Tips To Surviving Baby's 4 Month Sleep Regression
Your baby finally seems to have gotten the hang of their sleep schedule and then, boom! Back to square one...or so it seems. Around the four month mark, babies will experience a temporary “baby sleep regression,” which is actually a sign that they are growing both mentally and physically.
While baby sleep regression might sound a little scary, it’s actually a completely normal adjustment period for your baby that should only last around two to six weeks. The 4 months sleep regression occurs because your baby’s sleep patterns are shifting to cycle through non-REM and REM stages. This means that, like adults, your baby will start to cycle through lighter sleep, from which they can easily awake at the slightest disturbance.
Common Signs of Baby Sleep Regression
How do you know if your baby is going through a temporary 4 months sleep regression? Look for these signs:
- Fewer naps during the day
- Increased appetite
- Waking throughout the night
- Difficulty falling asleep
How to Help Your Baby During Their 4 Months Sleep Regression
Now that you know the signs of sleep regression, what do you do? Try these simple adjustments to baby’s bedtime routine to help soothe them during this transition.
Feed Them Often
As baby's sleep pattern is changing, it’s not unusual for them to be really hungry during their 4 months sleep regression. To keep from having to get up multiple times during the night, schedule extra feedings during the day in a distraction-free place until they are completely full. You can also consider cluster feedings before bedtime to try to get them to sleep through the night.
Create a Bedtime Routine
If you don’t have a solid bedtime routine, now is the time to work on getting it right! According to The Journal of Sleep Medicine, most babies sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day; split up of course. Without as many naps, your baby will need more sleep at night, so try moving their bedtime up an hour or two to compensate.
Keep Their Room Dark at Night and Light During the Day
To encourage the routine, make sure baby’s room is completely dark at night and that lots of natural light can enter the room in the morning. Don’t turn on the lights when you go to soothe them during the night and avoid bringing any other light from screens into the room while they are trying to sleep.
Put Your Baby Down Before They Fall Asleep
An important part of sleep training: putting the baby down in their bassinet or crib before they nod off will help them fall asleep independently. Be sure to use the same bassinet for their naps and bedtime so that they associate the bassinet with sleep.
Get the Support You Need
Don’t go it alone, even if it means asking for help from friends and family. Remember to reach out to your loved ones, who can offer emotional and physical support during this time. While your baby needs your love and care, remember that you need to rest as well!