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The 4 Month Sleep Regression SUCKS!

Ah, It's The 4 Month Sleep Regression. What Is The 4 Month Sleep Regression And Better Yet, What Can You Do To Get Through A Sleep Regression! Click To Learn A Ton Of Tips To Save Your Sanity With Baby Sleep! | Baby Short Naps | Baby Not Sleeping | #babysleep #sleep #baby

It must be a baby sleep regression.  It is probably keeping you up at night.  You may be googling and wondering what happened – “4 month sleep regression” “baby isn’t sleeping anymore”, any and every keyword combination to figure out what it is…

You were the lucky one. The one who could tote around your newborn baby with ease.  Your baby didn’t have that fussy spell that your friends talked about. Sure you had a night feed or two, but that’s OK.  It’s a NEWBORN baby.

Now you don’t feel so lucky…

Your baby is getting up a lot.  Every 2 hours, sometimes every hour.  And, what’s up, with the fussiness and crankiness and fighting his naps!?

Oh No, it must be a sleep regression?! The 4 Month Sleep Regression SUCKS!

What is a sleep regression?

A sleep regression is a result of changes that are occurring in your baby.  Your baby is developing and so many biological changes occur in their little brain – such as making connections with the world… and you… Those social smiles mean that your baby is connecting…connecting with you and wanting to be with you. Not to mention, not wanting to sleep so well.


Sleep Becomes More Adult-Like:  As a newborn, your baby goes into a deep sleep almost immediately.  Now, your baby goes through various stages before hitting that deep sleep mark (drowsy, light sleep, and finally a deep sleep).

You may be familiar with this if you are rocking or feeding your baby to sleep and it now takes FOREVER (about 20 minutes) to be able to put your baby down finally. If you do it too early you get an immediate wake-up and you have to start ALL OVER!

Cognitive Abilities Are Changing:  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby will start to understand the ability of cause and effect.  She’ll understand that she can rattle her crib by moving her feet.  She was make noises from keys if she shakes them.  She’s starting to understand the world around her and wants to explore.

Transferring from between sleep cycles isn’t as easy:  Breaking news, this whole baby soothing-to-sleep thing is actually a skill and it’s not always an easy one to master.

Your baby now has to practice going in and out of sleep cycles, which typically end around the 35-45 minute mark.

Until the soothing skill is mastered, you may see some short naps which end after one sleep cycle.  And if your baby is overtired, that nap can be even shorter (less than 30 minutes). Bummer.

Short Naps Aren’t Going to Cut It: Your job with a newborn is to keep your baby well-rested and do what you need to do to get your baby sleeping.

A newborn baby’s sleep patterns are very erratic resulting in a combination of short and long naps.

Now that your baby is right around the 4-month mark, you may start to see that short nap after short nap may be a sure-fire recipe for an overtired baby!

Download your free 4 Month Sleep Regression Survival Guide

Your Baby is Aware of You: You know those smiles that melt your heart?  They mean something!  Your child is aware.  She can look for you and sense your presence.  Your baby wants to be with you and can sense when you aren’t there.

If you were a baby wouldn’t you want to be on your mom’s boob or in your dad’s arm?  That’s all they know, you can’t blame them.

Let’s do the 4-3:  As day sleep consolidates, the transition occurs from 4 naps to 3, right around the (3 – 5-month mark).

Like other nap transitions, you may see changes in your baby’s wake up time or bedtime.

Many parents forget that an earlier bedtime is the best way to get through the transition. So it’s possible that too late of a bedtime doesn’t work for your baby.

Is the 4 Month Sleep Regression A Myth?

You keep hearing about this huge regression and it’s making you wonder if you will ever have a baby that sleeps again.  While I think there are many myths that parents buy into to get a little bit extra of shut-eye.  A sleep regression isn’t so much a myth but rather due to changes and development that makes you look a little closer at sleep to get things on track.

The 4 Month sleep regression has a good ring to it so it’s easy to finger point at bad sleep habits.

I’m telling you now, that if you are ready to focus on sleep habits – you could have some wins by focusing on sleep environment and nap timing. Still, eventually, your baby needs to have independent sleep skills to get all variables in place.

When Does The 4 Month Sleep Regression End?

So now that you’re experiencing the 4-month sleep regression, and things go blissfully back to normal in a few days or a week, consider yourself lucky.  You are out of the proverbial sleep woods.  

Your baby can get back to being a decent sleeper and all is good in the world. But, what if you aren’t the lucky one?  

What if the regression is longer?

After 2 weeks if you are still battling on getting your baby to sleep and short naps and multiple night wakings are not your friends.  

Well then… Maybe the sleep regression that you are experiencing is a friendly reminder to focus on healthy sleep habits?!

4 Month Sleep Regression Tip and Solutions! 

  • Focus on an environment conducive to sleep: Now is a great time to get your baby sleeping in his crib.  If for the last 4 months the crib has been nothing more than an oh-so-beautiful, expensive decoration now is the time to start using it.  I know you’ll miss the car naps, but sleeping on the go is not working anymore.  Hunker down and get your baby sleeping in the crib.  The crib will provide the safest sleep environment and provide your baby a cozy place to call home.
  • For a slow and steady approach to get your baby sleeping in the crib, work on one quality nap a day in their crib (typically the first nap of the day is easiest) and bring the remaining naps to the crib over time.
  • Make your baby’s room super dark – I’m talking cave dark. The darker the better, especially if your baby is taking short naps.  I am in love with this blackout shade covering to keep the dark away (while offering some nice heating and cooling qualities – win, win)!   DIY remedies such as taping poster board or tin foil to the windows will work as well, albeit not as pretty.  If you would like to shell out the
  • cash, a combination of blackout shades and drapes help the light stay out (Click the link below to learn more about Blackout EZ shades)

Installing Blackout Shades is Easy With Blackout EZ

  • Don’t forget to plug in your white noise machine to offer a comforting “womb-like” background noise.
  • Don’t rush to ditch the swaddle: Continue with the swaddle if your baby is not yet rolling and still shows that he has a strong moro reflex (twitchiness of his arm that typically wakes him up).   When you are ready to ditch the swaddle you can transition into a sleep sack.   I’m also a  huge fan of the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit if your baby still needs that cozy (look like an astronaut) feel.
  • Focus on an earlier bedtime: As sleep consolidates (especially as you go through the 4 to 3 nap transition), your baby’s bedtime will naturally move earlier, and is extremely important to keep your baby well-rested.  On average a baby’s bedtime is between 6 and 8 pm but don’t be scared to move your baby’s bedtime earlier on days when naps are less than stellar or that the 3rd nap is missed.  Most babies go to bed between 6 and 8 pm.
  • Keep those wake periods short!  Still, at 4 months your baby can’t handle too much awake time before becoming overtired.  Focus on making sure that your baby is not up for longer than 2 hours but the right number for your baby may even between 1-1.75 hours.
  • E.A.S.Y routine: It’s always a great idea to move the feeding away from sleeping to help focus on independent sleep skills. In Secrets of a Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg explains that EASY means EAT, ACTIVITY, SLEEP, and YOU time.  Pretty self-explanatory, but the eating happens after the nap vs. right before it.  This guidance helps disassociate sleep and eating, which is a helpful skill when it comes to overnight sleep.  (Also, the you time of the EASY routine is heavenly).
    The EASY Routine (east, activity, sleep, you) time explained in 4 easy steps.
  • Night Feeds, No Problem!? Sleeping through the night starts to happen when your baby learns the golden rule of amazing sleep, focusing on 1) soothing skills 2) age-appropriate nap times, and 3) bedtimes at the right time.  Until then, it’s not uncommon for your baby to continue to need a feed or two during the middle of the night. If your baby gets a stretch of 5 hours and another between 3 to 4 hours, you are a rockstar – if your baby is getting up every two hours in the middle of the night, there most likely is more going on.
  • Night Diapers: Some babies don’t like sitting in a wet diaper, but the constant night diaper changes are actually doing more harm than good for many babies.  Huggies and Pampers create diapers starting at size 3 (which starts at 16 lbs.) HERE ARE PLENTY OF NIGHT DIAPERS TO CHECK OUT (click the link).  I’m also a huge fan of the Target brand for diapers.  It’s worth the try!
  • Put Down Drowsy But Awake:  As stated above, this baby sleep thing isn’t always so easy, but the foundation to having your baby learn amazing sleep habits is focusing on falling asleep independently by putting your baby down drowsy but awake.  Since self-soothing is a learned skill for some babies, you have to allow your baby the opportunity to fall asleep independently by choosing a sleep training method that works best for you and your family philosophy (—>this epic sleep training article can give you way more info).  Having a support system (like me) can be really helpful, especially since there is so much contradicting information on the internet.  YOU have to be ready to make a change when you are helping your baby learn healthy sleep skills.  If you aren’t ready, you’re not ready, and you can both wait until you are.

3 Sleep Tips To Combat The 4 Month Sleep Regression

Let’s make things actionable so you can set your baby’s sleep on the right path:

Tip 1:   Set Your Baby Up For Success:  Focus on keeping your baby well-rested (easier said than done!), but sleep is so much harder when your baby has to try to fall asleep in an overtired state.  Try keeping your baby up for a maximum of 1.5 -2 hours between naps.  There is a magical time when your baby won’t fight sleep – you have to find what it is.

Tip 2: Focus On The Numbers:  Your 4-Month-Old is capable of sleeping on average 15.5 hours of sleep (including both naps and night sleep).  How much total sleep is your baby getting?  Are you close?  If not, try another nap throughout the day or bring bedtime earlier.

sleep needs by age | how much sleep does your baby need | #babysleep #toddlersleep #sleep


Tip 3:  Are there any independent skills?  Your baby will need to fall asleep and stay asleep by learning the skills to do so.  First, you need to assess what’s standing in the way of your baby falling asleep.  So let me ask, what’s standing in the way of your baby falling asleep???  The things standing in the way are called sleep associations and include:

  • bouncing
  • rocking
  • feeding

So instead of feeding your baby to sleep – try rocking your baby to sleep.  If you are rocking your baby to sleep, try standing over the crib and stroke your baby’s face to fall asleep.  You see, once you’re able to lessen a sleep association to fall asleep – independent skills will emerge!

Tip 4:  Practice, Practice, Practice:  If you feel overwhelmed with all of the tips in this article.  STOP.  Take a deep breath.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t worry if your child’s sleep isn’t perfect today.  When I sleep trained my daughter at 4-months, I knew it was time.  She was miserable, and so were we.  We were ready.  I knew my daughter needed to learn independent skills, and I would give her the skills to do so.  If you’re not ready – that’s OK too.  Just keep practicing.  Could you not rush to grab her at every peep? Things will improve if you keep practicing.

Will You Survive The 4 Month Sleep Regression?

It’s real, and the 4-month sleep regression may be the reason that your baby is not sleeping well.  But, remember, the regression is a friendly reminder to instill healthy sleep habits for your little one. 

Now is a great time to start focusing on teaching your baby self-soothing skills – since that’s the important skill to make sure that your baby becomes a great sleeper.  And, once you get over this little hurdle successfully, there are many sleep bumps in the road to get ready for.  

Did you know there is another sleep regression around 9, 11, and 18 months?  So even when you get past this sleep regression, you have other things to forward to (Hey there, 8-10 Month Sleep Regression!).  And to think, we didn’t even talk about the havoc caused by teething!

Tell us your experience.  Did your baby have a 4-month sleep regression? Did it go away on its own?  Did you have to make some changes to make your baby become a rock star sleeper?

YOUR TURN:  DOWNLOAD your free 4 months sleep regression survival guide below or reach out to me for a 1:1 consultation (I can help!)

Download your free 4 Month Sleep Regression Survival Guide

Susie Parker

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. My baby is almost 6 months and (though never an EASY sleeper, by any means) has been in a terrible regression for a month and a half now. I swear, we’ve tried it all and nothing is improving. Her father and I are so sleep deprived that I cry almost every morning, upon waking.

    We put her down at 8 and she wakes Consistently AT LEAST five times a night.

    We have followed every rule:
    – We put her down at the first sign of tiredness, if not before.
    – We put her down drowsy but awake
    – She has three solid naps a day, between 1.5 and 2 hours. (Though she now sometimes wakes in the middle andist cry back to sleep)
    – We whisper and Stay calm.
    – We give her time to fuss a little before intervening so she can learn to settle.
    – We have moved her to her crib.
    – We dim the lights and turn on her noise machine.
    – We have her in a transition swaddle bag.
    – We rock her until calm and put her back down (sometimes over 10 times and she ends up so upset she hyperventilates herself to sleep).
    – We check her diaper and keep the temperature ideal so she is comfortable at each waking.

    We are at the end of our rope and are severely tired. Every article I’ve read states that regressions last a few weeks. It’s been over a month and a half.

    What on earth can we do?!?

    – Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah! Wow, sounds like you are really sleep deprived. Sounds like you have a good napper which is good. I would try and play with the overall schedule and find ways to get things a little bit easier. Just try one thing. Cap the third nap to 30 minutes and aim for a much earlier bedtime. Keep doing what you are doing otherwise by letting her sleep by herself. I can’t promise that it’s a magic bullet but worth a try. With a formal sleep plan, I know that I could set you on track in case that alone doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s playing multiple factors to get everything working!

