4 month old sleep schedule: Bedtime and nap schedule
Around 4 months old, a big change occurs in a baby’s sleep patterns. This is due to the maturation of the internal clock (aka circadian rhythm). We’ll provide you with the schedule information you need to help ensure your baby gets the rest they need for their growing mind and body.
The recommendations listed below represent the average amount of sleep typically needed at this age. However, please note there is a range of normal as some children have lower or higher sleep needs. Your child’s schedule may vary, and that is normal.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
How much should a 4 month old sleep?
At this age, most babies need around 14.5 hours of total sleep in a 24-hour period. It's worth noting that sleep needs can vary, and there is a range of what's considered normal and healthy. While the recommended hours can provide a general idea, monitoring your child's energy levels and mood is also important.
[Note: for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.]
Top sleep tip for 4 month old:
If your baby’s still swaddled, please transition away from it for safety reasons. Also, with free hands and their increased motor control at this age, they may now be more able to use their hands or fingers to soothe.
Sleep fact for 4 month old babies:
This age is the perfect time to start shaping a baby's sleep habits in order to lay the foundation needed to ensure they become a great sleeper.
Sample 4 month old sleep schedule
Note: Sleep needs vary by child and this chart should be viewed as an example.
Naptime schedule for 4 month old
How long should a 4 month old nap?
At this age, we can expect to see 3.5 - 4.5 hours of daytime sleep. Try not to feel discouraged if you’re seeing a lot of short naps — it’s common to see naps of 30 - 45 minutes. The first nap or two of the day may start to lengthen around this time. We recommend limiting each individual nap to no more than 2 hours to ensure that day sleep does not interfere with night sleep.
How many naps should a 4 month old take each day?
Most babies this age need 3 - 4 naps per day. Babies who are already taking longer naps can typically stay awake longer, so they tend to do well on a 3-nap schedule.
On the other hand, if a child takes shorter naps, they’ll get sleepier sooner and are likely to need a 4-nap schedule. Since naps can still be irregular at this age, it’s also common to see babies take some 3-nap days and some 4-nap days in the same week.
|Morning rise||6:30 AM|
|1st nap||8:15 AM - 9:45 AM (1.5 hours); 1.75 hours of awake time|
|2nd nap||11:45 AM - 1:15 PM (1.5 hours); 2 hours of awake time|
|3rd nap||3:30 PM - 4:00 pm (30 minutes); 2.25 hours of awake time|
|Get ready for bed||6:00 PM|
|Asleep||6:30 PM; 2.5 hours of awake time|
|Wake time||6:30 AM|
|1st nap||8:00 AM - 9:15 AM (1.25 hours); 1.5 hours of awake time|
|2nd nap||11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (1 hour); 1.75 hours of awake time|
|3rd nap||1:45 PM - 2:45 PM (1 hour); 1.75 hours of awake time|
|4th nap||4:45 PM - 5:15 PM (30 minutes); 2 hours of awake time|
|Get ready for bed||6:45 PM|
|Asleep||7:15 PM; 2 hours of awake time before bedtime)|
How much awake time should a 4 month old have between naps?
Most babies this age need between 1.5 and 2.5 hours of wakefulness before they are ready for sleep again.
Bedtime for 4 month old
What’s a good bedtime for a 4 month old?
The appropriate bedtime depends on when your baby wakes up in the morning and how many naps they take. In other words, expect bedtime to still vary at this age. While the start of night sleep should remain somewhat flexible, earlier bedtimes between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM are common. They can also ensure that your 4 month old gets enough sleep and remains well-rested.
Now that your baby is 4 months old, they should be settling into a more regular 24-hour rhythm of sleeping and eating, thanks to a sufficient production of melatonin. While we don’t expect nap lengths or times to be entirely predictable yet, we can focus on a regular wake-up time and a consistent bedtime routine, which will help to further regulate their schedule.
4 Month Old Baby Sleep FAQ
Q: Can a 4 month old baby sleep through the night?
While all babies wake briefly throughout the night, some are capable of falling back to sleep without seeking parental assistance - which leads parents to feel as though their baby has “slept through the night.” However, in our experience, it’s quite common for babies to need help falling back to sleep at this age, especially in the second half of the night. Additionally, some babies continue to wake for feedings at this age.
Q: How often do 4 month old babies sleep?
We suggest aiming for 10 - 11 hours of sleep at night and 3.5 - 4.5 hours of day sleep (split into 3 - 4 naps) to fulfill the recommended 14.5 hours. As babies get older, the amount of wake time will increase. While newborns may fall asleep after just 30 minutes of wakefulness, most babies this age need between 1.5 and 2.5 hours of awake time before they are ready for sleep again.
Q: How much nighttime sleep is expected for a 4 month old?
We recommend aiming for 10 - 12 hours of total night sleep at night.
Q: How much daytime sleep is expected for a 4 month old?
Babies this age should sleep for 3.5 - 4.5 hours during the day.
Q: When should the last nap be for a 4 month old?
This will vary depending on your child’s typical morning rise time. If your baby usually wakes at 7:00 AM and you want them to get at least 10 hours of sleep throughout the night, you’ll want to ensure they are up from their last nap by 6:30 PM. It’s often better to offer an earlier bedtime than to offer an additional nap and a later bedtime.
Q: Can a 4 month old nap too long?
Yes. Too much day sleep can interfere with nighttime sleep. Aim for no more than 4.5 hours of total daytime sleep, with no one nap lasting more than 2 hours.
Q: What’s the 4 month regression?
The “4 month regression” isn’t really a regression at all, but rather a period of a baby’s development that marks a change in the stages and cycles of sleep (similar to an adult). This is a sign of maturation, rather than a temporary stage to get past. You can read more about pediatric sleep patterns and the 4 month regression here.
Q: When calculating sleep totals for my baby, should I subtract the time spent on night feeds?
When we talk about the total amount of night sleep, and what most babies need to be well rested, those numbers are typically inclusive of short age-appropriate feedings. Unfortunately, it's not a black-and-white answer as we might look at other factors when determining whether a baby is getting enough night sleep, such as the total amount of time in bed. We would be more likely to subtract longer wake times (whether feeding or not), especially in older babies. It's also important to remember that there's a range of normal and we don't recommend focusing on the total hours alone. The total hours should be viewed as a guide; a child's mood and energy levels are also important when determining whether your little one is getting enough sleep.
Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.