Your baby’s first 3 months of life are also known as the Fourth Trimester. During this time all he needs is to be close to mummy. Your baby will sleep most of the time, day and night. This will change during the 4th month of life. Your wee one is ready to take in everything the world has to show him. He is absorbing so much new information, and this does not come without a price.
If you love your sleep and are wondering how you are going to survive this period, here are 4 things to remember during your baby’s 4 month sleep regression.
This Is Normal
Though called a regression, this period is an important development period for your baby. All this new information the world is sending them will develop into important milestones. Around this time your wee one might learn how to roll or might even be teething. Everything he learns during the day can make it hard for his brain to “switch off” at night. Our little one has learned how to roll from back to front. This has happened the exact same week the so-feared sleep regression has started. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
You Are Not Alone
Newborn babies do not have sleeping cycles like adults have. They cannot differentiate day from night. But somewhere around their 4th month of life they will start to develop a sleeping pattern. They will start to go from deep sleeps into lighter sleeps, and vice versa. This is normal for adults, and our sleep is rarely disturbed by it. Our little ones are still to learn this. When the sleep cycle completes (every 90 minutes) they will very likely wake up as they don’t know how to manage these cycles.
Whilst some babies will not be too affected by this change, some might really struggle. I know my little chicken is not handling it very well. He is waking every hour to hour and a half. At least once (usually somewhere around 4:30 am) he will wake wanting to play. I take him through to the living room so we don’t wake my husband. But I do not switch on any lights, so he can understand it is still night time. It will take him about an hour to fall asleep again.
It Will Pass
It is very important to remember that this is a development period, and will pass. We have been in the regression for 6 nights, that actually feel like 6 months! And at times I feel like crying, but I look at my little one’s beautiful wee face and remind myself that he is learning. And I have to be patient and help him understand the changes he is going through.
Keep Up The Fluids
This important development period tends to go hand in hand with a growth spurt, and this will require more feeds. Many more feeds! If, like me, you are breastfeeding it is important to keep up the fluids. Drink plenty water so you can make enough milk for your baby to get through this phase. But also because dehydration can add to your tiredness and you might struggle more with the broken sleep. I talk about this more in my reasons I want to breastfeed.