By far my biggest motherhood challenge. Until 4 months Tom's sleep patterns were not great, but they were manageable. Then the dreaded 4 month sleep regression hit and he went from sleeping 4 hours at a whack to waking every 45 minutes. I tried to persevere thinking it was just a stage, but after 2 months of very broken sleep I began to feel like I was being tortured. Things get weird when you don't sleep so after talking with one of my friends about her sleep training success, Jay and I decided to use the Sleep Sense** method to train Tom to sleep. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was damn hard. There were a lot of tears the first two nights (not just Tom's). But by the third night he was sleeping through the night! We've since adjusted a little bit - I realized Tom was waking at 5 a.m. voraciously hungry - so I now nurse him around 2 or 3 a.m. which keeps his belly full enough to sleep until 6:30 a.m. We're still fine tuning some things, and there are random bad nights, but most nights he sleeps from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. (nurses 15 mins) back down by 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
We also decided to pull the trigger on sleep training at nap time. This process took much longer to establish, but now Tom is sleeping for about an hour, three times a day.
In summary - yes it was hard but so important. As someone who was anti-sleep training (really out of ignorance) and held out as long as possible, I can tell you sometimes sleep regressions are not a phase - some babies need to be taught how to sleep. Tom was one of them. He was resolute! That boy wanted to be nursed to sleep hourly! No mother can sustain that and he wasn't getting enough sleep at night to boot. We had to break some bad sleep associations and establish a better routine so that Tom was able to sooth himself back to sleep. We are both so much happier and energetic during the day now! I'm so relieved we did it, and even happier it's over!
** I'm thinking of writing a more in depth Sleep Sense post soon, detailing what method worked for us. Spoiler alert we did the "camp out" method - aka - Jay sat next to his crib while he wailed!