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What is the 4-month Sleep Regression

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Parenthood is a joyous journey filled with precious moments. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when it comes to sleep. Just as you were beginning to establish a sleep routine with your little one, the infamous 4-month sleep regression strikes, leaving you feeling exhausted and bewildered. Fear not, weary parents, for in this blog, we will delve into the mysteries of the 4-month sleep regression and equip you with practical strategies to sail through this tumultuous phase.

Understanding the 4-Month Sleep Regression: 

Around the 4-month mark, many babies experience a significant shift in their sleep patterns. This period, known as the 4-month sleep regression, is a natural and normal part of your child’s development. During this phase, your baby’s sleep cycles change, becoming more like those of adults. As a result, they may experience more awakenings at night and have difficulties settling back to sleep. This can be the case if they have been helped to sleep by having a dummy, being held by a parent, or feeding to sleep. Imagine if you woke up somewhere different to where you fell asleep? You were in your warm cosy bed, next to your partner and suddenly you wake up on the kitchen floor feeling very disorientated. This is how a baby feels if they wake somewhere different to where they fell asleep i.e. in your arms being fed or rocked for example.

The Signs:

Increased night time wake-ups: Your baby may wake up more frequently during the night, even if they were previously sleeping longer stretches.

Restlessness: You may notice your little one tossing and turning more often during sleep, appearing more restless overall.

Shortened naps: Daytime naps may become shorter and more irregular, leading to a cranky and overtired baby.

Strategies to help:

Stick to a Consistent Routine: Establishing a soothing bedtime routine can work wonders during this challenging period. Consistency helps signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate calming activities such as a warm bath, gentle massage, or a bedtime story into your routine.

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is comfortable, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains or a white noise machines.

Encourage Independent Sleep Skills: Practice putting your little one down in the cot for their nap, or bedtime, awake and staying with them using your voice to reassure them if they get upset, rather than helping them to sleep each time.

Adjust Daytime Sleep: Focus on ensuring that your baby gets enough daytime sleep to prevent overtiredness. Four month olds can generally only manage approximately 2 hours of awake time between their naps.

Take Care of Yourself: Remember that your well-being matters too. While it may be tempting to sacrifice your own sleep to tend to your baby, prioritise self-care. Rest when you can, delegate tasks, and ask for help when needed. Remember, a well-rested parent is better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting.

The 4-month sleep regression can be a trying time for both you and your baby. By understanding the changes taking place, implementing consistent routines, and providing a supportive sleep environment, you can help your little one navigate this regression more smoothly. Remember, be patient with yourself and your baby. With time, patience, and a few adjustments, you should emerge on the other side with a well-rested and thriving family.

Remember that you are not alone in this journey. If you are struggling with the 4 month regression and need support, please get in touch I would love to help.

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