The 4-Month Sleep Regression



Photo: @dearadria

The 4-Month Sleep Regression

A lot of questions that we get at The Ollie World revolve around the 4-month sleep regression. Is it a real thing? What can I do about it? Did the Ollie stop working? When will it be over? It can be very confusing for new parents whose little ones were beginning to sleep through the night consistently to come up against the 4-month sleep regression.

So, what in the world is adding up to these restless nights? Your little one is going through huge developmental changes around the 4-month mark. There are many reasons for your baby to suddenly become restless and have trouble sleeping:

It could be a growth spurt. Your little one is preparing to do more and more in the months to come than she ever has before. Every day she is learning something new, and soon she will be putting that knowledge to work! While some growth spurts will make your little one sleep longer at night or take more naps, faster growth can also make her fussy.

Your little one is bulking up to roll, crawl, sit up, etc. Around the 4-month mark your little one is gaining muscles she will use for new activities. She is learning to sit up on her own and will soon (if not already) be rolling over and then crawling. It may seem funny to think about your little one “bulking up”, but that’s exactly what’s happening—and it can make her cranky and more likely to wake up at night.

These things may make her hungrier. You know how you get hungrier when you’re more active than usual? It’s just like that for your little one. She needs a boost in nutrition to help with her upcoming milestones. This may mean that she is waking up more frequently at night to eat when she had been sleeping for longer periods.

What can you do to help? As long as your little one isn’t rolling over on her own, continue to swaddle her. It’s important to maintain as much of a routine as possible so that once the growth spurt is over she’ll go back to sleeping for longer periods of time.

Comfort her and try to be patient as she’s going through these changes. As difficult as it is for you to go through a sleep regression with your little one, remember that it’s probably more difficult for her. Massage her with lotion before bed, and calm her the best you can during the night when she wakes up. She may even be nearing time to introduce some baby cereal or solids—but always check with your pediatrician before making that decision. Each baby’s needs are unique.

If you’re concerned that something else may be going on with your little one, talk to your pediatrician about that, too. Share changes and symptoms to find out if what she is going through is normal or something to be concerned with. As always, we are here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime