My name is Jenny and I am a certified infant and child sleep consultant and the owner of Little Bundle of Sleep. I once had a terrible little sleeper on my hands. My son instantly went from sleeping 6 hours straight to waking every 1-2 hours overnight and taking short naps that wouldn’t even give me time for lunch! Now I have a great little sleeper who self-settles and sleeps through till morning. I have a passion for all areas of child development and growth and love helping families help their little ones develop healthy sleep habits so that everyone gets the rest they deserve. Visit http://www.littlebundleofsleep.com for more info. Follow @littlebundleofsleep
At around 4 months, sleep cycles change and infants start coming into light sleep phases every 2-4 hours, instead of every 4-6 hours.
We start to see shorter naps, difficulty falling asleep, and frequent overnight wake ups, often every 2 hours.
This regression is a hard one but following the tips below will really help your little one develop healthy sleep habits that will follow them into their childhood and beyond.
A pitch black dark room is less distracting and will also help your little one produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep.
Using Continuous White Noise minimizes distracting household or outdoor noises and it mimics the familiar and comforting womb sounds.
Temperatures between 21-22 Degrees Celsius are best for sleep. Using a footed pajama to help keep your little ones warm.
Follow Wake Windows:
At around 4 months, infants can handle about 1.5 hours of awake time, so ensuring your little one is back ASLEEP at around the 1.5 hour mark will ensure they are not going to sleep overtired (which will make them wake more frequently).
Remember to allow time for pre-sleep routines and falling asleep time within your wake window.
Take 10-15 minutes before the falling asleep period to prepare your little one for sleep with a consistent and predictable series of simple events that you follow in the same order to let your little one know that it will soon be time to sleep. Use books, songs, cuddles, massages, etc.
Teach Self-Settling Skills:
If you put your little one to sleep by rocking, holding, nursing, etc. and they wake up shortly after looking for your help again, it may be time to gently start teaching them to fall asleep on their own.
If they learn to self-settle, they will likely be able to re-settle themselves to sleep after wake ups from light sleep phases without your help.
Start by putting them down drowsy and then less and less drowsy, until you are able to put them down fully awake and they are able to fall asleep in their own sleep space with you just next to them.
Feel free to get in contact with me if you have any questions.