Wonder Week 19 aka 4 Month Sleep Regression

4 Month Old Sleep Regressionaka HELL! Call it whatever you want but this seems to be the hands down worst phase for most people (I am still sticking with weeks 5 and 8 but I digress). Most people not clued into the Wonder Weeks know of this time as the 4 month sleep regression and more attachment parents might hear “4 month wakeful”. Same theme among them all: You finally got into the swing of things. You had a schedule (feeding and sleeping) that was working for the most part. Some kids were happily sleeping through the night and then BLAMO…everything is a mess. Your calm baby is fussy. Sleep patterns are all over the place. Doesn’t want to be put down. Up multiple times at night. Finicky eating. Growth spurts. It is pure chaos. And unlike the previous weeks, this one is LONG. I got the leap alarm email when Oliver turned about 14 weeks old…it can start that earlier and keep on trucking.

According to the Wonder Week folks, Mental Leap 4 is all about events. Learning that their actions affect others and they have a bit more control. Mine also seems to be working on rolling over as part of this. He flops around side to side until he gets pissed. Lovely.

Trouble Sleeping
Becoming shy with strangers
Demanding more attention
Head may need more support than before
May be clingy
May lose appetite
May be moody
May be less vocal
May be less lively and sucks his thumb or fingers more often than before.

We are there folks. The shitty naps. The unpredictable nights. The thumb chewing like there are teeth but nothing. The grasping with a death grip when you put him down. UGH! I am tired but one thing is helping.

Being a second time mom.

I know it is a phase. I didn’t do something wrong. He will be ok if he cries. I look forward to the development this leap brings. Every day there is something new midst the fussiness. He found his feet. He can hold a toy. He wrestles a large toy if he bear hugs it. He tried to balance sitting up. Found his tongue. Learned a new sound he could make. I swear it is something new EVERY.DAY. So being a second time mom is taking the edge off a bit and not making me QUITE so cray.

First time mom sees a fussy back and goes down the list.

  1. Is he fed?
  2. Is he wet/poopy?
  3. Is he bored?
  4. Is he tired?
  5. Is he hot/cold?
  6. Is he teething?

And you know none of these are right but something isn’t right with your snowflake. You start looking for blame:

  1. Go to the Dr. expecting an ear infection, cold…hell anything you can blame it on. GIVE ME MEDICINE TO FIX IT.
  2. Start blaming your supply. He MUST be hungry and I can’t make enough. ( note this is when we started supplementing with formula with L). When in fact these phases are sometimes labeled “growth spurts” but it is more likely the case that they just want comfort in this scary time and boobs are comforting.
  3. You start thinking you will never sleep again and your life is over and spiral spiral spiral….

Slippery slope of desperation sets in and you start going into survival mode. Swing sleeping, cosleeping, more milk, solids…ANYTHING (not that any of that is bad, it is just sometimes done in hopes to magically fix something). I know, because I was there last time.

I admit I have a little PTSD around this phase. This was the phase that broke me last time. I can hear it in Ollie’s cry now. It is the EXACT same cry that Landon had that horrible night that shattered me. Not blood curdling screams but little sobs…for long periods. Nothing helped. If you went in, it was just worse or you had to nurse him OVER AND OVER. I thought those sobs were him being exhausted from crying and me abandoning him but looking back, I wish I could tell myself it was just normal. I didn’t do anything wrong. He was fine. I have heard that same pattern from Ollie. Some naps are broken up 15 minute cat naps with tossing and turning and little whines. This is also where the beauty of a video monitor comes in. I can see he is trying to go back to sleep. He is just tossing his head back and forth trying to fall back asleep and something mentally is in his way. So we let him cry. He might get worked up but if all the essentials are taken care of, there is nothing more we can do. If we intervene, he loses more sleep and so do we. Nobody wins. Luckily the longest Ollie has gone is about 25 minutes and that was broken up with quite periods.

But I know that step is hard. Making that call to let them cry is REALLY hard and not for everyone. You have to mentally prepare for it and be together as a team. So many nights I look at K and say “I just don’t know what to do.” and we game plan. It makes me feel so much better if he is in the same boat with me. We aren’t blaming each other. We hang onto the boat as we get tossed around in this insane sea of baby.

So if you googled Wonder Week 19 and got here, I’m sorry you are here and I have no magic answer. Just know you are probably right. They are probably in this stage and need to JUST.GET.THROUGH.IT. I am not gonna sugar coat it…it is going to SUCK. You will be tired and cranky. Welcome to parenthood. But know that it will soon be over and you will have a more interactive baby. One that can entertain themselves for longer. One that can pass toys from hand to hand. One that can laugh at you. It is going to be AWESOME…this is a time that “good things come to those who wait” is oh so true. Hang in there.
Related Links:

Wonder Week 19

4 Month Sleep Regression from Ask Moxie

4 Month Sleep Regression from Baby Sleep Site

The 4 Month Wakeful (Breastfed baby theory)


UPDATE (1/27/2012): This has become an insanely popular post…so thanks for that but I wanted to let you know we made it out alive :). Most likely you are googling sleep regressions or came from a baby board in a moment of desperation. You are sleep deprived and maybe even sick to your stomach. I know your pain. It fucking sucks and I am sorry you are here but soon this will be a distant memory.

Oliver is now 6 months old and a whole new baby. Better sleep, longer wake times and sitting up. It is amazing what 2 months can do. So hang in there. It’s going to get better. I promise. If you want to follow us along on our journey, follow us in the options listed below!

UPDATE(7/31/2017): Oliver is now 5(!!!!!) years old. He goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until 6:30-7 the next day and he sporadically naps. More importantly, he’s a perfectly healthy and happy boy. You are going to make it and it’s gonna be great. No diapers! No midnight feedings! Hang in there, mama. It’ll be over soon. Babies are hard work…and you don’t have to be a baby person. I wasn’t and it’s ok to say that. It’s a phase. You aren’t required to love it.



  1. I am just entering the hell. In fact halfway through reading this (for the 3rd time) I had to go feed the fussy baby who just woke up at 10… Urgh. But I am also a second time mom and knew this was coming and that we will come out on the other side just fine. At least this time I didn’t decide to travel with him. Alone.

  2. Oy. Hang in there, friend. Babies are so effing unpredictable (even with the help of the WW calendar), I found myself wondering what the hell was wrong just as often with #2 as I did with #1. At least this time you know it gets better. And about when that might start to happen. You got this!

    p.s. I will always stand by CIO. We used it with both our girls, and now they sleep like champs. (KNOCK ON WOOD).

  3. Oh my gosh I love this! Thank you for posting! This is EXCATLY my baby right now- and it really helps to know it’s normal and others are going through it as well!

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  5. This post was so encouraging. We’ve been having sleep issues with our 4 month old for over a month right now and I just finished reading The No Cry Sleep Solution. I’m terrified of doing CIO but feel like eventually that is what this has to come to. First time mom here, if that wasnt terribly obvious 🙂 Again, loved this post.

    • You are very welcome. I was actually contacted by Elizabeth Pantley (author of The No Cry Sleep Solution) to review her book. Awaiting it’s arrival. I do know of the gist from my first son and I loved it. Great choice.

      CIO is tough and I don’t claim that everyone should do it. It takes the right baby and parents. But I can attest to it working for me and other parents. It is like ripping off a bandaid. Good luck. We shall weather this storm!

  6. So glad to see this. We’re going through a 13mth one, complete with molars AND canine teeth coming in. I needed to see this after the night we just had. DH is big into analyzing what we’re doing “wrong,” so I forwarded this to him to remind him there’s not much we can do.

    • I am sure you are doing great. Sometimes you just hold on. I am not one for saying “this will pass and you will miss it” because that is just plain bullshit. But I can say you might forget it. I recently reread a post I did when Landon was around 18 months. He was screaming at 5 am for weeks. I have NO memory of that. NONE! So I guess that is some consolation? Hang in there. They are so much better by 2 with this ish.

  7. This was a crucial find for me! This is my 2nd child, he is 3. For some reason I don’t remember this phase but i’m sure it happened. My 4 month old is here and I was feeling really discouraged. I was regretting having another child because Ive been so tired and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t get him to sleep well. Reading this is so reassuring! It’s a phase and it to shall pass. But holy cow it’s frustrating. My guy had the flu as well this week so I was so worried about that. I keep thinking he is teething! Why didnt his pediatrician talk to me about this at the 4 month appointment. Especially when i brought up him starting to talj less. I think they all should. Sure would’ve saved me some stress and tears. Probably because they are in a rush to often. Thanks again for the article.

    • As with any parenting book, I am sure it is hard to keep up with them all as a pediatrician. I mean they see kids from newborns to young adult…i don’t expect them to be hyper focuesd on the new thing in infants. THey probably also don’t tell you in case it doesn’t happen. Why set you up for doom and gloom? My pediatrician always notes developmental things that could be going on and 4-5 months is a typical oral time for babies so they “teeth”(not cutting…just gnawing). This happened with my 3 year old around the same time. Flash back central. Just hang on and try not to develop any more habits during it…though I know it is hard. God speed.

  8. Question: I haven’t read the book but will now. I’m wondering if there are tips on what I should do during these phases. Do I do anything to get them to calm down and sleep or should I be sleep training? Do I not worry about schedules and eating habits?

    • YES. They talk about activities to do with them to help them acquire the skill and not get so frustrated. To me, I could tell when this phase was over. He didn’t go to sleepign through the night but the need to be held constantly and the cries changed. We are now working on a little bit of sleep training post wonder week. All I can say is use your own gut for it. If you try training one night and it is horrific and you can’t take it, then wait. Last thing you want to do is feel guilty on top of tired.

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  10. My lo is 14.5 weeks and is doing everything you talked about. How long will this last? It’s been three days and I’m dying!

    • Sadly I can’t tell you that. They are all different. Some say this is the worst and that is lasts weeks. Our worst was maybe 5 days…but then he has never been a fantastic sleeper at night yet. Still a work in progress. Hang in there.

    • With my first it was 4-6 months. Two months. I thought I was going to die. But part of his was teething (he cut two teeth month 5) so that may have prolonged things.

      To give you hope, at 6 months he started sleeping through the night and somewhere around 7/8 months slept 7/7 with two, two hour naps. So keep on keeping on.

  11. Thank you for all the great info! My daughter and grandson live at home with us. This is her first baby and its been way too long for me to remember. Everything that has been described is what we’re experiencing with him. Great to know its a phase. Because he went from being the happiest, peaceful angel to demanding, cranky, and nothing seeming to sooth him. Thank you!

    • Oh this comment made my day. THANK YOU FROM ALL NEW MOMS. A mother who is looking to HELP and not just telling her what you did…it seems rare for some folks. Yes, it’s a phase but still a tough one. It is just good to remind her it gets better. SO MUCH BETTER (you know this :)). Thank you, again!

  12. We are entering this… my sweet girl is 16 weeks, 1 day… she’ll be 4 months on Feb 6th… her usually long naps today (at least one that is 2 to 3 hours) were just under 1 hour, 1 hour, and (EEK) 25 minutes… and her first “stretch” of night sleep (usually 3 hours) was 35 minutes… GAH! Thanks for your post! I’m a 2nd time Mom – my firstborn didn’t really sleep until almost 7 months, so this is a bit new to me to have a baby with a regular rhythm… I had heard of the 4 month regression and Wonder Week 19… but my firstborn had health issues and cried through his first 4 months, so any regression or change we didn’t notice because he slept like that from the beginning. I look forward to the 6 month mark, though with baby #2!

