4 MONTHS SLEEP REGRESSION. 

The Famous 4 months sleep regression … or as I call it Hell !!! 
 Why did I call it Famous ? Because almost every parent has googled: sleep regression; 4 months old doesn’t want to sleep; 4 months old waking up at night ever 2 hours, 4 months old doesn’t want to nap …. it’s probably one of the most googled subjects by parents. Everyone talks about it, reeds about it and once you have 4 months old baby knows about it. 


 You feel like you and your baby finally have an amazing bond, some sort of routine, you understand each other; you start feeling confident and believe in your parental skills; you even feel human again as you are getting much more sleep each night; and you might even have got your baby to go to sleep on their own … and then … BANG …. everything changes overnight. One thing to remember is : It’s not you, it’s them 😊

 Me and my husband have found it harder than the newborn stage … 

 I was lucky enough to have my little one get up only once at night for feeding, at 3 months we got a good daily routine and started to slowly get Skylar to go to sleep on her own … until the regression started and made her get up every 2 hours, stop napping, or nap only for 30minutes, wanted to be rocked or nursed to sleep. 

I have done my fair share of googling this subject with the first one and a little bit with a second one. And these are my findings combined with my own experience. 

4 MONTHS SLEEP REGRESSION 

The 4 month sleep regression marks a permanent change in your baby’s sleeping habits. Before your baby hit the 4 month mark, your baby slept like a baby – babies don’t go between deep and light sleep … they are in deep sleep all the time. This explains why newborns and very young infants tend to sleep anywhere and through anything!

 As your baby’s brain matures, around the 4 month mark, her sleeping patterns change – they become more like ours. Now, she is cycling between light and deep sleep – just like we are. 

4 MONTHS SLEEP REGRESSION SINGS :

 How to recognise that the 4 months sleep regression has started? There is more night waking and short naps. Every time your baby cycles out of deep sleep and into slight sleep, theres a good chance she will wake up – and once she’s up, she will more thank likely need your help to fall back to sleep.

Sleep stages follow a predictable order that flow together in sleep cycles. These sleep cycles last about 60-90 minutes during the night (sometimes 120 minutes as they are developing) and are marked by a brief waking that happens at the end. And this is the cause of most “sleep problems.” This waking is meant to be to protect us by allowing to briefly check in with the environment that everything is ok. When we fall asleep, we expect our conditions to remain constant throughout the night, so if your baby has fallen asleep in your arms and you transferred him to the crib, the crib will feel wrong when he hits the checking wake up. This means that after every sleep cycle your baby will probably wake up and you can interpret his or her cries as, “Hey Something is wrong here ! Where is Mummy ?! Where is Daddy ?! 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BABY IS GOING THROUGH SLEEP REGRESSION : 

Routine

Babies thrive on consistency and routine, so be sure to provide it. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to create a calm, soothing bedtime routine that can consist of a bath, a book or a song, then bed. 

You also need to have some routine before naps, to help your baby learn that it’s time to sleep (making the room dark, kiss, story, or whatever works for you). Within your flexible schedule, be sure to include consistent feedings so that your baby isn’t hungry, especially if she or he’s experiencing a growth spurt.

Feeding

 Just keep feeding your baby if that’s what they want when they get up. At around 4 months old babies go through a growth spurt and also there are changes to the breast milk which might affect the amount of milk needed by your baby. 

 You also need to get as much sleep as possible so there is no point of trying to get them to sleep without any help, this will only upset you and your baby (trust me I tried).

 Try and move feeding times so that your baby doesn’t go to sleep straight after the feed or put them down when they are drowsy not asleep. This will work in the day but not necessarily at night.

 Be patient 

 You cannot do anything to stop it or to make it go away. You just have to bear with your baby until she adjust to this new situation and works out how to sleep longer. 

 You can support this adjustment by doing the above and giving them lots of love. 

 Also don’t go and feed your baby the second that they move or make the smallest sound. Give them some time to try and go back to sleep. Sometimes they will just moan for a little bit or talk and then go back to sleep. They will let you know if they need you by crying loudly 😊

HOW LONG CAN THE SLEEP REGRESSION LAST?

 It can take anything from 2-6 weeks. It usually just goes away without warning. 

 If after 6 weeks your baby still wakes up at night all the time and needs to be fed to go back to sleep then your baby has developed an unhealthy habit. 

 It took Chloe around 2 weeks and Skylar around 4 weeks. So there is no rule and every baby is different. 

 This is the biggest sleep regression but there is also one at 6 months, 8-10months, 12 months, 18 months and if that wasn’t enough; also at 24 months old 😬

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Baby sensory classes ! 

