The 4 Month Sleeping Regression: Why It Happens & What To Do

baby sleeping guide

If you are a new mother, you can be quite worried when your baby’s sleep pattern changes. This is understandable because you are also awake when your baby is awake. We all find it hard to imagine how stressful this can be for young mothers, but you don’t have to freak out; sleep regression is temporal for babies and not permanent. 

Sleep regression happens when your baby is going through a rapid growth phase or when their intelligence is evolving. Sleep regression lets you know that your baby is growing as they learn new skills and adapt to their new environment, a standard process for babies. This period is stressful for both mother and baby as it reflects on your baby’s sleeping pattern. 

What Does Sleep Regression Mean?

Sleep regression is the period when your baby’s sleep patterns change. They tend to be awake more at night and find it somewhat hard to fall back asleep. Sleep regression usually does occur in babies at four months, nine months, and sometimes eighteen months of age. 

This phase can last from fourteen days to thirty days. Sleep regression can include shorter naps, disruption in your babies’ sleep habits. Below are sleep regression signs to look out for in your baby.

Signs of Sleep Regression

Longer Nap During The Day

If your baby is unable to get any sleep at night, they will surely be tired during the day because of the vigil they’ve had, which would make them want to nap more. Balance is required in nature since the babies can’t rest at night; they do that during the day.

Restless When They Eventually Fall Asleep

The baby was awake all night long, and it is now 4 am. Your baby has decided to sleep for a bit, but even after sleeping and you think that you can finally get to rest, you notice that they can’t seem to stay in the same position for long. They keep turning sideways and don’t fall into a deep sleep. That could be because they are restless, and the rest they are getting is very light; you’d be careful not to make a sound or trigger something that could wake them.

Babies Become Fussier

Being fussy comes naturally to babies; it is their way of expressing how they feel, but when the fussiness increases for no reason, it could tell that your baby is entering regression.

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Being Awake At Night Frequently

This sign can be the first thing a mother notices when babies enter the sleep regression zone. When babies are awake during the nighttime, they find it strenuous to fall back asleep. Naturally, babies wake up at night when they need to change their diapers or feel hungry, but it is sleep regression when you notice it becomes frequent.

Teething Pain

Teething is a sign that your baby is growing and might cause sleep regression. Teething makes babies uncomfortable and is a natural process, so keep an eye out for this.

Loss Of Sleep

This is a no-brainer for sleep regression. Both mother and baby can be affected because neither will get the rest they want to. So mothers should take that nap as soon as the baby gets a little sleep.

Change In Appetite

When your baby starts having a change in appetite and is refusing their diet of breast milk or the formula at four months, as a mother, you need to start paying attention as to why. If it becomes more frequent, it is a sign of sleep regression.

All the above are signs to look out for when you feel your baby starts acting differently.

Is There A Cause?

There is no definitive cause to sleep regression, but there are various reasons why babies are sleep regressed.

  • When your baby can’t get enough sleep, this might be because they’re trying to understand, adapt, or are becoming aware of their environment, hence the reason for sleep regression.
  • Babies also feel uncomfortable after sleeping in the same position for a long time. Another reason for sleep regression might be learning how to change sides and switch places while sleeping.

Effect on Parent

As much as your baby isn’t getting enough sleep, you are likely to be affected as a mother; here are some things you might experience.

Increased Impatience

Babies can be naturally impatient by being fussy, but as a parent, this may also affect you because you don’t get enough sleep and also have to console your baby.

Being Emotional

As a new parent, sleep regression might scatter all your emotions all over the place. You might feel tired from the sleepless nights and feel awful that your baby is going through a phase you clearly don’t understand and aren’t prepared yet for. It is very typical to feel emotional during this phase.

Spending More Time With the Baby

During this journey with your baby, you get to spend more time with them. There are times where you’ll just lay in bed watching them and praying they fall asleep even if it’s an hour so you can rest too. 

What Can Parents Do

All parents who go through this challenging phase usually wonder what to do to ease the situation; here are a few tips that might help.

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Feeding Your Baby Frequently

If your baby keeps demanding more food, don’t be afraid to feed them; sometimes, feeding them may help them go back to sleep. It is said that during regression that your baby will grow, so increasing the amount of food they eat isn’t a bad idea. During the night, feedings are expected, and if they want more, you don’t have to starve them; let them eat as much as they want to and go back to sleep. Feeding them is said to aid their growth process.

Stay Calm and Patient

It is often assumed that babies can sense or feel their parent’s aura. As a mother going through this phase with your baby, you have to stay calm and patient. Your baby might feel your negative energy, and that may affect them too. Try to remember that they can’t help it and don’t mean keeping you awake all night.

Pet And Sooth Them

Sometimes, it might feel stiff and tiring when dealing with sleep regression. One way to calm your baby is to pet and rock them. Sleep regression requires lots of soothing; this is one thing that may help your baby get through it faster and easier.

Ask For Help

Asking for help is something young mothers should try to do. It can be tough to give in and ask for help; it might make you feel like you’ve failed as a parent, but that is not true. It is entirely the opposite. You can’t effectively be a mother and give your all when you are stressed, sleep-deprived, and about to lose your patience. It is okay to call on other parents or doctors to help and advise you. Communicating with the right people can help ease the burden you go through as a mother when your baby is going through this phase.

Does Every Baby Experience Sleep Regression?

Not all babies can experience sleep regression. You might be lucky enough to have kids and have no trouble at the four-month mark.


Sleep regression is a process most mothers tend to go through. As a new mother, it can prepare you when you experience them again. That being said, if you decide to have more kids. It might be frustrating and tiring, but sleep regression doesn’t last forever. Try reading books, turning to friends and families for assistance, and seeking advice from doctors, especially if you have any questions or concerns during the four-month sleep regression.

Sleep regression is one issue that bothers several parents, even though it lasts for a few weeks. As a mother, it is quite important to find ways to help your baby heal and deal with the situation as best as you can. From nursing mothers to expectant mothers, everyone should learn more about sleep regression.

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