Why Is My 4 Month Old Not Sleeping?

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Sleep tips for 4 month old babies that will not sleep through the nightBy far, 4 months old is the most common age for parents to reach out to me for help with their baby’s sleep. These parents want to know why their 4 month-old isn’t sleeping well.

Some of these babies slept great as newborns. They were easy to settle, fell into a consistent sleep routine, and took long naps. Now, all of a sudden, their 4 month old just won’t sleep.

Other parents have struggled for 4 long months with a terrible sleeper. Waking all night, micro-naps and no consistent sleep routine has turned these poor parents into zombies. They’re desperate for sleep and terrified of the 4 month sleep regression making everything worse (if that’s even possible!)

Four months old is an age of rapid development and change. It’s easy for your baby’s sleep to get off track. If there’s anything I want new parents to know it’s this: There Is Always Hope!

Although it may be too early for formal sleep training like Ferber or CIO (in my opinion) there’s still plenty you can do to help your 4 month-old sleep well.

This post may contain affiliate links.


Here are 8 reasons why your 4 month-old isn’t sleeping (& what you can do about it!)




#1 Awake times are off


Young babies have a biological need to sleep often. Specifically, your 4 month-old needs to sleep every 1.5-2.5 hours all day long. Awake times longer than this can make your baby overtired and fussy, which makes it harder for him to settle down and sleep well.

Make sure you watch the clock and let your 4 month old nap every 1.5-2.5 hours throughout the day. At this age, awake times take priority over nap length. It’s more important to get your baby napping often even if the naps are short.


#2 Bedtime is all wrong


Most 4 month-olds need 9-11 hours sleep at night. I don’t mean that your baby can sleep 9-11 hours straight! Instead, this is your baby’s total hours of nighttime sleep. Night feeds are still needed for the majority of 4 month-olds.

The ideal bedtime for your 4 month-old’s body clock naturally falls between 7:30-9 pm. The exact bedtime that best suits your baby will depend on her napping patterns.

Bedtimes that are too late result in baby becoming overtired. Many people think that an overtired baby will sleep better at night. This is the case for us adults, so it must be the same for babies, right? Nope. Baby sleep is completely counterintuitive! An overtired and overstimulated baby will sleep worse, not better.

A bedtime before 7:30 pm will probably result in really early mornings for you. Remember, your baby can only be expected to sleep 9-11 hours at night. So a bedtime of 7 pm or earlier could make baby awake and ready for the day at 5 am! Better to allow for a late afternoon nap so bedtime can be between 7:30-9 pm.


#3 No bedtime routine


When teaching babies to sleep well, we always begin at bedtime. The way that you approach bedtime (and the activities you do) will determine if your baby sleeps long, restful stretches at night… or doesn’t.

The first thing to do is begin a peaceful nightly ritual. The purpose of this bedtime routine is to calm your baby in the evening, so that his body can relax and welcome sleep.

Certain activities have been proven to relax babies, and when done in the right order, it sets your baby up for sleeping longer at night. (You can get step-by-step guidance on creating your peaceful nightly ritual here.)


#4 Baby feeds all night


Your 4 month-old will need 1-3 night feedings. It’s a good idea to ask your pediatrician how many feeds your individual baby needs at night.Their answer will depend on your baby’s weight gain, growth and milk intake. So best to ask a professional who knows your baby personally!

Your pediatrician will probably recommend that your baby eats every certain amount of hours. For example, if your baby needs to feed every 4 hours you’ll know he needs 2 night feeds. But if your pediatrician assures you that your baby can go 6+ hours between feeds overnight, then you should try to wean down to 1 night feed. (This guide on weaning night feedings tells you how.)

Just remember that whenever you start weaning or eliminating night feeds, it’s critical that you compensate by feeding your baby more during the day.


#5 Naps have become a nightmare


Another common problem that keeps 4 month-olds from sleeping well at night is inconsistent or insufficient naps. Keeping up with 1.5-2.5 hour awake times will help your baby nap better. Sleep props will also help him nap well.

For example, if your little one naps better in the stroller, baby carrier, or swing- then let him! It’s totally ok to use motion naps or naps on-the-go at this age. (Just supervise your baby’s naps.)



Here are some nap tips for 4 month olds


#6 Baby is ready for a different sleep space


As your baby becomes mobile and starts to roll, he’ll want a bigger sleep space so he can get himself into comfortable sleep positions. Tight and cosy sleep spaces may be nice for newborns, but growing babies need more room!

If your baby has started rolling, you should transition him out of the bassinet, Rock n Play or DockaTot, and into the crib.

You can still share a bedroom if you prefer. But now your little one will have a bigger sleep space (which often helps babies sleep better.)

One tip for this transition is to place baby in the crib with his feet touching one end. Babies typically sleep better when they can feel their sleep boundaries. Having baby’s feet touch one end of the crib does the trick!

