Whether you're a new parent or a seasoned vet, the words "four-month sleep regression" alone may be enough to send you into a full panic. The good news is that we have compiled a list of the four most important things to do to combat the dreaded four-month sleep regression.
What Is the Four-Month Sleep Regression?
Sleep regressions happen when a baby begins to wake up more often throughout the night. These regressions are totally normal and often occur at predictable times, including the four-month sleep regression (which can actually hit between three and four months).
Sleep regressions generally happen when babies reach major developmental stages, like learning how to roll over. The good news is, the sleep regression usually only lasts a few days, and once baby has mastered her new skill, her sleep patterns often go back to normal.
While the four-month sleep regression can be a pain to deal with, there are some tips that can help you and your baby get a little more shut-eye. If you have any additional questions or concerns about the four-month sleep regression or your baby's sleeping habits, contact your pediatrician, who will give you advice based on your unique situation.
Tip #1: Feed Your Baby Fully and Often During the Day
Full feedings throughout the day and right before bedtime can help prevent your baby from getting hungry in the middle of the night. Babies are very curious at this age and can become easily distracted during feedings. To limit distractions and ensure your baby stays focused on eating, feed her in a quiet and calm environment that is less likely to stimulate her budding curiosity.
Tip #2 Establish a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine is key in order to help your baby achieve a good night's sleep. The sooner you can develop, tweak, and master your baby's bedtime routine, the sooner full nights of rest are in your future.
A solid bedtime routine might include giving your baby a bath, reading books, or singing lullabies, all activities that signal to her that playtime and stimulation are over. Keep in mind that nursing or feeding your baby to sleep can make it harder for her to learn self-soothing skills, so it’s best to offer a feeding at the beginning of her bedtime routine.
Tip #3 Wait... And Then Make It Quick
When you hear your baby wake up during the night, try to refrain from immediately going in and picking her up. It’s best to wait a few minutes to allow your baby to practice valuable self-soothing tactics to get back to sleep.
If it’s been a few minutes and your baby is still crying, you can go in and soothe her. Try to make these nighttime visits as quick and noninteractive as possible so your baby stays sleepy. Keep the lights low and your voice soft. This quiet approach will reinforce the idea that nighttime is meant for sleeping.
Tip #4 Use a Baby Merlin Sleepsuit
Unfortunately, the four-month sleep regression happens right around the time that babies age out of swaddling, usually because they are beginning to roll. As babies get more mobile, typically between two and four months, many babies are ready to transition from the swaddle. This is why experts recommend stopping swaddling as soon as baby starts to show any signs of attempting to roll over.
By this time, however, babies are used to being swaddled while sleeping, and getting rid of the swaddle can cause quite the sleep disruption. Transitioning your baby out of the swaddle she has become used to on top of dealing with the sleep regression can make those sleepless nights even tougher.
That’s why we designed the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit to help babies transition smoothly out of a swaddle and sleep better and longer. The Magic Sleepsuit can get your baby successfully and comfortably through their swaddle transition and eventually through their sleep regression as well.Made from soft, breathable fabric, the Sleepsuit allows your baby to enjoy the coziness and comfort of a traditional swaddle without the risks.
If you're looking to achieve the ultimate night's sleep for baby (and mom and dad!), check out the Baby Merlin product line. We are here to answer any questions about Baby Merlin you may have so you can have the right solution to help your baby make it through the sleep regression and get better sleep.