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So, dd has never been a "good" sleeper. We've gone through little phases of better or worse, but I can count on one hand the number of times she's slept for more than 6 hours at a time. I mean, I realize that's not abnormal - she's only 5 months old and is ebf - but I feel like she still sleeps almost like a newborn. A lot of people talk about "4 month sleep regression" but I barely noticed anything because our sleep has always been super short.
We've tried everything (with the exception of CIO) - we do a bedtime "routine", dim lights/nightlight in the evening, swaddled/unswaddled, belly sleeping, back sleeping, nurse to sleep, rock to sleep... Co-sleeping stopped working for us around the 2 month mark because she slept so much better on her stomach (but I wasn't comfortable with her belly sleeping in dh and I's bed). I've brought her into bed with me on occasion, though, now that she's a bit bigger and she still doesn't sleep any longer with me than she does in her own space - less so, sometimes, I think because I wake her up if I move.
Anyway... her overall sleep pattern isn't awful. She goes to sleep for the night between midnight and 1 am most nights (I head to bed around midnight), wakes up between 7-9 (and is wired!), stays up for about 1.5-2 hours and then sleeps again for 2-3 hours. It's not great, but it usually gets me a decent stretch. I've tried putting her to bed earlier (7, 8, 9, 10 - whenever she's seemed tired enough) but she only sleeps for an hour or so and is wide awake when I try to rock her back down. So... I bring her back down because I feel like it's better to just let her play on her mat and wear herself out while I hang out with dh than it is to stay up in our room, frustrated in the dark. She goes back to sleep at the same time, anyway.
I would really rather her go to bed a little earlier and not sleep all morning, but anything I've tried to shift her schedule has just backfired on me and made her overtired and miserable. She naps alright, I think - sometimes she takes a long nap and sometimes she takes a lot of short ones. She seems to only be able to stay up for 1-2 hours at a time before she gets sleepy and cranky - the only exception being in the evenings when she pulls 3-4 hour stretches right before "bedtime".
So, I guess my question is... is this all normal? Even at 5 months? Will her schedule fix itself, or should I be doing something? CIO and sleep training isn't for us. I just feel like I'm missing something. Am I? Or is this all normal and I've got weird ideas about 5 month olds and sleep? I am absolutely fine with waiting it out if that's all I need to do - I'm tired, but I know this part will fly by. I just don't want to be making huge mistakes and not know it.
It's completely normal in my experience. It sounds like you're doing everything right. Even if you do nothing to help them sttn it really does happen eventually. I don't think you can force it with a baby any more than you could with an adult.
The routine is a great thing to have in place that you can build on as she gets older and more capable of longer stretches of sleep.
My daughter was a tricky sleeper and we moved the bedtime she chose (3am. No, thank you) by starting her routine 10 minutes earlier every few days. You might try that if her usual bedtime isn't working out for you. Of course at this age sleep can change so fast, so I'm not sure it would work yet.
Yeah my LO is all over the place too. He had a 4th month sleep regression and it has all been down hill from there. When he was 6 weeks he would sleep from 10-3 and then cluster feed at 4, 5, 6,7, and get up at 8. Now he wakes every hour for 10 hours. We have tried doing a 7 bedtime and as late at 12. The time doesn't matter for us. It is always 10 hours from start to finish with getting up for 6-10 feedings. The first feeding is always 30 minutes after he goes down. Then hourly until 3. After 3 he conks out until like 6 and that is his longest stretch of sleep (3 hours). Then he will be up hourly.
The funny thing is that is how he was in my belly. I remember he would never settle down until after 3 and so I was up until then too. It hasn't changed and he is 11 months out of the womb.
He is also 11 months and down to napping only 1 nap a day for like an hour. I read somewhere that 1% of babies at his age take only 1 nap. I am lucky
L hit the 4 month sleep regression and never recovered. He's 9 months old and sleeps worse than a newborn. I counted how many times he woke up to nurse the other night...12! Yes 12 times from 8-6. That's more than once every hour. I think I've just gone passed the exhausted state at this point to some functioning zombie state. Lol!
I have to add too that I thought the 4 month sleeping regression was bad but then I got to the 10 month one and it was insane! LO would wake for like 3 hour chucks of time from like 3-5 or 1-4 am when normally he would just go back to sleep. So then he would take long naps during the day and then be up late and pretty much reversed his day and nights again like when he was a newborn. It lasted 4 weeks and now he is back to sleeping like the 4 month sleep regression.
I know you have heard this before but if you can and this is your first baby, sleep when baby sleeps. Because if you ever have a second baby you will not be able too.
The only way I cope is to honestly not think about it.
I just had coffee with an old friend who I used to work with and she is a peds dietitian and so she has lots of mom friends and we decided that when you are in these baby/toddler years that most moms just get used to 3-5 hours of sleep a night. If you are getting more than that you are lucky. You might get more if you just have 1 kid but most of the mom's I know average 5-6 hours once their kid is a couple years old but then they usually get pregnant again and then it starts all over.
I get more but that is because I have to lay down with LO or he will not sleep and he needs 10 hours. If I had the choice I would stay up and shower, clean and see my DH so I too would prolly be getting only 6 hours.
It sounds bad and I think that is why people don't talk about it but you will get used to it.
If your baby sleeps well, you are lucky. It is not the norm.
My daughters sleep at 5 months was super-similar to your daughters. We did the midnight-7 then up for a couple hours, then back down for a nap (1-2hr). And any attempt to move the bedtime (since I was up with my boys anyway by 7am) resulted in her thinking it was a "nap" and then just staying up even later.
She got better by 7 months (9pm bedtime, wake at midnight, cosleep til 7am). But now we are 8.5mo and something is going on. She won't sleep much suddenly. I thought it was her ears because we missed a week of chiro appt. But the doc checked and her ears are clear. So maybe we are looking at teeth. Not sure. But I hope we head back to decent sleep soon.
I do think Evelyn's sleep seems pretty typical of her age. I think as long as the routine is there, she will learn those sleep cues and when she can put them in place earlier, she will. I don't think you need to worry about not doing something or missing something important. Seems like you laid the groundwork and now it's up to her. Hang tight and maybe it's coming soon.
I have to add too that I thought the 4 month sleeping regression was bad but then I got to the 10 month one
Is this what's going on over here!? For over a week now L will not sleep unless he's on top of me. If I lay him down next to me then 5 minutes later he's up crawling around. He will sleep chunks on top of me though but that is hardly comfortable for me. Lol. He was up at 530 this morning and thankfully hubby took him and let me sleep until 8
My being tired isn't really my concern, KWIM? I mean, no one *likes* to be tired but I knew what I was signing up for when we started TTC. I'm just... I'm pretty confident in every other area right now. Sleep is the thing that vexes me because there are so many variations of "normal" and so many strong opinions, especially from the "expert" crowd. If it's normal, I can deal. Coffee is a fabulous thing. I just don't want to be missing something, you know?
I'm glad to hear that it's not unusual, anyway, although I'm sorry so many of you are having some sleep trouble too!