How did your Valentine's Day morning go? Breakfast in bed? Exchanging cards over a cuppa? I spent mine glueing toothpicks to my eyelids to stay awake while ripping my sheets off my bed as after I finally got Rafe back to sleep after he'd been awake since 4am wanting to play, (fuck you four month sleep regression) I needed to stealthy change his nappy - but obviously not stealthy enough as he woke up and peed all over my bed. Which he thought was HILARIOUS....And they say romance is dead....
P.s But he's the most gorgeous Valentine isn't he? ❤️
So, the early hours of Wednesday were a laugh a minute. Rafe had taken a while to settle, then was up at 10.30pm for a feed, then every hour after that. After his 3.30am feed he was wide awake. Chatting away to himself and just wanted to play. I shushed and I sang Twinkle Twinkle a million fucking times, I begged, I paced up and down, I gently rocked, I tried putting him on my boob, I tried leaving him to self soothe - nothing. This dude wanted to party. Every time I put him back down, a few minutes later I would peer over the snuzpod and he would just be staring back at me and smiling as if to say - YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SLEEP MUM. Was cute - but exhausting. I fed him again at 5.30am and praise the Lord he fell asleep but I really needed to change his nappy. I can do this without waking him, I thought. I don't need a changing mat, I thought. He won't wee as soon as I take the nappy off, even though he's done that very thing a million times before, I thought...So I held my breath and unzipped his sleeping bag and had everything prepared on the bed to do a record breaking nappy change. Just as I was about to put on his nappy, he decided this would be a good time to have a fucking wee. To prevent it from going anywhere, in my sleep deprived state I just put my hand out. Which made it spray everywhere. All on my sheets. So obviously Rafe woke up as I was trying to quietly take the sheets off my bed while through gritted teeth saying FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. He found it all hilarious though. Then he refused to go back to sleep and in the end only had one measly 30 minute nap during the day - and on top of that he had his immunisations in the morning, which were obviously awful for him. 😢 So he was just so upset all afternoon. Poor little man.
AND wait for it.....We have teeth!! Well one tooth coming through. (Four month sleep regression+Leap 4+immunisations+teething=BRUTAL 😩) I noticed he had been quite upset the day before and then on Tuesday he was screaming and putting his finger in the same spot, so I had a look and there it was. A little white spot in his gum. (Wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding this tiny baby in my arms for the first time - and now my boy is getting his first tooth?!) I just feel so sorry for him and his little rosy cheeks but Anbesol seems to help and my friends recommended Teetha teething granules and they sometimes soothe him. But some days nothing seems to work and he's just so upset. He just hasn't been himself for a few days. (Any other teething tips to help? I have a teething mit, Sophie the giraffe and of course the wonderful calpol.) So back to Wednesday. On top of him being awake since 4am, his jabs and teething - he had a pretty rough first Valentine's Day. I'd had better too! Husband is still away. To be fair, I think my husband and I have spent one Valentine's Day together in the last six years as he's always been working and it's not like we go overboard anyway - but I do tend to miss him that little bit more if he's not here - especially when you see people posting cute Facebook statuses while I'm cleaning up wee. (His course finishes in March but he's getting to come home for the weekend next week for Rafe's hospital appointment. It's been six weeks so he's going to see such a huge change. Can't wait for him to see Rafe.)
So, this four month sleep regression is literally having my life. For those who have gone through it - seriously help! A mum commented on my post last week and gave some great advice about trying to change up Rafe's sleep associations so he doesn't always need rocking, or shushed, being on the boob. She said she has tried reading to her little one - or introducing a cuddly toy when feeding so they associate sleep with those things. But Rafe seems to be as stubborn as his mum and is not having any of it. It's boob - or rocking to sleep - or awake all night. I've been googling loads (obviously 🙈) and read that you should try and get baby to be able to self soothe back to sleep - and try to gradually take away each way you normally try to get baby to sleep (although keep using white noise) or you're making a bit of a rod for your own back if you have to always shush to sleep. And to try and have at least one nap in his cot and to have the room dark - and the big one - to put him down drowsy but he literally wakes up straight away and cries! I've tried leaving him to cry it out but no joy. So basically, in a nutshell HELP. Will he just sort himself out and do this getting back to sleep malarkey on his own? Or do I need a miracle? Or can I do something? Oh and people keep mentioning MyHummy. I have used Ewan the sheep since he was born and it works sometimes - but it goes off and I keep almost breaking my back to put it back on. My friend is lending me her MyHummy to try out - wish me luck!!
The fussy feeding is getting better(ish). I would recommend the teething necklace - https://www.mamaknows.co.uk/ as he pulls at it, rather than pulling at my boob! The fussiness seems to be just on some feeds - rather than all. But that could change again! He does however, seem to be feeding a bit more frequently. We had got into three hours between feeds routine (that dreaded word) but I don't know whether it's the teething, the development leap, growth spurt or what - but sometimes it's been every two hours or so again - or just having little snacks in between feeds. And obviously during the night he wants to feed a bit more. Have you found your baby seems to want to feed more at this delightful stage?
I bought a Minbie bottle the other day and got my mum to try and feed the little monster with some expressed milk but he's just not a fan. It's like he doesn't really know what to do and he just doesn't want to do it. So that's three bottles tried - with no success. But my friend said to try three times with a bottle before moving on to another one so will keep trying. I honestly wish I'd tried sooner but I was just so terrified of the whole bloody nipple confusion and because I struggled to breastfeed to start with I worried introducing a bottle would have a negative impact early on. I know midwives and health visitors advise not to try a bottle until breastfeeding is established so it's so hard as a first time mum to know what to do - but I know so many other babies who had boob and bottle early on - and took to both well. But who knows? He may never have taken a bottle and always preferred breast. And it's not like I want to stop breastfeeding - it's just so I can have a break now and again. Or have a night out! It's my birthday coming up (21 again 😩) so I'd ideally want to be face first in tequila for the night. I might just try and skip the bottle and go straight to a cup. Has anyone had success with this?
And finally - Hartbeeps this week was a Valentine's Day special. Literally LOVED it! So I will leave you with this photo ❤️ - and again, to all those going through the four month sleep regression and teething - high fucking five. We've got this!
P.s Thank you in advance for all of your advice, I know I've asked a million questions but value all your help!
P.p.s Lasted two days on giving up chocolate and biscuits for lent. As my friend quite rightly said: "You're fucking sleep deprived. Why the fuck would you give up chocolate and biscuits? You need it." So who am I to argue with her and everyone else who said I was an idiot?! So I'll give up cereal bars instead....🙈
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.