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Is this a regression?

Sleep regressions are a big topic among new parents. Here is what you need to know about them.

The biggest and most significant sleep regression happens at 4 months. I remember being absolutely terrified for the 4 month regression with my first.

What you need to know:

The 4 month regression is actually a change in the way babies sleep. Their sleep cycles progress from 2 to 4 which offers more frequent chances for a night wake as they come to the surface of sleep more often between cycles.

How to get through it:

You really don’t need to change anything, you just have to get through it. I always recommend keeping night feeds where they were. Example: baby was eating twice a night, don’t start feeding them 5 times a night just because they’re waking. Instead, offer comfort and settling techniques for these wakes.

The 4 month regression is often a time when sleep associations rear their ugly heads because baby needs help getting back to sleep a lot more often in the night. This is a very common time to sleep train.

The rest of the sleep regressions are tied to developmental milestones like learning to roll, crawl, stand, walk and talk.

When baby starts to focus on learning a new skill they actually become obsessed with it. Their brains are constantly thinking about it, even in the middle of the night!

What you need to know:

If your baby starts havjng a disturbance in the middle of the night don’t rush to change their schedule. Wait it out to see if it’s a regression. A developmental regression will last less than two weeks, resolve on its own and baby will come out the other side with a new skill!

How to get through it:

Practice! Make sure to give baby a LOT of floor time during the day to practice rolling, sitting, crawling or whatever skill you think they’re currently working on.

Offer minimal interaction over night. If baby is happily rolling in their crib at 3am just leave them to it. If they are getting stuck on their stomach or standing up help soothe them there instead of repositioning every time until they learn to do it on their own.

How to spot the regression:

A regression will show up in different ways for different babies. It can look like short naps, increased stamina, random night wakes that are long with baby appearing to be quite awake and wanting to play.

When do they happen:

After the 4 month regression you might see another one around 6,8,12,18 and 24 months. Not all babies will be affected by a sleep regression! Some will sail through one and not the other, as with all things sleep it is baby dependent!

Think you might be in a regression? Let’s chat! Send me a message and I can help you decode your baby’s sleep.


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