Today we’re answering the question – what are sleep regressions?
Just when you thought you had established a consistent sleep routine, your little one suddenly starts experiencing disrupted sleep patterns. This phenomenon is commonly known as a sleep regression. In this article, we’ll look at what a sleep regression is, its potential causes, and strategies to help you navigate these challenges.
Sleep regression refers to a temporary disruption in a child’s established sleep patterns. It typically occurs when a previously good sleeper experiences a period of increased nighttime awakenings, difficulty falling asleep, shorter naps, or a combination of these. Sleep regressions often coincide with developmental milestones or significant changes in a child’s life.
Sleep regressions are commonly observed at specific ages. The most well-known sleep regressions occur around 4 months, 8-10 months, 18 months, and 2 years. These regressions often coincide with significant cognitive, physical, and emotional developmental leaps.
#1 Developmental Milestones: As children reach developmental milestones, such as rolling over, crawling, or walking, their newfound skills can disrupt their sleep patterns. Their excitement and eagerness to practice these new abilities may affect their ability to settle down for sleep.
#2 Separation Anxiety: Around 8-10 months of age, separation anxiety commonly emerges. This newfound fear of being separated from their primary caregiver can cause nighttime awakenings and difficulty settling back to sleep.
#3 Nap Transitions: When it’s time for your little one to transition from multiple naps to fewer naps throughout the day, their sleep patterns can become temporarily disrupted. The adjustment to a new sleep schedule can cause a temporary sleep regression.
#4 Environmental Changes: Significant changes in your child’s environment, such as moving to a new home, transitioning to a different bed, or introducing a new caregiver, can trigger a sleep regression.
While sleep regressions can be a challenge, know that it will usually pass on its own and your previously good sleeper will emerge again. If you’re struggling with persistently disrupted sleep or need help setting up healthy sleep habits for your little one, I invite you to reach out to me.