I probably get asked more questions about the 4 month sleep regression than any other questions. Just what is this anyway? In this blog post, I break this down for you with some strategies for dealing with this and maybe even avoiding the sleepless nights by putting some good habits in place from the start.
You can read this detailed version or watch the shorter version in video below.
Newborn sleep is governed by two things - being tired and hungry. It is pretty simple. They sleep when they are tired and they wake up when they are hungry. But as babies get older - somewhere around 4 months they begin to develop a more mature sleep pattern which is regulated by the sleep hormones of cortisol - which wakes us up in the morning and melatonin which makes up sleepy at night.
Our daytime schedule and dark and night play a big role in baby sleep as well (all tied in with these hormones).
As your baby's natural circadium rhythms start to get regulated, their schedules can...
Children love a routine. No one will deny that. It is so important to a child to know what is going to happen next. To put some structure around their day. Some consistency. Order. Parents build that routine into babies' and children’s lives whether they realize it or not. Even the most free spirited of parents subconsciously build routines - even rituals - into their baby’s lives.
Don’t believe me? Think about the things that you did starting that first month with your baby. How you set up a routine for changing, feeding, bathing - did you have certain ways you liked to do things? - The little things you did to put your child to sleep?
You may not have started anything with intent. It all may have just started as a learning process. Trial and error. You were responding to the cues of your child. That is what "good parents" do, right? That is called being a responsive parent.