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What is the 4 month sleep regression?

Updated: May 24, 2022

Your baby was sleeping well and managing long stretches of sleep throughout the night. Things were looking more predictable and more consistent. Then suddenly 4 months hit. Your little one has started waking up every hour, needing more support to settle, feeding more and becoming more fussy during the day.

This is the 4 month sleep regression!

Progression or regression?

Even though this stage in your baby’s life can be very difficult on a parent, something amazing is happening to your little one’s development. During this time, your baby’s sleep cycle is maturing and becoming more adult-like, and complex. They are starting to take more of their sleep in a stage where memories, physical development and cell growth all take place. It is the biggest change in sleep your little one will go through.

When does it start and how long does it last?

It can happen anytime between 3-5 months. For some parents the change goes unnoticed or will only last a few days, or for some, the changes are very obvious and can last for weeks.

What are the main signs?

Fighting sleep

Feeding more overnight

Frequent night waking

Shorter naps

How to manage it?

  • Keep wake windows to 1.5 - 2 hours

  • Watch out for your little one’s sleep cues

  • Introduce a consistent pre-sleep routine

  • Optimise your baby’s sleep environment

  • If naps are becoming difficult go with a contact nap or motion nap.

  • Comfort and reassure your baby when they need it.

The main bit of advice I can give, is to try to make sure your little one isn’t overtired for bedtime. If naps haven't been successful, then bring bedtime forward.

If you are looking for sleep support after the regression ends, use my contact form to book your free discovery call with me. I would love to help.

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