A message that we often receive: my child always slept well, but suddenly the whole rhythm is confused or my child has difficulty falling asleep. There is a good chance that your child is in a sleep regression. And although we call it a sleep regression, it is actually a progression. Your child is going through so many developments, which makes it difficult for them to sleep well. A big step forward for your child!
After the sleep regression you often suddenly see that your child has learned new things, such as crawling or standing. You often also see that after the sleep regression they can also sleep well again. In this article we will tell you more about the sleep regressions by age and what you can do to help your child as well as possible during the sleep regressions.
When is my child in a sleep regression?
There are different periods when your child can be in a sleep regression. We can divide the periods as follows:
Sleep regression 4 months
Your child learns new things per sleep regression. Growing up and mastering all new impressions and skills is of course also not easy. As soon as your baby is around 4 months old, you may experience the first sleep regression. During / after this period you will notice that your child has learned to roll over and that they are increasingly discovering the world around them.
Sleep regression 8 months
The next step is taken around 8 months and babies often learn to crawl. This is also related to the second sleep regression. You often recognize this earlier, because your baby has already gone through a sleep regression before.
Sleep regression 12 months
Hooray! Your child is 1 year old! The baby period is now officially over and your child will let you know. In addition to the birthday, you are often busy around this period with the sleeping pattern that your child makes a party of.
On average, children start walking around their first birthday. In addition, language development also begins and your child may already be able to name a few words. This all influences sleep behavior!
Sleep regression 18 months
As soon as your child is 18 months old, separation anxiety will start to play a major role. Your son or daughter will no longer want to be left alone and this is also noticeable at night.
Sleep regression 24 months
Is your 2-year-old suddenly awake at night? Not surprising! Many 2-year-old parents can agree that children of this age are making a great leap in development. This is often a language development that takes place there.
How can you recognize a sleep regression?
You can recognize a sleep regression by a number of characteristics such as poorer sleep (while that was never a problem before), new skills in the child and short naps. As soon as your child is sleeping a little less well, you often start making up all kinds of things yourself.
Could it be from teething? Is it too hot / cold? Does he / she get sick? Sometimes it is difficult to come up with an explanation, but if you pay attention to new developments that your child is going through and the specific months (count from the due date), then there is a good chance that your child is in a sleep regression (if of course it is excluded that he or she is ill, for example). Other signs that you could recognize this are:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Tearful / fussy
- Awake more often at night
- No more clear sleep rhythm
- Short naps (cat naps)
Tips during a sleep regression:
The most important thing is not to learn sleep associations during a sleep regression. Sleep associations are things that your child needs to fall asleep such as rocking or feeding. When a sleep cycle is over, your child needs it again to get to sleep when they are in between sleep cycles.
We often notice that during a sleep regression the children sleep less well and that parents then pull out all the stops. Keep everything how you normally do: the same bedtime ritual and not, for example, feeding to sleep. Of course you can offer your child extra comfort if he or she needs it!
Pay attention to the new developments that your child is going through. Do you see that your child has suddenly started rolling or standing up and is your child sleeping less well in the last few days? Then you can often quickly make the link with a sleep regression. By being aware of this, it is often easier to let go and it is easier to get through this period. Give in and know that these are all phases that you and your children go through!
During a sleep regression, you may feel that your child needs a nap less during the day. Because the sleep regression is a phase, there is a good chance that they will need the nap again after this. So don’t take away a nap too early, but keep offering it for another two weeks after the sleep regression. Do you notice that they really don’t want the nap anymore? Then (depending on the awake times) you can consider taking a nap.
Do you notice that your child cannot sleep well after the sleep regression and are you looking for some help and tools? Then we can of course help you to learn good sleeping habits. Schedule an introductory meeting right away so that together we can see how we can help you.