I want to shout from the rooftops of the highest point, because I am so thankful and happy! We seem to have finally transitioned out of the 4-month sleep regression, and I can confidently say we are all sleeping better at night, especially Bellamy! My main message today is short and sweet … it gets better! I promise!
Bellamy is only 5 1/2 months old, but there have been plenty of times I thought I just couldn’t deal. Like any season, parenting comes in waves of struggle and stride, and you ride out the struggles until you hit another stride and coast until you hit another bump—it’s just the natural flow of adapting to the rhythm of life. At first, it didn’t matter how easy or wonderful the stride was, three days into the struggle my attitude would totally change. I dropped a bunch of, “This can’t continue like this,” and, “I can’t do this every night, seriously, I can’t!” I could see the desperation start to drown out any sense of hope in Matt’s facial expression as he stared back at me hoping I wouldn’t mentally combust.
Sleep regression was a harder struggle because it came after a longer period of restful nights. It feels great when your baby sleeps. You feel a sense of accomplishment knowing they are snoozing because babies need their sleep, too! You want them to be healthy, happy babies, so great sleep is always a goal. When Bellamy started waking up again in the middle of the night, I started feeling really desperate and unnerved at her cries. I wasn’t used to them, as funny as that sounds, and nighttime started to give me immense anxiety.
I told Matt I hated sleeping and going to bed, that I would count the hours and minutes until morning again, so I wouldn’t have to exist in the hellhole we were experiencing. One night I woke up to her crying and thought it was later than it was. When I saw it was only 12:30 p.m. and remembered she had woken up two times prior, I just started to cry. Most people would be thrilled there are still many hours until the alarm goes off, but I couldn’t have been more upset at the fact. These are the moments of struggle, and I am glad I can now remember it doesn’t last forever. When it’s bad, it’s bad … but when it’s good, it’s too sweet to care about the bad.
The hard parts of adjusting to life with a newborn are, well, super hard! It’s just the way it is, but it doesn’t last forever. Whether your struggle right now is teething, nursing, feeling “blah” or the terrible reality of sleep regression, just know it DOES get better! Now that we have gone through a handful of temporary struggles, I can remember that it will pass. When we have our next baby, I will remember it doesn’t last forever, too. Bellamy is playing in her crib next to me, and I can’t believe it’s the same baby who was dealing with sleepless nights just a week or two ago. It reaffirms the truth that everything passes, and there truly is grace for everything. I am SO thankful, and I pray you all get through your struggles and into a season of stride as quickly as possible!
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering what we did to help with her sleep regression, we moved her to a crib and broke up with her pacifier all at once! It was an epic transition, but I wouldn’t change it now despite the handful of extremely difficult nights. We knew she was waking up unable to naturally fall into the next sleep cycle, and the first thing she would notice missing was her pacifier. This led to her waking up every fifteen minutes one night, and we decided we had to let her learn to soothe herself somewhat because we couldn’t continually give her the pacifier all throughout the night. We do not agree with the “cry it out” method, so we held her and made sure she knew we were there as she ultimately did cry and whimper until she fell asleep. This only happened a total of three nights, and now she is a pro at napping and sleeping on her own. Her happiness is my ultimate joy, and I am so glad she is getting all the sleep she needs. Thank you, God! Anyway, best of luck everyone! It will get better, promise.
Editor’s note: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib.