As a professional sleep consultant, I hear the term “regression” used in regards to just about every imaginable circumstance. Essentially, if baby doesn’t sleep well for a couple of nights, parents start dropping the ‘R’ word. Some people subscribe to the idea that there’s an eight month regression, a 9 month regression, a 1 year regression, as well as teething regressions, growth spurt regressions, and so on. Others see these as simple hiccups caused by extenuating circumstances.
But the four-month regression, everybody agrees on, and for good reason. It’s the real deal, and it’s permanent.
So in order to understand what’s happening to your baby during this stage, first you need to know a few things about sleep in general. So here’s the science-y part, told in plain English.
What is the four-month sleep regression? Its effects are frustrating, exhausting, and just plain confusing. Here’s what it looks like: Your baby was sleeping well. You thought things were only going to get better. You were getting long stretches at night, then suddenly, your baby started waking every two to three hours again, or every hour, or every 45 minutes.