Are you currently holding a cranky four month, wondering if there’s a magical 4 month old sleep schedule that you can follow?
Are you wondering, “When does my baby need to go down for their next nap?”
“How long should my 4 month old be awake for?”
Maybe you’re feeling completely lost because there’s not a lot of information out there specifically about a four month old’s sleep schedule.
I mean, there’s plenty of information on newborn sleep schedules and 6 month old sleep schedules…… but what about a 4 month old?
In this video, I’m going to give you everything you’ve been searching for!
I’m going to walk through my entire 4 month old sleep schedule including naps, nighttime, and everything in between.
In order to quickly understand how to implement the information in this video with your four month old, let’s take a look at some quick facts together.
Quick Fact #1: The 4 month sleep schedule can begin 16 weeks from due date.
Quick Fact #2: Aim for 4 naps per day totaling 4 hours of daytime sleep.
Quick Fact #3: 2 out of the 4 naps should be in the crib.
Quick Fact #4: Think routine, not schedule.
It is true that we are talking about a “schedule” for the day, but the actual time and length of each nap will fluctuate from day to day, so the 4 month sleep “schedule” acts more like a routine than a schedule.
At 4 months old, your little one can go to bed for the night and sleep a total of 11-12 hours with one optional night waking.
If your jaw just dropped when you read that and your 4 month old is still waking multiple times throughout the night, then you need to check out my Baby Sleep Course HERE. My course walks you through exactly how to achieve a full night of sleep for your baby with only ONE optional night waking for a feeding.
When it comes to naps for your 4 month old, we are looking for 4 hours of daytime sleep spread between 4 naps.
Maybe each nap is 1 hour long, but the reality is that your baby will probably take two shorter naps (30-60 minutes) and two longer naps (1-2 hours).
At 4 months old, your little one should be awake no more than 1.5-1.75 hours at a time.
I promise you that this length of wake window is going to be the sweet spot for your baby.
Notice I’m not focusing on set nap times but rather on how long your baby should be awake.
The 4 month old schedule doesn’t have set nap times because it’s built around wake windows and not set nap times. The length and time of day for each nap will differ a little each day, but the routine will be the same.
For example, if your baby wakes up at 7:00 AM to start the day, you are looking at an hour and a half wake window before you offer nap 1 around 8:30AM.
Remember, the morning wake window for your baby is going to be the shortest wake window of the day.
Below is a snapshot of my 4 month old daily sleep schedule.
The above nap schedule is going to be your 4 month old’s rhythm throughout their entire day.
On a 4 nap schedule, you’re probably thinking, “Becca, am I really supposed to be chained to my house all day, for all 4 naps?!”
Please hear me say, no!
Please don’t stay home all day! Please go out and live your life.
Go take a walk, go run some errands.
But here is my one recommendation – I highly suggest that you offer nap 1 and nap 3 in the crib.
This will help to set you up for some success when you implement a two nap schedule later on down the road.
If nap 1 and nap 3 are offered in the crib, then naps 2 and 4 can be offer them in a baby carrier, stroller, or in in the car if you’ve got errands to run!
Notice that I didn’t say any of the naps could be offered on you because the core of our sleep plan is that your baby will sleep INDEPENDENTLY, without help from you or props.
Independent sleep can definitely still happen in stroller or in the baby carrier, but we want to make sure that we’re offering independent sleep spaces rather than contact naps because at this age contact naps are going to cause sleeping disruptions.
As you implement the four month old sleep schedule with your baby, honor the 1.5-1.75 hour wake windows and please don’t go past them.
You shouldn’t be waiting for your baby to yawn, rub their eyes, or show sleepy cues.
Rather, you should be waiting on the clock, following wake windows with fidelity and offering your little one a place to nap when it’s time.
Now that we’ve talked through naps and nights, let’s talk about your baby’s feeding schedule!
First, let’s acknowledge that the “Eat-Play-Sleep” rhythm may not happen during every single wake window.
You may begin the day with an Eat-Play-Sleep mindset, but by nap 3, it’s already out the window because nap 1 was a good length but nap 2 was only 20 minutes and your baby isn’t ready to eat just yet.
At this age, your baby should be breastfeeding or bottle feeding every 3-4 hours.
Sometimes, your baby might finish their feeding and then need to go down for their next nap 10-20 minutes later – and that’s okay!
Sleeping and feeding schedules are going to be a little different for every single child.
You are likely going to offer some feedings right before a nap once and a while and that’s perfectly okay.
Don’t hold on to the Eat-Play-Sleep rhythm so tightly that you can’t live your life or enjoy your child’s sweet, fleeting babyhood.
Above all else, I want you to remember that you shouldn’t settle for less sleep just because you are in a season of “limbo.”
Just because you no longer have a sleepy newborn or a 6 month old on a predictable two-nap schedule doesn’t mean that you can’t make sleep at thing!
Personally, I’m especially passionate about this age because this is when my husband Chad and I found my oldest daughter a sleep plan.
We were able to teach her to sleep all night long at 4 months old and it was a game changer for our family.
When I woke up after my four month old (who was previously waking up every 90 minutes throughout the night) slept a full 12 hours through the night, I wanted to tell EVERYBODY.
You can experience this, too!
You don’t have to wait to make sleep a thing at this age and you don’t need to let the “4 month sleep regression” scare you.
Your baby is experiencing a 4 month sleep regression because their sleep cycles are maturing and now is the PERFECT time to teach them how to self-soothe and sleep independently!
If you’re ready to help your child learn how to sleep independently, then check my Baby Sleep Program HERE so that you can get started with your child’s plan and have it ready at your fingertips!
Your 4 month old can make sleep a thing and have an ideal, predictable nap schedule for days and nights.
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