4 Month Sleep Regression

As I mentioned in a KERF post last week (thanks for all of the advice!), we’ve just been through the 4 month sleep regression (so it seems! And note the past tense!) Mazen didn’t sleep more than 3 to mayyyybe 4 hours since before Christmas (with the exception of New Year’s Eve which was a totally lucky fluke of 4 hours and 45 minutes!) and our second-half-of-the-nights have been exhausting. We have successfully moved bedtime up to about 7:30 and he goes down pretty easily but then wakes up again within an hour. He’ll typically do a longer stretch (3 hours or so) from a 9:30/10 after a feeding to just past midnight and then the rest of the night looks like this:


We can’t pinpoint any discomfort or temperature or hunger problems (I nurse him maybe 2-3 times from 9 to 7am) so I’m chalking it up to 4 month regression and I’ve stopped worrying that it’s something I’m doing (for the most part).

For the first time since M was born, “sleeping while the baby sleeps” is quite necessary. I’ve had to take a few daytime naps to keep my head on my shoulders. This stage has been way harder than the newborn stage. At least then he was sleeping two hours at a time instead of one or less!

I don’t mind if he wants to wake up at night at all (because he needs me) and I’m not wishing he’d sleep for 10 hours yet (although that would be nice..) I just wish we could get back to hours of sleeping time instead of minutes. It’s the up and down for the whole second half of the night that means neither of us is getting any rest.


You know how everyone talks about morning sickness but you don’t really get how bad it’s going to be until you’re in it? That’s how the 4 month sleep regression is. No one warned me it would be this bad! I hear there’s an 8 month sleep regression. Maybe potty training is worse than people say. Terrible Two Tantrums?

I’ve read Healthy Sleep Habits, The Baby Whisperer, Harvey Karp’s sleep book, No Cry Sleep Solution so far and have gathered the common themes from them all. We are working on dark, still crib naps, not having him be overtired, etc. but I feel like there’s just SO much information out there, and I’m not sure it always works for us. For example, two days when he didn’t nap well he slept well at night. That is counter to what EVERY sleep book says about sleep begetting sleep. And despite the “fact” that movement naps in swings and strollers “aren’t restorative,” they really do seem to recharge him. I”d rather him nap an hour in the stroller than 20 minutes in the crib.

I know what you guys are going to say: every baby is different and you can’t raise your child based on what a book says. I know this. I would just think that the sleep experts and doctors writing these books would know what they’re talking about, so I’m surprised when my baby does the opposite (although this is not the first I’ve heard from other moms of non-nappers sleeping well at night regardless).

Several of you have said that your baby just “got it” one day when it comes to sleeping, so I’m hoping that works for us. Hoping.

However, as hard as it is to get up in the middle of the night over and over, I have to say that I often look forward to our nighttimes. When I settle down in the master bedroom for first shift, I miss him, and after that first longer stretch, no matter how tired I am, I’m always glad to snuggle close to nurse. Even when he’s crying hard, he’s still my cute little baby.



Just a few days after writing this post, the clouds parted and we got a 5 hour stretch, followed by 4.5, and then another 5. The second half of the night has been much better too, although still more like 2 hours + 1 +1. Naps are still shorter than they were, but I’ll take them. I also feel like he has reached that developmental leap – suddenly he’s reaching out for toys with concentrated intention and he just seems to be more alert. He wants to sit or stand up all the time now. Growing fast!

107 thoughts on “4 Month Sleep Regression”

  1. Ugh, you have just terrified me. A is a fantastic sleeper but every mom I know talks about the 4-month regression, and we hit 3 months this weekend. Yikes.

    1. Josie is 6 months and we never experienced a 4 month sleep regression- she started sleeping through the night at 3.5 months but has always been a terrible mapper. Ill take what I can get! 🙂

  2. It’s funny how different every baby is. My first came home from the hospital sleeping 5 hour stretches and I had to wake her to nurse. No sleep regression ever. My second also never had sleep regression but thats because he always was a horrible sleeper. Even at 2 h ewakes up once a night still. My 4 month old STTN and has since he was just a few weeks old but also barely naps. i wish there was a magic blanket solution that works on all babies!

