You’ve got yourself a lively little 4 month old baby who is awake a lot more and curious about the big world around him. What can you expect from your four month old’s routine?
Ask The Expert – Tara Mitchell talks the 4 month old routine
We asked Tara Mitchell, baby sleep consultant, what you can look forward to as your baby turns four months old.
I get a lot of messages in anticipation of the fourth month and here’s the thing – the dreaded four month sleep regression doesn’t affect everyone so don’t worry in anticipation. The clients that I work with don’t see it at all – here’s an explanation of what it is and why my clients don’t experience it:
Around the 3-4 month mark, your little one’s sleep has a developmental leap, so instead of sleep being a constant state, it becomes dynamic. This means your baby will begin to have sleep stages. Most sleep cycles in the evening last between 60-120 minutes, and during the day they are around 45 minutes. At the end of these cycles they have a brief wake period. If your little one is overtired going to bed, or if they don’t have the ability to put themselves to sleep/back to sleep, or they wake up in a different scenario to when they fell asleep, you are far more likely to experience an exacerbation of wakings during this age. For some it will only be a phase, but for many it can be the beginning of a cycle of constant need for re-settling. If this happens, it is important to recognise that it doesn’t need to be the case. You may also be told a range of excuses as to why you’re not getting on top of sleep issues – teething, milestones, leaps etc. But once again, this doesn’t have to be the case.
If you hit a rough patch during the fourth month, here are some ways to get back on track:
- Work on putting your little one to sleep in the place they will wake up in.
- Avoid an overtired baby – the more tired your little one is, the harder it will be for them to drift between sleep cycles.
- Keep a pre-nap and bedtime routine.
- Provide a dark space for sleep and I recommend using white noise.
- If you that find after 3 weeks things are still not settling, it’s time to make the necessary actions to get sleep sorted.
What our community had to add about a 4 month old baby’s routine
- My 4 month old baby sleeps through the night. Sometimes wakes for one feed around 3am. Feeds throughout the day are irregular. She’s breast fed & I just demand feed. She’s up between 6am & 7am, back down at 9ish, up at about 11, back down at 2ish then back up at 4ish. Down for the night between 7 & 8pm. Amanda
- My four month old baby wakes up around 6/7am, has 4 bottles of 250ml each day roughly 3hrs apart, one big morning sleep of up to 3hrs then little naps in the afternoon, in bed at 7pm sometimes earlier, used to sleep through until she got sick and went off her food now she wakes for a bottle at 2/3am but I don’t mind the quiet time with her! When she’s awake we do tummy time, chat or go out and about;-) Katie
- Up anytime between 5 and 6 (urgh), BF around 6.30. We try to keep a rough 3 hour feeding schedule, but it moves a bit due to sleeping. Back to bed around 7 for a short nap (40 min ish). Bed again around 8.30/9.00 for another short nap. Nap again around 10.30/11 – usually about 1.5 hrs. Afternoons get messy – nap whenever he’s ready. Wake time is anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Start the bath/bed routine at 5.45, in bed usually around 6.15 and asleep by 6.30. The bed/bath routine is the only fixed point of our day, it may occasionally be pushed back by 15 minutes if the last nap was close, but otherwise it’s pretty solid. Generally 2 feeds at night, whenever he wakes up, with no dream feed (he’s too alert and can’t go back to sleep from it) but we are getting a few one feed nights here and there. Rebekah
- My 4 month old wakes at around 9am (he sleeps through the night) he has a bottle, he then goes back to sleep at around 11-1130. Then has another bottle at about 1230-1. He is usually awake for quite awhile during this period. He will have tummy time, sit in his bumbo and play with his toys or watch his big brother play. He will have another bottle at 3pm and then go back to sleep, has a bath at 530 and another bottle at 6 then goes back to sleep and then has another bottle at 830 and then he is down for the night. He has 5 – 200ml bottles a day. And he is a real catnapper he hates sleeping during the day but he really needs it as he gets super grumpy Chey
