Have you ever had that feeling that you’re exhausted, but you still have the energy to fight through your sleep, through your emotions, basically fighting everything? Well, that’s what my little, tiny human has just experienced. I felt like I seriously got beat up every day. It was a very rough, exhausting, but interesting few weeks. The ‘Four Month Regression’ is what it’s called. Every child is different and has different experiences with this. I actually don’t really remember experiencing this with my other children, at least not like this. This one, with my last baby, has been very different. I think actually being able to be home with her since birth has made a huge difference in how it impacted me. As if I already wasn’t exhausted from postpartum and getting back into the groove of things. Tired was an understatement.
When the four-month regression happens it is due to developmental changes around the four-month mark that can lead to sleep pattern changes, changes in diet, and behavior in your baby. It seems like it lasts forever but I promise it is only for a little while. My baby’s four-month regression lasted three long weeks. I stayed consistent and prayed a lot, but that’s how I got through it. I will say that it doesn’t always start right at four months. Some experience it a little before they turn four months, right at four months, or even a few weeks into turning four months. My baby experienced it a few weeks after she turned four months old. I was hopeful that I had just missed out on what everyone talks about during that time, but it actually hadn’t started yet.
It has been a wild couple of weeks, but I finally feel we are over that hurdle. So, as a mama who just experienced all that craziness, I have a few things that helped me to get through it and I hope it helps you!
- A consistent routine for bedtime! Being able to keep the same routine weather that’s a diaper change, breastfeeding, reading, and soft lullabies. Keeping it the same helps because babies really do thrive off of routine. Her dad would always try to help, and I’d tell him exactly what he needed to do, but did he do it? Nope! He caught on quickly and followed my routine and felt accomplished to say he gave me a small break! Being able to have the same time for bedtime also was a game changer for us. With the lack of sleep and fussiness, having that same downtime daily is like a natural remedy for my baby to self-settle and feel a sense of calmness.
- Another thing that helped was encouraging more naps for her. As a baby that has longer wake windows and fights her sleep (like seriously fights it!) I had to keep encouraging her to go back to sleep after her little 15-20 minute ‘cat naps’ she’d frequently take. Some days worked better than others and some days she was just like nope. Having extra tummy time and playing with her helped be able to transition to additional naps.
- Lastly, being able to keep her full helped her sleep better. As an exclusive breastfeeding mama, I am always wondering if she got enough or if she is actually full. It really is the biggest challenge of mine for this journey. She is not a fan of the bottle at all so I can only assume the actual amounts she’s getting. Frequent feedings during this time were a must, especially at night. I literally wanted to cry some nights when she would wake up 2-3 times after being excited from her sleeping most of the night at an early age. That 3-4 hour feeding window changed to like 2-3, hours and that was pushing it. It was so hard on my body mentally more than physically.
Overall, it really does get better and always remember to do what works best for you and your family. There are many different ways to tackle a sleepless little one. What worked for me might not even help you one bit, but I hope it at least gives you an idea of things you can try out.
If you already have littles, have you experienced the four-month regression before? If so, how did you survive the madness? To the moms to be, just remember to take a moment and breathe— it all will be a distant memory one day, they grow fast!