Sleep Baby Sleep: Sleep Regression

Sleep Regression

This is what a typical sleep regression looks like:
Your baby goes from sleeping through the night, to suddenly waking several times a night. She can't fall asleep, or stay asleep. She fights naps, bedtime, and wakes frequently at night, often crying. Your baby is clingy, cranky and super needy during the day. You have ruled out illness, teething, and it's way longer than a few day growth spurt.


Sleep regression, sleep training
A sleep regression most commonly presents itself at around 4 months, 9 months, and 12 months.  This is around the time that your baby is going through some major milestones: rolling, sitting, standing, crawling, walking etc. What's actually happening with your baby is pretty interesting. Your baby is going through tremendous cognitive development. She is learning new skills and is practicing them in her head. Over and over, until they finally master the skill, which usually then terminates the sleep regression. Your baby's brain during this time is in overdrive. Try to imagine for a minute what you feel like the night before a big event like going away on a vacation, or the night before your wedding. You stay up all night thinking about everything, making sure you don't forget anything. You toss and turn, and keep looking at the clock. It keeps getting later and later and no matter what you do, you can't turn off your thoughts and just fall asleep. You start to get angry which makes it even harder to fall asleep. At this point you just want to scream! The next day you are over tired, cranky and just want to crawl back into your bed. This is exactly what's going on with your baby. Your baby can't turn off the brain work. She tries to soothe herself to sleep like she always did, but that doesn't seem to work. She often wakes up crying and screaming for your help, because she can't do it on her own. Your baby becomes overtired from all of this interrupted sleep, and ends up being cranky all day long.


So what do you do?

 1.) Try your best to stick to your bedtime routine to keep things consistent. You may have to make minor adjustments during a regression, but you don't want to completely change your routine, this will only confuse your little one even more.

 2.) Extra comfort during this time. Extra hugs and kisses. Try your best to settle your baby.

 3.) Don't let your baby cry. Respond to her need. She's telling you she's confused, tired, and doesn't know what to do with all these new ideas in her head. Respond to her, distract her, let her know it's ok and that you are there beside her, to help her through this.

 4.) Pull out your bag of tricks (most of which you probably used when your baby was newborn). White noise, bouncer, binky, "lovey", whatever it takes to get your baby to sleep. You both need sleep, otherwise you will find it very difficult to make it through several week of this.

5.) Lullabies work great to calm your baby down before bed, and to slow down all that brain work. Try incorporating a few lullabies in your bedtime routine. Brianna's favorite was Baby Einstein Lullabies

6.) Give your baby some practice time during the day to master her new skill. Let her roll around on the carpet or mat. Encourage tummy time if she's having a hard time rolling off her tummy. Help her out with crawling, with activities like these 
Toys for Crawling Babies

7.) Remember a sleep regression doesn't last forever, on average 2-6 weeks. The 8 month sleep regression usually lasts the longest because of all the physical development. Keep reminding yourself that this will pass, and your life will be back to normal soon.

8.) Sometimes there's not much you can do, but just tough it out.  Stay strong, don't get frustrated, and take naps during the day to be handle the rough night

I have been through this and it's not pretty. My baby went from sleeping 12 hours to suddenly waking several times a night. I was so confused and frustrated, until my Pediatrician told me about the regression. Made total sense to me once it was explained. Brianna's sleep regression only lasted 2-3 weeks. I thought to myself  "I have been through months of not sleeping, I can sure handle a couple weeks". So I just cuddled her more, responded right away, and even gave her extra feedings. I was so afraid that the extra feedings would be a major set back. I thought I would have to start sleep training all over again, but I knew she needed it during that time. I knew that since she had already mastered the skills of falling asleep independently for several weeks, she would go back to that once the regression was over. And guess what? That's exactly what happened. Once she worked out whatever she was working on in her little noggin, she immediately went back to sleeping 12 hours a night.

I look at a sleep regression  like when you first bring your baby home from the hospital. Anything goes at that point, anything she needs you provide. No set rules.  So that the both of you get some sleep, otherwise you'll slowly start to lose your sanity. Don't be afraid that your going to have to start sleep training all over. Like I said, once your baby already has those skills, the most that you'll have to do is remind her, not start all over.

If it has already been several weeks and your baby is still waking up frequently or relying on you to fall asleep, she may have become dependent on your interventions. Especially if your baby wasn't that great of a sleeper to begin with. You can start by taking a sleep assessment HERE. You will get a detailed report back within a few minutes on what might be going on, and how you could fix it. This a wonderful tool and it's the first step I took to get Brianna sleeping through the night. If you are still having trouble, I am also available for consultations. I can create a sleep plan for your baby, and help him/her start sleeping through the night. The sleep plan will include a step by step outline of how to teach your baby to fall asleep on his/her own, and without your help. So that your baby can just go right back to sleep on his/her own if he/she wakes up during the night. We will work closely together, and I will be just an email away, because I know how confusing all of this can be. I have been there.  Please take a look at my Baby Sleep Consultation Packages or see what others are saying about how I have helped them. If you would like to read more about me and my story, please take a look at my Biography


My next article How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night!



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172 comments:


  1. Very good post. I'm experiencing a few of these issues as well

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  2. Thanks for the information and the reminder of normal sleep regressions. My little guy is almost 9 months, learning to crawl, and seems to be going through a major sleep regression. He used to sleep for 6-8 hours straight, after 1 early night waking. The last few nights he has been up every hour or two, and also resisting naps during the day. Unfortunately we are about to fly across the country for a funeral. Couldn't really be a worse time in terms of baby sleep....

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  3. Hang in there, I promise it will be over soon. Extra love and attention will help your little one get through this easier. Also try your best to keep your bedtime routine. Good luck!

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    1. I am also experiencing this. My little girl was sleeping through and then started to wake at 5 months. We could settle her by tapping her back and then she would wake an hour latter. It then has just got worse and she started to really cry and I could only settle her by feeding her, but now taking an hour to settle after the feed. She has now got a cold and I can't seem to settle her now after a feed and she won't sleep on me or my husdand. She wriggles and crys. I have another daughter so I can not catch up on sleep the day is all go. My little one is now 6 months and feeling very frustrated. I don't know what to do. Any advice?

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  4. Ok..my son is born the same month and year as yours...still getting up at least 3-6 times a night. I am back to work full time and can't handle this...did you let yours cry it out earlier on?

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  5. I never let Brianna cry it out, I believe there's many other effective ways to help your LO sleep. A good and consistent bedtime routine at a descent hour, along with putting her down to asleep awake so she can learn the skills to fall asleep independently, was a great starting point for us.

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  6. My babys 4 months and the past couple of days she seems to struggle to sleep, Shes very clingy during the day and fights her sleep a hell of a lot! Help!

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  7. If it's only been a couple of days, give it some time, it may be too early to tell what the culprit of your sleep troubles is. If the problem persists email me, I would be glad to help.

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  8. My LO has just gone 4 months and seems to be going through this too, gone from sleeping all night to waking every 2-3 hours. I thought i was back tracking with more feedings and even taking the wheels off my bassinet so that it turns into a rocking bassinet, its nice to know that im not back tracking and he will eventually settle himself again :) problem is he now has a tooth coming through too haha, poor boy. Thanks for ur blog :)

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    1. You are very welcome, I am so happy to hear you found my blog helpful.

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  9. Hi Violet,

    I'm going through this right now! It's been about 3 weeks now and it started just before she was 9 months old. She's never been a good sleeper but now it seems things have been at it's worse. Since I still nurse, I thought she was waking up a lot out of habit rather than hunger so I weaned her from her night feeding (between 12am-7am). It's been two weeks now since she drank during that time but in the meantime, we also changed her from sleeping in our bed to sleeping in her own cot. I thought two weeks was ample time for a baby to get used to change but I was wrong! Then I read about sleep regression and it made sense. She's been VERY busy with trying to stand on her own (without holding an object). We're getting by on 3-4 hours of sleep and it's killing us! Should I go back to nursing her when she wakes? I know that that always seem to help her go back to sleep immediately. I've been trying everything and am willing to try anything. We've been sleepless for nearly a year now.

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    1. Hi Veomani,
      If she was sleeping for you before (12am-7am) and you truly feel this is a sleep regression, then it's ok to offer a feeding at night to help if there is no other way she will fall asleep. Sometimes your little one just needs that extra bit of comfort to get through this tough time. It's a sticky situation because your baby just learned to sleep for an extended amount of time without needing a feed, and it's only been 2 weeks. I would be cautious not to fall into that trap of nighttime feedings again, so only nurse when ALL else fails. Good luck!

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  10. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story and advice, it really helps!! Thank you!!

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    1. You are very welcome, I love hearing that I have helped others.

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  11. First off thank you so much.. This made more sense than what i had read on other sites. My little one is 3 months and is trying to roll for the last two weeks she wont sleep more than 45 mins to an hour at a time. Most days she may take a 10 min nap. We have gone from her playpen next to my bed to her sleeping on me cause she wont sleep if i put her anywhere else. Glad to know i am not alone on this.

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    1. I totally feel your pain, but it's a phase that will be over soon, and I promise you will get through it. Encourage lots of playtime on the mat to help her practice those rolling skills more during the day. Good luck! I'm glad I could shed some light on your situation.

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  12. Hi, My daughter just turned 9 months and was sleeping through the night(7pm-5am.. then feed and sleep to 8) since she was about 6 months (once I moved her to her own crib). She started waking up twice a night since Christmas time when her sleep schedule was up and down with dinners and such. I have been working hard to give her naps and put her to bed early but it doesnt seem to help. In the last three weeks there was one night she did her usual sleep, other then that shes down at 7pm up at midnight, up at 4am...sometimes at 2am(buti usually just leave her and let her cry). I feed her cause i it calms her and puts her back to sleep. I just dont want to start a night feeding habit. She wakes up screaming which she neverused to do..she would wake up chatting to herself before.. of course that was after a full sleep. Any advice? She is starting to pull herself up on things quite a bit. Part of me just wants to feed her and believe it will be over soon and not stress but another part of me is not wanting any habits to form and have to sleep train all over...

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    1. Hi Candice! How does your daughter fall asleep, do you have to rock or feed her to sleep?

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    2. Hi, no thats the thing, she's has been going to sleep on her own for as long as I can remember.. I read to her and then put her straight down with her soother and her breast pad..yes a washable breast pad.. its her item she loves to rub against her face and snuggle. Not even a peep from her most times..sometimes she chats to herself. When she wakes screaming she has her soother in hand, so its not that she cant find it, if thats what she wants. I try to give it back to her but she just screams harder.. i try to pick her up and soothe her but that doesnt seem to work. I just end up breastfeeding her and that puts her right back down, sometimes a full feed, sometimes a partial. Thanks for taking the time to help :-)

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    3. You are doing everything right, it definitely sounds like your typical sleep regression. Try whatever you can to get her to go back to sleep and if all else fails it's ok to give her a feeding, sometimes that's all babies need to get through this tough time. Good luck, sounds exactly like my little one at that age, you'll get through it.

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  13. Thanks for your post, we are for sure going through something similar. My son has been sleeping 11-12 hours until 3.5 months then he started waking up to eat (of course right when I stopped nursing) so digging through the kitchen in the middle of the night was a first. He got back to sleeping for 3 weeks then we just started it again a month later. He is 4.5 months. He wakes up at random times, 2, 3, 5 and slugs an 8 oz bottle. The time is never consistent but he always slugs a bottle. I am so scared to start a habit, but how can I not feed the little guy when he eats this much?! I spent 3 hours tossing and turning obsessing about what I should do I didn't sleep=( My little guy was sound asleep. Mommy is tired this morning, any encouragement would be much appreciated! This is my second as well and my first never did this.

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    1. The best thing to do is to determine which of those feedings, he actually needs. At 4.5 months he doesn't need to eat at 2,3,and 5am. He may only need 1 feeding. Then during the other wake ups, try your best to get him back to sleep using whatever method has worked before in the past. All of this may be very discouraging given the fact that he was already sleeping 12hrs. With this sleep regression, a midnight feeding may be all that he needs to get through this tough time of development. Feed him as a last resort and hopefully he will be able to soothe himself back to sleep again soon. Hang in there!

