When a baby hits the age of 4 months, his routine suddenly changes and he tries to adapt to the changes. During this sleep change cycle, a baby’s behavior can change to whom we refer to as a sleep regression. But, the question here is: Is there any regression at 4 months of age? If yes, then how to cure this? Well, let’s first study this with logical facts and arguments.
4 Months Old Baby Sleep Schedule
A four months old baby sleeps for 14 hours per day including 8 hours nighttime sleep and 6 hours daily naps. This 8 hours night sleep can be straight without any feedings and disturbance. At 4 months of age, a baby is mature enough to distinguish between day and night. It helps the baby and his parents to develop a schedule for baby’s sleep. There are many other changes that occur in a baby’s life at 4 months of age, that affects his sleep most often. A baby starts interaction with the environment, play, recognize faces and many other things. Even baby’s sleep place can also be shifted in a cradle, where he or she can sleep alone.
What is Sleep Regression?
A sleep regression usually is a state where a baby starts waking up after every 45 minutes to 2 hours and keep on doing this in regular intervals. A child refuses to sleep and want to spend more time awake. The baby is already sleepy by that time, but he just fusses around and doesn’t bother to sleep anymore. This stage is very critical for a baby he wants to sleep, but at the same time resist the sleep. This can make the baby aggressive. It is possible that 1-month-old baby won’t sleep, sometimes 2 months old baby won’t sleep and sometimes 3 months too. But this issue is most common in 4 months.
Can a 4 months old baby have sleep regression
4 month old sleep regression is very common to be heard around, but do we really know is it true or just a myth? Like 4 months, the old baby is not a newborn baby anymore, without any recognition of day and night, so a 4-month baby can have sleep regression. If your baby won’t sleep at 4 months of age and 4 month sleep regression has happened to baby, is a matter to be considered. And its cure must also find out.
Right off the bat, let’s discuss its symptoms.
- Misses shorter naps.
- Starts being fussy and over irritated.
- Don’t sustain well.
- Tired and languid, yet don’t sleep.
- Wants parents around him everywhere.
- Wake up at night constantly and cry.
Why does it occur?
Since 4 months an old child has a new routine now and he is sensible enough to sense the progressions that are going through his routine, his adaptability power is not much stronger and thus he will take some time to accept the changes in his routine and sleeping pattern. To contradict the parents and his new routine he usually gets aggressive to sleep. There can be another possibility that there is no regression, but only parents think baby’s opposition to sleep as regression.
Understanding the concept of sleep regression at 4 months:
Well, let’s get started from the basic sleep cycle and differentiate that weather every opposition from a baby is sleep regression or there are some other factors too.
Change in Sleep Schedule: It is already proven that at the age of 4 months, the baby’s sleep pattern starts to change and these results in his changed attitude and demands. Sometimes, a baby needs more feed, can have a wet diaper or may need some more attention. At 4 months of age, a baby starts to learn the difference between day and night. Further, he starts to get involved in many activities. So, there is a change in his sleep schedule that makes his parents confuse and difficult to deal with. Sometimes, the baby himself doesn’t accept these changes easily and resultantly wastes most of the time. This can make the baby disturbed and anxious that seems regression. This is not regression really, but these are just the turning points in the baby’s life.
- Related: Understanding Baby Sleep Schedule 5 Months
- Related: Understanding Baby Sleep Schedule 6 Months
Wakeups during the night: When your baby starts to wake up during the night out of hunger or wet diaper, this is very common and not a regression at all. As the babies are growing up and have his own needs, so he can wake up for his sudden demand and will sleep after fulfilling his need. At 4 months of age, a baby will learn how to sleep naturally. Sometimes, a baby can just wake up to check out the environment and presence of his parents (in case he sleeps with them). These natural processes are not matters to be worried about. The real trouble is if your baby starts waking up after short naps and don’t sleep again and this waking upcycle is not part of his or her sleep schedule.
Scientific illustration of sleep at 4 month: At 4 months of age, a baby’s sleep cycle will be like an adult. He will change from an immature sleep state to mature sleep state. His sleep cycles will be REM (Rapid eye movement) where there will be light, deep and restorative sleep with brain functioning, and non-REM when there is constant deep sleep (like a newborn baby to 3 months of age). These sleep cycles take place in intervals, usually, one interval is of 40 to 60 minutes. Due to being active during sleep a baby sometimes develops sleep associations and check his environment while asleep. This active brain functioning can make the baby awake again and again during sleep and it seems like a regression. But the actual reason behind this periodic awakening cycle is baby’s association with the environment.
How to make aggressive baby sleep?
