To die: to sleep; No more

Charlotte has been going through her fourth month sleep regression for the past three weeks. She has not slept more than three hours in a row since then; usually her longest sleep time is two and a half hours. To give you an idea of what this looks like, take last night as a sample:

6:30  –  E returns home.
7:15  –  Bathtime.
7:30  –  New diaper and PJs.
7:35  –  One last go at the boob.
7:50  –  E takes over to put her to bed.
8:45  –  She goes to sleep and stays asleep.
11:30-12:00  –  First night waking.
1:30-3:00  –  Second night waking. I try to put her down 3 times unsuccessfully. E takes over when my sobs wake him up.
4:20-4:40  –  Third night waking.
5:40  –  Fourth night waking. I take her directly into bed with me and try to fall asleep with her at the boob.
5:40-7:30  –  Fifth through ??? night wakings. She wakes up, eats, and falls back asleep 3-4 times.
7:30  –  She wakes up for the day, a supremely cheerful and darling baby!

Before this regression, she slept in her crib in our room. About two weeks into it, E attached the crib to the side of our bed to make a co-sleeper so I could just roll over and feed and comfort her back to sleep. I hate having her literally in the bed with us because we’re both relatively big people, not terribly still sleepers, and we have multiple blankets and pillows. It seems hazardous, and I am rarely able to sleep with her there.

We hope this phase will end soon. For the first time, I find myself becoming angry with her: a horrible feeling. The sleeplessness is attributed by various doctors to the mental strain of developmental advances. She has been making great leaps forward in hand-eye coordination, rolling, sitting, and general playfulness. She is a lot of fun to play with! I don’t cry most nights, but it seems like things are getting worse rather than better. It can be frustrating to read about other people’s babies that sleep well when our own does not. We’ve tried all the standard and intuitive practices for getting babies to sleep so I think at this point we just have to wait it out.

To sleep, perchance to dream? For now, we can but dream of sleep.

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~ by themeansister on April 15, 2011.

9 Responses to “To die: to sleep; No more”

  1. Mary never slept more than 2 hours straight (day or night) until 7 months, when I (like you described) because angry at her an desperate for sleep. She still doesn’t sleep through the night (at almost 16 months) and we have tried her in our bed, her crib in our room, her crib in her room, and none have proven for perfect sleeping. So we gave up looking for her to sleep through the night and keep telling ourselves that it will end sometime. Meanwhile, we both delight in those quiet, late-night cuddles. I wish there was a perfect answer.

  2. I wish so, too. It is a comfort to know we aren’t the only ones, and it’s probably good to keep your experiences with Mary in mind when a lot of the literature and other people’s stories are that it will get better much sooner. I don’t WANT it to go on for months and months, but if it’s going to, I don’t want to expect it to end sooner! Having the right expectations is more than half the battle. Thanks for your comment.

    I’m still shooting for a labor story eventually. Eventually. 🙂

  3. I’m so sorry–that’s frustrating and exhausting and takes away from the babymoon considerably. If it’s an consolation–you know what horrible sleepers our children were, and now, they sleep fine! Someday it will pass, but then you’ll have another baby 🙂

  4. There are moments when we think, “Maybe one baby is enough for us…” Actually, the first two months went something like that, but now that she is older, it definitely seems more doable. That is a consolation! I remember sharing a hotel room with you guys and Carver (Crabber, you called him – sometimes I steal that name for Charlotte) – I was amazed at how hard it was, and that was only one night.

  5. Ah yes. Sleep. It’s a farce. We don’t sleep. It’s why we co-sleep (altho, there are other reasons for that, too). I get the most sleep when babies are right there. And it gets better. It really does. And like Anna said, it’s usually just in time for another baby. Hang in there!!!
    And I am glad I happened upon your blog again!

    • I’m glad you stopped by again, too! I’m going to try to post at least once a week from now on. I really miss writing on here, but you know how it goes. 🙂 I miss sleeping, too. Oh, gosh, I miss the sleeping. And most days it’s hard to actually believe it will get better even though everyone says so!

  6. Oh, Z. I really, really, feel for you. The 4-month regression hit us like a train and lasted until…well, she never really did bounce back from that. Most of my memories of that period are kind of a blur, but I do have one really vivid memory of standing in the hallway with a crying baby at 6:00 in the morning after being up four times since midnight, shrieking at Sean to just leave already if he wasn’t going to help me. (He was running late for a client meeting.) It was not pleasant for anyone. It did gradually get better, though. She’s not sleeping straight through on anything like a regular basis, and now we’re dealing with the 9-month regression. I fantasize every day about getting a full night’s sleep.

    • Thank you for the commiseration. It’s amazing that any relationship survives through these first babies, isn’t it? I feel like for subsequent babies, since I’ll have my expectations WAY WAY lower, it won’t be so bad. Ha – I joke that new moms are like teenage boys: life is all about sleeping in and boobs.

      I wish you a sleep-filled night!

  7. Oh, I am so sorry that it is this rough! My mom always says that sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture, and I agree. We’re still in the sleep-deprived newborn state, and I’ve cried, yelled at Derek and the kids, and generally been more disagreeable than I have been since…well, since Lizzie was still up all through the night. While I’m up tonight, I’ll be praying that both our girls go back to sleep quickly and give us some long stretches. On the plus side, she’s so darn cute in all your facebook photos…wouldn’t it be awful if you were up all night with an ugly baby?

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