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  14. Hi Violet,
    Thank you for your blog! My almost 4 month old daughter has been sleeping through the night (about 10:00-6:00 am) every night since she was about 8 weeks. I started sleeping training (new schedule with an earlier bedtime and to help her fall asleep independently) recently while also transitioning her to her crib. During all this, she has started to wake up 2-3 times at night! I got so used to sleeping through the night, I'm not sure what to do! Everyone says something different. After reading your blog, it may seem to be sleep regression but some research says that they are becoming more socially aware and want our attention. My pediatrician says it might be because she doesn't know how to independently fall asleep (even though she was sleeping through the night before....). So, I'm not sure if I should feed her, just pick her up and sooth her or actually help her fall back asleep myself?.... She's not a good daytime sleeper (really fights naps), so sleeping at night was great for her to catch up on sleep! ANY advice?! Thanks so much for your time!

    LC

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    1. You say that you just recently started to teach her to fall asleep on her own? How did she fall asleep before when she was sleeping through the night? In other words, did you rock or nurse her to sleep?

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    2. Hi Violet, I just responded to your question but accidentally sent it as a post. All in all, I see now that I should've started to teach her to fall asleep on her own way earlier...Thank you so much.

      LC

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    3. The absolute best thing you can do for your baby's sleep (and yours too), is to teach her to fall asleep independently. Being consistent with this is key. If you sometimes allow her to fall asleep in your arms nursing, and other times you do something else, she won't know what she's suppose to do to fall asleep. Once you start teaching her to fall asleep on her own, there's no turning back you have to follow through with it every night, even it's a little rough the first few nights. But she will learn to fall asleep on her own because she will realize you are not giving her any other options. Once she learns this you will be so happy. My daughter has mastered this at this point, I lay her down in her crib and walk straight out of the room, never any protesting or crying, and she's asleep within minutes...all on her own! Best of all no night-time wakings. Stick to it, you won't regret it.

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    4. Wow, sounds great! I really do hope I can get to that point soon! At this point, it doesn't seem like it's gonna happen anytime soon. Do you mind me asking what method you used to teach your daughter? I'm curious to know what worked for you? And what about daytime naps? Do you follow the same method then too? Thank you!

      LC

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    5. I mostly do pick up/ put down along with some shushing and reminding her its bedtime by using the phrase "sleepy time". When we first started this I tried everything just to get her calm enough to lay down without crying. The trick is to get your baby to lay down even if just for a few minutes at first to try to figure out a way to fall asleep without you. It might start off with only 1 minute, then 5, and eventually she will be ok with going to sleep on her own. It's not easy but if you stay firm and consistent, she will learn this skill and you will both be happy.

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  15. Yes, just in the last week or so we started trying to teach her to fall asleep on her own. She went to bed on her own at bedtime (although she SOMETIMES fell asleep while nursing or while burping), so we didn't feel pressured to teach her for naps because she was younger. AND she fought her naps so hard that she was always super overtired so I was desperate to do whatever I can to get her to sleep! Does that make sense?

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  16. My baby is 4 months next week. He had a cold about 3 weeks a go which lasted about a week but since then has gone from sleeping from 10pm until 7 or 8am to waking up on average 4 or 5 times a night. I don't like letting him cry so I often end up offering him a bottle which settles him and he will go back to sleep but normally only has 2 or 3 oz of milk so don't know of I should be doing this. When we put him to bed he is awake and he goes to sleep by himself . We are moving house soon and I was wondering whether to move him from his crib in our room into cot in his own room. Any help much appreciated as I need to go back to work soon.

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  17. Illness can definitely be a set back , he just needs to be reminded to self sooth again. Always put him to bed awake(as you have been doing) and do the same when he wakes up at night. Try everything you can before you give him the bottle, such as a gentle reminder it's sleepy time, maybe some sushing or gentle rocking, just make sure he remains awake. Then try putting him back into his crib. If he truly seems hungry then feed him, he's may truly just need a feeding, but use the bottle as a last resort. As far as moving him into his own cot, I would put it off for a little bit until he gets back to sleeping a little bit better at night again, otherwise this may upset him even more , not to mention you will be running in there all night. Good luck, let me know if I can answer any more questions.

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  18. Hi thanks for the reply,
    Last night he went to sleep by about 10.45pm (self settled). He always sleeps better when he goes to bed later for some reason. He woke 2 or 3 times, was grisly but then when he started to get louder and esculate into a cry I gave him his dummy. At one point I put his night time mobile sound only on. He went back to sleep quickly each time and didnt have a bottle until he woke at about 6.30am. This is tremedous progress and is simply trying not to offer a bottle - he obviously doesn't need it. Now I'm worried about him relying on the dummy though, sometimes I literally have to sit by him and hold it lightly in his mouth because he will NEVER keep it in himself (never has). Its definate progress that I don't have to loft him out his crib and feed him each time he wakes but I just don't know where to go from here. I was also wondering about trying hungry baby milk/baby rice/rusks.

    The reason I was thinking about moving him into his cot soon is because I suspect sometimes the reason he wakes is because the crib is too small and he hits the sides of it.

    Let me know if you have any advice.

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  19. That's great progress! You could try tackling the cot situation now. He might need his dummy in the beginning while he goes through all these changes. Then once he's settled in and you no longer want him to rely on the dummy, slowly start to limit on how much he uses it. You can also use the "cold turkey" approach and take it away completely. It usually takes a baby 3 full days and they forget about it. Sounds like you are trying to tackle a lot at once, so don't get discouraged if it all doesn't work out at first. Some progress is better than none. As far as adding hungry baby milk or rice rusks, in my experience, that has never worked. A baby that is full will still wake and not go back to sleep if they don't know how to self settle. So the best thing to do is work on that first. Good luck!

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  20. My baby is going to turn 4 months in a week and the last few nights have been a real doozy. I think she is going through sleep regression as you described. Since 8 weeks she has been sleeping in her own crib from 7pm to 2am, wakes for a feeding, then sleeps until 6-7am but these past nights she has been crying and waking every 45min. I shush and pat but her cries escalate but the minute I pick her up she falls alseep in my arms. I have resorted to holding her and rocking her all night which helps her sleep but not me! I have stuck to the usual bedtime routine as you suggest: swaddle, bottle, fall asleep during burping, put down in crib. I see you often suggest putting baby down awake and let her put herself to sleep. I know this will help her a lot but I just can't seem to get her to go to sleep without a bottle of milk. She also cannot nap unless she is swinging in her cradle swing but eventually she will grow out of the swing and I will be struggling with naps. Any advice on how I can get her to sleep in her crib during the day and how to get her to fall asleep awake? Thank you. Your blog is great!

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    1. I know how hard it can be to teach your LO to fall asleep on their own, but what's a few nights of agony in return for a restful nights sleep with no unnecessary nighttime wakings. By accomplishing this you will be able to just lay your baby down and walk out of the room without any work. Unfortunately to get to that point you will have to do some major work and stick to it. My suggestion, choose something that will calm your baby down when she starts crying (shushing, gentle rocking, lullaby). Keep doing that, alternating with trying to put her back in her crib, just make sure she stays awake.Even if your doing it over and over. It's not really about what you do, or how you do it. It's about sticking to your guns and not letting your baby fall asleep in your arms. Inconsistency is the number one reason this method fails and your baby will never learn to fall asleep on her own. If you swing or feed her to sleep sometimes, even just once a day, that will totally confuse her and she won't even want to try to learn the skills to do it herself. She will keep waking at night in hopes that you will put her to sleep, but if you don't give her that option, she will have to learn to do it herself. For more tips check out my post on "How to Teach Your Baby to Fall Asleep Independently" in the top left column.

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    2. Hi Violet. So here is an update. I finally mustered up the courage and started sleep training this past Monday. I was prepared for at least an hour of heart wrenching crying but to my surprise, my LO just laid in her crib and babbled to herself for 18 minutes (I did the Ferber method) and fell asleep. She slept until 1am and I gave her a bottle and it took her 22 minutes to put herself back to sleep. The next night it only took half the amount of time. Tonight will be the 5th night and I was nervous that because I fed her on the way home from dinner out that she would have trouble going to sleep since there was a delay from the time she fed to the time I put her down but surprisingly she went to sleep in 5 minutes! She did not cry once on any of the sleep training nights. I only had to tap her a few times when she startled herself during the night but she fell back asleep right away. Thank you so much for your blog and encouragement. I wouldn't have had the courage to do it this soon if I hadn't come across your website.

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    3. That is wonderful news!!! Great Job!. You should be very proud of yourself for sticking with it and helping your LO sleep better (and I'm sure your excited about catching a few more ZZZ's yourself). I absolutely love hearing success stories like yours, thank you so much for your input.

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  21. Hi Violet,

    So my LO is now 11 months old and I feel at a loss of what to do. She slept almost 12 hours a night up until a few months ago. The regression makes sense as far as her developmental milestones (i.e. crawling, pulling up, walking) but now I have put myself and my husband in a sleep depriving position. I have never been one to let her "cry it out". I can't stomach hearing her cry so when she wakes up in the middle of the night I go in and pick her up and bring her in to bed with us because I am so tired and I know this is an "easy fix". Fast forward to 2 months later and she automatically wakes up and will cry for me...I tried once to let her cry it out and she was still screaming after a half hour. Needless to say I felt awful letting her cry that long and brought her in to bed with me. The hours she wakes up are not consistent so I don't know what triggers it. The other night she slept from 11-7 no problem. I'm tired, confused and at a loss. Any suggestions would help. I know this is my fault and I fear it is too late for her to learn to self soothe or correct this w/o her crying. Please help!!!

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    1. It's definitely not too late. It just make take some work and commitment on your part, since it sounds like bringing her into bed with you has now become a habit. Whatever method you used before to get her to sleep through the night, you will use now. It won't take as long because remember, she already has the skills to self settle, she just needs to be reminded of them. If your one of those lucky moms who never sleep trained and your baby just started sleeping through the night on her own, then you might have to do a little sleep training now, using a method of your choice. You can take a look at my articles "How to teach your baby to fall asleep independently" and "Sleep training basics" to help you get started. Good luck!

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  22. I was one of those lucky moms but now I'm not feeling so lucky. Thank you for your blog...it is helpful and I will be checking out your articles. I will let you know how it goes but thanks for the encouragement.

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  23. Hi Violet,
    Well, this is fantastic and I wish I had known this before my son hit 9 months because that's when the real insanity began. Like others describe, I had been surviving somehow on 3-4 hours sleep, and just when I thought I'd had got him to a regular full night's sleep and I stopped going to bed frozen with fear of him waking (thus giving me a bad night and a miserable day of tiredness to follow), then this new madness of 3-4 hour feeds (he was on 3 solid meals a day plus snacks) and things started again.
    I know to pay a bit more attention to the right things now.
    Thank you very much!!

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    1. You are very welcome Joyce! I'm glad I could help. Thank you for your input.

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  24. Thank you for your post. My five month old has been sleeping through since three months and has decided to wake every 1-2-3 hrs throughout the night. I pat his back or rock him a little then is he back to sleep within 5-10 mins.. I have started him on solids and slowly building that up, but i don't think he is hungry when he wakes. I read an earlier post where the dummy has come in useful, i also find that helpful but don't want one to become reliant on it all the time... To top things off i think he could be teeth too.. It's nice to know i'm not the only one out there. Can't wait until it's over.

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    1. You are definitely not alone, as you can see this is a very popular topic. Regressions can be frustrating because they tend to last longer than your typical growth spurts. The important thing to remember, is that they don't last forever and if your baby already had the skills to sleep through the night he will get back to that point. Good luck hang in there!

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  25. Hi Violet
    My 5 month old was sleeping through but now is waking up anything between 3 and 7 times a night wanting his dummy. As soon as I put it back in he will go back asleep . He goes to bed about 7.30pm and will wake (and not go back to sleep about 6.30am). He also sleeps with a baby comforter. How can I wean him off the dummy? I tried to do it last night but after 30 minutes of him crying I gave in. In terms of daytime naps I put him down at 9am but he will only have 30-45 minutes for some reason. He has a couple more naps during the day (no longer than 45-60 mins ) but at no set time as we are often out and about. He uses the dummy only at sleep time . Can you help ?

