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  1. #1
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    Default 4 month baby will only sleep on me

    Ok I've often contributed to sleep threads and am definitely pro cc but my baby is now 4 months old so too young to do cc but I'm totally destroyed right now. I need some help on how to make it through the next couple of months until I can do some training to sort out the bad sleep associations my baby has made.

    So I know full well that all the problems are self inflicted but i honestly don't know how I could have done things differently. I've been working so hard since baby was 8 weeks old to get him to self settle and things were going so well but at 4 months he seemed to hit a sleep regression and now things are horrendous. My typical night is as follows:-
    Bath and bed routine at 6.30-7pm. Some nights will settle quickly, others involve 20-30 mins of piercing screaming if he's overtired. Always have to hold to put to sleep then transfer to cot.
    Usually wakes a few times between 7-10 and needs picking up to settle.
    From 10pm onwards wakes every hour thrashing around cot and doesn't settle with dummy, holding etc and I end up feeding him to avoid full blown meltdown which can happen very quickly. Doesn't even settle if next to me in bed, I have to hold him until he's asleep then after putting him down he will wake about 5 mins later.
    At first I thought the unsettled behaviour was due to me trying to transition out of swaddle but now I've put him back in the swaddle and it's not stopped the wakings. I'm now realising that the only time he is relaxed is when he's lying on me and during the day that's the only way I get him to nap. I know it's wrong but when I've only got a 2 hour window while my toddler is asleep to get baby to have a decent sleep it's hard not to give in and hold him after putting him in and out of the cot repeatedly and having him sleep for 15-20 mins at a time. When my toddler is awake it's totally impossible to try and resettle as he will be just about asleep and ready to transfer to cot then my toddler will come crashing in the room or shout loudly (have tried closing door but then he cries outside door). I'm at the stage now where I have to give up so then the baby doesn't get a nap, gets overtired and is then hysterical during the day. He won't sleep in the pram only in the carrier so most days I have to just walk around for hours with the toddler stuck in the pushchair so I can give the baby some sleep.
    As I've said I know I've creating these problems but how do other people manage to get baby's that sleep even when they carry them, feed to sleep etc?! I'm just at breaking point with the sleep deprivation as I just don't get any opportunity to recover. Because my dh can do more things with the toddler to help it means he hasn't spent much time with the baby so it seems that I'm the only one who can settle him leaving me feeling very trapped.
    I know it's a long shot but any advice? Has anyone done cc younger than 6 months?

  2. #2
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    Hi, sorry I have no sleep advice, as it sounds about average to me.

    I think the biggest problem here is the toddler waking bub, which then means bub is overtired. It is near impossible to settle an overtired bub.

    Tackling toddler interruptions needs to be the priority I think.

    What is your toddler doing when you leave to put bub down?

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    nh2489  (03-11-2015)

  4. #3
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    Sorry I have no advice either (my approach to sleep was to just go with whatever works, which doesn't work for everyone!), but just wanted to assure you that you needn't feel guilty for creating 'bad habits' or anything like that. What you've described sounds pretty normal for a 4 month old (which doesn't mean that every 4 month old will be like this of course, but plenty are).
    Have you read much about the 4 month sleep regression? Hopefully it settles down soon for you.

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    nh2489  (03-11-2015)

  6. #4
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    Have you tried a sling for the day sleeps?

    I found it was the only way my kids would ever sleep during the day. By the time I got to child number two, I decided that some sleep was better than no sleep and I should just embrace it instead of thinking of it as an inconvenience and PITA.

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  8. #5
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    Default 4 month baby will only sleep on me

    Thanks. He pretty much fits the description of 4 month regression to a tee so I know it's all normal especially the frequency of wakings, I'm just finding it hard getting through it. I don't have a huge problem feeding it picking up to settle its the fact he only stays calm for a few minutes that's the problem. As much as it kills my back lying flat having him asleep on me, it's the sids risk that concerns me more as I don't like having him asleep on top of me while I fall asleep but right now that's the only way I'm able to get any sleep as I'm terrified to move him so he's falling asleep on my boob and I don't want to move him as he'll wake straight up.
    I guess I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself today. I can't really do much about the toddler issue. In the mornings I was trying to settle baby for a nap while toddler eats breakfast in high chair but this morning he just kept shouting for me saying he was finished then when he's out he wants to follow me to see baby. He's very good at realising baby needs to sleep but he's not quite 2 yet so just can't understand how to be quiet or stay out of the way. He goes to daycare one day a week so I pretty much stay in the house all day just trying to get baby to get some decent sleeps. I guess I'll just carry on doing what works (putting him in a carrier and going for a walk) and hope the nights start improving!!
    Last edited by nh2489; 03-11-2015 at 12:37.

