Sleeping well is extremely important. It is essential for our body because it allows us to rest and maintain good mental and physical health. Rest helps our brain work at its optimum level. It helps us to be alert, learn, and concentrate during the day and consolidate what we learned, forming memories during the night. Sleeping well also lowers our stress levels, letting us live healthier lives. If it is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important 4-month-old sleep must be!
Changes in a 4-month-old sleep
Around the fourth month, a baby’s circadian rhythm is consolidated. If you are consistent with routines, your baby will learn to differentiate between day and night. The hours a baby sleeps at night increase slowly, but they still need naps during the day. In fact, sleeping during the day and sleeping at night are interdependent, because the amount of hours a baby sleeps during the day affects sleep at night.
During the day, babies should sleep a minimum of two naps of 1 or 2 hours. Some children even sleep three naps! The morning nap is regularly set 1 hour and a half or 2 hours after waking up, while the midday nap is usually around 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.
The time you choose for each nap is not that important, what is important is sticking to a fixed sleep schedule. That way, your little one will anticipate their sleep hours. You can create a short pre-sleep routine, like having a feeding or reading a book, followed by putting them in their crib, and slightly turning down the bedroom lights.
Be aware of sleep regressions
Sleep regressions are something that can happen when your little one is four months old. What this means is that after some time sleeping well, your baby starts waking up more often at night or having trouble sleeping –like when they were newborns. But don’t worry, this sleep regression is normal in some babies, and it lasts two to four weeks. What you can do to cope during this period is promote healthy sleep habits and establish a routine, so you can follow it with your little one.
4 to 6-month-old sleep hours
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 4-6 months old is between 12-15 hours a day. If your baby sleeps a bit less, like around 10-11 hours a day; or a bit more, around 16-18 hours, it is fine. However, sleeping more or less time than those ranges is not recommended.
A long overnight sleep allows your baby’s brain to go through the different stages of sleep, which are needed to have optimal development. When 4-month-old sleep, the brain processes all the information received during the day and helps them learn. They will eventually reach a restorative sleep and wake up happy and rested.
Sleeping less or more hours during the day affects babies too. If they are overstimulated, this will make it even more difficult for them to get some sleep during the day. On the other hand, if they sleep a lot during the day, they won’t do so at night. Therefore, try to establish fixed sleep schedules to help your baby sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and sleep through the night.