You expect the newborn days to be full of exhaustion and sleepless nights, but what many people don’t realize going into parenting is that feeling sleepy seemingly never ends. Unfortunately, right when you seem to get your little one into the perfect routine and all should be smooth sailing they suddenly switch it up on you. Out of nowhere and for no reason, your perfect little angel can become a sleepless monster once again. This is called sleep regression and if your household is hit by it, we want to be there to help you through it! There are several different sleep regression ages that your child will likely go through so we are here to give you all the details of what to expect.
Everything you Wanted to Know About the Many Sleep Regression Ages!
What ages does Sleep Regression Occur
Below we have listed out some of the common ages that sleep regression occurs, but of course, no two children are alike and this is by no means a strict timeline of when sleep regression will or won’t occur. You are probably curious as to why sleep regression is so common at these ages, though.
4 Month Sleep Regression
Newborns need a ton of sleep, and even though they might not do it at the time you want them too you cannot deny they are sleeping a majority of the day and night. When newborns sleep they also quickly fall into a deep sleep. Around four months old this begins to change, and your baby’s sleeping pattern will become slightly more like an adult.Â
They won’t sleep nearly as much during the day and it will take a bit longer to reach that undisturbed deep sleep. Just like you, your baby will cycle in between light and deep sleep throughout the night. They may need soothing or have a hard time falling back to sleep each time they wake up during a light sleep cycle. (You can read up more about 4-month sleep regressionÂ & schedule here)
8 Month Sleep Regression
By eight months old, you no longer have a tiny baby! They may be crawling, babbling back at you, and developing a big exciting personality. With all these changes going on, many little ones fall into an eight-month sleep regression. This means they can stand and move around in their crib and this temptation can make it a little hard to fall asleep.
Around this time babies are often also cutting teeth and this discomfort can lead to crankiness and lack of sleep. If they have been taking three naps for you during the day, during this time they will probably drop the third.
1 Year Old Sleep Regression
One Year Sleep Regression does not seem to have a very specific cause, but it can be attributed to your kiddo protesting naps simply because they can. Don’t fall for it! Your one year old still probably needs their usual two naps a day, and if they don’t get in their daytime naps they will be overtired by night time.
If you can’t get them down to nap push their bedtime to be a bit earlier. Your baby will also begin walking around this time and that whole balance thing can be pretty darn exhausting!
2 Year Old Sleep Regression
Two year olds have opinions and they are not afraid of telling you all about them, especially when it is something that they do not like. Some of these things may be nap time and bed time, and thus we have the 2 year sleep regression. They may begin to test your boundaries just to see how far they can push you. Don’t let them know if they are getting to you! Instead let them have their independence in ways that you can all live with.
Give them some say in their bedtime routine like what book you will read and what pajamas they want to wear. Another reason two year old have sleep regression is their new awareness of the world which can actually cause a lot of fear and separation anxiety. Let them know you are there, everything is okay, and they need to get rest.
What to Expect during Sleep Regression
A Cranky Baby-
The hardest thing about sleep regression is that your happy baby suddenly can become very fussy. This has to do with their lack of sleep, and also that sleep regression is paired with big milestone changes. Just know this is temporary and your little one will get back to normal soon.
Frequent Nightly Wake Ups
You are going to be waking up at night more than you previously were. It sucks, we agree. It’s especially hard when your baby was sleeping well through the night and you thought you were in the clear from these midnight wake up calls. Take turns and ask for support from your partner and your family. It will be over soon enough and the best way to get through it is together.
A Harder Bedtime Routine-
Sleep regression not only means waking up frequently, but bedtime itself will become a struggle. Your baby may begin to protest going down for naps or bed.
Naps can be affected along with your little ones nightly routine. Even if they are acting like they don’t need a nap, encourage them to rest and keep your usual nap schedule. At certain milestones, their number of naps will decrease, but make sure they are truly ready before allowing this.
We know, this one might actually sound like a good thing! Your baby may become extra clingy while going through sleep regression. Take in the cuddles and feel free to comfort your baby.
How to Help Your Child Sleep Better Â
Usually, you hold the best answers for making your baby feel better. Parents know better than anyone else what will comfort and help their little one.
One of the biggest things that will help you get through sleep regression is sticking to your usual schedule. Even if your baby is having a hard time, encourage them to rest during the times they should be sleeping. Keep nap and bedtime as consistent as possible. This is especially true of routines, like reading books before bedtime or eating a snack before nap.
Snuggles & Love
Be soothing and try to stay relaxed yourself as stressing your little one out will only worsen the problems. You don’t want to create bad habits, but if you feel your baby needs extra comfort or to be held a little longer than usual there is no harm in giving them what they need. Your baby may also be more hungry while going through sleep regression and it is okay to give them the extra feedings they want.
This is likely due to growth spurts or changes going on in their body and not because they’re using a feeding as comfort. Last but far from least, accept and ask for the help that you need! Sleep regression is hard and can be extremely frustrating, so you should vent about it. You should also make sure you are getting enough sleep yourself. Don’t forget, you’ve got this and sleep regression is temporary!
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