Thursday, March 29, 2012

Four Month Olds - AKA Wild Monkeys

Some of you mamas know all about the four month sleep regression. Yes, this is a real thing that is apparently fairly common.  
Even the best little sleepers start waking more often at night and/or fighting naps, and often it can last several weeks. From four-six months they are hitting some major developmental milestones, and I guess it just makes them a little crazy.
I had never heard of such a thing until I had my first child. Four months was a particularly bad age for Hannah, as she began waking four-five times a night (and was difficult to get back to sleep), and her naps shortened. I thought I was going to lose my mind.
fussy four month old in a happy momentI think it was particularly difficult because I had no idea it was coming. I had assumed she was well on her way to sleeping through the night when WHAM! No more sleep for mama. At least not until the month was over.
But I have learned from my first attempt at this mommy thing that the worst thing you can do is have expectations. These kiddos are constantly changing, so there’s no point in trying to keep up. I’ve been much more relaxed and ‘go-with-the-flow’ with this baby, and it has made all the difference.
I hate not getting sleep. I hate being tired, I hate being cranky, I hate being impatient, and all of that stuff that comes along with not getting sleep.
I want to be the best mama I can be, and I just don’t feel like I’m worth much at all when I’m not rested. I’ve often wondered why it works the way that it does – why do babies have to be so exhausting? Is it so we won’t overpopulate the earth? (If it wasn’t for the first six months, I’d probably have a gazillion kids.)
Is it merely to teach us patience? A parent’s most valuable tool…
Whatever the reason, most parents face trials in this area, whether at four months, or six, or eight…
Abram is officially four months old today. He has had some fussier periods and a little more night waking lately, but it hasn’t been as wildly unmanageable as Hannah’s regression. And I’m praying it never comes to that.
But if it does, there is one thing that brings me comfort: It’s not going to last forever.
If you are a parent going through a regression or sleep issues right now, I just want to assure you – it’s nothing you did. Your child will sleep again. You will sleep again. You are not a failure as a parent.
With children, the only thing you can expect is that you never know what to expect.

(In fact, my little guy gave me a gift last night - he only woke up once to nurse. Sometimes the unexpected is blissful.)

I'm curious - what are your experiences with difficult baby stages? Is there a particular age that you find to be the hardest?
What do you think is the most difficult age to go through when raising children?








  
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6 comments:

  1. Ha! I don't even know how to vote! I only have experience through toddlerhood but I would have said infancy was the hardest. Of course, now we're dealing with extreme independence and stubbornness for our 2 1/2 year old! I'd have to say this time has been the most trying! Ask me in a few years and I'll tell you after we deal with school age kids!

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    1. I really do think the early days are the hardest...but I also think I've been blessed with an easy toddler. She has her moments, but I'll take those over not sleeping any day. However, perhaps I'll change my mind once I have a little BOY toddler!

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  2. i know summer is going through that. she wants to pull his hair out sometimes.But i love my little girl, shes the best.

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    1. She is a sweetie. Can't wait to see her!

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  3. the poll is defective - I wanted to choose every age and it wouldn't let me. Right now, I'm going with '23'.

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    1. I can imagine that each age presents a whole new set of challenges. :)

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