EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REGRESSIONS

What is a Regression?

A sleep regression in babies refers to a temporary disruption or setback in their sleeping patterns, typically occurring around certain developmental milestones or changes. During these periods, babies who previously slept well may suddenly have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experience frequent night awakenings. This can be frustrating for both babies and parents as it often leads to disrupted sleep schedules and increased fatigue.

As if parenting isn’t challenging enough, your child will experience five sleep regressions by two years of age.
 

  • 4 Month Regression
  • 8 – 10 Month Regression
  • 12 Month Regression
  • 18 Month Regression
  • 2 Year Regression

 

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What is the cause of a Regression?

Sleep regressions can be triggered by various factors such as teething, learning new skills like crawling or walking, changes in routine, restlessness and overstimulation related to physical growth and increased activity levels, along with heightened emotional and social development, the disruption usually coincides with a developmental growth spurt.

How long does a typical regression last?

While they can be challenging to navigate, sleep regressions are usually temporary and tend to resolve themselves as babies adjust to their new developmental stages. The phase can generally last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Aim to remain consistent with healthy sleep habits or follow a plan to keep sleep on track as this can help reduce the regression timeframe. With time and patience, your baby will eventually get back to sleeping soundly again.

It's important to note that not all babies will struggle in these times or experience all of these symptoms, but typically your child will be affected in some way, shape or form by one of these regressions.

What you may experience during times of regression is:

 

  • Trouble falling asleep or settling down at bedtime and nap time
  • More frequent nighttime wakings - Typically, the night wake-ups can last anywhere between 1.5-2 hours and no matter what you do, your child isn’t going to go back to sleep.
  • Inconsistent nap times - naps will usually take a hit too, they may sleep for about 30-45 minutes and wake up ready to party, when previously they had been smashing out good naps of an hour or more.
  • Fussiness and irritability
  • Refusal to sleep or nap
  • Increased in separation anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extra clinginess

 

The Baby Sleep Magic App will help your baby get a full nights sleep within days or your money back, Download today

 

Tips on how to cope with Regressions

 

  1. Stick to a consistent and age appropriate routine: Babies thrive on routine, so try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible. This can help your baby feel more secure, comfortable and can help avoid them getting overtired.

  2. Encourage independent sleep habits: While your baby may need extra comfort during the regression, try to encourage independent sleep habits as much as possible. This can help your baby learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep on their own.

  3. Increase day time calories: Regressions tend to coincide with a growth spurt, so in these times its important to focus on offering extra feeds during the day (and night - for younger babies) to help them settle and sleep better.
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  4. Reality is there isn't much you can do about it. Their brains are in overdrive trying to master their new skill, so sleep is one of the first things to take a hit. Knowing why it's happening can help you be more patient and understanding.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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On a positive note, this phase will indeed pass. Maintain your current approach—avoid altering routines such as adding night feeds or changing responses—and simply persevere through it. If this phase persists beyond a week or two, it may be worth investigating other contributing factors.


The Baby Sleep Magic App will help your baby get a full nights sleep within days or your money back, Download today

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About Me

Chantal Murphy

I am a mother to two boys, a paediatric sleep consultant, and the founder of Baby Sleep Magic. From the beginning of my journey, helping parents has truely been my passion! With this in mind, I developed The Baby Sleep Magic App to provide parents with evidence-based research, essential skills, knowledge, and confidence required to enhance your child's sleep, allowing your entire family to enjoy the restful nights you deserve.

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