To sleep or not to sleep

To sleep or not to sleep – Part 1

Sleep for our baby settled into a pattern at about 4 weeks, she slept from 8pm until 3am or 4am, have a quick feed and then would go back down until about 8am. We could pretty much guarantee that she would always settle and wake at those times. Then the 4-month sleep regression hit at 15 weeks and has lasted though to now, 24 weeks.

I have read so many books, forums, and searched Google endlessly about the 4-month sleep regression and found that it is caused by their sleep changing from baby sleep to adult sleep. Sleep runs in cycles, and at end of each sleep cycle she was waking and being unable to get back to sleep, without settling back with a feed. Some nights this was as much as every hour or so, often somewhere between 6 -8 times a night…..tired me!

This week as she nears six months things need to change! I have been looking closely at her routine and putting some changes in place to hopefully achieve two things 1) Stop me feeding her to sleep and 2) Settle herself at the end of the each sleep cycle.

Old routine

-Bath at about 7pm/7.30pm

-Put on PJs and place in gro-bag

-Feed to fall asleep

-Place in cot

This week I have made some small changes that mean she is put in her cot awake:

-Bath at about 7pm/7.30pm

-Massage in dimly lit room

-Put on PJs


-Place in gro-bag

-Place in cot awake

-Followed by patting and shushing until she falls asleep

This seems like a major change from placing in her cot asleep to placing in her cot awake. But what I have learnt from the books and forums is that they need to learn how to settle themselves when they wake at the end of the sleep cycle which will hopefully mean less frequent wakings in the night. It also means that I am no longer feeding her to sleep, which is a major step for us.

Once she’s in the cot I have to stay in the room patting and shushing her until she falls asleep. Sometimes this has been met with crying or calming. My plan is to gradually back away from doing this, so that I can eventually leave the room with the knowledge that she will fall asleep by herself.

After 3 nights of doing this we are starting to see some progress with her sleeping for about 3 hours until the first wake up. This may only seem like a short time but she was only managing an hour before. Also I am no longer feeding her to sleep. Happy Days!

She is still waking fairly frequently in the early hours, requiring a feed to get her back to sleep. I plan to do the new routine for a couple of weeks, before tackling the frequent night wakings.

Claire x



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  • Someone's Mum

    Keep at it! Both mine weren’t too bad with the 4 month regression but hot pretty bad ones at nearer a year – ds at 14 months and dd at about 10 months. Neither had slept through until that point but were usually just up the once at 3/4 am ish. Then, at 14 and 11 months they started taking hours to go to sleep and went up to 2-3 wake-ups. We implemented a few gentle techniques and they both started sleeping through after a few months. The lack of sleep can be so hard but it becomes a dim memory very quickly once you’ve cracked it! 🙂

  • Nicole

    This is so hard! I remember when my son went through this and it was really rough. It’s hard to put kids into their cribs awake and then listen to them trying to fall asleep but it’s a very important skill for children to learn. Sounds like you’re doing great. Best of luck! #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading my post and commenting. I read so many books at the time when the 4 month regression hit, and only implemented a new routine when the time felt right for me and my little one. Claire x


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  • everythingsrosieandgeorge

    It’s so hard when their sleep routine all of a sudden changes, it feels like it’s going to last forever! G has just come out the other side of his 18 month sleep regression and it felt like a lifetime. You’re making great changes though, we’re only just managing to put him in his cot awake over the last couple of weeks and he’s nearly 2! I do miss the bedtime snuggles though 🙂 xx

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading my blog post and for your comment. Fingers crossed that the bedtime routine improves for you. I’ll keep a watch out for the 18 month regression, I think that there’s another one at 8 months as well – eek! Claire x

  • mrsmumnz

    My son was sleeping through the night at 3 months old too. From 8pm til 7am. Then the 4 months sleep regression hit and bam! Up every 2 hours. We’re still in the same place and he’s now 17 months old!!! I have tried everything. The only thing that gets him to sleep is a feed. If we ever put him down awake or drowsy or even in a light sleep, he wakes up crying and we’re back to square one. Baby sleep is so tough. Good luck! I hope you get your baby to settle to sleep without feeds. #KCACOLS

  • Suburban Mum

    Oh I don’t envy you! I remember those days clearly and they are tough! Stick at it as best you can and I am sure you will get through it!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on sunday x

  • motherhoodtherealdeal

    It’s so good you are starting to encourage her to self settle now. We didn’t and then at 8 months old we were still paying the price. It is so difficult to know what the right thing to do is. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    • The Pramshed

      Love the Linky! It’s so hard isn’t it I think that we are having another mini regression right now, as it’s getting harder for her to go off to sleep. I hope that you managed to get the sleep sorted? Thanks for hosting, I’ll be back next week. Claire x

  • Agent Spitback

    Ohhh….that is so hard! My #1 was a terrible sleeper and he didn’t know how to settle himself back to sleep and I was nearly a broken woman as I was feeding him to sleep too! I did not do that with my #2 or #3 after that! Hope your baby settles into a good routine! #coolmumclub

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you its so hard isn’t it, we’ve had such a battle with napping today took me 1.5 hours to get her to sleep (but she is teething). I hope that the sleep really improved for your 2nd and 3rd X x

  • Topfivemum

    You’ve just made me realise that I need to tackle my 8 month old’s night wakenings which must be due to his natural sleep cycle and not being able to get back to sleep. I am at my wit’s end with him waking up for milk in the night when my first baby was sleeping through by 3 months. It’s my own fault though, as when soothing a baby to sleep at 11pm is easier than at 3am when my hubby needs to get up for work 3 hours later.

    I already put him to bed awake so I know he can fall asleep on his own. Currently I’m trying to wean him off his milk. So same amount of water to a lower quantity of formula. The idea being that he’ll soon only be getting water so will lose interest in waking up for it. Trouble is he seems so damned hungry but is getting plenty to eat during the day. Urgh!! Good to know I’m not alone in this sleep deprived fog! Maybe we need to compare notes a few weeks down the line! Good luck lovely xx

    • The Pramshed

      Good luck with it lovely. This was an old post of mine you’ve read. Fortunately we are out the other side of the sleep regression now. I found that once I stopped going to her straight away in the night it really helped, as she learned to settle herself back to sleep. It was slow progress but I’m really glad I perserved. Maybe I’ll write a blog post on it. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you and try not to stress too much about it x x

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