The dreaded 4 month sleep regression. You have heard about it, researched it, and counted down the days till it arrives. Your baby is sleeping great and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere your precious little angel becomes something nightmares are made of. We are currently in the throws of it so I can’t claim I’m an expert but even if you can’t take some helpful tips away from this at least you know your not alone (solidarity sister!).
So what is the 4 month sleep regression and why the hell does it happen? I asked Avery’s pediatrician this exact same question when I dragged my mombie ass in for our 4 month appointment and practically begged her for a baby sized sedative. She explained it as babies beginning to have sleep cycles like adults do. Do you remember all those times you wake up in the middle of the night when your body goes into light sleep? No, neither do I. That’s because adults can put themselves back to sleep while tiny humans are unable to do this. This wakes them up and they seek out ways to help them fall back asleep.
Avery had been doing so well. Sleeping from 8 pm to about 3 am. She would wake, I would feed her and she would go back down until i would have to wake her up on workdays or till about 7 am on non workdays. The first night of the regression I thought “this isn’t so bad. We can do this” and fed her as needed. The next night we went through the same thing. By the third night my boobs were sore and I was pleading to some celestial being for the baby to sleep longer then 2 hours. So what have I learned from this regression?
How to Survive the 4 Month Sleep Regression
We continually strive to maintain Avery’s bedtime. If she is in bed near the same time every night, bed time goes much smoother. If we miss that window Avery becomes absolutely unglued and getting her to sleep is a struggle. Same goes for if she falls asleep away from the house while we are out at her bedtime and then we have to transition her to her crib. I’m not saying don’t go out and have fun. Just remember that bedtime may be a struggle afterwards.
The pediatrician told me not to feed the baby in the middle of the night. She really does not need to eat every 2 hours all night long especially if she is eating well during the day. Feeding her will only encourage her needing to nurse in order to go back to sleep. Obviously if nothing else works and you feel the baby is starving go ahead and feed them. You know your baby better than I do.
Shush/Pat is a thing
Another tip from the pediatrician is to try and calm the baby without picking her up. So this works about 50% of the time for us. I can calm her with a pacifier and a pat on the butt while aggressively shushing. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s worth a try before you pick the baby up to comfort them. Now I’m not a fan of full on CIO methods (it’s just not for me) but a little crying and whining while they settle themselves back down won’t cause lifelong detrimental effects on your child.
Hang in there
The sleep regression does not last forever and it will get better. Some nights it feels like it won’t end and you’re only hanging on by a very thin thread but I assure you it will. We are starting to move past it and Avery is waking up much less than when this all started. We are still working on nap times and getting good naps in again but at least the night time sleep is getting better. Remember your wonderful birth story if all else fails to remind you that this will not always happen Read Avery’s birth story HERE.
Caffeine is your friend
If all else fails, there is always coffee! That and wine. I’ve been surviving the mornings on coffee and the evenings with a glass of wine or a beer, I’m not too picky. And there are some nights where I just crash right out when the baby finally does. It’s survival mode and coffee has helped me greatly get through the day when Avery was up every 2 hours the night before.
What has helped you get through the 4 month sleep regression? Even better what tips do you have for the next one?
Kristin Chassey says
These are great tips! Thank you for sharing!
Crystal Russell says
you can do it… it doesn’t last forever.
Jenn Pohlman says
Consistency is key! And I also agree – not a CIO fan myself, but there’s a difference I feel between the whining of trying to fall back asleep and the full on crying because we aren’t there. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips and just be reassuring that we aren’t alone in this!
Very helpful information for new moms! I don’t remember going through this with my second, she’s currently eight months old. Maybe she did and I just chalked it up to teething. But we just let them cry it out and that works pretty well for us. The minute you hold them they want you all night, and that is bad news bears!
Beautiful write up
I definitely agree with consistency! My daughter is currently going through the 18 month sleep regression, and its been the worst. Nothing is helping at this point. I’m going to try some of these 4 month regression tips on her!
Kristy Bullard says
These are tough times, but you can do it! Listen to your doctor and buy 100 pacifiers. They both kept me sane!
I definitely agree with a lot of these, great tips! Thank you for sharing xx
Maartje van Sandwijk says
Also, you’re baby is gorgeous!
Monidipa Dutta says
This is a very beautiful write up. You kid looks such a cutie… I am not a mother yet and not planning for some years at least so I find it hard to relate. Very helpful post for other though.
coffee! plus thinking i have to cherish the moments because they will only be this small for a short period of time. 🙂
These are great tips, thank you for sharing–– new parents everywhere are THANKING you.
What a great and informative post. this can be a big help especially for moms.
The 4 month sleep regression is the worst! Just when you finally start getting some sleep, it’s violently ripped from you! Great tips to survive!
Catherine Santiago Jose says
Those are really great and helpful tips that need to know by all first time moms. As a mother of two, I also experienced this struggles and now I am happy that I am done with that stage.
Kristine Nicole Alessandra says
I do struggle a lot with my first baby and it’s really make me crazy and I thank God with the love and support that I received from my family but in times of sleepless night coffee really helps me a lot to stay up.
Karissa Martinez says
You’re baby is so precious and adorable! Great tips, definitely helpful for all the new moms out there
Such an adorable baby and I can see why you created this post for sure. I totally can relate.
Ana Ojha says
I don’t have kids but can totally relate your experience with my sister-in-law. Initial years are tough but they grow so fast!
Geraline Batarra says
Such a great tips and I am sure it will be a great help to all first time parents out there.
I have a friend who recently delivered. I will share this with her. Thanks for the tips.
Tiffany Yong says
My sister-in-law is going to have a baby soon and she’s going to be living in the same house as I do. So I’m definitely going to be experiencing some of the mummy’s woe in advance. Thanks for the heads-up!
Peps Goh says
My sister is due in 2 months and I’m going to be an uncle again! Woohoo~ I am supposed to help with taking care of the baby, so reading this will definitely help prepare me for what’s to come!