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Ah, the 4 month sleep regression...unlike, say, your baby’s first solid food or her first steps, the 4 month sleep regression isn’t a milestone that many parents typically look forward to. Whether you’re currently in the midst of the madness or just anticipating what might be ahead, odds are you have some questions—and some worries—about this much talked-about sleep (or lack thereof) phase.


But guess what, mama? The news is good! According to experts, sleep regressions aren’t really a thing; they’re more like transitions. And they’re actually a good thing—they mean your baby is growing, changing, developing, + finding new ways to interact with the world around them.

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But I know what you’re thinking—ok but I’m reaaaally exhausted so please stop telling me about how the 4 month sleep regression isn’t a thing and please tell me what I can DO about it. Got it, mama; we hear you loud and clear ?.

We’ve got a plan and the products you need to battle the beast that is the 4 month sleep regression. Let’s dive right in.

Create an ideal sleeping environment

One of the most important things you can do for your little one during this time of transition is to create an environment that encourages sleep. Here’s how:

1. Use a sound machine

White noise is a sound that calms and comforts most babies. It not only mimics the sound of blood flow in utero—a noise that your baby had become very accustomed to over nine months—but it also helps to block out any household or outdoor noises that may be distracting baby from sleep.

The Dohm is far and away our favorite white noise machine for a few key reasons. Unlike lots of sound machines that use a digital recording, the Dohm has a built-in fan that creates the sound of rushing air, essentially creating “all natural” white noise without the hassle of a fan.

It features two speeds, and easily twists to completely customize the tone and volume of the white noise you’re creating. Just be sure to keep it a safe distance from baby’s developing ears and keep the volume at a sensible level.

Marpac Dohm Sound Machine
$49.93, Amazon

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2+ 3. Keep it dark


You may love waking up to gentle sunlight streaming through your windows every morning, but if you want your baby asleep before the sun goes down and awake after it comes up, blackout shades are here to save the day. Sometimes even the smallest sliver of light will throw off baby’s sleeping and waking patterns.

To ensure the longest, most consistent stretches of sleep, we swear by blackout shades. If you’re not yet sold on the idea and want to give it a test run before committing, these temporary room darkening shades are the perfect option.

Simply cut to size and use the built-in adhesive to install. They may not look the prettiest, but they’ll get the job done!

Achim Home Furnishings 1-2-3 Vinyl Room Darkening Temporary Shade
$12.25, Amazon

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And when you’re ready to commit, we ?these on trend buffalo check curtains. They come in three great colors to add just the right amount of personality to any nursery, and do a great job of blocking the light.

Buffalo Check Blackout Curtain
$59.00 and up, depending on size, Land of Nod

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Establish a bedtime routine

Children love routines—and they thrive on them. Bedtime is one of the most important routines of all. Creating a consistent, predictable bedtime routine can help your little develop healthy sleep habits and sleep better + longer. (Um, yes please.) Here’s what you need to make it happen:

4. Make bath time=calm time

A bath is a great way to kick off a bedtime routine for your little one, and making it as relaxing as possible is the perfect precursor to ease baby into sleep. California Baby is one of our favorite safe + natural baby brands.

This calming shampoo is infused with an essential oil blend to soothe with the scent of lavender. It’s sulfate-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, dye-free and has no fragrance added, so it’s perfect for sensitive new skin.

California Baby Calming Shampoo & Bodywash
$19.89, Target

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5. Try a massage

Infant massage has been proven to help baby relax and sleep, according to studies. Fight the 4-month sleep regression one baby back rub at a time by adding a little massage time to your bedtime routine.

This hypoallergenic, non-greasy lotion is great for all skin types and is made of lavender essential oil, chamomile, calendula and aloe, as well as organic olive and shea oil. It’s perfect for a post-bath massage and will leave baby’s skin soft and moisturized.

