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Sleep Regressions, what and when to expect

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Your baby was a wonderful sleeper and suddenly, Oh no!, she is waking up super early in the morning, waking 2-5 times a night.... You may have hit a sleep regression.

So, since your little baby is born, you can expect him to go through a series of sleep regressions as he/she grows are these are the consequence of his little brain developing and acquiring new and exciting skills!

Not to worry! Some go unnoticed and, if not, you can definitely work with your little one to pass it with flying colors!

These regressions usually take 2-6 weeks (if they take longer you may start considering that your baby has acquired some poor sleep habits you would rather eliminate) and they are all caused by the amazing new skills and developments that your little one is learning

So let's go through all of them:

4 months

Your baby is waking up more often at night and he struggles at nap time. Think that he is now much more aware of his surroundings and is going from newborn sleep to baby sleep (from 2 sleep phases to 4! exactly as us adults!) Also, there are some new physical skills like rolling over!

Beware! Of all sleep regressions, this is the one we must be more careful with, because whatever habits you teach your baby, they will likely stick around, so you want to do it well. And how? Well, now is the time to create a sleep routine before bedtime/nap time, that helps your baby wind down and get ready for a good and restful sleep.

6 & 9 Months

Your baby may have started teething and can be going through some pain that is bothering her at night. Also, she si now rolling, sitting or even crawling and standing! This exciting new skills have her amazed and that, of course, may trouble her sleep. The word here is consistency! Consistency with the sleep routine you have already created, and consistency with a schedule that will help you never miss her sleepy cues (as well as hungry cues). Bear in mind that she may go from 3 to 2 naps soon so be on the lookout for signs that that is the case.

Extra love and attention are the best cure for everything going on with your baby, remember that. Also, if you are concerned about teething, consult your pediatrician.

12 Months

Your little one is now getting close to toddlerhood and he is learning some really exciting skills that have him overjoyed like standing, walking, is acquiring some vocabulary in some cases, and is developing some cognitive skills like crazy! Also, separation anxiety can hit sometimes. Remember, remain calm and provide cuddles and extra love during awake time. It will help him go through this phase more nicely.

You may want to lengthen your sleep routine a little bit and let him practice all of these new skills during awake time. Also, empower your baby by allowing him to make some simple choices (what pajamas to wear, what pacifier or soft toy to bring to bed…).

18 Months

Your little baby is not a baby anymore, but a toddler, and as such, she may require more independence. She has her own desires and knows how to communicate them, which you should be very proud of but, yes, I know it can be unnerving sometimes. Be patient and extra attentive with her so that she grows to be a confident little lady. Try to procure plenty of opportunities for independence during awake time (be safe, of course) and do meditate if it helps you :) Bear in mind that she may now be ready to go from 2 to 1 nap, so, as before, be on the look out for cues!

24 Months

Oh! The terrible two! Terrible for you and for your mini-me. Around this age is when your kid is going through major life changes that may have him pretty altered like potty training, change to a big kid bed, nightmares and fears, maybe a new sibling and, again, separation anxiety. Address each of these with much love and extra care, acknowledge his fears and concerns and be there for him always. Do not worry, this, as all previous regressions, should pass soon enough. Maybe a little glass of wine and a piece of chocolate cake will help you relax when he is finally asleep :D

Bear in mind that him fighting the one nap he takes a day does not mean that he is ready to drop it. Kindly persist on him taking that time to, at least, relax.Eve though he does not sleep, that quiet time will help him in the long run. It does help all of us, doesn’t it?


Do you need help with any of these? We have different programs with different level of support to be by your side and make sure your little one goes back to sleep asap.

Book a free consult today and get your sleep back!


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