I Can’t Get No Sleep. (5 Month Sleep Regression?)

sleep regression the uphill

(Just in case some of you think my grammar has gone down the pan, I Can’t Get No Sleep is a reference to the well-known Faithless track “Insomnia”. Though I don’t have insomnia, not by any stretch of the imagination: in fact it would almost be quite helpful if I did have insomnia, mildly, because at least I wouldn’t have the fear of falling asleep on my feeding baby at 2am and smothering her with my ginormous breasts!)

We seem to be in the midst of what I can only call Sleep Deprivation Hell. Angelica refuses to sleep during the day unless she’s taken out in the car or in the pram, and at night she’s waking every one-and-a-half to two hours. The only thing that will comfort her is a feed. I’m bloody knackered – I’m like a shell of my former self!

The thing is that since the first couple of (balmy, time-laden!) months, Angelica has never really slept through the night. After the Health Visitors scared the life out of me about letting her sleep for more than four hours, and I started waking her up (I KNOW! WHAT THE HELL!) for feeds, she’s never really gone back to her contented sleep-animal self. But a couple of weeks ago I noticed a distinct change in that she was getting more easily disturbed and more difficult to put down for a sleep in general. I went to get her weighed to make sure that she was OK in that respect and she was perfectly fine, but the Health Visitor did say that maybe I could start weaning, maybe with a bit of baby rice, just to see if she took to it. I was kind of at the end of my tether with tiredness and had gone in to ask whether maybe feeding some formula before bed would help her sleep through, but she suggested carrying on with the breastfeeding (easy for her to say! I thought) and trying to introduce some of the early weaning foods. Pulverised butternut squash, pear, etc.

But I’m such a chicken! I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to feed her these things – it just seems weird after her only having breastmilk for almost six months to give her these alien textures and colours. And partly (I’ll have to hide after saying this and perhaps not read the comments for a while!) it’s a weird, emotional thing, because I can’t bear the thought of someone else feeding her. In my head, this sad music starts to play (we’ve never spoken about my penchant for turning all life events into scenes from sad movies, complete with soundtrack, in my imagination, but that is what I do) and (in black and white, grainy film, obviously) I sit on a wall in the rain, sobbing she doesn’t need me any more! 

But we have tried some baby rice, mixed with expressed breastmilk, and she absolutely LOVED it. Gobbled down a whole load. (I didn’t feed her, her Dad did. And a very good job he did too! Plane noises and everything. I was very impressed.) But she didn’t sleep better, or longer – in fact if I remember rightly she had some crazy energy spurt and went mad in her Jumperoo! (Have we discussed the Jumperoo yet? So much to catch up on!)

Now I’m sitting down in the evening to write this and I managed to get Angelica off to sleep (after feeding at both breasts for about seventeen years) at half past nine. That is really good going. Let’s see how long she sleeps for – maybe I’ll keep a diary! That’ll be interesting for you. (Note sarcastic tone.) My husband keeps on saying that I should “sleep when she does” but I think that what people don’t realise, when they’re not tied to a baby for all of their waking hours, is that sometimes you just need a few hours to yourself to do stuff. Sit on the loo, maybe, and browse ASOS, or have a bath, or…work. (I get really panic-stricken if I can’t keep up with my workload, an issue I am really trying to work on because it makes me feel terribly guilty when I have a flash of resentment for not being able to “get stuff done” – I have to mentally reset myself and remember to enjoy every single second of our time together, because she is growing up so fast already. So I do end up simply doing all of the work that I’d normally do in the daytime, but after she’s gone to sleep. Cue midnight, 1am bedtimes with video edits still scrolling behind my closed eyelids when I hit the pillow…)

I was reading on Google (never a good idea) about the “four month sleep regression” and then found stuff on a “five month sleep regression” and also stuff for six, seven, eight, nine months, and after reading hours worth of advice and opinions and information I had a bit of an epiphany. Isn’t this exactly what every single parent goes on about? The whole sleepless nights thing doesn’t come up time and time again for no reason, does it? It’s easy to feel alone, when you’re a new Mum, or a first time Mum, or even (I’m sure) an experienced Mum, and to think that you’re the only one experiencing certain things, when in fact nearly everyone is going through it. And surely that makes it normal? Isn’t a degree of sleep deprivation completely and utterly normal? I know that lots of people have great babies who sleep like logs from eight weeks and never have any trouble, but isn’t it very very common for babies to wake up? Am I kind of wasting my time trying to figure out why she isn’t sleeping through? Maybe she’s just hungry more often at the moment, or wants comforting more often? Is it the end of the world, really, to just go with the flow and accept that some babies wake up through the night? Perhaps I’m being soft – and I know that there are Mums who have got their routines well down to pat by this point (my sister, for one!) but it’s almost more tiring trying to double-guess what’s going on than just do what’s needed. I can imagine that this is the point when a lot of people who were previously plain-sailing through breastfeeding decide to supplement with formula or move onto formula altogether. I toy with the idea a few times a day, but as yet haven’t been out to acquire the necessary equipment!

Anyway, for now I’ve decided to (cheerily / through gritted teeth) embrace the night wakings and use them to write blog posts and search for mid century modern light fittings. The fact that I can’t actually keep my eyes open for some of them is by the by – Keep Calm and Battle On! I’m going to invest in some clamps to keep my lids open and some of those eye drops that you spray onto closed eyes and then they infiltrate your lids and moisturise your eyeballs. Or something.

Anyway, thank God that Angelica is absolutely beautiful and – sorry to be soppy – a complete and utter ray of sunshine. The joyfulness of the days manages to almost completely anaesthetise me against the painful exhaustion of the nights. Now it all becomes clear to me: that’s why they made babies so cute.

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  1. Anna
    December 7, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Yep, utterly utterly normal, and I find it helps immensely to hear about other parents who are being woken as often as you are.

    At the end of the day, babies that sleep through are rare. Rare at six months, still rare at 12 months. My 20 month old still wakes most nights, and I do a dance of joy when we get an uninterrupted night. But it’s easy to hear ‘my baby has slept through since 3 months!’ and think something is wrong with you/your baby. Generally it’s the kid’s temperament more than any routine / feeding set up, so don’t stress too much about it. It will slowly improve, and there’ll be good weeks and bad weeks, especially when Bub is sick.

    On the day sleeps, they DEFINITELY get better. We went from 30 min naps (that mostly had to be on me) to consistent 2 hr naps now. The tricky part is forcing yourself to rest during nap time instead of spending 2 hrs on work / housework!

    • Denise
      December 8, 2015 / 11:38 am

      Anna – I could have written that! Exactly the same experience with my son, he’s nearly two now and still wakes up sometimes but it is getting rarer and the day sleeps do get a lot better.

      Ruth – Don’t listen to those saying their kids slept from 8 weeks through every night I really don’t believe them.