    1. So my 17 week old generally has slept well through the night but is the 45 minutes napper during the day. He eats every 3.5-4 hours. He can soothe himself to sleep but like clockwork, for every nap, wakes up at the 45/47 minutes mark (as short as 30 minutes sometimes). In order to ensure he gets sleep, we end up going in after 15-20 minutes to hold him for the rest of the nap, :/. Usually for an hour or more. Have troubleshooted most things, but can’t find another way to get baby enough sleep

  2. AWESOME post! Thank you so much for the wonderful information!! I have a 4 month old and this totally caught my eye on Pinterest because I was thinking that exact thing today! Great timing. Great information!
    Looking forward to reading more! Coming to you from Happy Mama Tales.

    1. So happy you had great feedback! I hope you get through the regression with flying colors 🙂 Thanks so much for reaching out!

  3. Thank you for this info. I am currently in the fourth week of this regression, and like the lady above, extremely sleep deprived. I spend my days with my 19w old in my arms in a darkened room during her naps as she wont be put down. Tried pick up put down for a week and ended up with an overtired little girl and i am just a mess now. She will sleep laid down at night but takes a good 2hrs before i can put her down. I just don’t see an end in sight. Even in my arms she wakes multiple times and it takes a lot of rocking and chanting to get her to drift off again. Am terrified to try self soothing in case she gets overtired again. I am just at a total loss at what to do and feel like she deserves someone who actually knows what they’re doing x

    1. Oh Jo!!! I am in the EXACT same position and am now so sleep deprived I feel like I have no confidence in my mothering skills.

      Please tell me it got better for you!

  4. Hi!

    My little man is absolutely definitely in the midst of the four month sleep regression! He’s an awesome daytime napper (he has two 1.5 hr naps a day and then a shorter 45min nap at 3pm). He used to fall alseep on his last bottle and would sleep from 7pm – 7am (amazing!!!) but now he screams the place down at bedtime and is waking up 9/10 times a night 🙁

    Do you think he could be overtired? His bedtime routine has been brought forward but he is still absolutely shattered and cries A LOT!

    Thank you 🙂 x

    1. Hi Claire – Yes, I think he’s overtired, at his age keep the wake time from the last nap to less than 2 hours and see if that helps!

  5. Hi Susie,

    My baby is about 4.5 months old and she started her sleep regression 3 1/2 weeks ago, which means she started waking up every hour or two all night long. I have since then become obsessed with doing my best to help her get the sleep she needs, which has helped her tremendously in that she is not as overtired as she used to be. However, she still wakes up every hour or two at night. If I do not immediately feed her back to sleep she will she will wake up enough to be awake fully for usually an hour.

    Despite her many wakings, and if I feed her to sleep when she wakes, she usually gets 12 hrs of sleep at night. When I put her to bed depends heavily on when her last nap was. She sometimes goes to bed as early as 5:30 then (when her 4th nap becomes an early bedtime), but is typically asleep by 6:30. She wakes up anywhere btwn 5:30 and 6:30 am, later only if she had a nightwaking where she was up for an hour.

    She is napping typically 4x per day, 30 to 45 min at a time, and usually within 1.5 and 2 hrs of waking. She naps on average only about 2 hrs a day, on the low end for her age itvseems. Occasionally, we miss her window though, and could even end up being 2.5 to 3 hrs after waking, in which case we usually have 3 naps that day and an early bedtime.

    Since I have been working on her sleep more, she is not as cranky as she used to be at least right after this whole thing started! She’s happy for about an hour after waking, though still more clingy than she used to be.

    I am putting her to bed earlier for nighttime sleep, and have a bedtime routine – bedtime is usually relatively peaceful now as a result, typically with no crying. I am also watching for drowsy signs, putting her down for a nap about 1.25 to 1.5 hrs after being awake, sometimes earlier if she seems tired early. We have white noise, a darkened the room (tho it could probably be darker during the day). I usually feed her some, and then put her down drowsy but awake for naps. She usually mildly cries (less than 10 min) before falling asleep for a nap, whether I’m lying next to her pretending to be asleep or whether I walk out of the room. If her cries become intense, I go and feed her more to make sure it’s not hunger, and will try walking out again after that, or lying next to her pretending I’m asleep. She’ll fall asleep after this.

    Before the sleep regression, we had her in a bassinet, and I would pull her to my lap to feed her a few times a night. When the regression started, we moved her to the crib but side carred the crib because it was easier to move her back and forth out of it. After a week and a half of hourly wakings and 3 hrs of sleep a night, I finally started bedsharing with her so I would no longer have to move her back and forth. I get about 5 to 6 hrs of sleep a night with this change if I go to bed by 9 or 10 pm.