    Thanks

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    1. I just went through the exact same situation. The best way to get rid of the dummy is by doing it cold turkey and not giving in. You will go through about 3-5 extremely hard days and nights but I promise if you don't give in, by the 5th day things will be better and he will forget about the dummy. The key is not giving in! You can stay by his side to comfort him, quick hugs and kisses, or whatever method you choose just as if you were sleep training. Good luck!

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    2. Violet I have been reading everything you have written and I am getting some really great ideas but I am officially at my wits end. My little guy is 3 and a half months old and I know our problem is his soother and that he relies on it to go to sleep. He sleep well until about 12:30am then is up every hour wanting his soother. I often have to spend quite some time putting it back in as he loses it quite quickly. I have read this post and tried doing the cold turkey thing and he has not had a proper nap all day as well as pretty much cried the entire day because now he is over tired. He usually only has his soother for sleeping, during the day I use other methods of distraction or soothing and only give it to him if nothing else works. I am so tired and dread the time after midnight when I know I will not sleep another wink. When he wakes for his soother in the night I have tried picking him up for a quick soothe and that doesn't work the only thing that works is his soother but then he loses it five minutes later. During the day he cannot get past that first window of sleep and has about four naps of half hour or so each, he wakes up crying every time but even his soother won't put him back down. He also will only sleep on his nursing pillow on the couch during the day I am trying to get him into his crib but he just wakes up as soon as I put him down and starts screaming. At night he is in his crib. Help!

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  26. Thanks. I'll try the cold turkey. When comforting is it ok to take him out of the cot? I find it do hard just to let him cry .

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    1. Yes you can take him out, but make it brief. Let him know you are not deserting him. Quick hug and kiss and back in the cot. You will probably find yourself doing this over and over but eventually he will understand he has to go to sleep on his own. Some babies get worse when you pick them up so that may not work for you, in that case do whatever else you can to distract and calm him down.

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  27. My Lo will be 16 weeks on Tuesday and started being so bizarre as of last Saturday. He wants to be held all of the time, wakes up all night long, cries for no reason. He used to sleep after his bedtime routine from 7-1:30, eat, sleep eat at 5 then sleep till 7:30, now he is up all night long. I took him to his Pediatrician thinking he was sick and there is NOTHING wrong with him!!! And now he is crying again, GTO!!HELP!!!

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  28. Just wanted to let you all know there's a great contest going on now until April 14, 2013. One lucky reader will get a free Sleep Sense Program. For details just click on "Free Sleep Sense Program Giveaway" under topics on the left side of this page.

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  29. My little one is 5 months old today. Many say I am lucky because she has slept through the night, on her own, with the same schedule(12-7/8) since she was 3 weeks old. However, for the last few days to a week she has been waking up at 2,4,and 6. Im going crazy! She takes her normal naps during the day nothing more or less than usual. What is going on? How can I get her to sleep through the nights?

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  30. How does she fall asleep at night? On her own or do you have to do something like nurse or rock to sleep? And is 12pm her bedtime or am I misunderstanding?

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  31. Sounds like we have started the same thing. My daughter was sleeping 7.30pm to 3, 4 or sometimes 5am at night. We put her down awake after the last feed and she would settle herself to sleep. During the night she would wake and cry and self settle, but any time from 4-5am onwards she would need the dummy to fall back to sleep.

    Fast forward to her turning four months old last week and now she sleeping only 3-4 hours initially, then waking up every hour through the night. If we put the dummy in she will go back to sleep straight away, but wake 1-2 hours after.

    I'm hoping this phase will pass and she won't become reliant on the dummy as she wasn't before until 4-5am.

    We have tried picking her up, or just patting her head but she cries even harder.

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    1. Sounds like she has always been reliant on it if you had to go in every morning at 4/5am. If you want to get rid of the dummy pick a sleep training method of your choice and your going to have to teach her to settle back to sleep without it. Good luck!

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  32. Great post. We're going through something similar without son, but he's almost 18 months old.

    We recently started Ponseti treatment for his bilateral clubfoot, which requires weekly serial casting for three weeks and one final cast for three weeks following a minor operation. We're one week into the final cast, and from the application of the first cast, he has been sleeping later and later.

    He went from sleeping through the night from 7 or 8 p.m. to 7 or 8 a.m. to staying up to after midnight. The last two nights he stayed up until 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. When he does fall asleep, he would wake up alarmed when we finally tried putting him in his crib. The last few nights he has slept in his stroller, his bedroom floor, and in our bed.

    We're chalking it up to excess energy as he was walking for two months prior to the casting. Could it be that sleep regression has also coincided with this? Are there any major milestones at his age?

    We tried to stick to our guns and follow the bedtime ritual pre-casting, but that didn't help.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

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    1. Poor little guy, sounds like he's been through a lot. But it's funny you mention an 18 month sleep regression because I was getting ready to write a post about it. My daughter just went through it, there is major development going on at the age. Both physical and cognitive. Around this age toddlers are trying to gain a sense of independence along with their new found oppositional behavior. This can really make things tough. The 18 month regression, is probably one of the toughest, but just like any other regression it eventually goes away. Good luck to you!

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  33. Hi Violet, I'm looking for advice. My baby was 6 months old on 22nd April. He has been sleeping through 7 to 7, normally waking briefly once or sometimes twice but going back to sleep when I give him the dummy. For the past 8 nights he has been waking up properly crying and least every hour and sometimes more and I don't know why. Sometimes he will settle with the dummy but other times he doesn't want it and just cries. He has t any teeth yet do I wondered if teething but I can't see or feel any teeth coming through and would it last this long. Any advice much appreciated , I'm exhausted. He always settles himself to sleep quickly on his own with dummy when I first put him to bed. Thanks

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    1. A few things come to mind. First, around 6 months of age separation anxiety starts to kick in. Your baby may be waking and missing you. It's a phase all babies go through at some point and how fast they get through it depends on how you handle it. Best thing you can do for your baby is just give him more attention, respond to his cries, and let him know you are right there when he needs you. Another thing that could be happening is that your little guy became reliant on the dummy to fall asleep and is now crying every time it falls out. In that case you may want to consider getting rid of it, since it might be a sleep prop . The third scenario is that it's just a sleep regression, you could refer to my article for tips on how to get through it. Good luck!

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  34. I'm so happy I found your site! My daughter will be turning one in 2 weeks and she has gone from sleeping pretty well to now up every TWO hours. I'm going crazy. She used to sleep from 7:30-7 with one night nurse around 5 am and now she is waking for the day at 5:30! She is still napping twice a day and I tried cutting her naps down to one hour each to see if that would help since she was taking two 2 hour naps but it hasn't. Is this a regression? She hasn't started walking yet and isn't teething or sick. Here's her typical schedule:

    7:30 bedtime
    4/5 nurse
    7ish up for day
    10 nap
    2ish nap

    I am also am wondering if I should even go in during her night wakings. She will wake up and cry for a few minutes and then go back to sleep so I don't want to start a habit of going in every time to nurse
    Any help would be much appreciated!

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  35. Hi there! My daughter went through the same phase. If she is waking up during the night but is able to soothe herself back to sleep, I definitely wouldn't go in and nurse. Sounds like she is going through a regression and just needs to works things out and should go back to sleeping through the night. As far as the early morning waking, that's another story. I think the first nap of the day is too early. Babies tend to wake up very early for the day when they know they are going to get an early nap. If they know they are not going to get a nap until much later in the morning, they will conserve their energy and sleep in a little later. That's the best way to explain it, hope that makes sense.
    If she is up for the day at 7 you can slowly push the nap later each day until you get to about 1130/12. That should solve the early waking but if it doesn't perhaps she is ready for one nap. My LO switched to 1 nap around 10mos. She napped just like your daughter 10 and 2. For the switch I put her down at a time in between the 2 naps so at 12. She slept for 3 hours vs the 2 quick 40min naps. She's been napping great ever since. Just giving you some options to work with. Good luck, let me know if there's anything else I can do.

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  36. Geez, I'm so glad I found this post. I've been wondering what the heck happened to my awesome sleeper. My baby is 14 weeks today and up until 4 days ago, would sleep 6-8.5 hours the first stretch and go back down after a feeding. Now, he wakes up after 4-6 hours for a feeding, and is WIDE awake after the feeding or will go down only to rewake 20 minutes later WIDE awake. It has taken us 1-2 hours to get him to go to sleep again. Then I have to wake him up in the morning to go to daycare. Yes, the sleep deprivation sucks for us at the moment, but I feel even worse for baby because I feel like he NEEDS this sleep. But if he is working on a milestone or something, this would explain the strange behavior. It's either this or he is still adjusting to his daycare/nap schedule?

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  37. Hi Krista! You will find that your baby will go through many regressions and growth spurts during his first year. Once he works out whatever skill or milestone he's going through, he should go back to sleeping like he was if not better. His daycare schedule may be affecting his sleep a little bit but doesn't explain but doesn't explain the multiple waking, sounds more like a regression. Good luck, let me know if there's anything else I can answer for you!

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  38. My Daughter is 4 and half months I thought her sleep regression was over after a week of getting up every 1-2 hours she just all of a sudden just had 2 wake ups a night... but that only lasted 2 days now she is back to 5-6 wakings a night. She was able to put her self to sleep in the past and if I feed her at night he will put herself back to sleep following being burped. I don't feed her every time she gets up I will sit by her crib and pat her back until she falls asleep if that doesn't work after 10 minuets then I will feed her...I limit it to once (maybe twice if I'm desperate) a night. She won't stop fussing and crying in my arms till she is almost asleep then when I put her down she passes out in about a minuet so I don't believe she is drowsy but awake but if I do it any sooner I just end up patting her to sleep... when will I know this is over? Will I have the patting as a sleep crutch when it is over?

    Alexis' mm

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    1. You shouldn't have any problems with the patting. When a regression is over your child usually goes back to sleeping the same way she was before fairly quickly. When a baby has already been falling asleep on their own and sleeping through the night for a while, that means they already have those skills in place. Sounds like you are doing everything right by feeding her as a last resort. Hang in there, a regression can last up to 6 weeks but 3 weeks is the average, so it shouldn't be much longer until the both of you get some decent sleep.

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  39. Thank you for sharing your experience! It reminded me that my little guy is starting to grow into his own and needs extra kisses and reassurance from mommy. He just turned 4 months and started rolling both ways. Putting him to sleep and keeping him asleep has been such a challenge. After nights of awakenings, I was sure that all of our sleep training has gone to dust. I feel better knowing that he didn't suddenly forget. I can't wait for this regression to be over...just so I can look forward to the next one. :0)

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    1. Hi Christina!
      I know exactly what you are going through, rolling over can be a tough time as far as sleep goes. Just hang in there, and remember it's just a phase and doesn't last forever. Your little guy will be back to sleeping again soon, I promise.

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  40. Hi.. well we never had the luxury of a good sleepper but we had started to cope with 3 or so wakenings in the night. this was fine. but hit 15 weeks and our little bean is up every 1-2 hours. wont sleep for longer than 30 mins unless we're driving or he's in my arms. feel like im going insane. he has never had the skills to self settle has always been nursed or rocked to sleep. but now we need to teach him cos we are resorting to bringing him into bed so he can basically use me as a dummy. What i wonder is is now the wrong time to try teaching him as in your original blog you say they need extra comfort at this time? Im scared im making a rod for my own back by letting him nurse all night but its hard to know when he's actuaaly hungry and when he just wants comfort. any ideas?

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    1. It sounds more like your LO is using you as a sleep association. If you read my "How to teach your baby to fall asleep independently" post, that should help. Let me know if you still have trouble. And keep an eye out for my "sleep associations" post coming soon, that should really explain alot too. Good luck!

