Is 4 Month Baby Sleep Regression A Real Thing?

4 Month Baby Sleep Regression
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Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by

When a baby is only a few weeks old, they tend to sleep for a more extended period at night and may fall into a predictable nap routine during the day. Your baby’s sleep patterns can change rapidly, and all of a sudden, they are waking up at night and fussing like newly born.

Though it does not happen to all babies, sleep regression is a real thing that happens to most babies at 4 months. It can leave you exhausted and drained as a parent or a caregiver.

What Is Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression is a stretch of days or weeks where your baby suddenly does not sleep or nap the way they used to. Your baby will start to wake up more often throughout the night, and during the day, they will have a more challenging time napping. If your baby keeps on waking up during the night, you have to wake up too. This can test your patience and frustrate you.

Sleep regressions are normal and temporally. The timing and nature of baby sleep regression also vary for every baby. Some babies will not experience any detectable sleep regression, while others will have difficulty sleeping at 3-4 months or later on.

What Causes 4-Month Sleep Regression?

While sleep regression is nothing to celebrate about, it’s just a good indicator that your baby is going through a growth spurt and their brain is developing. At 16 weeks, your baby’s brain is constantly evolving, and the significant developmental milestone affects your baby’s sleep patterns.

At this age, the baby starts to learn new skills which might be hard to master. This leaves the baby restless and stressed, making them prone to waking up more often than usual and finding it hard to fall asleep.

Sleep regression at this stage happens because your baby is trying to master rolling or flipping over. That eagerness to hit this milestone makes your baby wake up frequently at night and have a hard time sleeping during the day.

Also, at four months, your baby is becoming more aware of their surroundings. All these fascinating things to see and play with excites the baby, and they will hardly fall asleep.

Signs That Your Baby Is Experiencing The 4-Month Sleep Regression

Multiple Night Waking

When you notice that your baby is waking up more often than usual at night, they may be experiencing sleep regression. This is especially if there is no significant reason for them to wake up like illness.

Less Napping

If your baby is used to take several naps during the day and now, they are napping less, that could be another sign. You might also notice that they are struggling to sleep during the day, and they try to stay awake or sleep very lightly.

Practicing New Skill

If you catch your baby trying to flip over or roll over during the day, they might practice their new skill, which is another sign of 4-month sleep regression.

Baby is Becoming More Aware of Their Surrounding

You might notice that your baby is finding it harder to fall asleep in other areas, unlike in the place they are used to, like the crib. This shows that the baby is becoming more aware of their surroundings.

Other signs may include a change in appetite and increased crying and fussiness upon wakening.

How Long Does The 4 Month Sleep Regression Last?

Sleep regression affects babies differently, and some may take longer to get back to their regular sleep habits. The good thing is that it does end and can last for about two weeks or less.

How To Manage The 4 Month Sleep Regression?

Create A Consistent Bedtime Routine

You should develop bedtime routines and stick to it. This will help you regulate your baby’s sleep patterns and naps. This should include the time you feed, bathe them, sing lullaby whatever routine you choose, stick to it and be consistent. 

Don’t Rely On Feedings

If your baby eats once or twice at night, stick to that. Don’t feed them every time they wake up at night if they are waking up frequently. Try to soothe the baby to sleep without the breast or bottle. Feeding them regularly will create a habit for the baby to expect extra nighttime snacks even when the sleep regression is gone. Feeding the baby to make them stop crying at night will make them expect this response every time they wake up. Try to feed the baby fully during the day.

Put The Baby To Bed While Drowsy But Awake

Help your baby to fall asleep in the bed rather than allowing them to fall asleep somewhere else and then putting them to bed. This will help them associate the bed with sleep, especially now that they are becoming more aware of their surroundings, and it will get them accustomed to falling asleep in the bed on their own.

Create A Good Sleeping Environment

Make sure that the room your baby is sleeping in is dark, quiet, and calm. Such a favorable sleeping environment will encourage the baby to fall asleep once they wake up at night.

A 4-month sleep regression is a real thing and can be tough for both the baby and the parent. The good thing is that it is temporary and does not last for long. If you are experiencing it, some of these tips will help you go through this stage seamlessly.