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4 Tips for Surviving the 4 Month Sleep Regression


 

First, let’s talk about what your life might look like when the 3- to 4-month sleep regression hits.

Here are 4 tips to help you survive the 4 month sleep regression:

1.  Understand why the 4 month sleep regression is happening

It’s a developmental mark.  Two words: Object Permanence.  Your child now realizes that you exist even though she can’t see you.  Where previously she would surface from a 3-hour night time sleep cycle but roll over into the next sleep cycle, now she cries out to see if you will reappear.  Be flattered, she likes you:)

2.  Keep her well rested

Sleep begets sleep.  The more well rested your baby - the easier it will be for your child to fall asleep and keep sleeping.  When the 4 month sleep regression hits, she might have more night waking, which can reduce the amount of sleep.  Do your best to keep her well rested.

3. Respond and Monitor

This is the time to respond to her cries.  Teach her that you always come when called.  The term “regression” implies that it will go away, but more than often things don’t ever completely return to the way they were.  You’ll have to endure this regression for a couple of weeks and continue responding to confirm that you appear when she calls for you.  This helps establish this new developmental leap of object permanence.

4. Have a plan for some sleep training

After a couple of weeks of responding things should be getting a little bit better.  If they aren’t, then you might want to start planning to do some sleep training. Plan ahead, don’t just decide one night you’re going to jump into sleep training without knowing what to expect or where you are going.  Sleep training involves figuring out why your baby isn’t sleeping well, establishing how much sleep she needs and when, and then choosing a sleep training technique to help her establish self soothing skills so she doesn’t need you to help her go back to sleep every 3 hours through the night.  

The 4 Month Sleep Regression is due to a developmental leap where your child wakes up to the world around her.  The first 2 weeks are the worst, and then things will calm down a bit, but they often never go back to the way they were.  

4 Months is a common time when parents start thinking about sleep training, where they teach their child to fall asleep with less help so they don’t have to go into their room every 3 hours at night to help her go back to sleep.

Wishing you all the best on this crazy parenting journey!  Sarah

 

  Hey I’m Sarah! I’m the owner of Helping Babies Sleep.  A pediatric sleep consulting company that empowers tired parents to teach their babies and toddlers to sleep by educating parents about their child’s age appropriate sleep needs and sleep training options.  I’m the creator of the online course and community Baby Sleep Training Step by Step.  I’m a Canadian girl living in Mountain View, California with my husband and kids.   Dr. Sarah Mitchell BKin DC

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