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So this is happening. It seems that my third child is officially carrying on the 4-month sleep regression tradition in our family. Our oldest daughter started us off, our middle daughter followed suit, and here we are with our third baby—in the throes of exhaustion. We thought we might be in the clear for a week or two, but not so much.
This “sleep interruption" as I'll call it, started right around four months. Our daughter started rolling, which was very exciting! But then she also started rolling over in her bassinet, which was confusing.
What do we do now?
Even though we've done this twice before, I honestly forgot. We remembered that we had to stop swaddling (which was sad because she liked that and it worked really well!) and we also had to say goodbye to the bassinet. It just seemed like she needed more room.
So, we pulled out the pack 'n' play, moved that into our room and tried her in there, in a sleep sack.
No such luck.
She was still rolling around with all the free space she had and was waking herself up every five minutes. I'd nurse her or bounce her and finally get her settled, then lay her down and boom—eyes wide open.
Waking up every 10 minutes or so is exhausting. This is also post-family winter sickness where sleep was interrupted plenty, so this new interruption is kind of a bummer.
The other night I was rocking my baby—my sweet and very tired baby—back to sleep, and as I was sitting there with her, I was googling "4-month sleep regression" trying to figure out where we were going wrong, or what I could be doing better, or why this was happening in the first place.
While I wish I could report all of those answers, I can't. I was falling asleep as I was reading and some of it stuck, but most of it didn't. Basically, their brains are maturing and their sleep cycles are becoming more adult-like. (Ah, they grow up so fast!)
So while the 4-month sleep regression can be frustrating and downright exhausting...it also means your little one's development is right on track—even if everyone's sleep schedules are totally derailed. (Yay!)
I can't tell you that dealing with the exhaustion and navigating this 4-month sleep regression is going to be fun (because sleep is fun and not sleeping is not fun) but I can you tell something: This too shall pass.
I know that's kind of annoying (and that may be the exhaustion talking), but it really is true. This is my third time watching a child do this.
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My third time bouncing and rocking and trying to do everything to calm my baby who has woken up for the fifth time by 2 am.
The third time I'm trying to get our baby back to sleep when she seems interested in anything but.
The third time I've whipped out the magic Merlin sleep suit to try to help our tired baby. (Worth the try.)
And soon, it'll be my third time making it through to the other side. Because while this storm is a little dark and rocky—it's fast, and it's beautiful once you make it through.
The other side is filled with more rest, less anxiety and a happy, growing baby.
This season doesn't last forever—I know this because I've already seen it pass two other times. So hold on, because you're probably already *almost* there. And remember—just like with any stormy parenting period, they make you stronger and more confident—ready to take on whatever curve ball is thrown next.
Because you know it's coming, so get that glove ready.
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A version of this story was published September 27, 2018. It has been updated.