If you’re co-sleeping, and getting kicked in the ribs all night- you can also transition baby to a crib right next to your bed. Separate sleep spaces often help the whole family sleep better. And you’re still within arms reach!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, put your baby in a sleep sack.


These sleep sacks are GREAT for babies that roll!

Click to order on


#7 The 4 month sleep regression has arrived


Chances are by now that you’ve heard of the 4 month sleep regression. (Or you discovered it during a 3 am Google search.) This is a normal, yet exhausting, phase of development for your baby.

If your baby was sleeping pretty well, and all of a sudden can’t settle, wakes all night or takes short naps- it’s probably because of the 4 month sleep regression.


Why does this happen?

The 4 month sleep regression has several causes:

#1 Your baby’s sleeping patterns are maturing and becoming more adult-like. This makes your baby more distractible, harder to settle and easier to wake.

#2 Around this age there’s a big growth spurt. This means your baby will be hungrier day and night. He’ll wake up early from a nap or more often at night because he’s hungry.

#3 Your baby may be transitioning from 4 to 3 naps a day. Nap transitions can be tricky and unintentionally lead to long awake times, which can over-tire your baby. Over-tiredness can worsen night sleep, and make baby harder to settle and wake more often. And then we have a vicious cycle…

So how can you help your baby get through the 4 month regression without going completely crazy? This video has all the essential tips!




#8 Old tactics don’t work anymore


Up until now it may have been pretty easy to get your baby down to sleep. You could feed or rock him for 10 minutes and then he’d sleep a few hours.

But these days nothing seems to work! Now you’re feeding, rocking and bouncing him for an hour- only to have him wake 20 minutes later, right?

I know. I’ve been there. It’s terribly exhausting. Remember, your baby’s sleep patterns are maturing and it’s completely normal for old tactics to lose their effectiveness. If you’ve gotten to the point where nothing seems to help your baby sleep well, then it’s time to teach him to self-settle.

There are many ways to do this. For 4 month-olds I prefer a slower, more gradual approach.

For example, you could focus on placing your baby in bed when he’s drowsy, but not yet asleep. You may need to give hands-on support to help him fall asleep (rock his body side-to-side, pat his bottom or put your hand on his chest.)

Each night, focus on lessening your hands-on assistance and getting him to soothe himself to sleep. When your baby can go into his bed awake and settle himself to sleep, he’ll start sleeping longer stretches. This is because he can resettle himself during the night when he stirs.

Have you heard of my Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit? It’s a step-by-step guide on getting your baby sleeping better in 3 simple steps. You can start all the tips tonight!

Your 4 month old CAN learn to sleep well. You just have to show your baby how!

So what’s causing your baby’s sleep struggles? Is it a sleep regression, growth spurt, or no consistent sleep schedule? Maybe it’s improper awake times or the wrong bedtime. No matter the reason, we can always find a solution to help your 4 month-old start sleeping amazingly well.

Once you figure out which of the above is causing your baby’s sleep issues, and you work on fixing it, you and your little one will start sleeping great at night.


Got a question about your 4 month-old’s sleep? Ask Jilly in the comments below.

a guide for parents to help their baby sleep better

Let’s stay connected!


  1. Soussou

    Hi there,
    My baby has been sleeping consistently for 2 weeks on his own once I put him down drowsy but awake after his bedtime routine. But since sunday he is really fussy and will cry when I put him down for bed. He will be 4 months on Friday. I am not really sure I know what this is. He still feeds every 1.30 hours at night despite all my efforts. I nurse right before and after each nap. Please help

  2. Ellie

    My 4 mo naps ok, I’m not worried because he loves bedtime and even with nap troubles he goes to sleep after feeding in his sleep sack. My problem is him staying asleep. He usually wakes up between midnight and 4 am (midnight to 2 am mostly) then every hour to every 2 hours thereafter. I work overnight and my husband doesn’t sleep the days I work and of course I can’t enjoy my days off because I give him a break and I’m up all night and I sleep during the day. Please help!

    • Artemis

      Hi Ellie,

      Oh wow that’s really rough!

      Your 4 month old isn’t yet old enough to be formally sleep trained, but we can help you guys in our program anyway. We can start slowly with the first few steps of getting longer sleep stretches, give him a good sleep foundation, and then slowly start implementing the formal sleep training steps.

      Here is the link to the program:

      Please e-mail us if you have any questions at:

      Your baby, you and your husband deserve good sleep. Take a leap of faith and join the other 65,000 parents who have found success with our program! We’re looking forward to helping you.