  3. I don’t believe they just “get” it. I believe they have to be taught. But that pattern would drive my nuts and it wouldn’t be ok here. Four-five months is a great time to learn!

  4. When did you stop swaddling M? If he breaks free of a swaddle at this point, I highly recommend the Baby Merlin Sleep Suit (http://www.magicsleepsuit.com/). It’s a really great middle ground between a swaddle and nothing. And are you still using a good white noise machine? It helps so much during the 2a-5a when homeostatic sleep drives are low and every little thing causes waking.

  5. Kath…how did Mazen sleep as a newborn? For the first month? Curious because I have a 9 day old and she sleeps non stop! To the point that I’m worried something is wrong! Love the blog posts 🙂

    1. He has never been a sleeper. 2-3 hours at night and few naps as a newborn except while baby wearing. He started taking swing and crib naps around 8 weeks

      1. I have a five week old and its interesting to re-read your baby posts – Mazen is so awake and alert in many pictures from early on including newborn shoot. Mine did nothing but sleep and eat for the first 2 weeks and now still sleeps all afternoon although only ON me! It will be interesting to see how his night sleep develops once he’s going longer stretches between feedings. Glad you seem to be on the other side of the regression!

  6. I’m sure you’ve read it in all the books but it’s all that development that regresses their sleep. When babies are learning new things it for some reason causes other problems – like not sleeping.

    I’m sure every mom will tell you what their baby did – but it doesn’t matter… as long as you figure out what is best for you and Mazen. To each their own!

    This stage goes way too quickly and soon enough it will be a distant memory.

  7. Both my daughters (27 and 3 months) slept through the night starting at 8 days, and I wish I could tell you why! I do try for crib naps, but also think it is important for babies to be able to fall asleep anywhere.

  8. “Terrible Two Tantrums?”

    Makes me remember what my best friend said to me when I asked her about the terrible twos ; “Three starts with ‘T’, too”. I’m so glad I had her shoulder to weep on 🙂

          1. 1000% agreed! We just hit four in October, and the temper tantrums have slowed down, but now she’s more verbal, with quite a few ‘I don’t like you!’s’ thrown at us here lately, 99.9% of the time this comes when she doesn’t get her way! lol

  9. Sounds like you have read many of the same books I did. I also found it frustrating and overwhelming-so much information out there and much of it is contradictory!! I was gifted Bringing Up Bebe for Christmas and am really enjoying it. If you have time, give it a read!

  10. I agree that it will soon be a distant memory! I thought I would never sleep again after going through this around 6 months, but after sleep training, we’ve been sleeping long stretches (7:30 PM to 5 AM and then back down after nursing until 7 AM) more nights than not! Not sure if you are still room sharing or not, but stopping that definitely helped everyone sleep better in our house. Next issue for us to tackle is the pacifier, but I’m avoiding that one! Good luck!

  11. The purpose of sleeping training books is to sell books. They don’t know you or your baby. its a crazy thing unique to our modern culture that we needs books to tell us how our babies should sleep. How on earth have babies been sleeping for millions of years?! I know how frustrating it is to be dealing with multiple nightly wake-ups and fighting naps. My son’s a tough sleeper, too. And glad things are looking better for you. You just gotta trust your mama instincts and you will do the right thing!

  12. My son is 8 months and has always slept in 2-3 hour chunks. We never noticed a 4 month regression because he never slept well. I am not ready to do any sleep training and enjoy our middle of the night nursing sessions but I would love a 5 hour strech a few times a week. We cosleep and he does eat and get back down very quick so at least we are not up walking the halls. Someday this will be but a memory.

  13. One of the things that scares me the most about the 4 month sleep regression is that there’s a wonder week in there too. Wonder weeks have just been awful for us. My daughter should have been born a redhead. Just hit 12 weeks today, we are finally getting into a groove. As everyone tells me, as soon as you get into a groove, they change on you.

  14. My kids were great sleepers starting at about 2 weeks old. I credit this with them being adjusted (my husband is a chiropractor). They never got their days and nights mixed up and always slept well. Of course we had nights during a growth spurt where they would wake up, but it only lasted a few nights in a row. Something to consider!

