The Famous 4 months sleep regression … or as I call it Hell !!!
Why did I call it Famous ? Because almost every parent has googled: sleep regression; 4 months old doesn’t want to sleep; 4 months old waking up at night ever 2 hours, 4 months old doesn’t want to nap …. it’s probably one of the most googled subjects by parents. Everyone talks about it, reeds about it and once you have 4 months old baby knows about it.
You feel like you and your baby finally have an amazing bond, some sort of routine, you understand each other; you start feeling confident and believe in your parental skills; you even feel human again as you are getting much more sleep each night; and you might even have got your baby to go to sleep on their own … and then … BANG …. everything changes overnight. One thing to remember is : It’s not you, it’s them 😊
Me and my husband have found it harder than the newborn stage …
I was lucky enough to have my little one get up only once at night for feeding, at 3 months we got a good daily routine and started to slowly get Skylar to go to sleep on her own … until the regression started and made her get up every 2 hours, stop napping, or nap only for 30minutes, wanted to be rocked or nursed to sleep.
I have done my fair share of googling this subject with the first one and a little bit with a second one. And these are my findings combined with my own experience.
4 MONTHS SLEEP REGRESSION
The 4 month sleep regression marks a permanent change in your baby’s sleeping habits. Before your baby hit the 4 month mark, your baby slept like a baby – babies don’t go between deep and light sleep … they are in deep sleep all the time. This explains why newborns and very young infants tend to sleep anywhere and through anything!
As your baby’s brain matures, around the 4 month mark, her sleeping patterns change – they become more like ours. Now, she is cycling between light and deep sleep – just like we are.
4 MONTHS SLEEP REGRESSION SINGS :
How to recognise that the 4 months sleep regression has started? There is more night waking and short naps. Every time your baby cycles out of deep sleep and into slight sleep, theres a good chance she will wake up – and once she’s up, she will more thank likely need your help to fall back to sleep.
Sleep stages follow a predictable order that flow together in sleep cycles. These sleep cycles last about 60-90 minutes during the night (sometimes 120 minutes as they are developing) and are marked by a brief waking that happens at the end. And this is the cause of most “sleep problems.” This waking is meant to be to protect us by allowing to briefly check in with the environment that everything is ok. When we fall asleep, we expect our conditions to remain constant throughout the night, so if your baby has fallen asleep in your arms and you transferred him to the crib, the crib will feel wrong when he hits the checking wake up. This means that after every sleep cycle your baby will probably wake up and you can interpret his or her cries as, “Hey Something is wrong here ! Where is Mummy ?! Where is Daddy ?!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BABY IS GOING THROUGH SLEEP REGRESSION :
Babies thrive on consistency and routine, so be sure to provide it. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to create a calm, soothing bedtime routine that can consist of a bath, a book or a song, then bed.
You also need to have some routine before naps, to help your baby learn that it’s time to sleep (making the room dark, kiss, story, or whatever works for you). Within your flexible schedule, be sure to include consistent feedings so that your baby isn’t hungry, especially if she or he’s experiencing a growth spurt.
Just keep feeding your baby if that’s what they want when they get up. At around 4 months old babies go through a growth spurt and also there are changes to the breast milk which might affect the amount of milk needed by your baby.
You also need to get as much sleep as possible so there is no point of trying to get them to sleep without any help, this will only upset you and your baby (trust me I tried).
Try and move feeding times so that your baby doesn’t go to sleep straight after the feed or put them down when they are drowsy not asleep. This will work in the day but not necessarily at night.
You cannot do anything to stop it or to make it go away. You just have to bear with your baby until she adjust to this new situation and works out how to sleep longer.
You can support this adjustment by doing the above and giving them lots of love.
Also don’t go and feed your baby the second that they move or make the smallest sound. Give them some time to try and go back to sleep. Sometimes they will just moan for a little bit or talk and then go back to sleep. They will let you know if they need you by crying loudly 😊
HOW LONG CAN THE SLEEP REGRESSION LAST?
It can take anything from 2-6 weeks. It usually just goes away without warning.
If after 6 weeks your baby still wakes up at night all the time and needs to be fed to go back to sleep then your baby has developed an unhealthy habit.
It took Chloe around 2 weeks and Skylar around 4 weeks. So there is no rule and every baby is different.
This is the biggest sleep regression but there is also one at 6 months, 8-10months, 12 months, 18 months and if that wasn’t enough; also at 24 months old 😬