Today I’m so excited to launch a new series with a group of seriously rad mamas. As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t wanted to inundate you with mom content, but when Jen Pinkston, the wonder-mom behind the lovely lifestyle blog The Effortless Chic, asked me to join a seriously cool group of mamas talking about the issues we face, I jumped at the chance. I knew this would be an interesting series with a wonderful group of blogger babes. The concept? We’ll all wax poetic on a specific mama-hood related topic, thereby giving you the opportunity to see a wide variety of perspectives, weigh in and hopefully add some new blogs to your reader in the process. As one of the newest members of the blogger mama club, I’m personally very intrigued to see what this diverse group of women has to say about each issue.

We’re starting off with a topic that could not be more relevant to my current reality: SLEEP!

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Or in my case, the complete lack thereof. When you’re pregnant everyone warns you to sleep as much as possible. I certainly did my best. At the end of my pregnancy I was sleeping in until 11AM on Saturdays like a teenager! It was glorious. Now I know what you think I’m going to say next. The baby was born and all hell broke loose. Well, sure, the first couple of weeks were rough, I won’t lie. But then our little stud began sleeping 8-10 hours a night. It was bliss. Other mothers hated me. I loved it. I could totally handle one 4:00 am feeding and feel like a nearly functioning human {save the recovering from a 27-hour natural labor, but that is another story for another day!}.

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But then the 4-month sleep regression hit. Yes, it’s predictable. Yes, we were warned. But no, I was not prepared for how brutal three, four or even five awakenings a night would be. Let alone the taking an hour+ to get our little terror angel down to bed each evening. Now I truly see the value of sleep because you start to go rather insane without it! I feel like I’m living in that hangry Snickers commercial, but no amount of candy bars is going to cure my sleep deprivation rage. And then there’s the memory loss. And the inability to stay awake past 9:00 pm. Or have a social life. Or a functioning relationship. You get my point – this isn’t good!

But I’m at a bit of an impasse. I’m on week five of basically no sleep with no end in sight. Yes, everyone has told me to sleep train at this point. Carter is four months old, he’s 16lbs, he’s ready yada yada yada. So after hearing so many stories of triumph I bit the bullet and tried it this week. I lasted one night. I threw in the towel when Carter started throwing up out of his nose after less than 15 minutes! I’m sorry, but cry it out is not my jam.

So now I’m turning to you, dear readers. Do you have magic elixirs to cure the no sleep disease? Secret tips and tricks that turned your child into a sleeping wonder? Any words of advice about how to survive through this period? I know it will get better. I know I will remember my own name again, but the future seems bleak when you’re in the thick of it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment here or join the conversation with the hashtag #realmomseries. I’m also thinking about taking my mama-musings to Snapchat. Would you be interested in some more off the cuff thoughts and a little behind the scenes of life with le bebe?? If so, check it out at apartment34.

Here are the rest of the fabulous mamas who are talking about their trials and tribulations with sleep. You should be sure to check them out today!

> The Effortless Chic

> Parker Etc

> Smitten Studio

> The Refined Woman

> Could I Have That

> Ave Styles

> The Daily Something 

What do you think?

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28 Comments

  1. Ummmm…baby Ambien….??? NO – I’m totally just kidding!! As a non-Mom, my hats off to you Moms out there, I truly never understand how you do allll that you do. I so hope you find a way to get better sleep, it’s so important to your well -being. Wishing you the best!

  2. We hired a sleep training expert for 2 nights. She let him cry it out, so that I didn’t have to do it, and since he was 7 weeks old he’s now been sleeping 12 hours straight. He even made it through the 4 month regression with no problem. While I didn’t have the guts to do CIO with the first child, I’d do it with the 2nd in a heartbeat, because it was a miracle! Good luck!!! PS Read Baby Wise if you get a chance.

  3. I LOVED this post! My daughter is also 4 months and I have felt like the only person in the world dealing with sleep issues. The sleep regression is so difficult! We have focused on creating a routine at night which works beautifully but it’s the 2-3am wake time that I struggle with. I tried letting her CIO the other night but I realized that I was laying there wide awake and this wasn’t doing any good. It’s so hard and I don’t feel strong enough to stick with it! I love your posts about the baby- please keep them coming!