    1. I started having my 8 month old adjusted when I go and have noticed a remarkable difference in his acid reflux, sleeping and even bowel movements. It is amazing and he seems to love it. He giggles when it is done!

      1. I brought my 2 month old to be adjusted (now 3 months today!) and the day she was first adjusted she slept 6 hours straight. I bring her once a week. She was waking up with gas pains, you could tell she was in so much pain she was trying to do sit ups in her rock and play. It has definitely helped!

    2. I have had my poor sleeper adjusted a few times and it made no difference in his sleep 🙁 It did help his reflux 🙂

    3. My little guy got adjusted when he was 3 weeks old (I go every 2 weeks, it’s been a lifesaver for me with herniated discs, and my husband goes once a month) – not sure if it made a difference for sleep, but he’s been sleeping thru the night since 7 weeks old, the first night I put him in his crib overnight.

  15. I understand your pain! My daughter was born August 29th so her and Mazen aren’t too far apart in age. We’ve had some horrible nights too starting in November. I read lots of books too…too many to be honest. I felt they were informative but also so generic and as a sleep deprived new mom I wanted someone to just tell me what to do. I wanted to tell a professional about my daughter and get non-generic advice. So a month ago I hired a sleep consultant. We talked over Skype and I instantly felt she knew me and my baby and was so supportive. I told her what I was and wasn’t comfortable with and the next day I started the plan she created for us. My daughter, at 4 months and 2 weeks can now fall asleep on her own after being out in her crib awake and wakes up only 1 time at night if that. Honestly, while sleep training is initially hard, it’s been a TOTAL life saver and I would recommend it to anyone. The lady I used is so nice and understanding and sleep training didnt mean leaving my baby in her room alone to cry it out. I’m from Canada but the lady I hired helps people from all over via Skype if you’re interested. Good luck!!

  16. My son started sleeping better once we put him in his own crib, 5 months, and we put him on his belly to sleep…gasp I know! He rolled over on his own and we had the angel mat monitor. He started sleeping from 7:30pm to 5am. He still never sleeps longer than that but I will take it. He finally at 8 months has started taking good naps and I think it is because he is eating food.
    Keep it up you are doing great. My ped told me that my son just doesn’t sleep as much as “normal” but that he is not worried. He eats well and is exceeding developmental milestones so I just go to bed early 🙂

  17. it seems really hard the sleep regression. my baby is 3.5 months now, and I’m crossing my fingers to skip that.
    so, how long did it last? when did it start? right at 4 months?

  18. omg my friends due date is tomorrow… i really want to send her this post to warn her! i’ll bookmark it and wait. at least she’s a good napper. best of luck, i hope it gets better!!

  19. The most I’ve been stressed, along with the worst sleep I ever got, was when I, too, tracked my baby’s nighttime sleep. Now, we cosleep, and I don’t look at my phone when she wakes, and we both go right back to sleep. Good rest, low stress for us both.

  20. So sorry this is happening. Just like other mommies say, for us, one day she just started sleeping better, although, we did do some sleep training where I let her cry it out, and we are all much happier now. One thing that helped us was introducing rice cereal at four months. I was so against it, but the experienced Mamas in my life told me it might work. A little rice cereal and breastmilk, and she usually slept better. I’ve also learned that sleep is something that is constantly changing in the life of a child.

  21. What you said about a developmental leap – I find that my son, 1 year next week, always has bad sleep when he’s gearing up for a big leap, or in the middle of one. Specifically for him it was pulling up to a stand and crawling (a horrible month of sleep) and then again with walking. He did struggle at 3.5-4 months too. And of course when he is sick and sometimes when he’s teething…. It’s always something! It’s interesting looking back now on a whole year, and I can say that each month has been different from the last. Just this mom’s experience 🙂

  22. In my experience his sleep schedule will bounce around for months, maybe years to come. I eliminated a lot of problems by co-sleeping and side-lying nursing. In my opinion (and from what I have read) this is how moms and babies are meant to sleep so it feels right and soothing to us both and allows for the best and easiest sleep scenario even when they are up and down. They can even nurse while you sleep! You may feel the pull to be near him while you are in the master bedroom because its an instinctual pull remedied only by being together. In “nature” a baby wouldn’t last long through the night without its mother in arms reach. I’m not trying to be preachy or anything at all, I simply found this set-up to be positive for me. It’s not traditional in America so it’s not always well-received when I mention it. Everyone finds what works best for them!