- My 4 month old wakes at 6.30 but I try not to get her until 7 unless she cries out for me. FF 230ml and stays up and plays for a hour to hour and half, sleep either 1 – 2 hrs, then up plays till feed at 11am down at 12 for power nap, next feed at 2 (the day feeds are 150ml) then nap at 3pm. Can wake at 4 or earlier, nappy free time, bath ( if req) and last feed 230ml at 5.30. Bed time around 6.30. Sleeps all night. Natasha
- My LO is 16 weeks. Up between 6-7am, bottle at 7am, sleep from 9ish to 10:30, bottle at 10:30/11:00am, sleep 12:30-2:30pm, bottle 2:30pm, nap 4:30pm, bath 5:30pm, bottle 6pm, bed 7pm. Mine was a cat napper too, but Jenn from My Newborn (on fb) changed that!! Jocelyn
- My 4 month old, wakes about 7am then bottle 9am nap till 11am then bottle. Back down at about 1.30 for nap till about 230 then bottle at 3 then 1/2 hour nap about 4.30 then bath at 5.30 bottle at 6.30 bed 7pm usually wakes at 10pm for bottle then sleep right through. She loves jolly jumper, play matt and tummy time. Jessica
- My youngest is 16 weeks today (not quite 4 months)… Up around 6:30am, feeds 2-3 hourly from then (demand breastfed), sleep around 10, 12, 3 (still working on day sleeps), cluster feeds in the evening most days, just starting to go down around 8, previously 9, for the night, usually wakes around 4am for a feed. I should add that I also have 22mo twins and a just-turned 3yo so her day is affected by their routine and behaviour. Jo
- My baby is 4.5 months. She is up anywhere between 5 and 6ish and has a bf and goes back to bed until about 8.30. She then gets up we have another bf and then we play. She then goes to bed, she never sleeps more than 1 sleep cycle so up again and sometimes we play before feed or sometimes feed before sleep. Repeat the cycle twice more then hubby gets home he has a play and gives her her bottle before bed then yes she sleeps through (very lucky for us). Paige
- ‘My lil girl wakes at 7 I feed her 240ml of bottle then straight back to be for about another 2-3 hours then she’s up for 2 hours has solids (she started at 4.5 months and is not 5 months) then not long after that a 240ml bottle (4hourly) we play- tummy time or in her play centre or jolly jumper she loves to be standing up right more so then lying down! She loves nursery rhymes so I often have them on while she’s playing then back to sleep for 2 hours then up bottle often we will go out somewhere by then if not more play time then after 2 hours back to bed then after 1-2 hours up we have night solids bath bottle bed by 7-8pm then up at 7 the next morning. Brittany
- My 4 month old daughter is ff and has 180ml per feed. She generally starts the day at 6.30/7 and feeds every 3 hours from then. Between feeds she has power naps and plays on her play mat, sits in her jolly jumper, or I play with her/read a book. She has a bath around 5.30/6 each night and has a feed around 6.30 and goes to bed around 7. She sleeps through until the next morning. Anika
- My 4 month old is breast fed usually up at 9 feeds and 2hrs later she is ready for another feed and sleep. Sleeps for roughly 3hrs so round 2 she is up for a feed stays awake and has another feed and sleep round 5. Up at 6/7pm has a snack feed and last feed is about 9pm. She the goes down for 12 hrs sleep but will wake around the 9 hr mark for a feed. We are very blessed to have a such a easy baby. When she is awake we usually have her on a rug and my 2yo loves to make her laugh, and he won’t stop kissing her. I will have to remind him when he is older that he used to give his sister a kiss on the cheek all the time! Jenelle
- My 4 month old breastfeeds 3 hourly during the day takes half hour. Usually 1 to 1.5 hours later has nap. Last feed is 10pm then straight to sleep around 1045pm. Sleeps through till anywhere between 7 til 8am. He is an extremely good baby. Leslie
- I have a 4 mo and a 2 yr… Our routine is flexible as my 4 month old is demand BF… But ATM it’s 5-5:45am BF then straight back for a 2-3 hr sleep.. Then BF every 3-4 hours sleeps anywhere from hour to 2 and half (depends on the 2 yr old mood and behavior), and is wake between hour and hour half… Follows the feed,play, sleep routine and we just do songs, tummy time and lots of talking lol. Last feed is 9:30ish after bath and down all night (took persistence to get him to sleep all night) Rachel
- My DS is nearly 4months, and is EBF. Has 4-5 feeds, wakes between 6:30-7:30am. Sleeps all night!( has done from 6 weeks) Feeds every 3-4 hours and has a morning nap for 30min-1hr. Then goes down for a big sleep anywhere from 11/12 and will sleep anywhere from 3-5 hours. Last feed between 6:30/7pm and in bed by 7:30pm. So blessed to have a good sleeper after my first DS would just catnap all day! Fern