  13. Everything you say is true. I’m this with my second and while we started out okay and doing the cry thing he was just so angry and something wasn’t right. No fever, no runny nose no nothing but his extended family said it was an ear infection. So I took him, expecting to be told I was crazy.

    Nope. He had an ear infection.

    So trust your mama guts ladies, and if the crying doesn’t sound right, if it just doesn’t feel right … take him to the doctor. And through this phase I say let them nap in anything that will help them sleep because the fatigue is part of what makes this phase so hard, and they really do need all the sleep they can get.

  14. thanks for this post! i was sitting at my laptop bawling because my girl (my first) has been in her bed for over an hour and hasn’t slept yet (naps right now are horrible as are nights) she is about 17 weeks and we’ve been going through this since about week 14 as well some days i’m okay, but other days i swear it breaks me. thanks for reassurance that it will be okay.

    • You got this, mama. Babies are hard. Not enough people spew that knowledge. It ain’t rainbows and fucking unicorns…it’s poop and tears. But fear not…just like the internet phenomenon…it gets better. SO MUCH BETTER.

      P.S. Letting her cry in her bed is just fine. She will be fine. You need a break. You deserve one. Don’t let anyone tell you different. If they do, send em to me. I’ll take care of it 😉

      • thanks brandy! we have been letting ger cio the past week. she is as stubborn as a mule, but is finally getting the hang of it sometimes. other times she still screams her “i know you’re out there damn it! now come and pick me up!” cry. thanks again!

  15. This post has been heaven sent for me. My son, now 4mo and 1week, has always been great for sleeping and eating. We finally got a pretty defined schedule down, and out of NO where he has been so hard to feed and last night he cried for four hours straight. Four. Straight. Hours. I think I was as hysterical as he was. Did not get him asleep until midnight, and he just woke up bright and early at 5am. This is my first baby, so I was googling everything from ear infection to low supply and everything in between. I’m a single parent, so it helps so much to know this will pass…

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  18. aggghhh!! just trying to remind myself this is a phase after a particularly long night and my husband asking me why she doesnt seem like she can entertain herself and always wants to be held, and why we are back to waking every 1.5hr and wanting to nurse…i just keep saying its just a phase, but its hard to remember when your in it.Older daughter has bad sleep habits and my husband is worried that this one will too but its just a phase…its JUST A PHASE…

  19. I can’t tell you how happy I am to read this as my 19 week old daughter fits this description perfectly – everything was going well, she was sleeping through the night, and then 14 weeks came and out went the good sleeping patterns (only ever does 40 mins at a time during day), multiple wake ups (sometimes hourly) during the night for no apparent reason (not hungry, not cold, not dirty!) and became very fussy with feeding! We are now 5 weeks down the road and whilst the feeding has improved, the sleeping is not there yet (some nights she’ll sleep through, others she will wake a million time – completely inconsistent) which makes me fear that her behavior no longer applies to this stage and something else is going on? What does it sound like to you? Should it have gone on this long? Perhaps I need to get rid of her dummy as the only last possibility (apart from sleep regression stage)? This is my second child but I don’t remember ever going through this with him and thus have no confidence what I am going through with my daughter is a “stage”
    Look forward to our response

    • I saw you are still in it. Keep strong. You may have introduced a habit but it’s ok…you just have to survive. Best “advice” I try and remember in the dark times is “takes 3 days to make a habit. Takes 3 days to break one” So if you get out of this phase and she has a sleep crutch? You will survive. And then you will look back and go “huh…that was nothing”. Sleep deprivation is the worst thing for a mind. I am sure of it. Hang in there. I know this answer isn’t what you wanted but I think you will be just fine and haven’t created a monster 😉

  20. Hi I am mummy to a 20 week old girl. She is bottle fed due to BF issues. She had slept 7-7 bar the occasional night from 12 wks. 2 weeks ago she had a cold which certainly for 3/4 nights was waking her up and mostly she just needed a cuddle and would settle but maybe once a night she had a small feed. We then had 1 night of 7-7 again.
    However from her being 19 wk (last 11 nights) she has woken once or twice a night and wanted a feed. This seems to have then put her off her first morning feed so then I am concerned that of course she is hungry at night. From reading the posts I am not sure if a) I have created a habit or b) she is genuinely hungry. If so I wanted to wait until 6 months to wean but do I start early.
    Do I need to try cold turkey and refuse to feed her in the night? She also goes down into her cot awake and is good a self settling. I have essentially followed the baby whisperer but no dream feed so I have never done crying down but also don’t use me bottle or any other props.
    My main question is do I just feed her and hope she’ll eventually just go back to sleeping through or do I need to try and force it.
    Thanks for any help

  21. Thank you for this post. I am a mother of 3 and my first two never went through any sleep regressions. But I am in the middle of one right now with #3. It is nice to know that this is a normal thing.

  22. I googled a little something I have heard about called 4 month sleep regression because my little man, who happens to be be 19 weeks today, has not been his usual self the last 3 days. He is normally easy going and sleeps 10 hours though the night no problem….well up until 3 days ago. Suddenly it’s new noises everyday, a little temper I have yet to see, waking frequently through the night and he is so close to rolling all the way over. Looks like I might be in for a wild ride for and undetermined number of weeks. But thanks to you, I am laughing my ass now and and going to take this on with a really good sense of humor, thank you. Wish me luck!!

  23. Thank you for this. My little girl used to be an awesome sleeper, feeding just once in the night. Then came teething and now total lack of sleep unless she has just fed and is still in my arms. I was dealing with it now too bad, propping us up so I could nap very lightly too without danger if dropping her, but now her constant demands for comfort feeding have turner into a really horrific case of mastitis and suddenly I’m not coping. My whole body is in pain so that I’m in agony just holding her, my fever is so bad I can’t stop shaking. I adore her but this is too much for me to bear. 🙁

  24. Just got to the computer and found the post my wife has been reading…
    I’ve gotta say… even as a Dad I love this post… and the comments…

    Just one question… anyone out there have any advice about how to take care of a cranky baby and a cranky Mom?

    Hang-on… this post is anonymous right?
    *glances around furtively*

    • BEST COMMENT NAME EVER! I really should change my tagline to be “kids can be assholes”. I think it encompasses the culture here. It’s ok to say shit sucks and your kid is pissing you off. You are still a wonderful parent…you are just realistic. Parenthood isn’t all christmas cookies and hugs. It’s dirty diapers, temper tantrums, getting slapped in the face and, most of all, sleep deprivation.

      And how to take care of a cranky mom and baby? Strap said baby on you with a carrier (btw, dads in carriers are panty droppers). Go to the grocery store/target/costco and do the shopping while the baby is put to sleep by your walking. Let mom stay home and sleep, knit, watch netflix…basically WHATEVER THE FUCK SHE WANTS. You are seen as a hero (to her and her friends), she got some non-baby time and groceries for the house. You get a happier wife, bonding with the baby and even a workout. You might even get some action out of it if you play your cards right. This is the new mom’s “flowers”. Time to herself. DO IT.

  25. Another Dad (2nd time). This blog is so true it made me and my wife cry with laughter and despair at the same time. But like you say, soon it will be OK.

  26. You my dear lady just saved me from
    a) trying formula
    b) going to Tresillian
    c) controlled crying
    d) pumping for an extra 20 Minutes after each feed
    E) sobbing into my very unused pillow
    2 weeks this has been going on, I’ve been co sleeping, feeding constantly to no avail, having him turn away from my breast, pumping furiously during the day to make a bottle as I was sure my supply dropped.

    I had decided that it was all my fault, I had failed as a mother and couldn’t stop my child’s pain. I feel so relieved that I not only have something else to blame but also that I didn’t create this sooky, fussy, napping, grazing child who can be considered a glorified nipple tassel at the moment.

    Thank you for your humorous dissection of a horrible faze! I’ll sleep a little easier, for the next 45 minutes anyway, knowing it’ll be over soon xxxxxxx

    • The nipple tassel comment? Awesome!

      Hang in there. It gets better…then another regression hits (in one now) but it still isn’t as bad as that one.

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  28. Allow me to preface this post by saying: Yes, I know how incredibly LUCKY I am to have been blessed with a naturally good sleeper. I am totally not complaining here as I know I’ve no right to! Just tyring to understand the ins and outs of baby sleep cycles so I can be prepared for what is ahead.

    I think I am on Day 4 of this blessed event… My 16 week old started sleeping 7 hours/night at 3 weeks old and each week has tacked on more and more time. *(I exclusively pumped from 3-12 weeks, so he didn’t wake to nurse after those first few weeks)* He had been sleeping soundly for up to 10 hours, but for the past 3 nights he woke many, many times. Happy as could be, not a cry or whimper, just wanted to partyyyyy! I found it odd because he hadn’t experienced any changes in very predictable schedule and seemed to be feeling perfectly fine. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why my “perfect sleeper” started to change so suddenly. I googled “4 month old sleep regression” and wound up here. Thank you for your frank and experienced insight. It’s hard to remember that babies go through phases and resist jumping to the thoguht that “something must be wrong”. Hoping he sleeps a little better tonight!

  29. This post describes to a T my LO the past two weeks. And after last night (aka: the night from hell) I really needed to hear this. Thank you so much!

  30. Does anyone have experience in dealing with this and being a full-time working mom? My little dude will be 14 weeks old tomorrow and, while I haven’t seen any major changes with him yet, I am trying to anticipate what could happen in the future. I am mostly worried about during the day when he is with the babysitter. I don’t want the little guy to be too much for her to handle (a family friend is watching him as a HUGE favor for us). During his 8 week growth spurt, he couldn’t be put down at all & I know that the babysitter won’t be able to put everything on hold to just snuggle with him the way I did during that time. I am also feeling pretty terrible that I won’t be able to be there with him throughout the day to help him through this time.

    • Welp you are in luck. I am a full time working mom! This is going to be the beginning of your journey in childcare. I can’t tell you it is going to be easy because I have no idea. I can say you need to realize you are doing what is best for him (I’m sure) and not everyone can always win. There is always sacrifice but it isnt’ a bad thing. A fussy week or two is so trivial in the grand scheme.Don’t stress before there is anything to even stress about! It will work out whether he has a rough wonder week(s) or not. It is part of being a baby and learning to grow up.

      Now speaking from the mom of mama’s boys, being away from you might be a little better. My boys are different when I am not around. There is a lot more whining and clingy on me vs my husband and caregivers. My daycare teachers didn’t note anything much different in those rough weeks honestly. They are constantly going to be learning from each other in that first year. IT is always a moving target. Next it will be solids, then crawling, then walking…etc. Not to mention teeth, sickness, just general bad days…they are growing varmits! Moral of the story, try to let go of some control. Trust me, I KNOW it is hard but totally worth it. Check out this post from my counterparts at http://www.liberatingworkingmoms.com. Maybe this will help http://liberatingworkingmoms.com/2013/03/18/trying-and-failing-to-control-everything-and-how-it-led-to-happiness/

  31. WOW!! thank you thank you!
    I am so happy I came across this…a REAL perspective not just facts piled together .. that I am too tired to understand.

