What Is Sleep Regression? Add It To The List Of Parenting Struggles
There are few days more glorious than the morning after your baby sleeps through the night for the first time. The world looks brighter, the roses smell sweeter, and you feel like doing the whip and nae nae for no good reason. Then it happens again — another night of uninterrupted snoozing. And it keeps happening until, after a few months of sleeping so sound your pillow is covered in drool, you hear the dreaded night cry of your little one. Welcome to sleep regression. What is sleep regression, you ask? Just another one of the ways your kid is going to keep you on your toes.
According to the Baby Sleep Site, "a sleep regression describes a period of time (anywhere from 1 – 4 weeks) when a baby or toddler who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking at night, and/or skipping naps (or waking early from naps) for no apparent reason." Before you curl in the corner in dear, let me share with you the good news: sleep regressions don't last forever. These changes are natural and happening for a good reason. Due to your baby's brain development, sleep habits and patterns change over time, as Helathline pointed out.
Typically, most babies experience sleep regression around the four month mark, as Today's Parents reported. But since every baby is different, your child could show signs slightly before or after four months. It's also good to know that sleep regression may be an ongoing part of your child's nighttime habits as they grow and develop into the toddler stage. Even though you aren't getting as much shut eye as you'd like, the silver lining is your baby is growing and developing just as she should.
Although sleep regressions come with the territory, you may be finding it hard to function with so many periods of wakefulness throughout the night. To stay sane, the website for Babble suggested trying out a few tips for dealing with sleep regression. Briefly soothing your baby shortly after waking, sticking with a good bedtime routine, and allowing the baby to take cat naps are some of the ways you can try to promote healthy sleep habits during this transitional time.
Keep in mind that even though your baby is started to wake and stir in the night, she may not need your attention every time. As Mayo Clinic pointed out, it's fine to wait a few minutes before checking on a fussy baby. As long as you feel your baby is not in danger, hungry, or hurt, feel free to hold off before going to her. There's even a chance after a few minutes of fussing that she'll fall back asleep on her own.
The ups and downs of baby sleep can be frustrating for any tired parent, and although it seems awful while you're in the think of it, just keep reminding yourself that this phase is only temporary. It may not cure all your problems, but it's enough to help you make it through to the next day.