Baby sensory is one class that I would recommend everyone attend with their babies. It’s the most incredible class which combines music classes, sing and sign classes, massage and SO MUCH MORE. It provide ideas for play, massage, tummy time, movement, visual development, hand-eye coordination and music in simple practical ways that can easily be repeated at home. 


Each class is different and very exciting with themed weeks. You and your little one can enjoy everything from a beach party, going on a animal adventure, exploring the sea, having fun in the snow and much more. There are also special additional classes to help you celebrate the special days like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day Or Babies First Christmas.  


 It is designed to stimulate, educate and help you bond with your baby. It also helps you meet new mums and make friends. 


I have done it with my first baby since she was 6 weeks old and I am doing it now with my second. I love it and so does my daughter. If you want to find out more just go to the baby sensory website http://www.babysensory.com 

TANTRUM TANTRUM TANTRUM !!!!!!

 We had had 2 very difficult weeks with Chloe. From nowhere she started having the most horrible tantrums. Never in my life have I seen something like that! She was like a child possessed screaming, crying, throwing herself on the floor …. this would last for almost an hour at a time!!!!!! What made the whole experience very upsetting is that there was nothing that me or my husband could do to help Chloe. Seeing your child, who is normally as good as an angel (and the naughtiest things she does is not to come straight away when you call her) change in to such a mess is very distressing.  I have spent hours researching what it is and what can trigger it and decided to share my knowledge. 


WHAT IS A TANTRUM / MELTDOWN 

 “Tantrum” is commonly used to describe milder outbursts, during which a child still retains some measure of control over his or her behaviour. Tantrums are part of normal developmental behaviour for children aged 1-3 and over. They are not “naughty” or used deliberately to wind you up.  

“Meltdown” This is opposed to a meltdown, during which a child loses control so completely that the behavior only stops when he wears himself out and/or the parent is able to calm him down.

 

WHY DO THEY HAPPEN ?

Emotions and inability to deal with them are behind it. 

ANGER – If the child feels angry because : You don’t want to give them chocolate which they need, don’t want to buy them new toy which they have to have, don’t let them watch more tv. 

ANXIETY – is a big trigger; it causes kids to freak out, overriding the logic that would enable her to see that her anxiety is out of proportion to the situation. 

FRUSTRATION – very often due to limited language, or lacking the skills to complete tasks for example: getting stuck with a jumper half-way on, or a piece of puzzle that won’t fit.

INDEPENDENCE – they want to be independent and do things themselves : walking, choosing theirs clothes, eating etc. 

TIREDNESS AND HUNGER 

CHANGE TO THE ROUTINE – this can unsettle your child and make them feel unsafe. Any new routine, changes in the family like an arrival of a sibling. 

Or any of the reasons that Chloe has had them : 

Offer them a cup of milk.

Ask them if they want to get up. 

Ask if they want to eat something. 

Change them out of a dirty nappy. 

Ask if they are ok. 

Because I looked at her. 

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

At that would sometimes happen ….


HOW TO STOP TANTRUMS 

To stop tantrums you need to help the child gain control over their emotions. Some of the most common issues that cause children to act out in negative ways are hunger, tiredness, frustration, boredom or over-stimulation.

Once you identify the real reason behind your child’s actions, you can often solve this at the first sign of negative behaviour, before your child dissolves into a full-blown tantrum.

DISTRACTION – one of the ways to stop the tantrum is to take attention away of what has triggered it. Show them something, ask them to help you etc. Get them to focus on something else.

IGNORE – if the tantrum has started then ignoring it is very often the best thing to do. Leave the room and the child very often stops the tantrum because there is no audience and they get no reaction.  

HUG – sometimes they just need to be cuddled and told that it’s all ok and that you are there for them. 

GIVE THEM SPACE – if it is a full blown tantrum or meltdown sometimes the only thing you can do is to leave them until they calm down. 

TALK TO YOUR CHILD – if there are some changes coming to their life talk about it and explain them to your child in advance. Kids understand much more than we as parents think they do. Ask them why have they behaved like that and tell them that next time if they feel like that they can do “something” else like talk to you, come for a hug etc. With time they will learn how to deal with it. 

  Most important of all is to remember that you are the grown up. It can be very hard and very frustrating for the parent. I went through every single emotion I can think of when Chloe was having those terrible tantrums : sad, worried, annoyed, frustrated, angry, tearfull, heartbroken ….. when it was getting to me I raised my voice at her, told her that I would take her toys away or once when I couldn’t handle it I even compared her to “good and nice Skylar” (something I promised myself I will never do). When the situation is getting to you just take a very deep breaths and remember you are the grown up who understands what is happening or leave the room until you are composed. 

 Our tantrums lasted just over 2 weeks and hopefully will never come back again. 

