This article outlines the average 4-month-old baby schedule, including milk feedings for breastfeeding and formula-feeding babies, solids, naps, and nighttime sleep.
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!).
Most 4-month-olds need 11-12 hours at night and 3-4 hours during the day. Many 4-month-olds are still eating 1-2 times a night and some naps are just 30 minutes. This is all normal development at this age, as it’s highly unusual for babies to take four 1-hour naps.
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.
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 if your pediatrician recommends solids before 6 months, the age at which most are recommending now. For more information on starting your baby on solid food, we have a series of blog posts dedicated to the subject. We include 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.)
And, if your pediatrician recommends solids this young (it is now recommend at 6+ months):
• Up to 1-2 servings baby cereal (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons dry)
• Up to 1-2 servings fruit (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
• Up to 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.”
This schedule assumes a 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 – Solids (if your pediatrician has recommended starting this early)
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.
Want more information about how to help your 4 month old sleep well? Check out our detailed case study about Nadia, Brad, and their 4 month old, Abigail.
Read how they helped Abigail learn to sleep longer stretches at night and take better naps – and how they helped to change those sleep associations that were keeping her awake! Just join our Members Area, and access the case study instantly. And that’s not all – our Members Area is packed with additional premium content and resources: e-Books, assessments, more case studies, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And best of all, members receive 20% of all consultation services – that savings alone can actually pay for the cost of the membership!
Want FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.
A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
You May Also Be Interested In:
- The 4 Month Sleep Regression: What It Is and How To Fix It
- Which Sleep Coaching Method Fits? (Members Area quiz)
- Abrupt Changes In Sleep Habits (Members Area article)
- 4 Month Sleep Regression Checklist