The Honest Company Ultra Calming Face & Body Lotion
$9.99, Nordstrom

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6. Keep baby comfy

Even as an adult, you know it can be tough to get a good night’s sleep if you’re too hot, too cold, or wearing something uncomfortable. To make sure your baby stays comfy throughout the night, we love this footie from one of our favorite baby basic brands, Primary.

The 100% cotton is super soft, the fit is snug-but-not-tight, the zipper means easy on and off for diaper changes, and the color selection is spot on. What’s not to love?

The Zip Footie
$18, $17 for 3+, Primary.com

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7. Keep baby snug


If your baby is not yet rolling, then a safe, snug swaddle in your 4-month sleep regression arsenal is a must. Swaddles make baby feel safe + secure, and stop the startle reflex, which is a big cause of night wakings in infants.

We’ve tested a lot of swaddles in our day, and recently landed on the SleePea as our absolute fave. It has so many features to love, but first and most importantly—it’s super easy to use while still being snug and secure.

It also features quiet velcro so baby won’t wake during diaper changes, a dual zipper, breathable material, and is hip safe to give plenty of room for baby’s joints.

SleePea Sack
$23.95, Amazon

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8. Make some magic

If swaddling isn’t doing the trick but baby still needs a little help with her startle reflex, the Magic Sleepsuit may be worth a try. It’s a swaddle transition product that provides your little one with a cozy, secure feeling and also helps to lessen the startle reflex. (We’ll add that it also makes your little one look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, another fun bonus.)

It’s important to note that it’s designed for BACK SLEEPING ONLY, so once your little one becomes a proficient roller, it’s time to ditch it. It’s also fairly heavy + warm, so we recommend dressing your little one in short sleeve, lightweight clothing underneath.

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit
$39.95, Amazon

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9. Try a wearable blanket

Once baby is rolling independently and it’s no longer safe to swaddle, incorporating a sleep sack into your little one’s bedtime routine is one more way to signal that it’s time for sleep, not play. There are so many sleep sacks on the market, but one of our favorites is this basic option from Halo.

Available in a huge range of sizes and colors, these sleep sacks are affordable, wash and wear well, come in fleece and cotton options, and offer the perfect combo of warmth + freedom of motion. They’re the perfect solution for keeping baby warm throughout the night until it’s safe to use loose blankets.

HALO SleepSack Wearable Blanket
$17.95, Amazon

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Stimulate—but don’t over stimulate

Although you’re probably already seeing patterns start to emerge, four months is the perfect time to start thinking about a schedule for your little one. Stimulating—but not over stimulating—baby during the day and managing awake time by encouraging frequent naps can all contribute to night sleep.

We love simple, sensory-stimulating toys and products during this time.

10. Encourage play time

The simple, beautiful play gym will catch baby’s eye—and yours—and is the perfect way to stimulate your little one’s senses without too many bells and whistles. This play gym is stylish + modern, crafted from natural wood, and height adjustable so it grows along with baby.

The hanging toys detach and make perfect on-the-go companions, and the hardwood teethers are made from untreated wood and finished with vegetable seed wax so they’re completely safe for chomping.

Finn + Emma Wooden Play Gym
$135.00, Amazon

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11. Build skills

This classic baby favorite is just as much fun to play with as it is to say! The Skwish is a rattle + teether all in one. Babies will love to practice clutching and grasping, all important in developing gross motor skills, with this easy-to-grab wooden toy. And the elastic ties means it always returns to its original shape, even after hours of play.

Manhattan Toy Skwish Natural Rattle and Teether
$12.75, Amazo

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Give yourself a break

We won’t lie, mama—the 4 month sleep regression can be tough. Sometimes you just need a safe place to put baby so you sit down, collect yourself, and take a quick break!

12. Take a break

Give your arms a (much-needed) rest while baby bounces away. We ? this bouncer for its minimalist design, amazing portability—it folds completely flat and weighs only 5 lbs—and four adjustable positions. And as your kiddo ages, it turns into a seat!

BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft
$138.99, Amazon

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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