 What worked for us is: 

– Giving Chloe space. When the tantrum started I would take her to her room, explain that I will leave her and come back when she calms down. 

– Once calm I would give her lots of cuddles and ask why she has behaved like that. Most of the time she wouldn’t know, I would try and help her identify the feelings. 

– Explain to her that she cannot behave like that, that this is a very naughty behaviour and that there are consequences. Most of the time I would take away her dessert for a day or she wouldn’t have story time, wouldn’t be allowed to watch her favourite Peppa pig or go out to the playground. Also what didn’t work is taking toys away. She has lots of different toys so taking one didn’t make any difference, she would just play with something else. It has to be a real treat that you take away. 

– Tell her to stamp her feet when she gets angry and tell us when she feels it coming. She would tell us now that she is getting very sad. 

 Good luck to anyone who is going through it. Share any good ideas that you have on hot to deal with it. 

HOW TO GET BABY TO 😴 

When they are born they just sleep all the time (mostly on you) . Evenings are filled with this tiny, warm body snuggled in to you; Those are the best evenings you ever had… and then they grow and you need to start thinking about routine – How will I get them to sleep on their own? How will I get them not to be attached to my breast / bottle for the whole evening/night?


 How do I get my baby to sleep on their own ? Swaddle, Sheepskin, Whisbear and some notes taking and rocking will be involved (oh and dummy is they take it – Skylar refuses it)

1. OBSERVATION 

Observe for a week when your baby gets tired or sleeps. Look out for tiredness symptoms like rubbing eyes, pulling ear, yawning, falling asleep when being fed or when taken for a walk. Make notes each time your baby goes to sleep; if you do it over a week you should see a clear sleeping pattern forming. That’s when you will start to put your baby to sleep to make sure that they are ready for a nap. Why is it important? You won’t be able to get a not tired or overtired baby to sleep.   

As a guide 

3-6 months old baby 4 naps a day

6-12 months old baby 3 naps a day

12-18 months old baby 2 naps a day 

18 months and over one nap a day. 

Please do remember that this is just a guide and every baby is different . 
2. MAKE THE BED 

Make it warm, cosy and comfortable. They love sleeping on you because you are soft, comfortable and warm. Putting your baby to a cold Moses basket or crib/cot will not make them want to stay there. That’s where sheepskin is an amazing accessory. It keeps your baby body temperate perfect, is soft and cosy. 

3. WRAP IT UP 

Swaddling has worked perfectly for me with both of our girls. It makes babies feel secure, stops their arms from waking them up. They feel exactly how they did when they were in our tummies. 

4. TURN UP THE WHITE NOISE 

We all heard that white noise is good for calming babies as that is what they hear for the 9 months that they were inside us. It won’t get your baby magically to sleep but it will help them. We used Whisbear which reacts to noise and automatically turns itself on, which is great at night.

5. SET-UP THE SCENE 

 Dark and quiet rooms are very helpful with getting your baby to sleep especially when the baby gets a little bit older. 

6. PUT DOWN & PICK UP OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Purpose of it is to teach your baby to self soothe. You put your baby down when its drowsy but not fully asleep. If he/she starts crying you pick them up and rock them so they are drowsy again and put them down…. over and over again. 

7. OLD BORING ROUTINE

 Babies from around 3-4 months should have a bed routine and daily routine. Though routines are boring and oh so predictable kids love them. It also gives you a chance to plan your day and get everything done when your little one is resting. Don’t get me wrong a daily routine doesn’t mean that you have to be home every single day 7 days a week at the same time and cancel all appointments or meetings which don’t fit in your baby schedule. Babies can nap in the pram from time to time or their nap can be moved if needed. I am a firm believer that we shouldn’t run our life around baby and baby’s naps, it’s all about balancing your needs and baby’s needs. 


  Our gorgeous Skylar just turned 3 months. Until now she would always fall asleep on my breast, and I would spend the whole evening just cuddling her; on another hand she always sleeps very well at night, waking up only once or twice for food and then going back to sleep. It’s the time now to start getting proper routine in place and to slowly start teaching her how to go to sleep on her own. 

 My main advice to everybody is : just chill! There is a lot of different techniques  and opinions on how to teach your baby to self soothe  (which I will write about in my next post) some you will like some you will disagree with. Don’t put pressure on yourself and your baby. See what works for you, and do what you want to do; as far as it works for you and your baby and both of you are happy that the only thing that matters. 
 

NAPS –  WHY BABY DONT LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS WE DO ?????😊

Chloe never was a sleepy baby. Everyone tells you newborns sleep all the time … Not Chloe! From the beginning she was awake for around 4 hours or more at once. As the time went by and she was getting older and older she was awake more and more …. And some more. 

