So, you’ve survived your baby’s 4 month developmental milestone and emerged with a baby who is engaged with the world around him.
You probably noticed this fussy period lasted longer than other developmental phases (at least so far). From this age on the skills your baby is mastering are more complicated and he‘ll take more time to adjust.
Studies have shown that at 4-months there are dramatic changes in your baby’s brain waves and a significant increase in head circumference. After two to three weeks (possibly more) of “Mr. Grumpy” you are probably questioning if you’ll ever get your smiley, happy, predictable bundle of joy back.
The good news? You’re about to!
Hopefully you’re starting to see routines reestablished, and your sleeping and feeding schedules are back on track with a baby who is able to enjoy his surroundings.
Your baby has probably discovered all sorts of new tricks, such as grabbing objects and passing them from hand to hand, putting things in his mouth (oh the joy!), manipulating objects, responding to his name, making new sounds, and maybe even rolling over (although this is considered early, so don’t fret if your baby isn’t there yet). He’s learning how to communicate some of his needs, for example: stretching his hands when he wants to be picked up and finding other fun ways to get your attention. You’ll notice his personality is really starting to shine through, and you may notice him gravitate to favorite toys, games, and activities.
Have you gotten off track?
With all these wonderful, new discoveries you may feel that you have picked up a few poor habits along the way that will not be ideal long-term. With increased night wakings and difficulty at naptimes, you may have relied on methods that work for now but that you don’t want to be using for the next couple of years. And that’s ok! Habits can be changed.
I know that you are anxious to get your baby to napping better and sleeping longer stretches at night.
At this age, is completely normal for your baby to be waking during the night for feedings. So don’t get discouraged if you find your baby who used to be able to sleep a longer stretch, all of a sudden wake and need a feeding. He is growing rapidly, and just went through a developmental milestone, so he may really NEED to eat.
Once you’ve come out of the 4-month sleep regression/PROgression, you may start to see your baby’s routines re-established, and your sleeping and feeding schedules are back on track with a baby who is able to enjoy his surroundings.
Use the Light
To help encourage regular day/night routines, expose your baby to lots of natural light during the day. Take him for walks, open the windows, or (if it’s warm enough), go have some tummy time on a blanket in the yard. Just 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon will help to re-adjust his internal clock, especially if his sleep has completely turned upside down.
Posted in: Month 5: Challenges & Solutions