      • January 10, 2016 / 7:44 am

        There are some babies rbag do sleep through…my eldest slept through from 8 weeks…for 12 hours a night…I wondered what people complained about… Then I had three more kiddos none who lokedto sleep!!!

    • Emi
      December 14, 2015 / 4:44 am

      Anna, I feel like I’m the only one who’s baby only sleeps for half an hour and it has to be on me! He is 4 weeks and I do hope this will improve? Did your little one get better with age or did you find the comfiest crib materace?! 😉

  2. December 8, 2015 / 12:29 am

    My son never slept during the day & woke up ALL night, & after tons of health visitors urging me never to stray from breastfeeding I finally met a sane one who was totally up for my (tentative!) idea of supplementing with one bedtime bottle of formula, which totally kickstarted our proper bedtime routine & sleeping through from ten months. Go for it. Formula isn’t poison xxx

  3. Julia
    December 8, 2015 / 12:35 am

    Hello Ruth. You are definitely not alone in this struggle. My little ray of sunshine is 3 now and I dinstincly remember going through a similar thing. He was exclusively breastfeed until about 6 months when the pediatrician suggested giving a bit of rice cereal to help with his weight gain and start getting him used to different textures. It did not help with getting him to the point of sleeping through the night. Still every 3 hours or so he wanted a feed. Do you still have Angelica sleeping next to you in that little adjoining bed crib? If so it may be time to move her a bit farther away from you, and if you have her room ready and furnished put her in a full size crib in her own room. We had a full size bed in the nursery (it used to be a guest bedroom) and I slept in there most night, since it was just closer to the baby and no need to wake the husband up constantly. At our six month appointment our doctor said it was time to “cut the cord” a little bit and let him sleep in his own room alone. When he cried I was told to give him a few minuted to self soothe and if that did not work to go into the room. I remember the doc saying six months is a bit too young for them to just cry it out, but a few minutes of crying would be okay and helpful. It was really hard at first, you are just conditioned as a Mum to just get up and run when your baby cries. But eventually I found that he did not need me to come in every time. And at some point he was sleeping almost through the night. Unfortunately that only lasted until he was about 2 years, 3 months old, when he started climbing and jumping out of his crib. Hope this helps. I know it’s hard to think of not being the sole and primary food provider in the family, but it does get better. Good luck and all the best from Texas.

  4. Vicky
    December 8, 2015 / 12:47 am

    Oh Ruth, sounds like a rough few weeks/months! I’m waiting for Felix to start ‘sleeping through’! He’s only 13weeks and I’m wondering if they just suddenly decide they don’t need feeding every 4hrs or if I should do anything to encourage it!

    There’s so much contradictory advice about for everything too. And I get the whole ”I need to do stuff!’ When I supposed to tidy up a bit or clean something that I’ve been staring at for several hours which is clearly dusty!

    I’m doing my 1st solo overnighter tonight and everyone has worried I’ll do too much and not rest. So far we’ve done okay, I’ve bathed him in his weird new Tummy Tub bath and not drowned him (I actually text my Husband that I hadn’t drowned the baby’!) and just did the midnight feed.

    Hope you get some more sleep soon! X x

  5. Onya1213
    December 8, 2015 / 1:52 am

    “I have to mentally reset myself and remember to enjoy every single second of our time together, because she is growing up so fast already.” Whoa. Dial down the shoulds, my friend. It’s hard to actually enjoy something if you’re being commanded to do so, even if you’re the one issuing the mandate. That’s a lot of pressure, even without the extra challenge of mapping out YOUR new normal. May I gently encourage you show yourself the same level of compassion I’ve seen you offer absolute strangers in the Comments sections of your blogs? From where I sit, you’ve created a happy, healthy, curious, vocal newcomer who’s looking for the best way to fit her little self into the new world in which she finds herself. And you’re her compass. She seems to be doing an excellent job of letting you know what works for her and what doesn’t. Of course, there are a lot of mechanics and logistics you need need to master as A’s mom, and a new one at that. But I think your most formidable struggle lies in developing confidence in your mothering abilities and your instincts. You have good ones, Ruth. You helped bring Dexter through an absolutely atrocious, near-death health crisis, for example, and look at him today. And look at you, for that matter. I think you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be: gaining insight from experience and considerable thought. That’s who you are. You think. About everything. That’s your normal. You think and you write and that’s your normal. I’ve no doubt you’ll use it to craft a combined work/mom schedule that accommodates both you and A. There’s nothing wrong with paring steps or projects from your day/life if they no longer fit. Just give yourself permission. A has.

    • Erna
      December 8, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      Always so nice to read your comments Onya. I have missed them for some time… X

      • Onya1213
        December 9, 2015 / 4:25 pm

        Thanks, Erna. Had a family medical emergency (not me, my brother) that took me away from things for a month or so, but all is well again and so here I am. And I appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

  6. meme
    December 8, 2015 / 3:09 am

    Hi, I know exactly what you are talking about! My baby girl is about six and a half months old now and I remember that 5 month old phase where she would wake up every hour almost and won’t nap during the day and all she wanted to do was feed. As far as I know it’s probably a rapid growth period where the baby is just hungry all the time. I started feeding her baby food for her age group and she absolutely loved it but still was not sleeping well, she eventually grew out of it and she now only wakes up once during the night.

  7. Kate
    December 8, 2015 / 5:21 am

    Hi Ruth,
    You sound like me 4 months ago! (In regard to the lack of sleep and Googling for hours)
    I know every baby is different but what saved me was self settling and establishing a good bed time routine for day naps and night.
    Once they get to 4-5 months their sleep cycles change and they wake more frequently. If they cannot put themselves back to sleep then they will rely on whatever means put them to sleep (boob, rocking, car etc)
    There are some great websites that offer tips and you can pick and choose what suits you. xx

    • Anna
      December 8, 2015 / 9:36 pm

      I second this! The goal at this age should not be to fully eliminate night wakings, but to start on a consistent sleep routine. A baby who knows how to settle herself will still wake up whenever hungry/wet/in pain (as in, most nights), but you won’t live in a constant fear of of the floorboards creaking just as you’re trying to inch out of her room after 90 minutes of breastfeeding/rocking/handholding/etc and having to start all over again (been there, done that). On baby #2 I became a bit obsessed with healthy sleep habits and I found this website particularly useful: http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/01/how-to-set-stage-for-good-sleep-tear.html?m=1 Hope you’ll find some good advice in there too!

