We know you have heard and probably dreaded the 4 month sleep regression. Perhaps you are hear to learn more about it before it arrives. Perhaps you are right in the middle of it. Either way, we’ve got you! And yes, you will get through it!
The 4 month sleep regression can feel like it comes out of nowhere: All of the sudden your baby not sleep like they used to. The long naps are gone and you are maybe even seeing them wake in the night if not just a few times, fairly often. You thought you were on the verge of getting some rest yourself. And then it all falls apart.
It looks and feels like a “regression” but it is actually them growing. Our babies can no longer block sleep anywhere or anytime. Sorry for needing to share that news.
Their needs for sleep are changing, they are growing and they are beginning to sleep more like you do. They have lighter sleep and deeper sleep. They need to sleep at specific times of the day. We can now no longer assume that they will “sleep like a baby.” We need to help them to sleep when their body needs to sleep.
There are some things we can do to help:
A BEDTIME ROUTINE:
Give about 30 min to prepare them for bed and 5-10 min before naps. This could mean a feeding, then books, then bath, then bed. However, you want to do it, just make sure it is calm.
You will want to be predictable. Choose an order for your routine and do it the same every day. This is your communication to them that it is time for sleep.
AN EARLY BEDTIME:
You may have noticed that it is harder and harder to keep them up in the evening. This is normal, they are starting to need an earlier bedtime. Honor their need to sleep and put them to bed early!
A CONSISTENT PLACE TO SLEEP:
It would be a good idea, not to mention a safe idea, to have them sleep in their crib for all naps and night time. This means that it is time to let go of the swing and car rides to help them sleep! I know that convenience goes to the wayside here but believe me, it will pay off!
Now that their biological rhythms (circadian rhythms) are coming together, we can honor that by having them sleep by the clock instead of sleeping by how long they’ve been awake.
LAY THEM DOWN AWAKE:
I know, you’ve probably gotten used to putting your little one down asleep and walking away. But now when you put them down they are waking or waking soon after you put them down. It is good practice for them to learn to fall asleep on their own.
GIVE THEM TIME:
When they wake too soon, try to give them a little bit of time to see if they will fall back to sleep on their own. You may be surprised by how that bit of time will help.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You and your little one can sleep again soon! We are here for at Smart Night Sleep – we can help you and your little one get the sleep that you need.
Certified Sleep Consultant
*based in Orlando, FL, but work remotely with families