When you are pregnant/having a baby you know you’re going to be tired at the beginning. You expect it. So when Liv came and was eating every 2 1/2-3 hours during the day and (eventually) 3-4 hours during the night, Danny and I were like this isn’t so bad. She would get up to eat and be back to sleeping within the hour. Dare, I say it felt easy. Easy probably because we expected it to happen like this. And easy because she rarely cried.
She did get fussy around 4:30-5 pm but Danny would come home and give her the special Daddy rock and get her to go down. It wasn’t bad. (Note: Happiest Baby on the Block and the 5 S’s are AMAZING.) We were blessed with a baby that wasn’t colicky and didn’t cry too much besides when she was hungry.
I distinctly remember one night that she cried for over an hour. We couldn’t get her to stop. Nothing was wrong, at least that we could figure out. We ended up giving her gripe water and blasting Enya. We all fell asleep on our bed in our clothes from the day. That was the only time that happened and we were/are SO grateful.
Fast forward…. Olivia is over 3.5 months (16.5 weeks today) and guess what….she’s sleeping WORSE than ever! Last night she got up EVERY HOUR. I’m not telling you this because I want you to feel bad for me…I’m telling you this because NO ONE ever tells you that at 3-4 months can typically be the worst sleep of your baby’s short life. I think it’s worse because if your baby was previously sleeping through the night or at least for 3-4 hour stretches you don’t expect it. AND/OR you never expected to STILL not be sleeping at 3-4 months. We are getting worse sleep than when she was a tiny newborn.
So what is going on? Well, first…really who knows. We are all so fast to want to blame something. Growth spurt, wonder week, teething, gas, etc. I admit I do the same. I’ve read up on the 4 month sleep regression because I had seen so many people mention it on twitter. I kind of knew it was coming, but since at 3 months Liv was only sleeping 4 hour stretches I didn’t think it could get much worse. Well, guess what IT DID. (At 13-14 weeks she had a couple of 6 hour stretches and we were rejoicing! That didn’t last long.)
At around 4 months babies can (not all will!) go through what’s called a sleep regression. It’s also called 4 month wakeful period. There are many different names/thoughts around this. It also comes around a wonder week. I’ve read your baby can start to get fussy around 15 weeks, it peaks at 17 and then gets better, with new milestones/developments happening by 19 weeks. It seems as if we have a textbook baby because right at 15 weeks she started getting fussy. It wasn’t too bad though, her sleep was worse every 3rd night I’d say. Now we are just past week 16 and it’s bad. I’m hoping next week will be better. I’ve read this blog post about a million times to make me feel better and give me hope she will sleep better one day.
Liv has many of these signs that she talks about. SUPER clingy. Needs a lot more attention (You may laugh at this because obviously all babies need attention, but typically she’s good to play on her play/activity mat or on her bobby lounger but she had a couple days so far where she would NOT even be put down.) She also has her hands constantly in her mouth, is not eating quite as much (although not very drastic so far) and would rather be eating her hands than talking.
Danny and I are both so tired, but I just keep telling myself this is a phase and she’ll move past it soon. This stretch is a LONG one. I’ve read that and I’ve heard that from a lot of moms. I’m hoping we’re almost halfway through it. It DOES help a lot to know that you’re not alone and most babies go through this (a simple google search will show you like this blog post here!) Once again I’ll vouch for the importance of mom friends so you can tell each other how tired you are.
I hope if you are going through this/are about to head into the time period or just came from it this helps. I know there are no answers but I just wanted to put it out there in case maybe one mom hasn’t read about this time period and wasn’t sure what to expect or was questioning why her baby isn’t sleeping anymore. To read more about Wonder Weeks check out this guide or this mom’s blog. You could buy the book too, but I don’t feel like there is much you can do. My plan is to just know it’s coming and give Olivia lots of extra love and snuggles.
This morning Liv woke up at 4:40. She was just chatting away so I left her for about 10 minutes before I went in. I was so annoyed to be awake (AGAIN). I put on a long sleeve shirt and was grumpily walking into her room. As soon as I turned the light on she started smiling and laughing. Instantly I wasn’t annoyed anymore and was laughing along with her. Amazing how that happens. <3
I’ll keep you updated on what’s going on. I can report though that her naps today went well and were 40 minutes and then two 1.5 hour naps.
Here are things we’ve tried since then…