    I am on week 3… and I was starting to feel like a crazy person – What the hell was I doing wrong. She has been up every two hours.. every hour… sometimes more… . everyday I was online trying to find a magic cure. I was also at the doctors…begging for an answer.. (That morning I made my tassimo coffee without putting my mug under …twice…. and on the way I took the wrong street .. and missed my exit on the hwy,.lol) This started with our LO right after she turned 3 months… well she is almost 4 months now and I think it has lasted long enough lol…(I will add that she has learnt so many new skills during this)

    Last night was our first night of CIO.. it went so much better than i imagined. Still waking up about every 2 hours but I think if we stick to this there may be light at the end of the devil child tunnel.

    Thank you x 1000.

    • you are very welcome. I am happy this is helping so many new moms. My new motto is “ife is better than the shitty things that happen to us.” It will get better…and better…and better. And then she will turn 3 and you’ll be back wondering what demon took over her body 🙂 YAY MOTHERHOOD

  32. Thank you thank you thank you! I am a 4th time mom and I remember that each kid went through this phase, but have NO recollection of it…which means it must have been HORRIBLE! Reading this made me relax and reminded me that it didn’t last forever with any of my other children, and it won’t with this one either. In fact, my other 3 are all very good sleepers now. I will persevere!


    Best birthday present ever…ok, maybe not as cool as that trip to Jamaica when I was 22, but CLOSE! I have twin boys and unfortunately for us, or fortunately, or neither (I am sleep deprived pardon my babbling, one of them is well in the weeds of his sleep regression and the other is just starting. It is just so darn nice to see someone went through this and survived.

  34. Hi there,

    I have stumbbled across your page after googling all day and being at my wits end with my baby girl #2 who is 4.5 months….. I thought i was doing everything right with this one as i had experience with a bad sleeper in #1!!!! Well…. hasn’t this one prooved me wrong!!!! She was sleeping reasonably well, still waking twice a night but fed and back to sleep, now its every 2-3 hours and she’s awake and smiling and shorely can’t be hungry??? I knew she was going through a wonder week but i don’t remember it with my first and my gosh, this is a long one….. Im just about ready to pull my hair out, trying to function on little sleep with a 2.5 year and a grumpy husband too!!! oh gosh i hope this finishes soon…. nice to know others are going through the same though. I just hope it is the wonder week and not what my baby girl is going to be like for the next 12 months!! good luck to you all and hope you get some sleep xx

    • I’m sure it is a phase. My first was a rough sleeper too. Didn’t STTN until 9 months. Ollie did around 6. It helps that you have been through it once before but when they are that tiny age, it is all nature, man. Hang in there

  35. so, this is the third one for me, and I still feel like a first time mom during these. obviously googled “4 month sleep regression” and WOOHOO… here you are with a little piece of sanity for me…. like a small ray of light at the end of a tunnel that I KNOW will end, yet it never feels like it will when you are deep in the mix.

    so, thank you for posting this. it is exactly what i am going through word for word. and no matter how many times i rock this screaming little baby at night while giving the finger to the moon, I am reminded by your posts how excited i STILL get when they find their feet, or blow spend the afternoon blowing raspberries, or grab something out of my hand.

  36. Thanks for this. You’re quite right, I did find you through Googling sleep regression (a phrase I had never heard of until yesterday).
    Our little fella (16 weeks, 5 days) had got into a rhythm of zonking out around 7 pm and sleeping through until 12-1 in the morning, at which time my wife would nurse him. And then the intervals shortened. And then…yesterday…4. WHOLE. HOURS. OF. SCREAMING. in the afternoon (I work from home). No work for me, all appointments cancelled, it’s a wonder the police didn’t come. And, on top of that, he wouldn’t go to sleep in the evening. And things just got worse. Tonight, it was the same. We had got back into our old routine of playing a game or watching a DVD in the evening and enjoying each other’s company whilst Sunshine zzz’d upstairs. That’s gone. My wife lost it earlier on and said “I’ve had enough – go and sit in the rocker with Dad.” Uh huh. I said that this is a phase but, poor lady, she’s the one who has to nurse him. She’s said that if this lasts multiple weeks, she’ll go out of her mind. I’m trying to keep things calm, and it’s very, very, VERY reassuring to read all these posts and the blog about this. Still, it’s one thing to read and quite another to have to put up with screams where there used to be peace.
    Yes, I know that this is cognitive development (indeed, that was my thought before we went to the docs, who said “Oh he’s hungry, put him onto solids.” (at under 4 months…c’mon!!!) – the vaccinations yesterday didn’t help, methinks…), but it is trying and I know things will be cool and fun and amazing afterwards. But the thought that we’re back to the days of January/February, of little sleep, of a moody mama… Oh joy. I’m running out of treat ideas too!!!

    • First off, SWOON. A husband looking to help his wife out. Hugs to you, my good sir. Second, it’s gonna SUCK. Do you have a baby carrier? I recommend strapping her onto you. You can do a lot while she is snuggled and happy. she can snooze. You aren’t going to spoil her and it will be fine. You just have to weather the storm. Also? Good for you guys for taking that evening time for YOU. It is a great thing to remember in the coming years. The earlier you prioritize it, the better. Good luck and happy thoughts from the states 🙂

      • Yup, we do. It’s interesting that a friend of mine, who I visited today for the first time in a while suggested the SAME thing. Carry him around (over here in Germany, the brand is a Manduca, but it’s the same). As (finally) the warm weather has arrived, I was out in the garden earlier and I think, if the weather is the same tomorrow, I’m gonna get the awning out and then put him out on his rocker while I’m out weeding our little patch o’ land.
        Re time for us, we wanted to play a card game this evening (something we’d been waiting for and which arrived today) and then, halfway through, Sir bawled from upstairs, so we brought him down. And that was it. We had to break off and declare a tie. *sigh* So much for peace and quiet. If I could only give my wife a concrete answer of how LONG this will last, that would help.
        Best wishes back from a Brit in southern Germany!

  37. oh my, it would be SO nice to be sharing this sleep issue WITH someone – great job dad! my husband offers a night feed here or there but would look at me as if I had 7 heads if I said “wonder week…sleep regression…etc.”

    it’ll get better. we are at 19 weeks this week, had a rough past 3 weeks but are back down to 7pm bed…bottle somewhere between 12-2 and then wake up around 645 (with a 5 minute cry session somewhere between 4-6)

    is a boy thing?? my two little girls were 12 hour sleepers by 3 months! everyone else I talk to says their boys have a really tough time with these milestones/regressions and/or with sleep in general!

    • Oh goodness, REALLY? That is where we were. 7-12/1 and then up to the little fella buzzing around at 6 am (couldn’t get mad at him, he’s just so cute). So 3 weeks-ish?

      • that seems like a blessing to me! my girl is 18 weeks old.since 2.5 months her naps decreased from 1.5-2 hrs to 30-45 minutes. Since then and all the way until now she has begun waking every hour, screaming, throughout the night, wrestling with us when we try to put her for each nap and every bedtime….she will cry and not fall asleep at night for 2 hours after we put her down….and most nights the past 2 weeks she wont go to sleep after her 2am/3am feeding…..of she does she is up every 30 minutes until 6am………..and is fussy most of the day.

        she has severe GERD and belly issues…so I have a hard time knowing what is pain fuss or developmental leap fuss….BUT the past 2 weeks she has been showing off a whole new bag of tricks….b/c of health issues I have hada ahard time always letting her cry or i check on her and respond too much as she often chokes on her puke or cannot get her puke out and I need to essentially smack it out of her.

        seriously don’t think i would like any more children after her….

  38. Thank you for writing this!!!

    As a second time mom myself, I’ve been telling myself ‘this too shall pass’ but my voice is getting smaller and smaller as I get more exhausted and sleep deprived!

    She’s 14 weeks old now. Till she was 12 weeks old, she was a little angel. Everything was going great and she even had her own little schedule – which included sleeping a 9 hour stretch at night from since she turned 8 weeks old! Now for the last 2 weeks, I don’t know if someone’s swapped my little girl for another baby.

    Daytime naps are only 45 min stretches – she used to take 2-3 hour naps! Nighttime feeds are frequent – some nights 2 feeds, some nights up to four! She seems tired and sleep deprived herself with puffy eyes and frequent yawning. I hardly get a break between her and my older girl (3.5yrs) who is home all day because of a break at school. DH says ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’. Yeah right!

    I am so exhausted but CIO isn’t an option because all of us sleep in one bedroom and my LO crying will wake my ODD for sure 🙁 can’t manage TWO sleep deprived kids! I do try to let her settle back down during daytime naps, but somehow feel like I am being inconsistent with her by doing it sometimes and not doing it when I don’t want to. Poor thing must be confused. She’s so easily distracted now, she’s flipping over from her tummy to her back and is trying to turn over the other way too and she’s even attempting to sit up. In the midst of these advancements, I was amazed that her head suddenly seems unsteady again! This post was such an eye-opener. I’m off to read it again. Thanks so much for writing this. And for now, I’ll keep telling myself ‘this too shall pass’.

  39. Finally! A realistic blog on what I’m going through….day 3 of hell! This getting up every 2-3 hours and everything that goes with it is doing my head.
    I cracked tonight. Bawled my eyes out and started resenting A.
    Thanks for giving a realistic account of what really happens and for giving me back my peace of mind. No longer will we have to say I hope its just a phase she’s going through…it is a phase!
    Btw, I’ve got the wonder weeks app and all the say happens but they don’t tell you how it can really get!

  40. Thank you so very much for this post!! My daughter is doing all the things you mention, and even though I am a second time mom, it is nice to have some reassurance! I am sitting up watching her on the baby monitor right now….Cheers to more restful nights ahead!

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  42. Can I just say THANK YOU. I read this post at exactly the right time, I think. My 2nd daughter has just kicked into this wonder week/sleep regression/hell time and you’re right… it passes! I just needed to be reminded of that 🙂

  43. I would also like to thank you for this post, and also that I see many others that are going through this too! It is reassuring that it will pass. You describe everything that is happening to my 15 week old perfectly!

  44. I am in the thick of this hellnightmare and I literally have to read this post daily in order to convinc myself there is a lght at the end of the tunnel, that I'm not suck in grondhog day the movie. ..I thi k its going on week four…it could be six I have no idea anymore. Sleep. I. Miss. You. 😉

    • I’m with you! I’ve been coming back to this post often and I can’t remember where I am – week 4…5…6? I’m selfishly a little glad someone else is experiencing this prolonged torture experiment as well. And I JUST SAID to my husband that I feel like this is a sucky, sucky version of Groundhog’s Day!

  45. Your day will come lol! Apparently, your next baby is a boy and very wise…he will know that he should just sleep lol- Nigel gave him a book!

  46. Like everyone else, all I can say is thank you. I read your post. And then I read it again. And again. And downloaded the Wonder Weeks app (which says 4 more days till the leap is over, and not a moment too soon.) This is the third week of the hell for us. My son comes with me to work and he’s been amazingly good until now … But last week I found myself at the breaking point when he wouldn’t nap and just cried ALL DAY. Suddenly I was the crazy mom hissing in his ear, “if you don’t stop, you’re gonna have to go to daycare!!!” And crying myself at the thought…

    Now I can see a glimmer of light though. Like you said, he found his feet. Adorable. And he rolled over for the first time tonight. Amazing. The developments are coming fast and furious now, so I’m just riding it out. But thank you thank you thank you for the reassurance you gave this first-time mom. Nothing I’ve read has been more honest, or more helpful.