  4. I’ve been through it with two kids, and with the first, it was an uphill battle… Battling between what my mom said, my mother-in-law said, what the pediatrician said. We did it all – tried cry-it-out, no-cry sleep solution, co-sleeping, just getting up and trying soooo hard to soothe him back to sleep… It was a veritable disaster. And a wonder we had another one.
    By my second child, I had grown a little more confident in my mothering, and had an epiphany. Do not worry about what other people say. Do what feels good to you. Do the best with the situation you’ve been dealt and find the solution of least resistance. (Obviously don’t endanger your little bebe, though. 🙂 ) Life (and especially infancy) is waaay to short to stress about what other people demand you try! Not that I would have ever been able to take my own advice when I was going through it all with my first. Good luck. This, too, shall pass. 🙂

  5. oh my gosh!?!? same boat! my sutton is 4 months old too….it’s 2pm and i’m dreading tonight…i decided to try to CIO this week–found myself in the middle of our street at 2:17am on tuesday making sure the neighbors couldn’t hear her cry…{mother of the year!??}–i’ve been working with a sleep consultant {so lame, i know} since her birth-who says that with our more sensitive babes, we can do more of a monitored CIO–i go in and rub her back and neck, as she gets herself together…rather than just make her be in her nursery all alone—it doesn’t always work–and sometimes i have to stick the paci in to calm her down…the one saving grace is that our babies really ARE fine. every morning she wakes up happy, no memory of the shitshow from the night before–babies don’t hold grudges thank goodness….good luck momma.

    1. I was just reading Happy Sleep, Healthy Child and it really advocates that kind of supported CIO technique…so I think just might take your advice Katie and push myself to use it!! Will be sure to le tyou know how it goes

  6. I feel for you. It is so hard.
    Every child (and evey parent) is different, so I think it’s hard for anyone to give advice about this. It’s so complicated. I couldn’t do cry it out with either of my kids. My older son slept terribly, and I ended up co-sleeping to make it easier on me. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was six years old. It was hard, but I got through it. Just kept reminding myself that it would pass. My younger son has always been a good sleeper. When he was about 5 months old, I used to remind him to go back to sleep when he’d wake up during the night.
    A couple of tips I learned: pacifiers are OK for as long as they help, the more they sleep, the better (I used to cut my son’s naps short thinking he’d sleep better at night, but of course the opposite was true), encourage them to use a lovie so that you don’t become the lovie, use a white noise machine (I like the brown noise sound on simplynoise.com).

    1. You are so right Jenna – this is SUCH an individual struggle but I appreciate everyone’s experiences and tips. At this point I’m willing ot try anything!

      1. I actually thought of a couple more things and felt compelled to come back on here and share. 🙂 One tip you probably already know is, if you sleep in the same room as the baby, to keep him on the other side so he can’t smell or hear you.
        My older son was always a terrible sleeper, and when he was a toddler, I used to ask all the moms I met about sleep because I wanted reassurance that I wasn’t the only one. Well, I usually was the only one who was still getting up every dang night! But one mom told me something I never forgot. She said that she never picked her son up out of his crib at night unless he was sick and needed medicine or something. Whoa! I thought that was bizarre, but I used that method with my younger son and it worked really well. When he wasn’t nursing anymore at night (and I tried to cut out night feedings as soon as possible), I made sure to give him plenty of cuddles during the day but made it clear that he was to stay in his crib at night. If he woke up and needed me, I would soothe him while standing next to his crib. I also put him down awake and forced him to get used to soothing himself to sleep. I hope things get better soon! Remember, this too shall pass 🙂

  7. I literally just went though this and breaking the swaddle all in one as the four month sleep regretion hit right when she learned to roll over…so that was fun

    1. I was just reading that book today Katelyn – we’ve had it (along with like six others) and a lot of what it says makes a ton of sense. I do think we have an overtired little guy so I’m trying to nail down both the sleep routine and the schedule. Sometimes we start putting him down at 6pm but he wont’ go to sleep until after 8pm though! It’s a maddening little dance right now.

  8. I feel your pain…the 4 month sleep regression is NO joke. Our little girl was waking up like every hour and I was going insane but thankfully it only lasted 5-7 days. I really like the Babywise book or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

    We aren’t fans of CIO either. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I only last like 10 minutes. Just know we are all in the same boat together. I think some kids just sleep better than others, clearly. Have you tried a lovey for baby to sleep with? Our little girl started really liking them around 4mos. or so!

