Sleeping – What Gives?

In Fatherhood by The Unexpected Dad2 Comments

Just when I think we have a good schedule and routine for our daughter something changes, seemingly over-night. Between 3 and 4 months of age, our daughter was sleeping fairly well. We even got to the point where we were only giving her a feeding at 1:00 AM (up until 3 months of age, the doctor was having us feed her every 3 hours); she would sleep from about 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM, at 1:00 we would feed her. Then she would sleep from about 1:30 AM until about 5:00 for another feeding, then 5:30 until 8:00 AM. Not too bad. But then around 4 months of age, everything sleep related changed.

Right around the 4 month mark it got more difficult to get her to sleep initially at bed-time (which is between 7:30 and 8:00 PM). Then once we got her to sleep, she started waking up every hour to hour and a half. For the first several weeks after this started all we had to do was put the pacifier back into her mouth and she would go back to sleep, but now at 5 months old that has stopped working about half the time.

Let me give an example. Tonight bedtime was around 8:00 PM and she finally went to sleep around 8:40. We try different things, rocking her used to get her to sleep, but that is hit or miss now. We are trying to get away from swaddling; she seems to hate having her arms pinned to her sides with the swaddle. Yet if we don’t swaddle, she messes with her face and either wakes herself up, or keeps herself awake.

When we finally got her to sleep around 8:40, she slept for a couple of hours and woke for the first time around 11:30. This started the hourly cycle of her waking up, my wife or I getting out of bed to put the pacifier back in her mouth, and her going back to sleep for another hour. This lasted until about 2:45 AM, at which time she woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I gave her a small, quick meal (formula) and tried to put her back to bed. After 45 minutes of struggling, I finally got her back to sleep.

As I write this, it is 4:25 in the morning and she’s been sleeping for about 30 minutes. I fully expect her to wake up in another 30 to 60 minutes, so I feel it’s pretty pointless for me to go back to bed.

We are not sure what else to try, we are just about at the end of our ropes. If someone gives me another book on sleep I think we will have a book burning party; even our doctor, when asked for tips, gave us another sleep book. There are so many conflicting opinions out there on how to get a baby to sleep and it is all very confusing. One of the things we have read is that the sleep cycle for an infant is 60 minutes; the theory is that our daughter is waking up after every sleep cycle and unable to put herself back to sleep. This is where we are at a loss of what to do; how do we get her to sooth herself back to sleep? What is sleep so difficult? What gives?

+24 Weeks

The Unexpected Dad

The Unexpected Dad

My name is Paul and I am The Unexpected Dad.My wife and I married late in life and we didn’t really expect to have children (thus the title of my blog). We weren’t opposed to the idea of having children, but just assumed that it was not in the cards for us.

I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!

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  1. Jessica

    Sounds like your daughter has started her “four month sleep regression”. It was one of the roughest for us for our 2 year old. There is a lot of information out there about sleep regressions and why they occur. I know many parents who get frustrated (myself included) because my once great sleeper was now up all.the.time.

    It will end though, I promise! Unfortunately it happens several times in the first 2 years. I really found this book helpful:
    actually their app is more useful than the book but its great at giving you an idea about when you’re headed into a more difficult phase.

    Good luck!

    1. The Unexpected Dad Author
      The Unexpected Dad

      Hi Jessica, thanks for your reply! It has been pretty difficult, but I will start reading up on this. Thanks for the tips and the support; it’s always nice to know that we’re not the only ones with these types of problems 🙂

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