Wow! Your 4-month-old baby’s sleep is undergoing seismic and important changes at 4-months!
After months of disorganized sleep, you may notice your 4-month-old’s sleep is consolidating at night – this is your baby’s circadian rhythm taking shape, a process that helps regulate their sleep and is essential to sleep training.
Considering all these changes, you may have some questions about your 4-month-old’s sleep. Here, we’ll answer some of the most common ones, including “how much should my 4-month-old sleep?” “Is it time to nap transition at 4 months?” and “Should my 4-month-old sleep through the night?”
Baby sleep training can start at any time after 4-months, but the earlier you begin, the easier it will be, and the more effective, too. And sleep training is especially easy with the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™.
An expert-designed app, the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ that has everything you need to sleep train your baby, including a 1-click sleep tracker, mini-articles explaining the science of baby sleep, and an exclusive AI-powered algorithm that customizes sleep coaching methods for your unique baby.
It’s pretty incredible, and extremely effective: most users report their babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer within a week.
Sample Sleep Schedule for a 4-Month-Old Baby:
Note: Every baby’s unique, including your own, and these times are just examples. When creating your baby’s sleep schedule, focus less on the actual clock time and more on your baby’s wake windows and sleepy cues.
Wake Windows are how long your baby is awake between sleeps. These are a fundamental driver of sleep and shift and change as your baby grows. That’s why it’s important to note how long your baby is awake – or use an app that helps you track that information, such as the Smart Sleep Coach.
Sleepy cues are the actions your baby does when tired, such as yawning and rubbing their eyes. Sleepy cues appear at the end of your baby’s wake windows, when their sleep-inducing hormones are higher.
Watching wake windows and sleepy cues is easy with theSmart Sleep Coach by Pampers™: the app automatically adjusts wake windows based on your baby’s natural sleep rhythms, creating a personalized, sleep-nourish schedule that helps your baby sleep well today and grow well tomorrow.
Sleep Schedule for 4-Month-Olds with 3 naps:
Should My 4-Month-Old Nap Transition?
You may have noticed we included two sleep schedules, one for 4-month-old taking 4 naps, one for 4-month-olds taking 3 naps. That’s because 4 months is a good time to complete the 4 to 3 nap transition.
Every baby is unique, however, so be sure to watch for the signs your baby is ready for a nap transition:
Trouble Falling Asleep at Naptime: If your baby is struggling to fall asleep during their typical nap time, it means their wake window is getting longer and it may be time for the 4-to-3 nap transition.
Protests at Naptime: If your baby vocally protests or resists a specific nap day-after-day, it may be time to lose that nap and begin the 4-to-3 nap transition.
Your Baby Has Trouble Falling Asleep at Bedtime: If your baby gets too much sleep during the day, they’ll have trouble falling asleep at bedtime. If your baby is suddenly having trouble falling asleep at night or protesting bedtime, it’s time to consider a nap transition.
Your Baby Isn’t Fussy After Missing a Nap: This is our favorite sign your baby is ready for a nap transition: they miss a nap and aren’t cranky. That’s a definite sign your baby can lose that nap.
Your Baby Is Fussy After Napping: This may sound weird, but if your baby is fussy after a nap, they may be getting too much sleep.
Getting too much daytime sleep can throw off your baby’s sleep cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep and leading to some frustration for them, which results in fussiness. If your baby is taking their regular naps but still suddenly fussy, it may be time for a nap transition.
Why Do Babies Nap Transition?
Babies nap transition because sleep consolidates toward nighttime and their wake windows naturally get longer as they grow.
For example, the wake window for a 4-month-old is far shorter than a 12-month-old’s wake window.
As your baby grows, and as their wake windows lengthen, they need less daytime sleep. In fact, getting too much daytime sleep will make it harder for them to sleep at night.
Remember: Nap Transitions are Fun!
While we understand nap transitions can be a bit nerve-wracking to some – naps are often a time to catch our breath in those hectic early days – but look at it this way: each nap transition brings more awake time for you and your little one to play, laugh, and bond – way more fun than a nap!
How Much Sleep Does a 4-month-Old Need?
Ideally a 4-month-old gets about 14.5 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period.
How Much Should a 4-Month-Old Sleep at Night?
About 10-12 hours with periodic wakeups for night-feedings, new diapers, and cuddles.
How Many Hours Should a 4-Month-Old Sleep During the Day?
About 3.5-4.5 hours over 3-4 naps.
Note: morning naps may start to grow longer during this period.
What is a 4-Month-Old’s Wake Window?
Babies this age have longer awake windows than younger babies. At this point most 4-month-olds are awake 1.5-2 hours between sleeps. – but it’s okay if this varies for your baby.
How Long Is a 4-Month-Old’s Nap?
Anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. Sometimes they may nap for up to 2 hours. At this age their circadian rhythms are maturing, and sleep will start to feel more organized.
Can a 4-Month-Old Sleep Through the Night?
Sometimes, but not always. Some babies this age still wake for night feedings, fresh diapers or because of natural sleep regressions.
What is the 4-Month Sleep Regression?
The 4-month sleep regression is one of a few totally normal sleep regressions your baby will experience – periods when their sleeping becomes a little rocky and/or unpredictable – but we actually prefer to refer to them as “Sleep Progressions”.
We call them sleep progressions because sleep regressions always coincide with a developmental milestone. For example, the 4-month-sleep regression coincides with 4-month developmental milestones, including learning to roll over one way.
As frustrating as these “regressions”, they’re positive signs your baby’s growing and developing as normal – hence, progressions! Also, sleep regressions can be handled and lessened by sleep training with an app like the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™.
“Developing circadian rhythmicity in infants,” Pediatrics.
“Sleep Phases and Stages,” National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
“Bedtime routines child wellbeing & development,” BioMed Central Public Health.
How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.