It's like as soon as you have a baby you start hearing myths and whisperings about the four month sleep regression. It's the lochness monster of the first 6 months of your babies life.
Let's talk about what it is, and how to survive it.
What's happening is your baby is hitting a bunch of milestones all at once! You cute little overachiever you! Your baby is recognizing faces, learning to roll over, and taking in language. Also their sleep patterns are ACTUALLY changing, so physically it all makes sense. Your baby is cycling from lighter sleep to deeper sleep in a different way than they were in the months prior. This means they make wake more often, AND have a harder time falling back asleep.
What this means for you? YOU'RE EXHAUSTED. You felt like you had your baby figured out! They were napping, they were predictable and BANG.
Here's our best tips for preparing for the 4 month sleep regression:
1: Control what you can: you can plan for this, and set yourself up for success. It's likely coming, but we don't know how long it will be. Plan with your partner how to have more meals planned, what can they take off of your plate for the thick of it, and call in some extra help from family or even a postpartum doula.
2: Manage your Expectations; if you can avoid making plans that are too in stone at this time that would be really smart. Flexible baby friend dates are a great idea, but things like hosting a family dinner may add undue stress. Also if you can try to nap every day during this regression that would be amazing.
3: Stick to your routine: Whether it's black out blinds, white noise and a sleep sack, or maybe a nightly bath and story time, STICK to it. Your routine is not broken!
4: Feed as much as needed. Decide what your feeding boundaries are. This is a nice time to start trying to have your baby fall asleep on their when they are drowsy because this is the skill they will need to fall back
5: Change baby's bed time, if you are running low on sleep, try an earlier bedtime to accommodate for the lack of sleep, for baby AND you. An earlier bedtime and a really nice bed routine for yourself would be a really lovely way to honour this time.
6: Put some treats in that time for you: new bath bombs, book a massage, or try a salt float! One hour in a salt float feels like 4 hours of sleep! It's an amazing gift! Ask for the help you need to arrange these times. A well taken care of mother can take better care of her baby.
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