No, you are not imagining it and you are clearly not dreaming it. Sleep regression at 4 months is a real thing. But it is also completely normal and above all temporary.
Sleep regression is the time when your baby's sleep patterns change, he wakes up often during the night, and he has a hard time getting back to sleep. And when your baby is awake, so are you.
The good news is that if your baby is experiencing sleep regression, it could mean they're going through a growth spurt or their brain is developing.
Your baby's brain is constantly evolving as they adjust to their new environment and begin to learn new skills. At this point, your baby may be busy learning how to roll over or sit up.
This learning period can be a little stressful and frustrating for your new baby, and their sleep patterns might reflect it.
The first sleep regression often occurs when your baby is around 4 months old, and others may occurin the future. Because it's the first, the 4-month sleep regression is often the most difficult for parents.
Sleep regressions typically last between two and four weeks, and while they are common, not every baby will experience sleep regression at this point.
(Video) The 4 month sleep regression: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions
If your baby slept well the night before and then suddenly doesn't, it could be sleep regression. The main sign is a sudden deterioration in sleep patterns around the age of 4 months.
Other signs of sleep regression include:
- multiple nocturnal awakenings
- less naps
- changes in appetite
The good news is that your baby is growing and learning new things. They are now more engaged with the environment around them.
Take a deep breath and remember that sleep regressions are temporary. Your baby is probably frustrated with his rapidly growing body and mind. They are now more engaged and aware of their surroundings, including you.
Before trying the following suggestions, make sure your baby isn't sick. Illness can also disrupt sleep. See your doctor if your baby has oneFeveror is much pickier than normal.
Give your baby time to practice during the day
Your baby works hard to learn new skills and may be so eager to learn that he tries to practice at night, which unfortunately can slow him down.
You may be able to reduce bedtime exercise training by giving your child uninterrupted practice time during the dayroll overorsit up.
Feed your baby fully during the day
Eating a full meal throughout the day and just before bedtime can help keep your baby from feeling hungry in the middle of the night.
At this age they are incredibly curious about the world around them and may divert their attention from a feeding before they are full. Try to eliminate distractions by feeding your baby in an environment that is less likely to pique their curiosity.
Once your baby starts sleeping through the night, try not to feed them when they start crying at night. If your baby is always fed to stop crying at night, he may be expecting that response every time he wakes up.
Introduce "sleepy but awake."
Help your baby calm down to sleep. Sit by their side and offer them physical and verbal validation as they close their eyes and drift off to dreamland.
But if your coaching doesn't help and they're still crying, you can choose to pick them up and hold them or rock them to sleep. It's okay if your baby isn't ready to learn how to put himself to sleep, as it will take time.
Keep the room dark
When you put your baby down for a nap, keep the room as dark as possible to encourage better sleep. If your baby wakes up early, the darkness will help put him back to sleep.
Also, make sure the room is full of natural sunlight in the morning when it's time to get up. Light helps the brain signal the sleep-wake cycle.
Establish a bedtime routine
At this age, babies need around 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night and a few naps during the day. Now it's time to regulate your baby's sleeping habits and naps.
If you haven't already, set a bedtime and stick to it. This can be a bath, changing, reading a bedtime story, or singing a lullaby.
You can do whatever you want as long as you agree with the approach. It's also okay to wake your baby up in the morning if he's sleeping longer than usual, as long as it's at the same time every day.
Customize your own routine
Adapt your own daily routine to your baby's nap and sleep rhythm. Mealtimes and playtime should also follow a consistent schedule. Consider your baby's schedule when planning your day.
Make it quick
If you hear your baby waking up at night, wait a few minutes before getting up to see them. If they keep crying, it's time to respond.
However, try to make this nocturnal awakening to changing and feeding as quick and quiet as possible. This means avoiding any talking or playing and keeping the lights low.
Light from mobile devices or computers can also stimulate your baby, so try to keep screens away too.
Taking a low-key, calm approach reinforces the idea that the night is for sleeping.
Pay attention to sleep signals and act quickly
Yawning, eye rubbing, frantic activity and disinterest… these are all classic signs of a sleepy baby. If you notice them, try to take your baby to a quiet place where he can rest.
Your reaction time to these signs can mean the difference between falling asleep and trying to comfort an overtired baby who is resisting sleep.
Stay with the program
Your child is going through many changes that can feel uncomfortable. In the short term, continue to use the same calming practices while your child adjusts to them.
This could mean breastfeeding her to sleep or lulling her to sleep. Even if you later have to wean them from these sleeping patterns, they will bring comfort to your baby now.
Some other soothing techniques include gently silencing your baby and giving them a pacifier to suckle.
Go with the flow
Your baby can get his Zzzs anywhere during the day: in the swing, in the car, in the stroller or in the cradle. But what works for them today may not work tomorrow, so be prepared to try different things to calm your child.
Offer extra love and affection
Lots of hugs, pats and kisses will comfort your baby and make him feel loved. It will also mean a lot to them as they grow and develop.
Reach out to family and friends
As much as your baby needs sleep, so do you. Don't be afraid to turn to loved ones to watch and play with your child while you take an hour (or two or three!) to sleep.
A sleep regression does not last forever. You can do your best, but it still might not get your baby to sleep through the night. Try to get as much sleep as possible during this time and be as consistent with your baby as possible.
It will all pay off in the end. Of course, if you have any concerns, consult a doctor.