  23. Things to remember
    a) mazen has NOT read any sleep books
    b) anyone can write a book claiming to be an expert.

    Everything got better for me when I just calmed down and went with the philosophy of “whatever it takes to get the most sleep for the most people.” Which means sometimes co-sleeping in the spare room or taking naps.

    Also… Aren’t you sort of a finicky sleeper? You’ve mentioned needing a mask, darkness, Matt to not make noises, temperatures to be optimal, to sleep. Maybe mazen takes after you. I also am a light sleeper and honestly have probably only “slept through the night” my self a handful of times in my life. I always have to pee at least once and it takes me a while to get back to sleep…and I see those traits in my son…

    1. Pregnancy insomnia aside, I’m actually a really good sleeper. I never have trouble falling asleep or getting up at night, and my mom says I was excellent as an infant. But you are right that I am a very LIGHT sleeper, so I will wake up if there’s a thump in the house, so that could definitely be part of it.

      {Just hadn’t gotten to my computer to type out a longer response than on my phone yet this morning…}

  24. The 4 month sleep regression is tough!! Hang in there – the craziness will calm down.

    It is SO true about the developmental stuff – when they are learning a new skill their sleep suffers because all they want to do is focus and practice their new skill. My 8 mo old is just now sitting up unassisted. A few weeks ago right as she was getting stronger and getting the hang of it sleep totally sucked because she was too busy wanting to sit. 🙂

    That said, teething is also hard on their sleep. Just be warned. It is, like you said, one of those things that you don’t realize how bad it is until it happens. Clara started teething at about 5 months.

    Also, Clara was one of those kids that around 4 months she napped like a CHAMP. We are talking several two hour naps a day and maybe a third cat nap to get her to bedtime. But regardless of her day sleep her night sleep was still horrible. I hear most people say that night sleep is easier to obtain than daytime naps. . . total opposite was true for us! Go figure!!

  25. Hello! Do you plan on doing a post about “baby blues” or anything of that sort? I feel like you have taken it all in such stride, and for me, it was very different. I was very very anxious and sleep deprived and even felt angry towards my child at times. I feel like a lot of women experience this, but not many really talk about it. What do you think? Thanks!

  26. Oi! We went through this with our little Harriet starting right after Thanksgiving! It was so exhausting and even though things have gotten much better (she’s back to sleeping in good 6 hour chunks), it still isn’t perfect. But with it came the ability to start to sit up on her own, teething and thus, putting everything in her mouth. It’s often tricky to get her back down in the night because she is so amazed that she can put things in her mouth and feel things that she can’t calm down enough from that excitement to fall asleep! Best of luck with the sleep! He will get there!

  27. Oh kath…I remember those days far too well. I’m pregnant with baby boy #3 (baby #3 also) and I had this issue with my first son. I went back to work full time at 10 weeks and it was miserable! I would come to work sometimes with 3 hours of sleep. I had NO idea what to do and I read all the books as well. Nothing seemed to work for him.

    I hate to say this, but he didn’t sleep through the night until almost 7 months. Even at 6 years old, he still wakes throughout the night and comes over to our bed. I will tell you that you do get used to it and when he does decide to sleep you will have to train YOURSELF to sleep through the night because you’re so used to getting up. Fun stuff. Prayers for more rest for you!

  28. Kath, my son was born in September and recently has starting sleeping horrible, constantly waking himself up and after his first overnight feed he wants to eat every 2 hours after that so your nights sound familiar. No unasked for advice here (I’ve gotten plenty lately including a nurse at my work telling me to start my 3.5 month old on solids awhile, um, no thanks), just wanted to let you know that I feel your exhaustion and you’re not alone!

  29. So glad to hear things have gotten better! It’s amazing what a difference a few hours of solid unbroken sleep can make.

  30. Here are two articles that I LOVE to share with my postpartum clients. Instead of focusing on different techniques to get your baby to sleep (like all the books do), these focus more on how normal newborn sleep patterns are and why we shouldn’t be freaking out about it.



