4-Month-Old Baby Sleep Advice
Every month babies are going through numerous changes and meeting milestones in their growth. Along with these changes, babies have different sleep requirements and patterns. A 4 month old baby sleep schedule is important because they require about 14 hours of sleep in various intervals.
Of course, in order to meet these needs, parents need to be aware of different tips and ideas on how to get a 4-month-old baby sleep schedule started and overcome certain obstacles, such as when your baby won’t sleep.
At 4 months, babies need to eat in certain intervals to get the nutrients they need at a certain pace. It is recommended that babies at this age get 4 to 6 ounces of formula or breast milk per feeding about four to six times a day. This varies according to your baby’s needs.
It is best to follow your pediatrician’s recommendations and your baby’s cues. Common signals of feeling hungry include being fussy, sucking on fist, smacking lips, and crying. During the night, a baby can usually go about 8 hours without a feeding. Once you know your baby’s feeding schedule, you can create a successful 4 month old baby sleep schedule.
Because a 4 month old baby sleep schedule requires 14 hours, naps are to be included. These naps are often broken into 3 naps, about 2 to 3 hours each. Again, it is important to follow your baby’s cues to tell when he is tired.
Putting a tired baby down to nap is much easier and will help with setting a routine. Babies have a lot going on and expel loads of energy throughout the day, so naps are crucial in development. Signs of feeling tired include being fussy, yawning, pulling at ears, clenching fists, and, of course, crying.
Moving To A Crib
At 4 months, your baby may be ready to make the move from a bassinet to a crib. If this is the case, the first step is to make sure the crib is comfortable, but safe. This includes a firm mattress, no blankets or pillows, and in a room of ideal temperature.
Some parents recommend using a sleep sack to help the baby feel cozy. Others suggest keeping the crib in your room for the first few nights to show your baby that they are safe. It is also ideal to keep the 4 month old baby sleep routine the same by putting the baby in the crib for naps.
Perhaps one of the most important things in keeping a 4 month old baby sleep schedule is consistency. This means keeping feedings and naps at the same time everyday. Make a routine to help baby know when it is time to go to sleep.
This might include feeding, taking a warm bath, reading a book, singing a song, putting on pajamas, or listening to a lullaby. Doing the same routine will help with going to bed at night, as well.
Waking Up During Sleep Time
Setting a 4 month baby sleep schedule may take time, as some babies will wake up during sleep time. Again, consistency is important. When a baby wakes up, the first thing is to make sure nothing is wrong such as a full diaper, fever, etc. If nothing is wrong, try to resist picking baby up right away. At this point, you need to make the choice of whether you want to comfort them or let them try to self soothe.
There is a lot of feedback regarding both methods, but it is what you feel is best and what has been recommended by your pediatrician. However, be consistent, especially when it comes to sleep regression. At certain ages in a baby’s life, they may have sleep regression where they begin to wake up in the middle of the night. At four months, this is quite common.
Teething is an inevitable milestone that might make a 4 month old baby sleep schedule become more difficult to follow. You can tell if your baby is teething by his fussiness, drooling, or need to chew on things.
If your baby is teething, there are certain things you can do to help alleviate the pain. At four months your baby can take a small amount of infant Tylenol or ibuprofen. The dosage can be verified by your pediatrician. During the time your baby is awake, he may find comfort using teething rings, especially the ones that can be frozen or chilled.
At this age, some babies develop separation anxiety. This can be a big hurdle that affect 4 month old baby sleep habits. While this can be common, it can be very frustrating for parents trying to get their baby to sleep. Separation anxiety occurs because at this time they have yet to develop an understanding of object permanence. Because they don’t see you, they think you won’t come back.
So, if you were there when they went to sleep, they expect you to stay there. It can be a good idea to work on the skill of understanding object permanence throughout the day by playing games like peek-a-boo. During the middle of the night when he does wake up, you can offer a soothing pat on the back and kiss goodnight.
This may offer some assurance and get your 4 month old baby sleep schedule back on track. Sometimes, baby’s can benefit from using a lovey or small stuffed animal to give them comfort when you are not around.
As babies learn new skills, their sleep is sometimes disrupted. For example, when a baby learns to roll over, they may have trouble rolling back over and wake up frustrated. If this is the case, simply help your baby back to their sleep position and offer some comfort so they can go right back to sleep.
During the day it can help to work on their new learned skill. For example, if they have gotten so excited they learned to clap their hands, they will want to do it as much as they can. This practice can give them a boost in completing the skill, so they can get back to their original positions independently. Practice will help get your 4 month old baby sleep routine back on track.
Disruption In The Routine
Let’s face it, we can’t always stick to a 4 month old baby sleep routine due to various occurrences, such as vacations, work, events, etc. When you can, try to schedule things around your baby’s naps and sleep time. If the routine does get disrupted, get back into the normal routine as soon as you can. It may take a few days to get back on track, but with consistency, it can be done.
Babies develop at their own pace and have different needs. Parents can begin to understand these needs by following their baby’s cues. This can be essential in creating a 4 month old baby sleep schedule, as it can be tweaked to meet not only your baby’s needs, but yours, as well. Sleep schedules are important to ensure your baby is enough sleep to keep their mind and bodies growing.