  8. Joanna
    December 8, 2015 / 5:46 am

    Hi ! I have the same issue with my now six and a half old daughter. We where warm by a nurse at the hospital that we have to wake her up every 3-4 hour. And we did so. But I think she got used to it and at age 4 mounts we started with som weaning. Just baby porridge ( we live in Norway) but it didn’t help. So continuously we where adding som vegetables pure ( carrot, sweet potato, baked apple ) no change 🙁 but she enjoying the food ( to that point that now she is crawling to my while I’m eating breakfast ( looking at her playing ) and wanna to try my sandwich. But anyway the nurse who is taking care of check up told my that mine baby is active during the day so she needs more energy. And at 6 month age can start cutting nigh feed. It’s hard because she is crying like a hell so I don’t have a heart to do it. And here like once a week she suppresses my with sleeping 5-6 in a roll. We tried with formula before sleep but she refuse a bottle ( breast is best according to her). It will be better one day. I’m telling that to my tired self. Take care 🙂

  9. Ellie
    December 8, 2015 / 6:22 am

    You have my sympathies Ruth. I have an almost 3 year old and a 10 week old and if there is one thing that having a second baby has taught me, it is that it is largely pot luck as to how well your baby sleeps. My first daughter used to wake as often as Angelica (I wont say for how long so as not to dishearten you!) whereas my second is a sleep lover (so far…). I completely agree with you that you should “go with the flow” and ride it out. There is so much pressure around regarding how well your baby “should” be sleeping and,ultimately, my advice would be to do whatever you feel is best for you and your baby in that moment. Looking back now at my most sleep deprived days/weeks and seeing that my big girl is no longer my baby girl makes me realise that it really is only for the briefest of periods (even though I fully appreciate that in the moment it can feel like forever and is incredibly hard). It sounds like you are doing an amazing job AND you are doing it whilst working – respect to you! I send you all good wishes and hopes that sleep will be with you soon! X

  10. Ruth Mojito
    December 8, 2015 / 6:58 am

    It seems Health Visitors vary loads in their advice, as new research suggests that babies waking in the night is a completely normal physiological thing (annoyingly) and that feeding them food won’t actually help them sleep more. Also their digestive systems aren’t really ready for food before 6 months. There are some really good books about this – the Baby-led Weaning Cookbook http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Baby-led-Weaning-Cookbook-delicious/dp/0091935288 and The Gentle Sleep Book – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Gentle-Sleep-Book-pre-schoolers/dp/0349405204. Good luck x

    • Miriam
      December 9, 2015 / 6:24 am

      You are right but it depends on every single baby. My boy is almost 5 and he can grab things and sit down in his baby chair. We give him carrot and cucumber and he grab it by himaelf and eats it like a little mouse 🙂 we are trying BLW although it is not easy at all if baby is hungry!

  11. Emma
    December 8, 2015 / 7:05 am

    Oh Ruth could have written this myself and have the ongoing battle of searching why and then talking myself round to the fact that it’s Normal even though it seems every other baby is sleeping and their mothers for that matter!!
    Look forward to hearing your weaning story as we are a few weeks behind you have you read up on Baby Led Weaning? A whole other world! Looks scary but makes sense at the same time, I’m thinking of doing a bit of both myself her milk will still be her sole nutrition so you aren’t redundant just yet but I know the feeling! Keep going you are doing brilliantly X

  12. Janice
    December 8, 2015 / 7:13 am

    Oh Ruth my heart goes out to you & all the other parents struggling with lack of sleep. My first daughter was the easiest baby in the whole world but being my first, I didn’t realise it or appreciate how unusually easy she was. Then my second daughter was born, she is now 24 years old & im still in recovery! She never slept, she ate every 2 hours & boy could she scream. I actually went to the baby clinic when she was 10 months old and asked them to take her away lol. No I was depressed, I was exhausted, very very exhausted! It can’t have been that bad though as I did go on n to have another daughter, who was also an easy baby. Things have changed a lot on all the information you are given now regarding when to put your child on solids etc. For me it changed with each child as there is a four year age gap between the first and second and then a 6 year age gap. With my first, you weaned at 3 months, with the second it was 6 months and with the third it was 8 months. It is all a lot of rubbish in my mind, yes breast milk is very important but if your baby is hungry all the time try solid food. I gave them their first taste of solid food in the evening, as they slept better through the night then. As a mum/dad you should always go with your instincts, as you know your baby better than anyone & remember, all the midwives are giving you is ideas & advice – they don’t know anymore than any other parents & can also give the wrong advice. Hang in there as there is a period after teething where you get some sleep before they become teenagers, then I’m afraid it all starts again!

  13. December 8, 2015 / 7:22 am

    I know you are tired. Don’t give up on breast feeding unless you really want to. You don’t have to sleep when she sleeps. Get Mr AMR to watch her for a couple of hours and have a nap. Regarding weaning… You can only start once baby can hold her own head up as it is a sign that the gut is msture enough but need to start by 6.5 months for the development of speach muscles. I recommend going to a talk / workshop at yout local children’s centre.

  14. Gimgam1978
    December 8, 2015 / 7:56 am

    You’re doing a grand job Ruth, just do what feels right for you and your baby and ignore all the rest! That is by far the best advice I ever got. Sleep deprivation is by far the hardest thing about having a baby as it sometimes makes mundane every day things seem utterly insurmountable.

    I remember the advice on waking babies that sleep beyond 4 hours and how much it petrified me. Luckily after the first couple of weeks I chose to ignore this and listen to my babies. Sometimes that meant weeks of less sleep than others. As for the sleeping, I gave one formula feed to my 2 year old from the first couple of days old and have done the same with my 9 week old. There are days and weeks where both might wake in the night but that’s normal, they’re babies/toddlers! For the most part they luckily sleep through though. And I think that’s only because we have a plan that works for us.

    And as for the emotional roller coaster of weaning (everything is an emotional roller coaster whilst I was bf!) I know myself and all my breast feeding friends felt the same. It’s often so hard to get established in the first place and there’s a time where you feel like all you do is feed feed feed. Then all too soon your little baby is weaning, sitting, crawling, walking and you wonder where your tiny baby has gone and madly wish back the early exhausting days of sleepless nights and marathon feed of sessions because they included so many of those precious cuddles!

  15. Jude
    December 8, 2015 / 8:01 am

    Hello- my youngest is about to turn three and was not a good sleeper and the worry over why was much worse than the actual waking up- like most things in life I suppose.
    Anyway, I would suggest, if indeed you are looking for suggestions- is to not worry, feed her a bit (also- could be a tooth…) and try and put her to bed as late as possible to encourage as long as possible in the dead of night. Pocoyo on YouTube useful and bright to get another half an hour of awake time…
    It will pass x

  16. Sam
    December 8, 2015 / 8:19 am

    Oh god. We’ve only just come out of the “4 months sleep regression” which started at 3 months and ended at 4.5 months. What fresh hell is this “5 months sleep regression”?!!!!

  17. Sarah
    December 8, 2015 / 8:21 am

    Most health visitors are useless (sorry to those who aren’t but so many are). All medical advice now is no weaning before 6 months, almost certainly nothing terrible will happen but as you say, it’s not solved your problem! I’d really recommend baby led weaning and baby led breast feeding books. Even if you want to do purée and don’t want to do baby led weaning I’d still recommend reading them, really good books and informative about baby feeding, digestion etc.

