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The 4 Month Old Sleep Regression and How to Overcome It

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the six-month sleep regression and how to overcome it. In that post, I mentioned how there are several sleep regressions common for babies to go through during their first two years of life. The most talked about one is the 4-month sleep regression. This one seems to be the one that parents may not see coming. If their little one has been sleeping well for the last few months, it may come as a shock. Even though it’s talked about a lot, it can still come out of the blue. Read on to find out how you’ll know if your baby is in the 4-month sleep regression. You’ll also find out why the regression happens, how to respond, and how to overcome it.

Signs Your Baby is Going Through the 4 Month Sleep Regression

The telltale sign of the 4-month regression is a sudden change in your baby’s sleep pattern. Ugh! You may think you have your baby’s sleep all figured out. Then, they begin fighting naps, have difficulty settling down at bedtime, and have early morning wake-ups. They fight sleep and become overtired. This regression marks a developmental milestone in your baby’s sleep cycle. It’s when they transition from newborn sleep patterns to more adult-like sleep patterns.

Why Do 4 Month Sleep Regressions Happen?

Understanding why your sweet baby has changed their sleeping ways will not prevent the 4-month sleep regression. However, it does help you understand a little more about why it happens. When parents understand why a change like this occurs, they can look at the situation differently instead of blaming themselves and thinking they did something wrong. Having the information about the four-month-old sleep regression may help you get through it a little easier. You’ve done nothing wrong! Brain and physical development play a huge part in why regression is so common at about four months of age.

Sleep Cycle Changes and Growth Spurts Happen- Oh My!

Four months is when your baby’s sleep cycles become more like adult ones. At this age, a baby is just learning to sleep. Before this stage, your baby may have been able to fall asleep very easily when fed or held. Sometimes, the 4-month sleep regression happens as early as three months, which is a common growth spurt time. Of course your baby’s three month growth spurt could be happening a little later, or the four month sleep regression could start as early as three months. Your baby did not read the textbook on the exact timing of growth spurts and sleep regressions, so their timing could differ slightly from the books.

Baby’s Brain and Physical Development at 4 Months

Watching babies learn is one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen. I never get tired of watching their looks of amazement and wonder. Your baby is learning new skills and wants to practice ALL the time. The physical skills that they’re working on mastering also require a lot of brain work which plays a big roll in the 4 month sleep regression. Things like, rolling, kicking, amazement with their hands, babbling, and studying the way a conversation works, all are using a lot of brain exercise.

Responding to Your Baby During the 4 Month Sleep Regression

If you’re pretty sure your baby is going through the 4-month-old sleep regression, it is best to try to continue doing what you have been doing so far. What I mean by this is, try not to make a lot of changes at the same time. Even though your sleep has also been disrupted, try to remember all your baby is going through developmentally. This is where I really feel for the parents I work with. It’s really hard to be excited with the new skills your baby has at 3 am. Below, you may find some information or strategies to help you get through the 4-month sleep regression. When you are sleep-deprived and wondering what you’ve done wrong, it’s hard to stay creative about things to try.

Solutions for getting through the 4 month sleep regression:

  • Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine: If you haven’t done this yet, try implementing a soothing bedtime routine that can help signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep. This could include activities such as a warm bath, gentle massage, reading a book, and dimming the lights to create a calm environment. Keep voices at a low volume. Additionally, establish consistent sleep cues such as white noise to signal that it’s time to sleep.
  • Encourage Independent Sleep Skills: Help your baby learn to self-soothe by putting them down to sleep drowsy but awake. This can help them learn to settle themselves back to sleep when they wake up during the night. Remember that the way your baby is assisted to sleep is what they will want when they wake briefly as they transition to the next sleep cycle.
  • Offer Comfort and Support: During this transition period, your baby may need extra comfort and reassurance. Respond to their cries and offer gentle, soothing techniques such as rocking or patting.
  • Practice Healthy Sleep Habits: Ensure your baby’s sleep environment is conducive to quality sleep. This includes keeping the room dark, quiet, and comfortable at 68-72 degrees F temperature.
  • Be Patient and Flexible: Remember that the 4-month sleep regression is temporary and a normal part of your baby’s development. Be patient with yourself and your baby during this time. Also, be prepared to adjust your approach as needed to meet your baby’s new sleep needs.


The 4-month sleep regression can be challenging. Therefore, it’s important for parents to remember that it is a temporary phase in their baby’s development. Firstly, understanding the reasons behind the regression. Secondly, implementing effective strategies for managing it. As a result, parents can help their baby navigate through this transition. As a pediatric sleep coach, I encourage parents to seek support and guidance if they find themselves struggling to cope with their baby’s sleep regression. With patience, consistency, and a proactive approach, parents can help their baby and themselves get through the 4 month sleep regression successfully.

Please check out some of my other posts for some more ideas and strategies when dealing with your baby challenges:

March 5, 2024


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Trust me: you don’t want your baby to hit this point. If you notice any of these seven signs, it’s time to put your baby to sleep — NOW!

7 Signs Your Baby Is Overtired

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