Oh the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. As you shut the door to your beautiful baby’s bedroom, you breathe a sweet sigh of relief. Finally….you got your little one to drift off into dreamland. As you tiptoe away, all of a sudden you hear a little cry. And this cycle continues for what seems like hours…..at least that is what it seemed like when my son hit the 4-month mark. I used to joke that since my son was born at 2:50 AM in the morning, he always preferred to be up at night rather than during the day. Yet, once 4 months rolled around I drastically noticed an odd change in his sleeping patterns. As a new parent, I was worried and just confused as to why all of a sudden a baby’s sleep patterns changed so suddenly. It only took a short while to discover my son was simply going through the 4-month old sleep regression phase.
I can’t tell you how many books and articles I read through and researched to find a solution to my son’s 4-month sleep regression woes. This was something I had not really been aware of before becoming a mother. I seemed to always be around parents that bragged about their little one sleeping through the night at 2 months of age. However, this was simply not the case. After recently having gone through this, these are the five most common mistakes to avoid when handling your sweet baby’s 4 month sleep regression. Just remember, you are not alone! All babies experience changes in their sleeping patterns as they develop, it is just some more apparent rather than others.
What is the 4 Month Sleep Regression?
Babies experience a period of time, anywhere between 3-5 months, of age where their sleeping habits change from that of an infant to a baby. This is mainly due to the neurological changes within their brain and the development that is happening. This specifically meaning that they are no longer sleeping without disruption. Once a baby reaches around 4 months, their sleep patterns actually are more in line with an adult’s where they go through both light and deep cycles of sleep. Babies often can struggle with falling back asleep after they have woken up during a light sleep cycle. Some of the symptoms to look for include frequent waking up at night, more of a struggle to fall asleep, and shorter naps or less naps during the day.
How Long Does the 4 Month Sleep Regression Last?
Typically an infant will experience the 4-Month Sleep Regression for a timeframe of anywhere between 2-7 weeks of age. The most helpful piece of advice I have is to not overthink your feelings about if you infant is starting this phase or not. Go with your mama instinct and don’t be afraid to ask other parents about their experiences as well.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid
Overstimulation at Bedtime
This one is so easy to let slide. Babies can become overstimulated often at such a young age. A key to avoiding this at their bedtime is to wind down and turn off televisions near them and create softer lighting for your baby as well. Little things like this give them cues that you are going to be putting them to sleep very soon.
No Bedtime Routine
Everyday for a newborn is eye-opening and completely foreign. When you think about it, it is a lot to take in for a little one! That is why if you can create a bedtime routine, this provides some sort of stability for your little one and gives them another signal you are putting them to bed soon. What helped me with my son was making sure he got a bath every night. This really helped calm him down and get some energy out as well before I put him to bed.
Try not to stress. This is very common for babies and just because your little one is having a rough go at night does not mean you need to panic! The best thing you can do as a parent for your baby is remain calm and this will in turn help you find a solution to your worries about your newborn’s sleep regression in the first place.
Letting Your Infant Cry It Out
It seems like there are so many methods and tricks to handling sleep regression, yet letting your infant just cry it out is not one of them. Whether you are for or not…four months is too early to let your infant cry it out in the first place. It can actually do more harm rather than good. Usually around six months is when you can even begin to consider sleep training your baby.
Not Maintaining a Positive Parental Attitude
Lastly, I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining a positive parental attitude. It’s hard at times with the level of exhaustion one can experience being a new parent. What helped my experience was relying on my husband for support and also realizing the sleepless nights would not last forever. Instead of looking at this sleep regression as a negative thing, I tried to remember my baby was developing and what an exciting milestone.
Ultimately, I found that this part of a baby’s development is unavoidable and it is best to not be afraid to reach out to other to help you cope with making your baby’s sleep regression. This is all just part of a baby’s milestones and you will get through it! Finding an overall solution for your baby’s 4-month sleep regression can seem daunting, but just remember that it is a phase that your baby will pass through! Creating a sense of routine for your little one helps tremendously and your baby will be on its way to sleeping well at night again in no time.
Hi I’m Athena. I’m a mom to a sweet baby boy, happy wife, and lover of the outdoors. I blog about all things motherhood, lifestyle hacks, and travel at Little Mountain Mommy. I truly enjoy sharing my stories and encouraging you to live your best life! When I’m not blogging with a warm cup of coffee in hand you can usually find me on my next mommy and me adventure with my husband and little one exploring the mountains of Idaho which we call home.
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