  47. Brandy, I don’t think daycare is awful. I’m just not quite ready to give him up, even for part if the day yet! I think like you said, it will be great socialization for him and I’m excited that he’ll make friends from an early age. I’m just a first-time mom having trouble letting go. But thanks for turning me on to the Liberating Working Moms site. It’s helping me tons!

    • Can anyone tell me how long this is supposed to last.. or how long it could last? I’m in week 4-ish, and we’re now fighting naps, bedtime, and night wakeups. I feel like crying most days from sleep deprivation. We’re at 5.5 months – shouldn’t it be getting better?!! I love this little guy, but this is ridiculous!

      • I don’t think anyone has a formula for this. I say look for them being on the edge of doing something major. Like we recently went through the 8 month regression and it was AWFUL until he crawled. Like a totally new baby.

        All that said, take them to the pediatrician if you feel like something is really wrong. If anything, it is piece of mind. Hang in there.

  48. So basically instead of saying there was nothing you could do and leaving your baby to cry for 25 minutes, why didn't you try settling him? I can't believe that you said leaving babies to cry is not for everyone – thank God it's not, cause I personally think it's a form of child abuse. Leaving your children to cry themselves to sleep causes permanent emotional damage and the only reason they stop is coz they realise that no one is coming and no one cares. My baby has just gone through this stage and yes his sleep was all over the place but not for a single second did I leave him on his own because that is SIMPLY.WRONG.

    • Well good for you. Let me know what we all look like up there on your pedestal of motherhood. I hear the judging is fantastic at that height.

    • and to clarify, I give this advice in the face of post partum depression. A mother’s mental health is just as important in these challenging phases. If you need a break, it is ok to put them down a get your shit together. If you want to argue that, you get your martyr badge for motherhood. New momhood is learning a lot about taking care of a kid AND self care. You aren’t a bad mom for thinking of your self. You are a better mom.

  49. This is officially happening right now! Im exhausted and like you I have bern wracking my brain for days trying to figure out if he is sick or something! Im a tired momma and my sweet happy baby is probably confused as all get out like what the heck is wrong in the world and momma fix it!!!! Its this super weird phase where I suddenly don’t know my own baby! Poor little guy, cant wait for that dang sunny period!

  50. Thanks for this – we are going through this crazy stage at the moment and its a nightmare. I also said that this is the worse time ever as he's always been a good baby. He wakes up every 2 hrs at night and I initially thought he needed to feed but now in the 2nd week, I have decided to just cuddle him and he goes back to sleep so I know he's definitely not hungry. There's definitely a loss of appetite and I also questioned "what's wrong with my milk? what's wrong with him?" But I have also noticed some major changes in him, better hand control, laughing a lot more, very curious and inquisitive…I'm so looking forward to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

  51. Ok this all makes me feel so much better, however, I have 5 1/2 month twins who share a room, one sleeps thru and always has, and the other is having this issue. I have no problem with CIO, but I’m afraid it will then wake the “good sleeper”, now what?

    • I put the call out for my friends of multiples to answer you. My boys have a shared bathroom and we white noised the shit out of them. 🙂

  52. Thank you for this! I came across your post and we too are in the midst of week two of what I'm calling sleep protesting! Our otherwise happy 17 week old baby who has been pretty easy to put down for the last month and half is now on a reign of terror. Taking over an hour to put down to bed at night, then waking up several time in the night totally unconsolable. We've tried CIO and then nursing him almost every time he's up and he still protests sleep. It's been a rough week and my hubby and are I near our whits end. I read your post to my hubby this morning while he was getting ready for work and it gave us both some sighs of relief to know we are not alone, and this will pass! But yes, I've noticed lots of changes in what our son can do. It's amazing, but so tiring and painful for the parents.

  53. So glad I found this post. This describes perfectly what we are currently experiencing. Even the part about taking them to the doctor expecting an ear infection or some other illness. I can't wait to see everything he can do once we make it through this stage.

  54. thanks, that’s exactly what I needed to hear (well, read.) Miss C is my second, but my oldest never slept well before at least 18 months, so this “phase” had gone totally unnoticed for her. This time around, I had a baby who slept through the night, was pretty good at napping, ant suddenly it’s all gone, she’s waking every hour and I’m going crazy. It is true she’s doing tons of new things, though, rolling, laughing, new sounds, getting better with her hands… Thanks for reminding me it’s all but a phase, and this too shall pass, and that as usual, there are no magic recipes with babies. Now, if this one could go back to sleeping 6-7 hours stretches before 18 mo, it’ll be bliss…

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  57. I just re-read this post for the 5th time this week. My 18 week old (almost 19!) is experiencing this now and it’s been an exhausting 4 weeks of him squirming almost constantly at night as he tries to fall back asleep every hour or so. I’m lucky to be getting 1-2 hours of sleep at a time (the night before last was every 45 minutes, but thankfully last night he slept in chunks of 2 hours). We started sleep training and CIO has worked for getting him to put himself to sleep to start the night (no tears in 4 nights! Woot! Woot!) My husband says “take a nap during the day”, and my response is always the same (albeit snarkier each time): “I ‘nap’ all night long, what I *need* is 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!” I co-sleep with our little boy so Daddy can get his sleep so he can go to work (I work part-time from home). But right now Daddy has an active ulcer, so I have a cranky son and a very cranky Daddy at home. 😛 Thanks for the all the posts ladies- it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  58. I feel so bad after reading this and all the posts as I am convinced my child has silent reflux rather than sleep regression. My LO has had this (regression) from 12 weeks onwards and still going at 17 weeks – she has hiccups, screams when we put her down, afternoon feeds does not latch properly and pulls her head bak, arches her back in pain sometimes, coughs and sneezes, wakes 6 to 7 times night etc etc. We are now trying Zantac but now i am thinking thisi s all sleep regression and not reflux ??!!! Has anyone had these symptoms thrown in or am I a paranoid sleep derived new mum???

  59. Thank you for the refreshingly honest post! I haven’t experienced this yet but I feel more prepared =) I shared it with my husband and we look forward to getting through it!

  60. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you.
    You are absolutely right – I was googling sleep-regression and I’m exhausted and sad and I’m still in my pyjamas at 11am. There’s only so much “sleep expert” advice I can read without tearing my hair out – have these people actually HAD a baby? So hearing your experience (and survival story) is so helpful. Hopefully we get out alive in the not too distant future, and with a scrap of sanity too I hope.

  61. I am literally weeping relief/camaraderie tears while reading this, and yes, I’m here after googling “4 month sleep regression”. My little angel was such a great sleeper until a few weeks ago, and today was my breaking point because she rolled over from back to front, so we stopped swaddling her last night. Worst. Timing. Ever. I know that this is all because amazing and extraordinary things are happening though, and this was exactly what I needed to regroup. THANK YOU.

  62. Thank you Sooooooooooo much for this post! I am there and also with my second child… But you forget! Ineeded this! I was laughing and crying because it feels so good to know someone else was there too! As i sit here and bf now i am starting to feel so much better thinking abou what lies in store! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  63. I DID in fact find this while googling, and while I was looking for a “fix”, I’m happy finding this. Just knowing I’m not alone and that my baby will in fact go back at some point to being the amazing sleeper he was is all I needed! I was absolutely panicked and had no idea about the wonder weeks or the 4 month regression. He was 4 months last week and this started about two weeks ago….I’ve been in to check on him at least 15 times since putting him down…just knowing there is an end in sight will make this easier for me 🙂

  64. I just had a good sob while reading this laying next to my wide awake 18 week old who was up at least every 45 minutes last night, and every night for the past 4 weeks. She takes 30 minute naps during the day, usually after 20 minutes of intense crying. This is what I get for bragging about how she slept 8 hours a night at 6 weeks!
    Thanks for posting and making me feel less alone.

  65. First time mom here and this post makes me feel better. I have had an awesome time with my daughter and last night was probably the hardest night for any of us. Its comforting to know it isn’t sickness. Going to try and get naps in during the day so I can survive the night.

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  67. So how long did this regression last?

    I was so confused because Gabriel started at week 14 (not 19) and as you said, it’s something new each day, we have been at this for 4 weeks now. I am so looking forward for it to end, he is going to bed at 7:30 pm and waking up at 11pm and every single hour after that…. I AM EXHAUSTED

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  69. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just read your post, after stumbling here from a Google search on ‘five month sleep regression’. I can already see the signs of the next version of my beautiful boy – he laughs a little, he’s so interactive, and he is just the best company – he just doesn’t sleep much right now and he loses his blob if I don’t interact with him as much as he demands! But your post is wonderful, reassuring and I now have a little more faith that this intensely challenging time will end. Bless you.

  70. Hi Brandy!

    I am dealing with this wonder week right now. I was blessed with a nearly perfect baby who started sleeping 12 hours straight at night when she was 9 weeks old. Just a week or so ago she started having a really hard time staying asleep. She normally sleeps until 8 and all the sudden she is up at 5 or 6 and ready for the day. I feed her and put her back to bed. Is that the best thing to do? She usually goes back to sleep, but she seems like her tummy is upset. I started her on rice cereal around the same time she started waking early. Do you think that could be related? Also, her naps are all over the place in terms of length ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Is that normal for the wonder weeks? I feel like I am trying to “fix” something but I can’t figure out the problem. I feel all anxious and could really use some advice. I keep thinking my life is over! I hate listening to her cry and I can’t let her cry too long because big brother is in the next room. Please send me some advice! I am desperate.

    • Yup. You are in the wonder week trying to “figure it out”. My advice? Unless she seems in extreme pain, I would ride it out. The cereal is probably not doing it but you could stop it and make sure. Won’t hurt anything to stop and start again.

      My advice for bedtime routines is always to remove feeding right before they go to sleep. We did feed (we did a bottle at night) and THEN bath. This seemed to break the attachment on me to do bedtime with the bottle for 1 and also removed food/sleep association.

      Naps? HAHAHAHAHA. Welcome to motherhood. They are the most unpredictable things on earth. I never know what I will get from either of my boys. Granted now we can pretty much guarantee at least an hour, that’s about it. When they are little, I always was estatic with an hour. 30 min? I would let them fuss for a few minutes and then see. Often they would go back to sleep. But regression times are different. They are mentally scared. It isn’t going to hurt them to snuggle them some. You aren’t going to “ruin” them. Life will be back to normal.

      Just for a perspective, most people that come to this post are the “my baby slept through the night a X weeks!” types. Just know us mamas of colic babies are slightly snickering. It seems to hit you guys the hardest. We never saw a 5-6 hour stretch at that point, so we rolled with it. Those “easy” babies spoil ya 😉 Hang in there, it will be gone before you know it…just hard to see that now (it’s ok if you want to punch me now).

