Sometimes the first year of parenthood can feel like one 12 month long sleep regression. Whether or not you’re blessed with a baby who magically sleeps through the night from the day they were born, or a “problem sleeper” who wakes every two hours for months at a time, every baby goes through sleep regressions. However, these sleep regressions are commonly confused with growth spurts or just passed off as a “phase,” when they’re really just a normal part of your baby’s development. There are a few signs your baby is having a sleep regression and not a growth spurt, although it’s easy to confuse the two. Although there isn’t really much you can do about sleep regressions, knowing when to expect them will ensure that you’re as prepared as possible when the time does come.
According to the Family Sleep Institute, a sleep regression is “a cognitive, physical and/or emotional development that disrupts a child’s normal sleep pattern.” As vague as the definition sounds, know that though they’re never fun, sleep regressions are actually signs that your child’s cognitive and physical development is right on track. So instead of lamenting over their (and your) inevitable loss of sleep, tell yourself “this too shall pass” on repeat and take heart knowing that your baby is growing right on track.