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The 4 Month Sleep Regression (and why you should not panic!)


What is the 4 month sleep regression? To start, I like to call it a progression instead of a regression because when your baby is going through this "sleep regression", it means your baby's sleep cycles are maturing properly and your baby is developing appropriately. Here's the info: The Science: Once babies hit 3-4 months of age, their sleep cycles move from newborn sleep cycles into adult-like sleep cycles. At the end of each of these "new sleep cycles", there is a mini "wake-up”. If your baby knows how to put themselves back to sleep after that mini "wake-up” then merging sleep cycles may be seamless and a "sleep regression" may never happen. If your baby does not know how to put themselves back to sleep independently, these "new sleep cycles" can cause some sleep disturbances. The Regression: Aside from your baby's sleep cycles maturing and possibly affecting their sleep, at around 4 months, babies become much more social and aware of their surroundings. Sleep doesn’t seem as fun as everything else going on outside the crib, which may cause your baby to protest sleep. The Solutions: If your baby has developed the skills to fall asleep independently beforehand, then you may never deal with a 4 month regression, but if you do run into a sleep regression, here are a few things you can do: 1. Drowsy but Awake — Practice putting your baby in the crib when they are drowsy, but still awake so they are aware of their surroundings and learn the skills to fall asleep independently. 2. Daytime Feedings — At this age, babies tend to get distracted easily while feeding. If this happens, move feedings to a quiet and less stimulating environment to make sure your baby is feeding well during the day instead of needing the calories at overnight. 3. Take a Pause — If your baby starts crying during sleep, give them a few seconds to resettle before intervening. They may surprise you and fall right back to sleep without your help! 4. Practice The 4 C's — Keep this in the back of your mind when dealing with sleep struggles: Calm (regulate yourself so your baby can too) Confident (trust yourself and the process) Connected (fill up your baby's connection and love cup during the day) Consistent (predictability and repetition are key)

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