4 Months- and a call for a sleeping solution!

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I started this post last week and am finally able to finish it…assuming Little Man doesn’t wake up. Where’s my excellent little sleeper? Have you seen him?  Last week he was back to sleeping 6 hours before needing a snack and returning to sleep. I was blaming his shift in sleep schedule to growing pains. But these last couple of days he’s back to not being able to soothe himself back asleep. And we’re having to rock him to sleep at naptime and at night. It’s rough. He’s also waking up several times at night and wanting to be rocked back to sleep then too. It’s rough!

Putting him to sleep can eat up about 3 or more hours in a day. I’m not sure why he’s struggling so much because he isso tired. And we’re against letting him cry it out so that’s not a method we want to try. We need to find a no-tears sleep solution. If anyone has one please share! We are tired over here! And I miss spending time in the evening with my husband. I feel as though we only get to catch up on the weekends because our son’s bed-time routine eats up our evenings.

We are quite torn on whether we should get him to sleep earlier. Right now we start his routine around 8 and he’s not asleep until right before or a wee bit after 9. IF we put him down at 7 it wouldn’t leave much time for my husband to visit with Ollie before he goes to bed. So yeah, we are stumped. We are still hoping he’s suffering from growing pains and will go back to the ace sleeper he use to be. Wishful thinking?

So milestones and firsts…

Leading up to his 4 month birthday, he found his toes. He’s been sucking on them ever since. Cutest thing ever!

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Tummy time has become old hat and he’s killing it. He no longer cries when he’s put on his tummy.

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He is loving his reflection. He loves looking at himself during bath-time and when we sit in front of the closet mirror in his room.

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We went on our first official trail walk. California is FULL of trails and I’ve decided we need to hit most of the ones near us. On this particular day we went to Sawyer Camp Trail.

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We think his hair has finally stopped falling off and is starting to grow back. Yay! (I’m happy to say I think the same for myself. Phew.)

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Other things: he’s chatting a lot more. Making different sounds and squealing at times. He’s also becoming quite the drooling monster.

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Also he’s a hair and earring grabber. Ow!

He’s still loving his jumparoo and all his toys, especially Petey the Pirate (a rattle) and Sophie the Giraffe.

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Overall our son is quite the happy smiley baby. I just hope he can learn to go to sleep soon because he might become a crabby one. Hopefully not. I’m sure this sleeplessness is a stage and will surely end (right? right?!). We just want to help him now rather than let him suffer from tiredness. So yeah, any tips on how to help him self-sooth to sleep would be great!

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10 thoughts on “4 Months- and a call for a sleeping solution!

  1. Great pics! I can’t offer any helpful advice about the sleeping issue, but I can commiserate as we are going through almost the same thing 😦 Nights have been rough as he suddenly is sleeping only abt 3 hours at a time–and to get him to go to sleep, he just fights and fights it (at nap time and bedtime, but not in the middle of the night). I’m hoping it is a developmental thing and that someday soon they’ll be sleeping for longer stretches. Like you, we don’t do the crying out thing. I might be tempted if he were a year old and still doing this, but I have to think these sleeping stretches will get longer over the next month.
    Take care of yourself as best you can and drink plenty of water 🙂

    • All parenting issues are like this. Once you think you have it cracked everything changes again. I do not think any parents have not had sleep issues just some remember them better than others. I hope he settles again soon.

    • Thank you! It really helps to know we’re not the only ones going through this. And the water advice is a great reminder. I’ve been falling behind on that lately!

      Hope things get better for us both!

  2. Okay, so what I have to say is probably not what you want to hear, but (1) You should probably consider an earlier bedtime — 9 pm is pretty late for an infant, and (2) If you want a full night sleep before he goes to preschool, he’s going to have to learn how to self-soothe and if you rush to him as soon as he starts fussing and then rock or nurse him to sleep every single time, he won’t learn — why would he?

    First, on the bedtime. There is study after study after study showing that putting babies to bed earlier makes them sleep deeper, better and longer. If I want my kids to sleep in a bit later in the morning, I put them to bed earlier, not later. And it works. My kids (2 and 4) go to bed by 8pm. The goal is 7:30 for the 2-year-old and 7:45-8 for the 4-year old. We start baths and our bedtime routine at 6:45. When they were infants, we started at 5:45 and had them in bed by about 7:15. They slept 11-12 hours at night and then 3-5 hours during the day (in either 1 or 2 naps depending on their age). Move bedtime back in gradual increments — babies don’t do well with sudden change. Start your bedtime routine at 7:45 instead of 8 for a few days, then 7:30, then 7:15, etc. until you get where you want to be.