  18. December 8, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Awww, sleep deprivation is so hard! I always say babies were made to be cute so we didn’t throw them out of the window during an exhaustion induced melt down!

    Teddy is just 7 months and we get up between 1-3 times a night. I don’t know why and I don’t try to know why.lol. I close my ears to people who are full of theories and advice and just go with the flow. The moment I fixate on the what’s and why’s and how’s is the moment I become a stress head and that’s not good for either of us! I just tell myself that there will be a day that we all sleep through the night again, and that ironically I will miss being needed in the night and all the extra cuddles it brings.

    Even if formula doesn’t help her sleep through, atleast Mr AMR can pick up some of the slack and you can get some sleep? We use formula and sharing the work load of night feedings and even who gets up with him in the morning is so helpful. Sleep = human being.lol! Xxx

  19. Kasia
    December 8, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Dear Ruth,

    Same here with the sleep. I recently got a book (this one: http://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Wants-Asleep-Getting-Children/dp/149617951X) and it does work. It has some psychological aspect and you read it in a specific way but that little monster or mine does fall asleep fast and sleeps really deeply 🙂
    I am sure it is temporary you just need to be a little patient (which I know can be damn challenging!). The way they smile and giggle compensates all the hassle, thankfully! :-)))
    Best and Merry Christmas to you, that little Princess of yours and Mr AMR 😉

    Kasia and the family and the cats 😉

  20. Andrea
    December 8, 2015 / 9:18 am

    They make them smell good and look like angels for a reason; so you’ll forget the bloody awful bits of parenting and want ten more just like them. My first slept through the night at 6 weeks (formula baby) and always napped up a storm. My second was adopted at 15 months and we spent the first two years together with me in her room about once an hour because she just wouldn’t sleep. Sometimes it because they hit a growth spurt. Sometimes it’s because they are teething (my oldest got his first tooth on vacation at 6 months ; that was super fun!) try everything. Try nothing. As soon as you hit a routine they change. One of Gods little jokes on motherhood lol!

  21. Charlie S
    December 8, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Yes! Yes! Yes! My daughter was exactly the same and it became clear to me after a while that all the night feelings served a very useful (if not vital) purpose. She had a massive growth spurt at 6 months and a few months later started crawling and then cruising around 10 months. So all the night feedings (every 2 hours) were providing her with essential fuel and nutrition at a time when she was growing and progressing loads. Don’t be pressured to start solids early, there are good reasons to wait until 6 months and food has fewer calories than breastmilk anyway. I also felt very emotional about the idea of someone else feeding my baby! For the night feeds I found co-sleeping helped a lot as I didn’t have to get out of bed and didn’t properly wake up a lot of the time. If you have a La Leche League group near you (or even join a La Leche Facebook group) it can be great to know other mums are going through the same as you. You’re spot on to trust your instincts and go with the flow, it really pays off in the long run. My daughter is now 2 and sleeps solidly at night, so I can see that the sleepless nights really were a fairly short season in our lives – easy to say now I know but it doesn’t last forever! I’m expecting our second so preparing to do it all over again soon 🙂

  22. Julia
    December 8, 2015 / 9:40 am

    I had twins. They did not sleep through the night until 3 1/2. And they had reflux, food allergies and woke up like every half hour, each. And yes, I breasfed them because even if I had wanted otherwise, the allergy formula they would have needed would have cost me the house I do not own.

    That said, at around the same age you are with your girl, I had the same epiphany. “Roll with the time, do not entertain expectations.” And it really, really helped that I was not anxious every evening thinking: “this will be the night they will go for three hours at a time,” creating all of this free disappointment just for myself. If they slept (like once every two months) I enjoyed it. If they did not, I cheered myself up as best I could.

    I also became a bit of a baby feeding expert on all fronts and I can tell you with 90% certainty your baby will not sleep more (and might sleep less) with the extra/different foods. Of course she is nearly 6m and by then it is time to start anyway, but it will not do any magic, trust me.

    I slept with my girls from the beginning. Would never have made it by sitting down to feed them every time. Maybe that is worth a try now that she is bigger.

  23. December 8, 2015 / 10:31 am

    My daughter wasn’t much of a sleep, too. She didn’t sleep throughout the day for longer periods of time and she only started sleeping through the night (reliably, there were the odd nights were I would wake up in panic because I felt that something was clearly wrong – which wasn’t) at the age of 18 months.
    I was already pregnant again, plus working, and drop-dead tired.
    At first I thought it was due to feeding/being hungry, as she didn’t gain enough weight, but we started co-feeding formula at about ten weeks and nothing changed. She weed herself from breast-feeding (literally refused me, imagine the sad movie scene that was!) when she was 4 and a half months and was wolfing down solids as soon as we´d introduce them to her. Her sleeping issues never changed.
    And the husband telling you to “sleep when she does”… I have heard that numerous times, and while it may work for a few weeks in the beginning, you need to have a few moments without the baby attached to yourself, and sometimes taking a shower or aimlessly browsing the internet is worth more than two hours of sleep.
    Not to mention the work load there is…

    But long story short: I willingly and willfully decided on having another one, all the sleep deprivation already counted in. They are so cute, they bring so much joy, and it will all be worth it in the end.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  24. trina
    December 8, 2015 / 10:51 am

    I”m no big help, my baby slept thru the night at 5 weeks. I would be absolutely psychotic if I was you. You must get some good sleep woman! LOL-I agree with the above poster. Cut down your other responsibilities. This is how moms get burned the heck out. You are doing too much. You could pump and let your husband wake up with her and let him feed her? Sleep in another room and put the baby with him. I had to do that one day and I felt wonderful. My husband took her in the living room, I shut my bedroom door and went.to.sleep. Release yourself from guilt, just because you don’t feed her she still is getting excellent care. You don’t put that on yourself. I am an older woman, my baby is 31 and my baby business is all finished. You are still young and things are different now. Just take care of yourself, don’t try to do so darn much and enjoy your life.

  25. Tasha
    December 8, 2015 / 10:57 am

    Hi I’ve got a little girl about 2 weeks older than Angelica. We’ve never got into a routine either and at times it can be hard especially to get anything done but I just go with it. I think they know what they need and if that’s a bit of comfort a some warm milk then who can blame them. As long as she’s growing I wouldn’t bother with formula. With all the doubts we have and “advice” we get it’s easy to feel confused but I just look at my little girl who is do happy and healthy and I know I can’t be getting it all wrong! xxx

  26. Jem
    December 8, 2015 / 11:48 am

    Oh Ruth such a relief to read this and the other comments. My 4 month old has gone from sleeping 8 hour straight to 1 or 2 in the night. And is almost impossible to put to sleep during the day. This has all lead to one chronically tired baby. More of a problem he is imposed to put down! Doesn’t last 5 minutes ones in his bed no matter how asleep he is. Myself and my partner have just been taking shifts of who holds him while he sleeps. I’m not sure if this is just a phase or a bad habit. Should probably speak to our health visitor but she always says the same – just stick to the breastfeeding. I spoke to he about starting solids as baby at his 4 month weigh in was a colossal 22pounds. Also tired of all the other relatives telling me to leave him to cry. It just seems a bit cruel! Anyone’s advice would be great thanks x

    • Charlie S
      December 8, 2015 / 2:17 pm

      Jem, you poor thing! It’s a tough stage but completely normal. One thing that changed my life was finding a good sling or baby carrier, I’d recommend one like the Ergo, Beco or Boba, they’re all similar. It really helped me with my baby who didn’t like to be put down at all, she could be close to me in the carrier and I had two hands free to get a few things done, which felt amazing! She also liked to sleep in the carrier so it helped with daytime naps. I used it for nice walks outside and also for pottering around the house. If you have a sling library near you, you could borrow a few carriers to see if any of them work for you. Good luck!