      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  3. Jesse

    Hi Jilly, our 4 month old is going through the 4 month sleep regression at night. We put her down between 8-8:30PM and she is waking up around 11-12:30 for a feed and the again between 4-6am. We have no issue with that and can deal with that until she is past this phase. What we are struggling with is naps. She does not nap during the day. She wakes up around 8-9am and will not take a nap until around noon. Her naps are 20-30 minutes at most and will only nap on us or in a bouncer. Her longest naps are when we are in the car and she will sleep the entire time sometimes even an hour after we take her out and leave her in the car seat. After the nap around noon she might nap around 3-4pm, but again only for 20-30 minutes. After 4pm she does not nap at all and she will fight it so hard the entire time. We give her every opportunity to nap, but she just doesn’t want to nap. Do you have any suggestions?!

    • Artemis

      Hi, Jesse!

      I’m so sorry your daughter is going through the 4 month sleep regression AND dealing with bad naps, too. Back luck!

      This is a link to our brand new Sleep Regression Survival Guide:

      Use the tips in the guide to survive the 1-2 weeks of the regression!

      As for the naps, I understand it’s hard. We do have a nap program, but it’s for babies 6 months and older. I would recommend you join our 21 Days to Peace and Quiet program (with support) so we can help you with your baby’s schedule. Since your baby is so young, though, you really need to get the support option so we can have daily contact with you and help you every step of the way, while adapting the program to your baby’s age.

      Here is the link:

      Hope to be in touch soon!
      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  4. Melanie

    My 4-month old daughter is a great sleeper. She goes to bed around 7:30 at night and will sleep until 6-6:30, eats breakfast and goes right back to bed for another couple of hours. At those times (evening and early morning) we are able to put her awake in the crib and she falls asleep on her own without fussing. Naps are a different story. She can do great naps, 1 or 2 hours each, but only on my chest after some nursing. If I try to put her in the crib, whether she’s just tired or completely drowsy, she will just cry and cry and cry until we come get her. For some reason she doesn’t want to nap in her crib even though she’s totally fine sleeping in it in the night and early morning. Any idea how to get her to nap in the crib without drama? I was fine letting her nap on my chest until now but she’s going to start daycare soon so I’d like for her to get into the habit before then! Thanks so much

    • Artemis

      Hi, Melanie!

      Wow, she’s sleeping amazingly at night. Good job!

      First off, I think getting the Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit could set you off to a great start. It’ll help you set a healthy sleep foundation for your baby, as well as give you information on your baby’s exact sleep schedule, which can help (even if I can tell you’re really on top of stuff!)

      Here is the link to the EM Starter Kit:

      Also, I would try putting her in the crib drowsy but awake. It’s always harder to get babies sleeping independently for naps, because they’ve got way more energy to protest compared to, say, 3 am. It’s okay to put her down a bit more drowsy, but when she still has her eyes open so she’s aware she’s going into her crib alone.

      When your baby is 6 months old, she can enter our naps program. I think it could be a great program for you guys!

      Have a look here:

      I hope this helps, please stay in touch if you need anything else!
      Artemis, BSMS Support Team

  5. Allixia B

    Hi! Help! My 4 month old sleeps great at night (7-8pm to 5-6am then back to sleep after a feed until 8:30-9am. Night feed at 10:30pm), however for the past month he cries hysterically when we begin the bedtime routine and also for some naps. During the day, I feed every 2-2.5 hours and he naps every 1.5-2 hours. Any solutions? We do wake up between 8:30-9am. Could this be the problem? Thank you!

  6. Ariane

    Hi my daughter is almost 4 months old. I have been implementing the peaceful nightly ritual, but my problem is she is not napping well, so she is often so tired that I can’t exactly make it peaceful because she is crying. I didn’t want to put her to bed too early, but when I can’t get her to nap, feels like the only option is to put her to bed earlier. She was sleeping longer at night, but the last few nights she has been waking several times and earlier. I feel so confused. With naps, I can usually get her to sleep, but she wakes after 30 minutes. I know that means she is probably over tired, but I can’t make her sleep if she wont, to prevent the over tiredness.

    • Alyssa Taft


      It sounds like your LO is going through the 4 month sleep regression. It can be a chaotic time in the sleep department for a couple weeks or so because your LO’s brain is just in overdrive. The best thing you can do is help your LO nap often AND do an earlier bedtime to prevent your LO from being overtired. Check out this helpful video for 4 month regression tips! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team


  7. Louis

    Baby is 6 months,sleeps for 15min during day only sleeps from 11 at night till 6 which is not a problem ,but does not sleep during the day.

  8. Sara


    My 4 month old will not settle for dad in the evenings when he is doing the bed time routine. She won’t take her last bottle from him and will not fall asleep for him. We take it in turns to do the bedtime routine. Sometimes she can be like it with me but not all the time and when she is like it it’s no where near as bad as when she is with her dad. This has been going on since she was just under 3 months. So about 8 weeks now.

