Your baby might be sleeping well now but once the 4 month sleep regression comes you will find it so difficult to get your baby to sleep.
The 4 month sleep regression, it’s touted as a big one. But what is this all about and why is there so much scaremongering?
Many of us have been here. Your baby is a few months old, things are starting to get a little easier and you are feeling pretty good about your newly acquired mothering skills. Then the doubt starts creeping in. People start telling you about sleep regressions and how hellish they can be - you’d better be careful you are not setting up bad habits! <Sigh>
Why do we do this to each other? It is SO unhelpful. For one, it starts making you doubt your judgement and makes it harder for you to follow your instincts. When this happens we often start to feel more anxious about our baby’s sleep making it harder to be in the moment with baby and notice their subtle communications. Research shows us that when we are anxious, angry or worried about our baby’s sleep we find it harder to respond to their cues appropriately and harder to sleep ourselves!
Newborns spend a lot of time in light or active sleep phases when they are squirming and vocalising. This is protective mechanism against Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant so, your baby will rouse if it senses a dangerous or just unpleasant feeling.
At around 4 months this changes, but in positive way.
Unfortunately, parents can listen to the unhelpful ideas about sleep regression and start to feel insecure and in desperation they turn to and follow conflicting advice that leads them down the garden path to actually promote a sleep regression.
As new mums we can be pretty sensitive to people's comments and advice (which is totally normal!) and know that I have found myself getting a blow to my confidence by other people's comments about my kids or how I am parenting them. So If you can do one thing to help your friend or family member do the best for her baby it would be to always talk positively around her about her baby. It takes a village to raise a child and they need as much help as they can get. Focus on all the great things that parents are doing, what their baby is doing and not what they should be doing!
Amy and Elspeth