Baby Sleep Regression: Ultimate Guide For New Parents

Posted on 08/11/2021 by Olivia Lowry

In this blog, we catch up with Lisa Artis, Deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity. The Sleep Charity campaigns to improve sleep support and access to high quality information, raise awareness of the value of a good night’s sleep and promote understanding around the complexities of sleep. We asked Lisa about baby sleep regression, what it means, and top tips to solve this problem from sleep experts themselves.

The arrival of a new baby is always a testing time. Broken nights aren’t ideal but, unless you are exceptionally lucky, tend to be part of the territory for a few weeks when a baby comes along. However, babies grow and develop and just when you think you’ve got their night time routines sorted, along comes baby sleep regression.

What is sleep regression? 

By six months, night time stretches of nine to 12 hours are possible as their circadian rhythms develop and their day/night pattern is established. Introduction of solid food means night time feeding often reduces.

Sleep regression occurs at various points in a baby’s development. You will notice that a baby who’s sleeping well suddenly has shifts in their sleep pattern. This can include trouble settling down for sleep, more frequent nighttime wakings, fussing or irritability and fighting nap time.

It’s important to acknowledge that it’s perfectly normal for babies to wake in the night and for their sleep patterns to change right up until 12 months. Usually by the age of three months, many babies can sleep at least five hours at a time and their sleep cycle extends to around 90 minutes. It is worth considering introducing a routine at this time as they become more skilled at recognising cues.  

Baby sleeps soundly

What ages does baby sleep regression happen at?

Babies sleep patterns change and quite often sleep regression happens around four months, nine month and 12 months. This is typical development and happens as they grow, learn new skills, teeth, feeding habits change and naps become disjointed. It’s important to feel reassured that is normal and part of the growing stages. Sleep regression can also happen if there are disruptions to routines, separation anxiety or if they are suffering with an illness.

How long does baby sleep regression last?

Sleep regression is a period of time that usually lasts from a few days to four weeks depending on the baby and the circumstances. Keeping good sleep habits in place will help promote better sleep, leaving both yourself and your baby well rested and recharged for daytime activities, learning, work and play.

Mother feeds baby with a bottle

How to deal with baby sleep regression

Sleep regression is temporary – and can’t be prevented – but it can be difficult for parents to face broken nights sleep again, after hitting that amazing full night’s sleep milestone we all strive for when they’re littler. As experts in sleep, we’ve rounded up some insights into sleep regression below, so you can identify what your baby is experiencing, and choose the right solution for the both of you.

Mother smiles at baby who is in a rocker chair on the floor

Final Thoughts For A New Parent

Baby sleep regression phases can be frustrating and tiring for both you and your baby, but it’s important to remember that they’re widely temporary, and there are basic steps you can put in place to get your babies to sleep back on track and start to see those smiles and giggles come back again! As a new parent, there’s a lot to navigate, and as one of the top retailers for children’s furniture, we’re here to help.

Visit our page for nursery ideas; if you need help with products or have any other enquiries about which furniture is right for your baby, give our friendly customer service team a call on freephone 0808 196 3344– we’re parents too!

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