28 answers

New Sleeping Pattern for 4 Month Old

My husband and I have a beautiful 4 month old baby girl who has been sleeping in her crib and through the night since she was 2 months old - until this week that is. Also, during this past week she seems to be napping quite a bit during the day (usually a 2-3 hour nap in the morning and evening, plus 45-60 mins between every feeding - she eats every three hours). She usually goes to bed around 8:30 or 9:00 and was sleeping until 6:30 or 7:00am. For the past three nights she has been waking up at 3am. The first night I fed her and she went right back to sleep, but when she did it again I realized we need to break her of this pattern and not give into it. Last night I just gave her the pacifier at 3, 4, 5 and then my husband got up with her at 6. She seemed to be falling right back asleep, but I'm not sure if that is the right thing to do. Should I feed her when she wakes up in the middle of the night? Should I make her play more during the day so she is tired at night or is she going through a growth spurt and needs the rest? HELP!!!

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

From amazon.com order Gina Ford's book "The New Contented Baby Book." Gina Ford is a top British nanny who provides sleeping and eating schedules for the first few years of life. It is very popular in England/

Has she been sick? I know when mine are either teething, have an ear infection, or just plain sick, they get exactly like that! Hopefully it will pass! Hang in there!

Most children go through a sleep regression at 4 months. Many babies who once were sleeping through the night "take a break." Their brains are reorganizing their sleep patterns and it causes some temporary disruptions. If the pacifier soothes her back to sleep, my guess is she isn't starving or that wouldn't soothe her. Someone else mentioned Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. Amazing book. I cannot recommend it enough. But, anyway, stick with it...she'll probably go back to her old ways soon. And she might need an earlier bedtime, too.

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Hi S.,
I went through this with my son and we hired a sleep trainer. Here is what she taught us so you can benefit. She got my son to sleep through the night in less than a week! He has been sleeping through the night since he was 5 months old!

Here is the recommended sleep schedule for a baby of 4 months old:

7am - wake

8:30am or 9am - first nap for 2 hours

12:30 or 1pm - second nap for 2 hours

4:30pm - 3rd nap for 45 minutes

7pm BEDTIME (a later bedtime will disrupt night sleep AND day sleep)

When she wakes in the middle of the night, go in the room and pat her and shhh her and give her pacifier, but no eye contact and don't take out of crib. leave after 3 minutes. wait 5 mintues before you return. do again. wait 10 minutes before next re-entry. do again. wait 15 minutes before next re-entry. the idea is to do MINIMAL intervention to get her to fall back asleep so she learns to soothe herself back to sleep. by waiting an additional 5 minutes each time, she gets in the habit of working it out herself. do the same when you put her down for SCHEDULED naps. i think the problems your baby is having is due to being overtired. too late of a bedtime, not consistent naps. I hope this helps!! Write me at ____@____.com if you want to chat more!
M. (a happy, well rested Mom of a 14 month old boy!)

p.s. at 4 months, your baby should not need a feeding in the middle of the night anymore unless they are underweight and pediatrician recommends...

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my daughter is also 4 months old and started doing this about a month ago i just started giving her baby cereal before she went to bed and it has stopped since.

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Sleeping patterns change throughout the first year of life. Some babies sleep a lot at first and then suddenly are awake at times that you don't expect. It sounds like to me she is needing more food in the middle of the night where once she did not. Growth spurts occur at 4 months. I would get up and feed her. You aren't spoiling her as you can't spoil an infant when they don't know why they are crying. She is asking for something so give it to her. She will feel more trusted and will settle back into a routine. If she is spitting out the pacifier, she is wanting something more. I DO NOT reccomend doing solids in a bottle. Feeding solids is okay at 4 months, but should only be given with a spoon. Babies are learning what food is and by putting it into a bottle, it can confuse the brain. Good luck.

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your daughter is still very little. If she wakes during the night then by all means feed her. She isn't trying to manipulate you and she cannot be spoiled. She is likely hungry due to a growth spurt.

Check out the book Healthy Sleep Patterns,Happy Baby by Weissbluth. This should give you some tips and some understanding on how sleep patterns change during the first year.

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Hi there! My daughter has always been a good sleeper so when she started waking up, and it was around that age, i always fed her and she knocked back out. She never made it a habit though, but she was also teething around that time. Before bed when she was teething real bad, i would give her some baby tylenol. I also had her up more during the day. By the time she was 7 months or so she was napping two times a day. My neighbor had her kids up after 4pm. They were i think 6 weeks when she had them take their naps before and ONLY before 4pm. She kept them up after that and they were sleeping through the night since.
Good luck.

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The answer is simple, it's a growth spurt. Which means that she might be transitioning to a 4-hour schedule pretty soon if not overnight. Feed her as much as she tells you she needs - whenever. And she should be going back to sleeping through the night within a week or so..if not within days. This is temporary.

I wouldn't create any new habits that may affect her schedule.

My son is a week shy of 4 months and is in the middle of a growth spurt. He just transitioned to a 4-hour schedule today, and started sleeping 12 hours last night. He was sleeping 8-10 hours before that. Try to maintain a schedule as best as you can, but during a growth spurt, the schedule will go a little topsy turvy, however, it always gets back on track.

btw, early phases of growth spurts are around, 2, 3, 6 weeks and around the 3rd or 4th month and at 6 months..

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Check out this website for sleep info:

My three month old, breastfed, can sleep from 8pm-2am, without needing a feeding which is awesome if you think about in the regards of going 6 hours. But he hasn't started solids and just barely doubled his weight so until he starts solids I wouldn't expect him to sleep much more than 6-8 without needing a feeding. I'm sure your daughter's doctor would tell you the same, not to expect a four month old who hasn't started solids to sleep much longer than a 6-8 hour block :)
I would definitely feed her after 6-8 hours. Sorry, but someday we'll get our sleep back.

Is she rolling over?? My daughter had this happen to her when she discovered this new trick. I handled it badly and fed her. I should have let her "work it out" herself, but she never slept well again. She is three now and she wakes up about 2 hours after she goes to sleep. Good luck

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