Hi I'm Jilly from Baby Sleep Made Simple. In this video I'm going to tell you all
about the 4 month sleep regression. What it is, what causes it and how you
can help your baby sleep right through it.
If your baby is around 4 months old you may have been warned about the
infamous 4 months of sleep regression. And if you've read enough online you may
be completely terrified of what's to come.
The truth is that not all babies have outward signs of the 4 months sleep
progression. Some babies sleep right through it and
their parents don't notice anything, while other babies sleep goes completely
haywire. If your 4 month old has recently started fighting bedtime with a
vengeance, waking a lot more at night or taking short naps then chances are the
4-month regression is to blame. It's a completely normal phase of development,
so that's a good thing for parents to know. It's completely normal but it's
exhausting. The good news is we can help your baby sleep well through the 4
month regression. So in this video I'm going to tell you just how.
Signs of the 4-month regression include your baby fighting bed time
all of a sudden, waking more at night taking short naps or fighting naps in
general and just overall seeming more restless and fussy.
Now, this regression can happen anytime between 3 to 5 months and if your
baby was born premature then you wanna go by your baby's adjusted age.
There are three main causes of this regression. The first is a growth spurt.
So many babies around this age go through a growth spurt,
which makes babies hungrier in general. So this can make your baby wake more
at night because he's really hungry. The second cause of this regression is the
4 to 3 nap transition or when your baby wants to drop that 4th nap
every day and settle into 3 naps a day. What happens when we drop naps is
that awake times can sometimes be too long. And when awake times are too long
your baby gets overtired and overstimulated and it actually makes him
harder to settle for sleep and it can really ruin his night sleep. The third
cause of this regression is a big development in your baby's brain that
often happens around this age. And part of this big development changes your
baby's sleeping patterns. It's completely normal for baby's sleeping patterns
to change and for baby to be harder to settle for sleep at this age and to also
sleep shorter stretches.
If your baby's worsening sleep is due to a growth spurt then your baby should
start sleeping better once you focus on increasing your baby's nutrition.
Specifically focus on feeding your baby more during the day or more often during
the day. This can often help your baby go longer at night between feeds. If the
cause of your baby's regression is dropping the 4th nap and settling
into 3 naps a day, then make sure you follow awake times up 1.5 to
2.5 hours all day long. These are awake times are most
appropriate for 4 month olds. And it prevents your baby from becoming too
overtired and restless because he's awake too long during the day. Now
if instead your baby's current sleep troubles are caused by the big brain
development that happens at this age and, you know, evolving and maturing sleep
patterns then the best thing that you can do is get your baby on a consistent
and an age-appropriate sleep routine. I have a guide that walks you through
exactly how you can help your 4 month-old sleep better and you can
access it by clicking the link right here on the screen.
I don't recommend formal sleep training during this regression like Ferber or
cry it out. Remember this is a period of increased fussiness and restlessness for
your baby. He's harder to settle for sleep, he doesn't sleep as long, he really
fights sleep a lot during this age. So I believe that throwing sleep training
into this period of increased restlessness and fussiness is almost like
throwing gasoline on a fire. That being said, there is still plenty that you can
do to help your 4 month-old sleep well during this regression. The first
thing to do is make sure to stick to awake times of 1.5 to 2.5
hours all day long. Also it's completely fine for your baby to nap in
the stroller, in the baby carrier, in the swing or even in the car if needed.
Motion naps and naps on the go often help baby settle easier for sleep and
take longer naps. So as long as you supervise these naps they're perfectly
ok in my book. Wake your baby after a 2-hour nap and
feed him. Feeding often during the day helps your baby go longer at night
between feeds. Also start a calming bedtime routine every evening. What you
do at bedtime and the order in which you do it really does determine if your baby
settles easily for sleep and sleeps long stretches at night. Give your baby a
consistent bedtime between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. every night. And if your baby is
sleeping in a bassinet or a co-sleeper, the 'DockATot' or the 'rock n play', then you
may want to consider transitioning your baby to a crib at this age. Newborns love
cozy and tight sleep spaces but as our babies get older and become more mobile
and start to roll they really need bigger sleep spaces so they can roll
around and get themselves comfortable. So if your baby is showing signs of
beginning to roll I highly recommend that you transition him to the crib. I
hope this video gave you some hope that you can get your baby sleeping well
during the 4-month regression. Remember it's a completely normal phase
of development and everyone survives it. If you'd like more information on how
you can help your baby sleep well check the description below I've added links
to several of my guides that give you step-by-step instructions on how you can
get your 4 month old sleeping well. If you've got any specific
comments feel free to ask me in the comments below and hit the subscribe
button now so you'll be notified when I add a new video.