So there’s a thing called the “4 month sleep regression,” and we’ve got it.
I didn’t even think we’d progressed enough to regress, but as it turns out, we had!
Last night, despite being asleep by 10 and not getting up for the day until 7:30, (according to my Fitbit) I only managed a scant 4 hours of sleep, though I did have about 1000 steps under my belt by breakfast.
Foolishly, I’d been thinking that the recent uptick in night wakings was simply explained by my son’s stuffy nose. However, according to my late night research (yep, at it again), what is actually happening is that his sleep cycles are changing forever, and I haven’t taught him how to put himself back to sleep when he wakes up every hour after midnight. According to the internet, if I do not teach him how to do this soon, I am staring down a good 6 years of sleepless nights in exchange for my lackadaisical parenting.
Obviously I know that rocking and/or feeding my baby to sleep every time is going to instill some habits in him that will get pretty tedious to keep up on my end, so I actually have been laying him down while he’s still awake so that he learns to drift off to sleep on his own. For weeks. Really.
The crazy part is that he took to it without too much trouble. There might be a time or two that we have to sneak his pacifier back in his mouth, but other than that, we’ve really cut down on the “negative sleep associations” that any mommy blog will tell you are bad news.
However, it doesn’t matter at all what proactive steps I took to help my baby guy learn to self-soothe. They’re all out the window now. Starting a couple of days ago, he will now stay awake and fuss and spit out his pacifier repeatedly for 25-30 minutes, and then sleep for 12. Last night each wake-up was at least an hour long, and this morning I looked in the mirror and a wild-haired mombie was staring back at me.
“Well,” you may be thinking, “what about the poor baby? He didn’t get any sleep, either.”
This was him at breakfast: