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How to Survive Sleep Regressions

infant newborns toddlers troubleshooting Aug 17, 2022


What Exactly are Sleep Regressions and how do we deal with it?


As a new parent, or a seasoned one, you will always encounter sleep regressions from your baby and/or toddler. It starts at 4 months, another one at 6 months, then at 8 months, a year old, a year and a half and at 2. Sleep Regressions are disrupted sleeping patterns that happen as your child gets older. Consequently, this means that your baby/toddler will have more fussiness, night time wakings, longer or shorter naps. They also will try to fight their naps and sleep times and have difficulty falling asleep. For sure, this not only affects our child, it affects us parents too!


What are the reasons for these sleep Regressions?


The main reason is simply because your child is growing! There are  many developmental milestones your child will be encountering in the first 2 years of life, or even more but it usually happens in the first 2 years and these milestones are important. Among these are, learning to crawl, walk and talk. Another is the separation anxiety that your child will experience which happens when parents go to work or when she/he has to be dropped off at preschool or daycare. In contrast to that, sleep regression also happens when your toddler develops a growing desire to be independent. Lastly it happens as your child transitions from 2 naps to 1 nap a day, and with big life changes such as potty training, moving from crib to bed or in another room, or having another sibling.


How can you and your partner, or your family prepare for these sometimes maddening sleep regressions? 


Of course, the ambiguous “sleep regression” can be so confusing.  Is it sleep related?  Is it milestone related?  How, and why?  As a parent, you may have researched online, come across multiple articles and even follow other sleep coaches.  At the end of it all, it seems to be ALL of the above.  It is both milestone related AND sleep related, but the cause itself is due to the exciting new skills your child may be learning.  There is a novelty in new skills, making it extremely distracting to sleep, thus comes SLEEP REGRESSION!  The other interesting thing that comes along during major milestone ages is also a change in sleep needs.  Sometimes, there is a simultaneous learning of new skills and also a change in sleep needs (likely they need more wake time or it is time to drop a nap).  A combination of activity-rich waketimes, a reassessment in nap schedule and a combination of sleep training to help you child be confident in their skills to fall back asleep at wakings can be the best recipe to help you through the sleep regression.  


For sleep training, there are so many other methods.  Cry-it-out, Ferber, gradual checks, or other gentler forms of sleep training, like ours (Association Fading Sleep Method


At Rested Mama Happy Baby, we guide our families to a holistic approach of sleep (not just sleep training).  This means our Association Fading Sleep method does more than just “sleep train.”  We have successfully created a method that has become a great alternative for families who want to avoid the use of Ferber.  The secret sauce to sleep success is a combination of understanding your child’s unique sleep needs and a responsive sleep training method that allows you to stay in the room, resulting in 100s of our families seeing sleep through the night by night 3. A well rested mama breeds a happy child and that’s all that we want anyway!


Remember that here at Rested Mama, Happy Baby, we can be your village! Even if it’s just the two of us. Schedule a complimentary discovery call, and we would be happy to chat more!


"Learn more about how we work with families to help their babies sleep 10+ hours at night without Cry-it-out or Ferber.  Join our free webinar!" 


Stay rested!


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