Picture this: Your baby is finally sleeping through the night. You’re starting to feel like your old self again; you may even feel awake enough to start a new Netflix series with your spouse. Feels just like old times. All of a sudden, you hear the familiar cries of your baby. Welcome to the world of sleep regression! Not to worry, though; as long as you are consistent and make necessary changes along the way, your little one should be back to their regular sleeping pattern within a few days.
Not all babies experience sleep regression, while some may encounter a few within their first year. These inconsistencies may occur due to developmental milestones, illness, teething, or a growth spurt. Most sleep disruptions occur at four, eight, and eighteen months. However, some babies may have them around six and nine months. If necessary changes are not implemented, simple interruptions can lead to regressions. In some cases, no changes are needed, and just consistency is appropriate.
When your baby is crying, letting them self-soothe can seem impossible and even cruel. Rocking them back to sleep or bringing them into your bed may feel helpful and innocent, but truthfully, these changes will make things harder for everyone. Side note: if your little one is sick, give them all the cuddles, and don’t worry about getting off your routine while they aren’t feeling well.
If you feel like you need to enter your child's room, make sure to follow these guidelines. Give your little one some time to try and get back to sleep on their own before helping. They will often stop crying within that period, even without your intervention. If your baby is still crying after allowing them to try on their own, enter the room, pat the bottom or rub a tummy and say “shhh,” but no talking. Make sure you stay in the room for only a few minutes.
When noticing sleep inconsistencies, it’s essential to relook at your schedule, feeds, sleep environment, developmental play, routines, and sleep associations. Often, a few necessary changes make a big difference. If you have questions about sleep regressions or infant-related topics, check out our consultations page or email email@example.com.