    I always try and put her to sleep after her being up for 2 hours. Her naps vary from 30 mins to 2 hours. I don’t let her sleep her longer than 2 hours. We try and get her last bottle at 7 but like I said she refuses it the majority of the time.

    Both me and my partner dread bedtime 😞

  9. H

    I am at a loss of what to do.

    Our little one is 4.5 months old. She hasn’t slept well at night or for naps for 6 weeks.
    I time her wake windows. I watch for sleep cues. She cries at every nap. She will get so worked up she won’t sleep. She will stay awake for up to 6 hours at a time. I can’t get her to sleep. We have blackout curtains, 3 sound machines, little routine,. If she sleeps it’s maybe 16-30 min.

    Nights have become sleepless as well. We can’t get her to settle. She cries and cries as soon as we put her down. She’s rolling as of 2-3 days ago. If we can get her to sleep she will roll over within min to an hour and cry until we get her maybe to sleep again.
    It seems now that she will only maybe sleep if we are holding her.
    She doesn’t like her swing. She screams when I try to baby wear.

    I don’t know what to do.

    • Micaela

      Hi Holly, I’m gonna be honest with you. The 4mo sleep regression can be really hard. Your message really brought back the memory of my second child’s 4mo sleep regression.

      You might have already seen this other blog we have done about it but let me link it anyway https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video/

      Keep in mind this is normal and it actually means he is going through a big developmental phase. Phase being a keyword. It’s gonna be over soon, I promise. Watch your 4 month-old’s awake times, and have him nap every 1.5 – 2.5 hours. It’s ok if you need to rock him to sleep. At his age he could still prefer naps on the go so maybe go for a walk with the stroller (if you can given the worldwide situation).

      Once he turns 5mo you can start proper sleep training and if you’d like our support you can opt for our Essential or Premium package and we will help you wioth all the little details and tweaks. https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program/

      Hang in there mama <3
      Micaela BSMS Support Team

  10. Katelyn

    Hi Jilly,
    My baby is 4 months and 1 week. We had a really hard time sleeping last month, he was only sleeping in the car seat or on me while nursing, I could not put him down without him waking up and naps were only 20 minutes at a time. I was getting no sleep at night, he would wake every hour and need to nurse back to sleep. I got desperate and my husband and I tried the cry it out sleep training and it worked! It was hard to hear him cry but he learned to fall asleep on his own within a day or two! Me and baby were getting 8 plus hours of sleep at night! Naps were consistent to 3-4 times a day for exactly 30 minutes. That only lasted for a week. Now my baby is waking up about every 2-4 hours and needing to nurse back to sleep. He still falls asleep on his own at night, naps are still 30 minutes but only 2 times. I can’t seem to get that 3rd nap in and I think my baby is getting over tired. I’m not sure what to do! I don’t want to backtrack and I don’t want to lose more sleep! Please help!

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Katelyn,

      It sounds like your LO is most likely going through the 4 month sleep regression. This can cause a ton of sleep interruptions for a couple weeks. Have you checked out our regression video? It will provide you with a ton of helpful tips! Most babies are ready for sleep training at 5 months of age (after this regression has passed)! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team


  11. Jessica

    Please help! My son is 4 months and 1 week. We are going on a month of sleep regressions, I’m so exhausted. He was the best sleeper/Napier and then 3.5 month hit and it hasn’t been the same since. He is so hard to put down for naps now which makes for an overtired baby and mama. I can get him to fall asleep on me eventually because he usually falls asleep while breastfeeding. But he fights me till the very end even for naps that will last maybe 30 mins tops if I lay him down alone. But I will rock him and he is fighting by whining, babbling or blowing raspberries even while falling asleep. I try to put him down drowsy but that never works. And now most times when I lay him down he wakes right up and whines incessantly. Only want to sleep while held. At night when regression first started he would sleep when out down between 7:30-8:30 and sleep until 12 then wake up every two hours. Now he wakes up before 12 and about every hour there after. I would wait a bit with the whining to see if he would soothe himself sometimes he does, more often I offer my robe sleeve and pull it out when he falls asleep, if that doesn’t work I pick him up and he sleeps when he is held and it all else fails sometimes he is hungry or wants to be soothed on the breast. Him waking every hour makes me so tired the last few hours before I have to get up for work I have pulled him into bed with me let him lay with me which calms him down. I know I can’t keep doing that and I can’t keep not sleeping. He doesn’t like to have his arms swaddles since he was a bee born but he is in a halo with arms out or sleep sack with sleeping gown underneath, recently tried footy pjs underneath because his toenails were cutting his opposite ankle. And he is in his bassinet in our room which I have move farther from me. I don’t know what else to do to get him to sleep. He won’t even nap in his crib anymore since sleep regression started. PLEASE HELP!! ?