    • Sophie
      December 8, 2015 / 2:50 pm

      Jem – it’s a phase, everything is a phase! I went from having an amazing sleeper to a dreadful sleeper at 4 months and it was really hard. If you think leaving a baby to cry is cruel – then don’t do it! I never have. It means I am tired, but I’d rather that then leave my daughter in distress. Everyone is different though. The best piece of advice I ever had was from my mum when I kept saying “I should do this, I should try “X”, the HV said “Y”, etc etc” – she just turned and said “I don’t understand – she’s your baby – you can choose to do what you want!”. It was like an epiphany! 2 years later, I am still breastfeeding, I co-sleep, I let her eat sugary treats sometimes, I restrict her naps so she goes to bed earlier. Basically I pick and choose what I want to do! It’s very liberating!
      Good luck and you are doing a brilliant job. Anyone committed enough to cuddle their baby to sleep all night every night is a bit of a superhero in my book x

    • Jemima
      December 9, 2015 / 7:56 am

      You are doing really well by NOT leaving him to cry. Trust your instincs on this – it is cruel – no sleep training until six months at least I say. Tag teaming with your husband is the way to go. I’m
      Sure it’s just a phase – have you downloaded the Wonser Week app? Do! It explains all the developmental leaps our babies go through. My girl has just started waking up every two hours – she was sleeping so well before. She’s nearly 4 months. You’re not alone! Xxx

    • Jemima
      December 9, 2015 / 7:57 am

      I meant Wonder Week App x

      • Jem
        December 9, 2015 / 9:01 pm

        Thanks for all the encouragement! Yes I’m still sticking to my guns and not leaving him to cry. Also after weeks of him waking as soon as we put him down in his cot he actually went down for 4 hours last night! (This was after plenty of failed attempts) A definite sign of hope tho!!!

  27. December 8, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    Oh, Ruth! It’s SO normal. Sleep trouble is quite literally the most normal thing with babies. My mum was up every single night for 2 years with her 5th! She’s almost as experienced as it gets, although none of us were as much trouble in the sleep department. And, yes, everyone says ‘sleep when baby sleeps’, but I suggest you just do you. And don’t worry about Angelica not ever needing you again… she will ALWAYS need you (trust me). Have you tried a winding-down routine? From an hour before her bedtime, to have dim lighting and no noise, just a feed and then bed? I honestly don’t know- whatever works for you is what’s best! Lots of love & I really hope the routine (or lack thereof!) begins to sort itself out xxx

  28. Emma
    December 8, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    I could have written this post (and all the comments for that matter!) solidarity no-sleep fist bump x

  29. Sabrina
    December 8, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    Ruth, the only babies I know that sleep through the night are the ones that get formula and not breastmilk as it’s harder to digest.

    As I’m able to breastfeed, I refuse to give my son any formula. So feeding every 2-3 hours it is…

    Three things that helped a lot:

    1) Feeding whilst lying in bed.

    2) Just feed. Don’t do anything else. No smartphone, no tablet, no kindle. I often found myself still playing Candy Crush Saga although baby already fell asleep.

    3) Don’t look at your watch. Never! You just get frustrated the next day because you know how often Baby A was awake. Just get on with it. She was hungry. There’s nothing you can change.

    Regarding the weaning. I was told just yesterday by our pediatrician to introduce my 20 weeks old boy to solids

    • Sabrina
      December 8, 2015 / 6:55 pm

      … new phone, still not used to it… fat fingers touched the ‘Post Comment’ button…

      … at 17 weeks. So I’m already 3 weeks too late on the bandwagon.

      I began feeding my first born carrots when she was 6 months. She didn’t like it until she was 8 months. Until then I still breastfed her.

      Don’t worry. It’s not that you stop breastfeeding within 2 months and that’s it. My daughter ate like 1 tablespoon of puree once a day for weeks until I was able to say I don’t have to bf her for lunch.
      And she had her last boob at the age of 28 months. 😉

      Just go with your guts.

      Lots of love (and sleep),

  30. Amy
    December 8, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    It’s really interesting reading this post. My daughter has just turned 8 months old and her sleep really went out the window at 5 months. I have really loved a book called ‘the wonder weeks’. I know it’s not very helpful when your tired with no time to suggest a book but I put it on my kindle and read it when I’m expressing! The book goes through the developmental leaps/growth spurts in the first two years and you can just read the chapter you need one at a time. It’s amazing I always find when my baby’s sleep, naps, feeding goes crazy she is beginning another leap (they have a chart in the book). The book is so comforting and reassuring as it made me realise it’s not me it is natural and all part of development. It’s been my absolute lifesaver because you know when the leap is over easier times are ahead! Until the next one!!! X

    • Katy
      December 10, 2015 / 8:31 am

      I second the wonderweeks book/app recommendation! Just very reassuring and helpful about what is happening with your baby at every stage that may be affecting their sleep/behaviour.

  31. Jemima
    December 8, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    Just had to share this… Because I was looking up about the four month sleep regression at 4am this morning, after my girl went from waking once or twice to every two hours . Ouch! I really truly empathise.

    And also, why the hell did your health visitor tell you to wake up your baby????? I swear sometimes they have no flipping idea!

    So… The single most important thing I have learnt now that I am a second time mum? Trust your gut. Go with what you instinctively feel is right. And try not to read too much!

    I’m just going to continue offering my breast whenever my girlie wakes , because if she’s taking it then she needs it. Whether for sustenance or comfort. And also, because it’s the easiest option and I don’t believe in creating bad habits. My boy slept through the whole night just before his first birthday… So I dedicate another sleepless year!

