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4 Month Old Sleep and Schedule

As parents, the journey from birth to 16 weeks can pass super quickly but for some it can go slowly, be really hard and exhausting. It is filled with joy, many questions every day and night and, of course that goes with a few sleepless nights to boot! Sleep is a crucial aspect of your baby's development and as I explain in my Newborn Workshops, it is all about supporting that sleep, NOT sleep training.

You may start wondering how to establish healthy sleep patterns at this age and ask what a schedule looks like for a 4 month old. In this blog I explain the sleep needs of a four-month-old, common challenges, and some practical tips to ensure both you and your little one get the rest you need so you feel good about getting up and starting each day with an energetic smile!

Understanding the Sleep Patterns of your 4-Month-Old

At four months old, your baby is experiencing significant developmental changes (sleep changes also) and these changes can affect their sleep patterns. Most babies at this age sleep around 12 to 16 hours a day, with longer periods of night time sleep and shorter naps (cat napping often occurs at this age) during the day. However, every baby is unique, and variations in sleep patterns are normal.

Challenges You Might Encounter:

Sleep Regression:

Around the four-month mark, all babies go through a sleep regression. This is a period of time (about 2-6 weeks) where your baby's sleep patterns may become more unpredictable and they may wake up more frequently during the night. Often I find parents come to me around 5 months and day “up to 4 months she was sleeping really well at night but now she wakes every 90 minutes…” This can be attributed to their developing sleep cycles, during infancy they had only 2 stages of sleep cycles and now they have 3 (like you and me!) and of course they have an increased awareness of their surroundings.

Establishing a Routine:

Creating a consistent sleep routine during the day can be challenging at this age and yes, every day can be very different, but that different is a part of the puzzle piece that can make or break your nights. Is it essential to have a consistent routine at this age, no, not at all, but if you are struggling with nights and are looking to get into a routine now is a great time to start! Babies thrive on routine, and a predictable sleep schedule can help signal to your little one that it's time for sleep and that sleep can be achieved with more ease than if your days are unpredictable and all over the place.

Total day time sleep, your aim is about 3.5-4.5 hours spread over approximately 4 naps. Some babies need more sleep and some less hence the total day sleep is quite a big range. Wake windows you are looking at will be 1hr 30 – 1hr 45 maximum.

You can do any or all naps in the crib but you do not have to be chained to the bedroom every day to achieve naps. When your baby transitions to 2 naps around 79 months if they have grasped the skill of napping in their cot then this transition will be easy for them to nap in their cot especially if they are going to daycare.

Feed every 2-3 hours. It is super important for your baby and you to venture outside for natural daylight exposure and stimulation, this will help with sleep and a nap can be on the go – it is OKAY!

Below is a sample schedule for a 4 month old on 4 naps.

Quick tips first –

1.     Wake up and feed regardless of the nights activities – aim for the same 30 minute window of the same wake time each day

2.     During wake time feed/change nappy and playtime/tummy time

3.     Nap 4 tends to now be a short cat nap of about 30-45 minutes and can be assisted or contact. This cat nap is the bridging nap to get to bedtime

Nap Time Struggles:

Some babies may resist napping during the day, making it challenging for them to get the recommended amount of sleep. Don’t stress out about this. It is a very normal thing to happen and your baby is just asking for some more support and practice time to get to sleep!

Understanding your baby's cues and creating a quiet, comfortable nap environment can help encourage naps. Even if your baby does not show those sleepy signs this can be dangerous territory if they stay away longer (more that the suggested 1 hour 45) as they can get super over tired and then find falling asleep a challenge and you may start to experience short naps because of the overtiredness.


Tips for Better Sleep:

Create a Naptime Routine:

Establishing a calming naptime routine can signal to your baby that it's time to wind down and sleep is coming. This would look like going to the bedroom, change nappy if needed, popping on a sleep sack and reading a little story before going into the cot. Consistency is key.



Navigating the world of a four-month-old's sleep may have its challenges, but with the right expectations, patience, consistency, and a good dose of flexibility, you can establish healthy sleep habits for both you and your baby. Remember, every baby is unique, and finding what works best for your little one may involve some trial and error. It may take some time and that’s OKAY! Both you and your baby are learning together!

If you would like to clarify any of this that I explain in this blog or would like to find out more how I can help you please cook in your free sleep assessment call HERE! You only have information to gain right...!

As always,

Peaceful nights and days to you all,


Your paediatric sleep consultant



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