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Baby Sleep Regressions

The 4 month regression is probably one of the most talked about topic amongst new mums. They have either been through it, are currently trying to survive it, or dread it with all their might. Just when you’ve got the feeding sorted and nights become a bit more predictable, that precious little pie requires a little more help getting back to sleep.


If you follow my Instagram page, you can find a lot of information on the 4-month regression. You will know your baby has reached this point as they will be waking more frequently during naps and nights as a result of sleep cycles maturing. They key to surviving the 4-month regression is teaching your baby how to link their cycles with as less help from you as possible. Does that make you roll your eyes? Trust me, I wish there was a simpler solution.


If you have tried extending day and night sleep to no avail, reach out and I will be able to point you in the right direction. Sometimes all you need is a routine tweak, in other cases you will need to learn settling methods to help your baby settle off to sleep more independently.

Babies who are sleep trained before 5 months (no this doesn’t mean babies left to cry all night) tend to experience less disruption to sleep through subsequent regressions.


What?! There are multiple sleep regressions?


Yes, although there are various theories on the exact number of regressions your child will endure through their first 2 years of life, one thing is certain, there will be many periods of critical development which often result in disruptions to sleep. If your baby is going through a rough patch with their sleep and you haven’t changed their sleep environment or routine, they may be going through one of the following changes:

- Rolling

- Sitting unassisted

- Crawling

- Standing

- Walking

- Talking

- Discovery of object permanence and separation anxiety to follow

- Discovery of independence and fear of being left alone to follow

- Discovery of agency and defiance “No!”

- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and the realisation that everyone else is awake and ‘playing’.


Look out for upcoming Instagram posts about some of the most common sleep regressions.


What can you do to if you suspect your child is going through a sleep regression:

1. Stay consistent: This means you should keep morning wake time, nap time(s) and bedtime the same each and every day.

2. Wind down ritual: A wind down ritual and bedtime routine is so important as predictability is so comforting in a child’s world where everything else is constantly changing.

3. Practice coming and going: This may include peek-a-boo and hide and seek with younger babies. Talking with toddlers is important, ‘Mummy is going, but she will be back very soon to kiss and cuddle you and read your favourite book’. Follow through with promises.

4. Go to them: Go and re-assure your child but try not to get into the habit of bed-sharing if you do not wish to continue bed sharing for the foreseeable future.

5. Ensure they are not overtired: If baby has refused their nap for a few days, before dropping it entirely check that your baby is getting enough day sleep and that their awake windows are not too long.

A baby who has dropped a nap too early will become overtired and this will cause bedtime resistance and many wakes throughout the night. A 12 month old needs 2 naps so although they may

resist their morning nap for a couple of weeks, this doesn’t mean they no longer need it. Overtiredness compounds so ensure you give it a good few weeks to ascertain whether dropping a nap is causing issues.


More questions?


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