Last night was my worst night with Sawyer in a long time. The four month sleep regression is beyond real. Sawyer has been sleeping through the night since he was 6 weeks old, but this past month has just been so difficult for some reason.
It doesn’t help that we’ve been trying to transition him out of the swaddle. He’s rolling over now, from front to back, and we know it’s only a matter of time before he’s rolling from back to front and we can’t swaddle him anymore.
But his startle reflex is just so strong. Even when he is swaddled we have to be extremely careful when setting him down or he’ll startle himself awake. And lately, he’s been waking up throughout the night more and more and having a hard time going back to sleep.
So, last night, we put him to bed like we always do and went about our night. We watched a movie together, cleaned up a little bit, typical parent stuff. But then, as we were getting in bed, Kurtis tossed Bennett a ball out in the hallway and Bennet went crazy for it right outside Sawyer’s door, of course, waking him up. He’s usually soothed back to sleep really quickly and easily so I didn’t think much of it and went to put him back to sleep. I rocked him in the rocking chair for a few minutes and he was snoring on my chest. I went to put him back in his crib, and he woke up the second I set him down. So I picked him back up and rocked him again. And when I set him back down he woke up again. And I repeated this cycle 5 times before taking him into our room and telling Kurtis I was at a loss for what to do! He told me to just let him sleep in our bed that night, he always sleeps soundly with us. So I brought him in our bed and laid him down next us, careful to move all the blankets and pillows away from him. It was 1:00am.
Sleeping with a baby vs sleeping on your own is incredibly uncomfortable. Without the baby, I’m cuddled up under multiple blankets with two pillows under my head and a big body pillow next to me. With the baby, I move away the big blankets and sleep only with a light sheet, and move all the pillows but one, and have to maneuver my arm under it so I’m not squishing him.
He woke up every time his pacifier fell out of his mouth. Every 10 minutes or so. We dozed on and off for an hour or two before finally, he wouldn’t go back to sleep anymore. It was 3:00am. After fully waking up, I realized I was having on of the worst stomach aches I’ve ever had. But Sawyer needed my attention. I decided to try and feed him really quick. Just 10 minutes on each side, maybe a full tummy would help him sleep. I could barely keep my eyes open while I was feeding him and kept having to shake my head and pinch myself to stay awake. I was terrified I would doze off and drop him.
After I fed him, I realized he needed a diaper change. So I went to change it, and noticed we had no diapers. Fighting tears of exhaustion and frustration, I walked down the hall to the nursery to get more. I changed him, which of course, really woke him up. I tried rubbing lavender on his feet and rocking him back to sleep but he was wide awake now and my stomach hurt worse than ever. I decided to go downstairs and hold him in our recliner and watch TV to help me stay awake. I quietly took him downstairs and turned on the TV and the Xbox to watch Netflix.
And the Xbox wouldn’t connect to the Internet. I tried again and again only to be told the connection had failed. Nothing was working in my favor tonight. So I carefully got up and put in a DVD (luckily, I have an amazing husband who bought me the complete series of Friends on DVD a few years back) and then settled back into our chair.
After two episodes, I noticed Sawyer was finally asleep. I moved him a little bit to make sure he was deep enough asleep for me to walk back upstairs. He didn’t budge. I moved him a little more forcefully, and nothing. He was out! I checked the time. 5:00am. Great. I carefully got out of the recliner and turned off the TV.
I walked him slowly upstairs and put him in the pack and play next to our bed. Success! I crawled into my comfy bed praying over and over ‘Lord, please, please allow him to sleep on his own for at least an hour or two so I can sleep comfortably for just a little while and sleep off this stomach ache.’ And he did. He slept in the pack and play and I slept comfy with all my blankets and pillows for two hours before he woke up again. When I heard him crying again, I moved all my blankets and pillows and brought him in bed with me where we slept uncomfortably for another 3 hours before waking up for the day.
Thankfully, I did not have to work today and will spend all day, cranky, in my pajamas, napping whenever Sawyer naps to make up for the last night.
Nights like last night are hard. And we hadn’t had one in probably 3 months! We were spoiled with such a good little sleeper that nights like that one really throw me for a loop. It’s no ones fault. (Okay, maybe Bennett’s) But that’s the reality of parenting. He was all bright eyed and smiley this morning, so I couldn’t even be upset. I thought back to all the nights as an adult that I didnt feel well or I just couldn’t sleep. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have someone to hold me, rock me, feed me, cuddle with me, or watch tv with me until I fell back asleep? That’s what my baby needs from me sometimes. He needs his mommy. And as difficult as it can be, I need to be there for him. I’m not going to ignore him. I’m not going to to let him “cry it out” for more than a few minutes. I’m not going to wake up my husband to deal with it instead when he has to work early the next morning and I have the day off. Most of the time, Sawyer needs his mommy, and all of the time, I am going to be there.
How did you deal with sleep regression and swaddle transition?