Sleep Regressions- What are they?
Sleep regressions (post the 4 month sleep regression) are typically a temporary period where your child’s sleep is unsettled. Oftentimes when your child’s sleep is unsettled due to a sleep regression, it will be evident your child has developed/is developing a new skill.
Here is a sample of milestones that can impact sleep;
How will I know if it’s a sleep regression?
If your baby’s sleep has noticeably changed, such as shorter naps or more frequent night waking’s and nothing else evident has changed, and you see a new skill emerging, this could be a temporary sleep regression.
However, if it is a sleep regression, sleep should be settled within a matter of days and typically no more than 3 weeks.
If sleep has been unsettled for several weeks, it is unlikely to be a sleep regression and in that case I recommend continuing to read below for my top tips to get your little one sleeping through the night.
How can I help my baby get their sleep back on track?
If sleep was settled to begin with, it’s a matter of staying consistent and not allowing new sleep associations creep in that you do not wish to sustain. However, if sleep was not settled then now is a good time to look at various factors which I have detailed below. See my checklist below on how to settle sleep.
Top tips to settle sleep
- Ensure you are using an age-appropriate daily nap schedule. I have sample nap schedules on my Instagram page.
- Being mindful of the last wake window of the day is important to help your child.
- Sleep through the night once they no longer require a night feed. See my Instagram page for my recommended final wake window of the day for different age groups.
- Look at how your child is falling asleep. If they need support to fall asleep such as feeding, being rocked, held, etc, now is a good time to help them fall asleep more independently to reduce and eliminate night waking’s. These are lots of gradual and quiet gentle methods to help your little one sleep better.
- I recommend reviewing your child’s sleep environment. A quiet dark room for both daytime and nighttime sleep is a good starting point. White noise can be helpful here especially to soothe your little one and to help block out environmental noises.
- If you do not have a nap and bedtime routine, now is a good time to start one. It can be a great way to start your little one’s nap/night sleep on a positive note.
Colette McCann is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant and Parent Coach.
Colette has lots of free resources on her website and on her social media channels.