  12. Victoria

    Hi Jilly,

    I’m mum to a lovely, happy 4 month old girl (my first baby). She’s chilled, I’m more of an anxious type. She doesn’t sleep well at all (well, she sleeps fine but wakes a lot). She is fed to sleep and I just can’t seem to break the habit. I can’t stand to have her cry and wonder why I’m not feeding her down to sleep so I give in and do it. She still wakes every hour or two to be fed to sleep at night. She’s healthy and was to term (nearly 42 weeks in fact) so I know she can sleep more. She is quite distracted during day feeds except when sleepy, so when I feed her she falls asleep. I don’t know what to do or where to start. Do I wean her off night feeds first? Break the feed to sleep association first? Establish a better routine? It seems like I start things then get confused or it goes wrong and I stop. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve tried sleep plans before and spent money on books and apps and programs but nothing seems to work or stick. Any advice?

    • Micaela

      Hello Victoria, it seems like you could need some guidance. First of all, at 4mo your baby will still need at least one night feed, most probably two or even three. Our philosophy is to first work on a routine and just then to do proper sleep training (this is when you break the feeding to sleep association while teaching your baby how to fall asleep on her own).

      Since your baby is 4mo what I would suggest is to have a look at our sleep training program here https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/21-days-to-peace-quiet-program/
      It’s meant for babies 5+ months but you can join us now and wait until your baby is 5mo to start lesson 7 when the actual sleep training happens. In the meantime you’ll have the first 6 lessons to work on 😉

      We are here if you have any questions.
      Have a nice day! Micaela BSMS Support Team

  13. Thomas

    Hi I have a few questions about our 4 month old boy. He sleeps well during the night, at least according to our owlet and hasn’t required a night feeding in a long time. His issue lately is naps and being put to sleep. No matter is he is barely showing symptoms of being tired such as a yawn or red eyebrows or nearly falling asleep, the second we hold him horizontal or lay him in his crib, he immediately begins fighting it and screaming. The only thing that calms him is to hold him upright over our shoulder so he can see his surroundings. Once we take visual distractions away, like standing in a corner or laying him on his side and rocking him, he fights it, hard. Refuses a pacifier in those situations and it more or less resets him not being tired anymore. Sometimes he will fight it until he passes out. It’s almost as if he knows we are trying to get him to nap and he just simply doesn’t want to. And we won’t self soothe in a swing or anything to fall asleep either. Please help! Lol

    • panagiota

      Hi there Thomas. Thank you for your message.

      Babies at this age go through huge development that sometimes causes their sleep to regress. You’ve got a curious little guy there! What you need to do is try being consistent and try to get him to nap. Like go in a dark room (I know he fights it), hold him, sing to him, let him calm down. Do this at the same times everyday (like keeping awake times). This will limit stimulation and will make it easier for him to welcome sleep.

      And please check out our 4 month sleep regression guide here –> https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      If this is a regression, your LO will go back to sleeping better soon. Try implementing these tips for a few days and then let us know how things work out. Good luck. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

  14. Lisa

    Hi Jilly, for the past few weeks my recently 4 month old has had her sleeping all messed up with taking short naps and sometimes waking up early in the morning at 530am ready for the day. She sometimes has a couple of wake ups after I put her to bed but I am able to calm her with a hand on chest or binky if necessary and she goes right back to sleep. She sleeps in a bassinet next to my bed. I usually put her to bed around 7:30 every night and she has one night feeding that use to be at the same time every night but now it varies. Sometimes 315am or as late as 4:30am. A few weeks ago She was napping consistently around 8am 11am 2pm and 5pm and waking up in the morning between 6:30-7. Now she is all over the place and I don’t know what to do to help her sleep cause she’s so cranky. I took her to the pediatrician and was recommended to try only 2 naps but I don’t want her to get overtired and mess up her nighttime sleep. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • panagiota

      Hi there Lisa. Thank you for your message.

      This sounds a lot like the 4 month sleep regression. Please check out our 4 month sleep regression here –> https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      Try following the tips from both of our 4 month old sleep guides, because these tips will help you through this phase. Remember when your baby’s sleep is regressing consistency is always the key. Continue following the routine and schedule you had, or at least try to, as much as possible.

      Also, if you haven’t already, you can sign up for our free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit, a step by step guide that will help you create healthy sleep habits for your baby, create a bedtime routine, set the right bedtime and help your LO sleep better day & night, overall.


