Struggling with your 4 month old baby's sleep? These sleep tips for 4 month olds will help! We've got tips on night feedings, naps, bedtime, night wakings, the 4 month sleep regression, and gentle sleep training for 4 month old babies.
Watch Jilly's "Drowsy but Awake" video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2RG0m7u3dc
Find out more about the 4 month sleep regression here: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video
And 8 reasons why your 4 month old isn't sleeping well: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-old-not-sleeping
My baby stands (or sits up) in the crib and won’t sleep!: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/baby-stands-sits-up-in-crib-wont-sleep
Get your FREE Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit here: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit
Your 4 month old baby should be sleeping, or napping, every 1.5-2.5 hours throughout the day. Let your baby sleep often. Your 4 month old should be taking about 3 or 4 naps every day, depending on how long the naps are.
Your 4 month old’s night sleep should be about 9-11 hours at night. Not straight - it's too soon for most 4 month olds. Bedtime for the 4 month old really depends on how many naps they’re taking, and also how many hours of sleep they’re ready for at night. In general, you want the 4 month old’s bedtime to be a little bit later.
I usually say for a 4 month old, any time between 8pm -9pm is pretty realistic, given your little one is only going to sleep 9-11 hours at night.
If your little one has to be up early for daycare, just move bedtime earlier.
On average your 4 month old should be expected to have 2 night feeds - although it could be 1, or even 3 for some babies. This would normally mean that your little one can go 4-5 hours between feeds overnight, assuming that your baby’s growth and weight gain are great.
If your baby has feeding or growth issues, then you really want to speak to your doctor first. Ask them how long your baby could go overnight in between feeds.
Total sleep in 24 hours:
14-15 hours, including naps and night sleep.
Tip 1: Begin a Peaceful Nightly Ritual
A Peaceful Nightly Ritual is just a series of activities that you do every evening, that set the scene for relaxation. It gets your baby used to relaxing and settling down, and falling asleep at the same time every evening.
Tip 2: Let your baby sleep often during the day
Really stick to the 1.5-2.5 hour awake times. We want to prevent your baby from becoming overtired. When babies become overtired, they become wired, overstimulated, and really hard to settle down. Make sure you watch out for your baby's sleep signs too.
Tip 3: White Noise and a Blacked-out Bedroom
What I really recommend for all babies is white noise all night long, and at nap time when your baby’s at home. Also, make sure that you darken your baby’s bedroom really well. You really want to prevent that morning light from coming in your baby’s window, which will definitely make him wake earlier.
Tip 4: Let baby fall asleep on his own
The best recommendation I have for you, is to work on how he falls asleep at bedtime. If he’s falling asleep in his bed, more and more on his own, then this will help him automatically sleep for longer stretches. Get your baby ready to sleep. You’ve got your bedtime routine.
You put him in his bed when he’s drowsy but not yet falling asleep. Ideally, his eyes won’t be closed yet. Put your baby in his bed. Then, you’re going to do as much hands-on support as you have to do, to have him be okay with being in his bed and falling asleep.
Every night, you just want to do this a bit less. You want it to be a gradual wean off of your hands-on support.
Tips to decrease night feedings:
I do still think that 4 month olds need to feed at night. What you could do if you want to slowly start reducing your baby’s night feeds is to work to a pattern that works well for your baby. Maybe it’s feeding every 4 hours. Maybe it’s every 5 or even every 6 hours.
Get your doctors opinion on it. Then you could start by deciding to feed your baby only every 3 hours in the night. So if he wakes and it’s been 3 hours, you can feed him, burp him, and go back to the method that you used at bedtime to help him fall asleep. If it’s been less than 3 hours, then just go straight to the method you used at bedtime.
This is a slow and gentle way of getting his stomach used to eating less often at night. He’ll make up for that nutrition tomorrow when he wakes up - just offer frequent feeds to make up for that!