My baby is 4 months and doesn't sleep - how do I get through this time?

From 4 months your baby slowly develops a fixed sleeping pattern. It still sleeps in two phases called active sleep (REM sleep) and quiet non-REM sleep. These phases only last 45 to 50 minutes. However, sleep and rest are of great importance for your baby's development and growth, so it is important that you take care of his sleep.

From 4 months, your baby's brain begins a process of restructuring and maturation, leading to changes in sleep patterns and heart rhythms. This restructuring usually results in 3 naps per day and more sleep time at night. However, some children do not respond well to these changes and experience a "sleep crisis," which manifests as difficulty falling asleep, irregular sleep schedules, irritability, bad moods, and crying. Therefore, it is important that you know how your baby should sleep in order to get the best rest.

It's normal to look for "sleep supports" to help your baby feel comfortable and fall asleep. These supports can be your chest, sleeping in your arms, or drinking from a bottle. The problem with this is that they prevent your baby from falling asleep independently. If your baby is going through these "sleep crises", we recommend some practical tips to overcome this phase together:

  • When sleep crises begin and your baby asks for sleep aids, it is important that you address them first and give them what they need. Remember that this is an aging crisis that requires patience and understanding. You can gradually remove sleep supports as your baby gets used to the new sleep times and gets over the crisis.
  • Avoid introducing new sleep aids as this can lead to addiction and cause sleep problems and emotional dependency conditions.
  • Be aware of your baby's signs of sleepiness and respond to them. Remember that your baby's brain is in the maturing stage and any change you see is an indication that your baby is tired and ready to go to sleep.
  • Establish a solid sleep and wake schedule for your baby, but be flexible if necessary.
  • Practice a relaxing routine before bed, such as a warm bath, massage, or reading stories.
  • If your baby is restless and having trouble falling asleep, try rocking or gently soothing him to sleep, but avoid rocking or carrying him to sleep as this can lead to addiction.
  • Create a quiet and darkened environment for your baby to help them fall asleep.
  • Use a constant and soothing background noise, like a lullaby or a whooshing noise, to soothe your baby and help them fall asleep.
  • Use breathable and comfortable sleepwear and bedding for your baby to keep them comfortable and warm.
  • Avoid overstimulating or waking your baby when she is sleeping as this can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Encourage your baby to fall asleep independently and learn to soothe herself by putting her in her bed when she is sleepy.
  • Use a set bedtime routine to help you fall asleep and prepare your baby to fall asleep.
  • As your baby gets older, try getting them used to a bed instead of putting them to sleep in a stroller or rocking chair to get them used to a solid sleeping environment.
  • Monitor your baby's sleep habits and become familiar with normal baby sleep patterns.

It's important to note that every baby is different and it may take some trial and error to find the best sleep routine for your baby. If you are concerned that your baby is having trouble sleeping or if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact a pediatrician!

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