    SO, I guess I’m looking for advice on how to extend naps! And on if you think the frequent night wakings will go away on their own or if there is something else I can to do? I can’t figure out how to get her to nap longer. Is she too young and I just have to be patient? I don’t know what else to try and I’m not for just doing the cold turkey crying it out…


    1. Hi! First off, you’re way ahead of the game since you’re focused on sleep. Now you just need to get your baby taking longer naps. I would look to start transitioning to a 3 nap schedule or start thinking about nap training. (it doesn’t have to be cry-it-out). This blog should give you good tips.

      1. Hi SUsie. That was very interesting thank you. My 4month old baby (5 months in 2weeks)is going through the sleep regression i think. It’s been 2 or 3weeks which his nights changed. He’s been through a lot and had a heart surgery a month ago so he’s catching up on some skills and i think he’s doing well. Just i’d love your opinion please. He usually goes to bed at 7pm drowsy from the last bottle and there are 2 different kind of nights he alternates. First kind: sleeps until about 1am, gets a little bottle and back to sleep until about 3 or 4am and it’s hard to put him back to sleep. At around 5.30 he wakes up again and i try to put him back to sleep but usually he wants to be up! Second kind of night is same but with a 10.30pm bottle as a surplus.
        I’d love him to sleep more and better in the morning. Where am i wrong? Is it sleep regression? During the day he has 3 to 4 naps usually 2 small naps in the morning (40 to 60min) and a long (2hs) one in the afternoon or 2 shorter ones.
        Thank you

        1. I think he has some nice independent skills. I would go with 4 naps and move the bedtime earlier. See if naturally that stops the early wakings 🙂 Good luck!

    2. I know this post is from last year but you just described my 4mo old lo! Short naps & night waking and all! I’m dying to know your end result. Did she get passed the regression or did you end up doing formal sleep training? Thanks in advance!

      1. So with my daughter, she was such a sucky sleeper that at 4 months nothing actually got worse 🙂 but, it was right around there when I started sleep training (teaching independent skills). I truly believe that around this age so much changes that it’s just a reminder to focus on sleep habits. Some babies do bounce back but if “the regression” is more than a week or 2, there is more going on.

  6. This article is great but I was just wondering does the 4 month sleep regression still hit if you have been teaching your newborn the healthy sleep skills listed? We have spent a lot of time (and love) getting our son into a 3 hour EASY routine and at 12 weeks he self settles well in his cot for all naps and sleeps well at night – can we assume that he already has the skills to help him when his sleep rhythm changes at 4 months? thanks!

    1. Great job momma! You are exactly doing the right thing… you’re focusing on those amazing independent skills that will set you up for awesome future sleep success. you may never know anything about the 4 month sleep regression which is really amazing!

  7. Hello! Thanks for this informative article. I’m a breastfeeding mom of a four-month-old whose sleep has deteriorated in the past week. About six weeks ago, I transitioned her out of sleeping in the swing or her bouncer and moved naps/bedtime to her cosleeper. She takes three naps per day no more than 1.5 hours after waking as she will melt down if awake any longer. She used to nap for about two hours at a time and sleep 7p-7a with three night wakings/feedings after midnight. She was (and still is) able to self-soothe to fall asleep on her own 90% of the time—usually with very little crying or fussing. She still has the same nap/bedtime schedule, but now she wakes up EVERY 45 MINUTES during naptime and all night. She wakes up crying and usually the only thing that will soothe her back to sleep is nursing. After waking up every 45 mins at night, I eventually reach a point when I bring her into our bed in an attempt to calm her and actually sleep. I thought the fact that she falls asleep on her own after nursing meant she should be able to self-soothe when she wakes up mid-sleep, but it seems like she’s relying entirely on nursing to do that. I’m torn about what to do, because I want to comfort her during this challenging time for her and ultimately room-share, but I don’t want her to use breastfeeding as a crutch. My mother-in-law thinks we should have her sleep in another room, but at this point she naps and starts night sleep by herself and she still wakes up crying.