      Hope these help. Let us know how things work out. Good luck. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

  15. Lucy

    Hi Jilly, thank you for all this content you are sharing with us. It has been very precious for our family and your website has been a go to since I discovered it. My little one is hitting the 4 months regression hard with short naps and multiple awakenings at night : sometimes every hour). She was always very difficult to put to bed, cries as soon as she sees her bedroom, sleep sack, etc, but usually slept well throughout the night once asleep. We are sticking to a Calming routine, mindful of awake time, bed time coordinated with age and last nap, etc. Our problem is that she becomes hysterical as soon as we try to put her down drowsy and awake. We’ve tried numerous time. She’s never fell asleep on her own and we don’t know how long to let her cry or try since she is only 4 months. We think there is a strong negative association to bouncing and falling asleep in our arms as she had GERD for the most part and now is better. We tried to decrease the amount of time we bounce or in our arms with no results. What can we do until she is old enough to sleep train and without adding more sleep crutches? Our bodies are so tired! Help!

    • Alyssa Taft


      Thanks so much for your message! I remember how exhausted I was during those first few months and especially during sleep regressions. We don’t recommend sleep training until 5 months of age (so you are almost there)! Check out Jilly’s sleep regression video for helpful tips that you can start to use today to get more sleep! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team


  16. Maria

    Hi Jilly! You are awesome! Thank you for all the great advice. My baby is 3 months and a half now. We have a great bedtime routine, bath, pajamas, eat, sleep and he falls asleep independently on the crib. Then he wakes up between 3:30 – 4:00 for a feeding and falls asleep independently again. He has been waking up a lot lately at night, but he is able to go back to sleep by himself. So, nights are great! However, naps are a mess. He cannot fell asleep independently, although he sleeps in the same room as he does during the night and we keep it dark and do not last more than 45 min max. How can I help him fall asleep independently and make naps longer? His awake time is usually 1.5 hours. I tried to put him to sleep after 1 hour, but he has to much energy that he will just play on the crib, until he gets bored and starts crying… although I am next to him…

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Maria,

      Thank you so much for your post! I am so glad to hear that you have a great routine and that your LO is sleeping so well at night. This is a huge accomplishment! It is normal for naps to be short and inconsistent at this age. We often see naps lengthen and become more consistent around 5/6 months of age. Definitely check out our 3 month old sleep guide for helpful tips. For a 3 month old, awake time range is 1-2 hours. We often see babies handle less awake time in the morning (1 hour) and gradually increase awake time before each nap, with closer to 2 hours before bedtime being appropriate. Try to change up your awake times and gradually increase as the day goes on and do closer to 1 hour in the morning! Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  17. Jean

    Hi Jilly, thanks for all the tips. My baby is a week away from turning 4 months and has been an excellent sleeper (can go 9-11hrs straight through the night). However, she is completely unpredictable. Some nights we will sleep through, and some nights we will wake after 5hrs. Last night she woke after 2.5hrs but then her next stretch of sleep was 4+hrs then 3.5hrs. We have a peaceful nightly ritual in place already but just wondering how to get more consistent sleep. Thanks

    • Alyssa Taft


      Thanks for your message! Your LO is probably heading into the 4 month sleep regression. It’s a normal part of development but can cause some sleep interruptions for a couple weeks or so. I am attaching a link to our 4 month sleep regression help video! It has a ton of sleep tips to get your little one to sleep better during the regression. We often see a lot more consistency with sleeping after the regression has passed. Let me know if you have any questions! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

    • Cinnamon trejos

      Hi! My 4.5 month old sleeps fairly well at night asleep by 930 usually wakes around 4 to 5 for a feed(breastfeed) and that takes about an hour. He falls asleep feeding and then will sleep til about 7 or 8 sometimes longer. The nap situation is awful. He will take one long nap 2 to 3 hours mid day after about 4 to 5 hours awake. So if he sleeps 1 to 3pm he will be awake till bed at 830 when I start breast feeding.
      How do u get baby to sleep if you are Breastfeeding? Everything says after to 1.5 to 2.5 hours of being awake but how exactly do u do it? Breastfeed to sleep? Rock to sleep? I’m tired of sitting for an hour feeding and then as soon as I move hes awake and he hasn’t napped. Also the 1.5 to 2.5 hours seems unrealistic if he wakes and then takes 45 min to an hour to breastfeed then hes only awake like 45 min to 90 min before its time.for another nap? I feel like all these times are for bottle fed babies.

      • panagiota

        Hi there. It’s great that your baby sleep so good at night. Keep up the good work!

