4 months too young for sleep training?

(76 Posts)
SKP86 Sun 14-Feb-21 21:04:06

Hi all,

My DS is 17 weeks and I’ve tried sleep training him for the past 3 weeks and it’s just not working as well as I’d hope. He started sleeping through the night, but now wakes a few times and finds it hard to self settle.

I used to rock him to sleep but now put him in his crib and let him sleep on his own. Sometimes he sucks on his hand and falls asleep, otherwise times he gets frustrated and just cries and cries until I have to hold him again and then put him in his crib when he’s fallen asleep. Today he was crying for 40 minutes and I thought sod that, I felt like a terrible mum!

Nap times are bad as we go through this process 3 or 4 times a day and it’s exhausting. It takes ages putting him to sleep and he only naps for 45 minutes at a time.

My question is, will it get better and am I pressuring him too early? I am aware of awake windows so put him down before he gets overtired.

Thank you!!

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Sun 14-Feb-21 21:05:53

Far too young. It’s not recommended before 12 months. For the vast majority sleep training isn’t necessary at all. Can I ask why you are doing this?

BeHappyAndSmile Sun 14-Feb-21 21:06:54

No advice here as we are in the same boat (even down to crap nap length). But no matter what you do you're not a terrible mum. To be a good mum you need rest too, if it doesn't work right now don't beat yourself up just re approach it in a few weeks

drkpl Sun 14-Feb-21 21:07:09

Way too young. The stress of not being responded to is bad for a baby that young.

hassletassle Sun 14-Feb-21 21:08:00

Yes it's too young.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 14-Feb-21 21:08:32

There’s a sleep regression at 4 months. It’s exhausting but completely normal. Please don’t leave your very young baby to cry. It’s his only way of communicating with you.

SanFranBear Sun 14-Feb-21 21:09:46

So small... don't do this!


Bobbiepin Sun 14-Feb-21 21:09:53

4 month sleep regression- do what you need to do to get through it. Rock your baby to sleep, feed to sleep, co sleep if it works for you and once that's over you might consider something vaguely resembling sleep training.

Chicchicchicchiclana Sun 14-Feb-21 21:10:48

Yes, too young.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sun 14-Feb-21 21:10:52

Too young. But if you feel overwhelmed do put him down and walk away for a breather, you are human after all

Kittykat93 Sun 14-Feb-21 21:11:24

Yes hes far too young...totally and utterly normal and natural for a 16 week old baby to wake in the night....

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 14-Feb-21 21:11:24


No advice here as we are in the same boat (even down to crap nap length). But no matter what you do you're not a terrible mum. To be a good mum you need rest too, if it doesn't work right now don't beat yourself up just re approach it in a few weeks

That’s bad advice. Trying to get a 4 month old (3 months when she started) to “self settle” is never going to work. There are other ways to try and rest without leaving a distressed few months old baby to cry by itself. Persisting with it won’t work either. Babies are designed to wake at night and won’t have read any parenting books or apps.

firesidetartan Sun 14-Feb-21 21:12:43

Please just pick him up and comfort him.

Tempusfudgeit Sun 14-Feb-21 21:12:46

Crying for 40mins at his age? You're right to feel terrible.

darlingsweetpea Sun 14-Feb-21 21:14:09

That is really young to sleep train overnight. Have you got a routine in place during the day, so regular naps? What are you wanting the baby to do, sleep through the night?

sproutsnbacon Sun 14-Feb-21 21:21:16

If you push them out in the pram they will probably sleep longer for naps. My now 6 month old can nap for 2 hour so if she’s pushed out.
It’s too young for sleep training and does it matter if you rock, cuddle or feed them to sleep. I feed my six month old to sleep at night and cuddle my three year old to sleep. They’ll sleep through soon. If I’m going the an exhausting spell when they are waking up in relay I tell myself it won’t last forever because they won’t be little forever.
Enjoy your baby chuck the book and delete the app.

shhsecretsquirrel Sun 14-Feb-21 21:26:50

Faaaaar too young. Waking at night is completely normal at that age and far more common than sleeping through.

RandomMess Sun 14-Feb-21 21:33:02

Depends what you mean by "sleep train" IMHO

Encourage them to have sleep associations that don't really on you being in attendance yes.

Sleeping through the night without needing feeding ever or your presence ever no.

omega11 Sun 14-Feb-21 21:56:59

Far too young. At that age my DD went to sleep the same time as me until around 5 months ish when she slept from 9-7.

I tried putting an early bed time in place at 3 months but with the amount of waking it was more disruptive for both of us. If a 4 month old is screaming for 40 minutes, they're probably not tired.

WineInTheWillows Sun 14-Feb-21 21:58:56

Yes, too young.

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee Sun 14-Feb-21 21:59:41

Yes too young. I do feel for you, the 4 month sleep regression is a killer!

Moooms Sun 14-Feb-21 22:05:56

Wow, I couldn't let my 21 month old cry for 5 minutes, let alone 40!
I'm so glad at the responses letting you know this is far too young.
Your baby wants their mummy! My advice is ditch the sleep training and comfort your baby

Botanica Sun 14-Feb-21 22:11:53

This is heartbreaking to read. Why are you doing this?
Please. Just comfort your child. He's telling you he needs you.

WineInTheWillows Sun 14-Feb-21 22:19:27

Hang on, you let your 4 month old cry for 40 minutes? That's cold. And may potentially cause long-term difficulties with attachment, causing lifelong struggles with relationships and behaviour if you do it regularly.

Sleep training before six months is proven to have a negative effect on babies. Poor little one.

SKP86 Sun 14-Feb-21 22:24:19

Ok before you all criticise me for being a terrible mother, there is a lot of info online that advocates sleep training at 4 months. Also I didn’t leave him to cry continuously for 40 minutes, I went in at intervals to soothe him. It’s called the extinction method! It doesn’t make me heartless, I just wanted him to learn to self soothe, which he often does by sucking his hand. I cannot continue to rock him to sleep as he is getting bigger and it’s tiring.

I am more focussing on daytime naps. I don’t leave him to cry at night, as he would wake the whole house up. I have no option but to pick him up then.

I have a daughter who didn’t have these issues, which is why I am reaching out for advice.

OP’s posts: |

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