  31. I also had a non sleeper. Add in acid reflux and a milk allergy and we never slept!

    Hang in there, it gets better! It is so, so tough in the beginning (first year, really). We definitely had several sleep regressions and it’s the worst. Just when you think you can count on something it all changes.

    I used to hate when other moms told me how great their newborns slept. Not that they meant anything mean by it but it’s like “yeah, that’s awesome for you. can I take a nap now?”

  32. Hang in there, Kath!

    My son napped in his swing (he refused to nap in his crib!) from 2-4 months, and he slept great in it, so stick with your gut on him sleeping in his swing/stroller.

    You’re doing a great job and Maze is lucky to have you as his mom. Hoping your little guy sleeps better for you soon!

  33. At 4 months, I took my daughter out of the swaddle and started putting her to sleep on her belly. It’s not recommended these days, but I was desperate. It helped tremendously. We have no other risk factors, so it was within my comfort level. And while my pediatrician said he couldn’t recommend it, he broke down the statistics for me and it’s really not as terrible as it sounds.

    I read all the sleep books and the best I found was Ferber’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. Even if you don’t want to use the sleep training part, it’s really informative. I also read Healthy Sleep Habits and didn’t care for it.

    Bottom line is that it gets better. I promise. At 9 months my kiddo now sleeps in 11 – 12 hour stretches. Maze will get there. I’ve been where you are and it sucks, but as with all baby things, it’s a phase and it will get better.

  34. The books (same ones I used) really help. By 4 months my daughter was having only one feeding around 3am., but she didn’t really need it. I gradually reduced the amount/length of feeding, and at 5 months did the three nights of sleep training. It was heartbreaking, but SOOOO worth it. She learned to self soothe and she was so happy and well-rested. I was back to work 3 days at that point and shortly after went full time. It sounds tough, but it is the biggest favor you can do your child ismto help them learn this young, I opted for the cold turkey approach to let her cry it out rather than the gradual. I have remained strict about bedtime and her pediatrician is very supportive. It may seem easier for you not to go through this since you have the luxury of napping during the day, but in the long run, it can make you crazy. The other great tip from her doctor was do it before he can stand up in his crib….. There will always be stretches of time through infancy and toddlerhood that they regress, but the initial training gives a foundation to help them get back on track quickly.

    1. How do you know if she doesn’t need the feeding? I’ve got a 4.5 month old and have been asking this question. Would she not take a full feeding at 2/3 am? Or is there another way to tell?

  35. Sounds like you are really trying to focus on just “being” with him. I applaud you for worrying less about something you “may” be doing and focussing on what you ARE doing. I would strongly recommend co sleeping if he is waking to nurse alot at night. Its so easy on both of you. He may also be getting too old/active/big for swaddling and it may actually be detrimental to his sleep. At his age many babies are beginning to roll, move, discover, etc. The sleep bags that are available now for babies allow them the warmth they need without the swaddling/ constriction.

  36. How much does Mazen weigh now? My little boy is the same age as yours and he’s a little peanut – just over 14 lbs. You said in an earlier post you thought he was 16 or so lbs, I’m curious if your guess was right!

  37. I feel your pain! Same thing with my first baby, except I had to go back to work at 6 weeks. I actually felt insane….that’s why they use sleep depreivation as a torture device : ) Second baby, I learned a little trick by accident. While playfully arguing with my hubby who should get up with her since we both work….to our amazement since we didn’t jump, she fell right back asleep. Not all babies are alike….I wish you luck…he’s a cutie!

  38. I used to love getting up with AJ to nurse. His sister was a premie and couldnt latch so I pumped for her and it wasn’t the same. You’ll think the twos are bad, but they’re nothing compared to the terrible threes (at least in my kids)!

  39. I have a 7 month old, who has been a good sleeper and I have no idea why. The only thing we did was put her in her own room in her crib since the first night and put on a schedule of feedings. I pumped first 6 weeks with formula to supplement, we had a latching issue. I went back to work at 12 weeks. At about 7 weeks, I turned off the monitor at night. She was on a pretty good routine of getting up only once after being put down about 9 or 10…and she’s just across the hall so i turned it off when I went to bed and magically one night, she slept thru the night, then again, and again and has been ever since. Well we had a few bumps, but all in all – I know, i should shut up, trust me I know we are LUCKY!

