If you read my posts from the days of 4 or 5-month old Teagan and Quinn, you would be amazed. Teagan started sleeping from 7pm-7am at the age of 10 weeks. She was a dream. At that age, Quinn would sleep from 7pm-5am. I would feed her for about 10 minutes and she would go back to sleep until 7am. I was getting 7 consecutive hours of sleep! How many parents of 4-month olds can say that?!
We worked hard to get the girls sleeping that well though. We started establishing good sleep habits from day one.
Don't fret sleep deprived parents, it is our turn now. Sleep regression is far worse. When your baby is 4 months old, you don't expect to get 8 consecutive hours of sleep. The bar was set high for us from early on so now I'm frequent disappointed...and sleep deprived. For the last several weeks, Teagan has been letting out screams/cries at around 10/11pm. Usually it's brief and she's back to sleep, but there have been quite a few days where it turns into full on crying. We've tried everything from letting her cry to nursing her to patting and shushing her. Throughout the night she will often let out several more screams. She usually wakes around 4:30/5am and cries. She's not sick. She's not in pain. If we do pick her up, she falls asleep on our shoulder almost instantly. I believe that she's dealing with separation anxiety from me, but honestly, who knows for sure. She also has a ton of trouble going down for naps. She almost always cries herself to sleep. We have tried standing with her patting her and shushing her but have found that it usually prolongs the issue. The crying is not hysterical and she'll alternate between crying and babbling to herself. I do not want to rock her or nurse her to sleep. I have two babies to deal but also want her to learn how to self-soothe...or I guess I should say RE-learn to self-soothe.
These bedtime sleep issues have caused me a lot of anxiety. I desperately need my sleep. I need my 8 hours. I'm a diva like that. I need the sleep in order to take care of them in the best possible way. After the girls go to bed, I find myself wondering and worrying about how the night is going to go. I spent a portion of my evening googling "sleep regression in 11 month olds," trying to find answers. I know that babies will be babies and unfortunately sleep issues come with the territory. While I know there is nothing I can do to control how the night is going to go, that doesn't make those few hours any easier.
Sleep regression is incredibly frustrating and discouraging when we have experienced amazing, self-soothing sleep-through-the-nighters. Jenn and I are constantly looking at each other asking, "what should we do?" We are at a loss.
This too shall pass.
Feel free to pass on your encouraging stories of full nights' sleep after rough patches!