  71. Hi Brandy I have searched the internet for weeks and have to say this is the best post about 4month sleep regression I have come across. Its reassuring and doesn’t make you feel like a failure. So exhausted at the moment and thinking about letting my 19 weeks baby boy co sleep with me as he does manage to sleep a bit longer otherwise he is up every hour either feeding or being rocked back to sleep. I don’t know if I let him co sleep then will it will be harder to get him to sleep back in his cot but I need more sleep and so does he. He barely naps in the day which means he is overtired which doesn’t help his sleeping at night. He now doesn’t like the car and screams when he is in it and it takes him ages in the pram to get him to sleep. I feel like I am going mad is there anything you can recommend to help with day time naps? I don’t want to do the whole CIO yet I think he is to young and I’m too tired to do the shush pat and all that. My little boy is such a happy boy and doesn’t seem to upset by this phase but I can hardly function. I am the only that can get him to sleep and calm him down when he sobs. I just feel so tired and am constantly questioning why this is all happening and when will it stop. I think it has been going on for a month or maybe more, tbh I struggle to know what day it is so god knows how long it has been going on. please help

    • oh dear, all the advice I have is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I baby wore to get mine to sleep. I walked for hours with them strapped in. They slept and i burned calories. Only silver lining I could come up with. Hang in there. It will be over soon.

  72. Like all the above mums (and dads) I have spent hours trawling through forums in hope of an answer about my little boy. Just as I was enjoying the babbling and the longer periods of him being entertained he has suddenly turned into a constantly tired, fussy baby. I have been stressing about his naps for weeks, he’s never slept well in the day however much I have tried and at night he feeds often and is Up at 6am. I was hoping to make his bed time a little later as 6pm just seems a bit early but by 5pm he is rubbing his eyes and getting grouchy.
    I have read various sleep books, none mention this period which is frustrating, so obviously I am thinking he is not doing what a ‘normal’ 4 month old should be sleeping (I know I know, every baby is different). I am now confident that this is a phase and not to worry.Sleep deprivation with a grumpy baby is bloody hard!
    I cannot wait to be the one that turns to a new mum and says “it gets easier”.
    Can’t wait for my little happy man back. Thank you for the reassurance.

  73. Thank you for this post! I’m SO tired. Four nights of no sleep. Last 2 nights baby was up every 45 minutes. How long did this last for you?? I really want to try CIO but problem is baby is a tummy sleeper and recently discovered how to flip on her back. She is turning in her sleep and waking herself up. Only way to get her back to sleep is by putting her back on her tummy…..every 45 minutes 🙁 🙁 Breakdown is happening here in our house!!!

  74. OMG!!!!! I just discovered your page. Thank God. I thought I was the only one and have become soooo envious of other well behaved babies that are sleeping through the night and not freaking it when people try pick then up. Lol. I think my Inlaws and my husband family may take offense to our baby not wanting to be held by them. So it been 4 night of constant breadtfeeding, I think I’m about to pass out. Well… It helped me lose 2 kilos. Hahahaha. Back to my pre baby body. Lol. Thank you again for this, was so helpful and good to see I’m not alone

  75. Like others, I stumbled across this post the night before last after getting up for the sixth time with my son. He has been a handful since birth, colicky and needing to be held all the time. Things finally seemed to be improving. He had been sleeping in his pack n play for about a week, and we were actually getting a 5 hour stretch of sleep at night. The bags under my eyes were starting to disappear. Then suddenly, one night last week he woke up 4 times instead of 2. I thought it was just an off night, but the next night and every night since it has been 6 or more times. I am exhausted, frustrated, and in tears. I contacted a parent coach because everyone I talked to seemed to think my troubles were from spoiling (holding) him for the first 13 weeks of his life, and that I just needed to let him CIO. Thank goodness I found this post! It’s comforting to know this is normal, and I enjoy reading the other comments. I just wish people would come back and indicate how long this wonderful phase lasted for them.

  76. Well I heard about it but didnt belive it. My first son never had a 4 month sleep regression. My second who is now 4 1/2 months old has decided to be different. He has been sleeping through the night for the past 2 months 7pm to 5-6:30am. He has never been a freat napper though. I have been working on that, some naps are 20 min and once in awhile 2hrs. The past 2 days his naps have been short if any and he woke up at 3 am and last night 2 am. He is rolling so he rolls and gets stuck. I am a true believer in CIO but this guy seems to stay awake 🙁 i know this will pass but I’m wondering in the meantime should I avoid nursing him at night? The past 2 nights I finally nursed him and he fell back to sleep. I just dont want to create a bad habit and he hasnt needed it for the past few weeks. I stopped swaddling this guy early and transitioned him to the zipadeezip so I’m wondering if this is why he is rolling now. His personality hasnt changed at all just poor sleeping. Its hard dealing with this stage having a 2 year old as well. There is no napping for me 🙁

    • The rolling they just have to figure out. It sucks but one day he will just get it. if you haven’t been nursing at night, i would be hesitant to start that up as well. Try patting with him in the crib or jiggling the matteress? Good luck.

    • In my experience they regress because of milestones, your response to night wake ups and/or teething. Try to figure out what is waking your baby. My son is now 5 months old but about 2 weeks ago for a few nights he was waking up at 2am every night, i realized he was now rolling over and that would wake him and then he would get stuck. I fixed that by rolling up 2 blankets and putting them under the sheet, 1 on each side of him and he stopped waking up. It also depends on how you react to the wakes ups. Do not run in the for every cry. Wait and watch him on your monitor, crying helps soothe them and they need to learn how to do that. With my first son it took about a week or so of long nights for me waiting, then quickly going in telling him i was there and leaving over and over again. Then one night he just stopped waking up. It’s so hard I know. Just try to be patient! Good luck!!

  77. Just wanted to tell you “thank you” for this post. I needed it so badly. Your advice was comforting and makes me feel more normal!

  78. This post was created on my birthday last year (12/12/12) and I’m discovering it over a year later, now that my little one is almost at 19 weeks. I AM SO RELIEVED to find this post, thank you thank you thank you!! Last night seemed to be the PEAK, it was like, a live wire jolted her brain and she hasn’t been able to settle or stop moving and certainly not sleep. I am so relieved to know that this is normal, and NEEDED the reminder desperately that this will pass, we just have to hold on and push through. We’ve resorted to all our soothing techniques we had to do during her infantile colic period, thought this is entirely different from colic. She just can’t stop vocalizing and moving her body, and wants nothing to do with having to sleep. Thank you for this, it is going to be so helpful to new moms, like myself, over the years.

  79. My son just stopped napping altogether at 8 weeks the day before his 2 month check up and he’ll be 15 weeks tomorrow!! He’s a very BIG (size of a 6 month old) and overactive little guy. He thinks he should be walking already. He’s always kicking his legs (even in his sleep, hes a sleep crawler) and trying to pull himself out of his swing or car seat. I kept thinking maybe he doesn’t nap during the day because he doesn’t want to miss out on anything that might be happening while he’s sleeping. I’ve been very lucky with getting plenty of sleep at night. He sleeps anywhere from 7 to 12 hours at night no problem since he was 2 an a half weeks old and he had a great schedule where he’d be awake for 2 hours and nap for four and then the naps just stopped. He might get a few 10 minute catnaps during the day but 10 minutes isn’t really a nap. That’s not really long enough to fall completely asleep. Today has been the worst. He woke up and 7:28 this morning and finally crashed just before ten tonight. He’s spent the day screaming and crying and nothing works. I always know when he gets tired because he yawns and he starts to whine a little before he gets fussy but no matter what I do it leads to lots of fussing and crying and tears until he just crashes. He hates the swaddle because he can’t move. He hates to feel confined and he really hates the car seat. When we actually do get him down for a nap we have to be somewhere where he can’t see movement or it just keeps him awake. Anything even remotely stimulating has to be turned off or he’ll just listen or watch instead of sleep and it has to be dark. Even with all this we might get lucky and get 30-40 minutes but when he wakes up his eyes look dark with that little red ring and he looks so miserable even when he’s smiling. I think we’ll be trying the CIO method tomorrow since nothing else seems to work. It’s just so stressful and I know he needs his nap especially at the rate he’s growing. I just can’t keep enough clothes in the house for this little guy lol I actually don’t mind him fussing a bit to burn out some of that energy and release some of that stress but I don’t know if I can handle the CIO method. He’s so intense and impatient he goes into meltdown mode sometimes in just seconds. The good parts of all this crankiness and sleeplessness is seeing him roll over. He hasn’t gotten it all the way yet but we’ve had a few surprise roll overs. He’s constantly babbling and smiling and now laughing. He’s discovered his nose and his feet and he can grab some of his toys. He gets angry and starts growling if he can’t fit a toy in his mouth or if he can’t make his hand do what he wants. He’s really something lol Here’s to hoping for at least one nap a day with the new year. Wish us luck!!

  80. My baby started being like this when he was 14 weeks old and is still on. He is currently 22 weeks old. He had a bout if cold in between. Do u think this is part of the wonder week behavior or has it changed to something of a habit?

    • I can’t tell you. I’m not there. I always defer to a pediatrician if you think something is wrong. Habits can pop up from these phases though. Could be.

  81. Thank you so much for this post. I honestly have tears in my eyes while I type this – my beautiful, happy little boy who was sleeping for hours at a stretch had suddenly turned into this non-sleeping, sobbing, cranky monster and I had absolutely no clue why. We were worrying that he was ill (despite having been to the doctor the previous week and being assured that all was well) or that there was something wrong with our home (maybe mildew we didn’t notice or something). His crying was especially making me worried because it had gone from these loud, robust cries to these sad, pathetic whimpers. He is 14.5 weeks old and is waking up every 1-2 hours… sometimes even waking up after only sleeping for 30 minutes!

    What are you suggestions for handling the middle of the night wake ups? Should I change diaper, feed until I think he’s had enough, and then put him down to sleep and let him cry it out for a bit? I don’t want to get into the clutch of always giving him a pacifier, etc.

    Thanks again!

    • For those of you not sure what to do, I honestly think the best thing is to let your child work it out on their own. If they are waking more often than you would feed them during the day, just don’t go in. I know how hard it is, because I did that, but very soon after, he went back to sleeping regularly. I realized his cries were different from when he was hungry. I highly recommend Dr Weissbluth’s book, Healthy Sleep, Happy Child. He has a few methods in there.

  82. Well here I am with a 4 month old who never ever sleeps. I’m exhausted and going back to work soon. Can’t wait this this hell is over. I often feel sick from sleep deprivation. I hope these 2 months fly by because I’ve death with horrible colic in the beginning now this?!!! Please lord give me the strength!!

  83. oh my lord am I here! I remember reading about wonder week 19 so when my little angel turned into a little demon I started calculating and realized she had hit 19 weeks on the dot. So naturally I googled and found this great page. Thank you so much…there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  84. My baby is now 23 weeks and we’ve been going through this for a good 7 weeks. First she went through her growth spurt at 3 months and then boom- regression. She used to only wake once to eat quietly and go right back. Now it’s ever hour and a half. I’m lucky to get 3 hrs and that’s only if I let her sleep in our bed. She’s also going through a hold me stage and wants to be held to sleep. This was always her thing for naps but even nighttime now. It’s rey frustrating. When she wakes she isn’t necessarily hungry. She either wants to party or is struggling with severe gas pains which is pretty sad. I’m not wanting to do CIO wth her because she cries so hard he chokes. But the no cry solutions don’t seem to work either. I’m back at work now and. Needing a solution. I actually don’t care if she sleeps 12 hrs. I just want like 2 wakes and for her to sleep in her crib. Ugh.

