How do you fix sleep regression?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Managing the 4-month sleep regression can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help improve your baby’s sleep. Here are some tips to fix sleep regression:

1. Give your baby time to practice during the day: During this regression, your baby may be going through developmental milestones that can affect their sleep. Encourage plenty of daytime play and tummy time to help them practice their new skills and tire them out.

2. Fully feed your baby during the day: Make sure your baby is getting enough milk or formula during the day to prevent hunger from disrupting their sleep at night. If your baby is exclusively breastfeeding, consider offering more frequent feedings during the day.

3. Introduce ‘drowsy but awake’: Help your baby learn to fall asleep independently by putting them into their crib when they are drowsy but still awake. This can teach them to self-soothe and fall back to sleep on their own when they wake up during the night.

4. Keep the room dark: Create a sleep-friendly environment by keeping the room dark during sleep times. Use blackout curtains or shades to block out any external light that may disrupt your baby’s sleep.

5. Establish a bedtime routine: Develop a consistent bedtime routine to signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. This can include activities like a warm bath, reading a book, or gentle rocking. Stick to the same routine every night to help your baby relax and prepare for sleep.

6. Adjust your own routine: As your baby’s sleep patterns change, it may be necessary to adjust your own daily routine. Try to prioritize rest and self-care to ensure you have the energy to handle the challenges of sleep regression.

7. Make it quick: When your baby wakes up during the night, keep interactions brief and avoid stimulating activities. Keep the room dimly lit and try to soothe them back to sleep without picking them up if possible.

8. Pay attention to sleep cues and act quickly: Look for signs that your baby is getting tired and act promptly to put them down for a nap or bedtime. Overtiredness can make it harder for babies to settle and can exacerbate sleep regression.

Remember, each baby is unique and may respond differently to these strategies. It may take time and consistency to see improvements in sleep patterns. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or if the sleep regression persists, don’t hesitate to reach out to a pediatrician or sleep specialist for further guidance and support.