Mothering a child is such a joyous experience. Right from your first gaze on your baby till their present moment of giggles and cries, the process of taking care of your loved one is a happy feeling. However, now that your baby is growing, you may experience some lifestyle changes like 4-month sleep regression.
This phase occurs in different stages depending on the individual. It can start for 6 or 7 months. You’d find out that your baby wakes up at unusual hours, especially during midnight, seeking comfort and food. You may handle your baby’s disturbance at that time, but how long can you do it?
Getting through the 4-month sleep regression can be challenging if you don’t tackle it properly. In this guide, you will learn what this phase is about, its causes, and how to handle the 4-month sleep regression.
What is the 4-month sleep regression?
The 4-month sleep regression is a phase that occurs when a newborn or young child who has been falling asleep well suddenly starts waking up at night, becoming difficult to settle, and/or skipping naps.
One of the most significant sleep regressions occurs when your child is four months old, and the period can last up to a year or more.
Initially, you might have a baby who sleeps well at night, but now they’re waking up a lot more at night and catnapping more during the day.
Rather than drifting between sleep cycles as they used to when they were younger, your baby will start to wake up between sessions, causing a disturbance.
Causes of the 4-month sleep regression
At four months of age, babies are in the middle of a dramatic shift away from the sleep patterns they had as newborns. In this transition, there may be plateaus or setbacks, such as regressions in sleep. That shift is not always seamless. As a child’s brain develops, his or her sleep patterns may become more unstable.
Even pediatricians may not be able to pinpoint a specific cause for a four-month regression in sleep because there is so much about sleep biology that is still unknown.
4 month sleep regression signs
It is common for some babies to show signs of deteriorating sleep around the age of four months. The following are examples of sleep regression symptoms:
- Inability to get to sleep
- Sleepless nights are becoming more common.
- Crying or agitation in the start of the day
- The reduced total amount of time spent sleeping
It’s normal for you to worry about how long your child experiences these signs of sleep regression. Most sleep issues are temporary, lasting only a few days to a few weeks, but you can tackle this case by teaching your baby healthy sleep habits.
How to handle the 4-month sleep regression
Here are ways to help your baby sleep better at night:
1. Create a dark environment
Keep the baby’s room as dark as reasonable while taking a nap to help them get a good night’s rest. If your child wakes up too early, the darkness will entice him or her to return to sleep.
Get up early and ensure your room is filled with natural light. The body’s circadian rhythm is regulated by light.
2. Feed your baby well
Eating a full meal shortly before bed will help keep your infant from waking up in the middle of the night because of hunger.
They are extremely interested in the world around them at this age and may divert their focus away from feeding before they are satisfied. Learn to minimize distractions by feeding your baby in a place that is less likely to pique their interest. This way, your baby will focus on the food and eat to satisfaction, thereby sleeping better at night.
3. Keep your baby comfortable
A little more comfort can go a long way to improve sleep troubles during the 4-month sleep regression. If your baby hasn’t started rolling over yet, a gently weighted swaddle or sleeping sack will help your baby feel safe and secure and drift off to sleep.
As your child undergoes plenty of changes, he or she may experience discomfort. While your child gets used to the new routine, stick with your tried-and-true methods of comforting.
To put your child to sleep, you might breastfeed them or rock them to sleep. Even while you’ll have to gradually wean them away from these sleep habits in the future, they’ll keep your infant happy in the now.
Other ways to calm your infant include softly whispering to him or her and offering him or her a pacifier to suck on.
4. Attend to your baby quickly
Allow a few minutes before getting up to check on your kid if you hear them waking up in the night. It’s time to reply if they keep crying.
If you must wake your child up in the middle of the night for feedings or diaper changes, do it quietly and quickly. This necessitates a lack of conversation and dim lighting.
Keep displays off your mobile devices and PCs to avoid overstimulating your infant.
You’ll encourage the notion that evening is for sleeping if you keep things low-key and quiet.
5. Setup a sleep routine
At this age, newborns require about 10 hours of sleep every night and a few naps throughout the day for optimal development. Now is the period to begin managing your baby’s sleep and nap schedules.
Establish a nighttime regimen and commit to it if you haven’t previously. You can include a bath, a change of clothing, a story, or a lullaby in this routine.
You can do whatever you want if you stick to the same strategy. The same rule applies when it comes to waking your infant in the morning if he or she is sleeping longer than normal.
6. Provide assurance
Assist your infant in winding down for sleep on his or her own. Take a seat next to them and give physical and verbal support when they shut their eyes for sleep.
If you’ve tried everything and they’re still crying, you may want to take them up and rock or hold them to sleep till they fall asleep on their own if that’s what works. Even if your infant isn’t ready to learn to go asleep on their own just yet, it will come with time and practice.
Final words on getting through the 4-month sleep regression
Do not allow your baby to suffer through the 4-month sleep regression. There are practices to employ to help them sleep better, disturb less, and live healthier. This guide has explained everything you need on getting through the 4-month sleep regression.