  85. Im reading this wondering is this what my daughter is going through? She’s 20 weeks today I barely heard her cry until now she’s hardly sleeping before that’s all she did! At night I would feed around 10-10:30 and she would sleep until 8-8:30 but some nights she wakes I feed her and she’s back to sleep again! When I put her down at night she would fall to sleep on her own fine for 1/2 an hour then wake screaming I take her up cuddle her and eventually put her back down and sing/talk to her and she will go to sleep! Am I spoiling her? I don’t feel like I am but being a 2nd time mom I have a 5 year old I thought just by having her in her crib I was doing good! My lil guy still crawls in bed with us! Any info will help 🙂

  86. I have entered this about a week ago, feel like I am literally losing my mind! My happy baby who sits smiling is now crying all the time! Chewing hands etc -.- I am one tired Mumma! Googled 4 month wonder week and got here, extremely glad it’s normal! Thought I was a rubbish Mumma but am now very much reassured! Thank you!

    • My bubba is 18 weeks so guessing I have a long time to go as been like this since 17 weeks, the injections haven’t helped either

      • Gah THAT WAS DUE TO THE INJECTIONS! It’s 4am and the millionth time for the third night in a row she has got up crying, she’s now having a bottle thanks to my special OH. Being ill on top of it and trying to get over that is ridiculous!! Wonder week? What name is that?! They should call it- no sleep or sense where your eyes will fall out of your head and ears should fall off but sometime you’ll be ok not week more like weeks. Oh and ass that there will be the VERY occasional smile that makes you think the angel in them is still there. Then the eyes start turning red again and you can see the horns starting to come back. RUN! If you haven’t already been sucked in by their adorable little faces to give them cuddles etc.
        Anyway I’m grouchy, she’s finished the feed so hopefully she will sleep long enough in this stint for me to fall asleep!
        Hang in there

  87. Thank you for this… After a week of hell and a night of fucking hell this made me laugh so much I cried, was just what I needed 🙂

  88. My twins (one of them is an Ollie too!) hit the 4 month regression, and alas, never recovered…We are at 7 months now with no improvement. Poo. Lucky they are otherwise so damn cute.

  89. STACYh–what do you do not the get her used to new props? until now anyone could make his sleep by carrying her.NOW i MUST breastfeed her, otherwise she screams. she NEEDS the boob to fall asleep. i am so afraid this is becoming a habit and nothing will help me later:((
    any advice what to do during this regression as not to enforce new props/bad habits??? HELP!

  90. are you saying that the only way to put baby’s sleep back on track is through CIO?
    CIO is the exit from sleep regression? or i got it wrong?
    any other ways that baby will start sleeping well again???

    • I’m not saying any thing is right for everyone. I was basically saying they don’t wither from crying. If you need a 10 min shower? He’ll be fine. You have to care of you too. Babies are unpredictable. There is no magic answer.

  91. How old was your baby when he finally stopped going thru this?
    Mine started at 13 weeks, were now on week 16 and im soo sleep deprived and sore from rocking her
    To sleep that at times i think i have postpartum but im fairly certain its from lack of sleep. Please tell me that this
    Is almost over for me 🙁

    • Oh honey. I think you were in wonder week 12. You may haven’t hit 19 yet. My advice remains get and take help as you can. You aren’t a hero for weathering it alone. Get sleep where you can. Call for assistance.

      • Thankyou somenights a ok. The first week she got a cold and then her shots then i think it just transferrd over into this regression :(. How old was ur little guy when he grew out of it? I havent started sleep training i want to but ive read that u should wait 3-4 weeks after theyve gone thru this regression

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  93. My lo is 16 wks and since week 14, has been going to sleep around 1-3am. Sleeps for 5-6 hours before waking to feed and then sleeps for 2 hours more until around 8:45-9:45a. She’s napping 30 min-2 hours 4x/day (usually 2 hrs, 2 hrs, 1 hr then 30 min). Is this just a bad sleep schedule or a regression period? Any tips on getting her to sleep earlier? I returned to work at week 13, and I’m exhausted to say the least.

    • 1 am? O_O Um that sounds like complete hell. I am not one to say this way is right and this is wrong but I don’t think a 1am bedtime is good for a baby…especially with a working mom. For reference, both my boys were put down around 6-6:30 at that age. Now remember regressions are always looming so it might be a rocky road but I would start moving that bedtime up or you are all going to go crazy.

  94. don’t want to scare anyone but this thing will NOT pass unless you sleep train.i’ve been through it twice and it doesn not pass. with my first it lasted until he was one more or less–waking up zillion times in the night. now i have a second; she’s 6months old and definitely no light at the end of the tunnel. on the contrary, she became addicted to my breast and cannot go to sleep without (before she could)–waking up every 1-2h every night!!!!

    • While I don’t disagree with sleep training, trying to do so during a sleep regression will only make you more crazy. The “regression” didn’t last a year. The regression was a short phase, the rest is habit…and I concur most baby’s need some form of sleep training to stop those habits. Trying to train while a baby is mentally scared of their changes isn’t the ideal. You will be fighting an uphill battle. I did it…and I ended up partially crazy.

      • i did’nt mean to do a sleep training during the regression but i don’t see other way to stop bad habits that developed DURING the regression…min elasted for a year because nothing changed–the same night pattern that developed during regression continued without any difference so i called it regression with no end since i didn’t see an improvment:)

        • ahhh gotcha. Yeah it is hard to know what is habit and what is just mental development. We sleep trained after i could tell he wasn’t screaming in terror at night. He was sleeping through the night by 6 months.

  95. I could not figure out why my almost 4 month old was going backwards, sleepless nights now, wth? Was he taunting us? I woke up defeated and to find this post has meant so much to me. To know that I was not doing anything wrong, this is completely normal, has made the world of a difference. I am relieved. You are a blessing.

    Is this sleep regression typically a two week period, a month, 2 months? What’s typical???

    • Seems like a few weeks for most. Month max. Trouble is determining when the regression is over and when a habit started. It’s a tricky game to play. But in a year, you will look back and barely recall this. Seems crazy but true.

      • My LO started this at 13 weeks, she is now 18 weeks and is still
        Sleeping and napping horribly shes even given up sleeping while traveling. Everynight is different tho how am i supposed to kno if this is a regression or a habit? I want to start sleep training her asap so i can have a life at least.

        • this is what i’m saying! i have no clue HOW on earth can you NOT enforce bad habits during this regression…mine is sleeping awfully at 6 months. she plays in her crib wide awake like it’s day time. doesn’t even cry.but i cannot wait for hours until she gets tired so i give her boob to hasten the process…

          • Eva – i know it’s so frustrating my baby is soo sensitive that it seems like anything can affect her sleep.. i have pretty much hit rock bottom with sleep deprivation last night it took me 2.5 hours to get her to go back to sleep and before that she was up every hour or so and that has been the norm for her.. i have purchased sleep sense program and was going to start using it.. did sleep training work for you while your LO was going thru this? wtv it is, habit or regression?? im so nervous to start

          • i have never sleep trained:( but my first started sleeping thru th enight at TWO years old (without sleep training or crying of anysort–he figured it out by himself). i just can’t stand that this time.i’m exhausted!

  96. Oh Lord, my 15-week old little girl is entering this Wonder Week. She used to sleep well on her tummy during the day (sleeps on her back at night) but now, nothing – not even the swaddle – can keep her sleep for more than 30-40 mins. The cot is like public enemy number 1 for her. She sleeps better in the stroller but I can’t be walking her three times a day for an hour plus. Especially where I live because it’s hot all year round. There are also more periods of fussiness throughout the day. And feeding her is an epic battle because she’s so distractible. But yeah, there are tons of things that’s keeping her busy these days. Her eyes are darting everywhere like she wants to take it all in but doesn’t have enough time to do so. Can’t wait till she mellows down around month #6 you said? God help me.

  97. I know this post is a couple years old but I can’t imagine what I’d do if I hadn’t stumbled upon it. All I can say is THANK YOU! I thought I was at my wits end after a hellish night with DD. After moving her from the mamaroo in our room for 3 1/2 months to her crib 2 weeks, she was finally starting to take every nap and sleep 6 hrs average a night with 1or 2 wakings max. Well it’s been 3 days of my DD slowly starting to leave her former and awesome ways behind. Last night was the worst to where she’d wake up every 10 min all the while rubbing her little teary eyes and yawning. It broke my heart to see her like that and I was certain she had a tummy ache, or gas…shoot I even convinced myself it had to be the baby applesauce she tried for the first time not agreeing with her. I even tried sleeping on the floor next to her crib and cried and cried with her miserable fussing all about in her crib. My hubby finally came into her room and said, “maybe we should try the mamaroo again” to which I snapped, “not an option! She’s a crib sleeper now!” She wouldn’t stop whimpering or take her bottle and refused to be swaddled (the only way she could sleep up to this point since birth). I was so afraid she’d roll over in her crib without the swaddle and become another (welp) SIDS case. I finally caved after 4 hours of rocking and shush patting and struggling to keep that dang swaddle on her as well as my eyes open! Hubby won. We put her back in the mamaroo in our room at 11 pm and she slept for a whole hour. I wished I could say the same as I was so overtired and completely stressed from what had just occurred that I was restless. I tried to feed her and she refused. I checked her diaper and it was dry. I was sobbing at this point and my hubby rocked her to sleep while patting my back (God love him!). She slept in her mamaroo until 2 am and cried out once to which I jumped up and rushed to make a fresh bottle. I returned to find her fast asleep. 3:45 and she woke up for real this time hungry enough for 4 oz. It was back to sleep until 6:30am. I woke up to hear her cooing and babbling away with a big smile on her face and I couldn’t help but feel relieved that it was just a “bad night”. YEAH RIGHT! Today has been no better with a 10 min nap max, crying, and refusing to eat. I’m still in my PJ’s dreaming of a shower but the only thing that calms her down right now is to be held. I finally felt sick to my stomach and had to research what the heck was going on! When I came across this article, I felt that “IM NOT ALONE!” Haha. I even sent a text with a link to my hubby at work and he said, “let’s try the baby bjorn again…growing up is a mofo” (did I mention God love him?) So after all this rambling and as I’m typing this while DD is laying on her mat, finally giving mama a break, she rolled over from her back to her tummy for the first time! And so I know this “hell” is all worth it. Now if I could just get some sanity back hahaha. Oh wait, she’s crying again…never mind 😉

    • Hang in there, dear. Also to help relieve you, once she can flip to her belly on her own, SIDS risk goes down. She clearly has head control. Don’t stress. They try to get to the most comfy position. My oldest was a tummy sleeper. i fought it and it was dumb. My youngest turned to a tummy sleeper as well on his own. Do what works.

  98. Thank you. This post has saved my life. Week 19, day 3 and I was literally going down the first time mom’s list and then working out the desperation plans to help figure out the issue. I was considering moving to solids or adding in a night feeding after she has been off night feedings since month 2. Now, I am going to calm the f down. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  100. My 4 1/2 month old is teething, with really bad eczema, recovering from pneumonia AND going through a fussy stage. Did I mention we were traveling all last week while he cut his first teeth? Oh, and that I’m starting my last quarter in a Masters program, which is 6 days/42 hours a week? I’m obviously a first-time mom, as anyone else would’ve known better. Last night was my breaking point. I think. I hope.

    I don’t even know how we’ll get through sleep training.

