Many of my clients are moms that had dreamy little sleepers up until 3.5-4 months them WHAM a 4 month regression! Babies that previously slept 5-6+ hours a night are all of a sudden up every hour and won’t nap! So why is it these good little sleepers all of a sudden do a switcheroo on you and at around 4 months stop sleeping? It’s simple…they are growing up, reaching new milestones and sleeping more like us adults do! Their brains are maturing and now have more distinctive stages of sleep which in turn can cause a sleep regression and/or change. We all go in and out of light and deep sleep. Up until now, perhaps your baby was rocked to sleep or lulled back in to la la dreamy land from a soother slipped into their mouth and slept for hours. Now, your baby is more like us adults and she doesn’t fall into a deep sleep right away as she did before so she starts waking because she needs your help to get back to sleep over and over again….
At 4 months the “deep sleep” stage is something they enter pretty quickly- usually within 30 minutes. A child’s sleep cycle is 45-50 minutes usually from the time they have been asleep. This may sound familiar: You rock your baby to sleep for about 30 minutes, put her down and then 15 minutes she wakes up? You may find that your baby has the longest stretch of sleep the beginning part of the night and then all he** breaks loose for the later half and you are up every hour. This is very typical and it is simply because your we one doesn’t know how to self soothe and get over that hump on their own to contine a nice long uninterrupted sleep.
If your 4 month old has all of a sudden regressed, give it a couple weeks to see if things change- sometimes they do however, not all of us are that lucky. I notice that when a soother, rocking or feeds are involved and associated with going to sleep, it is better to solve the problem and make the healthiest choice for your child and make a plan to teach your baby to self soothe and have amazing sleep skills!