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 arm you with the schedule information you need to help ensure that your baby gets the rest they need for their growing mind and body.
IN THIS ARTICLE
How much should a 4 month old sleep?
At this age most babies need at least 14.5 hours of total sleep in a 24 hour period. We recommend aiming for 10-11 hours of sleep at night and 3.5-4.5 hours of day sleep (split into 3-4 naps).
[Note: for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.]
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 - 2.5 hours of awake time before they are ready for sleep again.
Top sleep tip for 4 month old:
If your baby’s still swaddled, please transition away from the swaddle for safety reasons. Also, with free hands and their increased motor control at this age, they may be 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 day sleep. Try not to feel discouraged if you’re seeing a lot of short naps - it’s common to see some shorter 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 in order 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. They'll likely need to follow 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)|
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 - 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 ~24 hour rhythm of sleeping and eating - thanks to a sufficient production of melatonin. While we don’t expect nap times or lengths to be entirely predictable yet either, we can focus on a regular wake up time and a consistent bedtime routine, which will help continue to regulate their schedule.
4 Month Old Baby Sleep FAQ
Q: Can a 4 month old baby sleep through the night?
Some babies are capable of sleeping through the night at this age. Since the circadian rhythm isn’t usually developed for the full night until six months old, it’s common for babies to need help falling back to sleep in the last half of the night. Additionally, some babies continue to need feedings at this age.
Q: How much nighttime sleep for a 4 month old?
We recommend aiming for 10-12 hours of total night sleep at night.
Q: How much daytime sleep 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 to ensure that they get at least 10 hours of sleep, then you’ll want to ensure that 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 late 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.
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