Friday, 20 July 2012

Sleep regression and the dummy...

Little catch up on baby A's latest exploits in the sleeping department... It appears she's been going through what they call a "4 month sleep regression". After a LOT of googling I can tell you the short hand version is when they are NEW newborn they basically have one stage of asleep and that's ZONKO. Like completely out of it. Like a drunk guy on the last train who goes so far past his stop he ends up in the train docking place. (This happened to a guy at husbands work, true story.) At about 4 months (which really means somewhere between 3-5 months) their sleep starts to develop to like how an adult sleeps, in stages. These stages (there are 7 or 9 or something) going in cycles for about 45-90 minutes. In one of those stages they wake up, like we do. This is the part where we shane position, readjust the pillow, kick partner for snoring etc etc

Why is this bad for babies? Well because babies aren't great at getting themselves back off to sleep. Especially my one. Especially my one who's Mummy is a bit of a one trick pony when it comes to getting her to sleep and that trick is feeding. Team this with the fact that about 4 weeks ago for no conceivable reason (to me) she suddenly started refusing to self settle. It seems she's started doing that thing that kids do up until they become teenagers where they fight the urge to fall asleep. (Perhaps they develop FOMO? Thats fear of missing out for those of you who don't listen to Chris Moyles.)

So I had three main problems:

  1. She needs to be sound asleep before I put her in her cot and even then it usually took a few gos and the longer it takes the more overtired she gets and the lighter she sleeps... vicious circle that leaves me crying on the stairs.
  2. When she wakes up she needs me to come and feed her to get her back off, which means my once sleeping through baby is now "creating feeds".
  3. My incessant need to check things off lists makes me go WHAT?! But you were sleeping through?! No one told me once you get them sleeping through they might start waking again! GAH!!!! I thought I had this checked off!!
Solutions that did NOT work...

  • Pick up put down a la Baby Whisperer (short book review - s'ok, some good theories, little idealistic and unforgiving). This made her HYSTERICAL! In a "why are you toying with my emotions and picking me up and putting me back down again" kinda way.
  • Retreat method, it is what it sounds like. You gradually retreat in stages. She didn't like it in a "if you're RIGHT THERE how am I supposed to sleep? I'd rather have a cuddle thanks" kind way.
  • Controlled crying (controversial I was against it until I spoke to a surprising amount of people who were pro and did ALOT of reading) my rationale was  it's the clearest message. I'm not there so you can't be cuddled. If I thought about her little baby brain being very linear in it's rationale it kind of made sense. Anyway I thought I'd give it a go but I wasn't going to let her get too upset. Ironically it was the least traumatic of the 3. It didn't work but her upset didn't escalate like with the others. She cried but her cry stayed at medium level, like a 5/10 on the cry-ometer.
What DID work?

A dummy.

It did. It's genius and after a lot of thinking and googling about pros and cons on the dummy I'm happy it worked. We're going to be strict, it's only going to be for nighttime. But it's a wonderful comfort for her, she finishes her last feed and I pop it in and she goes in to the cot with out a peep. After the first night and seeing her wonderfully well rested, content, happy and able to nap as she wasn't overtired I am all for it. Happy baby = happy Mummy. 

It's weird because before I had her I was all pro dummy. I had a dummy, my sisters used dummies. People get rid of them successfully. As long as they're managed responsibly children will adapt and give them up. BUT I have to say when faced with actually GIVING it to her I freaked a little. No reason, no new knowledge of the evils of the dummy inspired this. Just simply the fact she was MY baby and MY responsibility made me doubt myself. Like I say though it seems to be the right thing for now and I am making an informed decision. Must ignore crazy Mummy hormones and insecurities and go with the logical.


  1. Knowledge is KING! Read read read and try everything. I don't think any ONE book will work for any ONE person except for the person who wrote it but bits from ten books will. 
  2. Never underestimate this Mummying's ability to make you doubt yourself and that's what Daddy's are for. They're that little voice of reason that helps you to step out of your emotions and make good logical decisions. Use it/them.


  1. Number 2 lesson is so so true. x

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I appreciate, read and reply to all comments, I would LOVE to hear what you think today...


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