All I want for Christmas is sleep

So, 6 month sleep regression. Is this a thing? 

Mabel is not going through a brain leap (she just went through leap 5 a couple weeks ago). The only thing I can think of is teething – she cut her first tooth 2 weeks ago and maybe there’s another one about to push through? She’s also sooooooo close to crawling and she just recently started sitting unassisted. I think I read somewhere that they have trouble sleeping when they’re on the cusp of learning new skills. 

Here’s the deal:

Mabel is a great napper. She consistently naps 3-4 times a day. M, the nanny, has her on a predictable schedule and can now just put her down in her crib when she’s sleepy. Mabel will protest for a few minutes, but she always falls asleep relatively quickly. 

And putting Mabel to bed in the evening is pretty painless. She eats “dinner” – purées at the moment- around 6:00. We do some quiet play time until about 7:15. We then put her pjs on, give her a bottle, read a book or two and then rock her and sing to her until she falls asleep. At the end of our daily bedtime routine, she’s almost always asleep by 7:45 or 8. And we then transfer her to her crib. We love her bedtime routine, definitely a highlight of our day. I feel like it’s just as much for us as for her. Easy peasy. 

Until 3 weeks ago, Mabel was getting up like clockwork twice a night. Usually around 1am and then again at 4-ish. She’d take a bottle and then pass right out. She’d be awake for maybe 10-15 min. We’d gotten used to this and didn’t mind it. And then she’d be up for the day at 7am. 

3 weeks ago, the sleep weirdness began. She’d go down for the night no problem. But at her first wake-up at 1am, she refused to go back to her crib. She’d be snoring in my arms but as soon as her body touched her crib mattress, she’d wake up and start screaming. So after trying for an hour to transfer her back to her crib, I’d give up and cosleep with her in the bed in the nursery for the last half of the night. 

About 2 weeks ago, she started waking up a lot. And protesting her crib in general. We even bought a quilted pad for her crib and some flannel sheets, thinking maybe her mattress was cold at night. Doesn’t seem to have changed anything. 

Last night was typical- 

  • 7:45pm – asleep for the night in her crib
  • 9:30pm – wakes up and cries. We offer comfort and after refusing to go back in her crib, we put her in the pack n play in our room. She stays asleep.
  • 10:30pm – wakes up crying. Give her a bottle and she drinks a bit before passing out
  • 11:30pm – wakes up crying. Rock her back to sleep
  • 1:30am – wakes up crying- S gives her a bottle and she passes out again
  • 3:00am – wakes up crying and passes out after being held by me for a few minutes
  • 4:00am – wide awake! Tries to pull herself up in the pack n play – giggles when she sees me. I take her into the nursery to rock her back to sleep. She bats at my face and runs her hands through my hair the whole time. finally falls asleep at 5am. I put her down in her crib and go back to bed. 
  • 5:30 – she starts crying. I hand her off to S as I have to start getting ready for work. S cosleeps with her in the bed in the nursery until 7am and I leave for work. 

What the fuck is going on?!?!?

She hasn’t had this much trouble staying asleep since she was a newborn. We don’t jump up and attend to her right away for each wake up either. We wait a few minutes to see if she can settle herself and fall back asleep (and occasionally she does).

Our house can get a bit cold at night, but we have her in fleece footed pjs with a non-swaddle sleep sack on top of that. And she has a warm blanket that she likes to sleep with as well. 

We’re not ready for CIO sleep training, but we’re also aware that our views on that might change after a few more weeks of severe sleep deprivation. 

Lord help us. I hope this is a phase that passes quickly!


9 thoughts on “All I want for Christmas is sleep

  1. Her behavior sounds almost identical to Charlotte when she’s teething. It sounds like something is probably up. I’ve found that a middle of the night dose of tylenol/motrin will often help settle her enough to get back to some restful sleep. Usually about 15 minutes after we drug her (hah) she’s sleeping peacefully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, there’s no predictability with baby sleep. It could be teething, new skill acquisition, or something else entirely. Ansel has basically been teething for the last 9 months, and sometimes it’s ok, other times its not. I do think ibuprofen is a godsend, and we use it often if he won’t settle or seems upset.
    The best thing about sleep patterns is that they’ll change. I promise. It will get better. (and then maybe worse again and then better again and then . . .)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do believe there is a 6 month sleep regression, but I mostly notice teeth to be a big factor for Ellie. Luckily(?)she teeths 2+ at a time, but gets super whiny and clingy in the evening during the cutting phase, gets better for a day or 2 and then has a couple more rough nights while the tooth pops out completely. Things are more painful at night for some reason..even I get more whiny and clingy at night when I’m not feeling well or am sore. Ellie has 6 teeth right now and 2 more cutting. When they are bothering her, she grinds them and it makes the most god awful noise lol. I give her a half dose of tylenol when it really seems to be bothering her and it’s enough to help her sleep. Goodluck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like teething and maybe time to drop one of the daytime naps. If the Ibuprofen or Tylenol doesn’t make a difference then you could try cutting out the shortest nap of the day. I remember going through this with Toby and cutting out a nap made all the difference. He just wasn’t tired enough to sleep through. Good luck! Sleep deprivation is a killer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The last couple days I’ve actually cut out her evening nap- which used to be from 5-5:30. Now I keep her away and moved her bedtime up a bit to 7. Her first bout of sleep is a bit longer now, but after that she’s still waking up every 2 hours. We’re kinda resigned to this for the moment.


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