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  41. Hi Violet,

    We have, what we like to call a "text book baby"! :) She has reached every milestone exactly when she was supposed to, if someone gives an example of what they should be doing "at this age" then she is doing it! So it came as no surprise when I started researching when the next sleep regression is (she went through one at 4 months too). She had just turned 9 months, and about a week before that we moved house and she got a cold. So when all of a sudden my baby that slept through (7 - 5:30) started waking up at 10/11 and then again at about 2am I started having a mild panic attack! I now understand that it could be a combination of all of the above! My question to you then is; after her bath at night, I used to give her her bottle in my arms (it's our special time), and then used to put her down awake and she would be asleep by the time I get to the monitor in the lounge. But, since she's going through this sleep regression, I find she has to be fast asleep otherwise she just wont sleep for another hour. I initially left her, thinking she'll fall asleep, but it turned into a very sad cry, and when I got to her room she was standing in her cot looking around. Is it OK if in this time I still put her to sleep before laying her down? It's been almost 2 weeks! Here's to hoping it's over soon! Thank you for your help!!!!

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    1. I always feel that if you start falling behind on sleep then it is ok to do whatever necessary to catch up, because the both of you need sleep to get through this. The most common thing that happens during a regression is trouble falling asleep. Most of the time it's because your baby is trying to figure out a new skill or milestone, and once they figure it out things get back to normal. In the meantime there's not much you can do. If she is taking longer than usual to fall asleep, and she's quietly looking around in her cot , that's perfectly fine. That is her way of working through the regression.but if it turns into crying you can go in and offer extra hugs, and kisses. You can even cuddle your little one in your arms to help her fall asleep, that usually does the trick. I wouldn't feed to sleep, unless you exhausted all other options, that could be a very hard habit to break, I recommend trying everything else first to help her fall asleep. same goes for nighttime wake ups try everything you can to get her to fall asleep. If nothing works, by all means go for the feed. Good luck, let me know if there's any other way I could help.

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  42. My daughter has been doing this the past few days and last night was awful. I put her in her crib at her normal time, around 9:30, then she woke up at 12:00 and I would get her back to sleep, but she would only stay asleep for about 10 minutes. After 3 or 4 tries, I made a pallet on the living room floor and slept with her. She then slept until 6:30 without a peep. Would it be bad if I did this until this passed? I was thinking I would put her to bed like I normally do and if I can't get her to stay asleep the first time, get the blankets out and sleep with her. She's almost 9 months old and is trying to walk. Thanks for your help!

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    1. My guess is that she is also going through some separation anxiety as well. Best thing to do is comfort her when she cries, let her know that you are there when she needs you, but leave the room when she calms down. By sleeping with her you may be setting yourself up for more sleep issues.

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  43. I think my daughter is going through her 4 month sleep regression at the moment. Seeing as there is a lot going on in her little brain I just go with the flow but since a week or so she has started to scream hysterically when I put het down in her cot. She always has a little winddown cry or grizzle and the falls asleep on her own or with a few shushes from me but now it has gone from that to hysterical crying and yelling like she is protesting.. I often end up picking her back up to cuddle her (I have to say she doesn't really do it when mu partner is with us in the room and he puts her in bed..) until she's calm and then I can pat her to the point where she can selfsettle herself to sleep. I have tried to keep her up less and longer to see if it would make a difference as Im totally confused as to why she does this all of a sudden.. Is this typical for a sleep regression??

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  44. Yes this is very typical. As long as you keep putting her down awake you shouldn't have any problems and this regression should resolve within a couple weeks. When she cries just pick her up comfort her and lay her down when she settles down, you may have to keep doing that until she tires out. You have been doing everything right, you just have to give this a little time to pass. Good luck!

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  45. Thanks Violet!! Makes me feel a lot better that it is normal behaviour for her age as I was starting to feel like I was doing something wrong! :)

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  46. Hi Violet. My son just turned 7 months old, and he had always slept in his own room. He was never a good sleeper, but now it's becoming worse. He used to go to bed around 8pm, and will wake up for a feed around 3am. Then he started to wake up earlier, around 2am and then 1am. We were away for a 2 weeks holiday and he had to co-sleep with us because there was no baby bed for him. Its been more than a week since we are home, and he's sleeping worse. Put him to bed around 8pm, he usually nurse to sleep. He will then wake up after 1 hour, crying. DH tried to calm him a few times but he will only calm down after seeing me. I can sometimes just pat him to go back to sleep, if not, nurse him again. After putting him back in his cot, he will doze off but open his eyes to see if I'm still with him. This can go on for many times. I know he's tired but he can't sleep without me around. I don't know what to do...

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    1. This is very typical of a baby who is nursed to sleep. When you nurse your baby to sleep he falls asleep in your arms and when he wakes from his first sleep cycle, he becomes alarmed wondering where he is and where you disappeared. However your little one falls asleep, that is what is he is going to expect when he wakes up from sleep cycle, so if you nurse him to sleep your going to have to keep going back in his room all night to nurse him back to sleep. Make sense? Read my article about "Sleep Associations" that should really help you out. Good luck, let me know if have any more questions.

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  47. Hi thanks for this blog! my husband sent me the link to your blog from work, as I've been dealing with our daughter having difficulties sleeping (he works afternoons, so I'm in charge of bedtimes alone).
    Shes been sleeping in her own crib in her own room since 4wks old & we've had a bedtime routine since then too, hasn't changed. Been a great sleeper the whole time, & been sleeping through the night (730pm-7am'ish) since about 4-5mths old, not waking at all inbetween for a feeding or anything. Shes bottle-fed breastmilk..
    On Wednesday she woke up at 10pm screaming... I went in there tried to calm her down every way possible before picking her up, then picked her up & she stopped. I changed her diaper & tried putting her back down & she screamed. After about an hr of trying everything else, I gave her a bottle then she went back to sleep. Slept until about 6am, which is a little early for her but not too bad.
    Thursday she woke up just after midnight screaming... but was able to calm her down enough to go back to sleep (after picking her up, changing her diaper & cuddling her a bit) without a bottle & she slept til after 7am.
    Tonight (Fri) I did the bedtime routine, put her in her crib & she started crying. SOMETIMES when we first put her down, she'll cry for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep, but she just wouldn't stop! I went in, tried singing to her, picked her up & cuddled her...nothing worked (she just finished a bottle too!) I put a bit more in her bottle & fed it to her, she drank a bit more then pushed it away, but still wouldn't sleep. I brought her out into the livingroom & let her play a little bit with the lights off... she ended up having a little poop then after her diaper change, finally fell asleep (after a few min of crying when I first put her back down). Its only 930pm so not sure if she'll wake up again tonight yet, so we'll see.
    My mom always tells me not to cuddle her too much now because she's 9mths old & you don't want to spoil her... so I didn't want to start any bad habits by trying to cuddle her to calm her down, or introduce a nighttime feeding again.. but after reading your blog about sleep regression, it sure sounds like that's whats going on (or teething it could be.... she has no teeth yet) but its good to know I'm not alone & that this will go away, that it's not a new habit or anything. Sorry for the long post, long story short, thanks for the blog & the great advice/tips!

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    1. Sounds like a "text book" sleep regression. There's a lot of brain development going on at that age, I promise this will pass. In the meantime you can do whatever it takes to calm your baby down, try keeping her awake when you put her down so that you don't start any bad habits, and use the bottle as a last resort. When she wakes in the middle of the night keep any stimulation to a minimum, keep lights and noise down, don't talk if you don't have to. Just give a few quick cuddles, calm her down and place her back in the crib, you want to make sure she knows its time to go back to sleep. You can use a phrase like "it's sleepy time" just to remind her. Good luck! This won't last forever, I promise

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    2. Thanks for the reply that was quick! lol I've never put her down asleep... since she was 4wks old shes been put down still awake & has learned to put herself to sleep... I only used the bottle as a last resort after over an hr of trying everything else the one night... I do just a few quick cuddles tell her its bedtime & put her back down, and she continues to scream but when I pick her up, she cuddles in & can fall asleep... I never take her out of her own room, the lights are always off, there's no noise I just try to rub her to let her know its okay, but it didn't work.
      Tonight she fell asleep on me in the chair in her room for about a half hr, I tried putting her down asleep (first time trying it) and she woke right up screaming again... she finally has stopped and is sleeping for now on her own... hopefully it passes soon.
      It sucks right now, but we've been spoiled having a good sleeper so I can't really complain. Just glad to know what we're dealing with

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    3. Great! Sounds like you are doing everything right. Don't worry too much about "over spoiling" it's ok to do whatever it takes to help her fall asleep and get through this regression. Hang in there, I know it's the tough but you'll get through it :)

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  48. My baby is 4 1/2 MNTHS old. She has slept through since 10 weeks usually around 10hrs right the way through. She is always placed in her cot awake and gets herself to sleep fairly quickly. Over the last 5 days she's been waking in the night with a whimpering cry - to me she still seems asleep - and her crying soon eases if I touch her back/chest. Could this be sleep regression? Thanks

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    1. Hi Kirstie! Yes that is exactly what a typical sleep regression looks like. Whimpering is ok, it's your baby's way of trying to figure out how to get back to sleep. As long as she doesn't start crying, try to give her a chance to self settle before you intervene. Good luck, your doing things right by putting her down awake, great job! That's not easy!

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    2. Hi thanks for the quick reply.
      Last night she actually woke at 2am and eventually stopped crying and fell back to sleep an hour later. I try not to make any fuss of her and just placed her dummy in a few times to comfort her. She has also started to roll over and rolls on to her side during her sleep with her neck arched right back in what looks like the most uncomfortable postion ever!! Just a new little thing for me to worry about haha!!
      Oh and regards to her getting herself to sleep- I think I just have a very good baby :D she's always been that way without me even trying.
      Great blogs. Thank u xx

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  49. My DD is 4.5 months, and I'm also experiencing sleep regression with my LO. It started a couple days ago and based on your article, seems like I still have a ways to go. She's pretty whinny, doesn't want to nap or sleep at night.
    The problem with us, which makes it that much harder is the fact that she was a colic baby and it finally ended when she hit 4 months. So in order to be able to get her to sleep or calm her, we would bounce her to sleep and are still using this technique to get her to sleep. So unfortunately, she does not know how to self sooth...looks like i'm in deep do-do!
    Any recommendation? Not a good time to start sleep training now!

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    1. Hi Lise! You know it's never really the "right time" to sleep train. Our babies are constantly going through growth spurts, regressions, teething, colds etc. So if we wait for all of those things to pass, we may never get to teach them healthy sleep habits. What also happens with babies that have been rocked or nursed to sleep is that around this age the rocking doesn't really work anymore. So they have a hard time falling asleep and wake multiple times at night wanting you to soothe them. I normally never recommend doing any "sleep training" during a true sleep regression, but your situation is unique because you have been bouncing her all this time. So chances are, it's just not working for her anymore. I would say now is as good time as any to teach her how to fall asleep on her own. For information on how to do that, please refer to my article called 'How to Teach Your baby to Fall Asleep independently". Good luck, let me know if you need any more help.

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  50. hey im hoping you can help my 13 week old is ebf and is still feeding every 2-3 hours in the night its becoming so hard! he used to co sleep in an arms reach attatched to our bed but he has recently started fussing alot at night so after a few nights in his bouncer which didnt help ive decided to out him in his cot, hes in his own room as i was hoping this might reduce his feedings if he cant always smell me, but it doesnt seem to be working. im still nursing him to sleep as i didnt want to change too much at once and scare him but if he wakes as i put him down he takes his dummy and useually nods back off. He qute often wakes 30 mins to and hour afer being put down and my partner goes in sometimes he just wants his dummy, or sometimes whe have lots of tears and tummy patting and eventually he nods back off but only if i do this! But hes still needing to nurse so frequently. i just hope you have some advice for us

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    1. Hello! What's happening is actually very common and happens with about 90% of parents I talk to. It's sounds to me like he has a very strong sleep association with you and/or his dummy. What I suggest is teaching him to fall asleep on his own. It's the best thing you can do for him and yourself. Please read my article titled "Sleep Associations" it will explain everything. If you should have any questions after that, please don't hesitate to ask.

