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The FOUR month sleep regression. WHY does it happen?

Hillary Sadler | January 26, 2021

Have you asked yourself this? Googled it yet? Let me help guide you to figuring out why your baby might be waking up again at night after maybe he/she had started getting that uninterrupted sleep at night.

Let’s pause for a minute first. Don’t let this sleep regression throw you off your GAME! You’ve got this Mama! It’s true: you want your baby to sleep at night because YOU want to sleep at night. I get it. You were used to waking up every 2 to 4 hours in the middle of the night and you were kind of OK with it… but then, your baby began sleeping longer stretches…and now these middle of the night wakings are almost like torture. I’ve been there. Your trying to catch up on all those lost hours of sleep you’ve accumulated over the past few months. And you might be back at work during the day. These middle of the night wakings are hard. So, let’s just start there. Acknowledge that, they are hard. In addition, it’s OK if you feel like they are hard. And it’s OK that you’re looking for a way OUT of them!! I would be too, I love sleep.

 When your baby starts waking up at night, you’ve got to look at the big picture and try to figure out what is going on. Because it could be SO MANY things. And it’s NOT going to be the same thing for each baby. Today, I’m sharing some things it could be…

Feedings

Check your feedings. Did your baby start to extend to 6, 8, 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep in the last month? Yes? Make sure your baby is getting the calories they need. And make sure your supply is in tune with what your baby needs if your breastfeeding. Simply put dropped feedings at night need to be made up during the day. Otherwise, they’ll catch up with you! Need help figuring this out? The Babies Made Simple course help answer all your questions about this AND we’ll get your baby back on track to sleeping 6, 8, 10, 12 hours at night!

Developmental leaps

Once your baby starts rolling over and trying to sit up, that’s all he/she will be interested in doing! Also, around month three to four, babies are WAY more aware of their world. Make sure you’re limiting wake windows. Keep your baby’s world small so they don’t get overstimulated. We can talk about feeding here too. You might have to feed in a closet. Or somewhere really boring. (I’m kidding, sort of…) If your baby isn’t feeding well due to distractions, this can definitely affect nighttime sleep and a breastfeeding Mama’s supply. (Need help? Check out the Babies Made Simple course)

Teething

Mouth and gum pain is some of the worst pain around. I’m glad we don’t remember what teething was like! Some babies are bothered more by teething than others. Babies that are overtired or hungry are MORE likely to be bothered by teething. So, when your baby is going through teething, make it a goal to keep your baby full and well rested. And don’t hesitate to pull out your “tricks” you used during the fourth trimester when helping your baby get those zzz’s! It’s going to be OKAY if you hold your baby for a nap. Remember, sometimes you’ve got to hit RESET!

breastfeeding support charleston
charleston sc breastfeeding support
charleston breastfeeding support

Quick hack: Size UP your baby’s diaper at night! Once your baby is extending nighttime sleep, the middle of the night diaper changes aren’t happening. But your baby is still filling up that diaper! Put your baby in a bigger diaper at night. It could be that full diaper making your baby wake up in the middle of the night!

Sleep Environment

This isn’t as simple as the diaper hack. If you’ve spent the first 3-4 months using something like a Snoo, dock-a-tot or other sleep aid for nighttime sleep…it might be a little more of a challenge helping your baby get uninterrupted sleep once you’ve transitioned out of those. (And if you need a little extra help the Babies Made Simple course helps guide you with this. In addition, if you’re looking for more 1:1 support, you can schedule a consult with me!)

A few things to consider about your baby’s sleep environment:

  • Make sure it’s cool. But not cold. Make sure your baby is comfortable (Temperature) when sleeping. Who doesn’t wake up if you hot or cold in the middle of the night?!?
  • You need a sound machine. And turn it up loud. I really like this one from Spa Medics. Use the white noise option.
  • Your baby doesn’t need a night light. Keep the room dark. Black out curtains are strongly recommended.
  • Sleep sacks are NOT all created equal. I love the Zipadee Zip by Sleepingbaby. If your baby is sleeping in a sleep suit/sack that isn’t allowing him/her to roll to her belly IF she wants to…this could definitely be affecting sleep!

Hang in there Mama! You’ve got this!

Hillary

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