And How To Deal With It!
When I speak to parents about their little one’s sleep challenges, so many of them say that their baby slept relatively well and then it all went wrong once they hit four months.
If that’s your baby, don’t worry; hopefully, this blog will go some way into helping you navigate your way through it!
What Is The 4 Month Sleep Regression?
As a Sleep Consultant, I would say that it’s not a sleep regression but a progression, but I know that is little consolation to an exhausted parent dealing with a more wakeful baby!
The reason that sleep so often goes astray at four months is all to do with your baby’s sleep cycles changing from the newborn phase into a more adult way of sleeping.
Until your baby is four months old, they sleep in very short cycles of around 30 minutes and sleep only in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
Once they hit the four-month stage, their sleep cycles change and become longer (around 60 – 90 minutes), and they have two separate stages of sleep – both REM sleep and non REM sleep. The latter means that they now have stages where they sleep more deeply.
This transition can cause some disruption to sleep, however, which usually lasts for around 2 – 4 weeks before your baby is back to sleeping well again.
Signs of a Sleep Regression
- Your baby was sleeping well for their age and has now started waking more in the night
- Naps are being resisted and are generally shorter.
Ways to Help Your Little One Through a Sleep Regression
- First of all, don’t panic! It’s likely your baby will come out of this stage in a week or two and better sleep will be restored
- Do what you need to do to comfort your baby and get more sleep from them
- If you have a routine, try to stick to it as much as possible
- Try and read your baby’s sleep cues and make sure you’re getting them down for a sleep before they are getting overtired. This may mean you need to shorten the gaps between naps for now or bring bedtime forward
It can seem like a long time, but it won’t last forever! Try to keep your baby as rested as possible and avoid them becoming overtired, and soon it will be a distant memory.
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Caro is a Senior Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant® based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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