Storytime: 4 month old sleep
Everyone wants to know when will their 4 month old sleep. As with all things baby, the answer is maybe now, maybe soon, maybe not for a long time yet. There are no quick fixes when it comes to babies and the damn things are all individuals so there are no rules either. One thing that is well known is that around the four month mark they hit their ‘4 month sleep regression’. This is where they transition from immature sleep to adult sleep patterns, with multiple sleep cycles in the night. So it’s an important development phase rather than a regression. Problem is, because they haven’t experienced sleep cycles before, they tend to wake up for each one.
With Bam Bam we appear to have been pretty lucky. We had two nights where she woke up every hour or so. Apart from that, it mainly appears to have been her daytime naps that have been most hard hit. The screaming fits go on for hours on end because she is over tired. To be honest, I’d rather have that than disturbed sleep at night for two weeks or so!! Anyway, some people recommend this is a good time to start sleep training your baby.
I think she’s still a little bundle of instinct and could not care less what I’d like to train her to do. If I tried to put her to bed at 6.30pm every night she would not be the slightest bit interested. Instead we go to sleep pretty much when we both feel like it. This is usually around 10pm or so, or maybe a bit earlier. Our routine of winding down for bed is simple – putting our baby sleep sack on (I don’t have one sadly, just Bam Bam), dimming the lights, and reading a book together in bed. Maybe a light snack next and then lights out. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t, it just depends on how the young’un is feeling.
The Rug Bear
We’ve been sent a copy of The Rug Bear by Emma Rattray which has become a part of that bedtime routine. It’s actually a bit longer than some of the other bedtime books we read. We don’t get all the way through it every night! It is a sweet story about a bear who lays down to sleep during a game and inadvertently becomes a cosy rug for the other woodland animals. Of course they are in for quite a surprise when he wakes up.
It is really nicely illustrated by Mike Terry. There is plenty going on in each page so that you can pick out new details as well as talk about the story. I like it for bed time because the book is based around more muted colours and a gradual story progression. It feels a bit more suitable for a story book in the evening, rather than the high colour, high action sensory books that we use more in the day.
We have been enjoying the book for a couple of weeks now and Bam Bam certainly seems to like it. Her latest thing is learning to turn the pages on cue and on her own. Although with such a big book it is quite a stretch for her pudgy little arms! I can see that we will enjoy reading this story for many years to come.
What are your thoughts on bedtime routines and getting newborns to sleep?
We were given our copy of The Rug Bear for free for the purposes of review. My opinion, and Bam Bam’s are our honest thoughts on the product.
We never successfully developed any kind of “routines” for our kids – our parenting strategies mostly centred around recognising that our children were people too and trying to figure out what they needed and wanted – even if they were not able yet to verbalise what it was. We didn’t always succeed at that either but I think we did alright and our (grown up) children are pretty damn good so…
They are very lovely! Yes, Willow is 5 months today and she still has absolutely no interest in a routine, so we’re just going with the flow. It sounds like bottle fed babies are a bit easier to force into a system perhaps?
My granddaughter (3) has a bedtime book called teddy bears one to ten. It always comes after a couple of other stories and signals that it really is sleeptime. now whereas to start with it was the only bedtime read. She used also to have a doll which played soothing noises when her parents had left the room. There are also various apps with these noises on too. The storybooks are now sufficient.
Yes, we’ve played lullabies and white noise but it doesn’t really make too much of a difference. When she’s really low we have a little sing though.