What we’ll cover:
- What are the symptoms of the 4 month sleep regression?
- What causes the 4 month sleep regression? Is it a myth?
- Does this regression only happen at 4 months?
- How long does the 4 month sleep regression last?
- How can I help my baby through the 4 month regression?
- Can I start sleep training during the 4 month regression?
- My 4 month-old won’t nap. What can I do?
If your baby is around 4 months, you may have been warned about the 4 month sleep regression. And if you’ve read enough online, you may be terrified of what’s to come.
The truth is, some babies sleep right through this regression (hee hee) and other babies’ sleep patterns go completely haywire!
If your 4 month-old baby has recently started fighting bedtime with a vengeance, waking more at night or taking short naps- the 4 month sleep regression is probably to blame.
The upside is that it’s a normal phase of development. The downside is that you can’t simply bury your head under a pillow and hope for the best.
It’s totally possible to help your baby sleep well during the 4 month sleep regression. This article tells you how!
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What are the symptoms of the 4 month sleep regression?
In general, sleep regressions are disruptions in sleep for babies who were previously sleeping well. Not all babies will show outward signs of this regression (especially those that weren’t sleeping well previously.)
4 month sleep regression symptoms include:
- Waking more at night out of the blue
- Taking short naps
- Harder to settle for sleep
- Baby is more restless and fussy in general
Does this regression only happen at 4 months?
You may notice a change in your baby’s sleeping patterns anytime between 3-5 months.
It’s important to consider your baby’s adjusted age. For example, if she was born 3 weeks early then she may experience this regression closer to her fifth month.
The 4 Month Sleep Regression: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions
How long does the 4 month sleep regression last?
If your baby’s worsening sleep is due to a growth spurt, you should notice his sleep improve after increasing his feeds.
If the 4-to-3 nap transition is the main cause of your baby’s regression, then following 1.5 – 2.5 hour awake times and settling into 3 naps each day should improve his sleep.
For other babies, the main culprit of this regression is brain maturity and evolving sleep patterns. In this case, focusing on creating a consistent and age-appropriate sleep routine will help him learn to sleep better.
How can I help my baby through the 4 month regression?
Now is the perfect age to get your baby on a consistent sleep routine. Remember, her sleep patterns have matured. Gone are the days of your newborn easily sleeping in a crowded restaurant or your noisy living room.
Now she needs a predictable daily routine and consistent sleep times. This guide tells you how to get your 4 month old sleeping amazingly well.
Can I start sleep training during the 4 month regression?
I don’t recommend formal sleep training during regressions (like Ferber or Cry It Out.) Remember, your baby is going through a time of increased fussiness and restlessness. He’s harder to settle for sleep. He wakes up more often. He can’t sleep very long. Throwing sleep training on top of this unstable period is like throwing gasoline on a fire!
That being said, there is still plenty you can do now to help your baby settle easier and sleep better. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you create a consistent sleep routine for your baby following my tips below.
Gentle sleep training tips for the 4 month sleep regression:
- Make sure baby naps every 1.5-2.5 hours. It’s ok for baby to nap in the stroller or baby carrier. Motion can help babies nap longer. Just make sure you supervise ALL naps that are outside the crib or bassinet.
- Wake your baby after a 2 hour nap and feed them. Eating often during the day helps your baby sleep longer at night.
- Start a calming bedtime routine every night. Learn how to do this in my Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit!
- Settle your baby into a consistent bedtime every night. 7:30 – 9 pm is ideal for this age.
- Transition your baby to a crib if he currently sleeps in a bassinet, Rock n Play or DockaTot. As your baby becomes mobile and starts to roll, he needs a bigger (and safe) sleep space so he can get himself into comfortable sleep positions.
My 4 month-old won’t nap. What can I do?
Short and unpredictable napping can be common for babies younger than 6 months. That’s the unfortunate truth. As long as your baby naps often, it’s ok if she doesn’t nap longer than 30-40 minutes.
But, if your baby is refusing all naps or seems grumpy between naps, the video below explains how you can help her nap better.
I hope this article gives you hope that you can help your baby sleep well during the 4 month sleep regression. Remember, it’s a normal phase of development. Normal, yet very tiring. But everyone survives it! ? Following the tips above will guide your baby to settling easier and sleeping longer. Good luck!
What are YOUR survival tips for the 4 month sleep regression? Tell me in the comments below!