    1. What do you use as your Lovley Dominique? Sadly, we’re on week five of the sleep regression. Some nights are better, some nights are worse. Carter definitely wants to put himself to sleep but it’s just not happening. I was just readhing Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. There are definitely a lot of good pointers in there. Does your daughter have a regular/decent nap schedule?

  9. oh I so totally feel you. My son is 5 1/2 months old, and for the past maybe 30 days, he has been waking up at 1 hour intervals, sometimes 45 minutes. He has been tired and cranky every day when I get home from work. My husband and I have been at each others’ throats (not really, but it has been tough). Then last night, after a few hours of fighting for every second of sleep, we put him down on his stomach (with a video monitor pointed right up in his face) and… He slept. He slept from about 10 to 1:30, then woke up hungry and went down easy. He next woke at 4:45, same deal. He slept again until after 7 this morning. I know the recommendations, and I know someone is going to say “back is best,” but our guy just is at ease in his belly. He is strong enough to roll over and push himself up. So, for us, this is working (though, to be real, we are only halfway through the second night

    1. Our guy is so similar! He actually really prefers his side, but does roll over onto the belly. The pedetrician warned that we should roll him to his back until six months, but I’m with you – at this point I want to just do anything to get him to sleep!

      1. My pediatrian in San Francisco says that if they are able to get on their stomachs themselves, like what your two babes are doing than it is okay that they stay that way. I hope that helps!

  10. First of all you are doing a great job!!! All I can tell you is what worked for us and that was and is co-sleeping. Our daughter slept in a co-sleeper in our bed until she was three and a half months old. She slept pretty well and would sleep up to 5 hours at a time.
    When she was 3.5 months old we flew to Paris to spend three weeks in Europe, air France lost our co-sleeper and she slept next to me in our hotel room and slept through the night and has ever since. Literally every night since. She is now 5.5 months old. Never was jet lagged, never had “sleep regression” (which on a side note I don’t believe in, I think it’s babies just being babies). She is so content to sleep next to me every night.
    Good luck and remember to always do what feels best for you! After all YOU know your baby best!
    Xx

  11. I feel you mama! Loved this post. The 4 month sleep regression hit us hard, especially because at 4 months I also headed back to work! So I was a zombie all day in the hospital and then coming home to a baby that wanted to nurse all night! We ended up co-sleeping (she slept alone in her crib for the first 4 months), but it was the only way I could get sleep. We tried CIO a couple of times but it really just wasn’t our style. There were a couple of times where it seemed like it “worked” but then she’d start having a tooth come in, or come down with a cold, or we were traveling, or something was happening that made her need extra attention at night. We ended up loving co-sleeping, and now she’s 23 months, we got her out of our bed with no difficulty around 16-18 months (when I ended up weaning her), and now she literally walks to her little toddler bed, says night night and gives me a kiss, and I leave her in her room to fall asleep with no drama and see her 10 hours later in the morning. Long post, but just wanted to throw in the “end result” since my biggest fear of co-sleeping (or atleast what everyone told me) was that I was never going to get her to become an independent sleeper or I was somehow damaging her. We all just do our best mama!

    Laura @ A Little Bit of Lacquer

  12. CIO wasn’t my thing either. We went the co-sleeping route which works really well for us. Babies are constantly going through developmental stages or teething or illness that mucks up the sleep routine, whether you go the sleep training route or not. I just felt like following my instincts usually resulted in the best outcome, which for us was co-sleeping. But every baby is different. (side note: I myself was never sleep trained and co-slept with my parents and contrary to what some sleep experts might tell you I did learn to go to sleep on my own. I only mention it because sometimes I think there is a lot of fear instilled in already sleep-deprived parents that their baby will never learn to sleep unless they do yada yada yada, but I don’t think that’s always true). Anyway, I hope you can get a couple more hours of zzz’s soon. Also I know it’s always hard to hear when you’re going through it but they go in and out of phases so quickly that soon enough you’ll forget all about the 4-month sleep regression and instead be worrying about how to keep your child from climbing up the bookshelf 😉

    1. Thanks so much for the advice Maia. I do think that going with your gut really is the best route. Between all the books and what I think is best for Carter I’m sure we’ll find the solution. I just want to help my baby and myself catch some zzzz’s!