  8. Hi! We are in the middle of this! My daughter turned 4 months today. She’s been sleep regressing for the past couple of weeks though I wasn’t sure what it was because we’ve been dealing with reflux issues. So basically we follow EASY and have been pretty much since week 2. She had great self soothing skills. She would go down for nap fuss for less than 10 min and be out. She never fussed at bedtime. She’s been sleeping from 7-8pm till 6-7am since she was about 8 weeks old. All of a sudden I’m getting 40-45 min naps. After researching I found that I needed to shorten her awake time. So I pushed her back to 1 hour. This worked for a week. Then the sleep regression started. All of a sudden she is waking up several times at night. Due to the time change we had already moved her bedtime up to 7-7:30. But after reading this and other post maybe I should move it up more. Will this also help with the naps? I don’t know why she’s not self soothing any more. What are some good tips to teach self soothing? I feel like I’ve tried everything. Because of the reflux she did get the paci more than I’d like because all she wants to do is suck on her hands or bink. I’m trying now to take that away at nap and night time. Usually during the night waking we can put the bink back in and she goes right back to sleep but I know this needs to stop. Not sure where to go from here.
    Thanks for any help!!

  9. I have a almost 7 month old that has not recovered from the 4 month sleep regression. He has gone from waking 3-4 times a night to only once. He does wake a few times but soothes himself back to sleep within

  10. I have an almost 7 month old who has not recovered from the 4 month sleep regression. He has improved from waking 3-4 times a night to only once. He wakes a few times in-between but soothes himself within a minute. How do I get him to soothe himself any other time? He also refuses to nap in his crib. His grandmother watches him and rocks/holds him during his naps. Before I returned to work, he’d nap 1 hour at a time in his crib but won’t anymore. When I have him for the weekends he sleep 45 minutes-1 hour at a time but refuses for her. Should I start laying him down drowsy for nap as well as bedtime to help with the crib-sleeping association?

    1. Hi! You’re correct that some of the reasons he’s not sleeping well is that he’s not having the opportunity to fall asleep independently for naps. The same can go for bedtime. The independent sleep skills are the way that he will be able to start napping longer for his grandmother and you!

  11. Our 4 month old only goes to sleep with a sucky, and when she is swaddled completely. Although in a couple hours sometimes minutes she’s out of her swaddle, so I’m thinking its time to transition? I started swaddling just one arm for transition but she constantly has that had in her face and knocks her sucky out which causes her to get extremely worked up and mad. So do you continue to swaddle both arms and give her the sucky? Or stop swaddling and stop giving her the sucky since she knocks it out all the time?

  12. So happy I came across this post. I have a 16 week old son, who was sleep trained and putting himself to sleep for all naps and bed time. He would nap for 1.5-2 hours 3x a day and then his last two naps would be about 40min to an hour. At night, he would go to bed at around 7pm and wake around 5am for a quick feed and then sleep until about 6:30-7am. I had started to notice that he was not having the 5th nap anymore, so I decided to drop it, and not allow the 4th nap to go past 5pm, and get him to bed by 6:30pm. This was working fantastic up until a couple of nights ago. He went to bed at his usual time of 6:15-6:30pm and woke up at 11:30pm and could not get himself back to sleep. After 10 min I went into his room and rocked him, and put him back in his crib. 10 min after that, he was crying again, and not able to soothe himself. I decided that maybe he was hungry and going through a growth spurt, so I gave him 2oz of formula. He then went right to sleep afterward, but woke up again at 3:30am. Because this is close to his normal night feeding, I fed him again, 2oz. At 5:40am he was up for the day. The next night, almost the exact same thing happened. Did I create a new crutch by adding that extra feeding? What happened to my baby that was a champion sleeper and could self soothe so easily? Not to mention, his naps went down the toilet too. He hasn’t napped for more than 40min in the last two days. HELP!

  13. My little girl is 4 months (18 weeks) old. Her daily schedule follows the eat, play, sleep method and she wakes/eats at 5:30am (~6oz formula), 8:30am (~2oz breastmilk), 11:30am (~3oz breastmilk),2:30pm (~4oz breastmilk), 5:30pm (~6-8oz formula) and down for bed around 6:30pm. (On weekends when she’s home and not at daycare she gets formula for every feed) We considered her as ‘sleeping through the night’ since 3 months old, since she only wakes up 2-3 times, we give her back her pacifier, and she falls back to sleep immediately. She naps well, and always sleeps in the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. The past two nights she’s been waking at midnight, and then fussing every half hour to every hour until she wakes at 5:30am. Is this the 4 month sleep regression? Or do you think she needs to be fed again at midnight? We tried cutting her down from 5 feedings/4 naps to 4 feedings/3 naps, since she doesn’t eat much during her 8:30 and 11:30 feeds, and it was a disaster! (FYI she was IUGR and only 4lb 9oz full term, so I know 2oz and 3oz aren’t a lot per feeding, but on the other hand 6oz and 8oz are huge for her). Should we take away her pacifier and try to swap it with a lovey instead? Please help!

