BABY 4 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION TIPSBaby
You are rolling along in the sleep department, and think you have your sweet baby all figured out, high fiving your hubby each morning for another great night.
Until his four-month birthday. You wake up (or did you ever go to sleep?) and wonder what the heck that was. We will tell you; the dreaded four month sleep regression. People warned you about it, but you thought you were sailing along so well you would avoid it.
This is a normal part of infant development, but can be so challenging. It occurs around the four month mark- give or take a few weeks and throws the entire household for a loop.
It happens for a couple reasons. First, your baby’s sleep patterns are changing. Newborn sleep is very different than a four month old. They cycle in between stages of active and light sleep all night long. Most are indifferent about how they are put to sleep, and if they have no belly troubles will sleep a few hours at a time without too much ask.
Then around 4 months, your sweet babe wakes to the world. He becomes aware of what is helping him to sleep and develops a loving preference on how he would like the nightly routine to go. He also starts to cycle through the stages of sleep like adults do. The cycle is shorter, on average around 45 minutes, but hits the same stages as we do.
They also get their first taste of mobility. Before you had put them to sleep on their back and that is where you found them when you answered the call that he was awake. Now, you put him down on his back, only to find him on his belly doing the front crawl trying to figure out how he got there. Rolling feels scary to a new baby. They land on their tummy and usually haven’t figured out how to get back. This causes a full wake up as they flap their little arms and legs. The problem is, you go in, turn them over only to have them flip again almost instantaneously.
What is the answer?
First, the swaddle has to go.
If your baby is swaddled and starts to roll, it is important you unswaddle him and put him in a safe sleep sack. If he rolls in a swaddle, he does not have the ability to push up with his hands.
Always place him on his back
When you put your baby in his crib, always place him on his back. Ensure he is on a firm mattress and does not have excess blankets or bumper pads to roll into. If he chooses to roll over in the night and gets frustrated, go in and help him to his back.
If rolling is frustrating your little one in the night, practice in the day. The quicker he masters rolling, the easier his nights will become. When he is awake in the day, put him on a play mat and help him roll back to front, then front to back. As he learns to steamroll around, he will feel more comfortable on his tummy.
Check the guidelines
The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends all babies be put down on their back to sleep for their first year of life, even when babies have learned to roll over on their own (usually around six months). If the baby rolls over on his or her own during sleep, it is not necessary to reposition to the back. Babes this age will discover their own best position for sleeping. This will save you many sleepless nights of racing to turn your babe back over every time he turns to his tummy. The key point is to ensure his mattress is firm, there are no extra toys or blankets in his crib, and always place him on his back when you’re putting him in his crib.
It is incredible watching your baby learn to move and develop.