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4 Month Old Sleep Schedule: Your Guide To Naps, Feeds and Night Sleep At Four Months?

Sydney Sleep consultant, gentle sleep coach, sleeping through the night, swaddling, four month old sleep tips

Four months is a beautiful age but gets a lot of bad rap in parenting circles. Your little one has outgrown the newborn stage but isn’t quite a fully fledged baby yet. this transitional phase can introduce unique sleep challenges that can leave you feeling tired and overwhelmed.

While I don't have a magic wand to fix sleep in one swift wave, I do have the next best thing: This Guide! Enhance Sleep is here to help support you through this phase with clear, practical advice. We'll cover what a sleep schedule may look like for your four-month-old, awake times, bedtime routines, improving naps, swaddling and strategies to help your baby sleep through the night.

Together, let’s enhance your baby’s sleep


Understanding Wake Windows

Understanding wake windows is like having a secret code that makes it possible to sleep well at four-months-old. A wake window is the time your baby wakes, to the time they are next asleep. This includes all feeding, nappy changes and play time.

Mastering the right wake window is a delicate balance - offering a nap too soon might leave them under-tired and unable to sleep well. Waiting too long can result in an overtired, wired and harder to settle baby. It’s a puzzle, but we can master it together.

The thing to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all wake window that works for every baby. Your baby is unique, and they won’t thrive on a strict schedule at this young age. A flexible routine is key, that’s why you’ll notice a range for each age-appropriate wake window. We typically see the first wake window in the morning typically being the shortest, gradually lengthening throughout the day.

It may require a little trial and error to get right, the key is to combine this range with your baby’s tired signs. Here’s how it works; If your baby is cranky, tired and struggling to stay awake, offer the nap at the shortest end of the range. If they are content and happy, push out to the end of that window. Over time, you will discover YOUR baby’s sweet spot, the wake window that works best for them.

Now, let’s walk you through how to make this work for your baby at four-months-old.

How Much Should A 4 Month Old Sleep?

Understanding your baby's sleep needs at four months is the four nation for a good night. On average your baby will sleep 14-16 hours in a 24 hour period. But what does this mean for your daily routine? Let’s break it down and give you a clear picture of your baby’s sleep schedule at four-months-old.

How Long Can A 4 Month Old Stay Awake?

On average four-month-olds can stay awake for 1.5 to 2 hours. If you're dealing with short naps and sleep struggles, consider limiting their awake time to a maximum of 1 hour and 45 minutes.

How Long Should A 4 Month Old Nap For?

Naps are essential for your baby to rest and recharge. At four months they should be having three to five naps with a maximum nap total of 4 hours each day. However, it’s important to remember nap length can vary from thirty minutes to two hours. If your baby treats you to an extended nap I encourage you to wake your baby if that nap is longer than two hours (a mum can dream right!).

How Much Should Your 4 Month Old Sleep At Night?

A good night's sleep helps you and your baby have a better day tomorrow. We would expect your four month old to have a bedtime between 6pm - 8pm and be capable of 10 to 12 hours sleep overnight. Although some babies can sleep through the night, it is perfectly normal to see 1-2 night feeds. More frequent feeds may signal issues in routine or settling habits.

baby sleep consultant, ideal bedtime, four month sleep routine, number of naps for four month old.


What Routine Should A 4 Month Old Follow?

Enhance Sleep does not advocate for strict routines, your baby just isn't ready for that just yet. However, this is an ideal age to introduce rhythms to your day. Begin by introducing a consistent morning wake time, to anchor your baby’s day, and maintain a predictable 1.5 to 2 hour awake window between naps, leading to bedtime.

These rhythms offer a sense of structure without feeling rigid and restrictive. Let’s explore a sample schedule for your four month old

Morning Wake (usually between 6-8am)

1hr 30 awake

Nap 1

1hr 45 awake

Nap 2

2 hours awake

Nap 3

2 hours awake

Nap 4

1hr 30- 1 hr 45 awake

Bedtime (ideally between 6-8pm)

Remember, these are general guidelines based on the sleep needs of most four month olds, but every child is unique.

Let’s break down your 24 hour sleep at four months;

YOUR BABY’S Daytime Naps

Your four-month-old will typically take 3-4 naps with a total of 4 hours daytime sleep.

YOUR BABY’S Night Sleep

Your four-month-old should be sleeping 10-12 hours at night

YOUR BABY’S Awake Windows

Your four-month-old is capable of 1.5 to 2 hours of awake time.

An Ideal Feeding Routine For A Four Month Old

Milk feeds should be your baby's only source of nutrition at four months. Typically, you can expect your baby to need 5 to 6 feeds per day with 1 to 2 occurring over night.

It is a common misconception that introducing solids early will improve your baby’s sleep, but in reality, it can lead to issues like wind, digestive discomfort and more night waking!

Solids are an exciting, albeit messy milestone, but we advise starting them when both you and your baby are truly ready, which is typically closer to six months, unless otherwise advised by your paediatrician.

Safe sleep guidelines, four month sleep schedule, parenting advice


Developmental Changes And Sleep Patterns At Four Months Old

As a tired mum, life with your 4 month old may feel a whirlwind of sleepless nights and milestone changes. Let’s dive into what’s happening for your baby at four months old. Don’t worry, if it’s not yet happening it will. Remember, If ever you are concerned, seek advice from your healthcare team. Follow your gut instinct, mum really does know best.