        As for naps.. Your baby doesn’t fall asleep during breastfeeding before napping? If yes this counts as napping time. Try keeping awake times and have your baby napping ofter, and not stay awake for long stretches. Also, you can breastfeed your baby and when you see that he’s ready to fall asleep you can pull him off the boob and put him in he’s crib drowsy to nap there. Hope this helps. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

  18. Sam

    Hey Jilly- my 4.5month old boy does this weird thing where he pulls his knees up to his chest and throws his legs back down repeatedly just at night time- he doesn’t do it during naps or during day- and doesn’t show evidence of being gassy or poopy although I do bicycle his legs during his bedtime routine after a warm bath. Any ideas why he’s doing this? I feel it wakes him up and stops him for settling himself to sleep? We were doing 3-5hr stretches but since 4months it’s been 1-2hrs max at night.

    xo Tired mamma

    • Alyssa Taft


      Thanks so much for your message. I am sorry to hear your little one isn’t feeling well! Bicycling his legs and giving a warm bath are two really great things to do before bed just in case it’s gas. I would try to catch a video of it and show it to your pediatrician (just to rule out anything medical). The night wakings could more likely be the 4 month sleep regression. We often see sleep interruptions during this time. I am attaching our 4 month sleep regression guide to give you some helpful tips to get your little one sleeping better during this time! Let us know if you have any additional questions! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team


  19. Laura

    Hi Jilly!

    I absolutely love your articles and videos! I have found them extremely helpful and supportive through the four month sleep regression. My sweet girl is 4.5 months old and we have been dealing with sleep issues for a month now. Prior to that she slept 5-7 hour stretches at night. For the past four or five weeks she has been waking every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours at night and will only take 20 minute naps during the day (unless I hold her). We have a great bedtime routine, bedtime between 7:30 and 8:00, a dark comfortable room, and a white noise machine have used since she was born. Do you have any suggestions for us? When I try to put her down drowsy but awake she screams and it takes over an hour of picking her up and putting her down to get her to settle on her own. She sleeps in her crib next to our bed. She typically will only settle for me at night (sometimes by swaying and other times nursing). I know you said motion naps are ok, but what about contact napping?
    My husband and I are exhausted. I am a photographer and I have a wedding to shoot this weekend. I am desperate for sleep. Any thoughts? Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with all of us tired parents!

  20. Gargi

    Hi!!! My 3.5 month old has lost his ability to calm down to sleep. He also had a cleft lip and had surgery 3 weeks ago. Since the past week or two nothing that i previously did to put him down for a nap is working. He needs to be walked snd bounced for an hour just to get a 30 mins nap. He’s doing okay at night in comparison.
    The day is starting to exhaust me completely. I cannot be walking for hours starting 8am!
    Please help!!!

  21. Stephanie Sharp

    Hi Jill!

    I have recently started putting my 4 1/2 month old in her crib for naps. Her naps were only 30 mins long. She rolls to her belly and seems to sleep better on her belly, but what I am still experiencing is her waking after 30 minutes. She always cries when I lay her in her crib, usually less than 15 minutes and falls asleep and wakes up after 30 mins crying. I’ve determined to keep her in her crib for atleast an hour and she usually ends up falling back asleep within 10-15 mins of being awake and sleeping another 30-45 minutes. How can I get her sleeping longer for naps?
    I try to put her down for bed at 9, doesn’t always work. If she’s on her own she will only sleep for 30 mins at a time. If she sleeps with me she sleeps 2-3 hours at a time at night. I don’t know what to do to get her sleeping longer at night and longer at naps.

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Stephanie,

      Following the awake time recommendations from this article can help her nap longer. With naps, it’s all about getting the timing right!

      This article has more advice on extending your baby’s short naps: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/how-to-extend-your-babys-naps

      Just know that I always recommend working on night sleep first. It’s usually easier to “fix.” Once night sleep is going well, then you can focus on naps. Working on both at the same time often ends up in an overtired and cranky baby that won’t sleep!

      Good luck,

  22. Janelle

    Hey Jilly,
    The 4 month sleep regression is Very brutal over here. My son is now almost 5 months, we have a bed time routine that’s short and sweet, he has a time he falls asleep every night 7:30/8 ish depending on naps that day, and I’ve even been able to separate nursing from his initial put down, my husband rocks/dances him to sleep. But it never lasts long. 30 minutes later he’s awake and screaming, and nothing will console him so I give in and nurse. Then he sleeps for a good 4 hr stretch. Sadly it’s when we are still awake trying to maintain a relationship/me being able to talk to an actual grown up. By midnight my little guy starts waking every 1 1/2 until 630. We live in a 1 bedroom so he’s in the room with us and I’m desperately trying to console him with out picking him up or nursing him, but then the break downs happen and I give in. I need some guidance, do I need to separate nursing from nap time too? I’ve been more concerned with him getting all his naps in so he’s not exhausted at bed time, so I haven’t even tried yet.

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Janelle,

      Oh yeah, the 4 month sleep regression can be so brutal.

      The “good” news is that once it’s been 2 weeks since your baby’s sleep issues appeared, you can consider that the regression has passed and start actively shaping your baby’s sleep.

      Plus, at 5 months old babies develop the ability to learn to settle themselves to sleep. Once your baby can do this at bedtime, he’ll sleep longer stretches at night. And you can get the “adult time” you need!

      My 5 month old sleep training guide explains exactly how to get your LO sleeping well: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/sleep-training-5-month-old-baby-tips

      Following the tips from this guide should get your little guy sleeping great.

