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What is a Sleep Regression? Keep the Sleep Toolbox Handy

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

Regression! Ugh. Such a opposing word when it comes to the development of our babies. I don’t love saying it, but really, there’s no more common use of a word when it comes to the ebb and flow of our little ones' sleep.

What is a regression when it comes to sleep? It’s really just the period of time that baby is not sleeping well, and it’s often associated with the developmental practices and achievements that our child is experiencing. They can really happen at any age, but most commonly around key developmental stages – 4 months, 6 months 8-9 months, 12 months.

To be honest, I don’t love this term because it assumes a negative connotation. A regression literally means "a return to a former or less developed state." The developmental stages our kids are going through when we use this term, actually has them doing the opposite.

The reality is, is that when these common setbacks in sleep happen, most of the time our babies are going through important developmental milestones. Like, learning to role, a growth spurt, learning to crawl. Milestones we should be celebrating and taking in. These are in fact progressions! But the fog of utter sleep deprivation has our whole world revolving around the next time our baby will sleep well. I hear you! And I want to make it much easier for you to digest when these stages of sleep interruption happen.

So, here is what I’m stocking your Sleep Regression Toolbox with:

· Consistent Early Bedtime

· Consistent Bedtime Routine

· Practice Development Skills During Awake Times (this is key!)

· Prevent Overtiredness by Following Wake Windows

· Create an Appropriate Environment for Sleep

· Establish Independent Sleep Skills

Don’t get discouraged and go back to old habits. Use these tools to celebrate your child’s accomplishments, while encouraging good sleep habits that will, in the end, get him right back on track when he’s through learning to crawl. You are doing amazing, Mama! And, don’t be afraid to fill your tool box with more good sleep tools you discover along the way.

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