“He slept so great up until around 4 months. It’s worse than when he was a newborn.” This is a very universal story whenever I talk to sleep deprived parents. “It’s like a switch went off and she doesn’t sleep anymore. It started around 4 months and I just don’t know what to do about it.” What is the 4 month regression? Each baby is different , but usually somewhere around 3-5 months our babies stop sleeping like, well, babies and move into a more adult sleep. The Science Behind it As adults we have 3 stages of sleep, but infants only have 2. Sometime around the 4 month mark is when babies transition from their normal 2 stages of sleep into the 3 stages of sleep and arouse more fully more often through the night. This causes more frequent wakings all night long. We as adults wake up fully, check our surroundings, and fall back asleep. We’ve grown so accustomed to it, that we don’t even notice it anymore. This is a new development to a baby and they have to figure out how to fall back to sleep after each of these wakings. If baby is rocked, fed, or held to sleep and then wake up in their crib, they’re going to be confused and scared. Can you really blame them? Just imagine if you fell asleep in your bed and woke up on your front lawn. How would you be feeling? I for one, know that I would be alarmed! So, your child will call out for you. What does every mom assume when their baby calls out in the night? Well, they must be hungry. So, you go in and try to feed baby and they get the comfort they need and fall back to sleep. Then the cycle will continue and your baby will wake in 1-2 hours, after the next sleep cycle and you’ll go in to help put him back to sleep. So, feeding your baby all through the night will make them eat less during the day and then they will end up waking through the night due to hunger. Since they aren’t getting their daily intake during the day. Things to combat the regression
Recognize the change in sleep cycles. Somewhere around 3-5 months, and be understanding that there is a lot going on that is new for your little one.
Lay baby down awake (easier said than done). However, it is a lot easier for baby to resettle himself once he wakes throughout the night if that is the same way he fell asleep.
Give your baby a moment to see if he will resettle himself upon waking after each sleep cycle. You don’t need to rush in right away and disrupt him putting himself back to sleep. If you’re not sure how to do this book a call to hear how we can help you get there. www.sleepyheadzzzconsulting.com
Join us for our 4 month regression workshop on Saturday May 23rd at 1pm ET and learn how to help your baby through this big new development. sign up here:https://form.jotform.com/201403711405035