4 tips to help you (both) survive sleep regressions.

My youngest is five, and I'll admit, still doesn't sleep through the night. But at least she only wakes up once, which is so much better than when my kids were babies. I remember how difficult all the middle of the night wakings were. If your kids are still at that stage, here's some tips from a reader to help you survive.

Surviving Sleep Regressions - For you and your Little One

Is your 3-month-old suddenly waking up more frequently? Or going back to old sleeping patterns after they were just starting to sleep well?

Sleep regressions are quite common, but still something that most parents of 3-4-month-old babies dread.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome these irregular sleep patterns and ensure that both your baby and you get a good night's sleep.

Step 1: Create A Comfortable Sleep Environment For your Baby

Your baby needs a quiet and dark room to cultivate a healthy sleeping habit. Make sure your baby's room is adequately sound-proofed so household noises and outdoor disturbances don’t get in the way of sleep. Using white noise can also help drown out any unsettling noises.

• Arrange for heavy, light-blocking curtains for the windows. This will ensure your little one's room is insulated from the outdoor environment.
• Make sure your baby's clothes are soft.
• Arrange for some soothing repetitive sound or a white noise machine.
• You can swaddle your baby or use a slightly weighted sleeping bag if it helps.
• Ensure your baby's room has the right temperature for a good night's sleep.

Step 2: Put your Baby Down in Her Cradle When She's Sleepy, But not Asleep

To train your baby to fall asleep on their own, put your baby down in her crib or cradle when she is drowsy, and not completely asleep. While the former allows the baby to get comfortable in her own bed, the latter will only wake her up. This also enables you to break sleep associations more easily.
However, it’s always okay to give your baby a little extra comfort or cuddles, especially when they’re going through a regression and are extra fussy. Feel free to offer this extra comfort, but when possible try to put them in the crib drowsy but still awake to avoid building a sleep association that will last long after the 4-month-sleep-regression ends.

Step 3: Accommodate their growth spurt

The 4-month sleep regression usually coincides with a big developmental milestone for babies AND a growth spurt! Your baby might be getting close to the rolling over milestone, along with some other developmental changes to their sleep cycles, which is why they’re sleep schedules are getting out of whack.

Make sure you’re giving your baby time to practice any new skills or milestones during the day, so they aren’t distracted by them at bedtime. Also feel free to feed your baby as much as needed. Increase in appetite is common around this time, due to the growth spurt. Trying a dream feed can help make sure you’re baby’s tummy stays full and might help them sleep a bit longer—even during regression.

Step 4: Set A Proper Routine and Stick To It

Babies love routine. It's the one thing that make sense to them. When they know what to expect, they usually follow. If you perform the same, simple bedtime routine every night, this becomes a trigger that it’s time for bed.

Start with a bath, then follow it up with the usual lotion, clothes, a feeding bottle, turn on or off the sleep-environment accessories, rock for a few minutes, then lay her down.

By now, she is ready to fall asleep—and you’ll put her in the crib as she’s getting drowsy.

Any change in this routine will disrupt your baby's sleep pattern. Her brain will stay awake, waiting for that little missing item in the routine.

Final Thoughts

The 4-month sleep regression is challenging for babies, and their parents. Following these 4 easy steps will help ensure that the whole family gets a good night’s sleep. Just remember, sleep regressions are not permanent! Your baby will start sleeping better and get back to more regular patterns. Just be consistent and give you baby—and yourself—some patience.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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