We are in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression. Leonardo has turned 4 months and since we came back from Christmas holiday, unfortunately his sleep has not been the same. He used to be a very good sleeper: he usually woke up once in the night just for nursing and then fell asleep again.
But his night sleep has totally changed since a couple of weeks, he wakes up frequently, it seems he can’t fall in a deep sleep or he has some pain. I thought it might be the environment change as well as teething. As long as a friend of mine suggested me to read an article about the 4 month sleep regression.
What I have understood is that there is nothing to concern about this: my baby is now sleeping more like an adult.
THE 4 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION: WHAT IS IT
The 4 month sleep regression marks a permanent step for some babies: it means they start to have distinct light and deep stage in their sleep.
Now when he falls asleep, he does not enter deep sleep right away, and if you lay him down before he is in deep sleep, he is likely to wake up and you will start all over helping him to fall back to sleep again and again.
The good news is that Leonardo’s growth is perfectly on track as this is a consequence of his brain maturation. The bad news is that changes that happen at 4 months can be permanent. Luckily it is said that for some babies this step can be relatively mild. I hope so!
Let’s see how it goes on, now I am trying to cope with it, that means every time he wakes up during the night I am breastfeeding him to keep continue to sleep. I know that this a negative sleep association because babies can become accustomed to being fed to sleep continue, but I am a mum of another two-year-old and I am alone with any other support, I really need to sleep.
If this step will last with any progresses, I will try the dream feed. Did you hear about that? I have read some articles on it and even if it seems not to be the best choice because there is the risk that baby starts a feeding routine during his deep sleep, some friends of mine have succeeded. Anyway the recipe at the moment is to continue to help my baby to fall asleep as we did until now.
4 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION: THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD SLEEP REOUTINE
Sleep is fundamentally important for the development of our child’s body and mind and so a good bedtime routine (dinner/bath/reading/bed) is essential. When I moved here in the UK and heard that children go to sleep at 7 pm, I was surprised and I found it extreme. Actually I didn’t understand the reason unless a selfish solution for parents to have more time for themselves in the evening. But I was wrong.
In Italy there isn’t this schedule, we don’t have a rule about the night sleep. Every family has its own way. In our family we are used to put children in bed at 8.30 pm because we have dinner and working time totally different than in the UK. I was reluctant because it meant also change our dinner routine. Anyway we tried to have dinner at 6-6.30 pm for a couple of weeks and we really enjoyed to have so much time before going to bed. Andrea (my eldest) has been going to sleep at 7.30 pm and I have already seen positive effects like less tantrums and a better night sleep, without awakenings.
On the other hand, I am struggling to get my eldest to sleep in his cot on his own. Our sleep routine consists of reading a couple of books in our queen-size bed and when he fall asleep, to move him in his cot. But sometimes it takes one hour long him to fall asleep and it is very hard for me don’t follow him, most of the time I go to sleep as early as him!
Next step will be to move Andrea and Leonardo in the same room as both are sleeping in our bedroom now. I thought to start when we came back home after Italian Christmas holidays but as Leonardo’s sleep was getting bad we have changed our mind. I am reading the 3-Day Nanny book to take some inspirations even I know this is a controversial method, did everybody read it and eventually try this method? However I am not convinced to be able to go through it.
My eldest son at 3 months old was sleeping in his cot in his own room, I put him in the bed and he could sleep by himself. Well done I thought, easy, but I didn’t know that teething, chronic bronchitis and the move would have changed his sleep routine many times and in many ways. So now I co-sleep with the little one and most of the time we are in 4 in our bed. It is beautiful waking up with your pieces of heart, however I believe that we all could sleep better separated.
What is your sleep routine and how did you manage it? Please share with me your experiences and what it is working for you.
I suggest also this collection of the best 10 article on this matter, 10 Must-Read Articles From 2016.
Thanks for reading. I am waiting for you again here once in a while.