- Little man usually sleeps from 9pm to anywhere between 5.30-7am. Demand fed every 1.5-2 hours and usually sleeps for 40 mins every 2 hours. A bit all over the place during the day. We play and read when he’s awake. Sometimes I’m guilty of resorting to the TV which he seems to love watching.. Nicole
- My girls just over 4 months formula fed goes to sleep at 8:30 wakes at 7:30am has a bottle (200ml) goes to sleep for few hours wakes up has a play in jumps roo has a feed goes to sleep at around11 for hour wakes up plays has feed goes to sleep at 3 wakes at 5 for bottle plays until 8 has a bottle n goes to bed. Tina
- Wakes 7-8 feed ,play time sleep between 8-9 usually for 1-2 hours. Awake 10-11 feed , playtime sleep 1-2 for around 1-2 hours, awake 3-4 feed , play sleep 4-5 only a little sleep 40mins -1 hr. Feed 6-7 bath bed7-8. Dream feed 10-11 and sleeps through till 4-5 for another feed and back to sleep till 7-8. Kerry
- We have a catnapper during the day, anything between 20min to 40min, night time routine starts around 5:30-6 with bath, boob bed with a dream feed around 10:30, DS will sleep until 4 the latest. Entertainment is anything between on the floor to his activity centre, or he’ll be in his pusher @ the workshop watching the boys repair trucks & stuff. He is changing every day; watch makes all this so much fun. Brenda
- My LO is nearly 4 months, sleeps 7pm to 7am. Has a bottle at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 6.30pm. But he only cap naps during the day. Usually only 1 sleep cycle (45mins) about an hour after each feed and when he is super tired or in the car. We play on the floor for tummy time before each feed as he has silent reflux and on his play mat. Jackie
- Sleeps pretty straight thru every night. Up anywhere between 5:30 and 7am. Bottle and then sleep for bout 30 mins sometimes an hour. Another bottle bout 9 and then its jobs around the house or a walk and tummy time or jolly jumper time another bottle and then sleep for hopefully an hour. Usually try and get him to bed about 9. Amanda
- My bub won’t sleep beyond an hour if I’m lucky either, but none of my kids have been good at establishing a day sleep routine until closer to 6 months, and the others were all mix fed and ff by then…Jo
- I have a real cat napper in the day (which I am trying to stop as it’s starting to affect night sleep) usual day is up 6-7 morning BF up for an hour 2 at the most back down for anywhere from 40mins to 2 hrs depending. Then this happens pretty much all day until last BF at 7ish sleeps 3-4 hr blocks during the night so still waking for 2 feeds a night. When he is awake we play with his big 3yr old sister outside, sing, go out and do jobs try and get as much tummy time as possible otherwise he is in the stroller following us around the house, hanging out washing etc. Alana
- My four month old wakes at 7am awake 1.5-2. Hours then back to bed. Bed time at night is 8:30pm and she sleeps 7-9 hours feeds then back to sleep. Ebb. I do a lot of mat time with books and rattles and just chatting together on the change mat to. Recently introduced her to bubbles. And she loooves peek a boo and singing and dancing. And we do a bit of tummy time and a spinning top. Emma
- My son is asleep by 8pm then wakes around 1am for a BF. We co-sleep so he will feed again sometime between 4am & 6am. He is then up around 7.30-8am. He will be awake for 2 hours or less throughout the whole day, sleeping from 1-3 hours at a time depending on what’s going on in our day. Carole
- My 4 month old baby sleeps through the night. We wake up at 5 when hubby goes to work she has a bottle (180 ml) go back to sleep till about 9 has another bottle. Throughout the day she has bottles every 3-4 hours and naps normally around 1 and 4 she sleeps on and off from 7 but goes down for the night between 9 and 10. As far as activities go she spends a lot of time on her play mat. Loves tummy time and her jolly jumper and I read to her a lot. Kendall
Do you have something to add? Share your hints and tips with our community by commenting now.
Read more from our expert on what to expect each month
- One Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Two Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Three Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Five Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Six Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Seven Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Eight Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Nine Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Ten Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- Eleven Month Old Baby Sleep Routine
- One Year Old Baby Sleep Routine