    Anyway, here’s the link! Really really worth a read xxx


  32. Jan
    December 8, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    I breast fed my second son every 2 hours until he was 9months old. It seems very weird to write this as he is now 21yrs old…yes weird, lets gloss over that bit. He was 11lbs 7oz at birth and would not take anything else at all, no bottle, no dummy, just the boob – infact at 2 yrs old (and well off breast feeding I hasten to add) he was heard to mutter “I love boobies” again weird to write now! I do feel your pain Ruth, it does get better, truly. To all the mums who comment, I salute you all x

  33. Lucy
    December 8, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    Hey Ruth. My little one was sleeping in our bed and at around 6months waking up almost every hour to comfort feed. We decided to move him to his own room which was very difficult for a few weeks, lots of tears (him and me) but then he got used to it and slept a lot better. He now wakes up once or twice, last night slept from 9-6 whoohoo! (I still woke up at 12, 4… ). It will get better 🙂

  34. Jennifer
    December 8, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    Hi Ruth, love your blog! Have you heard of the wonder weeks? My little girl is now 11 months old and I found/still find it so helpful. You can get an app or buy the book (the book has a lot more info and mums experiences in it) it lets you know when babies are entering developmental leaps and are going to be going through difficult periods and when the sunny periods are going to happen! There’s lots of information about what they’re learning avd what they’re likely to be able to do next. Would highly recommend!x

  35. Amandine
    December 9, 2015 / 3:06 am

    There is a big margin between “every two hours” and “sleeping through the night”. Surely every 4/5-hours can be considered a good balance, I do.
    One simple tip from my pediatrician is this: when you are both in a quite sharing moment, explain to her. That she is safe. That when she needs you, she calls you and you are coming. Show her her bed, your bed, explain the routines, take your time sharing and explaining. Also explain that she can sleep longer than 2 hours, that it is very important for her and also for mum to sleep long stretches. That if mum is more rested during the night, she will take better care of baby Angelica during the day, thus that it benefits everyone, just from longer sleep stretches.
    Babies understand intentions. It’s working for me and for a friend who also started this.
    Apologies on my wording, I’m french speaking + writing from smartphone.
    Kind regards,

  36. Andrea
    December 9, 2015 / 3:31 am

    Oh this is all too familiar. I remember coming to similar sleep conclusions with baby 1 and it made things so much easier to cope with. Now that baby 2 is also in the midst of his 4/5 month sleep issues, I can roll with it better.
    I also completely understand the mixed feelings with weaning. I even cried the first time my oldest had a bottle of my pumped milk. It felt like I wasn’t needed at all. If course, that’s not true at all, but we are all very much allowed to feel about it however we do.
    Keep on. You’re doing great. We all are!

  37. Miriam
    December 9, 2015 / 6:17 am

    Hola Ruth! Joining the club from Spain ! My baby is almost 5 and we have been Zoombies for 2 weeks. Our boy went from sleeping 12 hours with 2 stops to 12 hours with…10 stops? CRAZY. Right so I read a lot and YES, baby sleep changes and it really helps understanding thims phases. However we were quite worried bc our baby was feeling great during the day but crying and waki g up at night. We were having them just formula as WHO recommends it until 6 months old. Our pedriticia. Said it might be the milk and suggested changing. Then another one said something else. And you know? I did something: I gave my baby a carrot. And HE STARTED TO LICK. We were quite confused bc he wasnt even finishing his feeding bottles but licking like no end. So I introduced the rice. OH YES. Only one week and he is now sleeping until 3 we have to feed him and sleeps until 7-8 am.

    Seems it is hat they call BABY CRISIS GROWTH. Plus we should be aware that babies are different among themselves. Mine was born big: 4,100kg and now he is 70 cm yet so he needs more than milk lol I suggest talking to the doctors but, also, do what you feel is the best. A teacher said to me once: we know about kids but you are his mom.

  38. Anna
    December 9, 2015 / 7:24 am

    My baby started doing exactly the same thing and it is exhausting!

    I’m just holding onto the fact that baby phases seem to disappear as quickly as they start and the HV said babies of this age don’t quite grasp routine yet despite what google results tell me and you’re better off just going with baby and doing what you can to get through it.

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it but have you heard of ‘wonder weeks’? There is a book and an app. It sets out the developmental phases baby is going through and suggests the baby might be more fussy, including having disturbed sleep during these phases. It does seem to be quite accurate for us and lots of others.

    And don’t be too hard on yourself – you’re achieving much more than most of us despite the lack of sleep and you have a beautiful happy baby so just keep doing what you’re doing and be kind to yourself xxx

  39. Beth
    December 9, 2015 / 7:55 am

    Ruth, this post could not have arrived in my inbox at a better time. We are in the midst of a terrible “sleep regression” as the internet likes to call it.

    It took 8 weeks for my boy to sleep anywhere other than on me. Every single time I tried to put him down he startled himself and woke up. The £200 bednest sat stylishly EMPTY. Then I discovered that he likes to sleep on his tummy. I know this is frowned upon. But I decided that tummy sleeping in his co-sleeper was much safer than sleeping on or next to his sleep deprived Mummy in the bed with mountains of duvets and pillows.

    We had four weeks of great nights. He was building up to around 5 hours in a stretch. Marvellous – I felt like quite smug thinking “we’ve got this”. Until – this week. For no clear reason (maybe a leap/teething/belly ache/wind/growing pains/reflux/growth spurt!?!?!) he’s begun waking every few hours and fusses over being put down day and night. The nice long stretch of sleep is a distant memory. It has been driving me insane. And it’s not the sleep deprivation that is driving me insane. It’s the feeling that I must be a bad Mom because it must be something I’ve done that affects his sleep and wanting to know what the secret is that will fix everything. Because theres always a magic product that will fix it – usually something sneakily marketed via social media to trick poor desperate parents – such as the “miracle” sleepy head cushion. If you buy one all your troubles will go away! Ha.

    It seems to be the first thing anyone asks you – even strangers. “Does he sleep ok?” It plays over and over in my head like a broken record. This mythical thing called a baby that sleeps 12 hours right from the womb. And if your baby isn’t doing that then quite frankly you’ve failed at life. I’m sure it’s fed to us by formula companies – give them “hungry baby” formula and they will sleep all night. Stuff them with baby rice at 2 months and everything will be ok. A pleasant lady in Sainsbury’s asked the sleep question. I slipped out that we are breastfeeding and she said knowingly “Ahh, there you go then. That’s why.” As if my “silly” choice to go on breastfeeding is the reason for nighttime waking. People insist that when we wean him he will sleep. Like I will just turn off the breastmilk tap. And everything will be fixed. Gosh gosh gosh.

    A study carried out by Swansea University shows that there is no correlation between what babies are fed and how often they wake during the night. They seem to suggest that infants waking at night is down to a protective factor against SIDS – natures way and all that. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/feeding-babies-more-during-day-9319230

    The googling is dangerous. I’ve been there done that. For now I’ve had a bit of a serious talk to myself (told you I’m going insane) and decided that I’m going to try my best to ignore the hashtag-everything-is-rosy-he-sleeps-13-hours-at-10-days-old-instagram-Mommies. I’m also going to try to ignore the clock at night. Let’s face it. One day he WILL sleep. Four years from now maybe but this is only temporary and I’m guessing what the maternity leave was for. I know I need to slow down and truly be in the moment with my boy.