Baby’s sleep regression can be controlled, some of the tips to help baby sleep faster and get less aggressive are here. So, let’s have a glance at them.
1. Start Making Routine:
Start making a routine for the baby. Change the environment of the room to make the baby feel sleepy. There should be no lights in the room or very dim. Rock, swaddle or help the baby to sleep with his sleep association. It will be helpful to relax and sleep early.
2. Pacifier is a friend:
If your baby likes to have a pacifier, it can be very helpful. Give pacifier to the baby when he cries and soothes him at the hour of need. There is no concept of whether you like it or not, but at present, if this is baby’s requirement then just go for this.
3. Calmly Soothe the baby:
Always be patient while helping the baby to sleep in the regression phase. The baby is already over irritated and can’t withstand any limitations. He is already resisting the sleep, and aggressive behavior by the parents will disturb him even more. While handling a baby’s regression, please be kind and tolerant.
4. Feed the baby well:
As appetite of the baby increases with age, so there is a chance that he is hungry and gets hungry after shorter intervals. So, he wakes up and cries. Under this circumstance, feed the baby well before making him sleep. Moreover, gradually develop a routine for the baby’s sleep. Make the baby feed well throughout the day.
5. Tired to Sleep:
Engage the baby in multiple activities, so that he will become tired and sleep peacefully. The baby becomes fussy and aggressive because he is not tired enough to sleep and still has the courage to say NO to sleep. So, in this situation, the best method is to make the baby tired throughout the day, so he himself wants to sleep at night.
6. Adjust your own routine:
Sometimes, it is not baby, in-fact the parents themselves, who need to adjust themselves and their routine. Being a parent you should be adaptive to baby’s changing sleep patterns and thus should adjust accordingly. To develop a healthy routine for a baby, a parent needs to re-make his own routine.
7. Show more affection:
When a baby cries, show more affection to the baby. This little act of kindness and patience will make the baby have trust in his parents and communicate his actual problem well. When a parent shows a more loving attitude at the time of the baby’s regression, the baby will be more confident and get calm instantly. There is a possibility that the baby himself is going through some problem and need parent’s special care at present.
8. Control the environment:
Always make the environment night like when you want your baby to sleep. Since now the baby is mature enough to distinguish between day and night. Further, he also knows that night time is for sleep. Now being a parent it’s your duty to make him believe that it is actually night time and he needs to sleep now. This is not a simple thing to do like turn the lights off, creates silence around the baby and soothe him if he is habitual of soothing. Swing, swaddle or pacify him if he needs. Offer a dream feed if necessary. In any case, make your baby’s sleep easy.
The Case Study
Let’s think of a common scenario:
You have been a parent for the first time and you feel that parenting is not hard at all. Your baby sleeps through the day and night silently, wakes up to feed only. This cycle keeps going like this. The baby is progressing, but the attitude is all Okay. Suddenly when your baby reaches the age of 4 months, he suddenly starts to cry and oppose the sleep at night. He even won’t sleep at day time. Naps become shorter and shorter. Do you wonder if there any problem with the health of the baby? Due to being non-experienced you keep on visiting doctors. You are worried about the baby’s changing habits. Now here comes your role being a parent. There are two ways to fix the issue.
|This is what most of the parents do. Keep worrying about the baby and start losing temper and courage. Don’t start training the kid, instead keeps on fussing and let the baby fuss even more.||You start being wise and stop bothering about baby’s resistance to sleep. You patiently wait for the baby’s adjustment to his new changed patterns and keep helping your baby to develop a new schedule.|
|End Results:||End Results:|
|In this case, the baby will become more aggressive. He will not get the confidence that he needs from his parents and get over irritated.||The end results of this approach are best. In a few days, you will see your baby sleep well within his specific time. And has gain more confidence to sleep on his own.|
Key Guide for Parents
No matter sleep regression is the worst case for parents and baby is almost unable to handle, but always keep in mind that it won’t last any longer. Regression phase is a small phase in baby’s sleep and will finish after a few days. These few days don’t last longer than 7 to 8 days. So, parents! Just relax and stop frustrating about this sleep regression.
Below mentioned phrases are key to parenthood. You should only do these to get rid of baby’s sleep regression.
- Patience is key to success
- Slow and steady wins the race
Now let’s see what you must not do to have four month’s child sleep regression:
- Give up
There are the ways by which a baby’s sleep regression can be minimized as mentioned already. But if none of them works then change yourself accordingly baby’s sleep cycle. Change your needs, wants and desires per baby’s demands. Because a baby’s wellbeing will be affected this way, which would lead to another problem instead of finding a reasonable solution.