At 4 months of age, most babies
sleep around 15 to 18 hours each day. Babies of this age sleep for short spurts
throughout the day, rather than for hours at a time. This will likely change over
next few months as your baby settles into regular nap times. Also, it’s normal for
baby to be fussy before going to bed for the night (around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). To help
your baby sleep safely and soundly:
Place the baby on their back
for all sleeping until the child is 1 year old. This can decrease the risk for
SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It lowers the risk of breathing in fluids
(aspiration) and choking. Never place the baby on their side or stomach for sleep
or naps. If the baby is awake, allow the child time on their tummy as long as
there is supervision. This helps the child build strong tummy and neck muscles.
This will also help minimize flattening of the head. This can happen when babies
spend too much time on their backs.
Ask the healthcare provider
if you should let your baby sleep with a pacifier. Sleeping with a pacifier has
been shown to lower the risk for SIDS. But it should not be offered until after
breastfeeding has been established. If your baby doesn't want the pacifier, don't
try to force them to take it.
Wrapping the baby tightly in
a blanket (swaddling) at this age could be dangerous. If a baby is swaddled and
rolls onto their stomach, they could suffocate. Don't use swaddling blankets.
Instead, use a blanket sleeper to keep your baby warm with the arms free.
Don't put a crib bumper,
pillow, loose blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib. These could suffocate the
Don't put your baby on a
couch or armchair for sleep. Sleeping on a couch or armchair puts the baby at a
much higher risk for death, including SIDS.
Don't use infant seats, car
seats, strollers, infant carriers, or infant swings for routine sleep and daily
naps. These may lead to blockage (obstruction) of a baby's airway or
Don't share a bed (co-sleep)
with your baby. Bed-sharing has been shown to raise the risk for SIDS. The
American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies sleep in the same room as their
parents, close to their parents' bed, but in a separate bed or crib appropriate
for babies. This sleeping set-up is advised ideally for the baby's first year. But
it should be maintained for at least the first 6 months.
Always place cribs,
bassinets, and play yards in hazard-free areas. This is to reduce the risk of
strangulation. Make sure there are no dangling cords, wires, or window
This is a good age to start a
bedtime routine. By doing the same things each night before bed, the baby learns
when it’s time to go to sleep. For example, your bedtime routine could be a bath,
followed by a feeding, followed by being put down to sleep.
It’s OK to let your baby cry
in bed. This can help your baby learn to sleep through the night. Talk with the
healthcare provider about how long to let the crying continue before you go
If you have trouble getting
your baby to sleep, ask the healthcare provider for tips.