If your baby slept like an angel and from the fourth month he started waking up several times during the night, he may be going through the first sleep regression or the 4 month crisis, as it is popularly known.
This period can last from two to six weeks and coincides with the development of new skills such as rolling, crawling, among others. We know that this nocturnal turmoil can leave many daddies confused, surprised and not knowing what to do. That’s why we’ve put together some simple tips so you can kiss your dark circles goodbye!
What is the 4-month crisis?
The 4-month crisis is characterized by a sudden change of behavior with attitudes such as rolling in the cradle, getting irritated, crying more often, being more sensitive to temperature and light.
This happens because at 3 months the baby leaves that period we call exterogestation, time when he starts to realize that he is an individual separated from his mother and starts to observe the world around him!
New sensations, sounds, colors and stimuli are processed by the brain, which is “pumping” with every new information! All this has a direct impact on sleep, when the little one cannot disconnect from everything he is learning. As stressful as it is for the family, this is a great sign of development!
Sleep regression phases can also occur at 8, 10, 12, 18 months and 2 years of age. Some children have regression phases in all these age groups. Others, only in some and few have no sleep regression at all.
How to handle it?
Unlike sleep regressions that go on without any intervention, this first 4-month regression is unlikely to go away without the help of parents. A lot of calm and patience are the main secrets to get through this phase. Check out other tips:
- Remove any light from the room so your baby doesn’t feel stimulated;
- Create a sleep routine. It brings security, tranquility and predictability to the baby;
- Maintain a pleasant sleeping environment. Worry about the noise and temperature in your room;
- Be prepared for nap and feed changes during this phase. Don’t hesitate to offer additional naps or put your baby to bed early.
It is important to point out that breastfeeding the baby until he sleeps can create a wrong sleep association. You can carry your baby on your lap and make noises like “shh”, but ideally, you should keep your baby awake from his crib so he can learn to sleep by himself.
Remember, this is a temporary phase. Your baby won’t wake up so much during the night forever, or nap so little. These are just the effects of a growth spurt that will pass!
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