      Good luck,

  23. Elmari

    Hi Jilly, My baby is 4 months next week, and this article explains to a T where we are! Fighting sleep, short naps, general fussiness. I like your unconventional tip about the motion naps and it makes sense. I’m just at a loss at how it would work for us, as my baby has very rarely fallen asleep in the stroller and hates the car. Even in the baby swing she makes it to a point where she is almost ready to sleep (I’ve noticed this while rocking her as well) and even self-soothes (thumbsucking) and then just starts crying. Generally when she starts it just escalates and she doesn’t calm down so I pick her up. When rocking her to sleep for naps (or bouncing) she hits this point too but if I keep rocking and bouncing through it, it’s only a few minutes before her eyes start closing. I would love for her to get used to the stroller and the swing, since I have an idea that it might help her fall asleep in the car as well (At the moment car rides with her is something we all dread!)
    Night sleep is better. Sometimes I am able to put her down drowsy (about 6:30) and she wakes 2 times at night (and falls asleep nursing )and wakes about 6-7am. I am a work at home mom and the ‘routine’ of rocking and bouncing for up to an hour sometimes for 45 minutes (sometimes 10…) sleep is really getting me down. Babywearing really helps her sleep when I am out, but at home, she would wake up as soon as I sit down, which mean I will get no work done… Hope you have some tips that might help?

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Elmari,

      Many babies have the same problem of almost falling asleep, then crying and waking themselves.

      I would keep encouraging the stroller and swing. When she starts to cry, give her some comfort. Give her her thumb or a pacifier, and keep walking/swinging. You can shush or sing to her. Try to give it at least 10 minutes to see if she’ll settle (just as you keep rocking her through it and eventually she falls asleep.) I did this with my daughter. She would cry initially in the stroller but if I kept walking for 5-10 mins she’d fall asleep and have a long nap. (Sometimes I had to walk the whole time for this nap, haha. Great exercise.)

      I work at home too! I get it! Maybe on days you need to baby-wear, you can save all your housework for then? Then she can nap while you clean, cook or even return emails standing at the kitchen counter! Sometimes we have to get creative.

      Good luck,

  24. Christie

    Hello! My 4 month old seems to just be starting the regression. I don’t think it’s a growth spurt bc when I do feed her she usually falls asleep instead of eating. She has been napping 4 times a day but today I am trying 3 naps with longer wake windows. My real difficulty is that she has started waking up every 2-3 hours the last 4/5 days. She starts at 10pm, and continues to wake every 2-3 hours all night. It’s exhausting. She doesn’t wake up and fuss she wakes up and starts screaming bloody murder and she continues for up to an hour sometimes. We are trying to teach her to put herself to sleep but it’s a slow process with her.the first 2 naps of the day she can usually put herself to sleep with minor help. But the third nap and bedtime she also screams. What do i do in the night when she screams? How do I get her to not wake up every 2-3 hours??

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Christie,

      During the 4 month sleep regression you just do the best you can to survive! This guide has more specific tips on how to help your baby sleep as well as possible during this time: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      As you’ll see in the guide, there are plenty of things you can do to help your baby sleep BUT I don’t recommend formal sleep training. Instead, wait until she turns 5 months old to focus on her falling asleep on her own for every sleep. It can be futile trying to do this during a regression.

      I hope you can get some rest and help for the next few days/week.

      Good luck,

  25. Krystle

    Hi Jilly, my 4.5 month old sleeps from 7:30/8pm till 6:30/7p. He has 1 night feeding between 2-4:30am.

    His naps are so short. Literally 30 min to the T! He does this for all 3 naps. It started a week before he turned 4months. I can set a timer and he is up exactly 30 min after he falls asleep. Is this normal and ok? After about an hour of awake time, he is grumpy and so exhausted. But I try to keep him up for at least 1.5-2hrs so we can make it to bed time, otherwise his bedtime would be 5pm if I didn’t try to
    Stick to 1.5-2he wake times between his SHORT naps. I am exhausted! 30 min is hardly enough time to do anything around the house or to even make meals. I am having to hold him or put him
    In the carrier because he is screaming and unhappy after his 30 min naps. Help me, I’m desperate!

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Krystle,

      Well, his night sleep sounds great! Short naps are common at this age. Is there any other place where he’d nap longer, like the swing or stroller? As long as you supervise his naps there, it’s totally fine to use motion or on-the-go naps.

      For times he naps in the crib, black out his bedroom and play white noise (LOUD) and put him in a sleep sack, just like nighttime sleep.

      But again, it can be normal for 4 month olds to take short naps. It can be harder for them to link sleep cycles during the day when the drive to sleep isn’t as strong as night.

      I say go for motion naps and give you both a break.

      I hope this helps,


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