Monday, 20 May 2013

Wonder Week 19 aka We Don't Sleep Anymore


It's official. We made it to the dreaded Week 19. I knew it had been looming, it fact I've been waiting for this to happen for weeks. My baby has gone mad. And mom and dad? We're holding on by a thread.

We're in the midst of our 4 month sleep regression. In fact, I think we've been here for nearly a week now. Sleep regressions happen at many different times during a child's development where a combination of changes, growth, and mental leaps disrupt their sleep for a while. They say to expect the worst sleep regressions around 4 and 9 months with itty bitty bumps in the road around months 6 and 13. I think I, like a lot of parents started racking my brain for what I did wrong, what happened to my baby who just about slept through the night? Well, she can't tun her mind off Mom, that's what.


Have you ever laid in bed the night before you have something really important to do, or somewhere to be, and you literally toss and turn for hours. You get up, change your pajamas (because maybe they were bothering you), you get a drink, you flip your pillows over a few hundred times, you put your hair up, you take your hair down. No? No one? This is totally me when I have to sleep, but can't. And so it helps me keep things in perspective for my little one who currently just moans and whines and rolls around from complete exhaustion but can seem to turn her rapidly developing brain off.

Wonder weeks are huge developmental growth spurts, or mental leaps that are usually accompanied by sleep regression, fussiness, clinginess, and all out melt-downs. They occur because our babies are putting so much mental energy into learning new skills that they just feel out of sorts.

Yesterday, Reese was laying on a blanket and had her hand up in the air, clenching and moving her fingers. One second, she was mesmerized, she just stared at her hand in amazement. And then the next second, screamed crying. Eyes closed, red face, shaking crying. Out of nowhere. Pure frustration was written all over her face. The same thing happened a few days ago when she was trying to get one of her soft toys into her mouth and it would only go flat against her face. World. Over. 


Wonder Week 19 is characterized by babies starting to put together sequence of events. I see my toy, I'm gonna grab my toy, now I'm putting my toy in my mouth. You can read more about the Wonder Weeks here.

Times like these make you question everything as you're doing as a parent. I am trying to find the blame instead of just getting us through this growth spurt in one piece. Books like Baby Wise and The Sleep Lady are all scolding me for not letting my baby cry-it-out. I hear them in the back of my head every time I nurse Reese to sleep. Every time I pull the covers up over us at bedtime. I hear them yelling. She should be in her own bed. She will fall asleep eventually. Crying isn't going to damage her. You are teaching her to need you to go to sleep. And they aren't the only people saying these things.

What works for some people just doesn't work for us. I will not let my baby cry herself to sleep. I can't and I won't. And I won't point fingers or shame you if you do. It's just not my jam. Everywhere I look someone is telling someone else how much damage they are doing to their child. Thats the beauty of having our own kids. We can do what works for us. Let's all just damage our own kids the way we want to.

My only advice for getting through these rough patches is to toss the blame in the trash. It's not your fault. It's not the baby's fault. And it certainly isn't forever. Use this time of crankiness and clinginess to love on your baby a little more. Be a reassuring hug that she will get through this crazy wonder week in one piece. Letting her nap on your chest this week is not going to completely wreck your sleep training. One night in your bed won't mean she's there til she's 14. Just get through the tough spots as gracefully as you can and remember it isn't going to last forever.

The good news, moms, is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wonder weeks always end kind of wonderful.  Our babies are left with all these new skills they can put into practice. There have been perks to watching my child cry and whimper like she's going to self combust from her busy brain. I am amazed  watching her roll back and forth with little effort, stick her tongue out and sing, use both hands to put things in her mouth, find herself in the mirror, and scoot around on her back.


So for now, we aren't sleeping. We aren't too happy. And we don't look too pretty. But theres always coffee. And stress eating. And the comfort that there are lots of other mommas in the same boat right now. Let's all remind ourselves what a good job we're doing.


21 comments:

  1. I've never heard of "Wonder Weeks," or rather I've never heard of them referred to as such. Bug is at 17 weeks now (18 weeks this Thursday), so I guess this is something we have to look forward to. Thank you so much for this post! It's preparing me for what's to come.

