Babies and sleep regressions, the four-month sleep regression, the eight-month sleep regression, the 18-month sleep regression. How many are there? Are you wondering what to look out for with a sleep regression or how to get through one? What if I told you there was no such thing as a regression with sleep? I’ll explain it all here read on and stand by to conquer sleep regressions once and for all.
So, you’ll hear the term “sleep regressions” batted around the parenting world. What it basically means is that a little one’s sleep has got worse than it was. Things seem to have slipped backwards and thus the term regression. However, the sleep not being as good as it was, is the effect of the problem not the cause. The cause is your little one has reached a developmental milestone. They leaped forward in some way. Maybe in brain development or physically, even emotionally or socially. In some way, they have grown and developed, and I’d actually say progressed. As your little one makes this kind of progress with their development inevitably, their sleep needs change too.
Of course, we don’t need to nap like a newborn our whole lives, do we? And as your baby grows, his or her stamina increases. They’re able to be awake for longer but still need to get the right amount of sleep at the right intervals. It’s constantly changing as they grow.
The reason this progress causes a worsening effect with sleep sometimes, is because we rarely know what to do to accommodate our growing baby. No one tells us how much we need to increase their wakeful window by each month, or how long they ought to be sleeping for, and how many times per day and even if they did. There are so many nuances to consider with each individual baby including their little character traits which can deceive us. They don’t always tell us what they need in terms of sleep and we need to be in the know if we’re going to help them to get the sleep they need.
Don’t worry. You’re not supposed to know everything. You can’t be an expert at everything. Otherwise, let’s face it, we wouldn’t have doctors and midwives or teachers or dentists. If we knew the answers and were the expert at everything for our children, then we wouldn’t need any of these professionals.
Sleep is a highly specialized subject. It’s complex. The solution for one is totally different to the solution for another. Much like dental care. So don’t beat yourself up if you feel stuck or feel like nothing you try seems to work. You’re not alone. In fact, you are in the majority. Most parents don’t know how to help their children to sleep better.
So how do you navigate these, so called regressions? Firstly, spot the progression. This is why they’re linked to such milestone ages like four-months, eight-months and 18-months. You’ll probably find a regression for any age if you search. But all it means is your little one is progressing in some way, and they need you to help shift their sleep pattern in line with where they are now. All you need to do to get through a sleep progression is to check in on how much sleep your little one ought to be getting and at what sort of intervals.
And if you struggle to get them to fit that rhythm or they’re already a bit overtired, then you need to start by working on some topping up to replenish the sleep tank until they’re good on the ideal sleep pattern for their developmental stage.
Sometimes a few small adjustments are all it takes. Other times, it can be more challenging to spot exactly what needs to be adjusted. And that’s why having a pair of outside expert eyes on things can make the world of difference.
We’d love to hear from you about the tricky patches you’ve gone through or find yourself stuck in right now. Can you see how it’s a developmental leap forwards that’s causing the sleep to slip backwards?
So, try my tips and if you’re still stuck, help your little one to sleep better, sooner by reaching out to us for some guidance.
Book a discovery call and find out how we can help you with your little ones sleep.