    Since I am also a full-time working parent, I totally get that your husband will really miss getting to spend some time with Ollie after he gets home from work. BUT, there are things you can do to mitigate that. Have the hubby do the bedtime routine if he doesn’t already (everything up to the nursing that is) — he can give him his bath, get him jammies on, read a story, etc. That’s a great time to be “his” time. And it would free up an hour for you to do other things, whether it’s sew, blog, bake,or just sit down and have a cup of tea in peace. Have him take over more of the morning routine if he can, but I understand that this may not be possible if he has to be out the door earlier. Also, he can have more quality time with Ollie on the weekends. As mothers, it’s so easy for us just to take over and DO everything, but our husbands really are capable of taking care of these babies, and it’s good for all of us when they do. Maybe on Saturdays or something you can leave a bottle and get out of the house for a few hours by yourself and leave the boys alone.

    Now on the self-soothing. I am not an advocate for a harsh cry-it-out method. It breaks every mother’s heart, including mine, to hear their baby cry at bedtime. But I would probably shoot myself in the face if I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for two years, particularly since my kids are each 2 years apart, which means I wouldn’t sleep for 6 years.

    First, I would recommend asking your pediatrician for his/her suggestion. I reached the end of my sleep-deprived rope around 4 months and asked our pediatrician for recommendations on this exact topic. I love our pediatrician — he’s not much older than us and has 5 kids, so he definitely has some experience in this area. He basically told us what every infant sleep study shows, which is that self-soothing is a learned technique, by 4 months most babies are capable of learning, by 6 months, all babies are fully capable of learning (unless they have an actual medical condition that interferes with sleep, which is very, very rare), and once baby is over 12 pounds, they no longer have any physical need for nutrition at night, including breastfed babies. It’s a crutch, nothing more. So if you want a full night’s sleep, you can get one.

    What he recommended, and what I did at around 4.5 months, was to put them down sleepy but awake and not rush in the room at the first sign of fussing. I let them fuss for about 5 minutes (I set a timer because 5 minutes feels like forever in that situation). Then I would go in, soothe them, then leave, let them fuss for 5 minutes, etc. It took about 3 nights of them fussing for a total of 15-20 minutes before they learned and from that point forward, they put themselves to sleep every night and slept soundly until 6 the next morning.

    I understand that some parents don’t want to hear even that (what I would consider) small amount of fussing, but I was tired of feeling like a zombie walking around in a sleep-deprived fog rather than a human being. And I was a better mother, wife, and lawyer for it. It didn’t make my children fear bedtime, like Dr. Sears would warn, to the contrary they are excellent sleepers. And I still get lots of cuddle time with them during the day, even now. But I am now coherent and rested rather than resentful of children who wake me up at night and a husband who seems to sleep through everything.

    Anyway that’s what worked for us. It’s worked for everyone I know who has tried it, and is generally supported by the medical and scientific community. Hope you find what works for you — sleep deprivation is no fun. (And sorry for the very long comment!)

    • Thank you for taking the time to give me a such a thorough answer. I have another friend who basically told me the same thing.

      Last night we agreed he needs to start going to bed earlier. My husband puts him to bed so he’s okay with. A bit sad but understands we need to start done changes since Ollie isn’t sleeping as well as he used to.

      All the parents who have let their babies fussed before bedtime seem to have well-rested babies. It’s something to consider.

      Thanks so much!

  3. Ohhh I so envy your sleeping issues. I know, I know, to each of us OUR situation is unique. My baby has JUST NOW started sleeping in somewhat long stretches. Sme nights. Last night she went to bed for good at 4:00 am (bedtime was 8pm, but at 12 she decided it was playtime). We’ve had a night owl no matter what we do. Lights off, no talking/whisper (we co-sleep) Her first four months have been brutal. Countless nights she hasn’t settled down until daylight. I don’t mind nursing many times through the night as long as she goes back to sleep! So, I have no wisdom, just empathy! I’ve heard of the book “the no-cry sleep solution” but haven’t read it. The most useful advice I’ve received is “hand in there! It doesn’t last forever!”

    • I feel for you! Man. I any sleep issue is a bad one. That’s for certain! I’m currently reading “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.” I just started tracking his naps and tonight I’ll start tracking his night-time sleep. Soon enough we’ll be starting on actually applying the solutions to the problems. I’ll definitely let you know if it’s worth reading.

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