    My point is this, I wonder if you being in the room is not allowing him the time to self sooth, or get himself back to sleep. I am not sure if that’s sleep training or not, but I wonder if he wakes, he knows you’re in there, then you wake and nobody sleeps well.

    I am reluctant to say anything, because like you said, all babies are different. But I just wonder, if you sleeping in the room with him is causing some conflict. I am sure you have thought of this, but its always worth a try! Good luck!

      1. I wish this worked for us. Mine had been in his own room since week 6 and after the 4 month regression his sleep has never been as good as it was before. We have better nights than others but its not consistent. I also come to him when he is loud enough for me to hear him.

        1. Have you also considered just straight up co-sleeping? Two adults trading places in bed isn’t necessarily the calmest environment. Maybe if he just slept with you both it’d be easier?

  40. I think you’re right to follow your instincts about Maze’s sleep…I gave away Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child because it just didn’t apply to my daughter as a baby (fast forward to her being three years old and it’s still true..if she naps too much, guess what? She doesn’t sleep at night). I think the people who swear by some books are the people whose babies fit that mold. Find a book you like, or don’t, or pick out the tidbits of advice that make sense and consider the rest just not applicable to your baby.
    And my three month old son was very similar to Maze in his first part of the night sleep..4,56, hours since birth then at 2.5 months up after three hours. He’s back to the five hours or so again. BUT he’s ALWAYS done that off and on nursing/sleeping thing for the second half of the night. So I bring him in bed for that half of the night and side nurse.

  41. Hang in there mamma! I have been blessed with an awesome sleeper, which makes me worried if we go for #2 🙂 It’s funny, when my little one was up all night, I couldn’t wait for it to be over and for him to sleep at night……and now that he does, I miss getting up with him and rocking him in the quiet, dark house. I’d give anything for him to fall asleep on my chest one more time…

  42. I didn’t read the other comments, so apologies if I’m repeating. I found with my three that right before a big developmental change, their sleep was fragmented. Seems like their little brains are working overtime and they can’t settle down. Has he rolled over yet? Maybe that’s coming! Or sitting up (too early, I assume).

    I didn’t know about the 4 month regression and about restorative naps. By my third (best sleeper ever from week 1), he was lucky to ever be home for a nap in the crib. We were always on the go with his older siblings and he napped in car or stroller. He’s a fine and healthy 14 year old now!

    Also I knew you new moms frown on this, but what about baby rice cereal? My ped told me to put a teaspoon in my first baby’s night bottle at 19 weeksShe slept 10 hours or more after that. Did it with all my kids and they are all healthy and happy teens. :).

    You’ll get through this- one night at a time. Best of luck!

  43. Hi Kath,
    I always enjoy reading your blog! I’m sorry to hear of the lack of sleep. I have a little girl, who was born three weeks before Mazen. As always, I love reading any tidbits of information on babies/kids. I did stumbled upon the following website on Pinterest – maybe this will help a little. However, yes every baby is different:) You just survive and in the end do what works for you! http://delightfulmomstuff.blogspot.com/2012/02/newborn-sleeping-through-night.html

  44. I will preface this to say I’m old enough to be your mom, so take this for what it’s worth. But why would you sleep in the same room as a 4-month-old baby? If he’s fed and has a dry diaper, why don’t you put him in his crib (in his own room), and let him develop his own sleep habits? Don’t babies need to learn to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up? (Yes, even if this means letting them cry for awhile.) Crying is not going to harm them. Let him fuss a little—and see if he will go back to sleep on his own.
    He may suck his thumb, hold onto his blanket, whatever, but he will develop habits that help him learn to go back to sleep on his own. What happens if you’re not there one night? (sickness, emergency, trip, etc.) Doesn’t he need to learn to go back to sleep by himself?

    1. He is in his crib…. One of us just sleeps in there on duty to be close by for night care and so the other can rest. For what it’s worth, we slept elsewhere last night and wakeups were worse. I think we’re still in the regression

      1. I put my son in his own room at three months and for the first week he didn’t do well at all, but then he improved and actually did better. Maybe try sleeping separately for a longer period than just one night?

