What is a sleep regression?



What is a sleep regression?

A sleep regression describes a period when a baby who previously slept well wakes frequently at night, resists naps and fights bedtime settling.



How long will it last?

This is just a phase (repeat after me... it is just a phase!) It may seem excruciating and frustrating to see a great sleeper unravel but it won't last. We usually see sleep disruptions for 2-6 weeks.



When will it happen?

Regressions usually coincide with developmental PROgressions. It is developmentally normal to see a regression occur

  • Around 4 months

  • 8 months

  • 12 months

  • 18 months

  • By 2 years

Try to avoid the feeling of impending doom and dread. Instead prepare by accepting extra help and having a plan to get you through it.



sleep regression, developmental milestones, leap, sleep association


How do I know if this is a regression or sleep issues?

A baby who previously slept well will suddenly fight sleep and wake often. You may notice baby is more cranky, clingy and whinging. There is a lot going on for them at this time - developmentally in addition to their extra tiredness. Offer them a little extra TLC especially during their awake time.


Parents often notice new skills popping up simultaneously - practice those skills at every opportunity to ensure they consolidate this new learning and get back to sleeping well ASAP!


Another signal of a sleep regression is an increase in hunger. Growth spurts commmonly fall at the same time as your regression - so poor bub is going through A LOT. Give them some grace and increase their daily calories (if on solids try boosting the quality of the fat and protein you offer)




How do I survive it! I am exhausted!?

Repeat this to yourself mamma - its just a phase, its just a phase.... Babies who were independently sleeping before a regression usually come out unscathed! Try to stay on schedule, offer comfort but avoid introducing habits you don't want to continue.


A regression is only an issue if the bad habits stick around.


If you are looking for some sleep regression survival tips make sure you check out our blog "How to survive a sleep regression" -HERE -




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