  101. You’re getting a ton of comments on here already but I just washed to say I found this post here at 3am after being up for an hour, anyway secind time up tonight with no end in sight going through this tonight. He just hit this sleep regression. But this post made me smile and feel better

    • if i were you i’d cry. my baby is SEVEN months old and NEVER returned to her old habits. waking up every half-one hour each and every night. i’m exhausted

      • I have to say that I gave it a week or two and then started sleep training. But, I have a 45 minute commute to work and I fell asleep twice on my way there. Thankfully they have rumble strips on that stretch of road and that woke me up when I hit the shoulder. I decided that crying wasn’t as bad for him as me dying.

  102. Dear Brandy,
    Thank you for this post! Ok, here’s the story: with my daughter (who is now 5) I do not remember this whatsoever (I probably just blocked this out). But the thing is I wasn’t working at that time, so I could catch up on my sleep whenever she slept. Now that I have my son who is about to turn 4 months old, I am back at work. Of course there is a chance we will get lucky and this stage won’t be too hard, but if his sleep does get all screwed up – do you have any tips (like, share your own experience) on how to deal with sleep deprivation during this time while you still have to function at work? I am a programmer and I REALLY need my brain to cooperate. I do have a little coffee in the morning, but I can’t have too much because I am breastfeeding. Thank you in advance!

    • Maria…ya know this might be a good post for all! I will think up some but will email you directly especially since we share a job title. I can be really specific.

  103. Yay!yay!yay!
    Typed every one of those “symptoms” into Google
    And here I am!! So happy to hear that this is normal
    And I’m not doing something that’s damaging my little
    One (short naps have me thinking my babies in for permanent
    Neorological damage!! Can you tell I’m type A control freak mom!)
    Thank you! So happy right now!

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  107. My wife and I have a precious little girl named Ocean, who is now 4 months and 10 days old. Looks like we’ve hit the 4 month sleep regression phase. She’s never slept through the night, but we did get the occasional 5-6 hour sleep at night. The last few nights it’s been the “up every hour to 2 hour” kindh of nights. It’s brutal physically and psychologically and my wife & I debate the CIO method often. I opt for it, but she thinks it’s too early. We have a shitload of books (which my wife hates that I don’t read and only she does) and there’s so many different suggestions, we don’t know what to do.

    We were ready to attempt COI tonight, but just decided we think we’ll just deal with the regression phase and get up when she does to feed her, hold her, take her into our bed, basically whatever it takes, to get her to go back to sleep. Thanks for this post and all of the comments. We humans are tribal, so we like to feel we’re not not alone in what we go through. Hopefully, this IS just a phase and all of our sleeptraining was not for naught.

  108. I just want to make sure you know that this post made me cry tears of relief. Dear god, I’m so glad it’s not me!

    • It does get better! My little girl is 8 months and she sleeps now! Hang in there, I thought it was me until she was about 7 months old as she screamed all morning an all night from birth-7 months, it will get better I promise!

  109. It’s so reassuring to see others in the same situation. Misery loves company! My little boy will be 5 months in a few days and we have been in sleep hell for the last few weeks. My DH and I even tried CIO, which I swore I would never do, but I was at the brink of losing it. We did the version where you go in every ten minutes or so and comfort him without picking him up. We tried for a week — a horrible, gut-wrenching, soul-crushing week! And it did nothing. In fact, I think his sleeping got worse! He’d cry for an hour or two before he’d fall asleep. It was never a full out cry, just whimpering, which sometimes led to crying, which then would return to whimpering. I cried every night, felt like the worst mom ever, would have major guilt during the day while at work, picturing his sad little face… I think I might have PTSD from the whole experience. After a week, we stopped. That night, he slept 6 hours straight! I thought we were in the clear. Nope, the last 3 nights he has been up every hour or two. Last night, from 7 until midnight he was up every half hour. I’d go in and rub his back and he’d fall back to sleep in about 5 minutes, but getting up every 25 minutes is not fun — as you all know! At midnight I brought him into the bedroom and he slept in his rock ‘n play. At least I got a couple 2 hour chunks of sleep time in.

    I really feel like I’m losing it. At some point last night I screamed “fuck” at the top of my lungs. Very mature of me. I cry all the time. Sometimes, I just close the door to my office and cry. I’m so tired. I don’t know if I’m post-partum or just sleep deprived. Do I ride it out? Or do I need drugs? I just want to feel like myself again.

    So anyway, thank you for posting and for all those who made comments. It really is reassuring that this isn’t my life from here on out.

  110. Just an update…we’re at 4 months and 26 days today. Still no sleeping through the night. Two nights ago we had a relatively good night where my she slept from 7:30PM to 11PM to 3AM then my wife gave her a pacifier and she slept til 6-ish. Last night, a nightmare. Up almost every hour and when we attempted CIO at 3AM, she cried until almost 4AM on & off, so in the bed with us she came (ugh). I’m a basketcase today. I hope this “magical” 6 month period is everything people make it out to be. I miss sleeping.

  111. Thank you for this post! I knew nothing about wonder weeks until my first daughter was almost 1 1/2. So I prepared myself for our second daughter. Looking back now I can see a lot of things Olive went thru and I thought I was doing something totally wrong! This phase does suck!!!! I’ve been up for the past 3 nights with Avery 4-8 times a night!!!! But I’m glad we are almost thru it. She is 18 weeks now. Just trying to hangin there. Thanks again! This post helps this sleep deprived mom!!!

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  113. Criticise all you like but all babies are different: e.g some will cry no matter how much you hold or attempt to settle. Sometimes if a parent doesn't leave their baby to cry for a while (as in the parent needs a break!!) then real child abuse could occur from the stress of a crying baby. Stop judging another parents right to parent. They do the best they can. Good on you for being able to support your baby through this difficult stage but many of us mums struggle greatly and just do the best that we can under the stress we are dealing with.

  114. Just putting it out there…but leaving a baby to cry it out is actually extremely harmful. There have recently been studies done on this and it’s now been proven that it can damage a child mentally, and be detrimental to their growth and development. It can sever the building blocks of trust as well as they are currently learning that were trustworthy then suddenly their left alone to cry and cry with no idea why….remember these little beings are only learning and it’s not right to leave them alone crying think about would you want to be left alone crying and not no why! They simply don’t understand what’s happening.. Again I mention studies have been done and it has a negative impact on them. They also showed that later in life this can affect them too. Cry it out= damage.

    • Gemma, please provide sources.

      Stop guilting parents. My child is another that doesn’t calm down when being held, it kept him going. He needs to let it out sometimes, still does. And at the end of the day, iIt’s worse for the child to grow up without a parent when they get in a car accident from lack of sleep.

    • Thank you for your comment but also part of parenting is knowing your own child and family…not just following what “experts” say. I think the majority of people on this thread are doing what is right. I have never advocated just walking away from your baby to just let them cry for hours. Knowing your limits as a parent is very important. Sometimes your need to walk away for everyone. Crying for 10 minutes is burning off energy…not neglect.

      • We get your point. Please don’t feel like you need to comment the same thing multiple times with the same thing. I did what I felt best for all in my family. We are doing just fine. I empower readers to make their own decisions. I’m not hear to fear monger them.

  115. It is great that you’ve given so many mothers support through this page. With so many parents following your lead, you have a great responsibility. With this comes a responsibility to ensure that your information is up to date.

    I know how defensive we can all be when told what “experts” say if that contradicts how we brought up our children. However, if you read the research on letting babies “cry it out” then still think it is a method to recommend, at least you will recommend mothers put their children at risk with full knowledge of the potential harm.

    You can find lots of research (not just from experts, but from actual research conducted that is hard to dispute) in various psychological journals. However the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalysis and biochemistry are all very well distilled into an easy to read, albeit slightly academic book called “Why Love Matters” by Sue Gerhardt. A slightly less academic book with the same research, but more accessible for parents is “What Every Parent Needs to Know: The Remarkable Effects of Love, Nurture and Play on Your Child’s Development” by Margot Sunderland and Dorling Kindersley.

    I urge you, Brandy, and all parents reading this blog, to read one of these books, and/or if interested the several research papers referenced in the books that provide evidence for all the statements made about the potential harm that “crying it out” can have on tiny, forming brains.

    If you read these books and decide the risks of “crying it out” are less important to you than extra sleep for those tough 3-6 months while your baby is learning to settle, then you do so fully informed at least.

    Good luck!

    • Congrats. You’ve contributed to the guilt of mothers. Feel better?

      The reality is that it was let my son learn to self-soothe or drive off the side of the road. I asusme it’s better that I would be dead?

      I’m so tired of being told that my parenting choices have to be perfect. Done with it. Just shut your mouth if you can’t be supportive.

  116. First of all, I know many moms have said it but thank you soooo much for this post! We’re currently on day 11 of sleep regression (yes I’m counting) and I thought I was going to lose it. My son was sleeping through the night for a good 3 or 4 weeks and then exactly like you said, one night he just started waking up in the middle of the night SCREAMING!! It’s only gotten worse from there. He’s so clingy and won’t let anyone else hold him which is so odd for him. I used to get compliments that he was such a happy baby too. Needless to say, I went a little crazy and my poor hubby didn’t know what to do with me. Now after reading this yesterday I was able to get through the night still sane (sleep deprived but sane). Knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel makes my life so much easier! I’m also now able to enjoy his cute little milestones which sadly to say I couldn’t before because I was so miserable. So thank you SO MUCH! Even after almost 2 years since your original post you’re still making mom’s lives better 🙂

  117. @shalya mozak — I see a lot of really judgmental and close-minded posts online from women who feel the need to trash other women for their mothering choices and I can only tell you that yours comes across as incredibly insecure and a desperate need to convince yourself that you are right for smothering your child. Who the hell are you to judge what another mother chooses to do with her child? How does it have ANYTHING to do with you? The fact that you compare letting a baby learn to self soothe to child abuse shows what a complete and utter nutjob you are. The baby isn't crying because "no one is coming". Babies that young don't even have the mental capacity to understand object permanence and therefore even know the concept of something going/returning. Physiologically the only developed parts of their brains are the most primitive components, and when they cry its for basic needs and when they are over stimulated. In fact, sometimes when a parent comes back to interact with them/awaken them/make noises, etc. it does more harm than good. Not every time, but sometimes. The emotional upset that comes from true developed separation anxiety doesn't happen until later. Now, unlike you, I can know this information, believe this information, and follow this strategy for raising my child without needing to shame you for choosing a different path. Parenting is hard enough without women tearing each other down when they have a difference of opinion.

  118. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative.
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  119. I thought I was going totally loco there for a few days! My LO has just turned 5 months and all of a sudden started crying when we went swimming, to other people’s homes, then in the car, and then even putting her coat on! Naps went to mocro naps and then last night she suddenly woke up at 10pm and never went back to sleep till 2am! We tried feeding, nappy changes, teething gel, resettling and more rocking and cuddling. Then she woke up at 4.30am!!!! Then I found this page in desperation. … and it helped! Dear me this is a lesson not to get complacent thinking I had her routine nailed! Fingers crossed I’m not too tired to make it out the other side!

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  121. Oh lord, I know what you mean about those little sobs. My LO (first one) had one night of that, 2 nights ago. We both just sat there and cried togethe until he finally fell asleep. It was horrible and heartbreaking, but it was only one night and thing are starting to get slightly better. He's actually asleep now, and I'm not holding him! Please excuse me while I go join the dead 😉

  122. Could he have an ear infection or otherwise be sick? Mine had 2-3 nights of really bad sleeping (at 3yrs), and then the third day started just crying all morning and finally said his head hurt. Doc diagnosed an ear infection. I think for most of this, you do need to rule out medical issues first. It's just that in those earlier periods, it's developmentally appropriate to have wacky sleep schedules.

