I’ve got a conundrum.
Daphne is currently going through the 4-month sleep regression a week early (which makes sense because she was 5-days late). The night before last she was up every 3-hours, then bright eyed and bushy tailed for the day at 5:00 AM. We had a lovely several weeks there where my darling D was sleeping for 8-hour stretches. Even after “the transfer.”
What’s the transfer? Well it’s not related to fertility treatments for a change. And it’s the reverse of what most parents probably do. When Daphne falls asleep at approximately 8 PM in her crib in her room each evening, Merp and I relish our adult time (get your mind out of the gutter). At 10 or 11 PM we transfer her FROM HER CRIB TO OUR ROOM where she slumbers in the co-sleeper for the rest of the night. Having her close means it’s easy-ish to scoop her up into my arms and nurse her back to sleep when she stirs. It also means I can obsessively check on her several times a night. But therein lie the problems. I check on her A LOT. AND She stirs EVEN MORE. And is she really hungry 3 times a night? But I feel guilty when I just pop the bink back in her mouth, because baby girl is SKINNY! Shouldn’t I nurse on demand?
There’s so much out there about baby sleep. Babywise. Healthy Sleep, Happy Child. Baby Whisperer. Countless blogs and books claim they have the cure. A friend shared this blog with me about all the contrary advice out there. It’s enough to make any new parent go BONKERS. Straight jacket CRAZY from confusion. And then I read this other blog (it’s actually an email blast, but whatever) about the 4-month sleep regression, it also discussed sleep issues for older children too, which said it’s all normal, but that parents should beware of stuff like this:
“If you introduce a new nighttime feeding, for example, you might be forming a new, unnecessary habit.”
Usually when we do the transfer, I “dream feed” Daphne before setting her back down in the cosleeper. I then spend an hour googling weird topics before drifting off to sleep myself. Well last night we decided to try something new.
I detached the co-
sleeper from my bed and moved it a few feet away. I reasoned that she’d still be in our room, but I wouldn’t hear every fart or gurgle and she wouldn’t be kept up from the glow of my googling. She went down at 8, but guess when she woke up? 10:45 PM, exactly when we typically do the transfer. I fed her and she went back to sleep after a bit of a struggle for 6-wonderful hours, a huge improvement from the night before. But the questions remain.
My nanny and others have said that babies develop an increased awareness around 4-months old, which we are already seeing. Daphne is HERE. She hears you. She sees you. She’s VERY interested in the world. With this awareness comes a sensitivity to the sleep environment, meaning that Daphne will begin to differentiate between the crib and the co-sleeper. She naps beautifully in her crib (if you call 45-minute naps beautiful, and I do because at least they’re predictable), but I really like having her in our room at night for these reasons:
1. It feels right (for me, for sure, but how does SHE feel?).
2. I’m close to her in case she IS hungry, wet, scared etc.
3. I can check on her constantly.
4. When work starts next week and I have less time with her, at least we’ll be able to cuddle in the early AM and in the middle of the night as needed.
5. I won’t have to walk down the hall to see her.
Though let’s consider the positives of keeping her in her room all night long:
1. She’s young enough now that perhaps it will make it easier to keep her there as she continues to wake-up to her environment.
2. She won’t be kept awake by the noises in our room – dogs barking randomly, Merp and I whispering, and phones accidentally going off because they weren’t turned on silent. But in what crazy world are dogs allowed in the room, but children aren’t?
3. More room in her crib for her to grow/roll/get comfortable as my tall baby already seems to be too long for the co-sleeper.
4. She’ll learn to self-soothe sooner. Maybe?
5. She’ll be an indepenent toddler who doesn’t sleep with mommy and daddy. Maybe?
I’m just not sure what to do, guys. Do I prepare to move the Pack n’ Play in our room so she has more space to sprawl? Do I pick a date, say at 4.5 months, and make the transfer out of our room for good?
With work fast approaching, this sleep stuff is stressing me out. Help!