4 Month Sleep Regression
Does Your Baby Have 4 Month or 18 Month Sleep Regression?
4 Month Sleep Regression While sometime common in babies around the 4 month old and the 18 month old mark, sleep regression can be a downer. Good new is there are a few easy fixes to this problem.
Hey everyone. I wanted to talk to you today about the four month sleep regression and the 18 month sleep regression. So, some of may know my view on the four month sleep regression and I have said before that the four month sleep regression is an excuse. And what I mean by that, I want to clarify because some people can get, "Hey, wait a minute my baby went through the four month sleep regression and I know they did." Okay, so what I mean by that, is that yes, babies go through a change at four months old. There's a development change and it's kind of like some switches are turning and on, and they're becoming so much more aware of their surroundings. They might not need as much sleep at the time. There's just a huge developmental shift that happens around four months old.
Now, for the un-sleep trained baby, what can happen is, all of sudden their nights are even worse than before. They're waking even more or if they weren't waking before, they're waking now. When you don't train your baby to sleep and they're dependent on sleep crutches, then they're waking up in the middle of the night and they don't know how to put themselves back to sleep. So, the tricks that you were using before, like nursing or rocking to sleep, or sound machines or blackout curtains, they're all of sudden not working anymore. Those were just tricks to get your baby sleeping.
What we want to do is teach your baby to put themselves to sleep and to stay asleep throughout the night. Yes, I think that many times the four month sleep regression is used as an excuse for the un-sleep trained baby. Now, hopefully you are all different than that and you have sleep trained your baby or you're in the process of sleep training your baby. When the four month sleep regression hits, when the four month milestone hits, what you'll see typically, is not a baby that wakes during the night. Now, that can happen, but you know how to deal with that. You know how to give your baby time to resettle and often times they do. But, they're not dependent on you to go back to sleep.
Often times what we see more with the four month sleep regression for sleep trained babies is that they're waking during the day, during nap time and nap time is typically a harder time to sleep than nighttime sleep. So, of course you've got this baby that's more aware of their surroundings and you got daytime sleep, which is harder to achieve than nighttime sleep and then you've got this baby that's all of sudden not wanting to take naps or they're sleeping for 45 minutes and then they want to play or they want to cry through the rest of their nap, like, "Hey come and get me. I'm awake."
What do you do? What do you do through this regression? Or, I'm not even going to call it a regression. I'm going to call it a developmental change. During this developmental change, you do what you've always done. First, you're going to check for a couple key things. You're going to check for injury. You're going to check for illness or ear infection. You're going to also check for signs of hunger and that can be a little bit deceiving. But, if you see they're hungry or they're more hungry during feedings, that kind of thing, but check for those things first and if your baby's needs are met, then you know exactly what to do.
You know that nap time is nap time, give them that time to resettle and around the four month mark, if you see this, you're gonna know that, oh boy, they're probably going through some changes. So, what I'm going to do is nap time is going to be nap time, from 9:30 to 11:00, nap time is going to be nap time. And whether they cry through the whole thing, or they sleep through the whole thing, that's going to be nap time and from 1:00 to 3:00 or 3:30, that's going to be nap time and what you'll start to see is that after several weeks, maybe one, maybe two, maybe even three weeks, they're going to get back into their old habits and you're going to have a sleeping baby again.
It just takes them a little bit of time to adjust to these new developmental changes. So, stay the course and if there are some things to adjust, you're going to adjust those things. So, it's perhaps that they need a little bit more wait time. So, you can change those things a little bit, slightly. And, see what happens from there. Sleep regression, we'll call it a four month developmental change and stay the course, don't freak out that your sleeping baby is now, all of a sudden not sleeping. You know exactly what to do, give them time to resettle. You know that it's a passing phase and they will learn how to sleep again. That is my take on the 4 month sleep regression and the 18 month sleep regression.