Since birth, Alistair had been a champion sleeper. He slept easily and for long periods of time. I was constantly amazed by how he started sleeping for 5 to 6 hours straight at night at a very young age.
Since coming to Australia, it has been difficult for him to sleep. During the day, he would only sleep short naps, and would require us to carry him for him to sleep. The moment we put him down, he would wake up and cry. During the nights, oh God… he wakes up every one to two hours!
What happened to my champion sleeping baby? Could it be the weather? Is he too cold? Or is he too warm with all the layers? Or is he not used to the new room? Or maybe it is because he doesn’t have a cot yet and is sleeping on a mattress on the floor?
A quick Google told me that my baby may also be going through sleep regression.
Sleep regression is when a baby who has already started sleeping through the night since 3 weeks or so, starts waking up several times during the night. The good news is that this period normally lasts for a few days or a few weeks. The bad news is that there are several periods of sleep regression: at 4-5 months, and then 8-9 months.
According to BabyCentre, the sleep regression at 4-5 months is because the baby’s sleeping patterns are becoming more like an adult’s, cycling between light sleep and deep sleep. So, if the baby hasn’t yet learned to soothe himself back to sleep, he may wake more frequently as he moves between these stages of sleep.
The suggestion to overcome this is:
- to avoid using cues to help my baby sleep, such as feeding or rocking (I failed)
- give my baby the chance to settle himself to sleep (I failed too)
Last night I tried not to feed him back to sleep, but he only started crying more and getting even more awake. So I gave in and latched him to sleep. I know it’s not a good habit, but if that’s what it takes to get the baby to go back to sleep, I WILL DO IT.
A sleep deprived brain isn’t a good brain to think rationally or to think of a better plan.
I hope Alistair will get out of this period soon and go back to sleeping through the night like the angel he was *hopeful*.
In the mean time, I shall take that cup of mocha and also that cup of strong tea, thank you very much.