    1. Hi Heather, there’s a lot going on with your baby! So it’s hard for me to give solid advice… but just getting in mind that your daughter’s age is considered by her estimated due date, so if she was premature, you would go by adjusted age so she’s still pretty young! I do think that the pacifier could be getting in the way based on what you’re telling me!

  14. Thank you for this article! I have been freaking out this week because I think my baby boy is just starting the 4 month sleep regression (he will be 4 months old on Wednesday of next week). He goes to sleep by himself fir baos abd at night (I’ve worked a lot with him on putting him down drowsy but awake) He does ok during naps still as of now but he has starting waking up much more at night. When I go into him at night, the only way to calm him down and get him back to sleep is to feed him. I am exclusively pumping (for various issues we had early on) so I am having trouble keeping up with his eating! Any advice of other things I can do to soothe him? I have tried walking with him and rocking him but he just seems to want to eat! I am blowing through my freezer supply and I am afraid I may have to start supplementing with formula and I really don’t want to do that :o(

    1. Hi Carly, Give a couple / few more days to see if things go back on their own. If they don’t and you have made sure some of the advice in the article are being taken advantage of, I suggest that you try and space out the feedings a bit further. Keep trying different soothing methods too!

  15. Hi Susie,
    Lovely article….! I’m in a sticky situation with my baby’s sleep.

    My baby girl just turned 4 months a week ago. She’s always been a highly fussy baby and bad sleeper. I know everyone will go all “tut tut tut” on us, but she only sleeps in our arms from newborn stage.

    Due to reflux issues and not wanting her to get overtired we went with her demand of wanting to sleep in our arms for every nap and through the night. Also with my husband working a 12 hour job, me exclusively pumping milk for her and managing the house it just seemed somewhat easier to give in to this bad habit.

    So far she had been been taking 5 naps a day (each 45 min to an hour) in our arms and then she would settle for the night at 11 pm and sleep till 10:30 am in our arms. She takes dream feeds (bottled BM) through the night and occasionally we give her the pacifier if she’s not hungry but stirring.

    From more than a month We have very persistently tried all strategies to put her down / learn self soothing by using the pacifier, swing, rocker, even cry it out for 15-20 minutes where she just worked herself up even more– she flat out refuses to sleep when not held — by either spitting out the paci and screaming her head off.

    Currently the situation has worsened with her fighting every single nap. We are still some how forcing her to sleep by rocking/walking/singing/ physically shutting her eyes with our hands! She turns her head and hits us with her hands and kicks her legs 🙁

    Any ideas?

  16. Hello, my 4 month old seemed to hit this regression right on time. Prior to this, he would sleep very well at night, needing to nurse only once in the 11 hours he was in bed (from between 7-8pm until between 6-7am). For a week, starting just before 4 months old, he woke up every couple of hours and needed to be rocked or nursed back to sleep at night.

    We have seen a big improvement by itself in his night sleep; he is now back to waking only once at night. However, he will not go to sleep by himself – he needs to be nursed and/or rocked. Naps are worse; he fights sleep and will often not go to sleep unless in his Ergo carrier, which I have been using for every nap to keep him from getting overtired. Sometimes I can nurse him to sleep and transfer him to his crib, but he will sleep for 30 minutes maximum in there.

    There was a short time in which we could put him in his crib at night awake, but close to sleep, and have him go to sleep on his own, but he is unwilling to do that now. I am nervous that his night wakings are going to come back, since he is always snuck into his bed at night, and my husband and I would like to teach him to go to sleep on his own. However, we do not want to let him cry too much. Each time we try to take a gentle approach, getting him close to sleep and then putting him down barely awake, fussing escalates into full-blown crying/screaming very quickly. We are unable to console him with just a hand on him, or patting, he wants to be held and rocked. We have a consistent bedtime routine.

    I guess my question is, should we wait to coach him to sleep on his own until he gets a bit more mature? Or should we be prepared to deal with very hard crying? We would like to avoid the crying; however don’t want to make it worse by waiting until he is older. We did let him cry himself to sleep once, and he cried for 2 bouts of 4 minutes each before he was asleep. I do not think this is very much crying, but it was distressing and we would like to avoid it. Fussing is OK, but unfortunately our son gets hysterical almost right away. This goes for naps as well as night sleep. Thanks in advance for your advice!

