Amazingly, our daughter first slept through the night when she was just 8 weeks old. Rather annoyingly, this was also when it was Daddy’s turn to do the night shift ?
Since I stopped breastfeeding, my husband Alex has taken over the Friday and Saturday night feeds to give me a rest. Friyayy!
I do sometimes wonder if it really is worth it though. He’s a wonderful father but simply doesn’t cope well when he hasn’t had his full 8 hours.
One weekend, this resulted in my usually rational and placid husband having a massive meltdown on my first ever Mother’s Day, of all the days! ?
But unsurprisingly, her going through the night turned out to be a fluke. It took until 15 weeks for our baby girl to crack it and then we had turned a corner.
Aurelia’s 4-month-old ‘regression phase’
I’d heard lots of mums chatting about the 4-month-old sleep regression phase, though, and was hoping this was just a bad rumour.
Apart from waking Aurelia for an 11pm dream feed and the odd game of ‘Dummy Wars’ around 4am, she was finally sleeping from around 6pm until 6am ?
Fantastic, or so I thought – until she turned 4-months-old last week and true to form, the regression period well and truly kicked in.
I’m not sure if that one week of almost a full nights sleep was a blessing, or just a cruel reminder of what uninterrupted sleep feels like…
The truth about new mum sleep deprivation
Let’s be honest, sleep deprivation is no fun. It’s similar to jet lag – but without the holiday.
It does funny things to you like erase your memory, you can suffer lack of personality, loss of sense of humour and patience, too. Oh, what a delightful combination!
Honestly, I found the first weeks of Aurelia’s life when she was waking every 3 hours much easier to deal with as I was so full of adrenaline in those early days.
But gradually, as the time goes on, the sleep deprivation does catch up with you. I’ve read that you’re meant to sleep when the baby sleeps, but there’s always jobs to be done.
Before I know it, it’s dream feed time and I still haven’t sat down or managed to achieve drinking a hot cup of tea all day.
What our sleep routine looks like now
I never wanted to follow a strict sleep routine. The only rule I have stuck to is that if she’s been awake for 2 hours, it’s probably time for a nap.
From the day we brought her home, we have always played music and made noise around the house so that she isn’t sensitive to it and this seems to have worked pretty well so far ?
She is really adaptable at sleeping in different places now, even when our crazy little pug Bettie is having a mad moment because she’s doesn’t like cartoons and is doing laps of the room barking!
Usually after some playtime at home, mid-morning I will give her a cuddle and dummy, pop her in her cot and she goes out like a light.
Lunchtime nap is often in the pram when we’ve finished a playgroup and are out and about for the day. I read that this should be their longest nap, and she was originally only going for about 45 mins.
I recently bought a product called the SnoozeShade, which blocks out the sun and keeps the pram cool and she is now going roughly 1.5 – 2hrs.
I can’t recommend it highly enough and it has made a massive difference to the grizzly late afternoon period, witching hour!
Then finally her afternoon snooze is around 4.30 for half an hour and for this one we like to have a big old cuddle.
I love doing this as she goes off to bed around 6pm in her nursery and I miss her for the rest of the evening until we head to bed and bring her into our bedroom to sleep in the crib next to us.
I must admit though, I can easily lose a chunk of the evening watching our little lady sleeping away on the baby monitor.