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  2. Um, love this! Your honesty is so awesome. As a mom of a 2 month old girl I can feel overwhelmed with all her routine changes. As soon as I think I have her figured out, she changes something. And you are so right...we need to do what is best for OUR children...not everyone else's!

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  3. Oh you poor thing. We are currently going through Wonder Week 37 but early, at 32 weeks (he's averaged about four weeks early on every single one his wonder weeks). Talk about a crazy clinger! He has every. single. thing. on the list. You'll get through it and on the other end is a super smiley baby...just in time for the next phase! :)

    Maegan

    lovethemama.blogspot.com
    lovethemama.blogspot.com

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  4. Ha, girl, we are right there with you! Except our sleep regression is going on for over two weeks. I'm SO tired, it's not even funny!

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  5. I remember the 4 month sleep regression. Like all things challenging in parenthood, you will get through it. And like you said, it's definitely not our (as moms) fault.

    Hope she sleeps soon. But while you wait... brew some coffee!

    xx
    josie
    www.straightnochase.com

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  6. I am a soon to be mom of 3 and I have to say that the best thing you can do is what makes you comfortable and happy. "expert" books are not living in your home and up with you all night, so don't you worry about it if nursing eases the pain for everyone. My boys were totally different sleepers even though we treated their bedtime routines the same. THere is definitely no right answer!

    Good luck getting through the the next phase! I am new to your blog and look forward to following along :)

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  7. I just found your blog by googling Wonder Week 19 and it is so nice to know someone else is going through the same thing and is surviving with coffee too. I am SO ready to have my peaceful, happy sleeping baby back. This is my third baby and I don't remember going through it before. We did though (according to old blog posts), so obviously the mind is good at blocking things out. I'll be happy to forget this phase!

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  8. Thank. You.
    We hit ww19 with an ear infection and gooopy eyes. I didn't even realize we were in a wonder week until i got the email this morning. I hear BW yelling at me too, but for this week, they can suck it. Thanks for the reminder that it will pass. Oh, and when i can't sleep, i remake my bed.:)

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  9. Thanks for making me feel not crazy! I'm in the same boat now with my 4month old.

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  10. So glad I stumbled across this while looking up Wonder Weeks. What a relief to know I'm not alone. I've really been enjoying your other posts as well!

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  11. Thanks for this post. My little one has been the poster child for ww19. It didn't help that I changed up her routine at the precise time she was trying to teach herself to suck on her toes, grab toys and bring them to her mouth, and stick out her tongue. What could I do? I had to go back to work sadly! And I'm writing this as she's talking and squealing to herself in bed. She's lucky she's so darn cute!

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    Replies
    1. The good news is that it totally passes! :) I survived and you will too. Oh and then teething begins.... Lol

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  12. This post is awesome!I just started my babies 4 month wonder week and 3 days in I am a walking zombie. I have been questioning my soothing methods thinking I am doing more harm than good but I know I am doing what works for us!

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  13. Anyone experiencing a difficult lead-up to WW 19? My son is 15 weeks & very fussy. I was looking at this chart & seeing that the 19 week changes can start at 15 and the fussiness peaks at 17. http://www.whosthatmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/IMG_0372.jpg I can't believe I'm just at the beginning.

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    1. Yes! We started at 15 weeks. Currently at 18 and still going through a wonder week

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  14. Let's come and enjoy the best sleeping experience with Thomas the Tank Engine Beds

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  15. We are here! And I completely feel the same way... Everyone telling me to cry it out but I just can't! Thank you for the encouragement!

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  16. I just got here by Googling Leap 4 and sleep. We're at week 17 and I'm dying. My baby just will not sleep and I'm exhausted. Thanks for the perspective and reassurance.

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  17. Stress eating is the only thing currently getting me through this awful week 19. Baby is only 17 weeks but it's here and I'm exhausted. The only thing that helps her is the hair dryer being blown on her when she's screaming but wants to nurse to sleep

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