New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Growth spurts and regressions, just when you think you’ve got it!

on September 14, 2012

After months of getting baby on a good nap and bedtime routine, sleep training, feeding schedules you finally feel like you are in a smooth place. Then BAM, it’s 6 a.m. and you realize baby has woken up about 3 times last night, she wanted to feed every hour, she is not enjoying that infant massage you spent a pretty penny learning, the broccoli casserole you make for her all the time she all of sudden decided she doesn’t like it.  What is happening? I can’t tell you how many times I have asked myself this question, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Babies, especially in the first year, go through what seems like a series of set backs and regressions. It always seems to happen just when thinks get good.

I don’t want to confuse this with growth spurts, which will come around a lot too. I remember the first two weeks Aud went through her first growth spurt. I was nursing from 8p.m.-2a.m. with maybe 10 minute breaks in between. Baby girl would nurse, pull off, fuss/cry, nurse, pull off, fuss/cry ect, ect. This went on for hours. I thought for sure this was not normal. Maybe I wasn’t producing enough, maybe she isn’t latching correctly, do I need to supplement with formula? So I did what any other new mum would do and I Googled, “2 week old non stop nursing.”  What’ya know?  Tons, and I mean tons of discussion boards came up with others who have gone through it too!, what they call “Cluster feedings,” I wasn’t alone.

Cluster feedings are described as when babies feed/nurse closer together at certain parts of the day, most of the time at night. Sometimes, yes it does mean baby will probably sleep a little longer after she is done, maybe even sleep through the night. Just remember it is normal and you are not alone.

Back to regressions. Our first regression happened around 4 months, and after some research learned it is extremely common, the technical name for it is “The 4 month regression.” Aud’s sleeping completely changed, which I have talked about in recent posts so I wont dwell on it too much. Just know that it does happen.

Many mothers go through the 4 month sleep regression, but it can happen at 3 months, others at 5 months, 4 months is just somewhere in the middle. Where all of a sudden your baby went to sleeping at least 4-6 hours stretches to up every hour.

You will hear a lot about regressions in babies over the course of being a mum, 4 month, 8 month, 12 month… Isn’t it funny how when you think you’re the only one whose baby is a crazy snoozer, you find out that’s not the case. That there is actually a technical term for what they are going through? The good news is that most of the time after about 2-4 weeks your baby should go back to their “normal” habits (really what is their normal habits at 4 months…) the bad news is that you will experience more regressions in the next year, maybe more.  Just comes with the territory. I’ve learned and am still learning patience is a virtue in these scenerios.

Aud’s cut a couple teeth (poor girl) and so she has been waking up more then usual. I mean, it’s nowhere near what it was like a couple months ago… (you can read about that here) but I find myself getting so frustrated and anxious. I think its because I’ve had a taste of what its been like sleeping longer then 4 hour stretches, so when it’s interrupted the anxiety starts flowing. Also I am trying to wean her from the breast so I can’t do what I used to and just nurse her to help her back to sleep. So now I am offering some water and it seemed to help her last night. Tip: Keep a sippy cup of water in her room at night so that if she wakes up and is thirsty you have the water ready and waiting. We learned the hard way last night…don’t get me started.

My friend and I were talking about it today, that when they are newborns we are so used to being sleep deprived and know we signed up for the interrupted sleep at least for the first few months so when we finally get some sleep back it can be more bothersome for us to be interrupted. So two word of advice if this happens to you (which it will) 1) let your spouse know that in no way is it ok for him to come near you during this night wake and if he wants to help standing outside the bedroom door asking if everything is ok doesn’t help 2) go to bed a little earlier if you know your babe is going through a regression, trust me. That extra hour of sleep you’ll get will almost make up for the lost sleep at night.


2 responses to “Growth spurts and regressions, just when you think you’ve got it!

  1. vincent says:

    Thanks for sharing , I agree with that You will hear a lot about regressions in babies over the course of being a mum, 4 month, 8 month, 12 month… Isn’t it funny how when you think you’re the only one whose baby is a crazy snoozer, you find out that’s not the case

  2. stashmom says:

    I remember telling people once you get used to something it will change; so get used to nothing!

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