Navigating Your Baby’s Sleep Regression

Written by: Chelsey Chalk



Time to read 2 min

It’s that stage of life. No one can avoid it, no one knows when it’s coming. Just when you think you've got it all figured out…BAM, your little one throws you a curveball called sleep regression. Let’s dive into what it is, why it happens, and most importantly, how to survive it without losing your sanity.

Understanding Baby Sleep Regression:When your perfect bundle of joy has been snoozing like a champ, suddenly decides sleep is not their thing. This could either be awake all night, frequent night waking, shorter naps, or all of the above. It's totally normal and won’t last forever so don’t get discouraged! This little hiccup tends to happen around 4 months, 8-10 months, and 18 months, give or take. As usual, if you have questions the best place to go is your pediatrician.

So why does this delightful phase occur?

Developmental Milestones:

Your baby's brain is like a sponge, soaking up all kinds of new skills like learning to crawl, talking, rolling over, walking, of course all this is going to interrupt their sweet sleep cycle

Growth Spurts:

This and teething were the biggest culprits with my son. Babies grow when you least expect it, and when they're going through a growth spurt sometimes they can get extra hungry, cranky, and just not feeling the whole sleep thing.

Teething Troubles:

This one honestly makes perfect sense. Think of how painful it must be having those little suckers popping through your gums, good thing we don’t remember going through it ourselves! New teeth coming in can cause major discomfort making it very difficult to wind down and sleep.

A mom touching her baby while they sleeping in a swaddle.
A baby sleeping while being wrapped in a swaddle.

Routine Disruptions:

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, I didn’t put my son on a sleep schedule, I personally don’t like them so this category never affected us. But that’s not for everyone, some people like a schedule, so if that's you then keep in mind any changes to your baby's usual sleep routine – like traveling, getting sick, or moving them into their own room – can throw a wrench into their sleep schedule.

While this time can seem like it’s lasting forever or never going to end, they will get back to normal! Here are some strategies to help cope with this regression stage.

If routines are your jam then stick to one! Consistency is key, my friend! Establish a bedtime routine that's as predictable as your morning coffee – think bath time, storytime, cuddles then bed.

Set the Scene:

My son's room doesn't have black out curtains and he sleeps just fine without, but during this time I have made the room darker just to make the room extra dark and cozy to help encourage falling asleep faster. Keep the room dark, quiet (or with a sound machine), and at the perfect temperature for snoozing.

Offer Comfort:

When all else fails, sometimes all your little babe needs is a good cuddle from mom or dad. Grab their favorite blankie, stuffed animal or binky and snuggle close, sometimes that’s all they need when they aren’t feeling good.

Last but definitely not least, don't forget to take care of yourself during this time. Sometimes sleep regression can be frustrating and exhausting so it’s important to tag team if you’re able. Have your partner tap you out when you’ve tried everything or you’re feeling overwhelmed or getting angry.

Sleep regression might feel like you're riding a never-ending rollercoaster. We’ve all been there. Just remember, it’s just a phase, your baby WILL sleep again. By understanding what's causing the disruption, figuring out what’s best for you and your baby on how to handle it, and offering plenty of comfort and reassurance, you'll make it through in one piece.