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  51. This post has made me feel so much better. My daughter is 101/2 months old and has been having sleep issues since the 4th of July. She actually made it through the fireworks but then woke up at 2am and every hour after that. We had originally thought it was due to the excitement of the holiday and being at my parents house, but it has continued every night since. Some nights she wakes every 3-4 hours, others it is every 2. When we go to her, she is standing in her crib sobbing. Often we just have to say "lay down" or lay her down, pat her on the back and she is back asleep. Other times it takes a little longer to get her to settle down. She had been a good sleeper from about 4 months on (minus the occassional illness or teething) and has always gone down easily. It is just this past month that she has had the constant waking at night. It sounds like this is sleep regression. I will admit that every few nights when we have had a string of bad nights (waking every 2 hours) that we bring her into bed with us at about 2 am so i can at least get three hours of sleep before going to work. How long will this continue? Will it last until she walks (she is almost there) or could it just magically stop one night? After 4 weeks of sleep deprivation, my husband and I are begining to doubt it will ever end.

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    1. Hi Katie! I know how frustrating it can to be going through this and Yes it usually does just stop "magically" one night. Try your best to not create bad habits, but if all fails and your baby continues crying, then you obviously have to do, what you have to do, so the both of you can sleep. Sounds like you are doing exactly the right way by going in first, and reminding her to lay down. Good luck. If she was sleeping through the night before, she'll get back to that once this regression is over. Hang in there.

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  52. Violet--Thank you for your article. My almost 4 month old has been waking every 45 mins to an hour for naps and at night ((with rare exceptions) for 4 solid weeks now! He was never a great sleeper, but would usually have a 3-4 our stretch followed by 2 hour stretches. I feel like I have set him up with too many sleep associations that are dependent on me (nursing, rocking, paci), but I don't know where to start with changing this, especially since he's having such a hard time right now. I don't want to make things worse! I was also planning to move him from PNP bassinet to his own crib (still in our room) and am returning to work in a couple weeks. I am at my wit's end! I appreciate any suggestions you can give me. I feel like a failure as a mom right now.
    -Emily

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  53. Hi Emily! First let me start by saying, DO NOT feel like a failure. The common mistakes that you are making (that I have made too) are just natural reactions to your tearful and tired baby. No one tells us that we shouldn't rock or nurse our babies to sleep. As a matter of some of the older generation thinks I'm nuts for putting my baby down AWAKE. Fortunately enough, with a little hard work and commitment, you will have a much happier and well rested baby. I think it's great that you want to do the crib transition because it will be much easier to do everything at once and teach him good sleep habits in his new place of sleep. I would reccomend you start by reading these 2 articles:
    -"How to Teach Your Baby to Fall Asleep Independently"
    -"Sleep Training: No Cry Methods"

    If you should have any questions or concerns after that, please do not hesitate to contact me. Good luck, happy sleep training!

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  54. Thanks for these helpful tips!! I know this will pass, its just the 'right now I wish it would' phase for me, lol.

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    1. I know the feeling my 4 month old is rolling right now...in her sleep:)

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  55. My 4 mo son needs to be rocked to sleep at night...if he's not totally asleep when I put him down, he will wake up and start crying then we begin the whole process again. He's always needed to be rocked to sleep. How do I get him to fall asleep on his own?

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    1. Hello,
      Great question! please refer to my article titled "How to Teach Your Baby to Fall Asleep Independently". That should help you:)

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  56. My daughter is 5 months old. From 4 1/2 months she finally started sleeping through the night (12 hours from 9 till 9) but then a few days ago suddenly started to wake again in the night...first night it was just once and she was desperate for a feed. Second night it was twice and both times she wouldn't settle without a feed. Last night she woke 3 times and I managed to settle her once with a dummy, once with a feed and the third time she eventually settled herself. Does this sound like a sleep regression? I'm not sure as not a typical time. What I also worry about is whether my feeding her during the night now will cause problems later when she had got to the point of not needing night feeds. Baby is breast fed but also started weaning just before she started to sleep through. Any advice you have would be gratefully received!

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    1. Is she going through any new developmental milestones like rolling?

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  57. Hello.
    I have a baby girl of 10 months and apply the ferber`s method when she was 6 months to learn to sleep alone. It was very easy to begin to sleep through the night run, so what was difficult for her was to fall asleep. When all was fine, she slept quiet, we had a few days off and began to sit alone and got her start crawling. There started the problem again, had a hard time falling asleep, but slept through the night without problem. After a few weeks she calmed down a bit but now started again. It costs much sleep alone at night, crying like 15 minutes and sometimes more and moves a lot. I am very confused because I do not know if it is lack of sleep or she is over tired. She is taking two naps, but I was doing them short because I thought it was lack of sleep, then I read the book of Dr. weilburth and says that sometimes the problem is lack of sleep, and I have left to complete naps, which are 1 30 hours each. When she does all your naps without waking her up she wakes up an hour earlier in the morning. And the problem continues, it costs much for her to fall asleep. The other problem I have and I want to correct is that we put her too late on bed at nigth, but first I want to solve the problem that can sleep quiet and fast and then accommodate the schedule.
    The schedule is: wake up at 9, first nap at 12 until 1:30, second nap 5pm until 6:30, bedtime (I tried to do it at different times to see if lack of sleep or very tired ) is usually between 11 and 11:30 pm. Sometimes cost her sleep until 12 pm around and crying.
    I appreciate the guidance and help.
    Sorry if my english is no so good.

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    1. sounds like she is over tired. Try with a normal bedtime, no later than 9pm for several nights, to see if her overall sleep will improve.

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    2. Thank for your answer. I will like first to see if is posible to make her fall asleep without too much turning and criying, and then progressibly change her bed time to and erlier time, because if I put her in bed at 9 pm is too short time since last nap last nap ends at 6:30 pm). What do you think? I appreciate your advice

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    3. yes, that's a good idea, you also might want to change her nap schedule a little bit so that her last nap ends no later than 5pm. Good luck Amelia!

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  58. Violet,

    my Adara is 14 weeks old; is that too young for the 4 month regression? The only skill she seems to be working on is batting at objects and strengthening her neck muscles.
    thanks!!!

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    1. No it's not too early. If she was sleeping fine before and she is now starting to wake, then it is most likely the start of a regression. It starts off with a few wakings the wakings peak when rolling starts, then starts to subside after rolling has been mastered. Good luck!

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    2. Hi violet! I'm delighted I found you! My baby boy is 11 months old and I think we've just gone through a sleep regression as you described, the last three weeks he has been unsettled at bedtime, not going off to sleep on his own, waking in the night and extremely clingy with me.. He also had a cold which didn't help but he has been doing lots of new things like standing and trying to walk but is struggling with the getting down bit after he's stood up! I think things are slightly improving, he was a great sleeper before, my worry is we are going on holiday for a week and I may have to co-sleep with him and I'm starting to stress he'll be awful when we get back, what can I do to try and prevent even worse habits?

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    3. Hello! Sounds like a typical sleep regression. As far as the holiday trip, if you have to co-sleep and there is no other option, I think he will be find when he gets back. He should pick up where he left off once he see he has to go back to his usual sleeping arrangement. He will realize the trip was temporary when he is laying back in his crib in his home. I wouldn't worry too much about, babies are clever, especially at that age. Good luck!

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    4. Thanks so much for your reply Violet, I think I've finally understood what's been going on these past few months! I haven't found anything anywhere that's explained this so well and feel much more confident now so many many thanks, my only other issue is Louie is such a light sleeper that almost anything wakes him up at the moment, is that typical of this age or does he just take after me! I feel so bad having to tell everyone to be quiet the whole time but I'm so worried about him waking up once he's off to sleep as we've had terrible time these past few weeks!

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    5. Yes, some babies are just light sleepers, and others can sleep through anything. I think it's genetics. Don't feel bad, my first baby was such a light sleeper, I literally posted a sign on my front and back door that let everyone know that my baby was sleeping. They have really cute baby signs on Etsy. Good luck with everything, I'm happy you found my site and information useful.

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  59. Violet
    My LO will be 4 months on the 26th and for the past 3 weeks he has been sleeping from 7:30PM -12PM and then waking up every hour after that, I have tried feeding but he will only feed at 3 am otherwise I just go in and pat his back ... he jolts a couple of times and then goes back to sleep (only for one hour).
    Everyone keeps telling me he is dependent on my patting but he was sleeping fine before this and when I put him down at 7:30pm I rock him for 5 minutes , put him down drowsy and then pat his back for just a minute.
    I really dont want to have to sleep train by letting him cry if it is not necessary. The pediatrician says it might be reflux but I know this has to do with the jolts that he is experiencing (probably from all the activity)....
    I see he is more active, babbling and giggling now but I am getting worried because I dont see him trying to turn over and this waking up has lasted 3 weeks already!!!... help!
    The lack of sleep is affecting his naps and feeding too. Are there any signs I should look for that this will be over soon?

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    1. Give him a little bit more time a regression can last up to 6 weeks. I know it's exhausting, I just went through 6 weeks of with my now 5 month old. If things don't improve it a few weeks read my article about "how to teach your abby to fall asleep independently" and "sleep training no cry methods". Good luck

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  60. I also wanted to send my thanks to you for this article! I was suspecting my 10 month old, who started to crawl 2 weeks ago, is going through a sleep regression, read other articles about it but was made concerned because they said that the regression wouldn't last more than a week or two and that you should be very careful not to start new bad habits thinking that it is still the regression when in fact it is already over and the baby now is just cleverly manipulating you. Our very bad nights (in fact the worst nights we have ever had) have lasted more than 3 weeks, so I was getting really worried that things are getting out of control and I have "ruined" my very good sleeper and that it will now be like this "forever". I decided today, once again, to try to find some more information about what is going on and this time I found your article. It was very comforting to read that a sleep regression can actually last up to 6 weeks and that during this time you should just stop worrying and do whatever is needed to get the baby back to sleep quickly. This knowledge will help me so much to try to stay calm during the night, not to panic and not to get frustrated, which unfortunately has happened a few times and I have felt so guilty after... Thank you again for the encouragement and the information on this topic! I have found that if I have good information and understanding about what my baby might go through and struggle with, it is so much easier to support her through it. I am very hopeful and positive about our nights now :)

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    1. I'm glad I could help. My 5 month old has just gone through 6 weeks of regression, it was exhausting, but thankfully it's over now. Hopefully things will get better for you too very soon!

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    2. Reading this has made me all emotional! 4 weeks of constant interuppted sleep, and its nice to find out there is hope of a full nights sleep sometime in the future! My daughter just turned 5 months, for the last few weeks she has woken most nights, at least twice, screaming and crying! I can settle her back to sleep, but as soon as I place her back in her cot she starts crying again! The temptation to let her sleep in my bed is overwhelming, but I am determined not to give in as my husband is such a heavy sleeper! Im hoping we will get to the end if this soon, and both get a decent nights sleep, as we are both cranky and grumpy in the day!

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    3. Yes there is light at the end of the tunnel, trust me! I just went through this with my now 5 month old. It lasted a long 6 weeks, I though it was never going to end. Hang in there!

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    4. Hi I wanted to get your thoughts on CIO for sleep regression? My 4 mo was sleeping 7pm-5/6am since 8 weeks but for the past fortnight he's waking randomly throughout the night. I feed him and he goes back to sleep but it's driving me mad. He has no problem going down at night and goes down awake as the same as his Daytime naps. He sucks his thumb to soothe himself but at night he doesn't do it so much. I'm breastfeeding but for past week have done his 7pm feed as formula hoping it would send him through (and for the first night it did) but now he wakes twice sometimes three times and even if I give a further formula bottle he still wakes again a few hours later. I have a 2 yo who I used the Ferber method on at 5 months and that was very successful so I'm not adverse to doing the same but want to know if its the right circumstances. I've never tried just patting him or shushing him back to sleep. He feeds every 2 1/2-3hrs in the day so really don't think he's hungry plus I was cluster feeding (5,6, final at 7) but stopped as found he then wasn't taking as much for his final 7pm feed. Would really appreciate any wise words!

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    5. I wouldn't suggest any changes or sleep training during a regression, it could make things worse. I would wait until the regression is over to do any kind of sleep training. Good luck!

