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What Is The 4 Month Regression And 5 Tips Help You Through It

The 4 month sleep regression is caused by your little one moving away from newborn the newborn phase and developing adult-like sleep patterns. Your baby’s sleep cycle is now 2-4 hourly. When they finish a sleep cycle they will fall out of deep sleep and either arouse looking for help to re-enter a new cycle (if that’s what they’re used to) or they will move into a new cycle easily (if they feel safe and confident to do so).

Just like you have learnt to collect money when passing ‘GO’ in Monopoly, you as an adult have also learnt to fall back asleep when moving through sleep cycles at night. Yes- you actually wake throughout the night just like your baby, you are just a professional self-settler (unless you have insomnia, sadly I can’t help you there). Imaging teaching a 5-year-old how to play Monopoly. You are going to have to teach them by playing the game numerous times. Some days you’ll notice they remember every rule, other times you will feel like packing up the game and moving on. How quickly your child understands self settling, just like Monopoly, will depend on temperament, teacher’s consistency and amount of practice.

Always remember, its really hard to learn a new skill when you are exhausted. For 4-6 month old-cat-nappers, it is probably best to work on settling for start of naps and overnight, whilst helping them extend naps anyway you can. This will give you the best shot of perfecting nights and the initial settle. Settling an overtired baby is difficult. They feel tired but wired.

From 4 months you can feel confident that your baby does not require food more frequently than 4 hourly overnight. If you wish to feed more frequently than this that is absolutely fine, but if you are reading this, it is likely that you are looking for longer stretches of sleep. If your baby has started waking more frequently see the next slide for my top 5 tips.

1. Check awake windows are age appropriate (2 hours at 4 months)

2. Ensure the last nap of the day is the shortest

3. A short final nap will mean the awake window before bed will also be short (1.25-1.5 hours)

4. Teach baby to self-settle at the start of the night as a first step

5. If you would like to reduce feeds, switch feeding for patting and attempt some pick up put down. 1 feed overnight is definitely achievable for 4 months + (if weight gain is tracking well)

The frequent waking wont just go away. You'll need to work on naps, self-settling and appropriate bedtime, to see positive changes to sleep.

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