  • Smiling and increased alertness

  • Engaging in early communication

  • Rolling, reaching for objects, playing with their hands

  • Becoming more responsive to you as their caregiver

  • Changes in sleep cycles; their sleep is maturing with less deep sleep and more light sleep; making it harder to link sleep cycles

  • A significant growth spurt that demands an increase in calorie intake

How To Entertain A Four Month Old Baby

Are you wondering how to make the most of your baby’s awake times? Here are some simple ideas to create beautiful moments of connection and learning.

  • Supervised tummy time to encourage strong neck and shoulder muscles.

  • Fun activities like bubbles, mirror play, peekaboo

  • Talking or reading to encourage early language development (it doesn't have to be baby books; it can also be your favourite novel)

  • Dancing and singing together (save wiggles for now! Put on your favourite tunes and enjoy!)

  • Massage, bath or shower together

  • Walking or sitting in the garden. The fresh air can work wonders for you and your baby

Remember, you don’t have to entertain your baby for their entire awake time. Simply experiencing the world around them can be exciting enough.

Four month sleep regression, gentle sleep coach, swaddle transition tips

When Is It Time To Stop Swaddling?

Safe sleep guidelines recommend stopping swaddling when your baby is 4-6 months old and actively rolling. Transitioning from a swaddle, to a sleep sack, is recommended to allow your baby the freedom to move and opportunity to self-soothe - by sucking their hand for example.

Is A Four Month Old Ready For Sleep Training?

Many parents wonder if their four month old is ready to sleep-train. The good news is that this is an ideal age to make changes to your baby’s sleep. Most babies are now capable of self-settling and longer stretches of sleep.

Independent sleep is the holy grail of parenting. Dreaming of a child who calmly settles without needing hands on support could be your reality! Before diving into a sleep training method, focus on improving your sleep environment, routine and milk feeds. Once in place, a consistent sleep training method can be introduced. If you are seeking a clear plan and support every step of the way, consider a consultation. I have helped hundreds of parents, just like you sleep well ---BOOK A SUPPORT CALL HERE ---

What Is The Four Month Sleep Regression?

Seasoned parents may forewarn you of the four month sleep regression. It can feel like a daunting hurdle because it is the first one you’ll experience, but I am here to help you move through with confidence.

This age is marked by significant developmental changes and an increasing physical ability. This may disrupt your normal feeding and sleep patterns as your baby PROgresses through these new skills.

The four month sleep regression is characterised by sudden night waking, short naps, resistance to settling, early rising, increased feeding and the need for more hands on settling, both day and night. While it might seem challenging, rest assured there are ways to help your baby sleep well, even amidst all these changes.

Let’s explore why the four month sleep regression really is a thing;

  1. Your baby is growing - Around 3 to 5 months your baby has a significant growth spurt, meaning extra calories are required, often leading to more night feeds.

  2. Your baby’s sleep is changing - Your baby’s sleep cycles are maturing and start to resemble that of an adult - with less deep REM sleep and more light sleep, making it easier for them to wake.

  3. Your baby is learning to roll - Rolling is a big developmental milestone, and it takes a lot of energy and brain power to master these skills. Unfortunately much of this learning happens during sleep, often resulting in more frequent waking.

  4. Your baby may take short naps and need lots of support - The new sleep cycles can lead to shorter naps. Many parents notice their baby waking every 30-45 minutes. This can lead to increased overtiredness and habits of hands on settling.

Don’t worry, I am here to help your four month old sleep better even during this regression.

How To Get Back On Track After The Four Month Sleep Regression

In the world of parenting, the four month mark can feel a daunting age. Take a deep breath and know you aren’t alone. This phase is just that - a phase. As it passes, you’ll find motherhood easier with a good night's sleep. Having a simple and easy to follow plan to gently guide your baby to sleep well can make life much calmer. I have helped hundreds of families, just like you, to come out the other side of the four month regression sleeping and smiling!

Meet Harvey

Harvey was 4 months old when we first met. Mum said “We cannot get this right. Is he over tired or under tired? It is taking an hour to get him to sleep and he is just crying hysterically. We need help”

Together we focussed on getting the right wake windows, feeding well, teaching self settling and we saw Harvey start to sleep through the night. After our consultation mum said

“Thank you!!!!!!!! I have learnt heaps and am sleeping well with all the knowledge you have provided.” ---WANT SLEEP LIKE HARVEY? BOOK A SUPPORT CALL HERE ---

Dealing with the four month sleep regression can be hard, for both you and your baby. I hope this guide helps you to embrace this beautiful but sometimes challenging stage. Remember that every child is different. From understanding wake windows, to bedtime routines, improving naps and feeding schedules, our aim is to make your baby’s sleep journey a positive one. I hope that these age appropriate sleep tips can help you navigate this phase with confidence and sleep!

mums of the shire, shire scout, Sydney sleep consultant, baby sleep expert,

Sleep deprivation is torture. Tessa Gow is a midwife and certified sleep consultant working with families across the globe. She offers nurturing methods with lasting results. Let her be the support and guidance you need to get through this. On the other side of a consultation with Enhance Sleep is rested, functioning families. Take the first step towards healthy sleep by contacting me today.


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