And then bam! she changed in an overnight. From a baby who sleeps through the night (10 pm - 5 am), to someone who wakes up every 2 hours again, just like when she was just born. Stress kan. Just when you thought that you've her sleep routine figured out, she changed.
So at first I thought it was a growth spurt sebab kalau tengah growth spurt dia memang bangun tidur kerap-kerap for feeding, which I don't mind at all. But it goes on for a few days so I rasa macam bukan growth spurt je ni. And she started being super fussy, easily over stimulated, crying a whole lot more.
I remembered reading about sleep regression, but I didn't go through it properly. So I was asking myself, eh takkan lah she's going through her 4 months sleep regression already, because she just turned 3 months old. Tapi bila I googled memang it can happened as early as 3 months old and as late as 5 months old.
Good job Riana. You boarded the early train -_____-"
My husband and I weren't prepared. We were clueless as to why Riana was suddenly behaving differently. Mula-mula ingatkan tu after effect because she just had her 3 months vaccination (6 in 1 vaccination), but macam highly unlikely aje. So then we thought she was teething, as she was drooling so much! Tapi macam tak jugak. We only got to know when I googled 4 months sleep regression and it seems like Riana has all those 'symptoms'. Contohnya, kalau dia terjaga in the middle of a deep sleep, dia macam susah nak tidur balik although I know she tried her best by sucking on her thumb for comfort. Usually macam 5 minutes dia suck her thumb tapi tak berjaya juga untuk tidur, and she'll start to feel miserable, and then she'll cry. And this is the cry your heart out kinda cry. Memang kesian sangat.
From what I read, to ease sleep regression, the baby should have enough rest throughout the day so not to be overstimulated, which will lead to overtiredness. Sebab baby once they are overtired, it's even harder to make them sleep, seriously. Jadi her awake time was limited to 1.5 - 2 hours only, which is just nice sebab selalunya lepas berjaga that long memang Riana dah menguap nak tidur dah.
So from our reading, we came out with a nap and sleep schedule yang bersesuaian with our lifestyle.
5.00 am - Wake up for feeding
6.30 am - Nap #1
8.00 am - Play time, feeding, bath time
9.30 am - Nap #2
11.00 am - Play time, diaper change, feeding
12.30 pm - Nap #3
2.00 pm - Play time, diaper change, feeding
3.30 pm - Nap #4
5.00 pm - Feeding, bath time (the start of bedtime routine)
6.30 pm - Sleep
9.30 pm - Night feeding #1
1.00 am - Night feeding #2
Riana memang tidur around 6 pm until morning 5 am. Alhamdulillah by scheduling her nap time and making sure dia tak stay awake lama sangat, she's not overly stimulated and she can sleep peacefully at night just wake up untuk feeding je (which sebenarmya is more like a dream feeding). Mommy je lah jadi zombie sikit sebab suddenly kena bangun malam balik untuk feeding -_-"
So our tips to go through sleep regression, based on our experience (I'm not an expert):
1. Prepare a sleep schedule as above and try to stick with it. I say try to sebab baby ni flexible kan kadang-kadang nak tidur, kadang-kadang buat macam mana pun tak nak jugak tidur. Adjust accordingly. But the goal is to get around 3-4 naps throughout the day.
2. Prepare a conducive environment for your baby to sleep i.e a dim room during nap time, some quiet time, etc.
3. Your baby is now a baby and no longer a newborn. So I believe apa yang kita buat now, it's gonna stick and become a habit. If we continuously help the baby to sleep, it's gonna stick as a habit, and that's what you really don't want. What we did was we let her try to sleep on her own, tapi kalau about 5 minutes and she still fidgeting and started crying sebab tak boleh tidur, only then we will rock her to sleep.
4. Read a lot about sleep regression. Reach out in forums and know that you are not alone, that many parents out there are facing the same phase. Know that this too shall pass, so just enjoy the moment.
5. Be patient. Lots and lots of it.
Good luck, parents! We can do this.