Why has my baby stopped sleeping? How to survive the 4 month sleep regression

As a parent you will almost certainly have heard the phrase 'sleep regression'. As an already sleep deprived parent these milestones become periods that you dread. We're just waiting for the other shoe to drop, feeling like we shouldn't get too attached to any good nights of sleep we get, because that next sleep regression will be just around the corner. 

What is a sleep regression? 

 This phrase is used to refer to a period where a baby's sleep patterns suddenly change, and they may appear to 'regress' to waking more frequently overnight, having more disturbed sleeps and having difficulty napping for long periods of time. The phrase 'sleep regression' naturally has negative consequences. By definition a regression is a step backwards. So is our baby really taking a step backwards? Or is it a giant leap forward in their development that causes changes to their sleep. 
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