Want to know what your four month old’s daily schedule including sleep, feeding and playtime looks like?
Babies are just like adults, in that every single one is different and they may work to slightly different rhythms and timing.
However most babies do thrive on some kind of routine, even if it is a little loose and can change if they are going through a growth spurt or developmental leap.
You might not be able to force your four-month-old baby into a specific routine, however you can take these tips and timings then adapt them to your own daily schedule.
Having a schedule for your baby is useful for a whole bunch of reasons. The main one is that if you know what’s coming, at what time, then you can respond to your baby’s needs before they start to become fussy for food or sleep.
It’s also helpful for you when it comes to planning your day. If you know when your best window is for getting out of the house, you can plan to meet friends or go for a walk. Getting out of the house is so important for your own sanity with a new baby!
There’s a whole lot happening to your baby at four months, so we’re going to break down the daily schedule so that you can predict what your baby needs.
You may also like: 3-6 month old routine
How much sleep does a 4 month old need?
Your four-month-old baby is a lot more active than when they were fresh out of the womb.
They’re going to be doing a lot more physically and be awake for longer spells.
However because they are doing more when they are awake, and they have a whole lot of growing both physically and mentally to do, your four-month-old baby still needs a lot of sleep.
Four-month-old babies tend to need 11 to 12 hours of sleep a night. This will not be taken in one big long spell, however.
There are some, very rare, babies who will be sleeping through the night at four months.
Sadly however these tend to be the exception rather than the norm.
So it’s much better for you to be realistic about your baby’s sleep. Most babies will be waking up two or three times a night at four months.
The good news is that over the next few weeks, these wake-ups should start to reduce to around one a night.
Of course every single baby is different, so really your best bet is to lower your expectations.
There are a few things you can do to try and improve your baby’s sleep, there are 25 tips for improving baby sleep on this post.
However by adjusting your expectations and accepting your baby will not be sleeping through the night at four months, you should feel a lot happier.
How long should your 4 month old be awake between naps?
A four-month-old baby will be awake between naps for between 1.5-2 hours.
Every baby is different of course, so the best way to determine your own baby’s awake time is to watch for tired signs.
Make a note of the time when they wake up first thing in the morning, then watch for when they start to show signs of being tired. These signs of tiredness can include:
- Decreased movement of limbs
- Staring off into space
- Tugging at their ears
- Being grouchy
- Crying – This is a late tiredness signal so aim to pick up on the early signals as listed above first as baby will be easier to settle.
Getting the awake time between naps right is crucial to having a baby who is happy, rather than one who is grumpy all day.
If the naps fall into place, then you should find night time sleep is better too. This is because an overtired baby is often harder to settle at night and tends to sleep much lighter too.
A baby at four months tends to need around two to three naps a day. There may also be a cat nap late in the afternoon.
Not all babies need the final cat nap, but it can help to settle your baby easier at bedtime.
It’s a strange thing with babies that they actually sleep better at night when they have slept well during the day!
Being overtired can really make your baby struggle when it comes to nighttime sleep. So if you feel like you’re having a lot of issues with night time sleep, take a look at your daytime schedule as you may identify to root cause here.
I have a post all about the 8 reasons why your baby may be struggling to nap and what you can do about it.
What is a good bedtime for a 4 month old?
The best bedtime for your four-month-old baby is around 7.30pm.
However bedtime may depend on what time you prefer your baby to wake up in the mornings.
Some babies will be ready for bed at 6pm and happily sleep on until 6.30am (with the odd wake-up for feeding), which suits the parents well as a morning start time.
Your baby’s ideal bedtime at this stage will really depend on when they final nap of the day ends.
I recommend making sure your your baby is awake two hour before your preferred bedtime. It’s also a good idea to make sure any late afternoon cat nap is brief, so no longer than 30 minutes.
4 month old baby sleep regression
The four month old sleep regression is the first sleep regression your baby may experience.
Not all babies will go through regressions, but for the ones who do it can be a real shock for parents.
If you had a great schedule before the regression hits, it can feel like everything has spun wildly out of control.
But it’s important to remember that a regression will not last forever. It can also help to think of the regression as more of a transitional phase.
Your baby is growing up, and so the way they get to sleep and their sleeping patterns is changing. Once they are through the transitional phase, their sleep should settle down.
How much milk does a 4 month old baby need?
A baby of four months will eat between four and six oz of formula about five to six times per day. You can space these feeds out by around three hours.
When my baby who was fed on expressed breast milk was four months, she would have around 5oz of formula five times per day. These feeds were all during the day between 7am and 7pm. She did not wake for a night feed, which is, of course, very unusual. I was lucky this time, I was not so lucky with my second baby!
If your baby is going through a growth spurt it’s possible they will also want to cluster feed in the evenings if they are breastfed.
Cluster feeding can be really challenging, but it’s something you should surrender to. It’s a very natural stage in a baby’s development, so settle in comfortably and try to just go with the flow.
4 month old baby activities
Playing with your baby at four months can be great fun!
Some babies might begin rolling over at four months, although most master this activity at six months.
At four months your baby will be mastering reaching out and grasping for objects.
They will also be able to hold themselves up on their forearms during tummy time, as their neck and back muscles will have strengthened considerably since birth.
These are some fun baby activities for your four month old:
- Blowing bubbles
- Tummy time
- Playing with blocks. Your baby can practice reaching out and grabbing them and holding them in their hands.
There are lots more baby play ideas on this post.
Your 4 month old baby’s routine summarised
|Naps||3 naps of one to three hours in length|
|Awake time||1.5 hours to 2 hours|
|Night time sleep||12 hours with one to three night feeds|
|Bedtime||7pm to 8pm|
4 month old baby schedule
- 7am – Wake-up and feed
- 8.15am – Nap
- 9.15am – Wake-up
- 10am – Feed then go for an outing
- 11.15am – Nap
- 12.15pm – Wake-up
- 1pm – Feed then play
- 2pm – Nap
- 4pm – Wake-up and feed
- 5pm – Possible cat nap of less than 30 minutes
- 7pm – Feed and bedtime routine
- 7.30pm – Bed
- 10pm – Possible dream feed
Final thoughts on your 4 month old’s daily schedule
Having a daily schedule for your four month old can really help save your own sanity.
But it’s important not to try to force something that isn’t working. A strict routine that you have devised based on someone else’s may not always work.
Try to observe your baby and get used to their own natural rhythms. This way you can create your own daily schedule that works for you and your baby.