I mentioned before that the key for us to get Chloe to sleep nicely and easyly without waking up crying was longer naps (apparently 30 min 3 times a day isn’t good enough). I also mentioned that it wasn’t too hard to get Chloe to nap for 1,5 hour …. Spoken to soon !!! 

 If you are struggling with getting your little one to nap for longer than 30-45 minutes, don’t worry! Most of us are!If you aren’t then you are really lucky! There are days when Chloe naps like a dream! She always wakes up after her first sleep cycle but going back to sleep is a hit and miss. Sometimes it takes few seconds and she is back asleep, sometimes 5 minutes of her talking … sometimes 15, sometimes 5 minutes crying … Sometimes 30 minutes. If we have one of the bad days I give up after 20 minutes and take her for a walk. That way Chloe gets her sleep (takes 5 minutes in the pram and she is out) and I get my coffee and magazine break in Coffeeshop 😊 

I tried all of the advice that you can find out there on how to get them back to sleep:

– sussh and pat ( she doesn’t want to lay on her side to do it 😊)

– having good routine (we always go to sleep at this same time)

– making sure that naps are when Chloe needs it and when she is tired (you can establishe it quite easily by observing your baby)

– staying in the room with them ( doesn’t work, Chloe things that I am there to play with her)

– speaking to Chloe about the need to sleep to have more energy to play (some reason she doesn’t ether understand or agree with me)

What works best for us is to keep coming in to the room, putting her comfort blanket to her cheek, dummy in to mouth and leaving the room. Sometimes I need to do it 100 times but 90% of the time it works. 

Good news is apparently it will get much easier when baby is 6 months old !!!!!!

HOW/CAN ? You prepare for your second child :-) 

How to prepare for your second child.I don’t think that there is anything you can do to prepare yourself for second child; but there are quite a few things you can do to make it easier for your first born.

BOOKS

As soon as your bump becomes visible start reading your child stories about “baby in mummy’s tommy” and them becoming big sister/brother .My favourite books were :


And “Princess Poly I am new big sister”. 

 . When/if you find out what you are having you can start reading books about them getting baby sister / brother. This will help them to understand what is happening and what is to come. 

GET THEM INVOLVE 

It’s very important that you get them involved in baby related things. We got Chloe involved in preparing for the new arrival: 

– helping to fold baby clothes (or shall I say unfold? 😂) which she loved, she would pick up every single garment and say: mummy look it’s so small ! 

– taking her to midwife appointments to check that “baby is ok”. 

– help decorate her sisters nursery (choosing where to put toys, what photos to put in to frames)

– going shopping to buy things for the baby and asking for her help with it. 



PRESENT FROM THE BABY

What makes the inconvenience of the arrival of the sibling more bearable is a nice present. Your Firstborn is more likely to “like” someone who gave him present (especially when it is something that they really wanted). 

VISITING RULES

Make sure that your guest give your child as much attention as they will give to the baby. It is a very good idea to get your toddler to show quests where the baby is and ask him questions about the baby. It will make them feel very important. 
LITTLE HELPER

 Get your toddler to help with the baby. Getting involved in everyday tasks will stop your toddler feeling excluded. Giving nappy and wipes, bringing blanket etc all of those little things will make them feel as a very important big sister/brother. 
UNDIVIDED ATTENTION

 The hardest thing for your child to deal with will be lack of attention. They live gets thrown up side down; one day they are the only person who gets your attention the next day there is someone who gets much more of your attention than they do. Make sure that each day you do spend quality time with your toddler. Put aside an hour a day when your baby is sleeping when you can have lots of fun with your toddler; it will be hard when you are sleep deprived but it will make a huge difference to your child. 

NEW ROUTINE

 You won’t be able to follow all of your old routines of bathing, feeding, reading stories, tucking in to bed. Make sure that you make new ones which involve the baby and work with having two kids. My husband does Chloe’s batch time and bed time routine but I make sure to take Skylar to Chloe’s room for her bed time story. This now has become our new family routine and Chloe loves it. 

 Those things has worked for us. Chloe has adapted very quickly to the new family dynamics and is in love with her baby sister . 

Cosmetics for your baby and toddler. 

 I have been using Childs Farm cosmetics on Chloe for a long time now so I was very pleased to see that they have just launched range for Babies.  Childs Farm is an award winning British brand that uses natural ‘free-from’ ingredients and essential oils to produce mild, kind and delicious smelling toiletries that care for the skin and hair of newborns, babies and children. 

The gorgeous smells of the cosmetics comes from organic sweet orange, mint, tangerine, grapefruit and tea tree oil.

They use only natural detergents which come from beets, corn and coconut. 

Use of natural moisturisers like vegetable glycerine and honey.

 Highly recommend theirs baby and toddler range. We love it !