    My heart is a million miles from the cry it out/sleep training camp. That means I will continue to stick with my gut by nursing, cuddling and rocking our way through these nights. Safe in the knowledge that I’m not creating bad habits – just responding to by baby when he needs me so he grows up feeling confident, secure and that all is right in his world.

    You are by no means alone. XX

  40. Morgan
    December 9, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Sleep deprivation is the absolute worst. I tried to understand why my first wouldn’t sleep through for months and I tried every recommendation to make it happen and nothing worked. Finally after nearly a year I gave up and just accepted that he would sleep better when he was ready. Now, at 2.5yrs, he is a champion sleeper. I know that probably feels like a lifetime away for you, but just remind yourself that Angelica will sleep properly eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later).

    I also have a 9 week old and I remember in the very early weeks with her when she wouldn’t sleep at all and I was losing my mind my midwife gave me the best parenting advice I’ve ever received. She said “When it’s the middle of the night and you are awake and you feel like you are the only person in the world going through another sleepless night with your baby, look out your window at all the lights that are on and know that there are other mothers awake with you at that very moment.” It was so true and from then on I stopped wishing away the sleepless nights and reminded myself that the nights are long, but the years are short because this time with our little babes really does pass so quickly in the grand scheme of things.

    Hope you get some sleep soon. xx

    • Kiki
      December 9, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      That’s lovely advice, thanks for sharing!

  41. Nicola
    December 9, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    If you are having an insomniac light fittings google sesh, then I suggest looking at this seriously addictive shop that sells amazing lights, chairs and gifts stuff, goodies all mid century. https://www.etsy.com/shop/No28

  42. Anna
    December 9, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    I’m 20 years old and my mother still tells me that for the first three years of my life she never had an uninterrupted nights sleep

  43. Vicki
    December 9, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    Ruth, my baby girl was born just a few weeks before yours and i just wanted to say that i felt the exact same way about starting her on solids. I couldnt bare the thought that this was the beginning of her not needing me anymore. I too didnt want anyone else feeding her as it had always been me and breastfeeding is such a special thing. She loves her solid food but she hasnt stopped wanting or needing me for comfort. Also, i have recently been experiencing hourly night wakings. Maddie was in a co sleeper crib being fed to sleep until a couple if weeks ago and i came to the sad conclusion we were just disturbing each other and i had her next to me for selfish reasons. After alot of tears (and a few snide comments from people) i decided to put her in her own room in her cot. 10 days or so later, she is settling herself to sleep and sleeping through the night. I think you’re doing great and i relate so much to all your blog posts. Keep doing what you’re doing. Just love that little one and keep her close to you as long as you want. You wont get this time back. Xxx

  44. Starseed
    December 10, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    THANK GOD THERE ARE OTHERS!!! My baby (turns 2 in January (MY GOD!!!!)) hated sleeping , so I had to walk her in the pram for 2-3 hours a couple times a day. Luckily I live in the outskirts of a city in Norway, so I got to hike a lot in the woods. My hubby works offshore, so add to the mixture a lot of single mum-days, and you got yourself a regular crazy lady! I´ve only heard of babies sleeping, well rested mommas having the time of their life, but for me it felt like a living hell! Exhausted, sleep deprived, but fit as f***! I felt like I completely had lost my self, and had no idea who this insane, grumpy bitch living in my body was. Oh, stroke the “my”-part og my body, I had a mini person literally living on top of me for most of the hours, the rest was spent trying to keep the apartment somehow inhabitable.

    Long story short, I survived! It gets better after the first year, and when the breastfeeding hormones goes away, you get a grip again. Babe still wakes once a night, but she walks in to our room and climb into bed with us by herself, so it´s rather stress free. Do what your heart tells you, you can still try food AND breastfeed at the same time! I did, bc babe loved it! And she will always need you, there just is no comfort like mum;)

  45. Erin
    December 10, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    I am there with you! My almost six month old, while always a far better sleeper than his sister was as a baby (she is now 2 1/2), and was a dream sleeper the first few months, recently went through the waking every few hours phase, and still wakes up like clockwork at least three times between bedtime and morning. My sense is that everything is a phase, and yes, that you should go with your gut. Formula does not make a whit of difference either, as he is breastfed, and his sister (the far worse sleeper) was formula fed from 3 months out when my supply went away (as she was premature I had to pump from day one). I remember talking to my mom about sleep training, etc. with my first–I was so exhausted and desperate–but she reminded me that every child is different, and that what works for one won’t work for another. I wish there is a magic solution, but I don’t think there is—just be as flexible as you can and be kind to yourself.

  46. December 10, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Hello! I just have to let you know this now:
    After two kids I had been sick of all kids/parents/baby/whatever blogs and thought I better ‘get back to normal’:-) But as I just love your writing and AMR I can’t stand it and so I am still reading every posting on this blog here aus well!!! And you made me cry when you published your pregnancy news. My ones are 7 and 3 now… I really appreciate your honest and funny style. I wish you all the best for you and your fanily & THANK YOU for all the work!

  47. Laura
    December 11, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time – I can’t imagine how I’d cope on so little sleep. I hope you’re getting lots of support. I know nothing about babies but RE weaning, when you’re ready, have a look at baby-led weaning. My brother and sister in law did it and it worked beautifully – although messily – and no purreeing.

  48. Kelly shaw
    December 12, 2015 / 7:50 pm

    Hi Ruth
    From the number of replies you have received, you have hit on a very emotive subject. My second son is 6 months old. I BF exclusively my first till 14 months. I plan to do the same this time.
    It really sounds like your daughter does not know how to self sooth. When she moves into a lighter sleep, she realises her boob has gone and so cries. You then give it her back and reinforce the behaviour.
    I also find this difficult as I love my booby snuggles. But in the night (when it doesn’t suit me so well) I want him to be able to cope without the boob and he doesn’t like it.
    I’m working on trying to put him to sleep awake (easier said than done) and trying to put him down for naps roughly every 2-2.5 hours in the day or if he looks tired. If I let him get overtired, the only thing to knock him out is the boob, car or baby carrier. He then wakes the second I try to put him in his crib. If I get him in his cot just as he is tired, after a little while he goes to sleep and can sleep up to 2 hours.
    However, I really try not to get obsessed about it. I did with my first son and I stopped going places if it clashed with nap time!
    I use the gap time between naps as a rough framework, but my second does have to fit in with my first.
    Also, weaning onto solids helps some babies sleep better (my first) but not all. (My second). I know formula fed babies who wake often too.
    You do have to do what you feel is right. If you think she is hungry, feed her but it might be worth seeing if it is a habit and boob crutch problem! I’ve started sending my husband in if he wakes before 3am. He can’t settle him but just reassured him and checks in regularly. After an hour of this he goes to sleep for hours. (It is hard to listen to him cry). However, he is my second and I feel so much more relaxed and confident this time. I would have struggled with that first time round.
    Remember, this stage will pass. At some point you will be sneaking into her room at night, stroking her hair out of her face and watching her sleep. Your heart will ache with love so much that this exhaustion will pale into Insignificance.
    Sending love and zzzzzzzzz’s your way xxx

  49. Alberta
    December 13, 2015 / 5:57 am

    I feel like I’m about to write exactly what these lovely mums have already said, but I guess no matter how similar our experiences are they are still our very own (trade mark ) experiences.

