Ditching the dummy
So it turns out that the 4 month sleep regression doesn't actually end. It's a permanent change in sleep structure. Rather than the deep newborn sleep, babies now have more adult-like sleep cycles, moving through deep sleep and lighter sleep, before waking up. Apparently, adults wake up several times at night, but we just roll over and go back to sleep-because we know how to. Babies, unfortunately, don't. This means that whatever support they receive to help them sleep must be replicated each time they wake up. We've always been quite strict with putting Cassie down awake and letting her fall to sleep in the crib, rather than letting her sleep on us, or rocking or bouncing her.She has had a dummy, though, and since the regression hit, we've needed to replace it every couple of hours, or sometimes more frequently.
Last week, I'd finally had enough.
Scott was poorly (not covid, thank goodness) and Cassie was unbelievably grumpy. Possibly teething, but who knows. One night, she had a party from 2am for two hours. It was ridiculous. She'd woken up from her sleep cycle, wondered where her dummy was, and couldn't get herself back to sleep. Poor daddy, unwell, but like a trooper, doing his nightshift, rocking and humming to her to try to get her back down. I figured then, that if she was grumpy in the day and I'd have to tolerate constant yelling (definitely yelling, not crying) the least she could give us is a decent night's sleep. The dummy had to go. She was not best pleased. Turns out, babies are creatures of habit and she is very used to having it to help her soothe. It's definitely easier to put the dummy in and have her fall asleep instantly, and listening to her cry whilst alternately shushing and humming lullabies is pretty soul destroying, but the difference it makes to a night's sleep is amazing. Dummies definitely have their place, but I've no regrets getting rid of it-we're on day 4 of the dummy wean now, each time putting her down is slightly easier.
I'm excited at the prospect of better sleep..Until the next regression hits!