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  • Taylor Scott-Wood

Surviving the 4-Month Sleep Regression: A Guide for Exhausted Parents

Let's talk about something that might have you pulling your hair out – the dreaded 4-month sleep regression! Let me start by saying, I’ve been there! Your once peaceful sleeper is now waking up every hour? Yeah, it's rough, but don’t worry, we've got your back with some tips and tricks to survive this sleep rollercoaster and come out on top.  

What is the 4-Month Sleep Regression?

So, picture this – your baby has been sleeping like a champ, giving you those long chunks of sleep. Life's good, right? Well, not for long. Suddenly, around the 4-month mark, your little angel decides to throw you a curveball and starts waking up all night long. Cue the parental panic mode!

Why is My Baby Torturing Me Like This?

The 4-month sleep regression is actually a sign of growth and development in your little bundle of joy. This sleep regression is sometimes one of the hardest, because it’s the first of a series of regressions, and can totally throw parents off-guard. You can feel like all of your work to get your baby to sleep has been in vain, and that with disruptions in sleep coming back, like you may never sleep a full night again!

No longer that snoozing angel who could sleep through anything, your baby becomes more aware of the world around them – welcome to the land of "baby sleep." This period is commonly known as the 4-month sleep regression, but don't let the name scare you. It's more about your baby adopting sleep habits similar to adults: taking more time to doze off, stirring during the night, and even waking up and falling back asleep.

During this regression, your baby is also experiencing something called "object permanence." They've realized that when you put them down for sleep and leave the room, you still exist, even if they can't see you. As adorable as this sounds, some babies aren't thrilled about it, which can lead to some sleep disruptions.

Oh, and there's more! Your little one might be busy mastering new physical skills, like rolling over from tummy to back, and these exciting milestones can both disturb and distract them from drifting off to sleep. So, it's no wonder this phase can be a bit challenging for both baby and parents.

But hey, fear not! This transition is a completely normal part of your baby's growth and development. So, while they adjust to their newfound awareness and abilities, just give them some extra cuddles and patience. Before you know it, they'll settle into their new sleep routine, and you'll all be snoozing like pros again! Remember, you've got this, super parents!

7 Tips to Tackle the Regression Like a Pro:

  • Be Patient, This Too Shall Pass: Remember, it's just a phase, and like all things baby-related, it won't last forever. Stay calm and take deep breaths – you've got this!

  • Establish a Bedtime Routine: If you haven't already, now's the time to create a bedtime routine that signals to your baby it's time to wind down. Bath, book, and cuddles – whatever floats their boat. (checkout my other post on how to create the perfect bedtime routine)

  • White Noise to the Rescue: Hello, white noise machine! This little wonder can be a lifesaver during this regression madness. Its soothing sound can help your baby drift back to sleep even after those frequent wake-ups and can reduce the risk of them being woken up by loud noises.

  • Stay Consistent: Stick to your baby's usual sleep schedule as much as possible. Consistency is key, even when you feel like giving in to the baby's crazy sleep demands.

  • Daytime Sleep Matters Too: Make sure your little one gets enough naps during the day. Overtired babies tend to sleep worse at night, so make sure your little one is getting the right amount of sleep.

  • Take Shifts: Teamwork makes the dream work! If possible, take turns with your partner during the night. This way, you both get a chance to get some sleep and avoid feeling like zombies during the day.

  • Ask for Help: Don't be shy to reach out for support from friends or family. Sometimes a helping hand or a listening ear can make all the difference.

In Conclusion: You've Got This!

As tough as the 4-month sleep regression may be, remember that it's a natural part of your baby's development. Be patient, stay consistent, and keep those cuddles coming. Before you know it, your little one will settle back into their sleep routine, and you'll all be well-rested and ready to conquer the day together. Hang in there, super parents – you're doing an amazing job!


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