    I also (halfway through reading) would have said it’s a girl thing as I strongly believe girls are more curious, but I remembered that my son (middle child ) was exactly the same as my daughter (first child).
    I too have a three month old boy who gets in 3to4 hours of sleep after each (2hour)feed.
    Whilst I was still in hospital and in fact the day we were given the all clear to go home, I overheard a conversation between the lady in the next cubicle to me and her friend about breastfed babies not7 sleeping for more than 2 hours and she didn’t think breastfeeding was as phenomenal as how it was being made out to be . She had also done some research on formula and how it was better in terms of nutrients. Her baby girl was fed on formula and every 3 to 4 hours. Based on my experience twice before I’d have probably agreed, but then I remembered why a lot of us wanted to breastfeed our children (health benefits for both mum and baby ) and laughed to myself.

    You probably can’t stop breastfeeding because you also realise these benefits and do not want to deprive your child of that, also wondering if you’ve given her enough?! I keep thinking about the bottles I’d have to wash and sterilise…
    For a first time mum you’re doing a great job. It’s normal to second guess yourself and challenge yourself, but always go with your strongest instincts and know that these early moments are the moments you can make decisions for your child because soon (very soon) they (girls ) will be telling you what they want!
    Just remember that we cannot function well without sleep too so try (as difficult as it may be – music and end credits n all) and nap with her during the day (whilst feeding her on the bed).

    You’re doing a great job though, keep it up.

  50. Alberta
    December 13, 2015 / 6:21 am

    One more thing: eat well! Vices are cool, but if you have caffeine and sugar, your baby will also have caffeine and sugar. So please try and cut out coffee, coke etc from your diet until you stop breastfeeding after all we breastfeed to give our babies the best from day dot. Plus it’s not forever
    You may read or be advised that a little bit is ok, but try none and see how your little one responds(perhaps for a couple of weeks ). Xx

  51. Martichou
    December 13, 2015 / 11:21 am


    The joys of the “just when” phase… Just when you seemed to get a routine working they decide to change the rules!!
    With James we found that a lot of the time when his sleep pattern was changing was either because he was “pre-teething” (which sometimes took a while…) or just that he was hungry and we needed to step up his food portions at night time AND during the day. Our pediatricean recommended that we add baby cereal in his bottles, more solid foods at lunch time. In France we start to diversify around 4 months with fresh juice, apple sauce etc… and that seemed to make him more content at night time.

    Overall you need to play around and find what works best for your baby and for yourself. Having bottle fed my son exclusively I never had that fear of not being the one feeding him but I can understand how big of an adjustement that must be!

    Good Luck!

  52. Holly
    December 14, 2015 / 8:50 am

    Ah Ruth, I feel your lack of sleep pain. My 18 month old son has never slept through the night, co-sleeps with us half the night, and doesn’t nap much. We tried everything from early weaning, sleep whisperers, changing nap routines, grobags, no grobags, soothing light, lavender smells, you name it we tried it (apart from crying it out because I am to much of a wuss to do it!). He’s a happy fellow, developing well and not some grumpy zombie (that’s me!!). About a month ago we realised our little man just doesn’t want to sleep much, so we gave up trying to get him to sleep and to be honest, whilst I’m still exhausted I feel better for just excepting it- some babies just don’t want to sleep that much (I mean, it won’t be forever right?!?) and I now, as my mum always told me growing up, just nod and smile at a those lucky parents who’s baby sleeps through the night and feel the need to give me their tried and tested methods for keeping my baby asleep. Good luck with Angelica’s sleep. She’s a very gorgeous little thing. Holly xx

  53. Nicole
    December 14, 2015 / 10:13 am

    Hi Ruth

    I’m not sure if this helps but I was told by an ancient aunt that the trick to sleep is to put them down in only white bed clothes. White babygro/pyjamas, white sheets, comforters, sleeping bags, the lot. No patterns, no mobiles above the cot and nothing to distract them. Every time you put them down, even for a nap, change the clothes to white. Then they very quickly form a visual association with sleep and white. I did it religiously with my two and they both slept through the night from 8 weeks and I’ve never had a sleep problem with either of them. We all have white bedclothes and always have and we all sleep like logs. One was breastfed exclusively and my first was bottlefed from a week old because I had excruciating mastitis.

    I don’t know if it was coincidence but it worked for me. You might try it and see how you go along. It can’t be worse! I feel for you because long term sleep deprivation is really bloody awful.

  54. Eli
    December 19, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    Hey Ruth, I know it’s been a while since you posted this and she may be sleeping fine now, but I may have an idea which could help. I cannot sleep through the night without either a fan running (for the noise) or a white noise machine, for some reason, if i don’t have a constant hum of noise going, then everything wakes me up, because any noise stimuli alerts my senses awake. I use a Dohm noise machine, I think it’s about £30 but a desk fan works just as well, but i think that could help, because a constant stream of noise means that your ears get used to noise and so don’t alert you awake.
    That may be why she sleeps well in the car, because similar to me, it provides her with a constant hum of the engine noise, or the pram wheels making a constant noise. Don’t splash out on the noise machine, but if you have a simple desk fan or buy a cheap, it may work!

    Hope you see this/it helps/it’s already sorted!

  55. Nicola
    December 20, 2015 / 11:16 am

    Hi Ruth, stay strong, you’re doing a great job and you’re a fantastic mum. There’s so many of us who have been in your position and I remember feeling exactly the same way. Always hearing other mums say how their babies slept right through from so many weeks/months etc etc. Both of mine have never been great sleepers, especially my daughter who’s just turned two. I breastfed her until she was 22 months and even when she went onto solids, it didn’t help her sleep. She’s still terrible on the sleep front to be honest but you know what they really make up for this in other aspects. They’re both live wires, have an amazing zest for life and are an absolute joy to be around.
    Much love to you and enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  56. Emma
    December 21, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    Hi! I remember our fiveyearold. He woke every two hours. To eat. ( in fact he ate every two hours). It was completely exhausting. And nos with Numbers two it’s totally different. He sleeps. A LOT.
    And number one sleeps too now

  57. Lorena
    December 27, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Hang on Ruth!
    I have an almost 3 yo who´s just starting to sleep through the night, and a 10mo who´s teething, i feel your pain. But it wont last forever! and as you said, they grow up very fast.
    They also change a lot, so she will probably be back to her usual self in no time, and maybe nap a little bit more.
    May the force be with you!

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