Until recently, the baby slept like an angel during the night and even took long naps during the day, but now that he is 4 months old, has he turned into a whining little sleepless? Not to mention the ease of putting him to sleep, which has turned into a nightmare? Don't worry: it is not the fault of the colic or the teeth that begin to make their way through the gums, nor of the seasonal flu or a subtle ear infection. It's simply the "4 month regression", during which the baby's rhythms change suddenly ... and permanently. (Read also 10 ideas to accustom children from 4 months to 2 years to sleep)
In fact, before the age of 4 months, the baby sleeps ... like a child: having not yet differentiated rhythms, the baby does not go (as adults do) from drowsiness to semi-sleep to light sleep to deep sleep, but falls directly into deep sleep.
On reaching 4 months of age, however, the brain matures and sleep patterns also change: from now on, the baby will also have a light sleep phase before falling asleep deeply. And, basically, he will wake up much more often during the night and take much shorter naps during the day. And the same, unfortunately, will happen to the parents, because the little insomniac will need to be cradled and cuddled to go back to sleep. (Read also Children's Sleep Disorders, 20 Questions and Answers)
Surely that of 4 months regression it's a very hard time… but it can be done. Also with the help of advice from pregnantchicken.com and babysleepsite.com.
In this article
- Help the baby fall asleep as you always have
- Rock him, or offer him a pacifier, or both
- Offer him a "goodnight feed"
- If you have a hammock, an egg or any other cozy and rocking bed, use it
- Follow the baby's biological clock
- Establish a routine and use the bedroom
- To bed early
- Who puts him to bed?
- Ask for help from relatives, neighbors, friends, anyone who can help
1. Help the baby fall asleep as you always have
If you rocked it, you keep doing it; if he sucked a little milk, that's fine. (Take the quiz: do you know all about the baby's sleep?)
2. Rock him, or offer him a pacifier, or both
If you didn't do this before to get him to sleep, it may be a good idea to try. (Discover the 4 bedtime programs)
3. Offer him a "goodnight feed"
This is the name given to the child between 22.30pm and 23pm (or in any case just before the parents go to sleep): even if he is asleep, the baby must be awakened and then made to go back to sleep with milk. Babies, in fact, have only one long sleep during the 24 hours, and therefore it is good that it is the one between 23 pm and 7 am. (Read also: Feeding and sleeping how to survive a newborn)
4. If you have a hammock, an egg or any other cozy and rocking bed, use it
Sometimes, rocking is the best way to put your little one to sleep, and in the crib it is much more difficult to do so. Remember, however, that it is not the case for him to sleep in the hammock or in the egg all night, simply because (unlike the cot) he should only stay there under surveillance. (Could you be interested in Latvian yes or no?)
5. Follow the baby's biological clock
If adults feel more sleepy at certain times of the day (typically after lunch and after 21pm), the same is true for children: it's the circadian rhythms, our biological clock regulated by light. Trying to get him to sleep for a nap when the body asks for rest is easier: in the morning, after lunch and in the late afternoon. (Read also: Nanna, 57 thoughts that go through the minds of all parents)
6. Establish a routine and use the bedroom
At 4 months, the baby is able to recognize their own bed or bedroom as a place to sleep. So by making him fall asleep on the sofa, on the car seat, on the shopping trolley, one cannot hope for a good restful sleep. It is also important to establish a routine: always go to bed at the same time. (Also read: 10 tips for a baby's sleep)
7. Go to bed early
Each sleep has its function: the morning nap refreshes the baby's mind, while the afternoon nap gives him physical benefits. But it is only during nocturnal sleep, generally in the first half of the night (approximately until midnight) that the baby receives the benefits of growth hormone. Therefore, it is more important that they sleep as much as possible at night (at four months most babies, if they rest well, can sleep until at least 6 or 7 the next morning) and that they are not put to bed too late. (Read also: How Much Should Babies Sleep)
8. Who puts him to bed?
Babies who are put to sleep wake up more often than those who fall asleep spontaneously. This happens because, when you sleep, you go through various sleep cycles each of which lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. Each cycle consists of four phases followed by the REM phase, after which everyone has a wake phase. If you have good sleeping skills, wakefulness is imperceptible; otherwise at this stage you can wake up. And to go back to sleep it is necessary to recreate the situation that led to sleep earlier. So if the baby fell asleep in his arms sucking the pacifier, you have to do the same again.
9. Ask for help from relatives, neighbors, friends, anyone who can help
Even just to keep the baby for an hour so that you can take a refreshing nap. (See also 10 signs (semi-serious) that tell you that a baby is not sleeping and his mother is exhausted)
Questions and answers
What is bedtime feeding?
This is the name given to the one given to the baby between 22.30pm and 23pm: even if he is sleeping, the baby must be woken up and then made to go back to sleep with milk.
How to make your 4 month old baby fall asleep?
Rock him, or offer him a pacifier (or breastfeed him), or both.
Is it possible to make the baby fall asleep in the hammock or in the egg?
Yes, sometimes rocking is the best way to put your little one to sleep, and in the crib it is much more difficult to do so. Remember, however, that it is not appropriate to let him sleep in the hammock or in the egg all night, because (unlike the cot) he should only stay there under surveillance.