4 months sleep regression is a sleep challenge that many babies between three and five months old experience. This sleep regression is closely related to baby’s growth spurts.
Recent studies have shown that at 4 months there are dramatic changes in infant’s brain waves and a significant increase in his head circumference.
4 months sleep regression can be recognized by a distinct change in baby’s behavior.
Some common symptoms of this regression are:
- Multiple night wakings
- Poor napping
- Increased fussiness
- Changes in appetite
So, You are Probably Wondering Why Does This Regression Happen?
In order to explain to you that, I would like to clarify a few things about sleep first.
Many of us just imagine sleep as an on-or-off state, meaning you’re either asleep or not. However, that is not the true…
Sleep has actually a number of different stages, and they make up “the sleep cycle” which we go through several times a night.
Stage 1 is the initial stage we are all familiar with. During this stage, you can just feel yourself drifting off, but it is not really falling asleep. A perfect example of it would be seeing your companion nodding off while watching a movie, and you told him to go to bed, but he answered to you: “I wasn’t sleeping!”
Stage 2 is considered the first “real sleep” stage. If we reach this stage, once woken up, we realize that we were actually sleeping. For those who are taking a “power nap”, this is as deep as you want to go or else you might wake up feeling dazed.
Stage 3 is deep and restorative sleep, also known as “slow wave” sleep. During this stage, our body starts repairing and rejuvenating the immune system, muscles tissue, energy stores, and sparks growth and development.
Stage 4 is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During this stage, our brain starts to kick in and consolidates information and memories from the day before. It’s also the stage where we do most of our dreaming.
Once we pass through all of these stages, we come to close waking up or wake up and then start sleeping again until the alarm goes on.
You are probably thinking; does this have to do with four months sleep regression?
The answer is: Yes, it does. Surprisingly, newborns only have 2 stages of sleep: stage 3 and REM and they spend about half of their sleep at each stage. But once they reach three or four months they go through a massive reorganization of their sleep cycles where their sleep starts to operate much like ours as grown-ups. During this age, babies embrace all four stages of sleep which they continue to follow for the rest of their lives.
When this change takes place, infants move from 50% REM sleep to 25% in order to leave some space for the first two sleep stages. So, even REM sleep is light, it’s still not as light as the two new stages that they are trying to get used to, and because more time is spent in lighter sleep, there are more chances that baby will wake up.
So, if you have been assisting your little one to fall asleep by providing him a pacifier, rocking him, breastfeeding him or by using any similar external help, then be prepared! Your baby is going to request even more assistance from now on as he will spend lots of time in light sleep.
When this happens, parents find themselves in a nightmarish situation and start searching for the way out.
I Have to Tell You That Nothing is Going to Change Unless Your Child Learns Some Independent Sleep Skills!
So, if that sounds like you, I would love to help you in any way I can. We can even work on a more personalized program for your little one. The most common thing I hear after working with someone is: “Why I haven’t started this earlier!” If you are considering hiring a sleep consultant, now is a perfect time. I offer a free 15-minute consultation during which we can talk more about your child’s situation.
So, Book a Call Now and We Can Move Forward as Soon as You are Ready to Get Your Little One Sleeping Through the Night!