Do you remember when I bragged about how good of a sleeper SYT was? He was regularly sleeping from 8 or 8:30 at night and would only wake up once a night to feed, usually between 4-5:30. There were even a (very) few nights when he slept all the way until 6. Hello, ladies, that is 10 hours of sleep. Amazing. Well, those days are over.............................
Apparently there is a known phenomenon called the 4 month wakeful period, and we've hit it. There is no known reason why babies who have slept through the night before now decide that they want to be awake during the night. Theories include hunger, wanting attention from mom, being distracted during daytime feeds, so needing extra feedings at night when it's quiet, growth spurts, and the ever so popular, "we just don't know." Well, for the past three weeks, Spencer has decided to join this group of babies and has started to wake up 3 or 4 times a night. It's not just "oh I'll fuss a little, hand me my paci, pat my butt, rub my head, and I'll fall back to sleep". Nope, this is "I'm starving, mom, and I don't care how tired you are, I need to eat NOW". He's still going down at the same time (8ish) and his first wakeful period is between 11:30 and 12:15. He then wakes again between 1-2 a.m. and then usually twice between 3:45 and 5:40.
At first I was worried that I would "spoil" him by getting him up and feeding him; however, after the first time I let him just cry, 20 minutes later my heart was breaking, he was screaming, it was obvious he wasn't going to give up, and even more obvious that he really, truly needed something. I talked with one of my docs at work (he's a pediatric sleep doctor) and after I told him what was going on, he said he truly believes in the 4 month wakeful period, and that he thought SYT was really hungry. So, I've been feeding him regularly when he wakes up, but gosh darnit, I'm exhausted.
We started rice cereal the other day (he's 4 months now and can have it) to see if this would help. The two nights that we gave it, he did only wake up twice rather than 3 or 4 times, so that's an improvement. But still, it's not what I knew and loved before. He does seem to really like the cereal though. It's way cute :) We have a pediatrician's apt this Friday, so I'll definitely be asking for other suggestions. Maybe I should try the cry it out at least once a night, but it is heartbreaking to do and he's still just a baby. I don't want him to think we're abandoning him. But I also HAVE to get some sleep. I'm torn, I guess. I wish I wasn't working right now b/c I wouldn't mind all this so much if I also got a 45 min nap every afternoon. I'm not saying I'd always have time for that if I was a stay at home mom (b/c I know they often don't), but on the really bad days, I would find a way to make it happen!
Anyone out there in blog land have any suggestions for me? I'll take anything!
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