  13. I didn’t even attempt the cry it out method for my kids…i knew it was just not ‘me’ and it went against any instinct that i had as a mom (but that’s just me). So we co-slept and to be honest at ages 4 and 5 the kids still end up in bed next to me on most nights. But I don’t see it as a big deal…all of this is temporary. Just go with your gut …you know what works best for you and your baby. xo

  14. I worked with a sleep specialist who was SO helpful. There is a ton of contradicting information out there and I needed a plan. I got one and it worked beautifully. At six months we decided our daughter was ready to sleep through the night and she had me leave the house 3 hrs before bedtime and my husband put her to sleep. This was so that she would think I wasn’t home and wouldn’t wake in the night to eat. It worked like magic on the first night and she has been sleeping through the night ever since. Getting her to go to sleep was harder – we did a modified CIO with intermittent comforting. It took a while but the program was designed to reach my goals within my comfort level. – And just having a plan to stick to help because my problem before I got one was that I felt so torn between all of the different information I had. Good luck!

  15. Oh girlie… bless you! This is a tough one. I keep my boy close to me so that nursing at night is a breeze but I’m sure that goes against most smart sleep practices. But I’m totally with you on the cry-it-out scenario. I couldn’t stomach it either!

    Love being a part of this series with you, by the way. The next installment should be interesting!

  16. Every baby is different so there is no magic formula but like others said a routine is key and so is consistency. Baby is definitely overtired so make sure your awake times are age appropriate. Moving up bedtime earlier, 5:30 or even 5 could help. Also artificial light at night seemed to really effect both our kids so we put dimmer switches in their rooms and try to keep curtains drawn for about an hour before bed time. Sounds like we’re vampires but iit significantly helped with the transition.

    It’s honestly survival tactics for some at this pt and given the developmental leap. I’ve heard 4 months is not a great time to sleep train, I would nurse, use a paci, baby wear for naps, whatever you need to do to get over the hump and then try again.

    If you BF is there any chance baby is sensitive to something you eat? After lots of trial and error we learned our guy was bugged by something passing through my milk and it only started to effect sleep at about 4 months. This made the regression particularly challenging bc we had two very different problems at the same time.

    Lastly have you ever heard of the IG account @askthemamas? It’s run by a mama of two and she posts questions submitted by other mamas and all the followers answer, there are some great gems of advice on there. As you know it’s just a phase and when baby’s two it will be a blip on the radar.

  17. every kid is SO DIFFERENT. we tried crying it out with my oldest when she was about that age and lasted one night… why? she’s a screamer. she never whimpered, it was happy or screaming… no in between. the next morning she would try to “talk” and her voice was hoarse. Her baby babbles sounded like a barking seal. I thought I had ruined her vocal chords. by 6 months she slept through the night. Training included picking her up when she cried and offering her her paci and she would fall back asleep. she eventually dropped those wakings (that used to be feedings) one by one and it also helped to have my husband do this, vs. me (to not cue it’s time to feed). Baby #2? he’s so quiet we have let him fuss and start the self soothing process. he’s 4m’s and we just made it through sleep regression alive, and working towards sleeping through the night. good luck!

  18. Ugh!!! I can relate to this do much. I have a 3.5 month old. Attempted sleep training 2 weeks ago for 4 days and had to stop. My guy said no. Did you end up doing sleep training? Any tips?

  19. I feel strongly that cry it out is not for everyone. If my son had reacted differently to it and vomited through his nose it would have been game over. However, for us it worked. Our ‘Baby E’ never cried for more than 30 minutes, and even that only happened on one occasion before he got the gist of sleeping through the night. It took approximately 2-3 days for us to eliminate a feed or break a wake habit using our version CIO method. (I would go in and comfort at intervals…10 min, 15 min, etc). Now, I do have one recommendation even if you aren’t doing CIO. I read somewhere down the road that you should do your best to comfort your child without pulling them out of the crib. We have been religious about this and it has worked great for us. If something wakes ‘Baby E’ up, I rub his head, sing, pat and shh but Baby E doesn’t leave the crib unless I am worried that he is hurting. I even change out a diaper in the crib on occasion. (After months of consistency with this, my parents pulled ‘Baby E’ out of his portable crib when he fussed at 2am during a visit with them and he proceeded to wake at 2am for the next 3 days). Good luck mammas, every babe is different!

    1. I found the book Mom’s on Call so helpful in getting my baby on a schedule that worked for us during the day and a bedtime routine that we followed every night. The combination of those things seemed to help immensely when it came to turn off the lights and go to sleep. Good luck!