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  61. Thank you, thank you, for this post. My daughter is almost 9 months old. Precisely at 8 months she started sitting up and crawling at the same time, and ever since then her sleeping has been horrible. I knew it was regression, but unfortunately I was following the same "advice" cited by others above and trying to be firm with her and not let any bad habits develop. It's caused us both so much stress, and we have both cried a lot. I felt like I was letting her down no matter what I did. Tonight she had trouble getting to sleep after our usual bedtime routine. I would normally her cry for a while, then go in and hurriedly hold her for a few minutes and pray I wasn't creating some kind of dependency. Instead, armed with your advice, I immediately went in, rocked her until she was sleepy (and enjoyed every minute), and put her back in her crib. Boom. She babbled for a few minutes and has been sleeping soundly since. Thank you again. I am confident the remainder of this regression will be so much easier for both of us.

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    1. Great news, and I'm happy you found my site! It may take a little while for the regression to subside, but I'm sure things will be back to normal as soon as it does.

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  62. My son is almost 6 months old and has been going through a regression for about a month and a half. He slept in a little bedside craddle from newborn till about 4 months all the way through the night. Then we transitioned him to his crib where he slept through the night for 2 weeks. All of a sudden boom hes not sleeping through the night. If i put him in his craddle he tends to sleep better (still wakes up atleast once for food or binkie) I feel like hes never gunna sleep in his own room or in his crib again. Any advice?

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    1. It could be many things. The first that comes to mind is that he just can't get comfortable in his new sleeping place. Take a look at my recommended sleep items. There are some sheets, sleep sack, and other items I recommend that could help with the transition. Some other things to consider: Is he going through any developmental milestones? Separation anxiety? Is he on an age appropriate sleep-wake schedule? Is he falling asleep awake?

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  63. Hi,
    I have really enjoyed reading your article on the 9 month sleep regression. The things you explained sounded all too familiar! I have a 9 month old daughter and until 6 months she slept through the night perfectly on her own without any sleep training and also put herself to sleep no problem. From 6m to 9m she could still put her self to sleep and would sleep 8 or 9 hours and then wake and either want a cuddle or sometimes a small bottle but go right back to sleep. Things have got unbearable now though! I have been putting her to bed at her usual time of 7pm and she seems to be relaxed until I lay her down when she wakes right up and starts crawling around in her cot and pulling herself up ( both skills she has just learnt) I spend hours laying her back down, I have tried leaving her but she gets upset if I don't put her back on her back and I can't let her cio, it just goes against all my instincts to listen to my baby girl cry for me and do nothing!, its like she doesn't even want to be moving around but can't stop herself! Once she is finally asleep she will sleep till any where between 1 and 3 am and then wake up and start all over again! Ive tried white noise, swaddling(which does help for a while but she can escape from it now), rocking her to sleep which does work eventually but she weighs 221bs and it is absolutely exhausting! More often than not when I have rocked or got her to sleep in some way she will wake right up when she realises im gone! We've tried bringing her into our bed but she wont and never has slept been able to sleep there! When all else fails I give her a bottle but this doesn't always work any more either! She will finally get back to sleep a few hours after she wakes but then wakes up cranky but insisting on starting the day any time after 6am! Im working full time and also pregnant with my 2nd and this is so so exhausting! What would you advise I do if anything at all? I am hoping it is just a phase and will soon pass but im slowly going insane in the mean time! Any advice greatly appreciated ;-)

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    1. I know the feeling and how exhausting it can be, hang in there. It is a phase and it will pass. It may take a few weeks, but it will pass. Give her lots of practice time during the day so she could practice and master her skills, not much else you can do. Sorry :(

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  64. My daughter just turned one a few weeks back. She also came down with a cold just then and every night was sleepless as the congestion and coughing really interrupted her sleep
    Shes now fully recovered but shes been fighting her daytime naps and bedtime profusely. She wakes up at 7am, naps at 10 am for an hour plus and then again at 3pm for another hour plus. Her bedtime is 9pm. She was doing very well on this schedule up till she caught the flu bug. Now every night when I put her into her crib, she screams and wont settle unless I stay in the room. Ive tried letting her cry for a few minutes but it usually ends up with her throwing up which is something I cant bear. I tried pu/pd but that didnt work. Now I leave the lights off and just calm her down with "shhhhh" and she will fall asleep. Then she would wake up at 5 or 6am screaming. Again I just "shhh" till she calms down and fallss asleep again which doesnt alwayswork eeither.

    Please tell me this is just a phase as I havent slept much in almost a month now. She was such a great sleeper! ;(

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    1. Im not sure if it is illness related, though it could be. Sounds alot like she may be ready for 1 nap, if she is fighting it that bad. I would try that, along with an earlier bedtime, good luck!

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  65. Hi Violet,
    Starting about a month ago, my daughter (10.5 months) started taking very short naps. She gets most of her sleep at night and sleeps 11.5-12 hours at night. She's been on two naps for a few months. At first, she was sleeping 14.5 hours total and taking an hour AM and an hour and a half PM naps. Then, she shifted to a 40 minute AM and a 50-1 hour PM nap. She was able to manage it well, but she was very insistent that she wanted to be in bed by 6:30pm or she'd melt down. Now, she's scaling back again! She is taking a 30 minute AM and sometimes either a 40 or 50 minute PM nap. I let her cry it out for 15-20 minutes and it doesn't work. She is tired. She falls asleep immediately with minimal fuss. I can't give her a much earlier bedtime than she already has (615-6:30 these days). She is put in the crib awake and she puts herself to sleep. She is never nursed or bottle fed to sleep. She doesn't use a paci. She has animals in the crib with her but has not loved onto any of them. She usually tosses them out. I'm at my wits end. She's up for 3 hours for the first nap (I've tried 3.5 hours and its the same half hour). The second nap, she's up for another 3 hours. 3.5 hours, 2.5 hours, 4 hours, it's all the same. Is this a regression? I thought she had one of those at 8.5 months. She just got a new tooth last week and seem to be going through some developmental stuff (learning to nest things together, stand independently, etc...) Please help!

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    1. Sounds like a lot is going on with her. Could be a regression, teething, schedule needs to be age appropriate, too long/short wake times, just to throw out a few ideas. ..

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  66. Hi seeing your post is very reassuring! My daughter is 4 days away from being 7 months and has been waking multiple times every night crying for over a month now. I am lucky if i get more than 3 hours sleep and as she started sleeping through early on it's exhausting. I was at a loss until reading this - even though she isn't 9 months yet?! We have tried cuddles, rocking, singing, dummies and milk (which she always takes) but they don't always work and i am just up in the dark with her until she decides she is tired and wants to sleep (at the moment mostly will only sleep in my arms - she is 21 - 22lbs!!) She has always been a nap fighter and will only nap on me but now it is much much worse!! She learnt to sit up un aided two weeks ago but she is still doing this?! I'm at my wits end right now :'(

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  67. Hi!
    I have a 4.5 month old daughter who was sleep trained at 5 weeks and could put herself to sleep. For the last two weeks during the day she will not put herself to sleep. In order for her to have a nap during the day I have to nurse her almost to sleep and then lay her down and quickly stuff her thumb in her mouth. When put down awake she rolls over onto her belly and can't roll back so she just screams bloody murder. At night time she'll put herself to sleep (bedtime is 7:00-7:30). She then sleeps till 4 or 5, nurses and is sometimes easy to put down then and sometimes not (used to be always easy). She then sleeps till 7:00 or 8:00. Is this a sleep regression? Am I causing her to have bad napping habits? I should also add she used to nap 1-1.5 hours and now I'm lucky to get 45 minutes.

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  68. I fear I am going through this with my 17 month old, he has slept through the night for about 12 months but all of a sudden he wont nap during the day - unless in the car in which case he's asleep before we get to the end of the road, is hard to settle at bedtime and wakes up several times each night, stood up, taggie in hand, screaming. The first few nights we let him into our bed as we thought it was the usual teething issue, but after 3 nights, realised it was something else so i now go into his room, kiss his head and lay him back down and then stay in his room until he is asleep and then creep across the room - which feels like crossing a minefield of creaking floorboards. Sometimes he's back up again in half an hour, sometimes its a few hours. I have 2 older children and work so napping during the day is not an option. I am shattered so really hoping this is a short lived blip and he goes back to being the good sleeper he always was. We have not had any sleep regression periods before.

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    1. You might have to adjust his sleep/nap schedule as his sleep requirements might have changed. But yes, there is a 18month sleep regression which is what might be happening

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  69. Is it bad to have your baby sleep with you through this period? I have tried everything to get my baby back to sleep in his own crib like he did before but nothing works. After hours of trying I give up and let him sleep with me because he will fall back asleep in my bed...is this wrong? Should I just stay awake with him in his room?

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  70. My son is just over 4 months old now and for about 3 weeks his sleeping habits have changed so drastically. He was self settling i would put him in the cot same time after bath and a feed and we would get a solid 10/12hrs no feeds in between this was Since 6 weeks of age. I felt very lucky I also only exclusively breast feed. But now he can wake every 2hrs it started with a few night wakings then it has just gone downhill I feel like I'm doing something wrong or my milk isn't good enough. I don't do cio method I can always put him in the cot wide awake and he goes to sleep no dummy no white noise but now its a back and forth game at least 4 tries to get him to sleep. I never heard of sleep regression and I really hope this is what's happening for us and it changes soon you're article has really given me hope and made the whole situation seem lighter. I miss my sleep but his smile makes everything better i guess I just ride it out keep up with the extra feeds at those times. I have been putting him in the bed with my husband and I do you think I'm starting abad habbit there? I just like having him close and its so easy to nurse in bed and go back to sleep with him. Thank you m-australia

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    1. Hi there! I hope things have gotten better for you. Sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner.

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  71. Hi
    I have 14 month old twin boys who sleep in the same room ( seperate cots though), they used to sleep through the night (and would fall asleep on their own) - 10/11 hours until they were 11 months old. I put them first couple of weeks of sleepless nights down to teething and once their teeth cut things sort of calmed down for a short while. Twin 1 mostly sleeps through the nite again (unless teething) but twin 2 will not go to sleep on his own, resists sleep and cries if I leave the room. He will only sleep if rocked and wakes crying approx 3-5 times a night and will not settle on his own and is awake from 6am! He is disrupting his brother's sleep and he is so cranky during the day and clingy. I know this would be due to the lack of sleep. Most days though he will sleep (and usually falls asleep in the cot on his own) for an hour or more. I can'y understand why he will go to sleep on his own during the day yet resisit it at nite and during the nite need to be rocked to sleep or else brought into my bed. This has been going on for 3 months now, is there anything I can do?? We already have the same bedtime routine always used in place and on bath nites he is no better. Thank You

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    1. Hi I have replied to your question on the "most common reasons, babies wake up" post.

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  72. Please help! My little boy is 14 weeks old and since he was 9 weeks old he has been sleeping between 5 and 9 hours a night without waking which was brilliant! Then at 13 weeks he had his 2nd round of vaccinations, got a bad cold and has been waking 2 - 3 times a night, sometimes he only sleeps for half an hour between wakings, but usually its 2.5 hours of sleep at a time. He's been cranky, crying loads, clingy and fighting his naps and he even screams when I try and feed him even though he is signalling that he is hungry! I am so exhausted and so worried about him. Does this sound like a sleep regression? And what can I do to help him? I've had him to the doctors but they think he's fine because he's gaining weight. He used to be so happy and such a good sleeper. I've tried to keep to his bedtime routine and I'm trying to encourage him to nap and to self soothe but please help with any advice! Thank you!

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  73. 10 Month Old Baby Girl
    Any suggestions will help, I have a 10 1/2 mon. old baby girl who use to fall asleep around 9:30-11:00 P.M. until she learned how to crawl and climb our stairs. Now these past 2-3 weeks she has not fallen asleep until 1:00 oclock. I had a bedtime routine of giving her a shower around 8:00-8:30 and than letting her play for a little bit and by 9:00 she would start rubbing her eyes and yawning. I recently went back to work after 8 1/2 mons so we had to start formal feeding her so usually during her play time I get her bottle ready and usually she is a little fussy so that tells me its time for bed. She has always fallen asleep by eating from me until my milk supply went down after going back to work so at 9 mons she has been falling asleep with the bottle until 2-3 weeks ago. These past two weeks have been the most exhausting my husband and I have tried to keep the routine of bath, and a little play time before bed and reading a book but it just seems like nothing has been working. Please help!

