4 Month Sleep Regression.

What is the 4 month sleep regression?
This regression is different to the 8 month, 18month & 24 month ones. This regression is purely about
sleep development. The changes that happen during this phase are permanent and are linked to their circadian rhythm developing.
You are most likely finding that your little one is waking up more frequently at night (every 45mins –
2hourly) and naps may have become much more disorganised or shorter.

Why is it happening?
Up until this point your baby has only had one state of sleep and that is the deep sleep. At 4 months old, their sleep is transitioning and they start to sleep in cycles in the same way as adults do.
The light sleep phase of these cycles is all new to them and more often than not they will struggle to get back to sleep without some help.
We all wake at the end of a sleep cycle but because we have the skill to self settle back to sleep we often don’t notice. Until your little one has the self settle skill they will struggle to settle themselves back to

How can you help them?
At 4 months I do not suggest you start sleep training. The best thing you can do at this point is to carry on responding to your little one as you are already, this can be feeding or cuddling to sleep. Just keep doing this for now but stay consistent in your response. All these sleep crutches can be worked on at a later stage if you wish to make changes.
It is important at this point that you support your baby through this phase and help them get as much sleep as possible while trying to do the same for yourself.
If daytime naps are becoming a struggle then do not be afraid to use motion to help. A good pram nap can do us all the world of good. For this age you need to be aiming for 3 hours of daytime sleep. Try to stick to their wakeful windows, while the sleep is so disrupted I would try to stick to the lower end as much as possible. An earlier bedtime is always a good idea when little one is overtired.

Once it passes.
Once things have settled down again you may want to start thinking about sleep training. It is an ideal time to take a look at sleep crutches and to start weaning baby off of these. Focus on putting baby down to sleep drowsy but awake. It is all about teaching them the essential life skill of the self settle. If they are unable to self settle they will not be getting that deep good quality sleep that is so vital for their

If you would like to explore how I support families with their little ones sleep then please do not hesiate to get in touch.

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