Is Your Child Going Through Sleep Regression?

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Is Your Child Going Through Sleep Regression?

It is the best feeling in the world for new parents—the feeling that you’ve finally mastered the sleep schedule and that your baby is sleeping through the night. However, there comes a time when even the perfect sleepers will start waking up in the middle of the night or refusing to go down for their normal naptime.

When this happens, many times, it is because of “sleep regression.” While it can be frustrating, the good news is, it is typically temporary. However, it is important that you understand what sleep regression so you can determine if this is the actual issue behind your child’s sleep pattern. This will also help you trouble shoot any sleep issues you are experiencing so your baby can get back to healthy and normal sleep patterns.

What is Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression, is simply a term used to describe when a baby who has a set sleep routine, starts waking up in the middle of the night and fails to sleep soundly like they once did. While sleep regression can be frustrating, it typically only lasts about 2-4 weeks.

What Causes Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression is actually quite common in babies, and it can happen for a number of reasons. Here are some of the primary reasons sleep regression happen:

  • Growth spurts, which can make babies even more hungry than normal
  • Pan from teething
  • Disruptions in your baby’s normal routine
  • Reaching new developmental milestones
  • Traveling, which can impact sleep schedule and environment
  • Illnesses like colds or ear infections

When Does Sleep Regression Typically Happen?

Since sleep regression is typically linked to unpredictable factors like changes in routine, it can happen at virtually any time in your young child’s life. However, there are a few periods where sleep regression tends to be more common.

  • 3-4 Months. The four-month sleep regression is perhaps the most common and talked about phase. Typically, this sleep regression happens because of pain caused by hunger, teething or growth spurts.
  • 6 Months. Babies typically go through a big growth spurt around 6 months old. Many times, they may just wake up for attention, which makes this a popular time to work on sleep training.
  • 810 months. Typically, babies are standing and crawling around this time, so sleep issues may be common while babies go through this major change. This is an age where separation anxiety tends to be more common as well.
  • 12 months. Babies often start standing up and taking steps around this time, and if they reach this big milestone, it can cause temporary sleep issues.

Some toddlers will also go through sleep regression issues between the ages of 18 months and 24 months. This can be caused by nightmares, teething or fear of the dark.

How Can I Tell if My Child is Experiencing Sleep Regression?

If your child is experiencing more frequent night waking, is having trouble falling asleep at bed time, or is suddenly resistant to naps, then they may be experiencing sleep regression. As a parent, you should also be looking for signs of increased fussiness or crankiness with your child.

Here at Continuum Pediatrics, we want to make sure that your child is getting the best quality sleep possible and that their sleep regression isn’t a sign. You can call our office directly at 817-617-8600 to schedule an appointment with us.