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  74. 10 Month Old Baby Girl
    Any suggestions will help, I have a 10 1/2 mon. old baby girl who use to fall asleep around 9:30-11:00 P.M. until she learned how to crawl and climb our stairs. Now these past 2-3 weeks she has not fallen asleep until 1:00 oclock. I had a bedtime routine of giving her a shower around 8:00-8:30 and than letting her play for a little bit and by 9:00 she would start rubbing her eyes and yawning. I recently went back to work after 8 1/2 mons so we had to start formal feeding her so usually during her play time I get her bottle ready and usually she is a little fussy so that tells me its time for bed. She has always fallen asleep by eating from me until my milk supply went down after going back to work so at 9 mons she has been falling asleep with the bottle until 2-3 weeks ago. These past two weeks have been the most exhausting my husband and I have tried to keep the routine of bath, and a little play time before bed and reading a book but it just seems like nothing has been working. Please help!

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  75. I'm so sorry I haven't been able to answer all of you, I am getting really busy with consultations and trying to help all the sleepless momma's out there! I will try my best to answer some of your questions when I have a minute. Thanks for visiting the site!

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  76. Hi
    I have a 6 month old and although he was not sleeping through the night, he would wake one or two times a night for a feed, he would always put himself to sleep at the start of the night and after night feeds. For the last 3 weeks he has stopped self soothing, by sucking his thumb, and now needs us to help him to sleep which can take up to 3 hours. I do not know if this is a sleep regression or if it was due to him being ill 3 weeks ago and teething badly. At the start, three weeks ago, when he was ill I nursed him a lot more and held him a lot more so cannot work out if it was that that has stopped him from being able to put himself back to sleep or if it is a sleep regression or just teething. I have tried shh pat and for 3 nights it worked but is now taking us an hour to get him to sleep by rocking him or nursing him. Should I just offer more nursings and cuddles because he will probably go back to self soothing or should I start a sleep training programme? As we are very tired we have let him cry on occasion for 10 mins. Sometimes he can put himself to sleep after a feed at night but never at the beginning of the night. He will also only take a nap during the day by being walked in his buggy and sleep for 40 mins. 3 weeks ago he would often have 3 hour naps.

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  77. I am glad to have found this! We have been having terrible nights with our twin girls in recent weeks. They used to sleep solidly from 7:30 PM-5 AM when we would wake them to feed but the past few weeks they are either resistant to go to bed at all or waking up at all hours of the night. Sometimes just one of them, sometimes both. We are exhausted! We chalked it up to teething but I have to wonder if they are just in a regression phase b/c they have been making developmental strides recently, some seem to advance overnight! What I do wonder though is that our girls will be eight months on Christmas but that is their 'actual' age. Their 'corrected' age is six-and-a-half months. So would this regression phase be in correlation with their actual or corrected age? I sure hope actual b/c I would hate to go back through this again in another couple of months.

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  78. Very informative site! But I still have some questions. I used to swaddle my boy, but at 4months, he has recently learnt to roll over and break free after a few hours. As such, I decided to let him sleep unswaddled. But he will always be turning & tossing in bed, as after turning onto tummy, he cant turn from tummy to back, he will just end up crying for someone to pick him up. Or when he's asleep on his tummy, he will keep turning his head from side to side, as if searching for something. Is this just sleep regression? It gets noisy and I cant help but reposition him or offer a pacifier, so that both of us can get more sleep. Or is it because I carry him to sleep in my arms before laying him down? Even when I was carrying him to sleep previously, he can still get through the night from after 9pm till 5-6am. It seems like I have ALOT of issues to tackle. HELP!

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  79. My baby is 5 months old & he learned to roll over at 4 1/2 months. He used to sleep 7-8 hours hours then feed and sleep another 2-3 hours. Then just before 4 months it became sleep 5 hours, feed then sleep another 2-3. Since 4 months he started becoming incredibly difficult to get to sleep day & night, with very short naps (before 1-2 hours, now 20 min to 1 hour). Instead of falling asleep between 8-10pm, he started not falling asleep until 2:30am. And he started waking up every 45min - 2 hours. I thought it was a sleep regression (because of his age), but now after reading your page & the fact that it's been over a month I wonder if it's because of bad habits. We always put him to sleep by either feeding him or rocking him w/ a pacifier in. He usually didn't wake up when the pacifier fell out but now he does all the time & when we try to put him to sleep he often accidentally pulls out the pacifier & starts crying. I was getting fed up w/ the sleep deprivation which is how I came to your site.

    You say it's best to teach them to fall asleep in their own w/o props which makes sense to me, but you say during a regression to use what works. How can I tell the difference? I tried putting him to sleep last night w/o pacifier & gave him his feed at their beginning of the nighttime routine & I put him down drowsy but awake & he cried for 2 hours (I tried shhh/pat & PUPD) & he eventually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. He only slept 2 hours though. I tried yo do the same thing w/ his nap which resulted in 3 hours of crying & I eventually gave up because my arms were tired from all the bouncing/patting during PUPD & I was exhausted so I gave him his pacifier & he fell straight asleep for an hour. Also it seems when I try to comfort him after he's been put down & I touch Hus body he just cries harder & thrashes around more. He's ambivalent to the shushing. The only thing that calms him is PUPD & as soon as I put him down he startsbcrying really hard. Any suggestions? Sorry for the long-winded question.

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    1. The 4 month regression can be tricky. But the general rule was if he was falling asleep completely on his own and was sleeping through the night (or at least a long stretch) but is now crying when you lay him down, and waking often, then it is most likely a sleep regression. If he has never fallen asleep on his own and you are now having all of these problems, chances are he's just learning to sleep. I would recommend looking into some sleep training methods. See if this article about sleep training basics helps http://violet-sleepbabysleep.blogspot.com/2012/12/sleep-training-basics.html#.UvENYhZCqgE

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  80. Hi Violet, thank you for all the information you put here. I have a question about my almost 6 month old daughter. She is exclusively breastfed and I always nursed her to sleep. I figured when she was ready to stop doing it, she would. At about 3 months, she started sleeping longer stretches at night. She would wake up once, maybe twice to nurse and then fall asleep. Sometimes she'd sleep right through. At 4 months, she started staying awake after nursing...we'd walk her etc...and then put her in the crib wide awake because we had done everything. Surprisingly, she would fall asleep on her own in about 10 minutes. Then Christmas came :-) we went to visit family and she had major issues with anxiety there. She still slept in a crib (I don't like co sleeping) in our room and slept well...

    When we came back home, she went back to her routine. Then she got colds, 3 since December...she was miserable, still slept in her crib at night. I brought her into bed with me maybe two or three times when I knew we all needed sleep. Anyway, since then, its like she;s forgotten how to go to sleep on her own! She cries if we put her down awake. So I am back to nursing her to sleep. I figure since sleep cycles last only an hour, she obviously knows how to go back to sleep in the night. If she needs help getting down, I can do that. She has a lovey.

    This past week, she wakes up EVERY HOUR...there was a night she didn't sleep at all!! She screams when she wakes and will only calm on me. We gave her tylenol thinking it may have been her teeth but clearly it wasn't because she still woke up. I am not sure what's going on. She has been super clingy, comforting only on me. Is this a sleep regression? Separation anxiety? We have the same bedtime routine. She doesn't even use her lovey to soothe anymore. I don't know what to do. Last night she woke every hour, until I came to bed myself at 11:30. Then she slept till 6:30 am. Thank God! Tonight, she went down at 8:30, woke up at 9:30, I settled her back in...and now I am watching the clock. Its 10:15 and I know in 15 minutes she'll wake and scream again. What do you recommend?

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  81. Hi, after reading this blog I am hoping that you can help! I have a almost 18 week old baby girl who was born at 35 weeks. She was a healthy baby and healthy weight but has been extremely hard work since she was born. The doctor has switched formula to CMP free and prescribed medication, now on domperidone and omeprazole for reflux after trying a number of others. She went into her own cot at 10 weeks and was brilliant after learning to settle, occasionally she cries but I just go back and forward talking to her and soothing then she falls asleep. She goes down about 7 ish after bottle, I then waken about 1030ish for another just lift half asleep then put back after. She had started to sleep till 6ish but over last weeks has been wanting 2-4am feed (although 5 am last night) and more difficult to go down and waking herself for bottle at 1030, however, she usually will go back down after. I find it difficult to get her to nap as a result of that she is very grumpy and unsettled (though doctor just said she may be a grumpy baby). Should put her in cot for nap just don't want to ruin bedtime as she is usually good. She seems to fight naps I currently try to get her to sleep in chair 1-1.5 hours after getting up as she gets grumpy but once she wakens from that continues to be grouchy most of the day crying and grumbling napping here and there. I try and take her out as she is a different baby out and about. Just wondering about bedtime and whether I should be giving bottle at 2-4 she does usually finish but not sure she needs? I don't think she wants to be a grumpy baby and unsettled all the time as we do have brief moments of smiley girl! Any advice really appreciated!

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  82. Hi Violet! Thanks for this great Blog! I was disouraged and looking for answers and i found it here! My Princess will be 4 months next week and since 2 weeks she is waking up every 45 min at night! She used to sleep 3-5 h strech, which was ok but 45 min omg! I wanted to start training her to fall asleep on her own... She is used to fall asleep nursing. I will keep up for those 6 weeks but do you suggest i start Training her after 6 weeks if things dont get better? She Never slept on her own so she might just continue waking so often ? Thank you sooooo much in advance!!! Virginie

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    1. Hi Virginie,
      At 4 months a baby is just learning to sleep, so now is a great time to start. If she has never been able to fall asleep on her own, then at the 4 month mark when your baby's sleep patterns are changing, this is going be a problem. Your baby is going to have a very hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep. I would recommend teaching her how to fall asleep on her own. See if this helps http://violet-sleepbabysleep.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-teach-your-baby-to-fall-asleep-independently.html

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    2. Virginie: Congratulations on your little girl, glad to know you're happy. ;)

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  83. Hello! My son is about to turn 9 months next Friday. I feel like his sleep has been getting worse for the last couple of weeks. He use to only wake up for one feeding. Now it's 2 but he also wakes himself up starts to whimper and then puts himself back to sleep. It doesn't sound that bad but i feel like he's really not getting a good nights sleep. His naps are very shirt as well. Only 2 a day at daycare for about 30 mins- 1 hour. Sometimes i'll get up with him and rock him back to bed. He falls asleep on my chest and i love that. But, the moment i put him back down he wakes up. I just wish he could get a full nights sleep and not wake up so much. He's so fussy when he wakes up for feedings now.

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  84. Hi, I just found this blog and I've been reading about. I have some problems with my baby. He feeds in order to sleep, very rare times he puts himslef to sleep. He sometimes has a stretch of 6 to 7 hours and after a few days working that way, starts to wake up every 2 hours again. for naps is just frustrating, he sleeps no more than 45 minutes. He is 5 months old,I have never tried sleep training. I read about it, but I'm not sure about it either, so , I don't know what to do. Hope I can get some feedback, thanks!!!

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  85. What a fabulous article! This is exactly what's been happening to me with my 9 month old daughter. It was a relief to see that I am doing the right thing instinctively: Never let her scream, lots of cuddles, extra feeds and lots of patience. I just need to give myself a break and trust my gut feeling. Thank you!!

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  86. Hi Violet! Great article. My baby is 14 weeks old and has started going to sleep later and later. Just when I got used to her falling asleep at 3 she changed it 4. Im concerned she will keep changing her bedtime. I go through the nightimr routine with her at 7:30 and put her in bed for 8. She wakes up almost every hour until 1 then stays awake until her own designated
    bedtime. Then she will sleep till noon. I'm not sure what to do. Do I just keep putting her to sleep at 8 because i dont think shes been awake long enough at that point. Do I wake her up early? I've tried waking her up at 9 yesterday but she was just drowsy all morning and wanting naps which I gave her 3 first at 10:30 second at 1:30 and third at 3:30. Even so it hasn't changed the 3-4am sleep. She hasnt been a good sleeper to begin with (multiple wakings) but 3 or 4 to noon is not something we can keep doing.
    -Caroline

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  87. Hi Violet! Found your blog tonight and am reading everything! I have 7 month old (teething) boy/girl twins. We recently started having our son sleep in a pack n play in a nook off of our bedroom while his sister sleeps in her crib in their shared room so that when one wakes the other won't wake upon hearing their cries. Both babies were sleeping through the night from 2 months until recently.. Our daughter wakes and wants to be cuddled 2x a night and cries if we put her back in her crib before she falls back asleep..we sometimes feed her just to calm her.. sometimes she just cries out a horrid cry a few times and goes back to sleep herself (or hadn't woken up at all)... And our son won't go to sleep unless we're holding him, wants to be held constantly, fights naps, and wakes about 2-6x a night now. I usually take him in our bed, cuddle and nurse him laying down. When he wakes again I switch sides and repeat... He fusses to even nurse sometimes but other times is very happy too. He just cut his first tooth 4 days ago and I thought he'd start sleeping through the night again, but I was wrong.

