In my paediatric practice, I commonly see the perfectly happy, settled baby who is sleeping beautifully overnight –but then reaches 4 months of age and the wheels seem to fall off. Some speak of the4-month sleep regression, like it’s some cruel rite of passage that all parents must simply endure. The truth is - there is no such thing as a 4-month sleep regression.
Sometimes moving the cot to the other side of the bed where the non-breastfeeding parent is sleeping, or at the end of the bed - can be helpful, as your baby is less likely to smell the breastmilk, or be woken by your movements.
Many babies and toddlers want to start their day incredibly early and wake at the crack of dawn… or earlier! This can make for an exhausting day and leads to babies becoming overtired, which fuels the cycle of early morning wake-ups even further. Personally, I think any time with a 6 in front of it is acceptable, but those wake-up times that begin with a 5 or even 4 are just too early!
The Wonder Weeks was written by a psychologist and ethologist Frans Plooij, it describes 10 predictable developmental ‘leaps’ that coincide with unsettled behaviour and sleep regression.This provides solace to parents who are trying to understand why their child is unsettled and gives license to ‘ride it out’ until the leap is finished.
Reflux has become the go-to, rapid explainer of unsettled behaviour, becoming synonymous with colic. This is dangerous for two simple reasons: 1. First, the medication prescribed for reflux is not without its side-effects, and 2. Second,the true cause of that baby’s unsettled behaviour is being missed.
Search colic online and you’ll mostly find two things: ways to settle or distract an unsettled baby, and reassuring messages of hope, that this torturous period will pass. Incredibly, neither of these seek to find the underlying cause of colic. The key to eradicating colic is to understand WHY.
The secret to getting your baby sleeping through the night is BURPING! Adequate winding (burping) is one of the most under-appreciated aspects to raising a newborn, which is why 3 entire chapters are devoted to it in the Dr Golly Sleep Program.
Dads! It’s not childbirth that offers up this oxytocin surge – it’s not limited to mothers. It’s just being close to a newborn, it’s settling a cry, changing a nappy, striving for that reciprocal smile. Giving love to this little, underestimated bundle of joy is what opens up this well of unconditional love and emotion.