The 4-month sleep regression: What every parent needs to know

If you're a new mom, you've probably heard about the 4-month sleep regression—when your previously “good sleeper" suddenly starts having a much harder time falling asleep, and waking up in the middle of the night—a lot.

Whether you've been blessed with a great newborn sleeper or you're currently in the thick of exhaustion, you might be wondering how you will prepare for even more sleepless nights. However, you may feel differently once you learn a bit more about what is going on and how to navigate this phase just like any other.

So, before you worry too much about this unwelcome stage, there are a few things you should know.

Why it happens

At four months old, your child is hitting some pretty big milestones. She is officially out of the 4th trimester and is starting to find her footing in many ways. She is likely more alert, is able to stay awake for longer stretches, and feels a bit more adjusted to life outside the womb.

Up until month four, babies have fairly sporadic sleep and have difficulty separating daytime and nighttime sleep. It is very common for infants to go in and out of sleep every 20-40 minutes for the first few months of life.

This is because an infant's 24-hour sleep cycle is not yet established, and around four-months old is when this shift starts to happen—hence why your baby's sleep patterns seem to dramatically change.

I like to call this stage progression rather than regression because ultimately that is what is going on. While it might not be a milestone you are keen on celebrating, it is certainly a sign that your baby is right on track in her development.

When it happens

This might seem a bit obvious, given the term “four-month regression," but the timeframe that each child experiences this shift will range. For some babies, you will start to notice a change around three months, and for some it might be closer to five months.

There are also several signs to be aware of that could indicate your baby is approaching this milestone. Improved head and neck control, natural consolidation of day or nighttime sleep, increased motor skills, and those cute little cooing sounds are all developmental progressions that often precede this stage of sleep.

You will find that some babies have a more difficult time with this transition, while others are more adaptable. I'm sure you can think of that one family member or friend whose child has gracefully transitioned through this stage, but it is important to remember that every baby is so unique in every other way, and sleep is no exception!

What you can do

First, try not to worry. Although it can feel like a bit of a storm, the 4-month sleep regression is also an exciting time for you and your baby. She will be looking to you to help navigate her through this time—and there are many ways you can do that.

1. Log your baby's activity

Start logging your baby's sleep and eating habits and take notice of any new patterns that arise. If she suddenly went from sleeping 10 hours at night to broken up sleep with multiple night wakings, jot those down and start to anticipate those wake-ups each night.

Similarly, her naps might start to shorten and feel less structured, so keeping track of specific times throughout the day will help guide you during this process.

2. Make a plan

Once you have a few solid days or weeks of activity logged, you should start to see a pattern. Most babies wake up around the same time each night and start to fall into a similar daytime routine.

Noticing your baby's patterns will help you focus on her awake windows, which should be between 1.5-2 hours in the morning and then close to 2.5 hours each nap there-after.

Anticipating sleep windows and making sure your baby isn't over-tired throughout the day, will help promote night-time sleep and allow her to fall into a more predictable sleep schedule.

For middle of the night wakings, it is best to cycle through a variety of soothing methods.

This is especially important to avoid creating a sleep crutch—one thing your baby thinks she needs in order to fall asleep or stay asleep.

3. Take a gradual approach

Sleep teaching and training might be something you are thinking about as you try to navigate through this stage. It is not for everyone, but it can be helpful to have that additional support.

Either way, taking a slow and steady approach when introducing healthy sleep habits is key. I recommend focusing on one thing at a time.

For example, one week focus on a consistent schedule and the next week focus on specific soothing methods. Sleep promotes sleep, so you will find that when you focus on one area at a time, gradual improvements start to happen as a whole.

Trying to conquer your child's sleep challenges is not an easy feat—especially when you're exhausted yourself.

The good news is, like any other stage, this too shall pass. Although it might feel like an eternity now, you will soon look back as you welcome a new milestone and realize this was just another parenting challenge that you overcame!

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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