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The 4 month sleep regression: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions



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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.

Take care!