  17. Hi! I was on Pinterest trying to figure out ways to get sleep after googling and asking advice for probably 3 months now! My girl is 8 months old, she wakes about 7:30 every morning and gets 3 naps a day. The first nap usually lasts 45- 1 hour and the 2nd nap is anywhere from 1 hour – 2 hours. The third is usually short, maybe 30-45 minutes. Bedtime is around 8:30 – 9 o clock. She wakes every hour!! Sometimes after being down for 30 minutes she wakes. Then like last night she woke at about 12:30 and I feed her (I feed her every time she wakes up breast feed because without it she will not go back to sleep) and she was wide awake until 2:30 when I finally got her back down. I am severely sleep deprived. I have always been a lover of sleep. The first 4 or 5 months were actually ok I would brag about how good she was. Now I can barely take it and nap when she naps and my house is a wreck which makes me even more stressed! I need help!

  18. I’ve just had my first baby and he’s just now 2 months and 3 weeks old, but last week he went through a MAJOR sleep change — it was like he flipped a switch! For the first month he was doing the constant long napping that a newborn does, then for about a week (or maybe it was just a few days LOL) he was not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time, and he was up for really long stretches. Sometimes up to 4 hours I think! He would want to play, then eat, then walk for a long time, then cry. It was brutal. After that, all of a sudden, he started sleeping again and sleeping longer at night. He’s in an almost predictable routine of naps now, still sleeping for consistently longer stretches at night, and going right back to sleep after his nighttime bottles instead of wanting to be up or refusing to sleep anywhere but my chest. We don’t exactly cosleep, but his bed is next to mine and he always has the background presence of either me or my husband, usually both of us. I’m waiting for him to hit sleep regression but I’m really curious about that long stretch of sleeplessness followed by a BOOM shift into night sleeping?

  19. Hi Susie, I’ve been reading a lot about the 4 month sleep regression and wanted to get your expert input. Here’s my current situation:
    – 8 months old baby. She exclusively breastfed, but will take the bottle if given
    – I can put my baby down without nursing for naps and bedtime. She’ll cry a bit but eventually fall asleep
    – Currently she takes two naps: around 10:30am she naps for a couple hours. Then again around 3:30 she naps for an hour or more.
    – Prior to 5 months she was sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at a time at night.
    – After 5 months she’s been waking every 2-3 hours at night. Goes to bed around 7-8pm.
    – Wakes up in the morning around 8-9am.

    I’m not sure whats going on. She eats 2-3 solid meals during the day and is breastfed as well. Not sure why she’s waking throughout the night. What are you thoughts? I’m soooo confused!

    Thanks in advance!

  20. I have tried everything my son literally sleeps for a full hour once a day other than that he us up everything 20 mins after being put down he cries all the time. He cries during feedings he cries when being rocked he cries while in the car he cries during baths everything I don’t know why is wrong doctors say Nevis fine. It’s not comic bc it’s literally all day. Changed formulas after taking him off breast milk nothing works Drs won’t do a thing sleeping is just not an options in this house hold. Going on my 5th day of no sleep nd I’m going insane let alone a little delusional as wel.

  21. Hello my 4 month old little guy is having trouble at night … he goes down for his first two naps fine but his third nap he just screams and at bedtime he screams for anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. I don’t know what I am doing wrong … here is his schedule …

    7am wake
    7:15 eat
    9 sleep
    11 wake and eat
    1pm sleep
    3pm wake and eat
    Try to put down for nap around 5
    7pm eat
    Get ready for bed
    7:15/7:30 bed
    Screams for at least an hour …
    Up at 12/1am to eat
    Up at 3am (takes about an hour to get back down)
    Up at 6am usually rock back to sleep till 7 … any help would be appreciated! Definitely looking to get more sleep at night!

    Sincerely one tired mama,

  22. Suddenly just like that baby slept beyond his 2 hour wake up to the dot of exactly two weeks! I didn’t really sleep train although I tried to I sill good habits putting down awake has been failing for me but used white noise and black out rooms.

  23. My baby girl is just over 4 months. Lately, she’s been waking early from her naps, especially the first one. I usually put her down about 1.5 hours after she gets up in the morning, but she only sleeps about 30-40 minutes. When she wakes, she’s not fussy. She’s quite happy and content. Sometimes I can get her back to sleep, and sometimes not, but I know she’s not learning to soothe herself when I do. Now I’m just letting her chill in her crib when she wakes up. She’s content for 20-30 minutes by herself, but will not go back to sleep. Now I worry that she’s not getting quality wake time if I leave her in there by herself for so long. She sleeps through the night pretty well, and we follow the eat play sleep routine. Any tips?

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