4 month old baby’s sleep

Pediatricians disagree high and low about when a baby is capable of sleeping through the night and only a handful of parents who reach this page will have a 4 month old that sleeps all night without even a single feeding (those that do are LUCKY!).

At this age, if you are not lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night, many 4 month olds are still waking 1-3 times to eat at night and many will continue to eat 1-2 times until 9 months old. Anything more and likely you have a sleep association problem. If your baby has recently started sleeping worse, you may want to read my article about 4 month old baby sleep. If you’re having trouble with naps, you might be interested in helping your baby nap.

Keep in mind that one of the biggest sleep challenges families face around 4 months is the 4 month sleep regression. You can read more about the 4 month sleep regression here and here.

Obviously, all babies vary, but here are some sample (loose) schedules you can use to make your own for your unique baby. Most babies, at this age, can’t be on a strict schedule because many babies are still taking shorter naps while their brain matures and they simply can not stay up very long to get to the next scheduled nap-time, so at this age, it’s likely naps are still on the short side, but come frequently and every day will still likely be different. Don’t worry, that will change! Most babies can get down to just 3 naps around 6 months or 7 months.

I should warn you that I am in the camp that breast milk or formula should be the primary nutrition for the first year and solids come secondary. Below are the amounts we recommend. For more information on starting your baby on solid food, visit our sister site, Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods. It includes recommendations about how and when to start solids, as well as helpful information on food allergies, recommended products, baby-friendly recipes, and more.

Amounts per day:

• At least 5-6 breastfeeding sessions per day or 2 1/2 ounces formula for each pound of weight (approx. 20-30 ounces) (decrease solids if your baby is not taking in at least this much)
• Water is unnecessary (breast milk and formula have plenty of water in them). If your baby has any constipation issues, focus on fiber foods (pears, prunes, etc.)
• 1-2 servings baby cereal (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons dry)
• 1-2 servings fruit (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
• 1-2 servings vegetable (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)

Note: Don’t worry about feeding this much right away! You will start with just 1 teaspoon of dry cereal (before mixing w/ breast milk or formula) and work your way up. Don’t forget to wait at least 3-4 days before introducing a new food for food allergy reasons.

“Thank you for your articles, they’ve shown me that my 4 month old baby is perfectly normal and I’m doing the right things in relation to his sleep. This is such a relief! So many sources just don’t seem to give realistic information about baby sleep – not for myself or for any other mum I know.

Great care has obviously been taken by The Baby Sleep Site in reflecting a realistic and true picture of what a ‘normal’ baby is. Thank you.”
-Sincerely, Elizabeth


Sample 4 month old schedule

This schedule assumes baby can stay up 1 hour 15 minutes before needing to sleep again. At this age, wake-time should be 1-2 hours TOPS, to avoid baby getting overtired.

6:30 – Wake and Breast milk or Formula
7:15 – Breakfast
7:45 – Nap
8:15-8:45 – Breast milk or Formula
9:45 – 10:00 – Nap
10:45 – 11:15 – Breast milk or Formula
11:45 – 12:00 – Nap
1:15 – 1:45 – Breast milk or Formula
2:00 – Nap
3:45 – 4:15 – Breast milk or Formula
4:45 – Nap
5:45 – Begin bedtime routine
6:00 – Breast milk or Formula
6:15 – Bedtime (Goal to be asleep at this time)

+Plus probably 1-3 nighttime feedings

Note: This schedule follows the eat-play-sleep routine, however, it is sometimes hard to do at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding.

 

This article outlines the average 6 month old baby schedule, including feedings, solids, naps and night sleep.

Skip to the schedule

6 month old baby’s sleep

At this age, if you are not lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night, many 6 month olds are still waking 1-2 times to eat at night. Anything more and likely you have a sleep association problem (aside from the 6-month growth spurt that should only last a few days to a week). Your 6 month old should be taking 2-4 naps per day for a total of 2-3 hours per day plus 11-12 hours at night. If you’re having trouble with naps, you might be interested in helping your baby nap.

Obviously, all babies vary, but here are some sample schedules you can use to make your own for your unique baby. Schedules are iffy at this age because many babies simply can not stay up past 2 hours to get to the next scheduled nap-time, so at this age, it’s likely naps are still on the short side, but come frequently. Over the next several weeks, you can work on getting down to just 3 naps to get closer to the 7 month schedule.

I should warn you that I am in the camp that breast milk or formula should be the primary nutrition for the first year and solids come secondary. Below are the amounts we recommend. For more information on starting your baby on solid food, visit our sister site, Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods. It includes recommendations about how and when to start solids, as well as helpful information on food allergies, recommended products, baby-friendly recipes, and more.

Amounts per day:

• At least 5-6 breastfeeding sessions per day or 24-32 ounces formula or combination (decrease solids if your baby is not taking in at least this much)
• Water is unnecessary (breast milk and formula have plenty of water in them). If your baby has any constipation issues, focus on P-foods (pears, prunes, etc.)
• 1-2 servings baby cereal (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons dry)
• 1-2 servings fruit (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
• 1-2 servings vegetable (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)

Note: If you did not start solids until 6 months (I did not start until 6 months), you will work your way up to the amount of servings above. Don’t worry about feeding this much right away!


Sample 6 month old schedule

Here is a what I call a “staggered” approach. My first son did better with a full feeding and then having solids a bit in between. He was a little hungry but not famished. He just didn’t do well with stopping nursing or his bottle mid-way to eat solids.

Schedule 1

6:30 – Wake and Breast milk or Formula
7:45 – Breakfast
8:30 – Morning Nap (at least 1 hour)
10:00 – Breast milk or Formula
11:30 – Nap (often 30-45 minutes at this age)
1:00 – Breast milk or Formula
2:00 – Nap (often 30-45 minutes at this age)
4:00 – Breast milk or Formula
4:30 – Catnap (30 minutes)
5:00 – Dinner
6:00 – Begin bedtime routine
6:30 – Breast milk or Formula and Bedtime
7:00 – Goal to be asleep

+Plus possibly 1-2 nighttime feedings

If your baby doesn’t mind a more “consolidated” approach to eating, like my second son, here is another type of schedule:

Schedule 2

7:00 – Wake and Breast milk or Formula, then Breakfast
9:00 – Morning Nap (at least 1 hour)
10:00 – Breast milk or Formula
12:00 – Nap (often 30-45 minutes at this age)
1:00 – Breast milk or Formula
2:30 – Nap (often 30-45 minutes at this age)
4:00 – Breast milk or Formula
5:00 – Catnap (30 minutes)
5:30 – Partial Breast milk or Formula Feeding, then Dinner
6:30 – Begin bedtime routine
7:00 – Bedtime
7:30 – Goal to be asleep

+Plus possibly 1-2 nighttime feedings

Note: Many people prefer to follow an eat-play-sleep routine, which is a good routine to follow, however, sometimes hard to implement at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding. I take all of that into consideration when making my schedules. The most important part is to be careful not to create sleep associations with feedings too close to sleep times, which we saw become important at 4 months old.

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