Funny story… this post was supposed to go live on Friday, the 17th, but my 9 month old daughter, Ellie, decided she didn’t want to sleep well the couple of days leading up to this which meant mommy couldn’t get much of anything done. Funny how that works out, huh?
When you are pregnant and overthinking everything from labor to their first birthday and everything in between there’s one thing you probably don’t think about… sleep regression.
What IS sleep regression?
This is a fancy term for when your baby, who had been sleeping and napping pretty consistently, starts waking up more, taking longer to get to sleep, not napping as long, not sleeping through the night anymore, etc. The length of these regressions varies baby by baby but normally last from a couple days to a couple weeks.
I know in my experience they have been about a week-week and a half but with the level of my exhaustion it doesn’t feel like they ever ended. Ellie went from sleeping through the night to waking every 3 hours again, much like a newborn/younger baby. With her she naps fine. I lay her down, turn her music on, and walk out the door. She’s asleep and stays asleep for about an hour and a half to two hours. Bedtime is when she has issues. She fights sleep, wakes easy, takes forever to go back to sleep, and wakes frequently throughout the night. It’s been quite the hassle in our house.
When do these regressions happen?
The most common are 6 weeks, 4 months, and 6 months. There are a few other sleep regressions, though, that happen at/around 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2 years. As I stated earlier, it varies baby to baby but you will for sure know when it’s happening with yours. Trust me.
Why do babies have sleep regressions?
As your baby hits new milestones, starts cutting teeth, and having lots of new brain development you will notice that they are more tired, waking more, and overall just more cranky. Any changes in routine can also interfere with regressions.
What can I do to help reduce the length?
There is no proven way to help reduce the length of your baby’s sleep regression but I have always been told to stay consistent with nap and bedtime routines, offer extra feedings, earlier bedtime if naps have been missed, and simply ask for help! If your partner (or anyone who can offer help) does help just make sure to follow the same routines and comfort so that everything stays consistent for baby.
Sleep regressions are not a fun time for anyone but I have found a great app to help me learn more about my youngest’s development and different milestones she is reaching that can relate to the sleep regressions. It is called Wonder Weeks. It is not free (it’s $2.99 in the Apple Store) but it is more than worth it! I have learned quite a bit of information from reading about the different leaps she’s gone through and the ones that are coming up. I heard about it a lot while I was pregnant with her and did not want to spend the money on the app but I am so glad that I did. I will insert some screenshots of the information that it provides you with about the leaps below. This is also available as a book, but I haven’t purchased that.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you learned something and just know that if you are reading this and dealing with sleep regression you are NOT ALONE. It does end, I promise.
Until next time,