          1. Oh Good! Babies make noise, and sometimes they will naturally put themselves back to sleep after fussing…learning to self-soothe. Jess has C in her nursery, in the next room and has the monitor down low. I wanted to tell you to move back into your bedroom for your own sanity! Sometimes our daughters just need to ask their moms, and put all those books away 🙂

      2. Another thing you may consider: Stop feeding on demand and put Maze on a schedule (both day and night). When he wakes up at night do not feed him before his scheduled time. This was the only way I could get my kids to sleep through the night (I didn’t start as early as 4 months though). At first it is rough because they wake up and cry (less sleep for mom and baby), but then they seem to “get” the schedule and sleep! Eventually, I started spacing out their night time feedings even longer (4hours became 5, etc.) and before long they were sleeping through the night.

  45. He really just gets cuter and cuter everyday! Sorry to hear you’ve been so sleep deprived. Thanks for the reading recommendations. Our baby is due in 5 weeks and I’ve been thinking I should start reading up on sleep now:)

  46. I will spare you the details of our sleep drama. But we were very uneducated about sleep…so we dug ourselves a hole to work out of. The fact that you are educated puts you in such a good place. But with all the information it can be so confusing. And what finally worked for us was calling in a sleep consultant and being told what to do. It was a godsend. I couldn’t do trial and error any more! So there is that avenue should you need it. Sleep deprivation is really hard. Sending compassion your way.

  47. I hear you on the sleep front! Evan is a great napper (two 1 hour naps in the morning, one 1-2 hour nap around lunch time, and another 1 hour nap early evening) but he does NOT like to sleep at night. He will go down easily in his crib for the first shift and sleeps about three hours. Then, he wakes up constantly the rest of the night – and I’ll get maybe an hour at most. Usually by 3am I give up and he comes and sleeps with my hubs and me because I am too tired and I have to get up at 4:30am to get ready for work and I need to be at least functioning. It is so frustrating. My pediatrician said that we shouldn’t start sleep training until he’s 5.5 months or so, so I feel like there is nothing to do except wait. I’m not sure he’s going to be one of those babies that just “get” it one day.

    And I totally feel judged because EVERYONE always asks me how he sleeps at night. Like it’s some kind of measure of how great a mom I am or something. And if I say he’s not sleeping well they feel the need to fill me in on a bunch of advice and tell me all the things I must be doing wrong. It can be annoying. Last night I swaddled him completely and he ended up sleeping for four hours on the second shift (11pm – 2:45am), which has NEVER happened. So I was super happy about that.

    I try to just take it one night at a time. And, like my sister told me, I only make changes to his sleep routine on the weekend – when I can catch up on sleep during the day!

    Good luck and let me know if you find a great solution…

    1. I just read Babywise and was really disappointed. I felt like it assumed your child actually sleeps! “At 8 weeks he will be sleeping 8 hours.” It offered very little advice to actually get your baby to sleep. We are already on a routine and he eats every 2.5-3 hours, but still not sleeping. I’m not sure what else the book suggested we do.

      1. Please, please be cautious about anything related to Babywise. It has a rather troubled history. According to the AAP, it has been associated with “failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning.” Many of its claims run completely contradictory to current medical research. Here’s a link to the AAP commentary http://www.ezzo.info/Aney/aapnews.pdf

        There are a lot of great (and varied!) books on infant care/routines out there; this isn’t one of them.

        1. I didn’t find anything about it really all that bad (and I was looking for it). He seemed to advocate feeding every 2.5-3 hours, which is pretty much exactly when M is hungry. I guess if your baby was hungry less often and you thought the clock should rule, but he just seemed to emphasize order of routine and not the clock

  48. Hey Kath, This is totally off topic, but I was just browsing the Sephora sale section online and noticed that they had a few Lavanilla baby products on sale. I remember you loving these, and thought I’d give you a heads up just in case you need to stock up! Happy Saturday!

  49. Mazes is adorable! I’ve LOVED following your story bc I had a little for back in July and we live in Richmond so I know what places you’re usually talking about. Anyway, I recently started back up my blog and thought some of you and your mommy followers could check it out since it’s about literacy activities to do with our little ones:


    Hope you can check it out sometime! Good luck with the sleeping. My little one took til 4 months to sleep 8-7… But I’m holding my breath because it prob won’t last!

