went through something similar. Our had to do with the onset of teething (yes, at 4 months).

    Whatever the reason - so sorry you are knackered and wiped and stressed. Wishing you much sleep and many quiet nights.

  4. I will add my 2 cents - yes this will pass. . .and then it will return in some form. Sleep is a war for the first 2 years. . . .you win some battles, but there is always another right around the corner. BUT, it will pass and you will adjust. Promise. My daughter has just recently 'let us' lay her down awake and she is out in about 2 seconds. . . she is 18 months. . . my son who is almost 3 still requires a 20 minute routine of reading, singing, prayers, and 'threats'/bribes to not get out of bed. . . and he gets a prize for staying in bed all night for 2 nights in a row. . . .so yes, I feel you.

  5. Oh, man. This just sounds rough! Thinking good thoughts for progress.

  6. I'm beginning to think I don't need to blog (which is good, because I haven't for a long time), because you're writing exactly what we're going through. Hazel stopped sleeping well at right about the exact same time - a few weeks before 4 months. I thought it was because she was sick at the time, but then I found AskMoxie, too, and now I'm pretty sure it's a combination of 4 month sleep regression plus being sick.

    This too shall pass. That's what gets me through it.

  7. Ah, the sleep monster. Wes seems to experience a sleep regression every few weeks. We'll get into a good rhythm (and by good I mean 2-3 wakings per night) then just when I feel like I can cope and things are going well, all hell breaks loose and we'll get a week or two of 5-6 wakings per night. I just hope all these experienced parents are right and it really will get better one day!

  8. Sleep is a continuous rollercoaster ride around our house. Some nights we do good, then we do terrible. Just when I think we've got a pattern down that I can live with, she changes it all! So, I don't have any good advice to offer, but know that you aren't the only one pulling your hair out in the middle of the night trying to figure out what you're doing wrong... :)

  9. Yes. It will pass. Eventually. And you'll adjust. Sooner.

    And I did laugh. Sleep has just gotten better for us... at 2 years. Sorry.

    But it was never good. So... oh well.

  10. Hey there, I've followed on and off. My son, Jackson, did this at around 4 months too. We had to employ some sleep training, but by 5 months, he was sleeping through the night and really hasn't stopped yet - he's 7 months now. He has a night here and there when we wakes up crying, but we just go in and calm him and he's back down again. Of course, then we had our second baby and she is an AWFUL sleeper so far, so it's not like I am benefitting from all this newfound sleep on Jackson's part, lol! Good luck, it DOES get better. Especially if she was a great sleeper before.

  11. Sleep is so frigging hard. Kate slept great for months (cosleeping) but I'm paying for it now with some very rough months. People keep saying it gets better, but I consider a night of only 3 wake-ups to be a goodnight. I'm sorry the 4 month regression is being such a bitch to you. It's not your fault!