Until they don’t.
For some reason, your newborn isn’t sleeping as well as before, keeping you – and perhaps, the whole house – awake as well. Experts call this phenomenon sleep regression, and while it’s usually harmless, it can quickly make you (and your baby) feel frustrated.
Sleep Regression, Defined
Sleep regression happens when a baby or toddler, who previously sleeps easily and soundly, suddenly develops poor sleep.
Note that sleep regression can pertain to any change in sleeping patterns. It can point to shorter nap times, refusal to sleep, or night awakenings. Not all babies will experience sleep regression, but it is fairly common, particularly in their 4th, 8th, or 18th month.
The good news is, sleep regression doesn’t last forever, and there are practical ways to cope with it.
Why Sleep Regression Happens
Sleep regression might occur due to several reasons, depending on the baby’s age, environment, and development.
For instance, teething often causes fussiness, significantly affecting their sleeping pattern. The emotional and physical demands of an illness might also cause them to regress; sometimes, even after they’ve already recovered. Interestingly, growing up and gaining more skills and a deeper understanding of the world might make them want to delay sleep.
But what if you can’t make sense of their regression? Should you worry?