    We feed them 5x a day with solids 3x... naps mid morning and mid afternoon.. bedtime around 730.. I admit we have a kind of erratic schedule as my husband has 2 part time jobs, I have a full time job, and we have no nanny or babysitter! But my baby boy used to sleep 7-10 hours and baby girl 10-12 hrs straight each night! Is this regression or bad habits, as we have no real set schedule and cuddle or nurse them to sleep? Side note- my daughter will no longer nurse and my son only will if he wants to sleep or started with a bottle so I'm almost entirely EPing. Both are on their knees trying to -but not quite- crawling.

    Thanks!!

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  88. Hi!

    I too am so glad I found this article. I have an 8.5 month old boy who has been a great sleeper from 4 months old. He has 2 sleeps a day and has been sleeping through the night without a dreamfeed for the past 6 weeks, Two weeks ago he came down with a cold and was waking up through the night, unable to settle himself. My husband and I took to rocking him to get him back to sleep, where he would sleep for only 2 hours and then he was up again. This lasted for a few days. The day time sleeps were also being affected, where sometimes he would go down no problems, and others I would have to rock him to sleep. Now he is better, things are still bad. He is still sleeping through the night (thankfully, fingers crossed), but the daytime sleeps are a mess. He wont go down in his cot, he cries hysterically the minute we leave him and we pretty much have to rock him to get him to sleep. It has been so frustrating, and I have been so afraid that while he was sick he has starting using us as a sleep aid. I have also been on another forum where I was told to let him cry, don't pick him up and only pat him in the cot because he "has learned that this cry will get our attention". What do you think? When I read this article I thought it sounded just like what we were going through- the 9 mth regression, but at the same time I am terrified that if it isn't a regression, we are just prolonging the development of more bad sleeping habits!!!

    Now that he is better, he refuses to go down to sleep in his cot. He goes straight to the emotional cry and no amount of patting or comforting in the cot will get him to sleep. It has gotten so bad that the minute he goes into his sleeping bag he starts crying hysterically. We are at a loss as to what is going on. He has lost the ability to self-settle. He sleeps through the night, but only because he goes down at 7pm almost already asleep (if this wasn't the case, he wouldn't go down at all!)

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  89. Hi, Violet,

    I'm wondering what to do about my little guy. He slept six hours two days after I brought him home from the hospital and he's always been a good sleeper until lately. He would sleep 11-12 hours a night and sleep a straight 6-8 hours at a time.

    He's now 7 1/2 months old, and waking up 45 minutes after I put him down and at least 4-5 times during the night. He's still not eating much actual food and his doctor said I shouldn't be breastfeeding him at night, but he screamed at me for 2 hours straight and wouldn't stop so I went back to feeding him when he woke up.

    He used to put himself to sleep without any issues. I would put him down while he was awake and he would talk himself to sleep. He won't do this anymore. He's already crawling and pulling himself to standing and moving himself around his crib and he won't go to sleep on his own anymore. However, he seems to be scared when he wakes up and he's by himself.

    He's been doing this for weeks now. I get so exhausted that he usually ends up on my bed and I don't even remember putting him there. He'll start to wake up and I'll feed him and he'll go right back to sleep. This has been the only way that I've been able to get enough sleep at night, and I need it because I'm a single mom.

    I just don't know if this is normal or it what I'm doing will be healthy for him in the long run.

    Any comments would be much appreciated!

    ~Jessica

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  90. Just want to thank you for this article. What an eye opening! My daughter just turned 4 months old and we are going through this right now. Your blog is a life saver.

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  91. Hi,
    I'm writing out of a month-long sleep deprivation! My 20 week old was sleeping through the night, 7:30-7:00 every night until about a month ago. He goes to sleep just fine, but like clockwork at about 1 am and every hour after that, he wakes up. When I go in, he usually just needs the pacifier put back in or his arms tucked back into the swaddle. I'm trying to figure out which thing is waking him up- dropping the binky, breaking out of the swaddle, his white noise machine turning off? I don't think he is hungry because he goes right back to sleep once those props are put back in place. He takes a nap every day from 1-4 and that hasn't changed much. Why do you think he sleeps so well and then auddenly wakes in the middle of the night over and over?! I'm so tired of going in there to get the binky/swaddle right again!! Thank you:)

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    1. Hi Stacie,
      At about 4 months of age a baby starts to "learn to sleep". Up until now you may have had a perfect sleeper. At 4 months of age a baby starts to go through distinct sleep stages, just like adults do. Because of this it's very hard for a baby to just fall asleep and stay asleep. Especially a baby that uses props to fall asleep. He simply does not know how to fall asleep/back to sleep on his own, and requires that prop. Helping to teach your baby learn to fall asleep on his own will solve most if not all of his sleep troubles. See if this article helps, and please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help http://violet-sleepbabysleep.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-teach-your-baby-to-fall-asleep-independently.html#.U-OOm_1CpfN

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  92. Thank you so much for this.

    Deep down, having been through it all already with my eldest, I know my 9 month old doesn't just hate me. I know he's going through a lot with learning to crawl, cruise & communicate. But when you've been up every hour of the night & have a baby that flat out refuses to nap, all out of the blue, it can be easy to lose your sane state of mind! Even more so when you've a toddler testing you with the terrible twos as well!

    Reading this has given me the much needed reminder that my wee baby boy is simply going through a completely normal phase. "PHASE." As in, this too shall pass. I need to remember I that I no longer sit on the floor of my toddler's room, for over an hour each night, longing for him to just sleep - it won't be long until this baby is the same.

    Thank you again. xo

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    1. Very well said Amy! I'm glad that my article could help. Good luck and hang in there!

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  93. Hi Violet,

    Thank you so much for this article, it was a much needed read! After reading all the comments here I'm still a bit confused about what we should be doing to get through it! Please help!

    We've had a very unsettled baby from the get go, we used to have to rock her to sleep or put her in the sling, and about 5 weeks ago we had a consultant come and teach us how to shh-pat her to sleep in her bassinet. We did three weeks of "lockdown" giving her every sleep in her bassinet and after a few more weeks we could finally get her to go down happy and self settle.

    I feel like we put in SO much hard work and it paid off... for about a week! Because a few days later we hit the 4 month sleep regression and it's all gone pear shaped. She won't self settle, patting/rocking the bassinet doesn't stop her crying, picking her up calms her but if we put her down again she screams. I'm pulling out everything in our bag of tricks but the only thing that seems to be working now is rocking her to sleep in our arms or feeding her to sleep.

    After reading all the comments here I don't know if I should just "do whatever works to get through" or if I'm just causing bad habits by feeding/rocking to sleep. But nothing else works! We do try multiple times each nap to give her a chance to fall asleep on her own or with just a bit of patting but no luck. I feel so so disheartened after so many weeks of hard work and now it feels like it's all coming undone :(

    Thank you so much for your time...

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  94. My 9 month old is going through a sleep regression phase right now. His naps are decent during the day and at night he falls to sleep easily. However, he's been waking up at least one time during the middle of the night. Our method as been for him to cry it out, which usually takes an hour. Is that the right thing to do?

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  95. I think I've hit this stage too. Due to breastfeeding issues, my daughter is mixed fed. And for the last couple of months we've had a pretty good routine where she'd get up from a nap, have a nappy change and then a formula feed, followed by some playtime with me. At the first sign of sleepiness (eye rubbing, ear tugging, yawning etc) I would then put her on the breast and let her feed until she was drowsy. Then I would put her on my chest and pat and rub her back as I walked her to the bassinet and put her down. Sometimes as I was transferring her into the bassinet she'd wake but she would happily snuggle down and go to sleep and then nap for 1-2 hours at a stretch.

    Now whenever I feed her, the moment I pick her up after a feed she's wide awake again and wanting to play and cries the moment I put her down in her bassinet. Sometimes I can pop her dummy in her mouth and then pat/rub her back until she goes to sleep but that only lasts for as long as the dummy stays in her mouth. As soon as it falls out she seems to startle herself awake and the whole process begins again.

    She's not napping well during the day, I can set my watch by her 4am demand for a feed and as such is cranky and overtired a lot. Plus to compound the issue I think she's also teething as well, so it's REALLY hard to tell whether she's tired or sore.

    So what do you do when your child suddenly doesn't want a bar of the routine you're trying to keep consistent? I'm like 'it's time to nap now, you need sleep' and she's just fussy and crying and refusing to sleep. And it's really frustrating because I KNOW she needs the sleep but she's just not settling.

    Is there something I'm missing? Or is this just typical sleep regression behaviour?

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    1. Hi Chi sounds like your little one is associating sleep with you and doesn't know how to fall asleep on her own. When you mention you put her down drowsy, sounds like she is already in the first stage of sleep meaning she is not really awake. See if this article helps, good luck! http://violet-sleepbabysleep.blogspot.com/2013/06/sleep-associations-rocking-to-sleep.html#.U_d7NP1CpfN

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  96. My little girl is 9 months and has started crawling. She use to go to sleep at night n when she woke took a bottle n went straight back off. She cut her naps down to one a day n sleeps for a couple off hours in the nap. Now she will have her nap and go to sleep fine with her bottle. But at night time she has started waking up around 5 times and will either have a bottle or not but will not settle back to sleep. She cries and if go in there will carry on crying unless I pick her up or sit in her room with her. If she calms down when in her room she then tries to play with me n laughs but as soon as I walk out cries again and it goes on for hours nothing I seem to do helps. I also have a 3 year okd so do not get to sleep in the day. I just wish I new how to settle her any ideas what I can do

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  97. Hi violet can this also happen at 22 months ? Want to cry !!

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  98. Hi Violet, first off thank you for your post and explanation, it helps ALOT! I have a 5 month old that hit a sleep regression about 5 weeks ago - it's up and down, she is napping well again now during the day but nights are difficult. We have a good bedtime routine, she is completely awake when I put her down so is able to get herself to sleep..perfect right? yea, for about 1/2 hour...until she wakes up screaming and needs to be held and cuddled back to sleep. For some reason she is unable to put herself back to sleep after the first time we put her down...she will get up every 1/2 hour to an hour like this and is unable to put herself back to sleep. She is able to roll and seems to prefer sleeping on her side, sometimes on her belly but at times when she wakes up on her belly she is really upset...any suggestions would be great - apologies for the long-winded post.

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    1. How you put your baby back to sleep after a waking is just as important, if not more important, than how you initially put her down at bedtime. Making sure she is laid down awake and responding appropriately to the wakings will determine your success.

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  99. Hi Violet. Thank you for your blog post. I learned a lot!

    My question is related to self-soothing. Our daughter has fallen asleep during her night feeding, after her bath for a while now. She used to sleep from 9-6, with one wake up mixed in. With her sleep regression that has changed drastically! Is now an OK time to try sleep training, or should we wait until she begins sleeping a little easier again? I am not sure what to do. I know it's time since she is still so young, but she needs the extra love right now, so I'm worried it might be a but much for her active little brain to handle.

    Look forward to your response!

    Thanks from a dreary eyed Sarah and Toby

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    1. Hi there!
      Of course it's perfectly fine to give your baby extra love, cuddles and attention during this time. But if it has been several weeks, it's time to help her sleep. Otherwise at this point you may be starting new bad habits that may be very difficult to reverse if it goes on for too long:) Not to mention that your baby is probably ready for some good, consolidated sleep at night. Regressions are exhausting for everyone:)

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