  9. #6
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    Only way that sleep times and overnights have ever been smooth for me, has been co sleeping. Myself, toddler baby all in one bed. I know it's not for everyone but it has been the best way to ensure maximum sleep over the years - very important in this house, I don't cope well with sleep deprivation at all.

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to BornToBe For This Useful Post:

    AdornedWithCats  (03-11-2015),babyno1onboard  (11-11-2015),Rose&Aurelia&Hannah  (12-11-2015)

  11. #7
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    That sounds like a really rough situation. Can you get any temporary help minding the toddler so that you can work on day naps with the baby?

    Try not to beat yourself up about the SIDS risk. In the SIDS guidelines it says there isn't much evidence to show a strong association of risk from co-sleeping as long as no other factors are present.

    So if you aren't smoking and no one who cares for the baby is smoking and you aren't drinking or taking drugs then you've lowered your risk immensely.

    If you are breastfeeding you have further lowered your risk.

    Does it seem like your baby prefers to tummy sleep? Is this something you could play with for naps? Perhaps with a breathing monitor for your own anxiety?

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    nh2489  (12-11-2015)

  13. #8
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    No advice sorry, but much sympathy and hugs for you OP 😕

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    nh2489  (12-11-2015)

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    I have a 5&3yo with a newborn and I distinctly remember dd1 wrecking havoc when dd2 was a baby and now dd2 is doing the same.

    So I started to do this. I always had my 2&3 baby have their morning sleep in pram. This was an easy way to settle/resettle them whilst out and about. If home I just wore them in the carrier. Afternoon or midday naps were at home in the bassinet/cot. I used/use the big kids nap time to settle in bed. And late arvo nap in the carrier.

    That's it for my sleep associations. I don't believe that there are any bad sleep associations.

    Why don't you bedshare? Solves your issues. If you set it up properly its perfectly safe.

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  17. #10
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    Default 4 month baby will only sleep on me

    Hey there sorry you're having such a rough time. Assuming a doc has rules out any medical issues with bub have a squiz at the below article on the 4 month sleep regression.

    https://childsleepscience.wordpress....done-about-it/

    In short:
    1) ensure the sleep environment is the same when bub falls asleep as it is through the night. Don't transfer bub to a different location after falling asleep. Don't pat bub to sleep unless you are pre-pared to pat through the night. Don't feed to sleep unless you are ok with feeding back to sleep through the night. Don't play music at bedtime unless you are able to keep it going through the night.
    2) don't automatically assume bub needs a feed when bub wakes. If bub was previously going 4 hours between feeds at night and all of a sudden around 4 months wakes after 1 hour then try resettling first.

    Some other general tips:
    1) Use a comforter at sleep time. Every sleep time regardless of whether it's in the cot/pram/car. Only use it at sleep time.
    2) look at timing and length of day naps
    3) try a shush/pat technique as an alternative to having bub sleep on you. I learned this at a child health clinic with bub nr 2 and it was bloody awesome. It can take a few minutes though (well 10 sometimes perhaps).
    - pop bub in the cot. Start shushing. Put your hand on bubs chest with one hand and with the other hand start patting the mattress above bubs head.
    - After a few minutes take your hand off bubs chest. Keep shushing and patting the mattress.
    - after a few minutes stop patting the mattress. Keep shushing.
    - after a few minutes slowly walk to the door, keep shushing.
    - if at any point bub starts to crack up go back to the previous step (eg add patting the mattress back in). You may take a step back and two steps forward at times but for the most part I have found this to be useful in getting bub drowsy and let tinge them fall asleep on their own (which is key in bub sleeping through).
    Last edited by VicPark; 12-11-2015 at 06:44.

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    nh2489  (12-11-2015)


 

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