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4 month sleep regression
How long does it last

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Charli73

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

My DD has just turned 4 months and has started waking 2-3 times a night after previously sleeping through..

How long does this sleep regression last?
When do I get my great sleeper back???

#2 Funwith3

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

Isn't it a shock!!? My DD did this too at 4 months. Or really, she started to just become very difficult to settle at bedtime. And then yep, started waking at 10pm...and again at 4am. Whereas prior to this she was sleeping through from 10 weeks.

I'm happy to tell you that yesterday she turned 6 months old and for the past couple of days she's been a different baby! Pretty much back to how she used to be. Hoping it stays this way  hands.gif

#3 Rosiebird

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

My advice is...fix it quick! Otherwise you'll be awake from 1:30am to 6:30am last night when your DD is 12 months old too and you won't have had more than 2 hours sleep in a row for 8 months....AAAAGGHHHRRR
Sorry, not helpful. I'm sure other people's 4 month sleep regression only lasted a few days or weeks.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:27 PM

The four month sleep regression can't be 'fixed'. Babies never revert back to a previous developmental stage, they progress on to different ones. At four months they often start to sleep less soundly, at 6-7 months they start to feel anxious by themselves and often start to teeth. At 8-9 months they get object permanence and learn that you will come if they call out for you. They also has growth spurts, learn to roll, sit, crawl and walk.

Waking 2-3 times a night barely counts as a 'regression' anyway - some babies this age wake every 45 min to an hour.

I think you need to keep in mind that you have had an unusually good run this far, and it was never ever going to last. Sorry. At this age it is normal and expected that your baby need you through the night. Sleep school etc is much more for babies who exhibit abnormal waking - e.g. Every hour. This is well within the limits of normal and expected.

#5 Rosiebird

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Perhaps I should clarify.

I thought that the 4 month sleep regression was a short-lived stage and didn't take the chance to create a good sleep routine early.

If I could go back, I would have been much more routine-based and try to help my baby settle herself rather than create sleep associations which have persisted until she is nearly a toddler.

I don't think that waking 2-3 times a night as a 4 month old is abnormal - BUT - when my DD then started waking 4-5 times a night, it didn't seem much worse. Then I realised she had been waking 6-8 times a night for a couple of months and it was no longer a stage. Now she sometimes wakes every 90min-1.5hrs and it is extremely difficult - and she is louder, more stubborn and more independent than she was at 4 months!

I'm sure some people's babies only have a few nights or weeks of disturbed sleep and then start sleeping through with no intervention but mine didn't.

#6 DM. 2012

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

For about 1 month from 3 1/2 mths to 4 1/12 mths my bub was sleeping 7pm to 7am I was so happy, then boom, he started waking 2 times a night. It lasted about 1 month but he didn't go back to waking at 7am. He was waking at about 5/5.30. After a month of that he started waking up 1 or 2 times a night (any random time). A couple of weeks ago he started just waking at about 4.30/5am, having a feed then going back to sleep until about 6.30.

Be sure to give your bub plenty of floor time to practice rolling while awake as this can be one thing that causes them not to fall back asleep when they wake during the night, they get a bit frustrated.

What more fun awaits?

#7 mysonsmum

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:53 PM

How brutal is it! For my son it lasted about 2 weeks. Also I started wrapping him with his hands up (until then they had been by his side) I think this helped. Hope u get ur good sleeper back quick smart x

#8 stardust81

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:35 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 22/11/2012, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I could go back, I would have been much more routine-based and try to help my baby settle herself rather than create sleep associations which have persisted until she is nearly a toddler.

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

With DS1, I gently encouraged self settling (lots of patting in the bassinet and giving him the opportunity to fall asleep by himself) from an early age. His 4 month sleep regression lasted 2 weeks and he slept through the night from that point on. He is still a great sleeper at 2 years old.

With DS2, I fed to sleep a lot more and didn't worry too much about self settling. His sleep regression hasn't ever ended and he is now 10 months old. Although he has had some medical issues which have contributed to his poor sleep which are now under control (undiagnosed reflux and food allergies), as soon as we made an effort to work on self settling his sleep improved immensely. Initially at 6 months we went from two 40 minute naps and only sleeping 45 minute stints at night (followed by 2 hours of settling) to longer naps and only waking 2-3 times.

If I had anther baby I would do what I did with DS1 and gently encourage self settling early (from 3-4 months). Although I agree that 2-3 feeds per night at four months is completely normal for that age, I believe if you start working on things now it may help things from getting any worse. And as Rosiebird mentioned, the older they get the harder it is to work on sleep issues.

Edited by stardust81, 22 November 2012 - 10:54 PM.

#9 apple80

Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

Sorry to hijack with my question OP but I didn't want to start a new thread for the same thing.

My four monther (sounds like exactly the same age as yours OP) was waking about 3 times a night previously (between 7 and 6). It has now been a couple of weeks of every 45 min after the first sleep (down at 7-8pm depending on how well he settles, first wakeup at 10pm-midnight). During the day he catnaps, I thought 40min at a time was annoying but today I could mostly only manage 20 min stretches. I am not sure what "good sleep habits" means in this context, he usually goes down drowsy in his cot, and when he wakes I put him down and pat and shush him once he has calmed down in my arms and that seems to work ok, he just wakes up again 45min later. I feed him a couple of times overnight but the rest of the time resettle without feeding, so I don't think he has a feed to sleep problem. I've tried different things - if he's wrapped he is hysterical because he needs to suck his hands to self settle (angel wrap is just not working anymore, he won't tolerate love to dream). There was a slight improvement with a sleeping bag, but now he can roll back to tummy in that but can't roll back again, which stresses me out a bit and can result in cranky awake stuck baby.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm really looking for advice as this sleep thing is a minefield and I'm probably too tired to read it, but I too was wondering whether this is likely to be just a phase and if so how long it will last? I have read other threads that say the 4 month sleep regression can last a year, but they seem to define good sleep as babies sleeping through for 12 hours. This just seems like a ridiculous fantasy to me at the moment as bub has never been anywhere near doing that. I'd be happy with 2-3 hour stretches at this point. If I just tough it out and somehow survive for a few weeks is it likely to improve?

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