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Which sleep regression is the worst?

First of all, as sleep consultants, we only recognize the 4 month sleep regression as an actual regression. Around this time, your baby’s sleep is actually maturing and becoming more like an adult’s. They are starting to establish their circadian rhythm, which is where they differentiate between night and day.

Any other setback in a baby’s sleep is normally due to a developmental milestone (like walking or talking for example), or teething, or changes in their sleep needs. The key thing is to firstly determine what is causing this set back. Have they suddenly started doing something different? Walking, talking, standing and rolling can all play havoc with a baby’s sleep. It’s a huge developmental milestone for them and they sometimes want to practice at night, and then get frustrated, and over stimulated, which leads to broken sleep. These are only temporary blips remember. Give them plenty of time to practice their new skill during the day and keep your little one’s routine the same and consistent during the day. It will quickly pass.

Are they teething? Tugging at their ears, little red cheeks, dribbling? You might have a little teether. Teething famously plays havoc with a baby’s sleep. Why? Well in general during the day, there is so much going on, a baby won’t be as bothered by teething pain. Whereas at night time, there are less distractions! Teething generally lasts a week or so, so teething gels and pain relief are probably a good option until the little fangs erupt!

Lastly, could your little one need a nap tweak? Are they ready to drop a nap? Perhaps they are getting too much sleep? Check out our blog about whether babies can sleep for too long! Day time sleep can affect night time sleep more than most people realise. It’s actually one of the most important parts of cracking good night sleep!

If your baby is going through the 4 month regression, what can you do? Our key advice is:

- Stay consistent with their sleep

- Keep everything as dark and quiet as possible at night

- Introduce some quiet play in the hour before bed (no screens!)

- Let that sunlight in first thing in the morning! This will regulate those hormones!

And remember. It won’t last forever. Your baby’s sleep is actually PROgressing and maturing, which is a wonderful thing.

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