  123. It sucks so much, doesn't it? But I'll bet he woke up just fine and probably happy to sleep well, too. He's just as exhausted as you are.

  124. he had a really bad cold for two weeks and I just took him back to the doctor and they checked his ears and everything and everything seems fine but he still having the problem where he's waking up all the time and citrus inside just let him cry it out he's just been better than when I was coddling him I don't know if it's just because he wants to sleep with us more or if it's because he actually has like a stomach ache or headache or something he doesn't really know how to tell me he's sick yet only if he's hungry or thirsty or tired or needs a changing.

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  130. Thank you so much for this. We're in the tail end of this never ending Wonder Week and the fussiness is worse than ever. I'm going back to work in less than two weeks, and all I can think of is that I can't enjoy these last moments with my little girl because she is so cranky. We've been crying together a lot. But knowing this passes, that this is a necessary step towards something bigger, gives me hope. Thank you again for sharing.

    • Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is the “last time” you’ll see your baby. The first few months when you return to work SUCK, but you WILL have plenty of time with them, and they’ll even be awake! I cried so much before I went back to work and it wasn’t worth it. You’ll get your new routine and you can do this. Your child will do great in whatever childcare you chose, and they’ll be ecstatic when you see them again at the end of the day (except when they hit that stage when they just ignore you. 🙂 ) You got this. 🙂

  131. I found your post 3 weeks ago when we started this (@ 16 wks old) and i re-read it each week as I try to remind myself it doesn't last forever! Came back tonight after a rough few days (don't forget a lot of us have that 4 mo pediatrician appt for shots too that throws a wrench in an already bad situation). I think we're coming out of the other side of this soon!

  132. So happy that we are not alone in this. I thought I was going crazy doing everything wrong. So happy that I'm doing everything right! Best post ever!! We are in the first week of this craziness. I'm praying for a quick end to this regression hell we're living in. Best of luck to all!!

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  135. this is a brilliant post. totally summed up what I am going through with my twins. I am exhausted and feel broken at times with getting up at almost hourly intervals at night. how long does it last?? Its been going on for two weeks for me now.

  136. Hi, can I ask how long this lasted for u in the end? My twins are 18 weeks, but were 6 weeks early, so only really 12 weeks for the wonder weeks, but my girl has been acting like she's in leap 4 for over 2 weeks! Technically they're still in leap 3, so it makes me dread leap 4 even more! Were your two early at all? I've not found other twin mummies who know about the wonder weeks, so I've no- one to ask! Many thanks, Xxx

  137. Rose Taylor hi there. My daughter wasn't affected but son had it for 3 weeks or so. He then had two good nights and then had a terrible cough so I was up for another week during the night feeding. However, the good news is that because he was in a good routine beforehand and I bottle fed (so knew how much he had to eat) I did some controlled crying once he was well and after 4 nights of waking every 3 hours his is now sleeping through the night. Hope that helps. Please feel free to ask anything else. Happy to help. (My twins were born at 37 weeks and now 6 months old).

  138. I've read that there is sometimes no end to this phase and you've got to sleep train it out of them…. is that true? We've just hit this stage at 14 weeks. 2 days in and I'm shattered already

  139. Dear Ellen, hope that all finished well! I am also going back to work soon…my son is 4mths with sleeping regression. It would be great to know how it all went at your side. I am a but worried with working and how to deal with night waking as they are occurring currently. Hope all goes back to normal in a month :). Cheers!!

  140. I was wondering how long this lasts. The problem is that my daughter is now one week shy of five months and the sleep regression is lasting 27 days. Now she is actually also teething on the bottom. Both teeth have poked through so it's likely a combination of both? Other than just trying to comfort her and get her back to sleep I haven't fed her or co slept but of we give her the pacifier she always goes back to sleep. Some nights are worse than others. Is it normal for it to last this long? I'm hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel soon. Another issue I have understanding is that people say "don't let your baby fall into a crutch". I'm not doing anything other than comforting her and if a baby can't be sleep trained yet what does that crutch even mean? Thank you!

  141. Thank u so very much for this post! I thought i was going crazy lol. That it was just me doing something wrong. I felt horrible letting my daughter cry like i was a bad parent. Symphony is my daughter's name and she is my one and only. I had never heard of this 4 month leap thing till i saw a post on a what to expect email. Anyway thank u so much for thoroughly explaining this! Seriously lol!

  142. Thank you so much for posting, I am a first time mom and was looking for answers/help! This is exactly what we are going through right now, this is the end of week 1 – this is so very comforting and soothing to know that it's just a phase, nothing is wrong & baby will be fine!

  143. I am right in the storm of sleepless nights, a cranky baby, and feeling like I am losing my mind. I needed this post! It made me realize that I am not alone and that I am not a terrible mother- thank you for this!!!

  144. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
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  145. Sooooo desperate. Sleep. Husband says, “poor baby”… I say, “poor me”.
    I love you baby, why you no sleep? Why you kick and push when i try to comfort? Why you so sad? Oh…
    No night sleep, all day sleep. I am afraid this will become habit. My nerves, my muscles, my mind going to the worst places. Even worse, I have just gone back to work as this happens. Oh….
    Please God, give me patience, give me wisdom and open my heart.

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  147. Thank you for your blog. I found it while googling “19 week leap and sleep” after we had one really bad night. Baby’s night sleep is interrupted every hour to every other hour since one week (she is 15 weeks now). And sometimes she cries over an hour before finally finding some sleep (there is nothing we can do about the crying it started ever evening when she was about to go to bed). The crying even started 1.5 weeks ago.
    And we were so glad that it finally was possible to put her in her crib awake and she was able to find to sleep without us (even though we had to get back in at least once to put the pacifier back in).
    I really hope that this recent behavior is only leap related and that it does not get any worse (i.e. more leap symptoms). And that she will get back to normal after the leap. I am a first time mom so no experience with that.
    Anyway, after finding your blog I kept on reading other articles on it and I really really love your style of writing, your honesty and would like to thank you for doing this. I suppose I will read this 19 week leap-article over and over again until we finally got through it. 🙂

  148. Thank you for this…I just stumbled across it when I googled “Wonder Week leap 4” as my baby who previously slept 9-11 hours every night just took 3 hours to put to bed…and I’m still not convinced he won’t wake up in 15 min. I’m not even convinced we have actually hit the sleep regression stage yet because he still seems to be connecting sleep cycles but man is he clingy/eating for hours at a time! I supplemented with my own frozen breast milk today because I was convinced he wasn’t getting enough.

    Thanks for the reminder that he probably just has a lot going on in his little brain! (On top of a daycare cold) and this too shall pass!

  149. I just found this article today and I’ve already read it 5 times – due not to my 3rd grade reading comprehension, but because I need the reassurance. Lately I’ve been wondering what would happen if I just put my twins in the front yard for all their naps and overnight. But of course, The Man frowns upon that. Something about coyotes. Douche.

    Anyway, thank you SO MUCH for this. They are just entering week 17 (adjusted for prematurity) so I’m clinging desperately to the hope that we’ll regain our naps and 11 hour nights! One twin is being way more of a dick than the other. Unfortunately he wakes up and yells to his brother, “Hey, Dumptruck (he’s a mean knick-namer in our minds), it’s 1:30am, (1:45am, 2:18am, 2:22am, 3:04am, etc.) and you should be awake like me! Quick! Wiggle around, thrash, whine, bitch and moan until mom comes in here and pretends like she can do something about it. Don’t forget to scream directly into her face if she tries to touch you.”

    Very happy to have some hope. Thank you.

  150. Thank you!!! It’s 4 a.m and I just nursed my baby again. My baby that was once happy and content and slept through the night! He cut two teeth last week and I’ve been overwhelmed with people’s opinions on why he is still so fussy and what could possibly be the problem, (comments like, “have you taken him to the doctor? Maybe he has an ear infection.” “He’s just hungry” when I literally just took him off the boob and he is showing no interest in nursing. Then helpful ole, “Just take him for a drive, it’ll put him right to sleep!” Maybe two weeks ago it would have, now he just screams because he can’t sit up as straight as he’d like). So as I read this tears came to my eyes because for the first time in what feels like forever, I felt like maybe I’m not totally screwing up this parenting thing. For the first time I felt like maybe there is a logical explanation for why my baby is so unhappy right now. So thank you, because even though I probably have a few more weeks or even months of this fussiness left, now I see a little more logic to it. And in this moment that makes all the difference to me. So thank you!

  151. I cried and laughed while reading this! My baby turned into another baby girl, and is scary! Thank you so much I am looking forward to the end of this phase!

  152. Amazing advice I’m a grandma and even I remember that faze, hell on earth but it fab at the end of it. If you find out it is stretching you patience walk away make a cup of coffee and shut it out for 10 mins. They will be fine better to let them cry than you losing it with them I did that a few times it helps.

  153. Just came across this and see you updated today! How funny! I believe my girl is going or starting to go into leap 4. She is 14 weeks. Sleep at night has gone from 5-6hr stretches to 3-4 if I’m lucky and naps or less than an hr unless I’m holding her. She’s also back to nursing a ton, sometimes every hr and a half. Ugh!!

  154. Thank you for this!! Our now 19 week old sleeps for maximum an hour at night and cries until i rock him. I place him in his crib, crying start again. Rock him, he falls asleep, place him in the swing– he cries. Rinse and repeat SMH.. as a first time mom it is making me super frustrated! Really annoys me because my spouse also does not get up with the crying baby BECAUSE HIS ASS IS ASLEEP THROUGH IT ALL. I am tired, frustrated, and can not stop crying.

  155. Thank you for your follow up! Love that! 2nd time mum and googling 4 month wonder week…I remember it with my son but still find myself on Google haha. Thank you for your post, I feel more relaxed.

    • Hi ladies:

      I really hope to bring some relief and insight for all of you about the “wonder weeks”. Just like you, I have grown tired, frustrated, and searched relentlessly to find a solution so that myself and my ever crying baby could sleep. I felt hopeless and was super exhausted. My babies wonder week started at 16 weeks (4 months maybe a little before) and dragged until 20 weeks. The wonder week mixed with him teething made night time sleeping a true living hell in my household. Now, here comes the truth…

      “Wonder week” does not end! I repeat.. IT DOES NOT END!! Actually.. once your baby’s sleeping pattern has changed, it has for good.. which is actually as good thing despite the fact that you nor baby sleeps. This sleeping change means your baby is transitioning into becoming the human being he/she will be from now on. If anything, (as crazy as this reads) embrace the wonder week to start the “controversial” sleep training. This is why and why I recommend.

      First, I was not an advocate of sleep training! I despised and even felt awful for letting my baby “Cry it out”. Let me tell you this.. we sleep trained our baby (actually we bought the book on sleep training) in three days! Night one.. he cried for a total of an hour but we checked on him every five minutes.. same thing for naps that next day.. the second night he cried 45 minutes.. third night 10 minutes. Now, I put him in his crib drowsy and within five minutes he is asleep.

      Sorry about the quick summary but the moral of this post is to try sleep training! There are so many ways to train your child to adjust to his/her new sleeping pattern. Trust me.. the “wonder weeks” does not go away :(.

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