Surviving Your Baby’s 4 Month Sleep Regression

November 21, 2018

Surviving Your Baby’s 4 Month Sleep Regression

The dreaded four month sleep regression is a tough time for many new parents. It rears its head out of nowhere, just as you think your baby’s sleep is improving. Most parents who experience it are desperate to know how to survive it – so we are touching on just that. Below are some tips to keep in mind for your little one’s 4 month sleep regression.

First, remember this phase is only temporary. Your baby will not always be a terrible sleeper, waking frequently at night, or napping poorly during the day. This period of little sleep is only the effect of a burst of development and growth for your little one. Try to remember it is happening for a good reason.

Do not put too much energy into trying to improve your little one’s sleep during the 4 month sleep regression. Rather, wait to do any form of sleep coaching until after as your baby’s brain is very busy working during this period of major growth and development.

If you previously worked on self-soothing and putting your little one to bed awake prior to the sleep regression, you can continue in your usual sleep routines or you can temporarily halt your efforts and simply get baby to sleep any way you can until you are out of hot water. The latter is a better option for parents of little ones whose sleep schedule is falling apart completely as a result of the regression.

Expect feedings and naps to change during the 4 month sleep regression. Try to be patient with your baby (and yourself) because these missed naps and increased night wakings can lead to overtiredness. You may need to offer longer naps (or extra ones) and perhaps an earlier bedtime.

Be sure to get extra sleep for yourself as well if at all possible. Your sleep suffers as well as your baby’s during the 4 month sleep regression! That extra night waking takes a toll on everyone involved.

Be prepared for how long your baby’s sleep regression will last. Some children only go through it for 1-2 weeks while other families experience their baby’s sleep regression for closer to 6 weeks. The average is about 2-3 weeks. Try to be patient. Remember it will not last forever!

Recovering from the 4 Month Sleep Regression

Once the four month sleep regression passes, you may be feeling disheveled and wondering what to do next. Below are some tips.

  • You can begin sleep coaching again once your baby’s sleep seems to calm down, returning to a quasi-normal state.
  • If you feel like your baby’s sleep just continues to be of a poorer quality, wait instead until about 6 weeks have passed before you start sleep training.
  • Some families opt to wait until their babies are 6 months old to begin getting back into a normal sleep routine, which is when sleep begins to consolidate. Around 6 months of age, your baby will begin to take longer naps that are more predictable.

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