  50. My friend Summer (who has 3 kids) always says, “The people who write sleep books are the people whose kids sleep!” I think she’s right 😉

  51. I don’t understand why EVERYONE is not reading “Bringing Up Bebe” written by an American writer who went to live in France and is bringing her kids up in the French way. It tells ALL ABOUT how the French way of teaching babies to sleep and how to have manners is so amazing and so DIFFERENT from the American way. Kids are sleeping thru by 4 months and have such better table manners. Seriously, Kath, google the author (I have it on my itunes and have turned friends onto it and they LOVE LOVE LOVE it) and give it a shot. Too late for my own kids, but soooo enlightened. I wish I had seen it years ago.

    1. I actually have the book in my possession but haven’t read it yet. I’m guessing the solution to night sleeping is a laissez faire attitude toward wake ups? Curious what their secret is.

  52. My daughter Ava (first born) was a terrible sleeper! She wouldn’t sleep anywhere except a swing for the first 6 months of her life. She hated the crib, the car seat and had no interest in co-sleeping. It was VERY tough, but I agree with you an hour sleep in a stroller is better than a 20 minute crib nap. Ava’s 6 years old now and has had no problem since she was 6 months (when she outgrew the swing and HAD to go in the crib lol) Every baby has their own groove, my son (second born) was sleeping in 4-5 hour increments at 2 1/2 months and never looked back! he’ll be 3 next week and still sleeps for 11 hours a night- but takes no naps. Mazen is just trying to find his sleep groove : ) it’s tough but hold on it won’t be long!

  53. I definitely feel your pain. My daughter was exactly the same way, only she would only sleep for 2-3 hours at a stretch, and this continued until she was around 8 months. We tried everything, and the only thing that worked for us was supplementing her night bottle of my breast milk (I nursed until she was 13 mo) with a bit of formula. We went with a sensitive formula since she is lactose intolerant, but I think that the extra calories and extra time to digest at night definitely helped her to remain full and sleep longer at night. Good luck!

  54. Kath,

    I highly recommend “The Baby Sleeps Tonight” I used with with both of our boys and by 3 months both were sleeping 12 hours a night with 2 solid crib naps. Its awful when you can’t get a good night’s sleep i hope this passes quickly. Just a heads up, potty training not too bad 🙂

  55. Quick question for you. I think my 3.5 month old is going through the 4 month sleep regression a little early. Did Mazen start sleeping better after the 2 weeks gradually or was it like an overnight change.

    1. Ours lasted a month and ebbed and flowed. We had couple of good nights but mostly bad. He’s 4.5 months now and still not sleeping that well. I keep hoping for an overnight lasting change but this might just be how it is

  56. I’m so happy to have found this post, if only to know that sleep regression exists and I’m not crazy! My daughter is almost 5 months old and over the past few weeks (but especially the past 2 nights) our nights have looked exactly like your chart – exhausting and horrible for everyone. She is working on rolling but hasn’t mastered it yet, and we’ve also been trying to wean her from swaddling since she loves to suck on her fingers during the day but won’t self soothe by doing that at night. I thought the change from full swaddle was the cause and have been going back and forth about what to do, and going crazy in the process. Thanks for sharing – what a relief that I’m not alone…

  57. I just wanted to say how helpful it’s been to be able to go back and read posts like this. We are currently in the midst of the 4 month sleep regression (although like Mazen Em has decided to do it a bit earlier at 3.75 months) and it is so challenging! While I know this isn’t true it feels like all the other moms I know have great sleepers and my sweet girl has decided to be up every hour instead. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that it does get better 🙂

  58. Came across your post when googling about 4 month sleep regression. My baby girl started sleeping in 1.5-2.5 hr stretches at 3 months and she hasn’t improved yet (she is 4.5 months now). Has been through a lot of developmental leaps the last month and we traveled overseas smack in the middle which didn’t help. Saw your update but since that was a while ago, wondered how Mazen’s sleep improved over the following months at 5, 6, 7 months etc. Hope he slept better. I’m just trying to survive right now and am hungry for any info and stories I can relate to and hang on to hope! Thanks!!!

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